Monday, September 15, 2008

Big Monday

No time to chat...time to get busy, with all these items on our Monday plate.

And perhaps on our lunch plate later today: a footlong chili cheese dog from the Sonic drive-in set to open for the first time today in Streetsboro...

THE WHY OF LAURA: We've kept you up to date over the weekend on the departure of Talk Radio Network syndicated mid-morning host Laura Ingraham from all 17 of her Salem affiliates, including the comapny's talk WHK/1420 Cleveland.

Salem's own Mike Gallagher will slide into the 9-noon slot on WHK and the other Salem outlets starting later this morning. WHK has already made the change on its website schedule.

As of this writing, there's still no announcement on where Ingraham's show will land in Cleveland, either live or on delay. We still expect that locally-owned WELW/1330 Willoughby to be the announced affiliate, give or take a delayed clearance on some other station in Northern Ohio. Again, this is just an educated guess...see our Saturday item for more.

But we have possible insight as to why Ingraham and Salem are parting company.

No, it's not a money issue. OMW reported a couple of years ago that Salem lost self-syndicated money advice host (and now FOX Business Network TV host) Dave Ramsey after Ramsey staffers told our readers that Salem asked the host to pay for his clearances.

But Radio and Records' Mike Stern sheds some light on the nature of the Ingraham/Salem spat on a Friday news item:

The rift appears to date back to the three-week period at the end of the spring book when TRNE and Ingraham were at odds over contract negotiation issues and she was locked out of her studio. With so many affiliates, Salem was one of the owners least happy about the situation and it appears to have resulted in a parting of the ways.

TRNE, by the way, is Talk Radio Network Enterprises, the apparent new corporate name for TRN.

So, assuming Mr. Stern is correct, TRN playing hardball with Ingraham during her contract talks - and taking her off the air - has now led to a mad scramble to find new affiliates in her Salem markets. (And remember, when Ingraham was off the air the first time, Salem briefly turned to its own Mike Gallagher Show to fill part of the gap in her least on WHK, here.)

The Salem stations aren't exactly the shining lights of talk radio in their home markets.

To call WHK a "distant second" in talk radio in Cleveland to Clear Channel's WTAM/1100 is being exceedingly kind to WHK. And the Salem talkers are in basically the same position elsewhere in the country, scratching out a 1-2 share or less 12-plus, swamped by a major Clear Channel, CBS Radio or other big company-owned dominant news/talk station.

But Ingraham's replacement affiliates named so far are very much the third-tier stations to Salem's second-tier stations...and not a single one of them is an "upgrade" from the Salem stations which carried the show until Friday...

EX-TV'ER AFTER UNIVERSITY JOB: In recent years, she's been the spokesperson for two Cleveland-based healthcare giants - MetroHealth and University Hospitals.

But former TV medical reporter Eileen Korey now has her sights set on a big job at a local university.

The Daily Kent Stater student-run newspaper reports that Korey interviewed last week for the post of vice president in charge of university relations at Kent State University, a job which would basically make her the point person for "telling Kent State's story", as she says.

Korey left the medical reporter job at Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 after an eight year run in 1992, first starting her own medical information company - then moving to University Hospitals as a result of that. She's been MetroHealth's top voice and face since 2004...

DOWNTOWN...EVERYONE WANTS TO TAPE...DOWNTOWN: We've been keeping an eye on the downtown Akron home for what's now WKYC/3's Akron Bureau, which is getting new tenants - with new production and sales facilities for public broadcasters WKSU/89.7 and WNEO-WEAO/45-49.

Though we haven't seen signs of activity outside the Main and Market facility, there are things going on inside.

Perhaps we should have turned on a TV instead of peering at the building's windows, as it turns out.

WKYC Akron Bureau chief Eric Mansfield doubles as host of 45/49's "NewsNight Akron", and Mansfield noted last Friday on his blog that "NewsNight" taped its very first show in the United Building:

For regular viewers ... the set will look different .. and the host (me) is positioned on the left side of your screen now. I'm also standing after spending all the previous shows seated. The reason behind that will be apparent in the next few weeks as we add a "smart board" similar to the touch-screen monitors CNN is using on its political shows.

The new location is also a big plus for the panelists and for getting future guests on the broadcasts. I'd like to invite a studio audience in from time-to-time as well.

Of course, sometime fairly soon, "PBS 45 & 49" will undergo a branding change. The Kent-based PBS affiliates will become known as "Western Reserve PBS", part of an overall branding change to "Western Reserve Public Media"...

PAGING GMA: ABC-TV's morning news magazine show is getting ready to camp out in Northeast Ohio.

"Good Morning America" is scheduled to air live Wednesday from the tiny northern Trumbull County hamlet of Gustavus. It's part of the show's pre-election related "50 States In 50 Days" tour, and Gustavus was apparently picked because A) it's on the train route the show's team is taking across the country, and B) because it has a lot of farmers.

The Youngstown Vindicator's Rebecca Sloan has more in a Friday story, noting that country singer Brad Paisley is expected to join the festivities, and perhaps...hush, hush, whisper, whisper, one of the presidential candidates may be riding the train into Gustavus on Wednesday morning.

Since we have never heard of Gustavus, we got out a map and found that it's on Ohio 87 at Ohio 193, not far from the Trumbull/Ashtabula County line...

FROM FLYING TO BUILDING MANAGEMENT: An OMW hat tip to Cincinnati Enquirer radio-TV guru John Kiesewetter for the link to the Vindicator story on his blog (Kiese had never heard of Gustavus, either).

And there's another interesting story on Kiese Blog, as he notes that long-time Cincinnati radio traffic reporter John Phillips has become the latest with WLW ties to end up working for Chicago-based Tribune, aka Tribune COO Randy Michaels' effort to "Get The (Jacor) Band Back Together".

Phillips, however, is not working either on the air or off the air at Tribune's two big broadcast operations in Chicago, talk WGN/720, or CW affiliate WGN/9 (and superstation offshoot WGN America).

Kiese has details on Phillips' new gig under Michaels:

Phillips manages the Tribune Tower services and operations -- 36 stories above the ground, and seven below. Built in 1925, the tower has 22 elevators "none of which go to all of the floors," he says.

Tribune Tower, of course, is the company's Chicago headquarters...more recently made famous on its WGN America, where Tribune interactive president and former Jacor-ite Marc Chase hosts weekend late night movies from "The Fortress of Television Innovation" under his "Night Watchman" persona.

Phillips segued from his long-running WLW traffic gig to hosting morning drive on WLW sister station WKRC/550, before Clear Channel budget cuts brought his run with the company to an end in late 2007...

COLLINS LANDS: We almost missed this AllAccess item because it didn't mention his most recent gig.

But yes, it appears former Clear Channel talk WTVN/610-WYTS-1230 Columbus program director Bruce Collins has landed, as he's been named the new program director of Border Media Partners talk KURV/710 in Brownsville-McAllen TX.

And the "border" part of his new company's name is quite evident there...the Brownsville-McAllen market is literally on the border with Mexico. (BMP owns other Texas stations not directly on that border.)

A decent chunk of Collins' experience comes south of the Mason-Dixon Line, much of it not far from his new South Texas home market. Among other stops on the Collins resume - programming Clear Channel talk KTOK/1000 Oklahoma City, along with stops at CC talkers in Atlanta (WGST/640) and Nashville (WLAC/1510)...


Anonymous said...

Whoo-hoo!!! Sonic Baby!!!

This is the best news I've read on OMW in a long time!

A round of Route 44 Diet Cherry Limeaides for everyone!

Ohio Media Watch said...

Hang in there, Wayne...Streetsboro is one of the areas hit hard with power outages from the Remnants of Ike, and we saw video on Channel 3 at noon of police directing traffic not far from the Sonic location, due to traffic lights being out.

So, there's no guarantee they made their scheduled opening today. If you want to chance it, it's on Rt. 14 a short distance from the I-480/Turnpike interchange, in front of the new Wal-Mart Super Center (across from the Sheetz).

To keep ourselves semi-on-topic here, the power outages knocked WNIR/100.1 off the air last night - sort of. Their transmitter was actually still on, but there was no programming or audio.

I'm assuming that they did not lose power at the transmitter site (Rt. 43 near I-76 in Brimfield), but did at the studio (Rt. 59 in Franklin Township). It's the first time I've ever heard that combo...usually they lose both!

-The Management

Ohio Media Watch said...

For reference, we did manage to hit Streetsboro this afternoon, and despite nearly all of that Portage County city being without power...

Sonic was open, and busy!

Pretty much anything east of the Sonic/Chipotle/Wal-Mart development was in the dark...but Sonic was open on its first day (and presumably still is).

Chili-cheese dog full,
-The Management

mrradio said...

Speaking of storms over here in Youngstown WRBP 101.9 and WRTK 1540have been off the air all day and while over in Sharon, Pa this aftern i was channel flipping and WEXC 107.1, WGRP 940, WLOA 1470 were also off the air. It's a safe bet to say that these stations had some damage done or may not even have power after last night's storms. We got hit hard over this way too.