Friday, October 17, 2008

Wrapping Up The Week

...with some followups, mostly.

We'll be putting up the "Gone Fishin'" sign for the weekend, though your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) has never actually fished. Except for media news stories...

WSTB FOLLOWUP: The shutdown of Streetsboro Public Schools station WSTB/88.9 has made it further into the mainstream media.

After the Akron Beacon Journal article we linked earlier, WJW/8's "FOX 8 News" made the trek to Portage County, with a live shot explaining the continuing off-air status of the station which normally airs the student-run "AlterNation" alt-rock format six days a week, and the adult volunteer-run "Sunday Oldies Jukebox" on Sundays.

The video from the report can be viewed here, and that's important to understanding the nuances of this story...since it also shows (with blurred faces) the "inappropriate" pictures which prompted school officials to pull out WSTB's computers on Monday night.

(Frankly, the "inappropriate" wording has to go. When this was first reported Tuesday, it invoked the thought of pictures that were not about kids and alcohol, but involving something else.)

A story for the Kent State University student newspaper "The Daily Kent Stater" by reporter Jackie Valley quotes former WSTB operations manager Bill Germani, and long-time WSTB general manager Bob Long, a local broadcast veteran:

Germani said the pictures stem from a New Year's Eve celebration this year in Columbus, in which a former student is photographed in the presence of alcohol. The other picture does not contain any alcohol.

Bob Long, general manager of WSTB, said the 18-year-old student photographed, who had parental consent to be in Columbus, never consumed alcohol that night because he was still on medication following a serious ATV accident in October 2007.

The article says Long has offered his resignation if the district doesn't allow two station IT workers to return - one he says has actually been banned from the building due to being in the aforementioned pictures.

For now, the station continues to be off the air, as school officials - who aren't saying anything now - apparently huddle with legal counsel.

In addition to breaking the long broadcast history of WSTB, the dispute will more than likely silence the "Sunday Oldies Jukebox" folks this weekend, barring a very quick resolution today. That programming alone has aired for over 10 years, and the station as a whole has been on for over 30.

We're a bit biased on this story, we admit.

We're not school administrators, or parents. We don't live in Streetsboro, and don't have much input into the "other side" of this.

Officials there probably never heard of us until they saw links on the various WSTB-related sites. They're welcome to chime in, either privately or in public. We welcome their response, but at this point they seem to be somewhat silent in the media reports we've passed along.

No, we're broadcasters, as are Mr. Long, the "SOJ" and others associated with the station. We're hoping that some mutually amicable resolution comes out of this...and that WSTB returns to the air soon...

BECK!: No, this is not an item about the announcement expected Monday, where Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland will unveil to listeners what OMW readers have known for many days - the return of Premiere syndicated late morning voice Glenn Beck to the WTAM airwaves on Monday, November 3rd.

It's about Beck himself, who has much larger items on his plate than his new Cleveland affiliate.

In a link helpfully provided on Beck's own website, MediaNewser reports that the multimedia conservative talk star will change his TV address next year, as Beck joins the staff at FOX News Channel.

He'll do a 5 PM (Eastern) show for the cable network.

Beck's current TV show airs on Headline News, CNN's second network, at 7 PM (Eastern), with a 9 PM repeat. Various reports show that Beck is the most popular host on "Headline News" who isn't named Nancy Grace.

The FNC show is set to start next Spring, and there's no word if Beck's Headline News stint will end early. The Premiere-syndicated radio show, of course, goes on as usual.

The New York Times reports that one possible "sticking point" in CNN's talks with Beck was Headline News' decision to drop the 9 PM repeat of the show. It will instead use that time slot to air a repeat of Lou Dobbs' show from the main CNN network...

BYE, FEDER: A veteran of the Newspaper Media Columnist Wars has shut down his word processor today.

He's Robert Feder, the nearly 30-year veteran of covering media for the Chicago Sun-Times, who wrote his last column today. Fellow Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper has a few thoughts on Feder's departure here.

Like large numbers of "ink-stained wretches", Feder took a buyout offered by the Chicago newspaper...which, like pretty much every newspaper in America, is trying to drastically cut staff in a feverish effort to reduce costs.

But Feder is not just another newspaper media columnist.

He's widely regarded in both businesses as the preeminent such columnist in the nation. Feder and his column are respected. He prided himself on accuracy. He's got a list of sources probably larger than most other media columnists put together.

And when he felt someone needed to be called on the carpet - like, for example, the now-departed general manager of Chicago CBS affiliate WBBM/2 - he did it.

Oh, and speaking of that station, and Cleveland...Feder also wrote a now-infamous column aimed at former WBBM boss Bill Applegate's memo regarding the clothing worn by the station's female on-air staff members. Applegate, of course, is now VP/GM at Raycom Media's WOIO/19-WUAB/43 here, and may well be toasting Feder's departure today in his office at Reserve Square.

We're guessing even Feder never imagined that Applegate would go on to approve, and encourage, a female reporter to take off her clothes on camera for a "story".

Anyway, we salute the 28-year run of Mr. Feder. We had the pleasure of having lunch with him a few years ago, thanks to some friends who brought us along.

And though it was only one meeting, our impression is that he basically felt like he was "just a lucky guy" to be doing a job he loved...


rumpleteasermom said...

I am a parent so I do have a POV you do not and I can tell you that this and other cases of "zero tolerance" are a part of the reason I chose to homeschool my children.

I consider any "zero tolerance" rule to be a "zero thought rule" -- that is, a way to keep people from actually using their brains to reason their way through a situation and instead just reacting without thought or consideration.

Personally, I want my children (who are now 23, 21 and 16) to learn some critical thinking skills and these zero tolerance cases make it very clear that our current schools are definitely NOT the place to learn that.

Anonymous said...

Oh my 18 year old drinking? What has this world come to?