Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Is Packed

...full of news, mostly updates to some of our previous items. But they're necessary updates...

WKDD MORNINGS: As it turns out, veteran Clear Channel Akron/Canton hot AC WKDD/98.1 morning man Matt Patrick won't be soloing it on the FM side of his broadcast life.

After being tipped by a reader who spotted the absence of Patrick co-host Angela Bellios on the station's website, OMW confirmed Friday that the station's morning show will no longer be "Matt and Angela".

But there will be a replacement for Angela.

After much nudging, we managed to get a response on this from Keith Kennedy, WKDD program director, programming operations director for the cluster and OMW reader:

We've simply decided to move the show in a different direction.

As we've heard a lot this week, change has arrived.

Matt Patrick is, and always has been, the marquee talent at WKDD, and my hope is he will continue for many years to come.

To continue Matt's legendary status and winning streak, we'll be adding a new partner with a different outlook and style. It will add a fresh new sound to the Matt Patrick Show.

By the way. the show has gone through many changes over the years, and those changes have sustained the longevity of the show, now entering its 30th year.

Among the changes - Patrick's co-host for many years was Barbara Adams ("BA"), and we'd forgotten that WNIR/100.1 morning co-host/sports director Steve French was once in the WKDD mix as well.

OMW hears that WKDD voicetracked night talent Krissy Taylor (middays on sister top 40 WAKZ/95.9 "Kiss FM" in the Clear Channel Youngstown cluster) will be the first voice heard alongside Matt Patrick in the post-Angela era of the station's morning show...and yes, she'll be live from Freedom Avenue.

We hear Ms. Taylor will be heard "for several weeks", and we don't know what happens after that...

NO, NOT THIS WEEKEND: As OMW suspected, Streetsboro schools station WSTB/88.9 did not return to the airwaves this past weekend, as predicted by school superintendent Linda Keller in an Akron Beacon Journal article last week.

The situation appears to be this: district IT personnel are the ones putting the station "back together", without the help of the young man who still appears to be very much personna-non-grata at the station's studios at Streetsboro High School...Dan Kuznicki, who served as WSTB's mostly-volunteer IT guy when the station was on the air.

Though school officials are apparently no longer dealing with the controversial photos where he was seen, they're also apparently unwilling to bring Kuznicki into the mix to return the station to its regular operation.

The volunteer program director behind the still-off-the-air "Sunday Oldies Jukebox", Bill Weisinger, is even more skeptical than we are about the return of the station which offered air time to his effort. From "SOJ's" latest update:

Some people are buying the mantra from various school officials that WSTB will be back on “in a few days.” We’ve been hearing that, in one form or another, since October 14. The reality is: When you hear the Alternation and Jukebox on 88.9 MHz, we're back on.

That line echoes what we said on Friday. We're not willing to take a guess as to WSTB's return at this point.

We once again note the looming FCC deadline, when - if the station is not back on the air - SOMEONE associated with the district and/or the station will have to file a request for Special Temporary Authority noting the station's silent status, and requesting time to return the signal to the airwaves.

(The wording on that ought to be very interesting... "we pulled off our own computers"? We guess it'll contain numerous, ominous references to the school safety "Jarod's Law"...)

Again, though the deadline is indeed coming up in the next week or so, we don't expect the FCC to "smack down" a non-commercial, educational license owned by a school district if an STA is not filed by that deadline.

But it takes the station into murky territory. The lack of a proper FCC filing is something that is usually associated with shoestring, undercapitalized operators of small AM stations, not a duly elected school board and its administration...

WNEO UPDATE: OMW hears from the nice folks at Western Reserve PBS that the timeline has changed a bit in the early shutoff of their Youngstown market outlet.

The early shutoff of the pre-transition WNEO-DT 45.1/45.2 digital signal will not take place today, as planned. Instead, it will happen Wednesday, November 12th.

Everything else in the timeline is as listed before.

WNEO's analog Channel 45 signal will remain on the air in the first week that the digital signal has to be shut off (for work to prepare it for the post-transition signal).

Analog 45 will then shut off for good on November 19th, and both signals will be off the air November 19th through November 21st. It's expected that most large cable systems (Time Warner, etc.) will continue to air the Western Reserve PBS programming, as will DirecTV.

If there's a dropoff in those two days, it'll be with small cable systems -not owned by one of the large companies - picking up the WNEO analog signal with an antenna.

On November 21st, the new digital signal for WNEO will go back on the air in its permanent state, with a better antenna placement and a better signal expected in much of the station's viewing area.

One very important note to clear up confusion: None of this early, pre-digital transition activity affects the other half of the Western Reserve PBS operation, Akron's WEAO/49. Analog 49 will continue to broadcast until February 17th of next year, and digital WEAO-DT is already in its post-transition state...which means it will continue to broadcast as it does now from now on.

We mention this because we noticed the other day that Time Warner Cable identifies the station, at least on the former Adelphia system out of Cleveland, as "WNEO". But we're pretty sure TWC in both Cleveland and Akron/Canton actually pick up the WEAO signal out of Copley Township.

For now, that analog signal looks pretty bad, at least on our end of the TWC system (ex-Adelphia). It appears to be received from the station's actual analog over-air broadcast, and at some distance.

We presume this will be fixed when TWC and other cable systems have to convert to taking the digital signal in February - center-cutting the now-mixed upconverted/HD 49.1 signal for the existing non-digital subscribers...

When we talked about the local airing of Cleveland Browns' Thursday night NFL Network game on Raycom MyNetwork TV affiliate WUAB/43, we wondered how cable viewers in non-primary markets like Youngstown and Erie would be affected.

As it turns out, we didn't realize that WUAB is basically a thing of the past for cable viewers in the Mahoning Valley.

We already knew that the Armstrong systems in Youngstown's southern suburbs had bounced WUAB for "My YTV", the digital subchannel of WYTV-DT that serves as the Youngstown market's MyNetwork TV affiliate.

But on the Youngstown and Warren Time Warner Cable systems, "My YTV" does not get low analog channel placement, and lives only on digital cable channel 373.

Still, we don't know when it happened....but WUAB is also no longer present in the TWC lineup in the Mahoning Valley, on either analog or digital cable.

Oddly enough, WUAB sister CBS affiliate WOIO/19 is listed at analog channel 7 in Mahoning County! WOIO is the only Cleveland market station available there, according to the channel lineups at least.

We're not sure why. Maybe we have to go through the "significantly viewed" list and find WOIO there for Mahoning County, and maybe it got that status from its days as the only FOX affiliate in Northeast Ohio - long before WKBN launched WYFX-LP 62/WFXI-CA 17 "FOX 17/62", or even before WYTV picked up some FOX programming off-pattern, such as NFL games.

In the Trumbull County lineup, WUAB is also missing, despite the presence of a number of other Cleveland market stations alongside the Youngstown stations.

Up in the Erie area, WUAB appears on lineups in the suburban systems formerly owned by Adelphia, but not in the city-based system long run by Time Warner...


Neil said...


... long before WKBN launched WYFX-LP 62/WFXI-CA 17 "FOX 17/62", ...

(end quote)

Silly question: What do "LP" and "CA" stand for, and what is the difference between the two?

Chris said...

what about Dish Network? Will I still be able to pick up WEAO49 on Dish? I could give a rat's ass if it's in HD, but you only mentioned DirecTV.

YEKIMI said...

"LP" is for Low Power and I believe "CA" might mean cable. Someone feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Oops, sorry about that!

LP = Low-power, the original LPTV call suffix. (It's also used for LPFM radio stations.)

CA = "Class A", a special class of LPTV stations that get some extra protections in exchange for meeting certain requirements (some local programming, etc.).

The suffixes aren't necessarily universal, or required.

Both stations in Media-Com's "CAT" network are class A, though 29 carries -LP (WAOH-LP) calls and 35 still carries translator calls (W35AX).

For whatever reason, the WKBN folks never converted 62 to Class A, though.

--The Management

Ohio Media Watch said...

We're trying to get an answer on WNEO being replaced with WEAO for Dish Youngstown market customers.

The fine folks at Western Reserve PBS are helping with this!

--The Management

YEKIMI said...

well, I got 50% of the answer right!