Friday, January 09, 2009

A Snowy Update

As local TV weather forecasters predict anywhere from 4, to 10, to 250 inches of snow for Northeast Ohio this weekend, what else do you have to do but read this Snowbound Week-Ending OMW update?

We've stocked up on the'll have enough here to last you through the snowy weekend. And we're only kidding about that "250" number above. It only seems like it...

WEOL EXIT: We have few details, but we hear that Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting talk WEOL/930 Elyria has parted ways with long-time newsman Larry Wright.

In addition to anchoring and reporting for WEOL, Larry has also hosted long-form programs such as a late morning show - which got clipped when the Elyria station became the Cleveland market affiliate of Premiere's Glenn Beck.

(Beck, of course, left WEOL a few months ago, when Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 returned him to its lineup...TRN's Laura Ingraham is perched in WEOL's late morning slot these days.)

We don't know the circumstances of Wright's exit from WEOL, just that Friday was his last day...

SUSANNE GONE: We got a couple of questions in the past week about the absence of weather forecaster Susanne Horgan from Scripps Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 "NewsChannel 5".

We pointed our readers towards an earlier OMW item detailing the changes at the station's "Good Morning Cleveland"...with the move of Pete Kenworthy to the anchor desk, and Jason Nicholas in the weather position.

Nicholas' placement on "GMC" moved Horgan to the station's weekend newscasts, but we reported back then that we heard that was temporary - and her contract would be allowed to expire.

We have confirmation of that from an item by the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Julie Washington.

WEWS general manager Victoria Regan tells Julie that yes, the station didn't renew Horgan's contract, and that she was replaced by Jeff Mackel on the weekend casts.

Of course, the move of Jason Nicholas to mornings started the whole process, and we'd already told you about the contract non-renewal and Horgan's impending exit.

Washington also notes that "NewsChannel 5" reporter Alicia Booth is set to come back from maternity leave on January 16th...

ANOTHER JULIE ITEM: The PD media columnist also notes new programming on Winston Broadcasting CW affiliate WBNX/55.

All three programs are presumably syndicated fare, so we won't spend a lot of time on them. But one of the three shows is called "Better Cleveland".

The new show is dubbed a "lifestyle show" in the article. It sounds, from the description, to be a syndicated program that allows some sort with recorded local segments.

Handling those, says WBNX general manager Lou Spangler, will be Miss Ohio 2006 Melanie Murphy. Spangler tells Julie Washington that Murphy's segments will start airing in early February.

The 2 PM weekday show will bump a couple of non-notable courtroom shows into the late night hours on "WBNX-The CW"...

THE INTERNET BATTLEGROUND: TV stations have long trumpeted being the first local station to report breaking news stories.

That promotion has now moved into cyberspace, as the folks at WEWS' "NewsChannel 5" are crowing about breaking news about the hiring of new Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini first...on a number of different platforms. Quoting a station news release that made it to the TVNewsday trade site:

Within seconds of Sports Director Andy Baskin’s confirmation of the move, WEWS used multiple platforms to deliver the news to viewers and users: Andy was Live on 5, sent out an e-mail alert and posted the story, and editorial staff posted on Twitter and Facebook.

"This is a great example of how NewsChannel5 is responding to the needs of our audience. We delivered this big story in all the ways viewers and users are consuming local media," said WEWS News Director Jill Manuel. "Northeast Ohio can count on us to consistently be where they are, with local content that matters to them.”

We're not here to confirm or disclaim what the folks at 3001 Euclid are crowing...because we just don't know.

A quick check of the Twitter pages of WEWS and of NBC affiliate WKYC/3 shows very close time stamps - 2:27 PM Wednesday on WKYC's site, 2:29 PM on WEWS' site. We don't know what time the Mangini news broke on air or on the web out of WJW/8 or WOIO/19.

Our reason for bringing this up? It's a sea change in how stations compete with each other, with Internet and non-on-air reporting just as important as who broke into the soap opera to give the news. (And in Cleveland, the hiring of a new head coach for the city's pro football franchise is definitely "Level One, Break Into Programming NOW!" news.)

We note that local stations are now offering direct alerts of school closings via text messaging or other online alerts.

Broadcast's so old-fashioned, even that shiny new tower about to go up at WKYC's Broadview Road facility in Parma looks a bit dated...

FEAGLER'S PD EXIT: We haven't noted here yet that long-time Cleveland newspaper columnist Dick Feagler has written his last regular column for the Plain Dealer.

And in the week since Feagler hammered out his last PD column, he's been the subject of a number of accolades and stories in other media...among them, a Tom Beres piece which aired Friday on WKYC/3.

And that's no coincidence, for Feagler had a 19 year career at the Cleveland NBC affiliate, mostly doing commentaries. But for a short time, Feagler was paired with Connie Dieken at the "Channel 3 News" anchor desk, which he tells Beres is "the biggest mistake" he's ever made.

Beres notes that the veteran commentator is "not shy, and not retiring"...and will continue to host PBS affiliate WVIZ/25's "Feagler and Friends", and may still show up occasionally in the PD if he wants to chime in about something in the news.

WKYC will air more of the interview between Beres and Feagler on its Sunday morning "Between the Lines" segment...

DISHING IT: Mid-State Television independent WMFD/68 Mansfield has made its way onto a second satellite provider.

WMFD was already on DirecTV local-into-local channel 68 in the Cleveland market. This week, it added Dish Network coverage on channel 12. As with DirecTV, Dish Network subscribers throughout the Cleveland market are able to watch WMFD's programming.

Note here - DirecTV's mapped channel number for WMFD is its analog number, 12, which Dish is using, is its digital RF frequency. WMFD signed off analog channel 68 in mid-2008.

But last we heard, the guidelines for digital TV have WMFD still putting out its old analog channel number in the digital PSIP information, as 68.1. In its on-air identifications, the station usually just sticks with its call letters.

The page above also notes the addition of WMFD to Doylestown Cable's channel 22...

1 comment:

Chris said...

From's Dish Network uplink center:

8522(12) - WMFD [MPEG2 SD] - EchoStar10 110W TP 29 Spotbeam 09 changed to Available

This station is only available if you're pointed at the 110 degree location, which most people with at least a dish 500 are.

I'm pointed at the "Eastern Arc," which is a trio of 61.5, 72.7, and 77deg West. New dish high-def customers as of august are on this system as well. Consequentially, many dish subscribers can't get this channel.