We're closing out our weekend with a random grab bag...and for once, we have media related news on the positive side...
MOVING UP: Long-time OMW reader Steve Kelly is moving up in the ranks at Saga's Columbus cluster.
After a shuffle among Saga's four radio stations in Ohio's capital city, AllAccess reports that the afternoon driver at AC WSNY/94.7 "Sunny 95" adds programming duties at the newly-moved classic hits WODB/104.3 "Big Hits B104-3".
The trade site also reports that the middayer at Saga's WJZA/103.5, production director Dan Trapp, adds assistant programmer duties at the smooth jazz outlet once paired with that other frequency at 104.3.
Here at the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), we've been writing about Steve Kelly for years, dating back to his days at Dover/New Philadelphia's WJER, then at 101.7 FM (now Clear Channel AC WHOF "My 101.7"). WJER continued on after Kelly left for Columbus and 101.7 left for the Canton market, at AM 1450...
NOW, THE BAD NEWS: Scripps Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 has been a relative island of employment-related stability in local TV news, with no major layoffs...compared to all the other newsrooms in the market.
Scripps, however, is not immune to the economic pressures facing the entire industry, and the entire nation.
Weak advertising sales - over a 25 percent drop in both regular local and regular national TV ad sales - have led to a number of cost-cutting moves...or "expense-control initiatives", as a Scripps release puts it.
Here in Cleveland, we're hearing those announced "initiatives" are being felt at "NewsChannel 5", including a loss of 401k matching, a pension freeze (apparently permanent even after conditions improve), and a hiring freeze. We're told other possibilities for belt tightening at 3001 Euclid include reduced overtime, four-day workweeks and early retirement offers.
But, we're told, "no layoffs" - yet.
Oddly enough, the Scripps chain reported an overall two percent INCREASE in television ad sales in the fourth quarter of 2008 over the same period a year ago...but without over $26 million in political advertising, the losses quickly take over the balance sheet...
BLOW HIM UP, TOM: In an earlier item, we noted the demise of Los Angeles FM talker KLSX/97.1 - an event which happened Friday evening.
Talking the station into the end of its talk era was afternoon driver Tom Leykis, who was also syndicated by Westwood One until recently.
We forgot to mention Tom's brief, but controversial history, on Northeast Ohio radio.
After "The Dating Show" veteran host Jim Albright left Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron" after a 20 year run, WNIR picked up the syndicated Leykis show for evenings.
About a month later, WNIR management surely shook their heads and thought, "what were we thinking?"...as Leykis' show did not last long on the Akron market talker.
By the time Leykis aired on WNIR, he was picking up steam as...well, kind of a "raunchy talker", with talk about men and women and sex, signing of certain female body parts with a Sharpie and the like.
All of that made the mating and dating overseen by Albright seem somewhat tame by comparison, and prompted a letter writing campaign by listeners. (Our take, from what we remember, is that Albright had a wide demographic appeal, and those not under 30 or so weren't thrilled with Leykis' base subject matter.)
We don't remember what took over directly for the deposed "Tom Leykis Show" clearance on WNIR, but the station eventually went with local host Tom Erickson for the 7-11 PM time slot.
And tying this all together with recent news: Albright left WNIR for a marketing gig at the Carousel Dinner Theatre, which recently closed its Akron location.
Long before that local entertainment destination closed, he had already left there for NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton, first for off-air work, and later, for the afternoon drive talk show he hosted until...a week ago, when he was laid off in NextMedia's latest budget cuts...
HOLLYWOOD, DINE AND NATIONAL: Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 entertainment reporter David "Mossman" Moss' weekend show "Hollywood And Dine" is about to be unleashed nationally, via a clearance on Tribune cable/satellite channel WGN America.
Cleveland Plain Dealer media writer Julie Washington has more in an item from last Friday, that we missed while knee deep in digital TV preparation:
The half-hour program features Moss talking to Hollywood stars about their favorite recipes and dining experiences. It runs at 1 p.m. Saturdays on Channel 8.
"It's been very well received by the public, and we're excited to get it national exposure," (WJW general manager Greg) Easterly said.
But "Mossman" won't be going All Hollywood on us, or even All Chicago (home of WGN America). The article says he'll continue to produce the show at South Marginal...