Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dino Costa And Us

So, it turns out Google's search capabilities are working fine...and sports talk radio host Dino Costa ("") has found us after a few gentle pokes at him over the years.

Costa, who was heard by at least a few people in his brief stint on the short-lived local sports talk format on now-silent WATJ/1560 "SportsRadio 1560" out of Chardon, took the time to write back in the comments section to Tuesday's item.

And we took the opportunity to write back, with a comment we are pulling up here into a separate item (with a couple of typo corrections below). It quotes much of Costa's original comment. And we forgot to mention the involvement of other former WKNR types like Kendall Lewis with the STC operation...


Welcome to OMW Sports Radio! And, now it's time to take a call...Dino in Denver, Colorado, you're on OMW Sports Radio!

"Uh, based upon what I see, this feels, looks, and sounds NOTHING like that of the former failed amateur web based Cleveland thingie - to lump us in with that former endeavor is extremely unfair - not to mention biased on your behalf."

Thanks for joining us, Dino. You might want to check out the URL, as, hey, look, IT IS STILL IN BUSINESS! We suspect Mr. Belfi may have a problem with your contention that STC a "failed former amateur-based Cleveland web thingie".

And the lineup comparison was quite accurate.

STC has brought on a number of "name" hosts over the past few years. Veteran Cleveland sportscaster Bruce Drennan was even program director of the STC operation - before serving his 5 month prison sentence. Drennan, of course, is now host of "All Bets Are Off" on SportsTime Ohio.

Since you were here for basically 10 minutes on a station that had trouble reaching the near eastern Cleveland suburb of Mayfield Heights, you might not remember Bruce. SportsTime Ohio is the new RSN owned by the Dolan Family (Cleveland Indians owners).

As for your operation, the mix seems similar to STC - known sports media names mixed in with "fans" and some amateurs.

If you consider that an insult, it wasn't our was just a comparison that seemed valid to us. If we recall your latest press release, you proudly noted hiring a pair of guys with no radio experience you heard arguing sports in a bar.

Nothing wrong with that. After all, the current highly-rated occupant of WTAM/1100's afternoon drive slot got started as an amateur caller to Pete Franklin's show known as "Mr. Know-It-All".

"But we appreciate you watching us and keeping tabs, promoting the website as you have done."

You know, we admire your promotional skills.

"When you get back to me with your company, your new or established enterprise, your success's that may be documented and confirmed, please let me know."

Since Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) is not identified here, on purpose, all we have to show in public is the success of Ohio Media Watch itself.

Since OMW was established in 2005, this report has grown to a regular, non-duplicated audience of around 1,500 to 2,000 readers a day.

A quick look at our Twitter account shows nearly 250 "followers", people who have taken the time and trouble to actually receive our Twitter updates. We'd consider that roughly the equivalent of talk radio callers, and for a limited topic blog that only focuses on one state, we'd consider that pretty good.

If you'll look at our follower list, you'll see a whole host of local media personalities, off-air workers and the names of many major media outlets.

If you're looking for a direct comparison regarding sports radio, we're not doing that.

If you're looking to break out the "you can't match our success, you're just graffiti online" - you're no Steve French.

And oddly enough, both of you seem to care enough about what we write here, to respond. If someone scrawls about you on a wall on the side of a grocery store, do you take out a marker and respond?

"If anything, one would think that you would applaud the efforts being made by those taking part in this project."

You're a bit oversensitive there, Dino. We're not trashing or your involvement in starting it and running it. It's actually rather interesting to us.

Sure...your talent for over-the-top self promotion is amusing to us. But we didn't say your new site is going to stink.

"As for your claims of self-promotion, again, evidence confirming your claims would go a long way toward bolstering your credibility."

Go back and put your name into our search box up top, and you'll see our previous history talking about you.

You're in sports radio, Dino. Did we say self-promotion was wrong?

Heck, it's part and parcel of the business!

You put yourself out there like no one else, and that's not meant to be an insult.

"Credibility? You have a 'blog', the highest form of Internet graffiti available."

And you have a "sports radio website". We're both on the Internet. At this point, we have a larger readership (see above) than you have an audience, only because you haven't started yet.

Other than that, we're not "playing on the same field". OMW doesn't talk about sports, aside from covering sports media outlets and personalities like yourself.

"Thank you again for the publicity - and let us also note I responded to you on this matter, after you mentioned us, not the other way around."

When we've written about you, we haven't done so with expectation that you'd find or read the wording. We don't really care. We didn't write for you as an audience.

"Cleveland radio sucks by the way - just like the majority of Denver based radio."

You act like we'd fully disagree with that statement.

"We're trying to do something about it - how bout' you?"

We're not a sports talk radio operation. This is a blog. If listeners, or even industry observers like OMW, want to "do something about" bad radio, we can stop listening.

"Next time, do some homework, ask some questions, check your facts, get up off of your ass and make some inquiries -- and and try not to present your theories and or conjecture as fact...when it is clearly not the case."

Take a look up at the top, Dino. It says "news and musings". These are musings. This is a blog. This is not even a column in a local newspaper. Considering the lack of coverage of media by the declining print industry, we kind of fill a similar role...but we're not a newspaper column.

Your biggest problem here appears to be that we compared to your new venture to an operation you thought was no longer in business.

You haven't been here in Northeast Ohio in some time, so we'll forgive the ignorance there. We don't expect you to track the market or that particular operation.

We aren't even saying that will eventually directly resemble whatever state Mr. Belfi's operation is still in. And from here, it would appear that he is doing pretty well. He certainly has sponsors, for one.

For all we know, will be so incredibly successful that it'll draw thousands of listeners away from Denver's well-established sports radio operations and hosts.

We do, sincerely, wish you well. More listening options are good. You obviously have talent, and a listener base.

Sure, we'll poke fun at your promotional acumen...but we aren't attacking what you're doing, and we'll check in when you start up next week.

Oh, and by the way, we continue to poke fun at the WATJ operation.

We don't blame what happened there on you, or on any perceived "rejection" of your time on the station.

1560's problems were far beyond anything you had any part in. It was a tiny, daytime rimshot station. It had absolutely no chance at garnering an audience of any size, save for in small parts of Geauga County.

We no more blame you for that than we blame Les Levine, whose "cup of coffee" on WATJ lasted roughly a week or so. The entire attempt at local sports talk programming lasted what, a month or two?

You both got "drawn into" this operation, and did what you could, and you both moved on.

Les Levine is now the host of Time Warner Cable's popular "More Sports and Les Levine", which airs weekdays on TWC cable channel 23 ("NEON").

You ended up doing both sports and talk radio in Jacksonville, and are now a sports media personality in Denver...a good sized market.

-The Management


Dino said...

You keep it up and I might have to start commenting on everything you write about.

My wife is from Ohio (Canton) via Ireland,so maybe it is a good idea to keep tabs on you.

Lastly, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I like your style.

Keep CostaWatch alive and growing.

Kindest regards,


Gin said...

Dino, you straight up suck. Failed at every market you've tried, so now you have to start your own sports website since no one will hire you? Horrible, dude.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Thanks for checking in, Dino.

And best wishes for success with your new site.

-The Management