Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesday's Radio And TV Openness

We've got a couple of corrections in the hopper.

But first, some FM radio on-air changes... at least one of which has been actually been discussed openly with listeners. Now, there's a change...

FISH MOVES: When a radio station is forced to consolidate its staffing and lineup - usually leaving at least one person out of work - management isn't exactly forthcoming about the moves.

Leaving personalities often leave with what gets called a "Soviet-style purge" from station websites and promotional material...the material scrubbed with mentions of the former station employee like he or she was never there.

So, we've got to hand it to Salem Cleveland general manager Mark Jaycox.

Salem's CCM outlet, WFHM/95.5 "The Fish", has done some schedule shuffling. And instead of having to pull teeth to get information about it, all we have to do is go to a station web page and start copying and pasting from Jaycox's own letter:

To remain competitive and to continue to broadcast the same great music our audience has come to enjoy for the past 8 years, Our company: Salem Communications has required some minor adjustments to several of their Fish stations, with reference to certain shifts and air talent.

Jaycox's letter goes on to note that Mark Rein moves into afternoon drive, where, "we are excited to see what Mark’s fun and entertaining style of talk will do in this important time slot."

Rein's move to 3-7 PM displaces now-former afternoon driver Kristine Lane, who Jaycox notes will - again quoting Jaycox's letter - "remain part of our family in a new marketing role."

And as for middays?

Our beloved Gina Hart, unfortunately will be moving into a consultant role with Salem in the short term, as we automate the mid day period, from 10am to 3pm.

That "consultant role" and "in the short term" wording (not to mention "unfortunately") doesn't sound good for Ms. Hart. But in the 2009 world of radio, an automated midday shift is nearly ubiquitous.

So, there's your upshot.

We can't remember a last time that a radio station manager has admitted to listeners that a daypart was automated. Well, aside from the joking use of "Otto Mation" on some stations' schedules. We also can't remember the last time a local manager indicated in public that changes were basically forced upon the local cluster by corporate decisions.

Len Howser and Brooke Taylor remain as morning drive co-hosts on "The Fish", Cleveland version...

TOLEDO CHANGES: Here's an exit at Cumulus Toledo that apparently is not another layoff budget cut. Well, directly, anyway.

Quoting AllAccess on Tuesday afternoon:

CUMULUS Alternative WRWK (106.5 THE ZONE)/TOLEDO APD/MD/middayer CAROLYN STONE has decided to exit to raise her two daughters. She had been off-air on maternity leave since the beginning of the year. CAROLYN spent four years with THE ZONE.

WRWK PD DAN MCCLINTOCK is looking to fill a future on-air position. Send resume and mp3 to dan.mcclintock (at) cumulus.com.

We had a tip on this earlier, but AllAccess got up the item before we had a chance to try to confirm it.

OMW hears that Stone is probably doing just fine without a paying radio job, as far as being able to exit on her own and to raise her family...

PRICETAG FOR 67: Even non-rated, rimshot infomercial outlets have their price.

Several OMW readers pointed out that the digital paperwork for the sale of WOAC/67 Canton to Illinois-based Radiant Life Ministries has hit the FCC website, and if you guessed the religious broadcaster is paying $7 million for the station...congratulations!

Radiant Life Ministries is an arm of the Tri-State Christian Television empire, as we noted in our earlier item. TCT owns, among other stations, WNYB/24 Jamestown NY, just down I-86 from Erie PA...in the southern end of the Buffalo NY market.

For those of you wishing that WOAC would somehow be bought by someone who would turn it into a secular independent station, here's another dose of reality.

"Cleveland Classic Media's" Tim Lones signed up for TCT's E-newsletter after our first item on the WOAC sale, and Tim tells us that the TCT folks are already touting their latest incoming station.

Since the graphic is a bit big, we'll type the message from TCT owners Garth and Tina Coonce here, in part:

TCT Television Network is very pleased to announce that TCT has just signed an agreement to purchase a major market television station in the Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Ohio market.

Channel 47 is a powerful one mega-watt digital signal that covers the entire Northeast section with 1.7 million households of Ohio.


Tim points out to us that they do refer to WOAC by its digital channel RF number, 47.

They don't mention that even with its digital facility in Portage County's Brimfield Township, across Ohio 43 at I-76 from the tower holding WNIR/100.1 and its sister low-power/Class A TV station WAOH-LP/29, WOAC is still not as easy to catch as far north as Cleveland compared to the market's other full-power stations out of the Parma antenna farm. But we digress.

We don't know the "channel 47" reference means that they'll abandon the former analog channel number, 67, which is now being sent via PSIP (as usually expected) as 67-1 on WOAC's now sole signal, its digital one. Analog 67 was shut off in February, of course...

ERRATA: It's not major stuff, but we thought we'd correct ourselves again.

In our most recent item about Akron market talk WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron" picking up Talk Radio Network's Michael Savage for "network fill-in" - taking three hours of the time slot normally occupied by the station's Tom Erickson - we got off onto a tangent about TRN and its "hard sell" to affiliates.

We neglected to remember that Rusty Humphries is not the only TRN program on Savage's former Akron market home, Clear Channel talk WHLO/640.

We'd forgotten that former Premiere syndicated host Phil Hendrie's latest show is now syndicated by TRN. The Los Angeles-based Hendrie airs late nights on WHLO, from 2-5 AM.

And Rusty Humphries airs before him from 11 PM-2 AM, not at 9 PM as we advised in the other item. It's self-syndicated financial advice guru Dave Ramsey in that earlier evening slot on WHLO.

We'll flog ourselves with a printed WHLO schedule to make up for it. (And even THAT schedule isn't right Tuesday-Friday, unless the station has taken to playing one hour of Phil Hendrie at the same time as "Wall Street Journal This Morning" at 5 AM.)

That's not all.

OMW reader "Wayne in Akron", an avid listener to WNIR, points out that we incorrectly attributed one comment to him in our followup item.

It was another reader ("king-of-kings") who made the comment about Mike Gallagher, not Wayne. Wayne did correctly inform us that WNIR evening host Tom Erickson would return on Wednesday night, not this past Monday.

Here, take the last dose of our Mea Culpa, Wayne...and thank you for paying attention to "The Talk of Akron" and pointing out stuff we miss...we really do appreciate it!

1 comment:

wayne-in-akron said...

Thanks OMW for the clarification.

I didn't want you or any readers to believe that I had more 'insider' information than I do.

It is interesting that you point out in today's story how open that the FISH is concerning station operations. That is very much the same thing that is found over the air (instead of being posted on the website) at WNIR.