Monday, June 29, 2009

Quick Moves

Two brief items that we haven't posted yet...

SOUTH AVENUE CHANGES: OMW hears that some lineup moves are starting today at Clear Channel's Youngstown cluster.

We have confirmed that top 40 WAKZ/95.9 "Kiss FM" midday voice Krissy Taylor is moving her voice to afternoon drive at sister hot AC WMXY/98.9 "Mix 98.9". Her show will take the time slot once occupied by Dan Gonder, who left the station in Clear Channel's second round of budget cuts.

That results in the following lineup on WAKZ: Columbus-based syndicated duo Dave and Jimmy until 10 AM, Los Angeles-based radio virus Ryan Seacrest 10 AM-2 PM, "96.5 Kiss FM" Cleveland-based and former Youngstown-based talent Kasper 2-6 PM, and Chris Diaz in nights...who may or may not be based at Roanoke VA Clear Channel top 40 outlet WJJS/104.9-102.7 "Jammin' JJS".

That'd be an odd coincidence, since one-time OMW reader Kasper once worked in the same market, at WJJS' top 40 competitor WXLK/92.3 "K92".

Ms. Taylor, of course, is better known west of Youngstown as the morning co-host with Matt Patrick, on Clear Channel Akron market hot AC WKDD/98.1. We're making the assumption that she's voicetracking Y-town from Freedom Avenue in beautiful (uhh) Jackson Township, in northern Stark County. Though...South Avenue is not THAT far away.

Whew. We THINK we got that right...

MOVIN' OUT?: Either we're imagining things, or today, one of the major trade websites reported the exit of a Cleveland music radio personality to a new job... in the state of Virginia.

We went back to find the item, but it has now disappeared. We also can't find any word of it on the popular Virginia media site VARTV.

Since we're unsure of the item now, we won't post details about it yet...but if anyone knows what we're talking about, we invite you to drop us an E-mail...

ODTV: We Give Up On WJW, WOIO Signals

OK, we've ranted enough.

And just like with our earlier ranting about the afternoon drive talk programming on a certain major Cleveland market AM radio station, we've realized that ranting and raving about it here isn't going to change the situation.

Read more on our Ohio Digital TV blog...

Tom Kent Lands In Home Market

It was one of the nagging questions among local music radio types. What took them so long?

Brecksville's Tom Kent has been building a syndication empire, most recently with the help of Citadel Media (the former ABC Radio Networks). He's landed on big market stations with his weeknight classic hits show, and has established a solid brand in the evening time slot.

But Kent wasn't able to land on his hometown oldies, er, classic hits station - Clear Channel Cleveland's WMJI/105.7 "Majic 105.7".

He's making that landing now.

AllAccess reports that The Tom Kent Radio Network will officially place Kent's 7-midnight national show on the classic hits station he can pick up in his kitchen, WMJI. (Or, in his basement, where he reportedly does the show.) WMJI will air the local syndicated star Monday through Friday from 7 PM to midnight starting July 8th.

Quoting a release that made its way to the national trade website, but not to us from either source:

TOM KENT quipped, "MAJIC 105.7 FM is truly one of the great radio stations in AMERICA -- and to have the opportunity to be on everyday is a blessing. All I had to do was agree to come there and wash the station van on the weekends during the summer. CLEVELAND is spectacular in the summer, so the pleasure is all mine!"

WMJI OM KEITH ABRAMS added, "Simply put, TOM is one of the best talents in the format. The fact that he is a 'Clevelander' with great market equity doesn't hurt either! We are excited to have him join the amazing team of talent on MAJIC!"

One of the better parts of the move is that Mr. Kent doesn't displace anyone by being added to the "Majic" schedule.

The station has been running segments voiced by afternoon drive host Don "Action" Jackson from 2 PM-midnight, presumably through the magic (majic?) of voicetracking after afternoon drive comes to a close.

"Action" already has a lot on his VT plate. A reader checked in from the Pittsburgh area, noting that he heard Jackson overnights on WMJI sister classic hits outlet WWSW/94.5 "3WS".

We haven't confirmed it, but we believe the WMJI PM driver is participating in Clear Channel's "Premium Choice" voicetracking addition to tracking Youngstown market classic hits outlet WBBG/106.1 "Big 106.1" in the same afternoon drive slot he occupies at his home radio base.

Anyway, adding Tom Kent will truncate "Action" Jackson's WMJI mega-shift at 7 PM, presumably allowing him to either rest more, or do more VTing, or leave the couch at Oak Tree where he catches a break between VT sessions.

Thus, it would seem to have been a no brainer to add Mr. Kent's show - being done live from his Northeast Ohio home just a short drive down I-77 from WMJI's studios at Oak Tree.

But...we don't know how these things work, sometimes....or why we had to get this item from a national trade website. We don't know if we rubbed Mr. Kent the wrong way somewhere in the past four years, and we didn't get the usual word of this out of Oak Tree...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

WOAC Flips

UPDATE 6/25/09 2:23 PM: A reader comment on this item led us to our digital tuner, and indeed, the WOAC call letters and channel 67 identification are both history.

PSIP information now displays the Canton-licensed station as "47-1, WRLM-DT". We did not have to rescan our Zenith converter box to get the new information.

The onscreen legal ID automatically inserted under the WOAC days appears to be in may well say "WRLM", but the last time we saw it, the call letters went above the top of the screen...


As expected, if a day late, Illinois-based Tri-State Christian Television (TCT) has taken over infomercial outlet WOAC/67 Canton, and has flipped it to its own religious programming under the new call letters WRLM.

TCT president and founder Garth Coonce is phoning in to his network's "TCT Today" show, live from the station's Brimfield Township transmitter facility.

He told viewers that TCT's Radiant Life Ministries "signed the papers this morning" to close on the station purchase out of the bankruptcy of Multicultural Broadcasting's TV arm. That echoes the information that Cleveland Classic Media's Tim Lones got when he called the TCT headquarters in Illinois.

As of the moment, WOAC's transmitter is still putting out PSIP information as "67-1". We imagine that will be changed at some point, to reflect the new WRLM calls, the apparently coming change to an ID of RF channel 47, and a second TCT channel in HD.

Changing PSIP information is probably not a good idea at the station's initial debut, since it could well throw some digital TV receivers (and for that matter, some cable systems)...

We Know And We Don't Know

UPDATE 6/25/09 2:21 PM: Our report of the buyouts accepted by WJW/8 "Fox 8" veterans Belinda Prinz and Dan Coughlin has been confirmed/separately reported by Cleveland Plain Dealer media columnist Julie Washington...


There is a lot of information floating around, most of it related to broadcast television in Northeast Ohio.

And we "know" most of it, though some of it is still speculation based on information that's out there...

WE KNOW - TV: OMW hears that two veteran local TV names are the latest to take the exit ramp off of the Full-Time TV Highway.

We're told that two staffers at Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 have taken a company-offered buyout: news reporter Belinda Prinz and sports reporter/anchor Dan Coughlin.

Our sources say the buyout means the end of Prinz' media career, after a total of over 30 years in radio and TV.

As far as Coughlin, a sports media institution who came to TV out of a long newspaper career, OMW hears that he may still do some part-time work for "Fox 8" during the high school football season.

We believe Coughlin has contributed to the Lorain Morning Journal and sister paper Lake County News-Herald, but find no evidence that he's written anything for them recently. And we don't have all morning to search...

WE KNOW, MOSTLY - TV: We first got word from the popular TV news insider tipsheet NewsBlues that struggling media giant Gannett was instituting a forced salary reduction for its non-contracted employees., an excellent non-profit online news site in Minnesota established by a host of former newspaper and media types in that state, posted the staff memo explaining the pay cuts. Gannett owns NBC affiliate KARE/11 in the Twin Cities.

Quoting the memo from David Lougee, president of Gannett's broadcast division, from the blog by MinnPost's David Brauer:

In effect, we have to have our own “reset” to match the changes in the broadcasting business. As a result, we are making the following changes in compensation for employees making $30,000 or more in order to reduce costs and minimize the need for additional job-related actions in the future.

Effective July 1, for:

• Employees making $30,000 to $39,999, compensation is reduced 4%.
• Employees making $40,000 to $49,999, compensation is reduced 5%.
• Employees making $50,000 and higher, compensation is reduced 6%.

Lougee says Gannett's broadcast financial results are at the "top of the industry". We'd hate to see what'd happen if the results were at "the bottom".

Now, thanks to the NewsBlues folks, the story that affects Northeast Ohio.

The industry news newsletter reported Wednesday that Gannett's big broadcast property here, WKYC/3, will not be impacted by the above listed pay cuts...along with the company's WCSH/6 in Portland ME.


They've already taken the pay cut pain. ( in TV's New Economic Model!)

And of course, as we reported back in March, Gannett staffers have been forced into taking unpaid furloughs. That may explain why a prominent WKYC reporter and anchor has "Gone Fishin'" on a week when the biggest story in his portion of the region came to a head on Tuesday...the fishing pole was forced into his hand.

There's one other WKYC connection in this sub-story.

NewsBlues is written by former Orlando FL sports anchor Mike James, who apparently also once toiled at WKYC. His wife is the daily contributor of a grammar section written under the name "Mrs. B", and helps her husband put out the final product.

Unless you weren't in Northeast Ohio in the 1970's and 1980's, or Central Ohio after that, you know "Mrs. B" better as Mona Scott, the former WKYC anchor who moved to Columbus' WCMH/4 in the 1980's - along with then-husband and then-co-anchor Doug Adair. In an era where WKYC still lagged behind news powerhouse WJW/8 (then the market's CBS affiliate), "Doug and Mona" were popular, both on-camera and off-camera.

Mona retired from the TV news game after a brief return to Columbus, where she anchored on the WBNS/10 morning show until 1998. An excellent article on the Cleveland Seniors website tells of her love of Lake Erie and suburban Bay Village, and a brief mid-career non-TV period where she lived with a relative in Ravenna, but we can't access it at this writing.

We don't know if Mona still has sources at the station (now at 13th and Lakeside, in the "Digital Broadcast Center" built long after Mona left Cleveland), but it's a coincidence nonetheless...

WE DON'T KNOW - TV: We couldn't help but notice an ad posted on fellow blogger Frank Macek's always-excellent "Director's Cut" blog, a great source of information about the aforementioned WKYC.

The station has posted a job opening, believe it or not, for a "multi-media journalist" for the WKYC "Good Morning Today" show and its associated morning newscasts:

WKYC-TV is currently accepting applications for the position of Multi-Media Journalist for AM newscast.

POSITION SUMMARY DESCRIPTION: * Shoot, write, edit, and report stories for daily AM newscasts. * Enterprise stories and package ideas. * Deliver live stories and packages from remote locations and in studio. * Produce daily content for website and social media platforms. * Work with desk on follow-up. * Other related duties as assigned.

We don't know what this means for the station's morning show, which is currently hosted by Mark Nolan alongside meteorologist Hollie Strano. We also don't know if they intend to replace now-former co-host Abby Ham, now firmly "back home" at Gannett sister NBC affiliate WBIR/10 in Knoxville TN. (Did we mention Abby really loves Eastern Tennnesee?)

But the job ad is interesting nonetheless...

WE DON'T KNOW - TV: No, your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) has no idea why Canton-licensed infomerical outlet WOAC/67 hasn't changed hands yet.

The incoming owner of the station, Illinois-based Tri-State Christian Television, annoucned to newsletter subscribers late last week that they planned to take over WOAC yesterday - and change its call letters to WRLM. The switch was, the group said, planned to happen during the outlet's live, midday talk show, "TCT Today", during the 1 PM Eastern hour.

We got the tip from Cleveland Classic Media's Tim Lones, who signed up for that E-mail newsletter when he learned of the WOAC sale. Like many in Canton, he has memories of WOAC's days as a local independent station.

But...nothing happened on Wednesday afternoon. As of this writing, late Thursday morning, WOAC is still pumping out the infomercials...complete with spots asking potential advertisers to call Ron Rembert at a Kent phone number - 330-677-6760. (Hey, maybe if the TCT folks called Ron now, they could book time on WOAC by the hour...before they take it over!)

FCC records still show that the sale of WOAC to TCT's Radiant Life Ministries was approved on June 10th, and that TCT/RLM applied for the WRLM calls for WOAC on June 17th.

We're guessing that they are waiting for the official lawyerly paperwork to be noted by the FCC, and we're guessing the change will happen sometime during that "TCT Today" show in the next few days...

WE KNOW - RADIO: The reach of the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) sometimes surprises us, and we've been doing this for nearly 4 years now.

If you talk about someone and ask questions about them, they're bound to show up in the OMW E-mail box, and that's exactly what happened with former Metro Networks morning news anchor Chris Coleman.

Chris' virtual ears (eyes?) were burning, so he dropped us a note explaining his current situation - which we were curious about since we heard him filling in for Metro's Jeff Thomas on Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850"'s morning sports updates.

Chris has done that before, but this time, Metro is a company without a local studio, and Mr. Coleman was clearly not located at WKNR's Galleria studios...Jeff Thomas' new work location after Metro shut down its operation on Granger Road this month.

Maybe Chris is sharing space with a former U.S. vice president this week, as he tells us he is doing the WKNR updates from "an undisclosed location in Independence". He confirms that he did not follow Metro's local operations to Detroit, and he isn't one of the staffers "embedded" at Metro's area affiliates.

Coleman tells OMW that after he finishes filling in for Thomas, he'll officially be a former Metro Networks employee.

For now, his next move is outside radio. He tells us he plans to "begin pursuing advanced college degrees, with the goal of teaching journalism at the college level".

But we're not sure we've heard the last of Chris Coleman on the radio.

It's a crazy business, and those who pursue it, then leave, are often lured back in one way or the other.

Maybe it's a virus, and it's nearly impossible to expunge it from your body...and we would not at all be surprised to hear in the future that Chris has combined his new college studies with some sort of stint behind a microphone...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chalmers Service Update

UPDATE 6/24/09 10:47 PM: John now tells us that times have been changed for Saturday:

"Visitation will now be from 11 AM to 1 PM and the Memorial service will begin at 1."


We've gotten some clarification for the timing and events, for Saturday's memorial service for former WMMS/WKYC graphic artist Brian Chalmers.

Courtesy of former WMMS program director John Gorman:

Regarding Brian Chalmers’ Memorial Service on Saturday June 27 - Visitation will be between 10 AM to 12 noon The Memorial Service will begin at 12. The North Royalton Christian Church is at 5100 Royalton Road (Route 82) in North Royalton. The church is just west of State Road (Route 94) on the north side of Royalton Rd. Church phone: 1-440-237-4531.

Mark Nolan's Radio Roots

He's much better known as long-time meteorologist - and now morning host and anchor - at Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3...but Mark Nolan is coming "back" to radio, and to an old radio home.

Umm, for one week.

Clear Channel Akron market hot AC WKDD/98.1 is announcing that Nolan will guest host the station's morning show, normally helmed by Matt Patrick, June 29th through July 3rd.

The vacation fill-in actually means something of a quasi-homecoming for Nolan, says WKDD program director, Clear Channel Akron/Canton operations director, and OMW reader Keith Kennedy in a station press release:

This is a semi-return to WKDD for Mark Nolan who hosted afternoons on WKDD in the early 90s while beginning his education to become a meteorologist. Mark eventually joined WKYC, where he is now the anchor for “Channel 3 News Today”, weekday mornings on WKYC Channel 3. For the past five years, Mark has been the on-staff meteorologist of Clear Channel’s Akron/Canton radio stations including 98.1 WKDD.

And a quote from Mr. Nolan himself:

“I’m excited to get back behind the controls of WKDD,” said Nolan. “Radio is where I began my broadcasting career, and WKDD was always where I had the most fun”.

The release says Nolan will be alongside WKDD morning co-host Krissy Taylor, and promises guests "including popular Northeast Ohio television personalities".

Of course, when Mark Nolan worked for WKDD, the station was "in a different place", both physically and electronically, than it is now.

'KDD was on its historic frequency of 96.5 in the 90's (now Clear Channel sister top 40 WAKS "Kiss FM", run out of suburban Cleveland), and we believe the studio facilities at that time would have been on West Market Street...just west of Acme #1, and on the other side of that supermarket from the Rubber City Radio cluster.

Or, WKDD could well have been in the old Barnstable location off West Exchange Street. (We can't recall when 96.5 and 1350 made that move to West Market.)

And as we've reported here, 98.1, now licensed to Munroe Falls, is about to plant its antenna on the former 96.5 tower on Bellaire what's now Cuyahoga Falls...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Even Quicker Hits

A funny thing usually happens to us on the way to a hiatus: Stuff happens, and we feel the need to post it.

So, unlike the last item...this is a very quick collection of "quick hits" we didn't want to wait to post...

CHALMERS SERVICES MOVE: It's no surprise to us, as an important figure in Cleveland radio (and TV) history will be memorialized a different location than planned.

Former WMMS/100.7 program director John Gorman passes along word that a bigger venue has been secured for the memorial service for former WMMS/WKYC graphic artist Brian Chalmers:

Due to the overwhelming response of Brian’s passing the funeral home has moved the service to a larger facility. Brian Chalmers' memorial service will now be at the North Royalton Christian Church, 5100 Royalton Rd. (R.82) in North Royalton this Saturday June 27 from 10 AM to 1 PM.

The church is just west of State Rd. (R.94) on the north side of Royalton Rd. The church phone number is 1.440.237.4531.

Though Chalmers worked many years for Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3, he's best known as the man who took over drawing the iconic WMMS "Buzzard" after original artist David Helton spread his own "wings" to then-WMMS owner Malrite's other stations, including another big outlet, WHTZ/100.3 "Z100" in New York City.

Chalmers wasn't an on-air personality, but the "Buzzard" was as much a part of the station's on-air personality as anyone who opened up a microphone on 100.7...

CHUCK LANDS: We've talked occasionally about the OMW Karma, but joke all you appears to have worked for one of our regular readers.

Long-time reader Chuck Matthews, the former Cumulus Toledo talk WTOD/1560 program director and cluster imaging director who has a thriving voiceover business, has landed a full-time gig as production director for Rubber City Radio's Akron cluster - oldies/news WAKR/1590, rock WONE/97.5 and country WQMX/94.9.

Chuck tells OMW (and other trade publications):

I will be doing mainly commercial production, but will also do some imaging.

Mr. Matthews will be working under another long-time OMW reader, Rubber City operations manager Chuck Collins - meaning that the folks on West Market Street have reached their full quota of "Chucks"...

WHERE'S CHRIS?: We heard former Metro Networks/Cleveland morning news anchor Chris Coleman the other day doing sports updates - subbing for Metro's Jeff Thomas - on Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850" in Cleveland.

But...we have no idea where Chris was sitting.

It sounded, from the by play and technical difficulties on 'KNR's "Really Big Show" with Tony Rizzo, that Coleman was not in the Galleria studios of the Cleveland sports station.

Since Jeff Thomas began doing his updates at the Galleria a while back, Rizzo and company have made a big deal about the fact that he is currently working in the building. (Of course, as we reported, Thomas is still actually working for his long-time employer, as Metro has "embedded" him in the WKNR studios after closing the Cleveland office.)

In fact, former Browns quarterback/local sports legend Bernie Kosar asked about Thomas' physical presence on a Rizzo show, and asked Jeff, on-air, where he had been before. "On Granger Road in Independence", he noted, and when Bernie asked if he'd been in the former WKNR studios on Broadview Road, Thomas joked, "no, they wouldn't let me in there, either".

Back to Chris Coleman, whose last Metro job was as morning news anchor, heard primarily on Salem talk WHK/1420. While there, he also occasionally subbed for Jeff Thomas on WKNR. But where was he this week?

As far as we know, the Metro Networks/Cleveland studios at the aforementioned Granger Road facility are closed for good.

There are still some remnants of Metro there - the cameras atop that building being remoted to Detroit, among other - but we'd be surprised if there were any remaining studio equipment or broadcast loops at the Independence facility...despite the fact that WKNR's Rizzo and Josh Sabo mentioned "the Metro pot" on the air when they were trying to get Coleman on the air that morning.

And if there were, the link would have been presumably identical to the one they used to pull up Jeff Thomas over the years.

OMW hears that Metro's current Cleveland setup generally involves recorded reports being scooped up automatically into stations' automation systems, but the 'KNR updates are still live, and Mr. Coleman was definitely live - or trying to be, amid the technical glitches - from wherever he was sitting.

With WHK's Metro-provided news updates now handled by long-time Metro/Cleveland director of operations Terry Groden out of WHK's Summit Park Drive facility, we don't know Coleman's fate otherwise.

We don't believe he's moved to Detroit.

And no, neither has Rizzo sidekick/producer/WKNR assistant program director Aaron Goldhammer. He hasn't moved to Denver, either.

We've chosen not to participate in the station's "Aaron Walked Off The Show" stunt....

Monday, June 22, 2009

WMMS, WKYC Artist Brian Chalmers Passes On

Long-time local radio and TV artist Brian Chalmers has passed away.

Chalmers was most recently a graphic artist for Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3, but is likely better known - at least inside the local media world - as the second "pen behind the Buzzard"...drawing the iconic graphic character for rock WMMS/100.7 after original Buzzard artist David Helton moved up in the Malrite Broadcasting chain.

Former WMMS programmer John Gorman has an item up about Chalmers on his blog, with plenty of pictures and memories. (The photo of Chalmers is courtesy of Gorman's blog. So is the Buzzard graphic to the right, though we don't know if Chalmers drew this one.)

There's also a quote up there from Helton:

Brian Chalmers was one of the most creative individuals I have ever known and had the talent, insight and sensitivity of a true artist. His passion for doing great work will forever be an inspiration to me. He was my friend and I loved him like a brother, and I will miss him.

At this point, we have no word on what caused Chalmers' death.

A memorial is scheduled for this Saturday...details are on the Gorman "Buzzard" blog...

ODTV: The VHF DTV Struggle

Here we are, now over a week out from the June 12th digital TV transition, and stations which "transitioned" to a VHF frequency for their permanent digital channels are still getting a lot of flack.

Read more on our Ohio Digital TV blog...

Quick Hits For A Monday

We're still "on hiatus", as it were, but we want to bring out some items we don't want to get moldy.

OK, maybe this wasn't as "quick" as we thought...

TV CHANGE: Cleveland Classic Media's Tim Lones gives us a heads up on the future of WOAC/67 Canton, the infomercial outlet being sold out of the bankruptcy case of Multicultural Broadcasting's TV division.

And there is no future - for either the WOAC call letters, or, apparently, the old channel number 67.

Incoming owner Tri-State Christian Television plans to take over programming the station on Wednesday, according to an E-mail Tim received from the religious broadcaster's mailing list:

Another great change we are excited to announce here at TCT is the recent purchase of WOAC in the Cleveland / Akron / Canton, Ohio market. Plans are to make the transition to all Christian programming on this station next Wednesday during our noon (CT) TCT Today program. The new call letters for this station will be WRLM.

This new station, Channel 47, is a powerful mega-watt digital signal that covers the entire Northeast section with 1.7 million TV households of Ohio.

That would put the change during the 1 PM (Eastern) hour on Wednesday, of case you really want to watch or TiVo the transition.

WRLM, presumably, stands for Radiant Life Ministries - the arm of Illinois-based TCT which is purchasing the current WOAC from the bankruptcy trustee holding it in the Multicultural Television case.

FCC records show the transfer of WOAC from Multicultural to TCT/RLM was approved on June 10th, and we'll presume the consummation of the sale will be filed by Wednesday. The religious broadcaster filed a request for the WRLM calls on June 17th, according to the FCC's Call Sign Query.

And again, TCT refers to the station as "Channel 47". We don't know yet if that means TCT will dump the "67" PSIP branding for its RF channel of 47.

One change we do know is coming: TCT operates two subchannels on all its digital stations, including Jamestown NY's WNYB/26. So, we'll expect 47-or-67.1 to be TCT's separate HD feed, and 47-or-67.2 to be the SD feed that used to be on the analog side of TCT's stations.

(We say "its digital stations" because we presume TCT has an analog translator or three still operating....)

Though WOAC-to-become-WRLM is licensed to Canton, its now-only digital transmitter site is on Portage County's Brimfield Township along I-76, just across Ohio 43 from WNIR/100.1 and its sister station, WAOH-LP/29 "Retro TV"...

NETWORK CHANGE: NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton has been through a lot of changes in the past couple of years, and now, here's another.

OMW hears that starting this morning, "News/Talk 1480" will change radio news networks. WHBC will drop ABC News Radio for Fox News Radio.

FNR offers two different top-of-the-hour newscasts, and we believe WHBC will use the 5 minute version...though 1480 will likely exit the newscast early - at the first natural break - for its own local newscasts when they are present. Fox News Radio also offers a one-minute long newscast.

ABC News Radio will still be heard by most Canton listeners via its two Akron outlets - Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 (which runs the Information Network feed) and Rubber City Radio oldies/news WAKR/1590 (which runs the Entertainment Network feed, or whatever it's called these days).

While we're at Market Avenue South, as far as we know, the WHBC morning drive show with Fred Chenevey and Pam Cook is indeed still being simulcast by the WIVM Low Power TV Empire - WIVM-LP/52 Canton and its own simulcasters, WIVN-LP/29 Newcomerstown(/Dover/New Philadelphia) and WIVX-LP/65 Loudonville.

We had some questions about that arrangement after the WIVM stations flipped to become the Canton area's Retro TV outlet...

SPEAKING OF RETRO TV: Yes, we're aware that RTN is now officially RTV. (And yes, we're aware that we've mentioned the classic TV network in all three otherwise unrelated sub-items.)

The Retro Television Network folks tell Broadcasting & Cable that they grabbed onto the new initials, in part, because they call to the recently completed DTV transition:

"We're Retro Television--it's what we are and what we do," says RTV principal Neal Ardman, who says the DTV-RTV sound similarity is part of the rebrand's intent.

And it makes a lot of sense, as RTV, This TV and other digital network subchannels feel a giant spotlight is now upon them. With over-air viewing of full-power stations now in digital, the channels are getting exposed to a large audience that may not receive them on cable or satellite.

That applies to the local outlet for MGM-run movie and classic TV channel This TV, Raycom Media's WUAB/43.2.

But it does not apply to any local outlet for the folks at Retro TV, as the channel airs here on the aforementioned low-power analog stations - WAOH-LP 29 Akron/W35AX Cleveland, and the WIVM low-power stations based in Canton.

The folks at the Media-Com duo are taking advantage of what could otherwise be a negative - through a digital converter box, you can't view any of these stations unless your box has analog pass-through, then you have to tune the TV's regular tuner...which you are told not to use for digital channels.

Media-Com's radio flagship, talk WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron", has been running promos telling viewers who did NOT prepare for the digital transition that they still have a choice.

And with the classic TV shows on "Retro TV"'s channel 29 (and 35), production voice Tom Cullison intones -"isn't it better living in the past?" - by being able to watch shows like "Ironside" and "McHale's Navy".

Is "living in the past" good? Ask anyone who has to work in WNIR's studio complex on Route 59 between Kent and Ravenna, across from the Wal-Mart.

Like New Vision Fox affiliate WYFX-LP 62 Youngstown and its western PA simulcaster, WFXI-CA 17 Mercer PA, 29 and 35 (and 52, etc.) are now basically the only options for Cleveland market analog-only viewers looking for general entertainment programming...unless you consider the NAB-produced "nightlight" DTV instructional video on analog WKYC/3 to be entertaining. (That goes away after June 26th...)

AND INSIDE THE SITE: OMW, and our sister site in the OMW Blog Network, Ohio Digital TV, chronicled the building of the new WKYC/WVIZ tower and digital TV facility on Broadview Road in Parma quite frequently.

Since we were basically taking pictures from the outside, we were left to a lot of speculation about what was going on inside, and when the facility would be completed.

We have all the answers...after the fact, of course.

Dave Kushman, one of WKYC's engineers on the project, brings us the pictures we all imagined before the June 12th transition...with his site hosting an in-depth look at the work inside and outside the site that now houses WKYC's digital channel 17 and WVIZ's digital channel 26.

We'll have to go back and see if some of our speculation was on target, or, well, off target.

The hat tip here is to our blogging colleague over at WKYC, senior director Frank Macek and his "Director's Cut" blog.

And we're wondering if Dave put up the site, in part, because of all the interest in the new WKYC/WVIZ site among our readers...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Casey Takes WQMX Nights

A housekeeping note: OMW will be mostly be on a hiatus until sometime next week. (Hey, we haven't done one of those for a while! Don't worry, we're fine.)

As usual in most of our time away, we'll continue to track major breaking media news, as possible given our demands outside the blog.

And even if we can't post, we'll try to keep on top of things with our Twitter account...if you're not following us there, just look at our Twitter posts on the left hand side of this blog.

That's where we first posted word of this item:

Rubber City Radio Group Akron market country powerhouse WQMX/94.9 has found its new night personality.

WQMX program director and OMW reader Sue Wilson checks in with your Mighty Blog of Fun:

Amanda Casey will join the WQMX staff to host the on air portion of 7 to midnight on WQMX. Amanda will use her on air and online skills to create an upbeat, interactive, connective show that relates to the audience listening in the evening.

That "online" part isn't there for no was one of the things mentioned when the station advertised the open position. The station has been looking for a new evening personality after it parted ways with Michael "Ike the Night Guy" Izic a while back.

OMW hears that Casey is former WQMX part-timer, who worked for the station last year until moving out of the area...and now, has returned to both the area and the radio station...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Toledo's "Zone" Flips To Sports Monday

Yes, this is the item we hinted about last week, and now, it's official.

The Toledo Blade reports that Cumulus Toledo is changing format on WRWK/106.5, which has been alt-rock "The Zone" until now.

Starting Monday, it'll become a simulcaster of Cumulus' sports talk station, WLQR/1470 "The Ticket".

The Blade's Rod Lockwood reports that "The Zone" will shift its modern rock music to the Internet, and that the two frequencies will allow Cumulus Toledo to solve sports play-by-play conflicts - with one team on one frequency, and the other team on the other side of the simulcast, when teams like the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions conflict in scheduling.

Other than that, "The Ticket"'s FM side will be a straight simulcast of the ESPN Radio-laced format on AM 1470, including the local afternoon drive sports talk fest hosted by WLQR program director Norm Wamer ("The Front Row").

A quote from Wamer in the Blade article:

(Wamer) said the decision to eliminate the FM station's modern rock format in exchange for sports is aimed at the prime demographic of men between the ages of 25 and 54.

"Everyone has been having a tough time with the economy, but the sports format has been terrific," he said yesterday.

One slight clarification though, as Lockwood tries to compare power between the AM side (1,000 watts) and the FM side (3,000 watts).

WRWK/106.5 is licensed to Delta, and it's basically a southwest rimshot into Toledo. It's not an awful rimshot, and turning off the stereo pilot may effectively increase its listenable range (no stereo "flutter" on the edges of the signal, including portions of Toledo itself).

AllAccess reports that in addition to the online coverage, "The Zone" will also be heard on an HD2 subchannel (presumably of its soon-to-be-former home of 106.5), and will still be under the oversight of program director Dan McClintock, who also programs classic rock WXKR/94.5 "94.5-XKR"...

ODTV: Sorting Through The WJW Mess

Yes, we were a bit harsh in yesterday's item, explaining the "lack of power" out of Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8's new digital transmitter...which was believed to be running at 30 kW, but is actually only putting out 11 kW, based on our research of FCC filings.

Read more at our Ohio Digital TV blog...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ODTV: WJW Power Mystery Solved?

(This is a full reprint of an item posted on our Ohio Digital TV blog.)

The biggest post-DTV transition story in Northeast Ohio is the surprisingly anemic performance of WJW/8 "Fox 8"'s new signal on VHF channel 8, its old analog channel.

As it turns out, the signal may be less powerful than pretty much everyone thought, including us, and WJW's digital channel 8 appears to be operating not at the approved post-transition power level of 30 kW, but at 11 kW instead.

Yes, you read that right.

It took us about a half-hour going through WJW's FCC application records, but we're pretty confident we've figured that out. Follow along with us, to see if we've reached the proper conclusion. As always, especially in engineering matters - with only FCC records to work from - we could be wrong.

The key that unlocked this mystery for us was the station's "License to Cover", which tells the FCC that WJW is indeed operating "pursuant to automatic program test authority" on its construction permit for digital channel 8. That was filed Monday, so it's information we didn't have before now.

It appears that the "license to cover" filed Monday, however, was to cover the original 11 kW construction permit granted in March, 2008 (file number 20080311AAN)...not the construction permit modification to increase to 30 kW, which was granted in June, 2008 (20080620AHI).

We've previously referenced this line from the station's April transition update (caution: FCC filing form all upper case ahead):


From our digging into this, it now appears to us that "fully-authorized power" refers to the 11 kW CP granted in March of last year, not the 30 kW CP modification granted a few months later.

The problem?

We're not hearing ANYTHING from either inside South Marginal, or from the station in public, that the 30 kW facility is coming any time soon...despite its approval one year ago.

You'd figure that if this was the case, WJW would trumpet it loudly. But word that a facility improvement is in the works isn't found anywhere we can see on the Fox 8 website.

The latest word on DTV on is in this article promising "New DTV info" for viewers, which basically amounts to a procedure meant to "unstick" the previous WJW-DT facility on digital 31 from converters boxes and tuners. That does indeed happen, depending on the tuner, and it looks to be a solid procedure to clear out the converter box's memory.

But...the web article contains nothing about a power increase.

If WJW has talked about it on "Fox 8 News" or anywhere, we haven't seen it. There are just 24 hours in a day, and we can't watch every single local newscast.

The problems receiving WJW have made both major local newspapers, and have been talked about extensively right here on the OMW Blog Network. (Hey, that's a pretty good name for the OMW and ODTV combo...too bad we didn't think about it back in April!)

Again, if WJW was in the process of upgrading, and putting its modified construction permit on the air, one would think they'd say something about it...if only to give viewers who've lost the station over the air, some even in Cuyahoga and Summit counties, some hope for the near future.

As such, we can't even speculate that the situation will change soon...though on FCC paper, it looks like the path is still there.

The 30 kW CP MOD, as it's called, specifies a June 12, 2009 expiration date...but we don't think that means anything for such facilities. It clearly shows up a "post-transition" permit, which is why we think the date is automatic and doesn't mean anything. We could be wrong.

Anyway, if anyone at South Marginal is reading this, that's a hint.

You may or may not like us, but if we're wrong, you have to set us straight...and more importantly, notify your lost viewers that an increase in power should help bring back reliable reception for areas in your primary coverage area that can't receive Fox 8 over the air. Your obligation is to them, not us.

And as for those viewers, you have an obligation, too.

You need to call WJW, and tell them you can't receive their signal, even in a traditionally strong signal area. You need to complain, and make your voice heard. When you can't pick up a station, even in areas as close as Shaker Heights (in Cuyahoga County, at last check), the converter box does not notify the station.

Be prepared for the "you don't have the right antenna" speech, and at least have a modest indoor VHF/UHF combo antenna in place.

Tell them that you're a 10 minute drive down I-480 from Parma, and that you should reasonably expect not to have to mount a roof antenna up there on your home for a station that you could pick up with a paperclip back when it was on digital RF channel 31.

And yes, tell them you've read that they are not operating with their maximized FCC power of 30 kW, and ask them why not.

Or, do nothing, and hope that the folks at Local TV get the message when WJW starts losing ratings points compared to stronger local competitors.

OK, so that last one is a bit of hyperbole, as the Cleveland market has about 80%-ish cable/satellite penetration. Those folks (we're certainly in that 80%) have not lost WJW or any other over-air local station.

But anyone who watches the local TV ratings wars knows that WJW, WKYC, WOIO and WEWS fight like junkyard dogs over slim ratings margins. Even if the DTV over-air only audience in Northeast Ohio is only about 20 percent, every viewer counts.

We repeat, if a power increase is coming for their over-air signal, WJW needs to tell viewers, now.

Our only "ray of hope" on this is that the 30 kW increase would happen sooner rather than later, and WJW is just hoping that viewers will keep rescanning their converter boxes or tuners, find it, and be happy. But if viewers couldn't pick up the new signal to begin with, it won't magically appear when the power increases.

If we're wrong, we need to be corrected. But we have reason to believe that even outside the FCC records we've cited, we are correct about the 11 kW power level that WJW is currently using on digital channel 8...

Monday, June 15, 2009

ODTV: ODTV Followup Monday

We're sorting out what's left after Friday's end of full-power analog TV service, and even correcting ourselves once or twice...

Read more at our Ohio Digital TV blog, including VIDEO of a local station's DTV switch...

Monday's Very Mixed Bag

We've been hanging onto some items for a while, since we were swept up in the Digital TV Conversion wave starting on Friday. (We do still have some ODTV follow up items, which we'll put on that blog later today.)

AN SDV UPDATE: Though nearly all of the Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio monolith is now "Switched Digital Video" (SDV) capable, there are small pockets that have not yet taken the new technology.

OMW hears that will change, soon, with the SDV rollout "scheduled to be completed" by this Friday, June 19th.

We're told that the Lakeside and Cleveland Heights areas are among the final stragglers, though we're wondering if the former Comcast systems in Mentor and Elyria are also left to be done.

We assume "Lakeside" means TWC's Cleveland customers served directly out of the company's Cleveland headquarters on Lakeside Avenue in downtown Cleveland, the former home of the Adelphia operations in Cleveland.

As we've reported numerous times, the SDV rollout is necessary before TWC customers can receive new HDTV channels that debuted starting in May.

And another batch is coming in June...the following new HD channels are set to debut "on or after" June 15: Lifetime Movies, Travel, AMC, Versus, SPEED and ESPNU. The new batch will only show up immediately in SDV areas, and will show up elsewhere as SDV is turned on...presumably, by the scheduled completion of the rollout on Friday.

Our sources at TWC say there are still more channels scheduled to be added between now and the end of the year, and we should learn more about the post-June list soon...

IS THIS ANY WAY TO RUN A TALK RADIO STATION?: No matter what format it carries, Media-Com Akron market eastern rimshot daytimer WJMP/1520 Kent/Wherever Else It Happens To Reach has been a long-neglected sister station to talk powerhouse WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron".

Basically from the moment the former WKNT(AM) split from simulcasting with what used to be WKNT-FM, 1520 has been off in its own little world.

We've chronicled the station going off the air so frequently, you could almost set a calendar up to track it. WJMP has been, on numerous occasions, off for 3 or 4 days until someone fixed the situation - or noticed.

So, it wasn't a surprise to us late last week, when we tried to pick up 1520 while driving through Portage County on I-76, and found nothing at about 7:15 PM. WJMP was off, again, and we even managed to hear weak strains of co-channel Canton gospel outlet WINW/1520 "Joy 1520" in Akron's eastern suburbs.

According to the FCC's approximations, the station should be able to stay on the air in June and July all the way up to 9 PM. That link will show 8 PM at first, but it starts off in Eastern Standard Time.

But that's just the prelude to this act.

This morning, while checking on WJMP's status (through the usual heavy static, as we are not in Portage County), that definitely was not Erich "Mancow" Muller on the air with his Talk Radio Network program...and it wasn't a fill-in, either, on the TRN side.

It was a host and program quite different from the former "shock jock''s" morning show - WOR Radio Network's laid-back overnight program with host Joey Reynolds, talking about the history of women radio air personalities in New York City with the author of a new book.


We think we've figured it would have to be an automation error.

Reynolds' show is fed down both WOR Radio Network satellite channels all the way until 9 AM, though the show only airs live until 5 AM.

WJMP airs an extensive schedule of WOR Radio Network's weekend specialty show programming (pets, gardening, etc.), and that lineup takes most of the station's Sunday schedule - with the exception of Citadel financial advice star Bob Brinker's "Moneytalk" program from 4-7 PM.

The station does not list programming past 7 PM on weekends. We'll make the easy assumption that WJMP heads back to WOR Radio Network after Brinker, where it could pick up refeeds of "The Car Doctor" and "Food Talk" on the WOR2 satellite schedule (PDF) until signoff...if it hadn't already dropped carrier at 7 PM.

We're guessing that WJMP's Scott Studios automation somehow missed the command to kick it back to Talk Radio Network at 6 AM Monday for "Mancow". bringing the few thousand listeners within range of 1520 a taste of WOR's Joey Reynolds.

Obviously, Reynolds could not otherwise air on WJMP, as 1520 is filled on the local airwaves with static and a distant signal from Buffalo NY powerhouse WWKB in the overnight hours.

We should really charge a consulting fee for this kind of stuff...

WNCO ADDITIONS: We're nowhere near its signal, but we assume Clear Channel's WNCO/1340 Ashland has made the switch to its new talk format as "Mid-Ohio's Talk Station".

Our earlier item, and trade sites like AllAccess, had much more information on the switch than the Ashland Times-Gazette. The local newspaper was pretty much reduced to writing its article based upon on-air listening, because it said station officials were "on vacation", and no one else was talking.

With that lack of input, the paper openly speculated on the status of WNCO's Gene Davis, who has hosted the "Anything Goes" local talk/public affairs show from 9 AM to 9:30 AM weekdays.

Yes, Davis is no longer on the schedule, as a newspaper ad (we don't know if it ran last week, or will run this week, in the Gazette itself) shows the entire lineup, including WPGB/Pittsburgh-based "Quinn and Rose" from 6-10 AM weekdays.

But Gene hasn't been let go.

Clear Channel's Keith Kennedy. a regular reader here, had the answers in a comment on our original item, in response to another regular reader, Nathan Obral:

Gene will still be along side Ron mornings/middays on WNCO-FM.

Gene is also the PD for WNCO-AM, and will continue that role.

Anything goes will continue to air in shortform segments thru the day, rather than the full 30 mins.

WNCO/1340's big brother/sister station, "Mid-Ohio Country" WNCO-FM/101.3, is not affected by the changes...where Gene Davis is still listed from 10 AM-3 PM on the FM station's schedule...

Metro Heads North, Well, Sort Of

Last year, Westwood One announced that it was shuttering about 50 of Metro Networks nationwide offices and bureaus, including its Cleveland office.

The idea, according to the company, was to better utilize technology to gather information about area traffic (as well as sports and news)...and the result, we were told, is that markets like Cleveland would still receive reports - just from people based in Detroit. The same scenario would play out in the other 12 remaining market "hubs".

Metro/Detroit's Howard Bouton amplified that noise all by himself in a recent AllAccess item, where he was all but begging qualified applicants to join him at the company's suburban Detroit outpost (Southfield, MI) to feed reports to Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and other markets under his purview.

Well, OMW can confirm that Metro's Cleveland market office has officially closed, as of Friday night, and no more reports will come from the first floor of the office tower on Granger Road in Independence, visible as you head up or down I-77 north of I-480.


Many of the Metro-based voices you hear and see on Cleveland area stations aren't going away Monday, and almost none of them are making the move to Detroit.


OMW hears that at least four Metro/Cleveland regulars are staying in-town, and are being "embedded" at various affiliate stations while still working for Metro.

To wit:

* Long-time Metro/Cleveland director of operations Terry Groden remains a Clevelander, and will be "embedded" starting Monday at the Salem cluster in Independence, just a short drive from his former office. We hear Groden will be tasked with doing news and traffic for Salem talk WHK/1420 and CCM sister WFHM/95.5 "The Fish".

* Veteran traffic reporter Linda Dawson is also staying in town. She'll be "embedded" at CBS Radio's operations in the Halle Building, doing reports for CBS' WDOK/102.1, WQAL/104.1 and WNCX/98.5.

* The rumblings we heard that morning sports anchor Jeff Thomas would be heading for the Galleria, and continuing his reports for Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850" are correct, except that Jeff will continue under Metro's employ in his new "embedded" situation.

We hear afternoon sports updates on WKNR will be taken by a "player to be named later", as it were...who will also be embedded at the Galleria. It doesn't sound like former afternoon sports anchor Daryl Ruiter will keep "filling in" during his old slot, which he gave up back when he left Metro originally for a full-time in-house job at WKNR. Good Karma certainly gives him enough work to do already.

* Rick Abell will continue to do traffic working for Metro, and working at Reserve Square for Raycom CBS/MyNetwork TV affiliate WOIO/19-WUAB/43's "19 Action News". This arrangement has been in place for some time, and won't change Monday. Abell physically moved from the now-closed Metro offices/studios to Reserve Square a few months ago.

OMW hears that "many feeds" will indeed be done out of the Detroit hub, but that's a pretty big list above.

One of the biggest Metro clients not on this "embedded" list is the Cleveland Radio One cluster, and we're guessing they'll welcome their own Detroit-based voices - particularly since some of the Cleveland anchors won't be available to the cluster (WZAK/93.1, WENZ/107.9, WJMO/1300 and WERE/1490) since they'll be attached to another client full-time.

We also hear that two producers, including afternoon producer/traffic voice/fill-in Jim Dubenetsky (sp?), are heading for Detroit to help compile information from Cleveland for anchors in both cities.

The various traffic cameras around town, two-way audio from ground spotters on area roads, and other resources in Cleveland will be hauled up electronically to Detroit, where the hub can do such things as move the cameras and talk back to the local spotters.

We're hearing that one consequence of the move may be significantly more accurate traffic information. Our sources connected to the situation are touting a new cell-phone "pulse" based traffic measuring system that will provide the equivalent of "several thousand" on-the-ground traffic sensors from anonymous cell phone data from the roads.

Metro parent Westwood One signed an exclusive deal with the company, AirSage, in July 2008.

It'll also help Metro measure traffic on roads off the highway system.

And that new data will help out some Metro/Cleveland staffers as they move to their new "embedded" locations.

Considering the tone of Mr. Bouton's AllAccess ad, we're wondering - did Metro/Detroit just not get enough qualified applicants willing to cover multiple Ohio markets from Detroit?

Did some of the long-standing local Metro affiliates lobby for their familiar Metro-based voices?

That, we don't know.

Maybe Metro saw enough savings by shutting down the physical office, or by letting go the people they have already released at Metro/Cleveland.

We're in speculation territory least with the last part of this item..

Saturday, June 13, 2009

ODTV: Cleveland Digital TV Transition Awards

Welcome, to our first Cleveland Digital TV Transition Awards!

Here are our own "winners and losers" from the day analog, full-power TV went away in Ohio's largest TV market, and our primary coverage area:

MOST IMPROVED: A tie between two occupants of that new antenna tower on Broadview Road in Parma, WKYC-DT (RF 17) and WVIZ-DT (RF 26).

You could make a case for either to be the ultimate winner, but it's basically a tie due to their cooperative work and co-location.

With the new facility replacing its former interference-plagued RF 2 facility, WKYC-DT went from the outhouse to the penthouse as far as TV signal strength is concerned. Digital over-air tuners across Northeast Ohio welcomed Cleveland's NBC affiliate...for many, its first appearance.

We'll give a slight nod to WKYC over WVIZ for one reason: WKYC-DT now appears to be the most powerful digital signal in the Cleveland market, or at very least on par with WEWS-DT (RF 15). With an indoor, non-amplified antenna here at the OMW World Headquarters somewhere in northern or western Summit County, you have to work pretty hard to lose the new WKYC digital signal.

WVIZ-DT's new signal is a little lower here, signal wise, but more than enough for an easy "lock". It's pretty much troublefree from our indoor antenna-equipped installations, a far cry from its former temporary status running anywhere from 1 kW to 10 kW from places like the small tower behind the former WVIZ studios to an auxiliary tower on the WKYC property.

We realize that YMMV - "Your Mileage May Vary". Our Friday night comments included one from a Wayne County resident upset that he couldn't get WKYC-DT to watch the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. We'll assume that comparison is to the analog WKYC, vs. the anemic WKYC-DT which until recently occupied RF channel 2.

Honorable Mention; WVPX-DT 23 (ION), which puts a respectable signal out on its new digital channel 23...after years with no digital signal whatsoever.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: That'd pretty much have to be Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8, which mounted its digital RF channel 8 in a flash cut on Friday.

Viewers responded in numbers: "Bring back RF 31! Please!"

"Fox 8" is not in as bad a situation as the Cleveland market's perennial digital TV laggard, WOIO-DT (RF 10).

Close-in viewers in Cuyahoga and northern Summit Counties should still be able to pick up the new WJW-DT VHF signal with a VHF antenna of some sort, and decent antenna placement. (We found that spot here at the OMW World Headquarters, about 20 air miles from Parma.)

But the move turns WJW-DT into one of our weakest stations, and we're not alone. Our E-mail tells us that some folks as close as Shaker Heights lost WJW-DT with the change on Friday.

We also don't know if WJW is running the full 30 kW post-transition power on RF 8. The station had indicated that it acquired a temporary transmitter at that full power level, while it retrofits the now-former analog 8 transmitter to digital, so maybe things will improve...

ARE THEY REALLY TRANSMITTING?: For many, picking up WOIO-DT's 3.5 kW RF 10 signal has been a challenge, and that didn't change a bit on Friday...the station is, as far as we know, still using that facility at the moment.

WOIO has two answers to questions about this untenable situation:

1) "We applied for a power increase." Well, they did, from 3.5 kW to 10.3 kW, but it's being held up by Canadian coordination issues.

You think? Really? Wow, what a surprise! Gee, we wonder why?

Considering that London ONT powerhouse CFPL is also sitting on 10 (analog right now, they'll keep 10 for digital whenever that happens), what were Raycom corporate engineers thinking by insisting on a RF 10 digital facility for WOIO? What were they smoking?

Didn't they realize that before their digital facility first tuned up, in-market viewers along Lake Erie were able to watch CFPL *IN THE CLEVELAND MARKET* with little difficulty? Didn't they know that CFPL was so strong in eastern Cuyahoga County, it was carried on local cable in that part of the area?

Someone has to tell CBS about this.

WOIO is losing in-market viewers in places like Stark County and Portage County to Youngstown's CBS affiliate digital powerhouse, WKBN/27 (RF 41). Those viewers may have no interest in "27 First News", but CSI looks the same on WKBN as it does on WOIO. (For that matter, WJW may face the same problem in those areas, with the WKBN-DT signal also carrying an HD version of "Fox Youngstown".)

While the over-air only percentage of the Cleveland market's viewership is only a certain amount (roughly 20%, we believe, with nearly 80% cable/satellie penetration here), WOIO is left to hold its breath and hope cable and satellite carry the day.

2) 'An outdoor antenna will help". Sure, it will. It pretty much always does.

But how many people have rooftop antennas anymore, and when is telling viewers they have to spend $50-100 or more ever a good idea for a TV station? Particularly when their existing or cheap "rabbit ears" and/or UHF loop antennas pick up all the other stations without going outside?

The insistence on keeping WOIO-DT on RF channel 10 - with a strong Canadian station pushing across the open waters of Lake Erie - may be the stupidest engineering decision ever made by a major market, network affiliate station. And we are being quite kind.

Amd we doubt the proposed 10.3 kW upgrade will not make matters all that much better...

BOOBY PRIZE: To nearly all local TV stations in the Cleveland market, for not doing much to mark the analog shutoff.

We didn't see it, but we're told that Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 was the only station that did ANYTHING...breaking away on analog 5 to run a short feature on the ending analog transmission...right before analog 5 went away after 62 years (!) of serving Northeast Ohio viewers. 62 years...gone like "that".

WKYC/3 has a regularly scheduled local program at 10 AM, "Good Company Today"...but there wasn't much interesting talk about the end of analog TV, just a brief talk with a station "expert" on a show that's basically an hour-long series of live infomercials.

It was as if all the stations threw up their hands, and said, "we're sick of this, just push the button and move on"...

AND THE "IF YOU CAN'T SEE ME" AWARD: ...goes to, as far as we can tell, all four local TV news operations.

Reporters covering the "DTV Switch" for noon newscasts pretty much all stated that "if you can't see or hear us", viewers needed to call certain numbers to get help.

Well, if you can't see or hear TV, you probably can't see or hear the TV reporter telling you to get help, but that's just a guess...

Friday, June 12, 2009

ODTV: Almost Done

At this writing, the end of full-power analog TV in Northeast Ohio is nearly complete.

Only the analog signals of WKYC/3 (NBC), WVIZ/25 (PBS), WNEO/49 (PBS) and WQHS/61 (Univision) remain, and the last three will be gone before midnight tonight. WKYC's "nightlight" DTV information loop will continue through June 26th...the station having taken all entertainment and news programming off of analog 3 at 10 AM.

Over in the Mahoning Valley, only the analog signal of WFMJ/21 (NBC) is still on the air late this Friday night. It plans to pull the analog plug at just before midnight tonight, and will have to do so even if the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings take over four hours to finish Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

UPDATE 10:37 PM 6/12/09: Game 7 is over, with the Pittsburgh Penguins victorious...leaving plenty of time for WFMJ/21 to shut down its analog signal at a minute before midnight, as planned. Ditto for Toledo NBC affiliate WNWO/24, which held off its own switch due to rabid Detroit Red Wings fans. Those fans may be begging for an early switch now.

By the way, OMW hears from our friends at Western Reserve PBS that though Youngstown low-power analog fill-in translator W58AM (Channel 58) is indeed still off the air, the Kent-based PBS operation is planning to return the Youngstown fill-in service via digital channel 44 (58's replacement, W44CR) in the fall of this year.

We'll have a post-mortem and commentary over the weekend, and more information about other Ohio markets (particularly Toledo and Columbus) as it becomes available to us...

Ashland AM To Get Talking

We actually have had this one for a while, but figured we'd put it up when it appeared on the AllAccess Net News scroll. (The fine folks at AllAccess don't have the digital TV transition in their workload, after all. Heh.)

Yes, Clear Channel standards/soft AC WNCO/1340 Ashland is changing to a talk format, featuring a lineup that does not duplicate sister news/talk WMAN/1400 Mansfield.

While WMAN carries shows like Premiere's Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Coast to Coast AM, "Mid-Ohio's Talk Station" will carry Pittsburgh-based "Quinn and Rose", Cox/Dial Global's Neal Boortz, self-syndicated financial advice guru Dave Ramsey, Premiere/Citadel afternoon driver Sean Hannity and Citadel early evening host Mark Levin.

As far as we know, WNCO's AM side will also have Ohio's first clearance of Premiere 6-9 PM (ET) host Jason Lewis, based at KTLK-FM in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

We're told WNCO will be Ohio's first affiliate for Premiere's "Jesus Christ Show", a unique Sunday morning program based at talk powerhouse KFI/640 Los Angeles and created by KFI's Neil Saveedra.

Until now, 1340 has been an affiliate of Citadel's "Timeless", the soft AC/nostalgia hybrid format that grew out of mergers with former networks like "Stardust"...which WNCO's AM side started carrying originally.

And none of this, of course, affects the other Clear Channel Ashland-based station carrying the WNCO calls, country giant WNCO-FM 101.3...

ODTV: Cleveland Switch: First Impression

The first wave of analog shutoffs in the Cleveland/Akron TV market happened, as planned, at 10 AM this morning.

And here at the OMW World Headquarters somewhere in western or northern Summit County, it's mostly good. Mostly.

Analog signals for the following stations are no longer broadcasting: WEWS/5 (ABC), WJW/8 (Fox), WOIO/19 (CBS), WVPX/23 (ION), WUAB/43 (MyNetwork TV) and WBNX/55 (CW).

WKYC/3 analog (NBC) is airing the expected DTV information-only "nightlight" video loop, with video and text containing both English-language and Spanish-language instructions. That comes from the National Association of Broadcasters, and WKYC's analog channel 3 will continue to air it through Juen 26th.

WVIZ/25 analog (PBS) is airing a one-day-only slide explaining the switch. Analog 25 won't be continuing with this slide after it signs off later today.

WEAO/49 analog (PBS) has regular programming, which will go away when it signs off at 11:59 PM tonight.

WQHS/61 analog (Univision) is airing regular programming, which will go away when it signs off later tonight.

Low-power stations, such as Media-Com's WAOH-LP 29 Akron/W35AX Cleveland, are unaffected and are broadcasting as usual.

This update is up a little later than we'd planned. For one, we've been spending much of the past half-hour trying to get indoor antenna placement that'll pick up the new RF 8 signal of WJW/8 on the VHF band.

We finally gained success with an unamplified, modest indoor antenna spread out into a "V" in a second floor window. Well, mostly success, as it breaks up very infrequently, but is mostly locked.

The WJW move turns it into our second hardest-to-get OTA signal here - WOIO/19's RF 10 facility is by far still the worst. We admit that the antenna situation here at the OMW World Headquarters is indoor-only, and we still need to do some adjusting.

But it's odd coming from the pre-transition world, where we nearly needed a court order to get the signal of WKYC-DT on RF 2, to getting the WKYC-DT signal on RF 17 in our teeth...and struggling to get a decent lock on WJW-DT...which used to be in that "in our teeth" category on RF 31.

Elsewhere, Toledo has all but completed its switch, with NBC affiliate WNWO/24 the only station waiting until late tonight. (They're waiting for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 7, involving the nearby Detroit Red Wings.) We'll have many more comments on VHF-based DTV later, as two Toledo stations made that switch.

And two of the three full-power Youngstown market commercial stations turn off analog just over an hour from now. The third, NBC affiliate WFMJ/21, is also waiting until just before midnight....maybe they're also waiting for the Stanley Cup Finals to end, with the nearby Pittsburgh Penguins being the other team in the series.

More on these situations, and other comments, later...

No, Dick Goddard Isn't Retiring

UPDATE 10:52 AM 6/12/09: A Friend of OMW tells us that the Plain Dealer's Julie Washington is "still in the building", just not this week...she's on vacation...


In a normal OMW news cycle, putting the words "Dick Goddard" and "retirement" in the same sentence would warrant four-star ALL CAPS BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! alerts.

Even if that retirement isn't happening.

But since we have been pre-occupied with the digital television transition the past few days, and since we haven't cracked the code in finding relevant TV/radio-related stories on the Plain Dealer's, we missed an article by Plain Dealer theater critic Tony Brown about Mr. Goddard's future at Local TV Cleveland Fox affiliate WJW/8 "Fox 8".

And for now, at least, the local TV icon isn't going away with the end of the signal of analog channel 8:

Goddard, 78, perhaps Cleveland's most beloved television personality, said WJW Channel 8 had offered him a buyout that, if he took it, could end an on-air career as the city's go-to meteorologist and animal activist that goes back to 1961.

"Everyone here who is over 50 and has worked for the station for 15 years has been offered a buyout, and that certainly includes me," Goddard said shortly after the 6 p.m. newscast ended Wednesday.

Though the man who brought the Woollybear Festival and televised pet adoptions to Northeast Ohio says he'll talk to his agent about it, he doesn't sound likely to exit. "I like it here," Goddard tells Brown.

WJW vice president/general manager Greg Easterly confirms the generalities of the buyout offer to the newspaper, but doesn't offer specifics. He says WJW is "not in dire straits", and cites the general economic and advertising downturn.

And Easterly is very quick to say Goddard "will be around", certainly knowing that even HINTING about the retirement of Dick Goddard is like touching the Third Rail of Cleveland Broadcasting.

(That's the same Third Rail that Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert knows not to touch when it comes to another local broadcasting icon in his 70's, Cavs play-by-play voice Joe Tait.)

So, stand down from the Dick Goddard Retirement Rumor Watch, at least at this point.

Our other question: Why was the story on Goddard done by Plain Dealer theatre critic Tony Brown?

Television news can resemble theatre, at least over at Reserve Square (sorry, it was easy), but we're wondering if long-time Plain Dealer media columnist Julie Washington is no longer in the building.

If that's the case, it's probably more newspaper economic woes, given that the theater critic is now apparently writing media stories...will Brown be asked to write articles for the food section, too?

In the meantime, when Goddard and WJW do eventually announce the weatherman's retirement, we're pretty sure state law requires notification of the governor or something...

ODTV: Nightlight

We've been saying it for a long time...Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 in Cleveland will keep analog channel 3 going an extra two weeks longer than any local station.

Instead of finding WKYC's local news or NBC's entertainment programming there, though, you'll find rather boring programming on the soon-to-be-former home of WKYC itself.

Read the details on our Ohio Digital TV blog...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

ODTV: On The Night Before DTV

...there were some clarifications, some changes, and more testing...

Read the full item on our Ohio Digital TV blog...


(This is a repost from our Ohio Digital TV blog, in full.)

At this writing, the new WKYC-DT facility on RF channel 17 is lit up now, and is putting a strong signal into the digital tuners at the OMW World Headquarters, located next to Bruce Wayne's mansion somewhere in western or northern Summit County. (We get out of here via a bat cave, too, you know.)

We'd checked as recently as late morning, when a reader told us he'd been receiving the new WKYC-DT. We looked, didn't see a signal on RF 17, and did a rescan just to be sure...but now, it's up and running.

Just judging by the rudimentary signal level meters on our digital tuners and boxes, WKYC-DT is a "notch" stronger than the other occupant of that new tower we made famous on Broadview Road in Parma, WVIZ-DT/25 (RF 26). It's not that WVIZ-DT has any trouble locking in here, but WKYC-DT is a bit stronger (and given the power levels for each post-transition signal, that's not at all surprising).

A caution here: This could well be a day for testing for WKYC-DT at RF channel 17. We would not at all be surprised to see the signal go away, come back, go away, etc., through early Friday morning, as tuning and adjustment is being done.

But if you have a digital tuner or converter box, check out the signal now, scan it in, and you'll be more than ready for whatever happens in the next 24 hours.

By the way, our signal meter on our Zenith converter box is still picking up a weak signal out of the pre-transition RF 2 signal for WKYC-DT, though we imagine that it's not carrying the PSIP information that'd make it appear on converter boxes at this point...

ODTV: Getting Ready

Here at the OMW World Headquarters, we often note that these blogs are published at our discretion, and we may not be around every day.

Well, you'd have to round up the proverbial "wild horses" to pull us away from this today and Friday.

Read the "one day before" DTV update on our Ohio Digital TV blog...

And note: We do have some other updates not related to digital TV...we may or may not be able to post them before Monday, as nothing is pressing news. Keep watching...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ODTV: Analog Shutoff Times As We Know Them

It has taken us far too much time to compile this list...and it's not even complete.

View the analog TV shutoff list for Friday, at least what information we do have, on our Ohio Digital TV blog...

Non-DTV Stuff

There are actually some items in our hopper that aren't linked to the DTV switch on, umm, let us check the calendar, FRIDAY..

SPORTS ON FM: The continued march of sports radio format to the FM band shows no signs of abating.

The phenomenon has become so prevalent, Chicago radio wags are speculating that CBS Radio will simulcast its big Chicago sports talk station on WJMK/104.3, currently the home of the company's "Jack FM" format (and historically, the market's oldies/classic hits station).

That speculation comes out of CBS' upcoming move to simulcast the AM sports outlet, WSCR/670, on WJMK's HD3 subchannel, and out of CBS' penchant to launch big FM sports stations...among them, one that shows up on the radio in parts of Northwest Ohio, WXYT/97.1 Detroit "97.1 The Ticket"...though it's a tight squeeze with now-EMF-owned "K-Love" CCM outlet WNKL/96.9 Wauseon also on the Northwest Ohio radio dial.

But we're not here to talk about that FM sports talker in Detroit.

OMW is hearing rumblings that one Ohio radio cluster is preparing to mount a full-signal FM simulcast of its existing sports outlet. We're hearing it could happen within the next two weeks.

We'll only give you a hint: The station/cluster in question is NOT within our primary coverage area of Northeast Ohio, though it's definitely in a market we usually cover. (So, no, it doesn't involve Good Karma sports WKNR/850 in Cleveland, and for that matter, no station purchases or LMAs are involved.)

We're hearing that the move should happen later this month...

RECALL THIS: Here at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), not a bit of that fun usually involves politics...unless it intersects with media, which it does here.

Rubber City Radio oldies/news WAKR/1590 Akron is putting together special news coverage regarding the upcoming Akron mayoral recall election.

If you aren't from Summit County, you may not realize that Akron voters will go to the polls on June 23 to decide if they want to recall long-time Akron mayor Don Plusquellic. (Technically, voters have been "going to the polls" for a while now, as absentee voting is available at the Summit County Board of Elections.)

Rubber City VP/Information Media and OMW reader Ed Esposito outlines special recall coverage this weekend on WAKR and the station's online presence, in his "Letters From The Editor" blog on the radio group's

In addition to our on-air coverage "WAKR Primer: The 2009 Recall" to air Sunday, June 14, 2009 from 12:00 to 2:00, we will also feature repeated webcasts of the audio on our news stream WAKRNewsNow and video on AkronNewsNow. We will also include easier-to-digest podcast "chunks" of these interviews, but feel it is important to present full and complete versions as well.

The audio will be from each side: The station will feature an April interview with Mayor Plusquellic, plus a new interview with former Akron mayor and State Senator Tom Sawyer, leader of the anti-recall movement ("Citizens for Akron").

On the pro-recall side, the special will air Akron attorney Warner Mendenhall, the face of the recall effort, and co-chair Patti Longville, of "Change Akron Now".

But as is common with "inside the newsroom" blogs like Ed's, you get a very lengthy taste of the "story behind the story" here, and it's almost as good as the recall story itself.

Apparently, Mayor Plusquellic wouldn't agree to a new sit-down interview...without various conditions being accepted by the Akron Radio Center newsroom. Not wanting to accept such conditions on journalistic grounds, WAKR will air audio from a previous interview Plusquellic had with morning host Ray Horner, and add-in the new interview with Sawyer.

The WAKR recall coverage is part of a cooperative effort with the Akron Beacon Journal, and the station will give a promotional nod to a similar project in the newspaper, with in-depth interviews by the Beacon's Stephanie Warsmith.

Ed writes:

On a local journalism note, there may likely be critics of the decision of the Beacon Journal and WAKR in promoting our "competition."

But with local television pulling their limited resources closer to home and shrinking news budgets impacting the number of bodies covering stories despite the urgent need for news of our communities, we may be seeing even more collaborative projects in the future. Personally, I hope so; it seems we spend a lot of time worrying more about the masthead or frequency number than what matters most.

Our readers, listeners, viewers and visitors need to know what's going on more than ever.

It's definitely a "changed world" out there in local media...and really, "competition" isn't what it used to be in all phases of media, everywhere...

CHUCK'S BACK, FOR A WHILE: Long-time Northern Ohio radio guy and Friend of OMW Chuck Matthews is being heard in at least western sections of the Cleveland market this week.

The former Clear Channel classic hits WMJI/105.7 staffer recently picked up part-time and fill-in work at Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting's Sandusky area stations.

And a fill-in this week lands him on the company's Sandusky-area country powerhouse, WKFM/96.1 Huron "K96". Chuck will be heard on K96's afternoon drive show through Friday.

As we noted back when Friend of OMW Danny Wright's Jones-syndicated country overnight show aired there, "K96"'s signal gets to listeners in the western part of the Cleveland market, as far east as the Cleveland suburbs of Westlake and even Lakewood.

Chuck also does some weekend voicetracking on ELB AAA outlet WLKR/95.3 Norwalk...

ODTV: Two Days Out

This report comes to you just two days before all full-power analog...oh, you know the drill by now. And like one of our OMW updates, it's a multi-parter...look for the bold subheadings...

And coming later today, a list of all the Ohio stations we have shutoff times for on Friday.

Read the rest of this article on our Ohio Digital TV blog...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


An E-mail from an OMW reader far from Parma sent us sprinting to our nearest digital TV, and yes, it's true...

After a wait of many years, the full-power WVIZ-DT facility has made its first appearance.

At the OMW World Headquarters, about 20 air miles from the Parma antenna farm, WVIZ-DT is providing a strong signal into our 2nd floor HDTV being fed by an indoor amplified antenna. It's also an easy catch on our Zenith converter box feeding a downstairs TV.

And the reader who tipped us off to WVIZ-DT's full power debut says he is in Salem.

A note: Don't be at all surprised if the signal goes off at some point later. There could well be more adjustments and testing.

But we'd guess that the folks at ideastream want to keep this on the air with as few interruptions as possible, even at its debut...

From The Rest Of The Broadcast World

We're slowly getting more information on this week's Digital TV transition, and we'll have a separate update on that a little later today.

But, in matters not involving the transition...

METRO'S EXIT: To make this clear...the information we're passing along comes from a message board, and we don't know who wrote it.

But we were tipped to it by Tom Taylor's excellent daily E-mail newsletter "Taylor on Radio-Info" this morning, and the information meshes with what we've already reported.

Quoting a Radio-Info message board user named "NotMe", who started a thread on the Columbus board:

This is the final week of operations for the Columbus office of Metro Networks. Starting Monday, June 15 Metro affiliates (which includes just about everybody that isn't Clear Channel) will get their traffic information out of Detroit.

Again, we have no idea who the Radio-Info user with the handle "NotMe" is. (It's certainly "Not Us", because you'll occasionally find our messages on that site under the easily identifiable "OhioMediaWatch" handle.)

But we already knew that the remaining Ohio offices of Metro Networks, including the Cleveland market outpost in the Independence Media Gulch, were about to shut down....with the company's suburban Detroit office tasked with feeding Ohio markets that will no longer have their own operations.

We already reported that Metro/Detroit boss Howard Bouton went to the trade site AllAccess a few weeks ago with what sounded like an urgent plea for new employees for an operation that was about to start up - the remote traffic, news and sports anchoring for markets like Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.

And June 15th is "as good a date as any" if we're trying to figure out when that all starts.

At Metro's Cleveland market operation, a short rooftop traffic camera shot away from the I-77/I-480 interchange, we don't expect many to head to Detroit.

We already reported about Dave DeNatale, who was the voice of afternoon sports updates on Good Karma's WKNR/850 "ESPN 850", along with adding news updates for Salem talk WHK/1420 when four Metro staffers were let go. He declined to head to Michigan, and is now the voice of the Frontier League's Avon-based Lake Erie Crushers.

Our prediction: whenever this happens, be it June 15th or whatever date Detroit actually begins doing traffic, sports and news for Metro clients, you won't hear many, if any, familiar voices from Metro/Cleveland.

We're also hearing rumblings that the move will trigger sports updates being handled "in house" by WKNR.

Since DeNatale's departure from Metro, "ESPN 850" afternoon producer/beat reporter Daryl Ruiter has been heard in what used to be his old job - doing the afternoon sports updates, but this time from his perch as an in-house employee at the Galleria. (Ruiter has also "filled in" for DeNatale while Dave was still at Metro.)

We have heard rumors, though we can't confirm, that WKNR may take in long-time morning sports update anchor Jeff Thomas from Metro. We wouldn't be surprised to hear Jeff in his familiar perch after the change, only from the Galleria instead of from Independence.

And that's a "good thing" for us.

In our view, Jeff Thomas has always been one of the more underrated sports radio personalities in the Cleveland market. He has a smooth, professional delivery and meshes well with live personalities (in his case, that's "The Really Big Show" with Tony Rizzo and company from 10 AM to noon).

It'd be a shame to hear him replaced with some random Detroit-based sports anchor who needs Google Maps to find Progressive Field, so we're hoping the rumors turn to reality...

SLIMMING DOWN?: It may just be a temporary thing, but an OMW reader points out a new graphic on Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3's website.

It's a header graphic for a page about "Channel 3 News Today", which just lost morning co-host Abby Ham to her old home market (Knoxville TN) and to her old home station (Gannett NBC sister WBIR/10).

Here, take a look:

Yep, it's a close-in shot of "Channel 3 News Today" host Mark Nolan, and weather forecaster Hollie Strano.

Now, they have to put up something there. They can't put up a picture of Ms. Ham with a big "X" in front of her.

Just to clarify...we've heard no indication that WKYC will not replace Ham. But...we're wondering if it's possible. (We're trying not to read too much into one graphic.)

"Channel 3 News"'s evening editions are fronted by solo anchor Romona Robinson, of course, who took the Solo Anchor Slot after former co-anchor Tim White's contract wasn't renewed late last year.

Will WKYC experiment with a similar setup in mornings, with Nolan as sole host, and Hollie Strano and others shuttling in and out to the seat next to him?

Or could one of those others - specifically, "Channel 3 News Today" reporter Maureen Kyle - be a possible co-host to replace Abby Ham?

This item is full of speculation, and we haven't really heard any rumors out of 13th and Lakeside that would validate this thinking.

Consider this item "going through the possibilities"...part of the "musings" that we advertise up in the header...

CALLING COLUMBUS: Central Ohio has always been a secondary market for us, so we apologize that we haven't put up some big TV news in the Columbus market. is big, we're told.

Dispatch CBS affiliate WBNS/10 "10TV" has moved weekday sports anchor Jeff Hogan over to the news side of the house...where he's taken over as weekend co-anchor with the station's John Fortney.

Back in the Land o' Sports, "10TV" veteran Dom Tiberi becomes weekday sports anchor...with sports reporter/anchor Dan Fronczak moving into Tiberi's former weekend spot.

(And we mean "veteran", as Tiberi was first hired by WBNS-TV in 1981! He's apparently been doing weekends all that time...which would mean it took the station 28 years to promote him into the main sports anchor slot.)

So, back to does someone whose resume screams "sports!" end up in the news business? The WBNS release quotes president and general manager Tom Griesdorn:

"Throughout his career at 10TV, Jeff has demonstrated a strong commitment and leadership in our newsroom, in our community and with our viewers," Griesdorn said.

"His success serving as interim anchor awaiting Aneitra Hamper's debut on our morning and noon newscasts, coupled with his interest in news anchoring, earned him a spot on the weekend desk. I am confident that, just as he did with sports, he will report the news with the passion, commitment and relevance that our viewers have come to expect from Central Ohio's News Leader."

We're wondering what prompted Hogan to officially make the switch into news, and what could happen down the road. But we don't know enough about the Columbus TV market to accurately look at the tea leaves.

And job switches are nothing new in local TV.

Right here in Cleveland, the aforementioned Mark Nolan has successfully moved into morning news hosting after many years as WKYC's chief meteorologist. (Well, he still is, if you believe the recorded intros to his weather forecasts on Clear Channel's Akron/Canton stations...)

THE FAMILY DETROW: When we reported on the death of the mother of SportsTime Ohio Cleveland Indians play-by-play voice Matt Underwood, we passed along an Ashland Times-Gazette item on Sophie Underwood's death - which said she was a partner at Ashland's Detrow and Underwood.

It isn't a big secret that Detrow is the family name of two very successful radio broadcasters who started their careers long ago at Wooster's two commercial radio stations - then known as WWST at AM 960 (now oldies WKVX) and FM 104.5 (now country WQKT).

From the Wayne County seat, the brothers ventured off to build highly successful careers.

Jon Belmont was a member of the iconic "20/20 News" team at Windsor/Detroit powerhouse CKLW/800 "The Big 8", which meant that he had a lot of listeners in Northeast Ohio in those days.

Jon eventually landed as news anchor on ABC News Radio flagship the Information Network, and after a stint in mornings at Journal Milwaukee talk WTMJ/620, he is now morning anchor at Associated Press Radio News.

Jeff Elliott, meanwhile, has been one of San Diego's most popular morning drive radio personalities for many, many years.

His "440: Satisfaction" listing shows Jeff had stints in the 1970's locally at WHLO/640 Akron (as "J.P. Detrow") and WWWE/1100 Cleveland before establishing his San Diego radio, er, beachhead starting in 1988.

Anyway, the reason we bring all this up is because we hear that the Ashland branch of the Detrow family is indeed related to the Wooster branch - they're cousins, we're told.

And Jon and Jeff have not forgotten the old hometown, by far.

Both of the "Detrow Boys" have voiced liners and IDs for their former local home stations. As far as we know, their voices are still heard on "Wooster Radio" today...