Monday, June 15, 2009

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.

Huh?

We think we've figured it out...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...

2 comments:

firebird said...

Why does Media-Com bother to waste the electricity for WJMP?

wayne_in_akron said...

@firebird

Two words... Tax Writeoff