Wednesday, June 10, 2009

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 AkronNewsNow.com:

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...

5 comments:

wayne-in-akron said...

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Mayor Plusquellic wouldn't agree to a new sit-down interview...without various conditions being accepted by the Akron Radio Center newsroom.
===============

That is the biggest part of the story.

Where does an elected official who (according to his own February 'State of the City address') is "in the fight of his political life" come off telling the media how to do their job?

To paraphrase a line from the end of the movie "Hunt For Red October"

You arrogant ass. You've killed *us*!

In this case, Mayor "special place in Hell", "Hitler and Jim Jones", "insignificant gnat", "people who listen and call talk radio are nuts", etc. Plusquellic may have finally killed his political career.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Wayne,

As a member of the Media Unwashed, we certainly agree with Rubber City's decision.

News operations very rarely accept "conditions" imposed by potential interviewees for good reason - there's no reason that the interviewee should control any aspect of the interview in journalistic terms.

It taints the interview, and WAKR was able to get Mr. Sawyer to talk to them without conditions. The mayor's loss, in our opinion.

That being said, we will have to delete any further comments that do not have to do with the media. We have no desire to become the 50th comment section to kick around the merits of the recall.

We'll leave up your current comment, though. It is "on topic".

If someone wants to talk about the recall itself, check out the comments section of recall-related stories on AkronNewsNow.com, or on Ohio.com, or Cleveland.com...you get the idea.

-The Management

Morgan Wick said...

"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."

Youngstown then?

Or is that "within our primary coverage area"? Toledo or Columbus then?

J. Moses(Tri-State Media Watch Editor) said...

I don't think it's Columbus. Unless of course it's Clear Channel...they could flip a station to simulcast WYTS 1230/Columbus.

That leaves Toledo...and that's the most likely possibility. Those are the two markets that fit there...Dayton, however, is also a distinct possibility. They have mostly FM's there, and only two AM's...WIZE-AM 1480/Springfield and WONE 980/Dayton, WIZE actually being a simulcast OF WONE, and both basically are simulcasts of WCKY here!

nathanobral said...

There's also Sandusky, where Elyria-Lorain has ESPN Radio on daytimer WLKR/1510. That's the lone all-sports game in town since WLEC went back to oldies/soft oldies/"standards" last year. Perhaps a flip to AAA WLKR/95.3, which has been sports-heavy in evenings since practically day one in 1962?

Don't forget Youngstown, where Cumulus has ESPN on WBBW/1240. Not the best signal in town, but not one of the Glunt stations, either. Maybe a simulcast with a better signal... like WWIZ/103.9 Mercer?

Oh, and in Toledo, perhaps Cumulus could simulcast "The Ticket" WLQR/1470? Obviously not on "K100..." but perhaps classic rock WXKR/94.5?

The mind wanders. It is ALL speculation and conjecture, mind you.