Thursday, July 30, 2009

Triv's Horrible Loss

UPDATE 3:57 PM 7/30/09: From the Triv Page at

It is with heavy hearts that Newsradio WTAM 1100 reports the death of Mike Trivisonno's beloved wife Linda.

Linda died early Thursday morning at their home. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike and his children, Michelle, Michael and Anthony, as well as their extended families.

Triv thanks the staff at University Hospital's Ireland Cancer Center for the wonderful care Linda received.

Donations can be sent to the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals in memory of Linda Trivisonno.

11100 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
Phone: 216-844-5432

The station has also posted a number of listener messages and condolences for Triv on his page...


OMW can confirm news we'd rather not have to report.

The wife of Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland afternoon drive host Mike Trivisonno, Linda Trivisonno, has died. She passed away after battling lung cancer.

Quoting a note from Clear Channel cluster manager Mike Kenney, who says it much more eloquently than we can:

It saddens us to learn that Mike Trivisonno's wife Linda passed away early this morning. Our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to Mike and his family during this very difficult time.

Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.

Linda Trivisonno was no stranger to her husband's listeners.

Though she wasn't on the show every day, Triv often turned to her via telephone...asking her to chime in on something heard on the air, or just random questions about life.

We don't really "know" the personalities who hold forth on the radio, but it was quickly evident that Mike Trivisonno very much loved his wife...a woman he proudly said he "found early" in life.

Talking about her passing at the end of their morning show, morning drive hosts Bill Wills and Mike Snyder said they were coming back during Triv's time slot to fill in for him today.

We've poked occasional fun at the "Triv" on the radio, over the years.

Today, as a grieving spouse, he needs our support and condolences.

Talk about the often controversial radio personality needs to take a back seat right now on this blog, and our deepest condolences to Mike Trivisonno, the human being who lost the love of his life...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Tony Bruno Empire

Various trade reports say that Premiere's Fox Sports Radio is about to add another separately syndicated show to the FSR lineup.

Reportedly next on the shopping list for FSR is late night host Tony Bruno, in a deal which would add his program to the FSR lineup as the network did with the other host syndicated by the Chicago-based Content Factory, former ESPN host Dan Patrick.

The move - first noted on sports blogger and former Columbus sports radio staffer Brooks Melchior's "Sports by Brooks" - would bump FSR late night host "J.T. The Brick" into overnights.

And it would mean no change in the 10 PM-1 AM (ET) slot for local Fox Sports Radio affiliate WARF/1350 in Akron.

Like it has in various previous incarnations of its sports talk format, WARF already carries Bruno's syndicated program. As we've mentioned here before, Bruno has been with a number of sports radio networks and syndicators over the years, and AM 1350 in Akron has carried each one of his national efforts.

WARF also carried Patrick from his separate Content Factory syndication deal, starting when the station was carrying Sporting News Radio otherwise. When WARF took FSR from cross-town Media-Com mini-station WJMP/1520 Kent/Akron/The Moon/Atlantis, no schedule changes were needed from 9 AM to noon at WARF.

WJMP, of course, later picked up a large chunk of the Talk Radio Network syndicated conservative talk lineup as "TalkRadio 1520", proudly serving portions of western Portage County and some nearby areas...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Midweek Potpourri

Here we go, our list of items continues to grow...

C-BUS TO DETROIT: OMW hears that Clear Channel Columbus top 40 WNCI/97.9-AC WLZT/93.3 program director Michael McCoy is heading to Michigan, and not to watch the Buckeyes play the Wolverines.

McCoy is heading for a new job at Clear Channel sister top 40 outlet WKQI/95.5 "Channel 95-5" in Detroit. We hear his last day will be this Friday.

Back in Columbus, OMW hears about the temporary shuffle to fill-in for the exiting McCoy, which takes place starting Monday.

1) WBWR/105.7 "The Brew"-WRXS/106.7 "Radio 106.7" programmer Laura Lee will take over as interim program director at WNCI, in addition to her current work.
2) Country WCOL/92.3-CC Columbus cluster programmer John Crenshaw adds interim PD duties at WLZT.
3) "Daveman" will add music duties at WBWR, in addition to his role as the cluster's online content director.
4) Former WTVN/610 midday talker (and still primary fill-in host) Joel Riley adds the WBWR "Brew" morning drive shift to his current work on WTVN and WLZT.

We hear that the station's search for McCoy's replacement starts "immediately", and that the above list of changes is only in place until a new programmer is found...

WOOF, THEY'RE ON TV: Here at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), we generally studiously avoid giving a lot of digital ink to radio or TV promotional events...unless there's some reason to write about them.

Thus, not a word was written about Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7's "Roverfest" over the weekend, though we were certainly aware of it, and it has apparently grown to some size.

The show passed along a "recap" to us earlier this week, and we'll note one item - "Roverfest" was videotaped in HDTV format, and a program about the event will air on the cable network "MavTV".

That should ring a bell or two here, as MavTV is the young male-oriented HDTV network recently added to the Time Warner Cable lineup, roughly about the time that Mark Cuban's HDNet and HDMovies were yanked.

We haven't watched much of it, but MavTV seems like it's a 24 hour version of HDNet's late night "guy" shows hosted by one Art Mann. The station's on-air logo features a silhouette of a curvy, bikini-clad woman...need we say more?

Anyway, MavTV's aiming at the same young-drooling-male-swilling-brew demographic that's home to many "Rover's Morning Glory" listeners, so it'll probably be a good fit...

SPEAKING OF PROMOTIONAL EVENTS: Scripps Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 certainly has enough promotional muscle, between its on-air signal and the NewsNet5 website, to drum up votes... so we declined to mention this before the voting ended.

The station has been pushing for morning anchors Kimberly Gill and Pete Kenworthy to be granted a spot guest hosting on the syndicated talk show "Live with Regis and Kelly", as part of that show's own promotion. Of course, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa's daily show airs on - wow, what a surprise! - WEWS.

(Well, we didn't expect WJW's Stefani Schaefer to be in the running, or WKYC's Mark Finan, or whoever does mornings on a certain CBS affiliate at Reserve Square. It's an affiliate promotional event, not a real contest.)

As such promotions go, best of luck to Kimberly and Pete, who seem well suited to take the promotional gig...

SPEAKING OF TV SIGNALS: A reader passes along a tip that Parkin Broadcasting ABC affiliate WYTV/33 Youngstown has officially received FCC approval to build its 1000 kW full-power digital TV facility.

But, can the station afford to build it out?

WYTV has lagged far behind the market's three other full-power stations in terms of power levels. Until now, WYTV-DT RF 36 has been broadcasting with a quite-less-than-impressive 50 (!) kW power level. That may be enough to get its signal to Warren, on a good day.

The new facility won't instantly turn WYTV into the market's strongest signal, we're told. It is licensed for just 177 meters above average terrain, just a bit higher up the tower than the current facility.

New Vision now-LMA sister station WKBN-DT RF 41's signal is running with just slightly less power (700 kW), but the digital antenna is much higher above average terrain - somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 meters high. We're not sure if it'll land at 384 meters or 418 meters, based on its applications.

The low-slung WYTV digital antenna may be fine within the station's market area - the immediate Mahoning Valley - but those of us in neighboring markets like Cleveland and Pittsburgh may have more difficulty trying to catch the new facility.

Well, at least receiving a digital signal over air from this market's ABC affiliate (WEWS) is not a problem for the most part...unlike the CBS and Fox affiliates.

Anyway, you'll note that we said "can the station afford to build it out?"

WYTV's ownership is now officially listed as "PBC Broadcasting of Youngstown, LLC, Debtor-in-Possession"...with Parkin Broadcasting and its entities filing for bankruptcy earlier this month...along with the filing by WKBN/WYFX LMA partner New Vision, which we already reported.

Maybe they've already budgeted for the WYTV power increase, and it'll happen as scheduled...

AND MORE: And stay tuned to your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) later today, for some more items, including the story of a retirement party for a local TV veteran in Cleveland...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Recalling The Recall

We normally don't dip into politics here at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), but this one directly involves the media.

Today, the Ohio Supreme Court voted to pull the effort to recall controversial Toledo mayor Carty Finkbeiner off the November 3rd a narrow decision. From an article posted this afternoon on the Toledo Blade website:

The all-Republican high court, by a 4-3 vote, came to the defense of the Democratic mayor in finding that the deadline of two months before the election for the printing of absentee ballots did not provide Mr. Finkbeiner adequate time to challenge recall petitions filed by a group calling itself Take Back Toledo.

That's where we come in, as a blog covering Ohio media outlets.

(And we haven't checked his drivers' license, but we're not altogether sure that the Toledo mayor's full legal name is The Controversial Carleton S. Finkbeiner.)

The local news media in the Akron area played its mostly usual role in the breathtakingly unsuccessful recall effort against that city's mayor, Don Plusquellic, in June. The long-time King of Akron kept his job by something like a million to three margin. OK, not by that much, but not that far off, it seems.

In Akron, the media played a mostly secondary role. Recall supporters occasionally invoked "pro-mayoral coverage" by the Akron Beacon Journal. The newspaper, and Rubber City Radio news/oldies WAKR/1590, devoted a lot of straight-ahead news coverage to the effort.

The Cleveland-based TV news operations mostly stayed on the sidelines, give or take occasional coverage by WKYC/3 anchor/reporter Eric Akron resident who still watches over his hometown, news-wise, though he's now based at WKYC's Cleveland newsroom as co-anchor of the station's 7 PM weeknight newscast.

And the recall provided lively discussion on Western Reserve PBS' "NewsNight Akron", a weekly news roundtable that is still hosted by Mansfield from studio space shared with his primary employer in downtown Akron.

In Akron, recall politics and media had its closest relationship on the Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 evening talk show hosted by Tom Erickson. Erickson's daughter, "Heaven Can Wait" animal shelter director and now-Akron city council at large candidate Heather Nagel, was a strong recall supporter, and was part of the group putting that unsuccessful effort on the ballot back in June.

But even Erickson's show on "The Talk of Akron" wasn't actually running the recall effort in Akron.

In Toledo, one media outlet has been a key player in forming and operating the "Take Back Toledo" effort.

Clear Channel/Toledo market manager Andy Stuart and Clear Channel talk WSPD/1370 program director/afternoon host Brian Wilson are directors of the recall campaign, and Wilson and other WSPD local hosts have made no bones about their dislike of Finkbeiner and his actions in his now-third term as Toledo's mayor, both on and off the air.

The local radio cluster enlisted the help of various Toledo area businessmen in the effort that will now no longer appear on Toledo's November ballot.

The Blade article linked earlier suggests that Clear Channel Toledo used the recall effort to boost listenership:

Take Back Toledo backers, including WSPD-AM Radio and several suburban businessmen, bankrolled the unsuccessful recall effort because Mayor Finkbeiner angered them over development issues and to try to boost radio ratings.

Well, we don't know about that. We don't know Toledo politics at all, but from afar, we get the idea that Finkbeiner provides WSPD and its hosts with more than enough material on his own... and probably helps the station's ratings more when he's actually in office.

And the Blade notes that Finkbeiner has announced he isn't running for re-election, which means if the recall effort in Toledo would have been successful, he'd basically have lost a few weeks cleaning out his office.

Maybe the "Take Back Toledo"/WSPD folks, if they want to "boost ratings", should secretly urge Carty to run for a fourth term sometime down the road...

Hoping For Good News

Yes, your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) is the bearer of bad news again.

On our Twitter account, we shamelessly begged for some good news to throw into the below mix, but there doesn't seem to be much to share.

And yes, we're as tired of the drumbeat of bad economic news as you are, but here we go again...we don't make the media news, we just report it...

IDEASTREAM CUTS: OMW hears that Cleveland public broadcaster Ideastream is cutting 8 percent of its full-time staff - resulting in the elimination of nine full-time positions.

And the pubcaster - which owns PBS affiliate WVIZ/25 and NPR affiliate WCPN/90.3 - has named one very specific culprit for the job addition to the economy in general, and the reduction in corporate backing that all public media outlets have seen.

It was thought to be good news in Columbus recently, when state lawmakers and Governor Ted Strickland came to an agreement on a new budget. The spending plan got to the finish line...filling an over $3 billion budget gap... with a reported combination of new income from slot machines at horse racing tracks, and a host of spending cuts.

Those cuts have thrown Ideastream for a budget loop.

A staff memo Friday from CEO Jerry Wareham, which floated down from Playhouse Square to the OMW World Headquarters, explains:


At a staff meeting this afternoon, we announced action being taken to maintain financial stability so ideastream can continue to provide valued service.

In anticipation of declines in grants and contracts funded through the State of Ohio and declines in support from corporations, the ideastream budget for fiscal year 2010 (October 1, 2009 – September 30, 2010) reduces unrestricted operating expenses by 7% from the $21.2 million budgeted for the current fiscal year.

Various grants and contracts funded through the State of Ohio for Educational Services, WVIZ/PBS, and 90.3 WCPN that totaled $1,469,274 at the beginning of fiscal year 2009 are expected to decline by 57% to a total of $636,654 in 2010. Support from corporations is also expected to decline 10% to 15%.


OMW hears that in addition to staff reduction by attrition, and part-time hours reductions, key officials at Ideastream have also taken pay cuts. CEO Wareham himself will take a 15 percent cut in his salary.

OMW has heard only one on-air name directly affected by the job cuts - Bobby Jackson, who is music director for WCPN, and who has also hosted the evening local jazz music show in recent months.

Those expecting to hear that show will not hear it starting tonight, though the station will continue with jazz music in the evening hours.

WCPN will instead turn to a syndicated jazz music show. "Jazz with Bob Parlocha", which originates at WFMT/Chicago's Jazz Satellite Network. Parlocha himself is based in Northern California, where he once programmed commercial jazz outlet KJAZ, and records his programs for the WFMT service.

We're hearing today that Mr. Jackson is still in the building for now. The job cuts take effect at the end of the group's fiscal year in early October, and staffers have the option of staying around until October 2nd. The evening jazz programming change takes effect immediately, we're told, as of tonight.

The other eight full-time positions affected are administrative jobs across the Ideastream system...

MORE PUBLIC TV PROBLEMS: OMW has reported that Erie PA PBS affiliate WQLN/54 has lost its analog cable carriage in far eastern Ohio.

Time Warner Cable dumped WQLN on analog in the Ashtabula region, replacing it with carriage of TBN O&O WDLI/17 Canton. The cable company later partially relented, but stuck WQLN's feed only on digital channel 379.

Despite Ashtabula County's proximity to WQLN, the area is in the Cleveland market. The Time Warner system in Ashtabula already carried Cleveland's WVIZ as its sole PBS outlet on the analog side, and needed to make room there for wider WDLI carriage...which bounced WQLN from analog cable.

But it's a planned cable change elsewhere that could deliver a fatal body blow to the Erie public TV station, and threatens its very existence.

WQLN depends on Canadian viewers for a large chunk of its financial support. The station has long been carried on cable in the London, Ontario region, and actively pursues those viewers to the point of carrying "WQLN-TV Erie/London" legal IDs, and airing programming to attact Canadian viewers, particularly on weekends.

But it's about to lose those London cable viewers, reports the Erie Times-News:

Rogers Cable decided to replace WQLN-TV with Detroit's public television station, WTVS-TV, and plans to end transmission of WQLN on Aug. 18. (WQLN president Dwight) Miller said contributions from about 1,700 London viewers account for about 20 percent of his station's total donations.

Why would the Canadian cable system dump WQLN for the Detroit outlet?

Signal quality, according to Rogers officials. Rogers receives WQLN over-air, but can pipe in WTVS directly by fiber.

Like the big American systems, Rogers has an extensive group of interconnected systems in Southern Ontario, and hauling the WTVS feed to London can be done by Rogers internally with little effort...much like Time Warner Cable can bring WVIZ to Ashtabula with no signal problems on the far eastern edge of the Cleveland TV market.

Its survival at stake, WQLN is hoping to find a way to provide its own fiber feed to Rogers, and hopes that'll keep it on the cable system's channel 8 in London.

It's also mobilizing viewers, directing them on (and presumably over air) to let Rogers know how they feel.

Oh, and did we mention that like WVIZ and other public broadcasters, WQLN is looking at a large budget cut out of the state of Pennsylvania?

WQLN is not alone in getting significant Canadian viewership. Just up I-90 and the New York Thruway, Buffalo PBS outlet WNED also has a healthy viewer base in nearby Toronto ("WNED-TV Buffalo/Toronto"), which has helped it weather Western New York's long-declining economy.

And in a situation even more akin to WQLN's, WPBS-TV Watertown NY aims at viewers and supporters in Canada's capital, Ottawa...a base which dwarfs the tiny Watertown TV market...

JUST DOWN THE ROAD: Here's another Northwest Pennsylvania item with some effect in far Eastern Ohio.

The man who lived out his radio dreams in a small town on the Pennsylvania/Ohio border has passed away. The Meadville Tribune reports the death of Arthur W. Cervi Sr. on June 14th, at the age of 89. (A hat tip to the Erie Press and Tower media blog, and long-time friend and colleague Scott Fybush at NorthEast Radio Watch, for the item.)

Cervi kept a "day job" at Westinghouse for decades, and did disk jockey work at night at venues around Pittsburgh. But his career passion was establishing and operating WVCC-FM/101.7 in Linesville PA.

Linesville, as the town name would suggest, is a very short drive from Ohio on the PA side of the state line. The station also served Ohio communities like Andover, and other small towns along Ohio Route 7 and Ohio Route 11 near Pymatuning Lake.

Cervi put WVCC ("The Wonderful Voice of Crawford County") on the air in 1970, and ran it from his Linesville home until as recently as 2003. He sold WVCC to the Vilkie family, which now operates it as classic hits WMVL "Cool 101.7", and targets it to nearby Meadville PA.

Oh, and there's one more Ohio connection.

We're told that Mr. Cervi once owned a second broadcast license - the station formerly known as WAQI and WAST at 1600 in Ashtabula. That station is long dark and deleted. But one of our regular readers tells us that a quick trip off of U.S. 20 on North Bend Road will take you to its small, brick former studio overcome by weeds...

CALLING TIME WARNER SUBSCRIBERS: We'd like to hear from you, if you're a Time Warner Cable subscriber having major issues.

Like one of our regular readers, Phil in Bainbridge, who gives us this account:

Here in the Bainbridge area, we had an outage of all SDV channels (starting on Wednesday). I was credited 4 days service, as I subscribe to MLB Extra Innings.

Then on Sunday, the outage moved to regular HD and digital channels like ESPN HD, HGTV HD, and TNT HD. Those are not SDV channels. They have been intermittent. As of the time I'm writing this email to you, they are out.

At this point, we have no evidence that such outages are widespread.

But we note that the aforementioned Mr. Fybush has had some struggles with both Time Warner Cable broadcast and Internet service in his hometown of Rochester NY the past few days, and that our colleague Jeremy Moses at Tri-State Media Watch reports a problem with some PPV events in the company's Southwest Ohio service area.

Here at OMW World Headquarters, we're not seeing any problems, even with the SDV channels recently added to upgrade TWC's HDTV lineup. But...we want to know if we're missing something more widespread.

And yes, former Comcast subscribers now in the TWC empire, we're well aware that you haven't joined the New HD Channel Parade just yet.

It's yet another example of how splintered the entire TWC network is, here in Northeast Ohio. The company swallowed two very distinct systems when it merged in the former Adelphia/Cleveland-based system, and the Comcast system serving the Elyria and Mentor areas. Problems like described above by our reader in Bainbridge could be somewhat localized.

We haven't yet heard of any resolution to the Comcast issues...but we're assured we'll be able to let you know when something does happen...

A BEAR OF A STORY: Normally, OMW leaves the Rest of the News Not Related to Media to other media outlets. But one story this morning has a very slight media connection.

Kent State University is warning its community of the sighting of a black bear near the university's main campus.

Though we're not Ohio Bear Watch, a detail in this story got us to thinking. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer's update via

City and University police are on the lookout for a hungry black bear spotted early Sunday evening nosing around a Dumpster at a Bob Evans restaurant.

The bear made an appearance about 8:30 p.m. near the corner of Ohio 261 and South Water Street, according to police.

It didn't take long for us to process that location, on the far southern edge of the main KSU campus, in our Media Mind.

Just a short drive - or bear walk - down Ohio 261 from the Bob Evans, you'll find our friends at Western Reserve PBS (WNEO/45-WEAO/49)...which is located on Campus Center Drive just south of 261. Campus Center is the very next intersection past Water Street heading east/northeast on the four-lane road.

No, we haven't heard any Bear Sightings from regular OMW readers like Western Reserve station manager Bill O'Neil, or communications coordinator and OMW liaison Diane Steinert, so we'll assume the bear didn't wander over to Campus Center Drive.

But O'Neil does note: "We often see deer here and an occasional coyote..."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Honest. Fair. Everywhere. Except On Twitter.

When doing some housecleaning on our Twitter account, we noticed that we were following the Twitter accounts of pretty much all local media outlets, both broadcast and print, except for one.

We attempted to add the account of WOIO/19's "19 Action News" into our PC client - the excellent "Twhirl" - and the software responded that we couldn't view the station's profile. We were also unable to add "19actionnews" to the list of accounts we were already following.

It took a trip to Twitter's web interface to see the truth:

Yes, that's right, the newsroom of Raycom Media's largest market station has BLOCKED us from adding them to our Twitter "following" list! Blocked!

Gee, Reserve Square, was it something we said?

OK, maybe it was.

We had a lot of fun with that recent story about the "19 Action News" newsroom getting flack from the Cleveland Clinic, over breaking a story embargo.

We had a little fun, as well, with the messages out of the WJW "Fox 8" Twitter account, poking fun at WOIO's troubles with the Clinic...even though we pointed out that the medical giant's plan to block the local CBS affiliate from a press conference - because they jumped the gun one day on announcing it - might not have been the smartest idea.

Somewhere in there, someone at Reserve Square decided that we had to be taught a lesson, and blocked our Twitter account.

Or, maybe they were trying to block our own updates from showing up in their Twitter clients.

It wouldn't be the first time for such a move when it comes to online media blog and news sites. Just ask DCRTV's Dave Hughes, who occasionally learns that the IT department of a local media outlet has configured its web browsing filters to block his site.

Either way, it means absolutely nothing.

We have our "Clark Kent" Twitter account, and had no problem adding WOIO's Twitter feed there. (And no, your Primary Editorial Voice[tm] has no delusions about being "Superman".)

Even without that, a click on the main "19 Action News" Twitter username here still gets us the station's tweets, even if we're still logged in under the OMW Twitter login on the service's web interface.

Whew. We wouldn't wanna miss exciting tweets like this:

Got a dog? Gotta watch this next segment. It's about a patch of grass you keep indoors to stop accidents. Does it Work Danielle?

When a large market TV newsroom drops to the level of a petulant child ("There! We'll block them! That'll show 'em!"), it's a bit funny...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shakeups And Awards

IMPORTANT UPDATE: - 7/22/09 7:35 AM: OMW has received some new information calling the accuracy of the first part of this report into question. We have removed that portion of the report, which cited financial-related rumblings linked to the CBS Radio cluster and its employees in Cleveland.

In addition, though it appears the rest of the item is accurate, it may have taken place a little less recently than believed...a few weeks ago, as opposed to in the past few days.

At OMW, we're the first to jump out there and let you know when we "get it wrong", even when going with information provided by usually reliable sources.

We apologize for the inaccuracy. We try very hard to hold to reporting standards, even though we technically are not a "news organization"...we're a blog with a mix of "news and musings".

Though we don't like having virtual egg on our virtual face any more than most people do, we believe correcting inaccurate information is important.

The rest of our item, including edits to correct that inaccurate information, is below...

--The Management


CBS RADIO SHAKEUP: OMW hears that there's a recent management restructuring at CBS Radio Cleveland, with the dual general manager structure no longer in effect.

We're told that WNCX/08.5-WKRK/92.3 general manager Tom Herschel has given up those duties to the other GM in the building, WDOK/102.1-WQAL/104.1 general manager Chris Maduri...who will now head up all four stations.

Herschel has not left the building, from what we hear...he moves into a new position as sales manager for the four properties....

TWC QUESTIONS: An OMW reader checks in to ask about the status of Time Warner Cable's HDTV situation in the Mentor/Willoughby area.

The area is part of the former Comcast system, which reached Lake County and nearby, along with the Elyria area. It has lagged in additions of new HD channels compared to, well, the rest of us in the Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio empire.

One big reason, we've presumed, is the lack of Switched Digital Video in that part of the now-multi-headed hydra run by the cable TV giant.

Well, we wish we had any updates...but, we don't at this time.

We've checked with our contacts at TWC, and we've been told there is not currently any update for the poor folks in the ex-Comcast areas, who now have something like a dozen less HD channels than their TWC brethren in both the "legacy" Time Warner areas like Akron, Canton and Youngstown, and in the former Adelphia/Cleveland-based system....which serves the OMW World Headquarters.

We're promised that when there IS something to tell the ex-Comcasters, we'll be able to pass that word along to you, our readers...

MARCONI AWARDS: Yes, we've heard...Clear Channel Cleveland talk WTAM/1100 afternoon driver Mike Trivisonno has indeed been nominated in the NAB's Marconi Awards - for "Large Market Personality of the Year".

It's not Triv's first go-round at that nomination. In the time we've been doing the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), he's been nominated for the same award twice before.

He hasn't won yet, and competed with (and lost to) someone else at Oak Tree in 2007 - country WGAR/99.5 afternoon drive mainstay Chuck Collier won it that year.

Another nominee in that same category works for the same employer as Triv.

Clear Channel talk WLW/700 Cincinnati star Bill Cunningham is also up for "Large Market Personality of the Year".

"Willie", of course, also hosts Premiere's nationally syndicated "Live on Sunday Night", which is heard on Triv's home station, WTAM, along with sister talkers WHLO/640 Akron, WKBN/570 Youngstown and other stations in Ohio...but he's up for his role hosting his long-running midday local flagship show on WLW.

Hmmm. Triv vs. Willie. We'd almost pay to hear that one.

Elsewhere, in Tri-State Media Watch territory, two other Ohio stations are represented in the nominations - Clear Channel rock WTUE/104.7 Dayton afternoon driver John "B-Man" Beaulieu is up for "Medium Market Personality of the Year", and Bonneville country giant WUBE/105.1 "B-105.1" Cincinnati is vying for "Country Station of the Year"...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Uncle Walter Has Left Us

It would appear that we've waited until just about everyone with access to a computer keyboard has weighed in on Friday's passing of CBS News icon/legend Walter Cronkite, who died at the age of 92.

That's partly because we really had no special insight or stories to share with you. We were just regular viewers of Cronkite via now former local CBS affiliate WJW/8, where he was part of the news dominance the station had in the Cleveland market for so many years. (WJW flipped to Fox network affiliation and later, ownership, a decade and a half after Cronkite retired.)

But it felt odd to not note Cronkite's massive influence on the world of journalism and television news in some sort of way, so here we are.

For millions of Americans, "The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite" was the once-a-day venue where they learned about the important news of the day...things that had happened after they put down the morning newspaper and went to work.

In those days, that meant that the breakfast table and the dinner table were your two "time points" for news, give or take a radio newscast or two in the car on the way to and from work.

All of this must seem like news from a foreign land for today's younger adults.

And many of them don't know Walter Cronkite - "The Most Trusted Man in America" - other than someone who may have done network news on TV before their birth.

Cronkite retired from the "Evening News" chair in 1981, giving way to Dan Rather...who had his own run, but really didn't take the "most trusted man" mantle from Cronkite for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the TV news business changed drastically pretty much starting in the early 1980's.

Just one year before "Uncle Walter" left daily TV news, a small, scrappy and initially derided Cable News Network launched the era of 24 hour news from a converted mansion in Atlanta.

Though CNN's chances of success were not believed to be large in June 1980 (wags called it "Chicken Noodle News"), it ushered in an era where Americans didn't have to wait for a 22-minute newscast at 6:30 PM Eastern to find out what was going on across the nation and world.

And though CNN and its later competitors certainly had notable anchors and reporters, the news message was delivered by teams of people, not by trusted solo anchormen like Walter Cronkite.

It's as if Cronkite sensed this at his retirement, as if he knew that 25 years later, the network evening newscasts would be just one, much lesser used option to find out about world events.

That decline in the network evening casts makes them a walking remnant of another era, despite the best efforts of Brian Williams, Charles Gibson and Cronkite's eventual successor, Katie Couric.

And all three anchors have been forced to adapt to today's new world news order - the Internet.

There's no way that today, we can turn back the clock to a time where America first found out about wars, budgets and catastrophes by sitting in front of the TV at 6:30 in the evening.

On Friday evening, your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) was returning home from a one day out-of-town roadtrip. Various circumstances and events forced us out of the car just before the time that Walter Cronkite's death was announced.

Instead of being at home and watching a TV news bulletin about Cronkite's death, or even being in the car and hearing it on the radio, we found out about the passing of America's most iconic TV news anchor...via Twitter, on our mobile device.

We heard about the death of the respected veteran newsman via the most modern of news dissemination methods, a social networking Internet site that today is used by all sorts of news organizations to share their reporting.

Some of the "tweets" were from major news organizations, but a large flood of them were regular Twitter users either re-tweeting those announcements, or just sharing news they'd heard/seen somewhere else, on their own...with their own take on Cronkite's passing. Shortly after the news was released, as many as 20 tweets per minute related to Cronkite flooded our device.

If you look to our Twitter feed over to the left, you'll see our own contribution to the massive tweeting on Friday night.

And it struck us...that when Walter Cronkite was behind the desk at the "CBS Evening News", many Americans found out about deaths of iconic national figures, first, on his nightly newscast, even if the death happened many hours earlier.

The irony is not lost on us.

And we have just one wish, as the news machine rockets into the future with Twitter, Facebook, text messaging, online video and chat...that trusted, reliable, vetted news reporting, guided by principles held by Walter Cronkite, does not get lost in a sea of "everyone can report via the Internet".

In effect, someone reasonably impartial, with a reputation for veracity, has to find, report and deliver the facts, without spin, with experience and judgment, no matter what delivery method is used to deliver those facts.

Those of us who watched Walter Cronkite - and in our youthful years, that'd include your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) - need to impart the Lessons of Uncle Walter to the younger generation of those who report the news...and we hope that Mr. Cronkite's passing last week won't mean the eventual death of "real news" reporting.

And maybe the fact that a host of people in journalism today were influenced - in some way - by Walter Cronkite will help keep that from happening...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Weather And Storms

And the latter part of our title, this time, isn't necessarily about's about economic storms, again. But first...

MCSHEA RETURNS: OMW hears that former Cleveland Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 meteorologist and "Good Company" co-host Eileen McShea is about to return to local TV, but not at 13th and Lakeside.

Instead, she'll be doing weather on Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 "NewsChannel 5"'s weekend least for now.

The folks at 3001 Euclid are "down one" weather anchor, after the station declined to renew the contract of third forecaster Jeff Mackel at the end of last month.

OMW hears that McShea joins the "NewsChannel 5" weather team on a freelance basis "for the next few weeks".

We don't know if WEWS plans to hire a third regular, full-time meteorologist - or if the former WKYCer is up for the gig, if they are. We get the idea that the freelancing - by McShea or whoever could show up later - will be the status quo for now.

McShea left WKYC in 2008 after an apparent economic/money dispute over her co-hosting role on "Good Company", the mid-morning talk show now hosted by Fred Griffith, Andrea Vecchio and Michael Cardamone. (The Plain Dealer's Julie Washington wrote about this last October. For whatever reason, we apparently did not.)

The station has since rechristened the show "Good Company Today", to link it to the 20 hours of NBC's "Today" show and its successors before the show airs. (OK, so it's not 20 hours.)

The show features any number of lifestyle/talk segments, many of them sponsored.

McShea's long tenure at Channel 3, before that, included 12 years as a meteorologist, and some weekend news anchor work...

ANOTHER HEADED FOR 11?: We can't blame TV station employees if they avoid the financial news...and the news could be pretty bad for one station owner that has a number of Ohio stations.

As New Vision TV (WKBN/WYFX/WYTV) works with its lenders to eventually wind out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, giving the lenders control of the group, another group could be headed there.

Sinclair Broadcasting has warned that a Chapter 11 filing could be in its future.

Among the usual menu of economic problems facing any media company in 2009, Sinclair has another Big Problem - the faltering economics surrounding Cunningham Broadcasting. That's the company which allows Sinclair to operate two TV stations in markets where a straight dual-ownership isn't allowed by FCC guidelines.

In Ohio, those Cunningham stations are Columbus Fox affiliate WTTE/28 (sister to Sinclair ABC affiliate WSYX/6), and Dayton Fox affilate WRGT/45 (sister to Sinclair ABC affiliate WKEF/22). Fox affiliate WVAH/11 in the Charleston-Huntington WV market reaches parts of southern Ohio.

Broadcasting and Cable outlines the base of the Cunningham Problem:

Cunningham has until July 31 to pay off a $33.5 million debt. Should Cunningham default, Sinclair may be forced into Chapt. 11. Having Cunningham in bankruptcy could impact Sinclair to the tune of $50-$60 million, Sinclair execs said--$26 million in direct contributions for the LMAs, and the rest in annual cost savings and general synergies between the stations.

Cunningham is not that far removed from Sinclair. Family members of Sinclair CEO David Smith control the company, including Smith's mother.

("Mom? Can you hang onto some TV stations for me?")

These companies, which allow groups like Sinclair to control extra stations in lieu of ownership, are very common. Brecksville's own Mission Broadcasting serves a similar purpose for Nexstar. As we recall, Mission used to be based in a private home in Medina County's Sharon Township, according to a Beacon Journal profile of the company.

The head of Mission Broadcasting is also named David Smith, but as far as we know, he's no relation to Sinclair's CEO.

With the economy continuing to crater advertising revenue, these "other" companies are just as badly hit as their LMA partners...

LIKE A RADIO VIRGIN: Cleveland native and former then-WZJM/92.3 air personality Tim Virgin has made another big market move.

AllAccess reports that Virgin exits the PD/afternoon drive slot at Phoenix alt-rock KEDJ "The Edge" for Chicago, where he'll be the MD/afternoon driver at Emmis alt-rock WKQX "Q101" starting a week from Thursday.

It's actually a return to the Chicago station for Virgin, who worked there in the late 1990's.

In addition to his stint in Cleveland, before 92.3 adopted the "Jammin' Oldies" format, Virgin is known for his work at legendary Washington DC/Baltimore alt-rocker WHFS/99.1, and later at the 105.7 frequency that took the WHFS calls.

The latter stop at 105.7 involved hosting alt-rock music on a station that became a talk outlet, and is now sports WJZ-FM "The Fan". 99.1 is Spanish-language WLZL, and of course, 92.3 here is today's mainly automated alt-rock WKRK-FM "Radio 92.3"...oh, and the WHFS calls are now parked on a syndicated AM talk outlet in Washington...

WAMO: At the moment, this is an OMW exclusive...and the station isn't even in our coverage area. But since it is heard in the Western Pennsylvania parts of the Youngstown market, we'll share it here.

We've been following the coverage of the sale of legendary hip hop outlet WAMO/106.9 in the Pittsburgh market by Friend of OMW Pat Cloonan, who writes a media column for the McKeesport Daily News in that Pittsburgh-area community.

Cloonan noticed that there was a rescinding of the approval of the sale of WAMO and its two AM sister stations (WAMO/860 and WPGR/1510) to St. Joseph Missions, a group of local residents who plan to convert all three stations to Catholic religious programming.

There were also objections filed to the sale, one by a Pittsburgh resident decrying the upcoming loss of programming to the region's African-American community.

Well, according to the FCC database, the station sale has officially been approved (again?) by the of today. (MCM/MCL is the corporate station ownership name for Pittsburgh's Sheridan Broadcasting, the seller.)

Cloonan noted in a story earlier today that the objection had been reclassified by the FCC as an "informal" objection, which carries about as much weight as a soaking paper towel. The FCC noted to the Pittsburgh resident that as a standing rule, it doesn't get involved in format decisions.

As far as we remember, there isn't an LMA provision in the sale to St. Joseph's, so the sale would presumably have to close before the programming changes on the three stations.

Again, WAMO's FM operation is a Pittsburgh market station. But the station's move from 105.9 in the city, to 106.7 licensed to Beaver Falls, brought its signal into a pretty decent chunk of the Youngstown market.

We'd link Pat's articles, but his newspaper places them behind a subscription wall...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Vision Bankruptcy

The operator of nearly all commercial TV stations in the Youngstown market is now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

New Vision Television owns CBS affiliate WKBN/27 and Fox affiliate WYFX (WYFX-LP 62/WFXI-CA 17/WKBN-DT 27.2), and operates PBC (Parkin Broadcasting) owned ABC affiliate WYTV/33 and sister MyNetworkTV affiliate MyYTV (WYTV/33.2). That's every commercial station in the Mahoning Valley except for one big one, Vindicator NBC affiliate WFMJ/21, along with its sister CW affiliate "WBCB" (WFMJ/21.2).

From New Vision's latest release today:

New Vision Television announced the approval of all of its first-day motions by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

"The Court's prompt action is good news for New Vision's employees, advertisers, business partners and viewers," said Jason Elkin, New Vision's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The Court's decision will allow us continue to operate our business as usual. The Court's quick ruling also marks a smooth entry into what we hope will be a short and consensual bankruptcy process that will restructure all of the company's debt and lead to the emergence of New Vision as a much stronger entity going forward."

The process is expected to be short because the company's lenders will basically end up owning the broadcaster themselves...though it takes money to keep the doors open:

New Vision received Court approval during its first-day hearings to keep all employee pay and benefits intact. The Court also approved New Vision's access on an interim basis to a new $28 million line of credit that will provide ample funding for the company through the remainder of the restructuring process. Next, the Court permitted New Vision to make key operational payments, including for taxes and insurance programs. Under the Court's order, sales incentives will also be funded. Finally, the Court established procedures to streamline the proceedings with the goal of speeding New Vision's emergence from bankruptcy.

How's this playing on Sunset Boulevard in Youngstown?

Well, if you want to know about the inside workings of the market's TV stations, you go to Youngstown Business Journal publisher Andrea Wood, also an OMW reader. From her article earlier today:

News travels fast inside the news business, so fast that newsroom employees of WKBN/WYFX and WYTV learned their parent company had filed bankruptcy when a reporter at competitor WFMJ called late Monday seeking comment.

New Vision Television sought protection from its creditors after the close of business July 13, and word that the Los Angeles operator of 14 TV stations had filed Chapter 11 spread quickly online and was reported by WFMJ and WKBN radio before local station managers could meet with employees Tuesday morning.

Oops! Yes, often the worst inter-office communications are in...the communications business.

There's not much more to say, locally. New Vision's local management isn't commenting, referring all questions to corporate headquarters. We imagine the folks on Sunset Boulevard, and those who moved over from WYTV's former Shady Run Road studios, are a bit shellshocked....crossing their fingers, and wondering if locusts are next.

But at least New Vision "gets" this whole new media thing! Quoting their release:

New Vision will consistently update its employees, advertisers and business partners at New Vision has also created a hotline to help answer questions about the restructuring process: 1-888-855-0777. Finally, New Vision employees and other interested parties can receive Twitter updates by following newvisiontv.

And oddly enough, New Vision PR staffer Lisa Cohen must be an OMW reader, at least via Google search, as we're getting these releases directly...

Radio Bombshells To Our East

Tuesday was a big, big day for announced radio changes to the east of Ohio. do they affect us?

Or, do they? Read on....

To start, CBS Radio officially unveiled the next two stops on its FM Sports Radio Express. All aboard, Washington DC (July 20th) and Boston (August 13th)!

The DC sports flip announcement is almost an anti-climax. Everyone from Dave Hughes' to the Washington Post's Paul Farhi has been reporting the rumored/conirmed change of talk WJFK/106.7 to sports ("106.7 The Fan"...what a shock!) since the first rumblings came up a couple of years ago (!).

And next Monday, the station that once called itself "Washington's Super Station", one of the early affiliates of then-Westwood One/WKRK New York morning drive host Howard Stern and the flagship for the radio show hosted Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy, and former "morning zoo" hosts Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara in afternoons - will become yet another stop in CBS' drive to spread FM sports talk far and wide.

A slight Northeast Ohio connection - Geronimo and O'Meara's Westwood One-syndicated "Don and Mike Show" has some affiliate history here.

The program once aired on Cleveland talker WERE/1300 - now Radio One's 1490 - and also aired for a while not that terribly long ago on Warren's WANR/1570. Beacon Media Group's flagship statiion, as we reported last week, is now sports "Fox Sports Radio 1570" after running classic hits.

The CBS Radio move to sports in Washington puts the "Don and Mike and Successors" era to an end, as not only is WJFK pulling what's now (for a few more recorded days) "The Mike O'Meara Show", Westwood One will also end the show nationally...offering up 30 days of repeats to close things out.

Geronimo retired from large market radio after the stunning death of his wife Freda, and is now doing a midday local talk show on Rehoboth Beach DE talker WGMD/92.7 - OK under the terms of his CBS Radio non-compete, as the company has no stations in that region. (And thus, those outside the Ocean City/Salisbury MD market won't be able to hear what Don is doing these days, as WGMD has to shut off its streaming audio during his show.)

Overall, the WJFK change means that CBS Radio under Dan Mason is officially off the young-skewing "FM talk" bandwagon...the DC station was its last station in the format.

In Boston, the mounting of an FM sports station by CBS is also not really a surprise - it, too, had been rumored for some time. But how it will happen is a bombshell of the highest order.

In August, CBS Radio will christen the new "Sports Hub" at 98.5 FM, which will take the historic WBZ calls on the -FM side. The move displaces hot AC WBMX on that frequency, but "Mix" in Boston will land on 104.1 FM.

That's your bombshell right there...104.1 FM is the long-time home of iconic Boston rock outlet WBCN/104.1, which exits to a presumably automated HD2/Internet presence when WBMX makes the frequency its new home.

The new "Sports Hub", WBZ-FM 98.5, will pick up WBCN's local morning show ("Toucher and Rich") and New England Patriots NFL play-by-play, and WBZ/1030's broadcasts of the NHL's Boston Bruins.


Over the years we've been here, OMW has heard various rumors that Clear Channel would convert our own iconic rocker in Cleveland, WMMS/100.7, to various other formats....mostly FM talk.

That's a rumor that has very nearly come true in 2009, with MMS' acquisition of Shane "Rover" French's popular "Rover's Morning Glory", and the growing audience of afternoon talker Maxwell...which, along with the late night "Loveline" Westwood One syndicated sex/relationships show, makes rock music almost an afterthought on 100.7.

WMMS is now only a "rock station" a little middays, a little early evenings, and 6vernights/weekends...give or take an overflow Indians or Cavaliers conflict game when sports PBP powerhouse talk WTAM/1100 is faced with airing two games at the same time.

CBS Radio's FM Sports Drive started not terribly far from here.

The company has always had a taste for sports radio, owning stations such as Phliadelphia sports mainstay WIP/610, Chicago's WSCR/670, and more. But when sports radio met FM, and Portable People Meters (PPMs), at Detroit's WXYT, the numbers were basically eye-popping.

"97.1 the Ticket", in the PPM ratings, became a powerhouse. The FM side of the once-AM only WXYT/1270 propelled "The Ticket" into Top 5 land, both in and out of the young male demos sports radio delivers.

WXYT moving to former FM talker WKRK's 97.1 frequency also put a giant asterisk on Clear Channel's sports competitor up there, WDFN/1130 "The Fan". The 50 kW station now basically acts mainly as a repeater for sister Premiere's Fox Sports Radio lineup.

Will CBS Radio launch sports on one of its four Cleveland FM frequencies?

Our gut feeling/prediction continues to be "no, they won't", and many of the reasons haven't changed since we last approached this topic.

1) CBS Radio announced some time back that it wanted to exit from non-major/below top 10 markets.

Though trying to sell radio stations in the current economic climate most resembles selling ice to Alaskans, the company still isn't likely to spend the cash and the time to remake a station it doesn't want to hold onto.

All of the FM sports flips so far in the CBS Radio world have been in large markets - with the semi-exception of Baltimore (WJZ-FM/105.7). But Baltimore is heavily tied to nearby DC, and CBS has an O&O TV station there (WJZ-TV/13).

As for Cleveland, RadioInsight's Lance Venta has told us that some rumors of a possible "CBS Radio sale announcement" were kicking around a few weeks ago - involving Good Karma Broadcasting's Craig Karmazin (WKNR/850-WWGK/1540).

We don't see Karmazin with the resources or intent to buy the entire CBS Radio cluster in Cleveland, but maybe he picks off one of the signals...and THAT'S how Cleveland would get an FM sports talker?

We haven't heard anything about this from anyone other than Mr. Venta, so we won't make more of this than that idle speculation.

2) Mr. Venta tells us that CBS has registered a whole host of "CBSSports(city).com" domain names to back up the FM sports radio moves. Cleveland isn't one of the cities registered by the company.

We continue to have the FM Sports Talk Watch here in Ohio, with the recent conversions in Columbus (WBNS-FM 97.1) and Toledo (WLQR/1470's simulcast on WLQR-FM/106.5, the former alt-rocker WRWK).

The other eastern U.S. bombshell was a big swap in America's largest market.

The New York Times Company officially exits radio with the sale of classical stalwart WQXR/96.3 in New York City.

It'll flip the powerful 96.3 frequency to Univision Radio as the new home of that company's "La Calle" format, and will flip the WQXR calls and classical format to public radio's WNYC/93.9-820...which will mount that effort on the former home of "La Calle", Newark NJ-licensed WCAA/105.9, a lesser signal.

It reminds one a lot of what happened here in Cleveland, when the Great Frequency Swap moved classical WCLV from its long-time home at 95.5 FM, to Lorain-licensed 104.9 FM.

Back in 2001, WCLV president and OMW reader Robert Conrad positioned the change as "saving classical music" on the radio in Northeast Ohio, and did manage to nudge the 104.9 rimshot signal a little further to the east at a new site in eastern Lorain County, in Avon.

The WQXR/WCAA situation is similar, though the 105.9 frequency in the New York City market transmits off the same Empire State Building facility as 96.3.

But the latter is a more powerful signal, and the new "WQXR" effort at 105.9 will have to deal with losing about 5 million listeners on the edges of the signal - in heavily populated areas like Long Island and parts of Westchester County.

Just as much as it was in 2001, commercial classical radio is an endangered species...and even in this economic market, it's still true.

Closing out the Northeast Ohio connections, new 96.3/New York owner Univision also owns, on its TV side, Cleveland's WQHS/61...

Tom's Bad Day

Those following the news in Northeast Ohio on Tuesday learned that over 100 animals were removed from a private Akron animal rescue shelter.

The shelter known as "Heaven Can Wait" is run by a woman named Heather Nagel, who is listed in various media reports as a candidate for an Akron City Council at-large seat.

It's not difficult to find coverage of Tuesday's events at the home on Vesper Street, in Akron's North Hill neighborhood.

Just as a sampling, here are links to articles by NBC affiliate WKYC/3 on its, the Akron Beacon Journal on its, and Rubber City Radio Group's WAKR/1590 through its AkronNewsNow site.

Though we really have no intention of "covering the story" when it comes to Tuesday's actions - it's out of our league, of course, and we know nothing about the topic or any interest in covering it - this part of the last linked story brings us here:

Editor's note: the director of Heaven Can Wait is Heather Nagel; she is the daughter of WNIR-FM talk show host Tom Erickson. Nagel is also an announced candidate for Akron City Council.

That's no secret to anyone, either in the media locally or outside of it.

Nagel put herself in the public eye, in part, by appearing a number of times on her father's show to talk about her concerns with the Summit County animal control department...among them, the county hiring an inexperienced young woman to run the department - solely for apparent political reasons. We also recall seeing her quoted in several Beacon Journal articles about that same story.

As far as we know, the father-daughter combo never made their relationship secret, as we've heard her on the show while Erickson gushed with pride of his daughter's activism on behalf of animals.

But apparently, the mention of his relationship with Nagel in the AkronNewsNow article rubbed the WNIR evening talk host the wrong way.

"Editor" in ANN parlance is Rubber City VP/Information Media and OMW reader Ed Esposito, who offered this up on his Facebook a status update we found earlier this evening:

Got a VERY angry call today from a local celeb, not happy his name is linked to story involving his daughter -- who had been featured on his call-in program and he's talked about as a political candidate. Fair or foul to mention the familial relationship?

Well, it would appear to us that if the AkronNewsNow story that had mentioned their relationship was about a win in Nagel's city council race...that "angry call" would probably have not been made by the talk show host, unless he was upset that the time slot for his show wasn't mentioned.

Esposito's note on the linked story also says that her father's show isn't the only involvement Nagel's shelter has with local media:

Rubber City Radio Group, the parent company of AkronNewsNow, WAKR-AM, WONE-FM and WQMX-FM also works with the Heaven Can Wait group to help find new homes for displaced or abandoned animals in the care of the group both on-air and online through the website.

At this early Wednesday morning writing, the PetPalsNow site continues to list "Heaven Can Wait" on a long list of local and regional pet shelters, and still features adoptable pets from the shelter. A dog named "Earle" is featured on the list, presumably under the temporary care of the Summit County Humane Society after what happened Tuesday.

Some of the commenters on Ed Esposito's Facebook update noted that a lot more people would be tuned into Erickson's evening WNIR show later that night, and that he'd come out swinging.

He didn't.

The Erickson show on Tuesday started with a typical mix of his usual topics - from local politics to space news, with a poll question about how people used post offices in the wake of the potential closure of four locations in Akron, but nothing about the commotion involving Ms. Nagel's animal shelter.

(For the record, we heard WNIR news anchor Phil Ferguson report the story more than once earlier that afternoon...though without mention of Ms. Nagel's connection to the station. We also don't know if Rubber City's WAKR mentioned the connection on-air, or just online...we didn't hear it mentioned in a couple of the station's radio reports we heard.)

It wasn't until a few minutes into the show when the topic came up, in a very roundabout way, thanks to a caller. And since we were running WNIR's web streaming audio, and can record audio easily on the Official OMW Laptop, we have a transcript:

FEMALE CALLER: When I got home, from work, I turned on the news, the 6 o'clock news.

ERICKSON: Can't talk about it. I want to, believe me I want to, but I can't.

FEMALE CALLER: OK, that's, that's fine.

ERICKSON: I, I can't. Uh, I, I will, uh, I have a few things to say, but I'm not gonna say 'em. Ummm...I just can't do it.

FEMALE CALLER: OK, that's fine. I just didn't know whether I heard or whether I didn't. You know how, when you come in, you're doing this that or the other, and you're sort of listening, but you're not listening.

ERICKSON: Yeah. It hasn't been a very good day...and uh, you know.

FEMALE CALLER: Well, we'll just leave it there. You wanna know about...

ERICKSON (talking over): Thank you...thank you.

No doubt, the WNIR evening host wanted to talk about it...but his daughter's legal representation likely advised both Erickson and Nagel to keep a lid on the public comments for now. We can't imagine any other reason that Erickson would not talk about it, and say those things he says he wants to say.

And we'd love to have heard them. As near as we can tell, Erickson has no even indirect involvement with his daughter's shelter...aside from providing publicity and help to get animals to loving homes.

He does feature adoptable pets on the "Heaven Can Wait" site, which also features video with Ms. Nagel on Time Warner Cable's "Helping Hands" show, seen on the cable outlet's "NEON" local programming channel...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

WMAN Schedule Shuffle, More Local

Clear Channel talk WMAN/1400 Mansfield is moving its schedule around later this month, adding more local talk and moving a syndicated host to his live time slot.

Starting July 27th, "AM Mansfield" midday local host Rusty Cates moves to afternoon drive, with his new show airing from 3-5 PM.

That, and the move of "WMAN Marketplace" to a new Saturday time slot (10 AM-noon), clears the way for the previous WMAN afternoon drive host - Premiere's Glenn Beck - to move to a live clearance on WMAN from 9 AM to Noon.

After the station's long-running news hour at 5 PM, a new one-hour local sports show will air on the Mansfield talker - "The WMAN Evening Sports Grill", with Aaron Hines and "contributions" from news director/sports voice Jeff Swank - from 6-7 PM. It replaces the third hour of Beck's show, a delayed broadcast which is no longer necessary due to the three-hour live midday clearance of Beck.

The press release announcing all the changes is below...


1400 WMAN to increase local talk programming.
Two new local shows, and The Glenn Beck program to air live.

Mansfield, Oh (July 13, 2009): Newsradio 1400 WMAN is proud to announce that two new locally produced talk shows will soon begin airing on 1400am. Longtime popular radio host Rusty Cates, will be launching a new local talk show, and WMAN is adding a sports call in show weekday afternoons starting Monday July 27, 2009.

One of the new programs “The Rusty Cates Show” airing weekdays 3-5pm, will be hosted by Cates, a part of WMAN for over thirty years. Known as the voice of the community, Cates will continue to discuss issues that affect our local communities. “I’m thrilled that we are able to have a new platform to actively discuss what is happening around us every day” said Cates. WMAN General Manager Dan Lankford added that “Rusty is a champion for the Mansfield area, and having him on the air discussing issues each day, allows WMAN to continue to be the true voice of the community”.

Also new will be WMAN Evening Sports Grill, hosted by Aaron Hines, with contributions from Jeff Swank, airing weeknights, 6:00-7:00pm, following WMAN’s Evening Wrap Up news hour. Sports Grill will feature conversation on local high school sports, as well as coverage of the Indians, Cavaliers, Browns, Buckeyes, Mid Ohio racing and more.

Additional lineup adjustments include a new time slot for the syndicated Glenn Beck program. Beck will now air live weekdays 9am-Noon. The WMAN Marketplace will move to Saturday mornings, 10am-Noon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Followup, Mid-July Edition

For whatever reason, everything at the top of our pile this Monday morning is a followup to earlier items...except our first, and even that's the "next step" of an earlier report...

THIS JUST IN: An OMW reader passes word via Trip Ericson's - TBN O&O WDLI/17-1-2-3-4-5 will get their RF channel change.

This FCC decision (PDF file) means that the Canton-licensed station can move from RF channel 39 to RF channel 49.

We just noticed that the decision's release date was late this past May, so we're not sure why it took so long for anyone (including us) to uncover it. A quick check at WDLI's pending FCC applications doesn't show one accepted for filing for the 49 move, but the decision says it'll allow WDLI's digital signal to go all the way up to 900 kW...from the 200 kW it's now using on RF channel 39.

The move will spread the TBN TV Gospel much farther and much wider than the current WDLI facility, and if we're reading this decision right, TBN has already obtained Canadian coordination to do so.

(If we remember right from our own reporting, the Santa Ana CA-based religious broadcasting giant also has an interference deal with WTAP/15-and-then-some Parkersburg WV, which also camps out on underlying RF channel 49. TBN engineering sure works fast, doesn't it?)

Of course, RF channel 49 opened up for WDLI's future use late on the night of June 12, as Western Reserve PBS' WEAO/49 Akron vacated its original analog home of 49 at the transition.

This is, by the way, getting rather confusing...we're still not sure if we should continue to refer to channels by their old analog-new PSIP fed digital channel, especially when we're talking about the underlying channels they hold.

And that's not even counting WRLM/47, which was WOAC/67 until the Tri-State Christian Television folks changed the PSIP information when they took over that other Canton-licensed facility.


One very notable Northeast Ohio radio broadcaster has been asking us to clear up some of this confusion, so we'll try our best in a later item...

SORT OF A CORRECTION: Paging Gregg Allen! A Mr. Gregg Allen, please pick up the white courtesy phone! (pause) No, the WHITE one.

(Yes, that's a joke from the movie "Airplane!".)

Of course, we're talking about Beacon Media Group's Gregg Allen, who apparently has a little time to read your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), at least when we're talking about his employer...the Warren-based chain of five radio stations owned by former steel supply magnate Harold Glunt.

We have not brought out the spreadsheet to see where Gregg actually does on-air work in the Beacon chain, and at what times, and on which stations, but we know he's no longer hosting "classic hits" on Beacon flagship WANR/1570 - with its flip a week ago to Fox Sports Radio.

But through some online detective/Google work, we have found out what is actually airing (presumably) on the new "Fox Sports Radio 1570" from 9 AM to noon.

WANR can't run FSR's offering in that time slot, a simulcast of The Content Factory's Dan Patrick Show, since it is already cleared in Youngstown - via its separate syndication - on Cumulus sports WBBW/1240.

And our earlier item noted a local show called "Cappy and Christian" in the 9-noon slot - information on the schedule provided to us by FSR syndicator Premiere and OMW reader Kurt Kretszchmar.

It took us a while to get there...over the river, through the woods, to the now-inaccurate WANR "Classic Hits 1570" website, and over the dales to WANR's changed MySpace page ("Holy colliding logos, Batman!") to find the schedule for "Fox Sports Radio 1570", which lists:

9 AM-10:30 AM: "Talkin' Boxing" - The Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Of Boxing Talk Radio. Tune in LIVE every weekday morning.
10:30 AM-Noon: "The First Church of Sports" - Local call in show, spotlighting local high school and national sports. Call Bob live at 330-394-1570, With Bob's passion for local and high school sports, Bob will certainly take you to Church!

(Let's guess here...the local host is named Bob Church! Cute pun...especially considering the "faith based" management/ownership at Beacon and WANR.)

As far as the 9 AM show goes, "Talkin' Boxing" is not local at all. It is syndicated out of upstate New York (somewhere near Albany, we believe) by "Billy C" (Bill Calogero), who apparently is something of a boxing expert at least in some boxing circles.

We didn't know there WAS a live, daily nationally syndicated talk show on the sport of boxing... but you live and learn, eh?

We're not really fans of the sport, so we're having trouble wrapping our head(s) around a boxing talk show hosted by a guy with a very thick New Jersey accent airing before lunch.

The "Talkin' Boxing" site proudly proclaims that the show is fed live 6-9 AM, and Billy and company welcomed WANR to their affiliate list last Monday.

A live, daily talk show about boxing seems a bit out of it for us, though we do note that if it'd work anywhere, it'd work in the boxing-mad Mahoning Valley...home of current champ Kelly Pavlik and birthplace of former champ Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini.

As for the following time slot, we have no idea who "Cappy and Christian" are, or if they are hosting a show anywhere on the WANR lineup...

HELLO, DINO: We noted that former Small Northeast Ohio Rimshot Station Sports Talk Host For A Month Dino Costa is apparently no longer doing sports talk on his recently launched Denver sports web streaming outlet

There's that Bat Signal again...and Dino saw it:

The skinny short and sweet: The founder and creator of DSR (Dino Costa) sold his interests in the project to the investment firm that underwrote the project from the git go.

However, you may word it any which way you wish.

We'll take your wording, Dino.

OK, so there's only the most tenuous connection here.

Dino's stint at former sports talk outlet WATJ/1560 "SportsRadio 1560" Chardon, a marginal far-rimshot daytimer trying to serve the Cleveland market from Nowhere Near Cleveland, lasted a short time...not due to anything the sports talker said, but due to the fact that it was perhaps the worst attempt to rimshot a large radio market that has ever been attempted.

WATJ owner Music Express quickly regrouped, changed AM 1560 to the Sounds of Silence, and wisely concentrated on WATJ's successful and still-on-air sister station, country WKKY/104.7 Geneva.

But we've always been fascinated with Dino's, well, high-flying self-promotional style. And he tells us his wife is from Ohio, and likes our blog...even if we do poke a little good-natured fun at Mr. Costa's activities from time to time...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Pileup

We've had a rough time fitting the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) into our regular week this week, so here are some of the items that have been on that back burner...

GRAPHIC CUTS: OMW hears that Scripps, owner of Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5, has joined the Graphics Outsourcing Parade.

It was announced by the group today that like other TV ownership groups with Cleveland market holdings - Gannett (WKYC/3) and Fox (former owner of WJW/8) - Scripps will centralize its graphics operations. Since "centralize" and "outsource" usually mean "job cuts", it's no surprise that the move will result in the loss of three jobs at 3001 Euclid by late October.

The graphics duties will fall to a centralized Scripps hub at its WFTS in Tampa. The move will also presumably result in a standardized graphic look among the Scripps stations, much like a similar move at Gannett affected WKYC's on-air look.

OMW also hears that traffic operations (commercial spot traffic, not "on the roads" traffic) will also be centralized at two hubs in Tampa and Phoenix. We don't know how many WEWS employees that'll affect, or those down in Tri-State Media Watch territory at WCPO/Cincinnati...

SPEAKING OF CINCINNATI: We do normally leave the Queen City media news to the TSMW Empire, but this one can't go without some notice.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, owned by WKYC owner Gannett, has made one of those eye-popping layoffs...with as many as 100 employees shown the door. Gannett is also shuttering the "CiNWeekly" free entertainment-oriented paper, and is replacing it online (and it appears in print) with the Metromix brand...which also used online by WKYC.

Gannett announced earlier that some 1,400 staffers would be cut in its "community publishing" (print) division.

We'll leave the heavy lifting on this to TSMW...but we couldn't go without mentioning it...

MAHONING VALLEY FLIPS: If it's July, it must be time for a small Mahoning Valley radio group to make some format and positioning changes.

Yes, we're talking about Warren-based Beacon Broadcasting, which has made those changes to two of its stations.

After the July 4th holiday weekend, Beacon flagship WANR/1570 Warren moved from classic hits to sports. 1570 has become the Youngstown-Warren market affiliate for Premiere's Fox Sports Radio.

A hat tip to Premiere's Kurt Kretzschmar, an OMW reader (!), who tells us that WANR is also airing the local "Cappy and Christian" sports talk show from 9 AM to noon, and Premiere's separately syndicated Jim Rome from noon-3.

(Of course, FSR now airs The Content Factory's Dan Patrick from 9-noon, which clears elsewhere in the market - on delay on Cumulus sports WBBW/1240 "ESPN 1240".)

Elsewhere in the Beacon Media Empire, we already tipped you to the repositioning of Christian rock WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA, the Youngstown market rimshot that has changed from "Freq 107" to "Indie 107.1".

Beacon's Gregg Allen, also an OMW reader, weighed in on our earlier item, noting that "Freq" hasn't been exclusively a Christian rocker:

Yes we do play Christian music along with Matchbox 20, Hanna Montana, the Jonas Brothers, David Burn, Peter Moon Band, and a lot of independent artists! Freq 107 has been like that for at least the last 4 years according to my GM.

Now don't get confused, we are a Faith Based Company, which means, we will do all we can to play music that will not compromise our values.

The Freq name is one that didn't really describe us very well, where Indie 107.1 nails it! With big corporate radio going mostly national, we want people to know that local radio still exists and cares about the community, and quite frankly, our listeners like our mix of music. I found it interesting that you folks didn't notice that we dropped the Freq from 1540 too, now that is a Christian station, 100%.

Gregg, since we're not actually in the Youngstown market, we pick this stuff up on occasion, like when we're driving through the area. We appreciate your clarification.

Gregg also gave us the first tip of the now-complete WANR flip to Fox Sports Radio...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

We're Back, Again

We didn't intend on this being something of a lengthy hiatus, even with the July 4th holiday...but there hasn't been that much to write about.

It's still not all that busy in the world of Media News here in the Buckeye State, but we'll do what we can...

WEWS HIRES AND: That's "AND" as in "assistant news director", and the recent appointment of a second-in-command to news director Jill Manuel has some questions coming from some occupants of 3001 Euclid.

The questions aren't about the new hire herself, but rather...why?

Here's the announcement of the hire by Manuel:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Roberta Petterson as Assistant News Director at WEWS.

Roberta is currently the Assistant News Director at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, a position she’s held since 2006.

At WTAE, Roberta has focused on newscast development, breaking news, investigative coverage and special projects. Roberta also led WTAE’s coverage last year of the Pennsylvania Primary and has played a key role in political coverage during the past several years. Under Roberta’s leadership, WTAE’s investigative team won a Peabody and National IRE in 2008. She has also won a Morrow and Headliner awards for driving breaking news and big story coverage.

Roberta started at WTAE in 2002 as a producer and was quickly promoted to Nightside Executive Producer. Roberta has also worked at WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh and KJRH-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Roberta brings a track record of success in guiding a dynamic news staff in a multi-platform environment and will be a major player in taking our product to the next level and collaborating with all of us to achieve daily and long-term ratings success.

OMW hears that she starts at WEWS on August 3rd.

Again, the questions we're hearing aren't about Petterson, her background and career.

But as far as we know, WEWS parent Scripps is still under a hiring freeze.

We reported earlier about the exit of a number of editors - we're hearing the total number is five of 'em, a group that is actually still in the building doing a few more weeks of work before taking a severance package to exit.

And of course, WEWS has not renewed contracts for a number of high-profile on-air staffers, including former sports reporter/anchor Sue Ann Robak and weather anchor Jeff Mackel, in an effort to cut costs.

Even if Mackel is replaced by someone (see our earlier item about the station's help wanted ad for a new forecaster), it seems likely that the new hire would be brought in at a lower cost than the station was paying Mackel.

No, we don't know why WEWS is hiring for what is essentially a new position in a tough economy for Channel 5 and every other TV news operation in America, pretty much. We hear that the station hasn't actually had an assistant news director for many years...and remaining staffers at "NewsChannel 5" are being told to do more with less, like elsewhere in the TV news game...

BSK'S RETURN, BUT NOT OVER-AIR: After Good Karma Broadcasting's Craig Karmazin took over Cleveland sports radio outlet WKNR/850 "ESPN 850", former WKNR host Kendall Lewis was (presumably) one of those wondering if there was a place for him at his old station under new ownership.

Though he did manage a fill-in or two, "The BSK" did not land with any regular slot at the revamped station, and ended up working at Paul Belfi's Internet-based outlet

He's back full-time at STC, occupying the 4-6 PM weekday time slot at the local sports webcasting operation. From an STC newsletter:

As always 'The BSK' will tell it like it is and pull no punches when it comes to Cleveland sports. You've missed him as much as we have but the wait is over.

The former Internet simulcaster for WKNR has, over the years, become something of a stop/resting/refueling place for departed station personalities in its days as a solo operation.

Most notably, former WKNR host Bruce Drennan was STC's program director and a host there before his involuntary trip to Morgantown, West Virginia...Drennan landed at SportsTime Ohio with "All Bets Are Off", of course, after being allowed to walk around a free man.

For out-of-towners, you might not know that Lewis' "The BSK" nickname comes from the phrase "The Big Sports Kahuna" Lewis used during his WKNR days. No, we don't remember where Kendall got THAT nickname...

DINO WATCH: Speaking of folks with alleged former local sports radio connections, and OMW Regular Topics, we're hearing that former now-silent daytime rimshot sports outlet WATJ/1560 Chardon host Dino Costa...well, let's just say things may or may not be going well for him at his webcasting outlet

A quick trip there shows him absent from the site, with a new graphic:


The site's audio promises a "relaunch" at some unspecified point in the future.

A relaunch and lineup, presumably, without Costa. We were under the impression that he started the site, but we don't know why he's apparently gone from his own creation. A quick search of the Denver Post, the newspaper which DSR counts as a marketing partner, shows nothing.

Since the OMW Bat Signal apparently reaches Colorado whenever we mention Dino's name, we're sure he'll check in...eventually...

MJ: Unless you've been under a rock, you know that pop music icon Michael Jackson is no longer with us, after his shocking death last week.

But the media coverage of Jackson's recent death continues unabated, with the topic burning up hours on the various cable news networks...and just about any TV outlet with the ability to show pool video carried Jackson's funeral Tuesday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

So did at least two Northeast Ohio radio stations that we heard in a brief dial scan late in the ceremony - Radio One hip hop WENZ/107.9 "Z107.9" in Cleveland, and Rubber City Radio news/oldies WAKR/1590 Akron.

WAKR program director and Rubber City operations manager Chuck Collins throws open the virtual door to the station's decision making process in a post called "Why We Did It", on his "Culture Clash" blog on

If you are going to do something that requires an explanation, perhaps it is best not done at all. I don't think I need to explain why WAKR aired the entire memorial for Michael Jackson on Tuesday. But please indulge me for a few hundred words.

We'll let Chuck, a long-time Friend of OMW, do the rest of the talking about the decision to carry the Jackson funeral in his blog entry.

But we couldn't help but realize that WAKR, in its incarnation as an oldies station, is probably one of the few stations that would regularly play at least some of Michael Jackson's music - particularly from the "Jackson 5" era - outside of this period when fans are mourning his death at the young age of 50.

Add that to the station's news commitment, and its general practice of picking up ABC News Radio "instant specials" and live coverage linked to big news events, and carriage of the Jackson funeral fits into both of those missions...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

ODTV: A Letter To Dave Folsom

Oh, sometimes poking a little fun is too easy.

Read our comments to a TVNewsday letter writer's response to the trade site's article about VHF DTV problems, and why we're poking a little fun at the letter, on our Ohio Digital TV blog...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

ODTV: Some Hope For WJW Signal?

We're not sure we're releasing the balloons and celebrating just yet, but an OMW/ODTV reader is sharing what could be good news for those over-air digital viewers struggling to receive Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8.

Read more on our Ohio Digital TV blog...

NEON, Mr. Kent, And We Own No Stations

Oh, and add "Freq" to that list...a little later...

NEW NEON SITE: Time Warner Cable local programming channel "NEON" (Northeast Ohio Network) is unveiling a new website.

It's actually an upgrade for the site at From a press release about the revamp:

The new NEON website has a fresh look and offers a simple way to find information about the network. Each show now has a dedicated page on the website with photos, videos and past and upcoming episode information. The schedule page provides two user-friendly views – by day or by show. A news section on the homepage delivers the most up-to-date announcements about NEON, and is archived in a “news” section.

In addition to NEON show information, visitors to will discover a wealth of information about Local On Demand (LOD), NEON’s companion, on-demand-based offering. Most shows that air on NEON are available on LOD, as well as many special programs created just for the on-demand channel. LOD is available, at no additional cost, to Time Warner Cable’s digital cable customers.

We hope TWC Northeast Ohio continues to improve the site. For one, we'd like to suggest that something of a mini-web presence be built for NEON's highest-profile local host, sports talker Les Levine ("More Sports and Les Levine").

Les' old site at is long gone. Maybe this provides an opportunity for Les' son Jeremy to temporarily point his father's domain name at the show page on the new NEON site.

"NEON" airs in the vast TWC Northeast Ohio footprint on cable channel 23. We're not sure if they've finally moved it to 23 in some areas that hadn't made that move yet (the old Comcast system, if we remember right).

The site also covers TWC's local programming via the "Local on Demand" digital cable service on channel 501...

"INDIE FREQ": From the Beacon Broadcasting obsession department, OMW hears that the Warren-based company's Christian rock WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA "Freq 107" is promising some changes.

We hear that "Freq" is apparently headed, after the July 4th holiday, in more of an "indie rock" direction. To show our ignorance, we didn't know that term applied in the world of Christian rock music, but it apparently does. Then again, before "Freq 107" showed up, we didn't know there was a world of Christian rock music...let alone subdivisions within the format.

"Freq" rimshots Youngstown and Warren from its transmitter just over the Pennsylvania line in Greenville. It has a sister "Freq", as Beacon CCM daytimer WRTK/1540 Niles is known as "Freq 1540".

Beacon's Gregg Allen programs and does mornings on the AM "Freq", and is an OMW reader - we helped him correct WRTK's legal ID city from Mineral Ridge to Niles, and we've never met the man. Maybe he can provide more information on this...

OUR APOLOGIES: We would like to humbly apologize for being a bit snarky about a lack of communication with OMW from the camp of syndicated classic hits radio star Tom Kent, who is a week away from airing his national weeknight 7 PM-midnight show on Clear Channel classic hits WMJI/105.7 "Majic 105.7".

In all the time we've been doing this, we've received just one communication by those associated with Mr. Kent, and none from the man himself (despite reaching out to him more than once over the years). We are ready and eager to trumpet his success, as he's developed quite an empire just down the road from us in Brecksville.

Those who know Tom Kent better than we do have gently "let us down", and told us that, well, it's not anything we did.

Simply put, it seems that Mr. Kent is not at all interested in "tooting his own horn", and prefers privacy... and letting his work behind the microphone do the talking for him.

In a business where self-promotion is like mother's milk to most people, Tom Kent isn't interested. And that's what throws us off...we're not used to that in the media business. We are apparently not the only outlet covering media, where Tom hasn't wanted to promote himself.

So, respecting his wishes, we'll let his considerable body of work do the talking for the Tom Kent Radio Network takes over large and successful classic hits stations across the country from 7 PM to midnight without any help from us, or other trade/media news sites.

Though it works against our own interests here, as we love to hear from people in the business talking about their work, it's otherwise refreshing to us...

WHAT STATION DO WE OWN? There must be something in the water.

In the past day, two separate people have confused us with...well...a question about a radio station or radio program. Consider this plea from an E-mail writer sent directly to us:

I listen to your radio show everyday, I am being educated everytime I listen. Thanks so much for your construtive (sic) information.

I heard towards the end of the show that I have the opportunity to receive an employment law booklet, if you be so kind to send it to (a Cincinnati address).

We'll have to scour the OMW Empire, but at last check, it included two blogs reporting on media news...and no radio programs of any type, particularly about employment law.

And then, there's this entirely unrelated E-mail:

To Whom it may or may not concern....

Why in these perilous and uncertain times would you choose to take away our getaway to the nostalgic music that we can relax and remember the good times instead of all the horror going on around us... and with all the news programs on TV why would we choose to listen to all the propaganda on radio too...

Now I know,you could probably care less what we the listeners think about any of these changes. I can assue you that I will not be connected to this station ever again...

Well, reader, we have no problem if you won't be connected with our radio station ever again, because WE DON'T HAVE ONE.

Once again, with feeling, Ohio Media Watch is an independent blog covering Ohio media that is not connected with the operation of any radio or TV station. We don't play nostalgic music. We own no radio or TV stations. We don't even have a web audio stream of any sort!

(Somewhere out there, a confused listener to former Cincinnati country music morning show "Ken and Kitty" is about to fire up an E-mail begging for us to put them back on the air. Where, in our living room?)

We'll assume the reader in our second E-mail is a fan of the former format on Clear Channel talk WNCO/1340 known as "Mid-Ohio's Talk Station" after dispatching the Citadel Media "Timeless" nostalgia/soft AC satellite format a while back.

We're actually doing the reader a service, because we're pretty sure those connected to the station will read the message here.

Of course, that doesn't mean that there's even the most remote chance that WNCO's new talk format will be changed back to nostalgic music, but they'll at least read it here...