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...


Anonymous said...

WFTS just unveiled their new graphics package. Watch here:

It looks a lot like Renderon work. So much better than Gannett's graphics package. WEWS' numerous in-house graphics attempts since bringing back the "circle 5" looks inferior in retrospect... it would constitute an upgrade for them. Probably not so for WXYZ, WCPO, WPTV and KNXV... which are light years ahead of WEWS.

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

I was all over the Enquirer story when it first broke :) When I sent the tip to ya figured you might be interested in letting your readers know, too.

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

My bad - I hadn't realized you LINKED to my story! :)

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

Now I have info on how many are affected at WCPO. Five people will lose their jobs as a result of the centralizations by Scripps.

Andrew J said...

Judging from what I heard last Sunday on my drive through Youngstown to a family reunion, 1540 sounds like a clone of "The Fish". The format might work as well as it has in the Cleveland market. That of course is if anyone bothers tuning their radios to the AM dial. I don't really notice much change with Indie 107.1, but a friend of mine says he thinks it's different. WEXC seems to cover everywhere except the hole that contains the city of Youngstown. I can get it here in Geauga County with little trouble.

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