Monday, September 14, 2009

Out of the Monday Chute

There's a lot going on, and not just a convicted felon/former congressman doing a radio show at 10 this morning on South Avenue...

RIZZO ON ROME? NOT YET: There's been a change of plans in Premiere syndicated sports talk radio host Jim Rome's "Jungle", and the planned fill-in by Good Karma Cleveland sports talker WKNR/850 "ESPN 850" mid-morning host Tony Rizzo later this morning has been postponed - for a few days.

The "Really Big Show" crew of Rizzo, WKNR assistant program director Aaron Goldhammer and show staffer Josh Sabo had been scheduled to substitute hosts on the popular nationally syndicated program from noon to 3 PM today.

But one of our Alert Readers points out this tweet over the weekend from the Twitter account of Rome staffer Jason Stewart:

Jim is in on Monday now. Look for one of the USC guys to join us.

We sent out the OMW Bat Signal to Goldhammer, who now reports that the Rome fill-in is still in the works, but not yet:

Jim's travel plans changed and we are now filling in on September 24th. The show will air at its regular time (today).

That also means WKNR's duo of Greg Brinda and Kenny Roda won't need to fill for Rizzo and company locally this morning at 9 AM, though we presume they'll do so on the revised date of the 24th...

19's F-BOMB: Yes, we heard it.

When you mix overzealous and over-intoxicated football fans at a parking lot tailgate party with a live camera from the local CBS affiliate, you're almost asking for what happened to the folks at Reserve Square on Sunday morning, during the station's "Tailgate 19" pre-football broadcast.

While meteorologist Jeff Tanchak was attempting to give the day's weather forecast for the Cleveland Browns/Minnesota Vikings contest to be held at Cleveland Browns Stadium, one of the over-amped fans surrounding him at the Cleveland Municipal Parking Lot ("Muni Lot") couldn't help but shout that he was feeling "(bleeping)" fine.

The "F-bomb" (without our bleep) made it clearly to the airwaves, momentarily flustering Tanchak...but only for a bit, as he moved on as a broadcast professional, not making too much of the language that could well cause the station trouble with federal regulators.

We don't know what the FCC's current policy is on so-called "fleeting expletives". Not all that long ago, such language by rock stars and movie stars on TV awards shows got TV networks into major hot water.

As much as we poke fun at the Reserve Square folks, we feel a little sorry for them. It's no fun to have someone drop something like this upon you, without warning.

And at least this time around, the "edgy" content was not supplied on purpose by station employees, promoted to the heavens, prompting a nationwide debate on just how many items of clothing an attractive female anchor should wear in front of her own station's cameras.

(Sorry, Sharon, we couldn't resist.)

But if there is FCC trouble to come out of this "fleeting expletive", assuming the feds still watch out for such things, WOIO bears at least some responsibility for just BEING THERE at the fan-filled Muni Lot, with no apparent broadcast delay to catch stuff like this.

We're surprised some of these Muni Lot denizens, who start camping out - and drinking - early in the morning, haven't dropped nasty language in front of live TV microphones before.

Though on FCC issues...maybe WOIO can argue that its over-air digital RF channel 10 (19.1) signal is so anemic, it is basically the local equivalent of a cable/satellite channel...

MORE ON JIMBO: As we noted up top, later this morning, former Mahoning Valley congressman and recently released federal prisoner Jim Traficant makes a guest host appearance on Clear Channel talk WKBN/570 Youngstown's "Dan Rivers Show" today...10 AM to noon.

There's actually a radio reason for the fill-in, aside from putting Traficant's voice back on the radio to warm up for a potential regular talk radio stint, and garnering significant Traficant-related media attention for WKBN.

Rivers won't be in the studio with Traficant today. On-air promos say he's doing his show live from Washington DC Tuesday and Wednesday for an immigration-related national talk radio event ("50 hosts from 50 states", says the promo). Today is a "travel day" for Rivers, who is also WKBN's program director and CC Youngstown's operations director.

One other clarification: Since Jim Traficant ruled the roost as the congressional representative for the entire Mahoning Valley, things have changed in and around Youngstown...congressional seat-wise.

The 17th congressional district in Ohio, which used to fit the Mahoning Valley like a glove, now stretches west into parts of the Akron area, including all of Portage County and eastern chunks of Summit County. Since the Youngstown TV market still dominates the 17th - Akron not having its own TV market - former Traficant aide Tim Ryan slid into that seat with little difficulty.

Southern parts of the Youngstown media market, including southern Mahoning County and Columbiana County, got added to a newly-expanded 6th district from southeast Ohio, where the current incumbent is Charlie Wilson.

If we understand the rules right, if he decides to run, Traficant can choose either district for his try... or for that matter, he can run in any Ohio congressional district, no matter where he resides in the state. (Ohio law apparently prohibits him for running for state office, but federal law won't prohibit him from running for Congress again.)

We assume he'd run in his natural media base in one of these two Mahoning Valley-linked districts, and if he does run, even semi-regular hosting appearances on WKBN before he announces - and as a "newsmaker" guest after an annoucement - would help him to some degree...

LOCAL EMMYS: Briefly, here's the link to a list of local Emmy Awards winners from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Lower Great Lakes Chapter's presentation over the weekend.

If you don't recognize some of the call letters, remember that the local chapter's presence stretches all the way to Indianapolis, home of stations like WTHR, WISH and some cases competing directly with Cleveland market stations for awards.

And yes, "Radio Daze: Cleveland's FM Air Wars", produced by Harvard 131 Films and aired by Kent-based public TV outlet Western Reserve PBS (WNEO/45 Alliance-WEAO/49 Akron), won for Best Nostalgia Program.

It was based on the book by OMW reader Mike Olszewski, credited as writer/producer on the TV program, who tells us:

The real kudos go to (producers) Tom (Cummings) and Dave (Rogant). The story was good, but the presentation really sold it.

THE EXTENDED AKRON ZIPS ISP SPORTS NETWORK: One of our readers points out that for about 20 minutes before college football kickoff on Saturday, the Akron Zips ISP Sports Network accidentally gained a station...and the Kent State Golden Flashes ISP Sports Network lost its only station.

We're told that from about 1 PM to 1:20 PM on Saturday, the Akron Zips' pre-game show feed was also airing on Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron", with Akron Sports Radio Icon/Superstar/Occasional OMW Reader Steve French being heard on the station which employs him (separately) as morning sports anchor.

That, of course, would also mean that for the first 20 minutes, the pre-game show for the Kent State contest with Boston College was being heard by...only the people in the radio booth, and at ISP headquarters in Winston-Salem NC, as the one-station "Kent State ISP Sports Network" consists only of WNIR.

Things were apparently fixed 20 minutes later. Both games kicked off later, at 2 PM.

We turned to OMW reader Keith Kennedy, operations director for Zips flagship Clear Channel sports WARF/1350 "Fox Sports 1350" Akron, and FM flagship WRQK/106.9 "Rock 106.9" Canton, for a bit of a "behind the scenes" technical explanation:

Each of ISP's affiliate stations are assigned a unique hotline number to the studios in Winston-Salem, and we've been able to correct any issues within a matter of seconds by calling the master control room.

ISP runs a top notch operation, and (they) are responsive to tech issues. We always test connections with ISP 60 minutes prior to airtime...that's just what responsible and smart broadcasters do.

Make no mistake, Zips Football airs only on WRQK 106.9fm and Fox Sports 1350 WARF.

It's an interesting glitch, considering that "The Voice of the Zips" Steve French is well familiar to WNIR listeners due to his "day job" on the station's own morning drive show.

Kennedy tells us that the ISP networks feed a specifically-voiced 30 minute pre-broadcast off-air countdown for affiliates, making it quite clear which game is being sent down the satellite even before the broadcast starts. He says there would be "no reason" for whomever was running the board at WNIR to air the Akron network pre-game show for 20 minutes, on a day that the Zips were proudly unveiling their shiny, new on-campus stadium.

North Carolina-based ISP does all of the actual tech production for both the Akron and Kent State networks, along with dozens of other college sports radio networks across the country...


Anonymous said...

It seems that Mr. Kennedy is quite pissed at "The Talk of Akron." I wonder if his anger is more directed towards WNIR's parent company.

Several years ago, WAOH ran a locally produced professional wrestling recap show, as well as matches from a local wrestling federation. Both Mr. Kennedy and former local disc jockey Dan Mason were active participtants in this wrestling program (even stepping into the squared circle for the UWC).

I wonder if Mr. Kennedy's anger has anything to do with PWW or the UWC and any treatment by WNIR's parent company.

andrew727 said...

To Mike 'O',

CONGRAT'S On Your Emmy!-)

- Andrew, MALL727net -

Anonymous said...


Not pissed over UWC wrestling, that was a simple arrangment: we paid for the airtime, rather John paid for the time, I went along for the ride. We moved to TWC from the cat when we could get into more households. Not sure what treatment you mention.