Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We're Still Here

A combination of Other Stuff and Life Intervening, along with some Unscheduled Turbulence, has kept us away from the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) for longer than we'd expected.

Not all of that has gone away, but for now, we're back...

THE ALL HD CAVALIERS: It wasn't that long ago that viewers hoping to see HDTV broadcasts of local sports teams had to sift through a small list of selected games.

And the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers were showing as few as 7 games in HD format via Fox Sports Ohio as recently as a couple of years ago.

Not anymore.

The RSN (that's TV speak for "Regional Sports Network") unveiled its new schedule of TV games for the Only Cleveland Team That Can Aim For A Championship Without Invoking Gales of Laughter, and every single locally-telecast Cavaliers game will be in HD this season. (We'll presume all the national games will be in HD as well.)

Quoting an FSOhio release recently received here at OMW World Headquarters:

FOX Sports Ohio announced today the 2009-10 Cavaliers telecast schedule including 70 regular season games all in high definition.

FOX Sports Ohio will telecast 34 home games and 36 games from the road during the season. The network’s Emmy-award-winning coverage of the Cavs will begin Wednesday, October 28 at 7pm when the Cavs visit Toronto to take on the Raptors.

Nothing else changes at FSOhio this year. Fred McLeod, Austin Carr and sideline reporter Jeff Phelps are back, and the network continues its usual pre-game and post-game coverage.

What's being called "a select number" of games will once again be simulcast over-air by Raycom MyNetwork TV affiliate WUAB/43. That "select number" has been somewhere in the single digits as of late.

Of course, FSOhio and the Cavaliers are late to the "all HD games" party, with SportsTime Ohio pumping out all of its Indians games in HD the past couple of years...154 of them each year.

The difference?

The Indians are a few days away from packing up the clubhouse, with no shot at a World Series title...and the Cavaliers are expected, rather strongly, to contend for Cleveland's first major pro sports championship since 1964...

PROMOTION: A long-time OMW reader will be officially be even busier than he has been, which, if you're Clear Channel Akron/Canton programming operations director Keith Kennedy, is saying something.

Since now-former market manager Dan Lankford added the company's Ashland/Mansfield cluster to his oversight, Kennedy has helped out with issues related to programming and operations at the Mid-Ohio stations.

New market manager Bill Clark wasted very little time in making it official: Keith Kennedy has been promoted to regional operations director over both the Akron/Canton and Ashland/Mansfield market clusters, giving him oversight of all programming and operations issues not only at Freedom Avenue, but at...wait, let's get out the map and see what road CC's Ashland/Mansfield cluster is on...U.S. 42.

Keith continues, of course, as hands-on program director at hot AC WKDD/98.1 Munroe Falls/Akron/almost-back-on-Bellaire Lane, as afternoon on-air personality on WKDD, and with his six or seven other jobs.

The new duties in Ashland/Mansfield bring a number of stations under his watch, including talk WMAN/1400 Mansfield, talk WNCO/1340 Ashland, country WNCO-FM/101.3 Ashland, top 40 WYHT/105.3 "Y105" Mansfield, the "Fox" rock simulcast based at WFXN/102.3 Galion (-WXXR/98.3 Fredericktown-WXXF/107.7 Loudonville), and classic hits WSWR/100.1 "Cruisin' 100" Shelby.

Whew. Add those logos to the stations out of Akron/Canton - talk WHLO/640 Akron, sports WARF/1350 Akron, the aforementioned WKDD, AC WHOF/101.7 North Canton and rock WRQK/106.9 Canton - and Keith's business card would be pretty big, or the logos really tiny, if they were all on the card...

A JIMBO SURPRISE: Making our run through the local late TV newscasts on Friday, we found out that a frequent OMW Target made a guest talk radio appearance on Friday.

It took WKYC/3's Romona Robinson to tell us, after the fact, that former Mahoning Valley congressman/released convicted felon Jim Traficant filled in for Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland afternoon drive host Mike Trivisonno on Friday. (Really, to our sources at Oak Tree...a siren, a bat signal over the building, anything! Tell us when Jimbo's in the building!)

It was Traficant's first WTAM sub-host appearance since getting out of a federal medical prison in Minnesota. Of course, he's subbed there in the past, and filled in for sister Clear Channel talk WKBN/570's Dan Rivers not long after becoming a free man.

We got a chuckle or two out of Traficant's comments about soon-to-be-former East Cleveland mayor Eric Brewer, who was embroiled in a controversy over photos purporting to show the mayor in...women's lingerie.

That controversy was blown sky high by a report from Channel 3 News investigative reporter Tom Meyer, by the way, prompting the mayor to walk the "I'm not confirming this is me, but it was wrong to put these out!" line while excoriating Meyer and WKYC in a press conference.

Traficant joked that he was probably the last person who should be calling out a politician on his photographic appearance, given that he "uses a weed whacker to do (his) hair" (well, maybe his toupee).

And we say "soon-to-be-former East Cleveland mayor", since Brewer was overwhelmingly defeated in Tuesday's primary election.

Youngstown's Business Journal notes that Traficant was on the show of an old TV friend on Tuesday night, Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity. Quoting:

“It sounds like you’re a kook,” he said in response to Traficant’s assertions that Israel “controls much of our foreign policy.” Attempting to pin him down, Hannity called Traficant’s claims “conspiratorial nut-job stuff.”

It's quite a different response compared to past appearances on the show...

STREAMING PHONE AUDIO: It's one problem we wish would be solved - radio stations and groups are starting to recognize the viability of streaming audio to mobile devices.

But often, they turn to solutions that require a certain brand of smartphone...most notably, Apple's iPhone, and occasionally, the Blackberry platform. As cool as it is, the iPhone is not even an option for those who do not wish to become subscribers of AT&T, which would definitely include us here at the OMW World Headquarters.

That's why we like a solution being offered up by a Northeast Ohio college station.

Mount Union College's WRMU/91.1 Alliance has hooked up with the folks at AudioNow for it. Quoting a press release:

Mobile phone listeners can now listen live simply calling 330.445.7900 . No smart phones, downloads, or data plans are required. Any cell phone will work.

Now, we recognize some of the advantages of taking to the various smartphone platforms. But when you're just trying to push audio out there, this is a pretty simple solution - and we'll assume that WRMU's potential streaming audience is small enough not to max out outgoing phone lines. This sort of solution would never work for a mass appeal station like, say, a WTAM.

But as we recall, WRMU proudly broadcasts the football games of one of America's most successful small college programs, the Mount Union Purple Raiders...which would easily be the station's most popular programming...

1 comment:

Roger said...

Cool news from Fox Sports Ohio. Too bad Time Warner Cable took their HD feed off our channel selection.