Thursday, October 15, 2009

All Sorts of Things

So, it's a dreary, rainy mid-October day...what better day to stay inside and update the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm)?

NEW TWC HD: As expected, as earlier announced and as confirmed by OMW, Time Warner Cable's Northeast Ohio system has added 10 new HD channels for its subscribers.

The list, courtesy of a TWC press release:

Biography HD – 469
Cartoon Network HD – 459
Disney XD HD – 457
Outdoor HD – 481
Turner Classic Movies HD – 465
Fox Business News HD – 488
Style HD – 468
Headline News HD – 484
E! HD – 467
Hallmark Movie Channel HD – 461

The following HD channels have moved:

Palladia HD – 470
Universal HD – 496
Smithsonian HD – 497
MavTV HD – 498
MGM HD – 499

The company says it's now added over 30 HD channels in the Northeast Ohio footprint, with more to come through the end of the year. They've already listed some scheduled to show up November 4th (see our earlier reporting on this for more).

In addition, Hallmark Movies has been added in standard definition on channel 117.

In what may basically mean nothing to local Time Warner Cable subscribers, the Northeast Ohio system is being reconfigured into two service areas with two new VPs, says Multichannel News:

The division has been reorganized into two service areas: Metro, encompassing greater Akron and Cleveland; and Suburban, comprising the outer belt of the division, including Erie, Penn., south through Youngstown, west to Mansfield and north to Port Clinton.

We'll make an assumption not made in the trade site's article: "Metro" would certainly also include Canton along with Cleveland and Akron, since the Akron/Canton areas have been joined at the hip for decades, and TWC handles many Akron operations out of its North Canton headend. In our assumption, the new "Suburban" division would take in the former Adelphia systems in Dover/New Philadelphia, south of Canton.

The report says TWC has two new vice presidents of technical operations under new regional VP/operations Vin Zachariah: Scott Miller - overseeing the new Metro division - and Rick Whaley - overseeing the new suburban division.

Again, it may or may not mean anything to subscribers...but an eagle eyed reader pointed it out, so we're passing it along...

THE BSK IS COMING ALONG: OMW reported that long-time Cleveland sports media personality Kendall Lewis suffered a stroke in September, sidelining him from his afternoon drive duties at Paul Belfi's Internet sports talk site

The former WKNR sports talk host has also been program director for the STC sports website, but has been spending the past few weeks recovering, medically.

The news on that front is good, STC's Belfi tells OMW that "The BSK" is doing "fantastic":

He looks great, and sounds spectacular. He set a personal date of coming back on the air on the 1st of the year, but it is looking more like he will be back with us in November - his rehab has gone that well. The rehab has been extremely aggressive, as he is determined to be back 100%, and the hard work is paying big dividends.

Belfi tells us that Kendall is expected to be released from the hospital this Friday, and is expected to call into STC "sometime next week"...and thanks everyone for their calls and E-mails...

AND MORE SPORTS: With Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland losing sports host/Indians beat reporter Mark Schwab to the weekend sports anchor gig at Raycom Media CBS/MyNetwork TV combo WOIO/19-WUAB/43's "19 Action News", they need to replace him.

So yes, we've seen the WTAM ad for Schwab's opening. In fact, it was our first clue that he would eventually leave the station.

For those who need it, we're reprinting the ad below. Or, you could just walk down Oak Tree Boulevard wearing an Indians uniform, and shout "Ray!!!! Ray!!! HIRE ME!!!" into a bullhorn...

Newsradio WTAM 1100 offers a full time opportunity in sports as the Indians beat reporter. Additional duties include hosting sports talk shows, anchoring sportscats and maintaining sports pages on Email short MP3 demo and resume to (ray - at - wtam - dot - com) or send resume and CD demo to: WTAM, Ray Davis, 6200 Oak Tree Blvd, #400, Independence, OH 44131. Clear Channel Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

PHIL'S GANG IS BACK: It isn't really a local item per se, but Talk Radio Network syndicated host Phil Hendrie claims at least two affiliates in Northeast Ohio - Clear Channel talkers WHLO/640 Akron and WKBN/570 Youngstown.

The show that's been heard on those stations has been a fairly straightforward talk show, with Hendrie weighing in the issues of the day and sharing his thoughts and opinions with listeners.

For many listeners who heard Hendrie in his show's previous incarnation, syndicated by Premiere Radio, there was something missing.

You know, people like Bobbie Dooley, Ted Bell and Bud Dickman. These "far out" regular guests of Hendrie's original show existed solely in the mind Phil Hendrie, who used fancy phone shuttling to give a voice to these people...and to frustrate real life callers who thought they really existed, and who argued with them on the show because their viewpoints were so ridiculous.

Well, "they're baaaaaaaack!"

What the Los Angeles-based host says is the "rebirth" of his TRN show started this week. As a promo on WKBN says, "either you get it, or it gets you!".

The general idea is that among the vast amount of very intelligent people who listen to talk radio, some might take this "hook, line and sinker", and make for very entertaining "foils" to Phil's made-up cast of characters. (The show has never made a secret of the practice...even in Phil's days with Premiere, the host would occasionally break down that proverbial "fourth wall" with listeners.)

If you've ever worked behind the scenes in talk radio, you might recognize callers who berate you because your station decided to run a college basketball game instead of the regular airing of "The Michael Savage Show"...strongly yelling that your station is endangering the Future of the Republic by preempting Mr. Savage with a mere sporting event.

It's callers like that which will ensure a steady base of Outraged Citizens, taking Bobbie Dooley to task over some wild statement she's made about society...

SPEAKING OF WKBN: We heard the Hendrie promo on WKBN earlier today, right before the last 15 minutes of a show guest hosted by former Mahoning Valley congressman/released convicted felon Jim Traficant.

Are we getting to the point where Jim Traficant doing talk radio fill-in is "routine" now?

Jimbo's first post-prison "guest host" appearance did still have a reason - regular mid-morning host/WKBN program director Dan Rivers had a travel day to a talk radio event in Washington DC.

But with speculation about Traficant's future, either politicially or in the talk radio arena, it was also certainly a chance for Clear Channel Youngstown market manager/OMW reader Bill Kelly to strike while the iron was hot...and get the ex-con/ex-congressman in the spotlight along with his talk radio station. Oh, and warm his pipes up for future radio hosting appearances.

This time, there was no hype, no publicity...Traficant was really "just filling in" for Rivers, as just another fill-in host. And unfortunately, not because of good news.

We don't know why Dan Rivers wasn't doing his show today, but the former congressman subbing for him expressed his "condolences to the Rivers family", briefly, at the end of the show. That doesn't sound good, so we pass along our own condolences to Dan and his family for whatever has happened...


Chuck Matthews said...

I wish Toledo-based Buckeye Cable would add more HD channels. Their running light.

Shawn said...

I heard that Trafficant is considering buying a share in the St. Louis Rams ;-)

I used to catch Hendrie's show on tape-delay on 1230AM in Columbus when I lived there a few years back, it was some of the most entertaining radio around, despite relying on a gimmick, it never got tired, the man is truly warped - and that's a good thing! FYI - Phil is also a regular voice on "King of the Hill" playing a cast of assorted characters.