Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Morning...And Then? Who Knows

This is our "one shot" update promised earlier.

We aren't ready to announce an official "hiatus" yet, but we could be away from the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) the next week or so due to very pressing, vital issues. We could also be here, and updating, which is why we're not invoking the "H" word. It depends on how those issues go, frankly.

But...if you don't hear from us here by next weekend, please visit our good friend and colleague Scott Fybush's NorthEast Radio Watch. He's tasked with notification should...well, we don't want to talk about it.

Anyway, if all goes well, we won't be away for long...and if it does, we may have more time on our hands as usual this coming week...

FORGY OUT: This is an item that passed under our virtual door last week, but we're bringing to life as we start this week.

OMW has confirmed that Radio One Cleveland VP/GM Chris Forgy is out. We're told he exited his post at the local radio cluster at the close of business last Tuesday.

There are a lot of rumors about what happened - none of which we have confirmed or will pass along. Since we're not really a sales-oriented blog, it mostly doesn't concern us anyway.

It does appear that the departure was not of Mr. Forgy's choice...

MELISSA IN: Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 "Fox 8 News" weather anchor Melissa Mack is, as far as we know, out of the building at South Marginal...her last day having been scheduled for last Thursday.

We still don't know what station will be her new home, or what job she'll take, but numerous OMW readers tell us she pegged her new market on the air last week as Boston.

We've been scratching around, trying to find out which Boston station will become Melissa's new employer - say, for folks back in Northeast Ohio who might wish to catch her in online video - but we have no word of her new destination.

Even TV news gossip supersite NewsBlues, helmed by former Cleveland TV newsies Mike James and his wife, former local TV legend/ex-WKYC/3 anchor Mona Scott, has not had any word about Melissa's new destination...or for that matter, anything on her departure from Cleveland.

Unless we're getting stymied by the search engine at again, as far as we know, Plain Dealer TV/media columnist Julie Washington has had nothing on Ms. Mack...which makes this an exclusive as far as we know...

AND OLDIES: And an update on our earlier item re: the "Sunday Oldies Jukebox"'s 12th anniversary on Akron market school-owned station WSTB/88.9 Streetsboro.

OMW hears that the station may be on financial fumes, as it were, and it may be an indirect result of the controversy which shut down WSTB for a month one year ago.

The situation was apparently covered by an article in the Streetsboro High School student newspaper earlier this month.

Though the Streetsboro City School District is the owner and licensee of WSTB, the district, like many others in the current economy, is suffering financially. It appears outside funding sources used in the past to help pay for WSTB's operation aren't what they used to be.

The student newspaper article is not online, and we don't have a copy, but we may be able to share this with you down the road. We'll share when we can.

Anyway, after our article on the "SOJ", oldies fans and OMW readers are weighing in.

One local radio type reminds us that the oldies continue to flow on the AM radio dial in Lorain County, where Doug and Lorie Wilber's locally-owned WDLW/1380 Lorain continues its "Kool Kat Oldies" format.

And we've heard from fans of Rubber City's oldies/news WAKR/1590 in Akron, though we did mention WAKR in the previous item. We'll have to do some study of station playlists to see where WAKR overlaps with the oldies on "Sunday Oldies Jukebox", which apparently reach - years-wise - from approximately 1958 to 1971.

Commercial AM radio stations playing oldies seem quite the holdovers in 2009, where even younger-skewing music formats have no home on over-air commercial radio.

Potentionally commercially-popular formats like AAA (Adult Album Alternative) have to make their home in Northeast Ohio on outlets like Akron Public Schools-non-comm WAPS/91.3 "The Summit" in Akron, or on HD2 streams in Cleveland (WNWV/107.3-HD2's eclectic adult-rock-based format, and we hear WMMS/100.7 may be doing AAA on its HD2 stream now).

Standards and big band formats are long gone from the commercial radio dial, with just the lone holdout of Kenston High School-owned non-comm WKHR/91.5 Bainbridge in the format these days. Like "SOJ", it, too, is mainly run by adult volunteers...

OFF THE AIR: We normally flip Dayton up in the virtual air to see where it lands, in regard to coverage by OMW vs. coverage from our sister blog in Southwest Ohio, Cincinnati-area based Tri-State Media Watch.

Since we're here, we'll take this one.

Cox CBS affiliate WHIO-TV/7 reports that it's been off the air since early Sunday afternoon, and having problems since late Sunday morning:

WHIO-TV began experiencing intermittent problems around 10:30 a.m. Sunday and and went completely off the air around 1:30 p.m.

The outage affects over-air viewers of WHIO-TV's digital signal, along with satellite TV customers (DirecTV and Dish Network).

The station's announcement says viewers with Time Warner Cable and AT&T's video service (U-verse, we assume, like it is in Northeast Ohio) are still able to watch WHIO-TV programming. Generally speaking, major stations feed large cable systems via a direct fiber connection, if recalcitrant transmitters do not affect those systems.

As far as we know, as of this early Monday writing, WHIO-TV's over-air signal is still out.

Quoting an article by Tim Tresslar in the Dayton Daily News:

The staff has not yet nailed down a cause for the transmission problems, (WHIO-TV VP/GM Harry Delaney) said.

“Engineers are working on it and we hope to restore full service as soon as possible and apologize for the inconvenience and disruption to their viewing,” Delaney said.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

SOJ's 12th

We'll have a more complete semi-update sometime early Monday, then we may be scarce for a while. No, we're not ready to break out the H word, as we still could be around and updating.

But a tip of the hat to a local radio organization that could well be called "A Bunch of Friends of OMW".

The weekly "Sunday Oldies Jukebox" turns 12 years old on Sunday. The "day format" hit the airwaves on November 30, 1997.

The oldies programming takes over Streetsboro City Schools-owned WSTB/88.9 Streetsboro (otherwise a student-run alt-rocker called "The AlterNation") once a week, and adult volunteers deliver a day full of 50's and 60's (and some 70's) rock and roll oldies to audiences in the Akron area and beyond, each and every Sunday from morning until night.

Engineer "Uncle Bill" Weisinger, a Friend of OMW, helms the "SOJ" effort as its volunteer program director. SOJ is "84 in dog years", Bill notes on the station's website. (Unfortunately, due to rising costs and onerous playlist accounting requirements, SOJ no longer streams its'll have to be near a radio tuned to 88.9 FM in Northeast Ohio to hear it.)

The SOJ has not had a completely smooth road, of course.

OMW readers know that the Jukebox - and host station WSTB - left the air for a while recently, and you can use the search box above to catch up, if you missed all the commotion. We won't revisit the controversy here.

But the Sunday oldies stream returned to the eventually returned 88.9 FM, and continues to fill what's mostly an unmet need on the local airwaves - offering "older" rock oldies titles to local listeners, commercial free.

We haven't done a playlist analysis, but "SOJ" would seem to offer older titles that aren't even in the music library of the only local commercial AM outlet that still embraces the word "oldies", Rubber City's WAKR/1590 in Akron. We can't remember the last time we heard a 50's tune on 1590, for one...the station mainly offers popular 60's music along with its news and sports programming.

And of course, Clear Channel Cleveland FM powerhouse WMJI/105.7 "Majic 105.7" has long since abandoned those two decades - and the word "oldies" - as a station featuring "classic hits" from the 70's and 80's outside the "Lanigan and Malone" morning drive talk show.

Between those stations, and standards WKHR/91.5 Bainbridge serving up the older music for nearby areas of Cleveland's eastern suburbs, there's plenty of musical room for the SOJ.

Anyway, Happy 12th to "Uncle Bill" and the SOJ crowd from your friends here at the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm)!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Melissa Mack Moving On Up

OMW can confirm that Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 "Fox 8 News" weather anchor Melissa Mack is indeed leaving the station.

Her announcement to that effect, heard by numerous viewers on Sunday night's "Fox 8 News at 10", caused quite a stir, and an increase in E-mail traffic here at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm).

OMW hears from insiders at South Marginal Road that it's a career move up for Melissa that's prompting her exit from Northeast Ohio. We're told that Ms. Mack is headed for "a larger market" station, but we don't know which market that is.

(We do believe, for whatever reason, that Melissa's new home market is not New York City.)

We hear Melissa Mack's last day on "Fox 8 News" is Thursday.

Melissa quickly got noticed after joining Fox 8. She'd been seen before that in Northeast Ohio, as a weather anchor for now-Parkin/New Vision ABC affiliate WYTV/33 in Youngstown...

Confirmed And Not

As per usual here at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), major activity involving local media personalities roughly coincides with our own inability to update this blog - due to absence, illness or work off the blog.

Here we go again.

MAXWELL, OUT: For those of you who haven't been following our Twitter feed - please look to the left, or visit the feed here directly - a recap...Clear Channel Cleveland rocker WMMS/100.7 has said goodbye to Maxwell, unable to reach contract renewal terms or a contract extension with the station's afternoon drive host.

For radio negotiations, this has all been out in the open...and then some.

Maxwell himself spoke on the air frequently about his mulling a new deal with the station. And earlier Tuesday, WMMS programmer Bo Matthews spread the word to everyone via his Twitter account:

FYI. No agreement could be reached with the mwl show. We really tried. No secrets. He has talked about it. The process played out.

In place of the Maxwell show on Monday? It was something called the "Dumb & Charlie Experiment", which appeared to be an extended comedy bit off of the station's morning drive show "Rover's Morning Glory" (they're both cast members).

Don't expect much more than a stunt from these two - who are probably somewhat more important attached to the morning drive Rover-fest than trying to resurrect afternoon drive as a "new act".

Quoting WMMS PD Matthews' Twitter account, again:

FYI. These guys are "trying out". - - Only took a couple minutes for Rover to come to the rescue with these guys. HAAAA.

And later,

life will move on. I hired mwl. I will produce something else u will be proud of.

But...what will be WMMS' permanent replacement for "The Maxwell Show"? Let's turn to Bo again, this time making his pitch on's Net News scroll on Monday:

WMMS PD BO MATTHEWS is in full search mode for the next rock/talk afternoon show -- individuals or full shows. his is a high-personality, content-heavy position. If you think you can step in, and help continue the momentum/ratings success -- forward your mp3 (no larger than 5mb) and resume with references to (wmmsjob at gmail dot com).

So, from here, it looks like WMMS wants to continue with a talk-heavy rock-audience-oriented afternoon drive personality show...which makes sense, since the station tried to re-sign "The Maxwell Show" as recently as last week...

BUT, WHAT ABOUT MELISSA: She's young, and she hasn't been at Local TV Cleveland Fox affiliate WJW/8 "Fox 8" for all that long...but morning TV weather person Melissa Mack has apparently quite a devoted following in Cleveland now.

We know that, because the former Youngstown TV personality's apparent exit announcement has rocked our E-mail box in the past few days.

At this point, the "is Melissa leaving Fox 8" E-mails have overcome the "what happened to Maxwell" E-mails, though in fairness to the now-former WMMS afternoon driver, Melissa is somewhat better looking.

Simply put, we don't know yet why Ms. Mack is apparently leaving. Enough readers to make it semi-official tell us that she said "goodbye" on Sunday night's edition of "Fox 8 News at 10".

We've put out the signals, and we'll let you know what we find out about her future, and her exit from South Marginal Road...

Monday, November 23, 2009

THIS JUST IN: Maxwell Out?

If you believe the chatter this morning on Clear Channel rock WMMS/100.7's "Rover's Morning Glory" this morning, the station's afternoon drive program is out.

For now, the WMMS-hosted website for "The Maxwell Show" is still around. Stations generally pull or hide such sites when major changes are in the works.

But in a very open conversation with his listeners, WMMS morning drive leader Shane "Rover" French has made it quite clear that "Maxwell" is gone from the station.


"We wanted to keep the show." is the mantra being repeated by a voice we assume by the identification is WMMS program director Bo Matthews. (We say "we assume" because it's a long-time tradition for radio shows to fake management on the air.)

If the on air chatter on "RMG" is accurate, again, the station apparently made a contract offer to Maxwell and his crew, which was apparently not accepted.

We caution...that all the above is on-air talk. We'll try to confirm details throughout the day today, but this open talk about the WMMS afternoon drive slot on the station's morning show was too big to ignore...

Friday, November 20, 2009

No Wonder Kaiser Bill Is Worried

An OMW reader tells us that Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1, the Kent-licensed Akron market talk station known as "The Talk of Akron", has been running announcements "asking listeners who work or live in the Elyria and North Ridgeville areas to write station management."

We're told the announcements refer to "an unnamed out of state company who wants to install a translator station that could disrupt your ability to receive WNIR in those areas."

At your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), we previously reported the (still pending) sale of off-air translator W262BN/100.3, licensed to Lorain, from Edgewater Broadcasting to Radio One, which owns a number of full-power stations in the Cleveland market.

So, we took another look at W262BN in the FCC records, and found this.

The FCC has approved a move we speculated about in the earlier item - Edgewater, which is still the legal owner of W262BN, has received a construction permit to move the translator's authorization to a Cleveland community of license. The CP was approved by the FCC just two days ago, on November 18th.

This FCC map of the 50 watt translator station's proposed primary service area indeed places it right in the middle of WNIR's area of concern, between Elyria and North Ridgeville at a site along the Ohio Turnpike.

Yes, FM translator facilities can indeed be that far afield of the community of license, and there's no legal requirement that W262BN's signal even reach the Cleveland city limits.

Edgewater is clearly acting on behalf of Radio One. The translator sale was approved by the FCC on September 16th, and the new paperwork lists Radio One's WZAK/93.1 as W262BN's new primary station. Of course, as we reported earlier, W262BN has not been operating at any point from the currently licensed site in Sheffield Township, with a COL of Lorain.

Since there's absolutely no need to rebroadcast the powerful signal of WZAK on a translator in eastern Lorain County, we'll still make the bet that wherever W262BN ends up, it'll become an FM rebroadcaster for AM gospel outlet WJMO/1300, probably located in an area of Cleveland where 1300's signal is not all that great at night.

Though they could well mount that effort from the proposed site between Elyria and North Ridgeville, the Cleveland COL tells us that Radio One is thinking of moving it further east.

How does all this affect WNIR?

The Akron market talker doesn't make much effort to serve Lorain County, which is on the far western fringe of its service area. Even if the translator makes it, say, to Cleveland's east side, that's also not really an area WNIR cares about serving.

But the Kent-based station presumably can't sit idly by while even a first-adjacent 50 watt translator camps out in Northeast Ohio.

If all the signal calculations work out, there may not be much Media-Com can do about this translator...which would presumably have other problems due to second-adjacent in-market WMMS/100.7.

A lot of that is addressed in the application here (PDF file from FCC website), but for the new/current location in eastern Lorain County...

Early Sleigh Ride

After weeks of promising Christmas music next week via a countdown on its website, CBS Radio Cleveland AC powerhouse WDOK/102.1 couldn't resist opening its presents early.

Numerous OMW readers alerted us that "SoftRock 102.1" turned on the holiday music this morning, three days before the end of the online countdown.

Sure enough, the station - both on-air and online - is playing the seasonal music, and promoting itself as "Cleveland's Holiday Music Station".

And if Salem CCM WFHM/95.5 "The Fish" is planning a similar flip to Christmas music, it'll now be second in the market.

As of this writing on Friday afternoon, "The Fish" is still offering its usual CCM format. We don't know if the station plans to go all-Christmas music this year, but in the past, WFHM has done so, usually before Thanksgiving...

All Sorts Of Things

With our schedule being off, this is probably the last item for the week, but we do have some things to pass along...

RETURN OF AIR ERA?: OMW has reported over the past year or so that various economic factors have grounded local TV news helicopters for the most part in the Cleveland TV market.

Only Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19's "19 Action News" has been regularly flying its helicopter, a fact the station has promoted relentlessly on the air for about the past couple of months. "Action News" has taken to pointing out that while other stations are scrambling ground crews to respond to breaking news far from downtown Cleveland, the folks at Reserve Square take a few short minutes to send out a helicopter.

As it turns out, the "19 Action News" chopper is no longer alone in Cleveland's skies.

OMW hears that Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 and its "Fox 8 News" has returned "SkyFOX" to the air, and we hear that the copter is back in the air "at least through the end of 2009"...and that efforts are being made to return "SkyFOX" for 2010 as well. The aerial vision returned to "Fox 8 News" on Thursday.

We do not know if the copter WJW is operating is the original "SkyFOX", though we'd assume it is if the pictures being sent back to South Marginal are in HD.

We also have no word on if the airborne return will mean Pat Brady's return to the "Fox 8 News" team, though that would certainly be a popular move among viewers.

And we also have no word if Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 or Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 are considering a return to Air Power....

CONDOLENCES ON A LOSS: Being the wife of an Ohio State Buckeyes football legend means you have a pretty high profile in Columbus, and it means a lot of people are going to miss Stefanie Spielman.

The wife of ex-OSU star Chris Spielman has been waging quite a public battle with breast cancer since a diagnosis over a decade ago, but lost that battle Thursday at the age of 42. Columbus CBS affiliate WBNS-TV/10 has more in this story:

Spielman and her husband, Chris, tirelessly raised breast cancer awareness and helped form Stefanie's Champions, raising millions of dollars for Ohio State's James Cancer Hospital.

In 1998, at 31, a biopsy confirmed her fears, that she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the couple began their battle.

Without hesitation, Chris Spielman put his career on hold with the NFL's Buffalo Bills to be at his wife's side.

Since leaving the NFL, of course, Chris Spielman has maintained a very high media profile. In addition to his work as an ESPN football analyst, he's a long-time host at Dispatch/RadiOhio sports WBNS/97.1-1460 "The Fan". His current radio role puts him as a co-host/contributor to the Fan's "Big Show" from 1-3 PM.

The radio station has a very comprehensive page commemorating Stefanie's passing, and remembering her life, here. (The picture above is courtesy of that page.)


Public calling hours will be Monday November 23, 2009 at the Longaberger Alumni House on the campus of The Ohio State University from 1-8pm for those inspired by Stefanie's life and her service to the community. A celebration of life memorial service will be held Tuesday at Trinity United Methodist Church in Grandview.

Hopefully, the outpouring of support for the Spielman family will help them continue to raise millions for breast cancer research, and raise awareness for women and their families...

BROWNS BLACKOUT: The NFL's hapless Cleveland Browns avoided a local TV blackout of the team's recent Monday Night Football game against the Baltimore Ravens, thanks to a joint effort between the team, a beer company and the local TV rightsholder, WJW/8 "Fox 8".

(Considering the result of the game, maybe they should have just not done anything!)

But there's a Browns blackout ahead, as it turns out, that will affect parts of Ohio.

The 1-8 local alleged professional football team will be blacked out in Northwest Ohio for the game with the Detroit Lions, a consequence of the Toledo TV market's proximity to Detroit. The always-hapless Lions, also 1-8 this season, aren't doing any better at the ticket window than the Browns, and Toledo is a secondary market for the Lions.

This means that unless you're close enough to the Cleveland TV market to pick up Cleveland CBS affiliate WOIO/19, you won't be able to see Browns-Lions on Sunday. And a quick look at this unofficial map from J.P. Kirby's excellent "" site shows that not many other TV viewers are going to be, umm, subjected to that game.

The small swath of green means only parts of Ohio and Michigan will catch Cleveland vs. Detroit in CBS' early game. The blacked out portions of those states are getting a presumably better game, according to Mr. Kirby's site, Baltimore vs. Indianapolis...

HO HO NOT YET: We're still waiting for Christmas music radio format flips in Cleveland, with CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 "SoftRock 102.1" sticking with an early Monday morning change to all holiday music.

One of our readers notes that a Mahoning Valley station, like WDOK, is counting down to the holiday tunes in an online countdown.

It's Clear Channel classic hits WBBG/106.1 "Big 106.1" which is touting the Way to Holiday Music, soon.

The online countdown appears to be headed for the 12 noon hour on Wednesday, November 25th...we don't know any more than that.

The early entrant in the Christmas Music Sweepstakes in Northeast Ohio was Clear Channel Canton sister AC WHOF/101.7 "My 101.7", which has been pumping out holiday tunes since Monday afternoon...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ho Ho Early Christmas

We noted this on our Twitter account last night, but just to put this on the main blog - Clear Channel Canton AC WHOF/101.7 "My 101.7" is spreading the Yuletide Music mid-November.

"My" is, by the best of our accounting, the first station in Northeast Ohio to take leave of its regular format for Christmas music. Elsewhere in the state, Clear Channel sister AC WLZT/93.3 in the Columbus market, and Pillar of Fire (now, THAT'S a radio company name!) Christian AC WAKW/93.3 "Star 93.3" in the Cincinnati market have already made the switch.

We're pretty sure we wouldn't be able to place a legal bet on this even when Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert opens up his downtown Cleveland casino in about 3 years, but we'd safely bet SOMEWHERE that all three of the above stations will be back to their normal formats after the last sleigh bell rings.

Elsewhere, CBS Radio Cleveland AC powerhouse WDOK/102.1 is still counting down on its website to what looks like an early Monday morning start to "continuous Christmas music". (Speaking of "safe bets to return to normal in January"...)

We'd expect Salem Cleveland CCM WFHM/95.5 "The Fish" to switch sometime between now and Monday, but that's just a guess based on the station's past history with the format. There's no indication either on the air (that we've heard), or on the station's website, that Christmas music is coming...yet.

Some stations use the Christmas music format change to change to "something else" after the holidays, but the stations above are pretty well entrenched.

As always, our long-time friend and colleague Scott Fybush is the keeper of what's generally considered the most accurate list of holiday format flips, which is offered by industry directory site (where Scott is editor).

Though there is a subscription fee for the site, the holiday music flip list itself is free at this link...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Exit

We're still consulting the OMW Medical Staff, and getting used to our "new normal", for now. But we didn't have to put a lot of effort into these items, so here we go...

BLACKOUT AVERTED: Fans of the NFL's Cleveland Browns are rejoicing...they're partying in the streets...they're...OK, maybe they're not partying or rejoicing.

Northeast Ohio's sorry excuse for a "professional football team" will make their only prime-time TV appearance on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" this coming Monday, and there was a chance that the game (with the Hated Baltimore Ravens) would not be shown on local a "few thousand" unsold tickets remained.

In the usual last minute save, the local station carrying the "MNF" game was a part of the solution, according to this team news release:

As a result of combined efforts by the Cleveland Browns, ESPN, Bud Light and WJW-TV (FOX 8), the Browns-Ravens game this Monday night at Cleveland Browns Stadium will be televised locally.

The game, which kicks off at 8:30 p.m., will air nationally on ESPN, in addition to WJW-TV in the Cleveland area. The four entities will distribute remaining tickets to the USO and other local organizations.

WJW "Fox 8" holds the local-over-air rights to the "Monday Night Football" telecast, as it did last year. NFL rules require ESPN and other cable-satellite-only carriers (NFL Network, etc.) to sell local broadcast rights to the games in the home markets of the two teams involved.

But if the game wasn't televised on WJW, the station would be left holding a rather expensive empty bag of commercial spots that wouldn't be able to air.

Fans would also have been shut out from the ESPN TV broadcast of the game if the contest wasn't sold out...cable and satellite carriers would have been forced to black out ESPN for Northeast Ohio viewers.

Even though many Browns fans in this horrible season have practiced our own "Personal Blackouts" - for your Primary Editorial Voice(tm), that consists of checking in occasionally until a Browns interception - the games are still quite lucrative to local TV partners like WJW... and it's well worth it for them to help cover the cost of a "few thousand" unsold they have a game to put on the air...

FLORENTINO TO 'NCI/LZT: It's not like we needed to be a psychic or a rocket scientist to make this connection.

AllAccess reports that in Columbus, Tony Florentino has landed as program director of Clear Channel top 40 WNCI/97.9 and AC WLZT/93.3.

Florentino, of course, recently exited crosstown Saga, where he was operations manager for the company's cluster - including his important work as hands-on program director for AC powerhouse WSNY/94.7 "Sunny 95".

OMW reported earlier that Florentino's exit came after Saga declined to renew his contract running the Columbus stations, which also include smooth jazz WJZA/103.5, classic hits WODB/104.3 "Big Hits 104.3" and AC WVMX/107.9 "Mix 107.9".

In our October 27th item, we conveniently noted that a very compatible post was out there that could be Florentino's next stop:

"...a reader helpfully reminds us that, as far as we know, Clear Channel Columbus is still looking for a PD for top 40 mainstay WNCI/97.9 and AC WLZT/93.3...of course, after Michael McCoy's exit to Detroit..."

Sure enough, Mr. Florentino has landed...

THE LENO FACTOR: Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 in Cleveland is not immune from "The Leno Effect", and that's an effect that local TV managers apparently consider similar to the effects of H1N1 or "swine" flu.

OMW hears from others in local TV that the "Leno Effect" could well give the opening at 11 PM, news ratings-wise, to Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5...with Raycom CBS affiliate WOIO/19 up for second place. We hear it's been "some books" since WKYC hasn't been comfortably ahead there.

(Not that it's all sweetness and light for the "NewsChannel 5" folks. We're hearing that WEWS parent Scripps is aboard the "multi-media journalist" train even more so than WKYC parent Gannett...and that the station is airing a number of pieces now either voiced by video shooters, or shot in video by solo reporters not used to handling their own video. And of course, with a new approach, there are glitches. More on that, later.)

Like many displeased local affiliates, WKYC is far from silent on the Leno Problem.

Our blogging colleague over at 13th and Lakeside, "Director's Cut" blogger and WKYC senior producer Frank Macek, has written about the Leno situation frequently.

In this item, Frank asks the question - is it finally time to cancel the prime-time Jay Leno show?

This, even as he notes that Cleveland is one of Leno's best markets...faint praise, it would appear, given the overall situation. Quoting:

Nielsen ratings recently showed Cleveland as among Jay's most watched markets. Sad thing is, the ratings have wobbled between only a three and a five rating every week since the show's launch. We can only imagine how smaller markets must be faring.

Mr. Macek suggests that Leno could be moved to 10:35 PM, giving WKYC and other local affiliates a chance to mount a 10 PM local news program (and shaking up the competitive landscape locally, particularly against WJW/8's "Fox 8 News at 10"). This is just an idea, and doesn't seem to be rumored anywhere at this point.

We'll repeat the disclaimer Frank Macek adds at the bottom of his item: "Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed in this feature are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of WKYC or Gannett Broadcasting."

But though they are Frank's own thoughts and opinions, it would seem from here that pretty much everyone else in TV agrees with Frank's assessment...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No, You Can't Get The Flu From Us

Like a lot of other Northeast Ohioans, your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) is forced to admit that we have SOME sort of illness.

We've slept most of the past two days, and have invoked the OMW Medical Staff to help figure this out for us.

We know that the usual instructions involve plenty of rest, and plenty of liquids, but don't usually outline plenty of updates to a, we've been tending to Offline Life(tm) most of the time.

As far as we know, we do NOT have the H1N1 or "swine" flu - that has even shown up in some local media operations. And as far as we know, you can't pick up the flu just by reading a blog written by someone who has, at least you're safe, even if we did.

This will be a generally short update on items we haven't touched upon yet. Details will come between coughs later...

TWC NEW CHANNELS: Yes, Time Warner Cable's Northeast Ohio system has rolled out its latest HDTV channels, which were scheduled to "go live" on November 4th (/or after). Here's the list:

Planet Green HD – 455
G4 HD – 482
MSNBC HD – 487
Weather Channel HD – 489
BBC America HD – 490
WE HD – 491
TV One HD – 492
Team HD (part of NBA League Pass) – 760

Generally speaking, if you get the non-HD version of a channel, the HD version follows along.

When we aren't trying to fit OMW updates between doctor visits, we'll try to get an update on the conversion process in the former Comcast areas, and when they can expect SDV-driven new HDTV channels that have already appeared in the rest of Time Warner's massive Northeast Ohio footprint...

CAMINO GETS NOD: It didn't take long for Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 to replace now-former Indians beat reporter/talk host/sports reporter Mark Schwab, now doing weekend sports anchoring for Raycom Media's WOIO/19-WUAB/43 and its "19 Action News".

Pulling the Goodyear AZ duty, and large chunks of the rest of Schwab's WTAM workload, is young station staffer Nick Camino.

From his existing WTAM bio:

Over the past year I have been experiencing more on air time at WTAM 1100. My main job as a board op/producer keeps me running the dials and switches for talk shows and sporting events however I have filled in doing 20-20 Sports Updates. I have come out of the bullpen numerous times already to do Sports Updates during Wills & Snyder from 5:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. around the holidays and even some Saturday mornings on the Bob Becker Show from 6:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. This past year I also did on air reports for Cleveland State men's basketball games.

Did we say "young"?

Why, yes...Mr. Camino is, by his own admission on Mike Trivisonno's Monday show, 25 years old...and will have to "learn baseball". Yipes.

Then again, we don't remember Mark Schwab's age or other experience when he was hired as WTAM's Indians beat reporter, and he turned out pretty we'll reserve judgment, and wish Nick Camino the best....

NEOTROPWHAT?: We never provided more details for the half-hour weekly local business program that bumped Western Reserve PBS' news roundtable "NewsNight Akron" a half hour later on Friday here's more about "NEOtropolis", now airing Fridays at 9 PM on WNEO/45 Alliance-WEAO/49 Akron:

Western Reserve Public Media introduces its new half-hour weekly program that will build northeast Ohio viewers’ knowledge of regional economic issues, strengthen their confidence in the economy of northeast Ohio and provide them with helpful information and resources to endure challenging economic times.

NEOtropolis focuses exclusively on the business and economy of northeast Ohio. The show will tell the full story of the regional economy, sharing both the challenges and opportunities unfolding in northeast Ohio.

The program is hosted by Thomas Mulready, publisher of Content partners are Crain’s Cleveland Business and The Business Journal of Youngstown. “NEOtropolis will offer timely information about the region’s business and economy in a fast-paced yet in-depth format,” said Duilio Mariola, Western Reserve Public Media executive producer. “We want to be a vehicle for dialogue about regionalism for the four major cities in our broadcast area — Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Youngstown."

NEOtropolis also repeats at 5:30 AM Saturdays - after NewsNight Akron's 5 AM repeat - and both shows occasionally repeat on Western Reserve's "Fusion" subchannel (45.2-49.2)...

ETHNIC BROADCASTING GIANT DIES: If you get your radio and TV locally only in English, you might not know the name Miklos Kossanyi. But if your background includes Hungary, you certainly do.

The Plain Dealer/ obituary section reports:

Miklos Kossanyi led a TV and radio group with the slogan, "Bring Your Heritage Home."

The Hungarian refugee and Bay Village resident died Oct. 27 after a long struggle with cancer. He was 70.

Pertinent to this report, Kossanyi had two media operations - the Lakewood-based Nationality Broadcast Network, which produced Hungarian-language news and programming seen on cable's SCOLA public affairs network, and WKTX/830 Cortland, a Youngstown-market daytimer that at times seemed to believe it was actually audible in Lakewood and Bay Village.

We are familiar with WKTX's early days as a local oldies station serving Cortland, Warren and nearby areas - and the station has played nostalgic music with a local host in times that are not sold to time block buyers, even in recent years.

WKTX has to pull itself from the air each sunset, to make way for the powerful 50,000 watt signal of WCCO/830 Minneapolis MN...

AND YES, WE'RE AWARE: ...yes, we're aware of highly publicized media news elsewhere, including the Christmas music flip at Clear Channel AC WLZT/93.3 in the Columbus market.

(Judging from its website, CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 Cleveland will wait until Thanksgiving week to do the Ho Ho Flip, and we expect the usual suspects - like Salem Cleveland CCM WFHM/95.5 "The Fish" and Clear Channel Akron/Canton AC WHOF/101.7 "My 101.7" to flip sometime before that...but that's just a guess.)

If we missed anything that will hold over, we'll get to it between doctor's appointments. And thanks for hanging in there with us!