Since we're in another of our semi-hiatus periods ("Life Intervenes"), here's another all-encompassing update, featuring - mostly - some long-held items we have missed...
DIGITAL, AT LAST?: An OMW reader pointed us to digital applications filed by both of the Media-Com LPTV/Class A outlets in Northeast Ohio, seeking digital facilities for both W35AX/Cleveland and WAOH-LP Akron.
The WAOH application is for a digital flash cut on the station's current analog channel, 29, with 15 kW of power. The analog power is 60.6 kW, but digital replication of the current service area - in theory, at least - requires less power than the analog license.
The W35AX application for digital channel 16 has already been amended to reduce ERP to 10 kW and change the directional pattern, to account for WSEE/35 Erie's RF 16 facility. It also makes the case that 16 - reserved for land mobile use - can be used in the Cleveland market...citing, among other things, WEWS/5's digital faciliity on channel 15, another land mobile channel.
It's also labeled a displacement application, the station citing co-channel WOUC/44 Cambridge's digital facility on RF channel 35.
Will these get built?
The station appears to be fairly aggressive in filing engineering paperwork on the upgrades, including the above listed modifications filed less than a month after the original application.
At some point, the FCC is likely to sunset analog LPTV, and the Media-Com stations - sisters to talk WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron" and syndie talk WJMP/1520 in Kent - will have to either go digital or go away...and would probably lose carriage on Time Warner Cable's original Akron system if there was no over-air station attached...
MELISSA: That name can mean only one thing to OMW readers... former Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 "Fox 8 News" weather anchor Melissa Mack.
One of our readers points us to a video introducing her to her new viewers in Boston, where she now forecasts and does environmental reporting for CBS O&O WBZ/4 there.
Melissa tells another WBZ-TV staffer that she's excited to live on the Eastern Seaboard, but also defends Your Cleveland Cavaliers against an onslaught of "will you become a Celtics fan?" questions.
Can't take Northeast Ohio out of the gal, we guess...
V-FAMILIAR: The recent rebranding of Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting AAA outlet WNWV/107.3 Elyria to "V107.3" caught the eye of some folks in the Akron market.
In particular, OMW readers associated with Streetsboro City Schools'-owned alt-rock/oldies WSTB/88.9 Streetsboro reminded us that WNWV isn't the first area station to adopt the letter "V" to signify a new rock format.
WSTB's long-time general manager and OMW reader Bob Long provides the history:
On August 27, 1991 WSTB signed on the air as “91.5/V-ROCK” playing classic rock in the morning and contemporary metal during the afternoon and evening.
A year later, "V-ROCK" went for a full metal rock format, which a few years later came to an end after controversy over a station concert, the format itself, and amid heightened security in the wake of the Columbine shootings. "V-ROCK" gave way to today's alt-rock format, with the adult volunteer-run "Sunday Oldies Jukebox" on Sundays. (And WSTB, of course, moved from 91.5 to 88.9 in the mid-90's.)
The official history, passed along by Mr. Long, notes that "V-ROCK" was the station's attempt to associate itself with the old "Z-Rock" commercial hard-rock format...a satellite format which once aired on the station now known as, you guessed it, WNWV/107.3 "V107.3".
"Z-Rock" gained something of a following in the Cleveland market, and was one of the first indications that the Elyria station could program for the whole market...
BLOG SPORTS OHIO: Northeast Ohio is certainly a rich area for sports bloggers, and regional sports TV network Fox Sports Ohio is trying to take advantage of it.
From an FSOhio release:
Do you follow FOX Sports Ohio’s sports teams and wish you could be part of the coverage? Now is your chance! FOX Sports Ohio is eagerly seeking a sports blogger on www.foxsportsohio.com. To help with the search, the network has launched an online blogging contest, “Blog Sports Ohio,” presented by Time Warner Cable.
In addition to winning the chance to blog on foxsportsohio.com, the selected blogger will also win a new laptop computer with a FOX Sports Ohio laptop bag, a digital voice recorder, a $500 cash card, a FOX Sports Ohio prize pack and access to the network’s professional teams, a prize package worth over $2,000.
Ohio sports fans can enter the contest beginning Monday, March 1 through Wednesday, March 10.
Before the contest was announced, believe it or not, your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) got an invite to enter it.
There are many reasons we won't enter, not the least of which is that we only occasionally write about sports media in this area....and we're not really a "sports blog" per se. But thank you, FSOhio, for thinking of us!
WARRANT UNIT: We neglected some time back to mention a new weekend TV show hosted by an area radio host.
"Warrant Unit" airs Saturdays at 11:35 PM on Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19, and Sundays at 1:30 PM on sister Raycom MyNetworkTV affiliate WUAB/43. It's hosted by Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100's Bob Frantz.
The show aims to clear the unsolved case load of Cuyahoga County CrimeStoppers, which offers cash rewards for anonymous tips to solve those crimes.
We caught a bit of it on Sunday...it is very much a local counterpart to the long-time Fox national show "America's Most Wanted" (with Frantz as your local version of AMW's John Walsh), and was actually a pretty slick production. It features crime re-enactments, interviews with both police, and friends and family members of victims, crime scene surveillance footage and the like.
The show has a full website: www.warrantunitcleveland.com...
AND FINALLY: Whew, this is a long one!
We got word today that Dan Zullo will be back behind the microphone at Quicken Loans Arena this Spring, as the arena announcer for Cleveland Gladiators arena league football games. The Gladiators, after a year off due to the demise of the original Arena Football League, are back in a newly reconstituted AFL this year.
Zullo is a former WMJI/105.7 and WZAK/93.1 staffer who now has his own voiceover shingle, VoiceGalaxy Productions...