NEW BOSS ON EUCLID: Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 has found its new general manager.
After hearing from our sources that former Tampa FL general manager Sam Rosenwasser had been introduced to employees as the new VP/GM at the Cleveland station, we did a Google search - and found that Plain Dealer TV writer Mark Dawidziak had already posted an item about Rosenwasser's hiring:
Rosenwasser, 57, was the president and general manager of WTSP Channel 10, the Gannett-owned CBS affiliate in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., market. He was at helm of WTSP for seven years, accepting an early retirement package in late 2008.
Of course, in Cleveland, Rosenwasser will be competing with Gannett's NBC affiliate, WKYC/3.
Rosenwasser tells Dawidziak that he just "couldn't stay away" from the local TV game, noting that he got a tour of a local TV station when he was just four years old. (Rosenwasser has us beat by about 6 years in that distinction.)
Akron Beacon Journal pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels also has an item on WEWS' new leader, and notes of the departure of former GM Victoria Regan:
A spokesman for Channel 5's owner, E.W. Scripps Co., said at the time that Scripps and Regan ''mutually agreed to part ways.'' Which observers treated with some skepticism.
That might be an understatement.
Heldenfels also notes that Rosenwasser's early retirement in Tampa "raised eyebrows", according to a blog item we also found by St. Petersburg (FL) Times TV writer Eric Deggans on TampaBay.com, but says the new WEWS boss insists that "the time was right" to leave.
Rosenwasser has top TV management experience in both Sacramento CA and Austin TX on his 35-year-long resume.
He tells the PD's Dawidziak:
"My job right now is to do a lot of listening and ask a lot of questions," Rosenwasser said. "The goal always is to get everybody together at a station and pulling in the same direction. That's vital to being successful. And although I'm just getting to know my way around, I'd like to see the station more involved with the community. We have a lot to offer, and I believe that multiplatform operation like this has a responsibility to be as involved as possible with the community."
As he turns from his computer and asks a WEWS colleague "what's an Ohio Media Watch?", we have some advice Rosenwasser has probably heard...spend a lot of time actually in the building at 3001 Euclid, directly supervising the station's personnel - in person.
We hear that'd be a change from the recent past...
MORE SCRIPPS NEWS: The Beacon Journal's Heldenfels also notes that Bob Sullivan has been named Scripps' new vice president in charge of (television) content, adding another layer of oversight in its local TV stations division.
Separately, Scripps' cable network division is launching "The Cooking Channel", a digital TV network that will replace its "Fine Living Network" on digital cable (SD only for now, we believe) lineups. Scripps' release says there will be an HD version of "The Cooking Channel", though we don't know what kind of carriage it will get.
Press accounts of the new network call it a "younger, edgier" companion to the sister Food Network.
Though the network will appear on the massive Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio system (digital channel 158), the bigger local news is that a Northeast Ohio food TV staple - so to speak - will have his own show.
Akron Beacon Journal food writer Lisa Abraham says Cleveland's Michael Symon (of the Food Network's "Iron Chef America" fame) will host "Cook Like an Iron Chef" for the new network:
Symon, owner of Cleveland area restaurants Lola, Lolita, B-Spot and Bar Symon, and Roast in Detroit, will teach viewers the skills and techniques needed to cook like an Iron Chef. He will be joined by chef challengers and other Iron Chefs who reveal how they deal with secret ingredients.
Cook Like an Iron Chef is scheduled to premier in July.
We don't care if Symon came to the OMW World Headquarters in person and took over our kitchen...we couldn't "cook like an Iron Chef" no matter what. But we wish him the best on his new show...
TWITTER FOR HELP: Though they've been doing it for a while, OMW recently discovered that Time Warner Cable is using Twitter for customer support.
The TWCableHelp Twitter account is staffed most of the day, and the company uses private direct messages or E-mail when needed - mostly so customers can pass along account information needed to help them. (Of course, sending your billing/home address in a public tweet is not exactly a good idea.)
Our colleagues at Tri-State Media Watch note that they became aware of this recently, when they were trying to find answers about an HD broadcast snafu seen on TWC's Cincinnati-based system...