Sunday, May 09, 2010

Move Complete

As promised a week ago, Ohio Media Watch is now officially at its new home:

The original Blogger version of OMW will no longer be updated, and all future posts will be found on the WordPress site.

You will still be able to find old posts at, but no new content.

The domain will now redirect to the WordPress site. That's a change we just put in, and it may take a while to make its way through the Internet.

As a side note: we are unable to migrate the comments on existing items to the new site. The Blogger-to-WordPress migration tool found and moved them, but the comments are not linked to any posts for whatever reason. Of course, new comments on the WordPress site work fine.

For the moment, comments on the new site require no login, but are moderated before posting. That may change in the future.

New comments on the Blogger side of things will be shut off at some point soon.

Now, onward to a new era for OMW...

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Cleveland Connections

Three items with at least past connections to the Cleveland radio and TV market...

LEEANN'S DENVER EXIT: AllAccess reports that a former Cleveland radio personality is out at her Denver station, in an item posted earlier this week:

ALL ACCESS confirms that WILKS Hot AC KIMN (MIX100) middayer LEEANN SOMMERS exits

LeeAnn was heard in Northeast Ohio on Clear Channel hot AC WMVX/106.5 "Mix 106.5" from 2001 to 2005, and was previously heard on stations like WENZ/107.9 and the old "Jammin' 92.5", then-WZJM/92.3 (now CBS Radio alt-rock WXRK). Her resume (PDF) also includes entertainment reporting for Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5.

LeeAnn snagged a Northeast Ohio cell phone number with WMVX's frequency - AllAccess says she can be reached at (216) 526-1065.

She can also be reached through her own website.

And she also has a Twitter account, though we can't find any tweets going to it:

LeeAnn apparently made many friends while she was in Northeast Ohio, and we wish her the best. Would she come back to Cleveland? That, we don't know...

DOUG'S CHANGE: Doug Podell was program director of WNCX/98.5 in the early 1990s, but he's much better known for his long-stint at Greater Media Detroit rocker WCSX/94.7.

Podell is staying there, but unlike program directors who give up airshifts to concentrate on programming the station...he's doing the opposite.

AllAccess reports that Podell is stepping down as Director/Rock Programming for the Greater Media cluster in Detroit, to focus on his afternoon drive airshift on WCSX:

"After 30 years of programming some of the best rock stations in AMERICA, I have decided to shift gears and focus on what I truly love -- being on the air. After being off the air for a year and recently returning, I realized just how much I missed it and how my contributions are better suited for what's happening today."

We don't remember much about Podell's time at WNCX, now a CBS Radio-owned classic rocker.

But the Wikipedia article about WNCX credits him and owner Norman Wain with hiring rocker Michael Stanley...who is WNCX's afternoon drive personality today..

ILLINOIS HIRING: The new general manager of Eastern Illinois University's WEIU-FM/TV has a Cleveland background.

Indiana Radio Watch's Blaine Thompson passes the word of the hiring of former WVIZ/25 programmer/promotions director Jack Neal.

Neal returns to the midwest (Charleston IL) after a stint as station manager of Houston TX PBS affiliate KUHT, writes the local newspaper in the Eastern Illinois region:

“I grew up in Ohio and have worked in both Ohio and Indiana,” he said. “I’m a small-town guy, looking forward to returning to the Midwest. It’s very much like coming home for me.”

Blaine tells us that Neal's stint at the Cleveland PBS affiliate, now owned by Ideastream, lasted from 1978 to 1987.

He also worked in Syracuse NY (PBS affiliate WCNY) and in Indiana, giving Neal the rare three-media-watch hat trick between IRW, OMW and Scott Fybush's NorthEast Radio Watch...

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Jeff And Jimbo

Thus, marking the only time in history where these two men will be mentioned in the same breath...

JEFF THOMAS EXITS: OMW has confirmed that long-time Good Karma WKNR/850 sports update voice Jeff Thomas is no longer with the station. According to his WKNR bio, Jeff started being heard on the station in 1996.

Thomas' bio has now been removed from the WKNR "hosts" page, and station utility player/producer/Browns beat reporter Daryl Ruiter is doing the updates this morning.

OMW hears that WKNR expressed a wish to go in a "new direction", which of course in radio, means that direction is away from the previous host.

Of course, OMW readers know that Thomas doesn't actually work for Good Karma Broadcasting.

OMW hears from numerous sources that Jeff Thomas is actually still employed by Metro Networks, which provides sports update and traffic services to the Good Karma station.

But as far as we know, WKNR is Metro's only client that takes sports updates. (We believe what's left of Metro's Cleveland office is no longer providing updates to Main Line sports WING/1410 in Dayton, for example, and hasn't been for a few years now. And the company stopped doing sports for Salem talk WHK/1420 when Good Karma bought WKNR.)

Regular readers know we always considered Jeff Thomas an under-used player at the Galleria, even when he moved in-house when Metro's local studios closed late last year. Thus, we consider the move a bad one.

As we are writing this update just now, "Really Big Show" host Tony Rizzo has confirmed on the air - in a testy response to a caller - that Thomas is indeed "no longer with the station".

Rizzo told the caller that he doesn't know why Thomas is no longer on WKNR, and says it's difficult to work "without someone you've been working with for years". Later, peppered with calls and E-mails from listeners, Rizzo called Thomas a "pro's pro", and says he will be missed, directing callers' questions to WKNR program director Jason Gibbs...

OTHER WKNR STUFF: Our friends at also report on their Twitter account that WKNR evening host Kenny Roda "has been suspended".

We don't have any more information than that.

And occasionally, we get a reminder that you can't rely too much on official station websites.

A WKNR staffer passes along that Jimmy Hanlin is indeed still heard on that station's weekend golf show with Greg Brinda, Saturdays from 7 AM-9 AM. That information is indeed reflected on the station's current weekday schedule.

In an earlier item, we said that Hanlin was "apparently no longer" hosting the Golf Show, since he was added to the website for Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100's similar program with Gary Trivisonno.

We said "apparently" because we hadn't actually listened to either show - we are most assuredly sleeping early Saturday morning. So, we appreciate the heads up.

The item was prompted by a listener question about the status of apparently (there's that word again) former WTAM golf show host Russ Jeske. We still don't have that answer...

JIMBO'S MOVE: "Jimbo", in this case is Northeast Ohio's most known Jimbo...former congressman-turned-ex-con Jim Traficant, who made his current political aspirations known officially on Tuesday.

The Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland weekend host has always been able to play with the media, and he did so on Tuesday.

Traficant, as expected by many (including This Space), filed petitions to run as an independent in the 17th Ohio congressional district. The Man With The Toupee held that seat for many years, before being expelled from Congress and finding a new involuntary home in the federal prison system.

Traficant passed on running as a Democrat against former aide Tim Ryan, now the incumbent congressman in the reconstituted 17th - which now includes portions of Portage and Summit County. Back when Traficant ruled the 17th roost, it almost exclusively covered the Mahoning Valley.

After filing for the 17th district, the WTAM Saturday host told reporters he was headed for Columbiana County, where he was asked if he would also file petitions to run in the 6th congressional district. That district, now represented by Charlie Wilson, covers the southern reaches of the old 17th district.

As it turns out, Traficant was a no-show in Columbiana County, and will only run in the 17th.

The Youngstown Vindicator reports that Traficant apparently had decided to run in both districts, but received what later turned out to be "incorrect information" from local elections officials that he could not do so.

But yes, the Vindicator reports that Traficant was indeed having fun with reporters following his every move on Tuesday:

When asked at the Trumbull elections board if he was filing for the 6th District, Traficant said, “You never know with me. I might file in West Virginia.”

Federal law requires Traficant to be a West Virginia resident in order to file in that state.

As for his WTAM show, Traficant spokesman Dennis Malloy tells the Plain Dealer that indeed, the ex-congressman-ex-con-new candidate is giving up the program - which he pretty much has to do due to election "equal time" laws. (We assume WTAM has no interest in giving 3 hours of weekend airtime to Tim Ryan or to the Republican candidate for the seat.)

As far as we know, the official filing means last Saturday's WTAM show was Traficant's last, and we know already that Jimbo has an "early out" clause in his contract with the Cleveland talker that allowed him to exit if he runs for office.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Sabrina Eaton reports that Traficant, of course, is not prohibited from appearing on WTAM as a newsmaker guest:

Since the beginning of this year, Traficant has hosted a radio talk show on WTAM in Cleveland. Malloy says Traficant is giving up the show because of his congressional run, but will be a guest (Monday) afternoon on Mike Trivisonno's WTAM show.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

We're Moving

OMW is in the process of moving to a new home.

We're setting up on the WordPress blogging system, after nearly 5 years on Google's Blogger platform. The address is as simple as our Blogspot address:

(Please note that unlike on Blogger, the full name of the blog is in the URL.)

We have imported all of our existing posts. We will continue to publish on Blogger for another week or so, maybe sooner, then the old blog will remain "as is" from that point on. (Consider the move like a radio station moving from AM to FM, with a brief simulcast period.)

For the time being, the domain will continue to forward to the original Blogger site. At some point, probably when we stop "simulcasting", that will change. That's also when we'll change the direct feed that notifies you of new posts on Twitter.

Why are we making the change?

Aside from the fact that we just wanted to change things up a bit, WordPress is also more mobile device-friendly than Blogger.

WP has a native mobile app (for Android, in our case) that will allow us to post and manage OMW easily while on the go. There are similar solutions for Blogger, but they are third-party apps that still are somewhat bug ridden or lacking in some features. (This is rather odd in the Android world, considering that Google both owns Blogger and develops Android, and has a number of native Android apps for existing Google services.)

Similarly, if you're on an iPhone, iPod Touch, Android or WebOS device, WP actually has a dedicated mobile skin that allows quick access to the blog.

Yep, it's increasingly a mobile world, and OMW is getting with the times.

The image in the theme on the new blog is a temporary placeholder, as we try to figure out how to get some sort of image in the 770x140 space alloted by the WordPress theme we're currently using. We could change the theme, as well, at some point.

Some notes: right now, there is no login for comments, but they will be held for moderation. This could be changed in the future, depending on what workload this adds to our plate. Moderation will be quick, due to the aforementioned ability to moderate from a smartphone.

And the Ohio Digital TV blog is not making the move to WordPress, since we haven't updated it since shortly after the digital TV transition. We'll keep it up on Blogger, as we will also keep the original OMW blog on Blogger after the least for some time...