Other Early January Stuff

UPDATE 1/7/11 12:30 PM: There’s one additional item we forgot to add, later in this update. If you’ve already read this, scroll down…

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Let’s run through some other items not involving a homeless former Ohio radio personality appearing on major network TV shows…

RICK’S GONE: Long-time local traffic reporter Rick Abell is apparently gone from his perch at Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19’s “19 Action News”.

Readers have been asking about his absence since the start of this week, and OMW can now confirm that WOIO has hired a new traffic reporter.

We know this from a blog post from “19 Action News” morning weather forecaster Jason Handman (yes, he of multiple tie record fame), who talks about the station’s new traffic reporter:

Joy Redmond joined 19 Action News this week. Joy will be delivering traffic reports every morning from 5-7am, and during the afternoon newscasts starting First at 4. She comes to us from (WJBK) FOX2 in Detroit. Some of Joys hobbies include shopping and eating. Joy says, “I couldn’t be happier to join 19 Action News, and call Cleveland my new home.”

We don’t know if Joy will actually be at Reserve Square, but the wording makes it sound so.

We ask, because Rick Abell was actually an employee of Metro Networks, which provides traffic services to local TV and radio stations, and as long-time readers know, Metro moved the base of its local operations to Detroit (ding!).

Abell was still working for Metro, but was “embedded” at Reserve Square, similar to other veteran names who work for the company in Cleveland. But the mention of Redmond coming from Detroit has us wondering.

Over at South Marginal, Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8 News in the Morning” traffic reporter Val Berry is a Metro employee who works out of Detroit, so you can see why we’re asking the “Where Is Joy?” question. Berry was heard early on via phone from Detroit, but the station eventually installed an ISDN line or similar.

We don’t know if Abell is still working for Metro Networks. We haven’t yet heard reports of him surfacing elsewhere on local TV or radio stations, but please let us know if you hear him.

And the Jason Handman blog item has another curious piece of news about a radio personality who used to have Abell doing his traffic reports…

TRIV TV: That’s right, “TrivTV” is back. Quoting Handman’s blog again:

The second exciting addition (or re-addition) is TrivTV coming to 19 Action News in the afternoon on Monday. WTAM’s Mike Trivisonno will appear weekdays live from his studio during the 4:30 and 5:30 newscasts.

Triv may have not been on WOIO recently, but he’s certainly kept in touch with Reserve Square even in “TrivTV”‘s absence. “19 Action News” anchor Sharon Reed is a regular guest on Triv’s show, if only so he can drool over her – even via phone…

IN PLACE, WITH ONE CHANGE: It’s official…the other shoe has dropped in the Columbus public radio world.

Starting Thursday, as scheduled, WOSU Public Media has turned WOSU-FM/89.7 into “89.7 NPR News”, currently simulcasting with WOSU/820 (which the station very much plans to flip to another owner, assuming one can be found).

The change was made possible by the purchase of then-WWCD/101.1 Grove City, which is now WOSA/101.1 “Classical 101″.

Regular readers know that Fun With Radio alt-rock WWCD moved to an LMA of 102.5/Baltimore OH, taking the WWCD calls along with it, but stubbornly, to this day, hanging onto the “CD101 @ 102.5 FM” branding.

Back at WOSU, a change in plans has resulted in the station deciding to simulcast “Classical 101″ over repeater WOSV/91.7 Mansfield, which was to stand alone among the station’s outer area signals in simulcasting the WOSU-FM “NPR News” format.

Why?

WOSU general manager Tom Rieland explains, in a comment he posted to his blog item about the WOSU-FM change:

WOSV 91.7 was originally created with the assistance of OSU Mansfield to bring classical music to the community, but we are also very committed to bringing NPR news to any community we serve.

We were torn by this decision in Mansfield, so we spent several days surveying a representative 25 percent of our membership from Mansfield (about 100 members) and found a clear 3 to 1 ratio of membership favoring all-classical versus all-news.

Rieland suggests that some parts of the area can get NPR programming from a distant signal out of WOSU/820, though he admits it will be in the format “for the time being”, or out of WKSU/89.7 Kent’s repeater WKRW/89.3 Wooster.

That decision is not sitting well with NPR fans in Mansfield, who have posted to the blog item, and Rieland notes that WOSV’s HD2 channel carries the WOSU-FM NPR News feed. That suggestion isn’t going over well, either.

Aside from perhaps offering HD radios as premiums to WOSU members in the Mansfield area – something other public radio stations have definitely done – the final solution may be WOSU mounting a Mansfield translator to rebroadcast WOSU-FM there.

That would be a reasonable solution, assuming the translator covers much of Mansfield itself, with people in Ashland able to receive a decent signal out of WKRW, and people south of Mansfield turning – for now – to AM 820.

Rieland also says:

Due to technical and programming issues, WOSU had to make a choice with all four of its regional stations to provide either all-classical or all-news programming. We can no longer provide a split news/classical service.

We don’t know what issues Rieland is talking about, but such a “split” news/classical service on a repeater has been done elsewhere.

It’s the same situation Sacramento CA-based “Capital Public Radio” faces, and the station at least used to offer a news/classical mix on at least one of its out-of-market repeater stations…with NPR News drive-time programs “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” from news/jazz KXJZ, and classical music from CPR’s KXPR.

A quick look at the Capital Public Radio site shows no signs of this arrangement, so maybe something changed. But it’s certainly technically possible.

Meanwhile, the simulcast of “Classical 101″ on WOSV and the other former WOSU-FM repeaters reminds us that the station is coming into branding issues similar to WWCD, which (for reasons we still do not know) hangs onto its “CD101″ branding even after abandoning 101.1 FM, despite a clause in the sale contract of 101.1 that they would drop the branding.

“Classical 101 @ 91.7 FM”, anyone?

THE YOUNGSTOWN SUMMIT: As expected, the programming of Akron Public Schools AAA outlet WAPS/91.3 Akron “The Summit” has expanded in the Mahoning Valley.

OMW hears that “The Summit” is now broadcasting “24 hours, 6 days” on Struthers Public Schools’ station WKTL/90.7 Struthers, expanding an arrangement that had the Akron station broadcasting on the Youngstown market station during non-school programmed hours.

As expected, WKTL’s local Saturday nationality programming block will continue to air on 90.7.

Wither the students?

In a Youngstown Vindicator article that we passed along last year, school officials said student interest in the radio program was waning, and considered it likely that WAPS would take over programming WKTL for all but the weekend nationality block.

But those Struthers High School students who remain interested are helping out at WAPS.

“The Summit” general manager Tommy Bruno tells OMW:

The Struthers radio production students are currently working on a project developed by WAPS-Akron, called KIDJAM! Radio.

The Struthers students are writing and producing the between song, peer-to-peer messaging.

You see, between the songs, KIDJAM! Radio offers up brief messages targeting children’s’ self-esteem, with special emphasis placed on hot-button issues of the day.

Currently, KIDJAM! is heavy on messages promoting eating right, physical activity, avoiding bullying, and living in harmony. These messages have been developed and produced in conjunction with a leading child psychologist.

As we reported earlier, “KIDJAM!” is heard on WAPS’ own HD3 channel.

Since WKTL doesn’t have HD Radio capability, it won’t be heard back in Youngstown…but everyone can access the KIDJAM! audio stream at its own website

A PASSING: She wasn’t an on-air personality, but Northeast Ohio’s commercial classical radio station is mourning the sudden passage of a key figure.

From wclv.org:

WCLV Senior Account Executive Elizabeth Stuart died suddenly of cardiac arrest at Hillcrest Hospital on Tuesday, December 28, 2010. She had worked for WCLV in advertising sales and projects since 1996.

In addition to heavy involvement in the local classical music scene, the former Cleveland Orchestra executive assistant did a lot for WCLV, aside from selling advertising:

Liz was highly important to WCLV. In addition to handling the day to day advertising accounts of many area arts organizations and commercial firms, she fostered a number of special projects for the station, the foremost being the annual Jubilation Church Choral Festival, which will present its fourth edition this coming May. She also organized WCLV’s annual sponsorship of the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes at the Cleveland Zoo.

WCLV will name the Jubilation Church Choral Festival after Stuart.

The station says a memorial service will be held Saturday at 2 PM, at the Euclid Avenue Congregational Church’s new home at 30th and Euclid (right across the street from Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5).

The station’s web page says memorial contributions can be sent to the WCLV Foundation or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Center.

And it’s a very, very tough goodbye for those who knew her at WCLV:

To say the staff of WCLV, her family, many clients, friends and colleagues will miss Liz is an overwhelming understatement. Our lives now have a void that will long remain with us.

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8 Responses to Other Early January Stuff

  1. victor malar says:

    Joy Redmond is indeed in Reserve Square, doing her reports from the anchor desk.

    I think this means she’s an actual in-house employee of WOIO, and not “embedded” from Metro.

  2. Angela M Brown says:

    I want to add my voice of dismay to the chorus of voices that object to the loss of news on WOSV for the listeners in the Mansfield, Ohio area. My husband commutes up to Mansfield to teach on the Mansfield campus, and losing the news on FM up there is a real disappointment. Why can’t WOSV switch from classical to news for the morning MED and evening ATC? I just do not see how it is “technically not feasible”!

    Angela M Brown
    Professor
    The Ohio State University
    College of Optometry

  3. nosferatu says:

    Thanks for picking up the issue of OSU only broadcasting classical music in Mansfield now. It’s especially disheartening after finding out that it was supposed to be a change for the better, to all news.

    I’ve lived in various parts of the country, even in the wilds of Kansas where the nearest Starbucks was 75 miles away, and even there NPR news came in loud and clear. It’s really an unacceptable shame for a community such as Mansfield.

  4. Ann V. says:

    WKSU also broadcasts NPR and regional news in Ashland on a translator signal at 95.7.

    • Thank you for the reminder, Ann, and great to hear from you as always!

      As your comment came in yesterday, we were writing about that in our follow-up item. Too bad it’s a translator, and doesn’t quite make it over to Mansfield…

  5. Emilie123 says:

    I am missing Rick Abell at Channel 19, WOIO. Your site is the only source, found on Google, to talk about his departure. Why didn’t Channel 19 issue a statement about the departure?

    • As a rule, stations don’t generally issue statements when people leave, unless they are retiring after a long career.

      We hear that Rick is hoping to find another helicopter traffic job in another market.

  6. Bill Wiltrack says:

    Holly ****!

    I just caught a glimpse of Mike Trivasano on 19 Action News Triv TV.

    How do I contact this guy?

    He needs a workout buddy.

    I’m willing to help him.

    WOW does he NEED some physical exercise.

    How can I help this guy?

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