Our New Look

Effective immediately, Ohio Media Watch is moving to a site hosted under our domain name:

ohiomediawatch.com

This will be the last post on WordPress.com…please click the link above and, as we hinted earlier, bookmark it for use in the future.

OMW is moving to a self-hosted site, and off of the free WordPress.com platform. We’re still using WordPress on the new site, just not their hosting side.

There are many reasons we are doing this. Our goal, in the end, will be a site still very familiar to you in content and mission.

We look to expand OMW beyond just a simple blog, and would like suggestions on content you’d like to see here in the future.

But we’ll also give you a heads up…with our move, we can now offer advertising. Before you scroll down to the comments and fire away at us, read a bit further.

This Mighty Blog(tm) has no intent on turning into an advertising-laden site.

We absolutely enjoy Dave Hughes’ DCRTV, the authority on broadcasting and media in the Washington/Baltimore area. Dave has a large number of advertisers and advertisements are all over the top and the right side of his scroll.

The scope of what we do here at OMW is quite limited by comparison to Dave’s effort. The area’s TV and radio markets combined are much smaller than the DC/Baltimore area.

If we get enough advertising to pay our communications/phone/Internet bills, we’ll be doing better than expected.

For now, there’s one primary advertiser you’ll learn about soon, with a very unique story that fits in perfectly with what we do here. (And that advertiser is a long-time OMW reader.)

You’ll also see small ads for two long-time Friends of OMW.

Scott Fybush (NorthEast Radio Watch) has helped your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) and this blog many times over the years, so it’s about time we help him a little. You’ve read much about Scott over the years, and NERW. It’s required reading if you care even one whit about radio and other media just to our east. (And occasionally, NERW-land and OMW-land share space along the Ohio/Pennsylvania border, particularly in the Youngstown/Warren market.)

Lance Venta is the proprietor of RadioInsight.com. It started as an alternative to the long-time Radio-Info.com message boards, but Lance has turned RadioInsight into a premiere source of radio information. He’s gained a name sleuthing radio station domain registrations that often lead to a new, unannounced format change.

Lance is providing the hosting and backend support for the new OMW site, including its new design and logo.

RadioInsight has also launched its RadioInsight Community, sort of the modern version of the old message boards.

Effective immediately, the RadioInsight Community’s Cleveland forum will become the official forum of Ohio Media Watch. For those of you seeking more interactivity aside from our comments section, this is a perfect solution. There’s a link to RadioInsight Community on the main page of OMW.

We’re proud to call NERW and RadioInsight our “content partners” here at OMW.

Again, we have no intent on overloading OMW with advertising, or even moderately loading it with ads.

We do intend on increasing useful content wherever possible.

Of course, Life will still Intervene(tm), and we can’t promise you that we won’t drop the “H” word anymore.

But we intend on making this site better, and we have no plans to go to a subscription model…so, our refund policy is still to pay you whatever you paid us to read OMW…

Press Release Theatre (Vol. 11), The November Edition

Some stuff from our inbox, to tide you over until the next update.

And as is tradition with Press Release Theatre, long-time (say it with us!) personal and professional Friend of OMW Ann VerWiebe from Kent State University public outlet WKSU/89.7-and-its-many-simulcasters opens things up for us. (She honestly pays no extra for the placement…)

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VIVIAN GOODMAN REPORTS ON THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA FROM COLOGNE, LINZ AND VIENNA

From Nov. 18 through 22, WKSU Reporter/Producer Vivian Goodman will follow the internationally recognized Cleveland Orchestra as it completes its fall tour of European concert halls with performances in Cologne, Germany, and Linz and Vienna, Austria. Goodman began her reports with a Nov. 11 preview of the tour with Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst in which the Maestro discussed the repertoire and the program’s connection between Beethoven and Shostakovich.

In Europe, especially culture-mad Vienna, Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra are treated like rock stars. By covering the group on the road, Goodman takes listeners backstage to connect with one of the world’s best classical music ensembles by featuring less formal interviews with the musicians and responses from audience members. She will also profile the cities and venues visited at the end of the Orchestra’s annual autumn tour.

Goodman’s stories will air during WKSU’s local broadcasts of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “Here and Now” and “All Things Considered.” She will capture audio during the day and produce reports in her hotel room with assistance from WKSU Music Director David Roden in Kent. Classical music host Mark Pennell also plans daily on-air chats with Goodman at 8 p.m. to let listeners hear additional details about the Orchestra’s European adventure.

Along with audio reports, Goodman extends her coverage by posting images and blogs on WKSU.org. Content will be added on the New and Classical Music pages on the website. WKSU’s coverage of the Cleveland Orchestra in Europe is made possible in part through support from the Noble Foundation.

WKSU is an award-winning public radio station and service of Kent State University that broadcasts to 22 counties in Northeast and North Central Ohio from the station’s primary signal at 89.7. WKSU content can also be heard over WKRW 89.3 (Wooster), WKRJ 91.5 (Dover/New Philadelphia), WKSV 89.1 (Thompson), WNRK 90.7 (Norwalk) and W239AZ 95.7 (Ashland). The station adds WKSU-2 Folk Alley, WKSU-3 The Classical Channel and WKSU-4 The News Channel over HD Radio and as streaming audio at http://www.wksu.org.

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(From Fox Sports/SportsTime Ohio)

Beer Money production seeking contestants this Thursday – Saturday

Show premieres next Tuesday, Nov. 19th at 6:30pm

SportsTime Ohio previously announced the return of the popular show, Beer Money, where contestants are asked sports trivia questions for the opportunity to win up to $130.

The network is continuing production of the shows this week and will be seeking contestants starting at 7pm at three local bars this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

(OMW note: The Thursday event was in Middleburg Heights, and the Friday event was in Mayfield Heights.)

Saturday Nov.16th – Two Bucks in North Olmsted with Ahmaad (24108 Lorain Road)

The shows will debut on SportsTime Ohio next Tuesday, November 19th at 6:30pm.

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Our apologies to the folks at CBS Radio’s WDOK/102.1 “New 102″ and WNCX/98.5…we missed posting about a blood drive on Thursday. And if we missed any upcoming events, please let us know…

It’s On The Way

Ohio Media Watch, The Next Generation is coming soon.

We hope the transition won’t be too jarring for you. The core of this effort will remain as it is now, and the new site hopefully won’t cause many complaints.

Again, it isn’t a retreat to social media like we tried in the recent past…if anything, it’ll be an expansion.

In the meantime, there’s more media news to cover and talk about…

ROVER’S AFTERNOON COURT DATE:The case against Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7 and syndicated morning doggie Shane “Rover” French continues moving through the court system.

Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 reports that French and “Rover’s Morning Glory” sidekick “Chocolate Charlie” (Michael Toomey) had a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday, and are back in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on December 5th.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury recently handed down a 13 count indictment upon Rover for a number of charges, linked to an alleged incident involving late night fireworks and an undercover officer last July on Whiskey Island…

SPEAKING OF 13TH AND LAKESIDE: Even recently, the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center has had a second over-air TV station in it.

ION Networks O&O WVPX/23 has been at 13th and Lakeside since the former PAX TV and WKYC owner Gannett entered a nationwide deal, where Gannett operated the local PAX affiliates in various markets, including Cleveland.

That deal fell apart, and also resulted in the WKYC-produced “Akron/Canton News” moving to Time Warner Cable’s NEON (“Northeast Ohio Network”)…until financial pressures shuttered the Akron-based newscast.

OMW hears that WVPX, which has still been in the WKYC building, is leaving by the end of this year.

The destination for the local ION station?

It’ll be the station’s former facility in Warrensville Heights.

Of course, after the end of “Akron-Canton News”, Channel 23 has no local programming, so it won’t be a difficult move back…

HO, HO, HELLO: Northeast Ohio radio stations have climbed aboard the Holiday Music Sleigh already.

The first local entrant into the Santa Sweepstakes is a station that traditionally “goes early” with Christmas music: Clear Channel AC WHOF/101.7 “My 101.7″ in the Canton market, joined by sister hot AC WMXY/98.9 “Mix 98.9″ in Youngstown.

The stations, and a Toledo sister station, have one thing in common besides Clear Channel ownership…they are under the oversight of the company’s regional programming manager for Northern Ohio (except Cleveland), CHR WKDD/98.1 program director/morning host/CC Akron-Canton operations guru/OMW reader Keith Kennedy.

(At this rate, we’re gonna have to sell Keith an ad based on the amount of space all his titles take up here on the Mighty Blog[tm]!)

In Cleveland, another traditional Early Christmas Flipper (no, not slipper) is CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1, still known as “New 102″ after all these months.

The station is taking to both its website and Twitter to poll listeners about when it should slip into the phone booth (remember those?) and become “Christmas 102″:

Once we hit November 1st the New 102 Listeners have had one question and one question only on their minds: WHEN is New 102 going to “flip the switch” to Christmas 102 and begin our 24/7 holiday music? We have holiday cups at Starbucks, holiday decorations lining the aisles of our favorite stores and that wretched four letter S word filling the streets of Cleveland!

Even our own Jen and Tim in the morning co-host Tim Richards is beginning to wonder, WHEN will we start the holiday music season?

If there were a Radio Format Betting Window at downtown Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino (or the new “Rocksino” at Northfield Park), we’d guess “after morning drive this Friday”.

And we’d also place a side bet, also just a guess, that “New 102″ will give way to less stale branding after the holidays…

A BIT OF NASH: We still believe that Cumulus Youngstown market country powerhouse WQXK/105.1 won’t be shedding its long-time “K105″ identity for Cumulus’ “Nash” branding.

But yes, a bit of “Nash” will be coming to the “K105″ airwaves.

Cumulus is launching “NASH Nights Live”, a live syndicated show featuring Los Angeles country air personality Shawn Parr, in the 7-to-midnight (ET) time slot weeknights. (Yes, the show will be based in Nashville, and yes, Parr is moving there.)

The company says the show will air on all 84 of its owned-and-operated country outlets, so that means Parr’s effort will take over the evening slot on “K105″.

“NASH Nights Live” won’t replace a local show on the Youngstown country giant. The evening slot was long-ago surrendered to syndication with the program hosted by Cody Alan. (Oddly enough, Cumulus syndicates him as well…)

WHERE’S WEATHER: It’s a common complaint by those who turn to the cable/satellite network The Weather Channel…where’s the weather information?

The Atlanta-based network, now owned by the NBCUniversal borg (as if you couldn’t tell by the presence of former WKYC weathercaster and “Today Show” stalwart Al Roker), has gone back to its roots, at least a little.

Starting Tuesday, the network has constant local weather information on the screen, even during commercial breaks. Of course, if you’re on satellite, you’ll see a generic national information bar.

We bring this up here for two reasons.

First, the “24/7 local weather information” bar is not quite that – as local cable TV commercial inserts take over the full screen.

Second, Time Warner Cable itself recently launched “24 Hour Weather” on its Northeast Ohio systems.

That channel, which supplanted the aforementioned now-gone local programming channel NEON, should really be called “18 Hour Weather”, as tuning into cable channel 23 in the overnight hours is much more likely to uncover an infomercial (a holdover from the NEON days).

We had a recent question about NEON from a reader, who missed our earlier coverage.

The channel’s shows all ended, with the exception of “More Sports and Les Levine”. But you’ll need a digital cable box to see Les these days…he’s in his old 6 PM time slot on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (cable channel 311, or 1311 in HD).

We can’t tell if Levine’s show is in HD itself…our guess, watching on a small set, is that it’s produced in 16:9 SD widescreen…

WHERE’S ROGER?: We spent a lot of time, when he was here, poking fun at Cleveland Plain Dealer sports/media/real estate of the sports stars columnist Roger Brown.

Brown moved to Bristol, a city on the Tenneesee/Virginia border, to become a general news reporter for the Bristol Herald Courier.

He’s gone from there now, but no, he’s not headed back to Northeast Ohio.

Brown has moved to a city with one (allegedly) major pro sports team, the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, to become an editorial writer for the Jacksonville Times-Union:

Roger spent 12 years at the Cleveland Plain Dealer as a sports columnist, TV/radio critic and associate editor of the editorial page. As an editorial board member, he wrote editorials and op-ed columns and helped lead and edit that page, as he will here.

It’s Roger’s second job away from both Northeast Ohio and the sports/sports media beat, and we’re pretty sure his new role does not include writing about sales of homes owned by Jaguars players.

You can tell we aren’t really obsessed with the once-controversial columnist…this happened back in May, and we just stumbled upon his move to Florida today…

A Compact Stack

Sometimes, media news items happen in clusters of three or four, and that makes this blog much easier to write…

NEW CLEVELAND SOUND: The on-air deck is being shuffled at Murray Hill Broadcasting alt-rock/AAA WLFM-LP/87.7 “Cleveland’s Sound”, and the sound you won’t hear anymore is from the station’s original morning host.

Yes, we were scratching our collective heads when the new station, dropped onto the FM dial as a result of the audio of analog TV channel 6, announced a novice as host in radio’s most important timeslot:

OMW hears from multiple sources that “87.7 Clevelanders Rock” has found a morning drive host, and yes, our own reaction was, “who?”

He’s…drumroll, please!…Archie Berwick.

Again, who?

Berwick is a former CBS Radio Cleveland promotions staffer, who we’re told has been doing similar work with the New York Mets. As far as we know, though we could be wrong, Archie has no significant on-air experience.

Berwick, known only by his first name Archie on the air and also known as “The Black Mr. Rogers”, was a curious fit for a station hoping to gain music-focused listeners set adrift by two stations: WKRK/92.3, the former alt-rock “Radio 92.3″ (now sports “92.3 The Fan”), and the former AAA WNWV/107.3 “V107.3″ (now smooth AC under Rubber City Radio Group, using its former identity of “107.3 The Wave”).

Archie is out at the Agora, as the station brings in a high-profile Cleveland radio veteran.

He’s Dan Stansbury, best known by his last name as a sidekick to former Clear Channel rock WMMS/100.7 afternoon drive host Maxwell.

Maxwell’s band was broken up when Oak Tree didn’t renew his contract. The show resurfaced for basically a nanosecond in morning drive on CBS Radio classic rock WNCX/98.5.

Stansbury will host “The Stansbury Show” in afternoon drive on WLFM, which displaces “Lyd the Kidd”. But she moves to morning drive (as “Lydia”), and the “Cleveland’s Sound” game of musical chairs means Mr. Berwick is standing up without a chair.

The now-former 87.7 morning host took to Twitter to talk about his departure.

“new station not enough Money & They want to play all alternative archie don’t fit that category. I wasn’t the puzzle piece for the 877 puzzle. Kind of the stepchild that stuck out too much. I worked for you all. The people are my inspiration. So thank you all for being the best boss I ever had.”

And the new entrant in the Agora Radio Sweepstakes, Dan Stansbury, also had comments on social media.

On Facebook, he answered a question others certainly had…about how his new WLFM program would compare to “The Maxwell Show”:

“…it is a complete departure from the Maxwell show. I love and still talk to Max. he’s doing his thing and now it’s time I do mine.”

Maxwell’s current “thing” is as morning driver at still-Merlin Media rock WLUP/97.9 “The Loop” Chicago. The Chicago show is more music intensive, and doesn’t feature any of Maxwell’s Cleveland cast members.

And of course, WMMS itself moved on to air “The Alan Cox Show” in afternoon drive…a move that was more than successful for them.

And to tie this together, former “Alan Cox Show” co-host Chad Zumock will now be on the same station as Stansbury, with his Sunday night program on “87.7 Cleveland’s Sound”.

“The Stansbury Show” starts Friday afternoon at 3 PM. Be sure to fire up your old analog TV sets so you can hear it on Channel 6…

KENNY ON THE FAN: We weren’t taking a lot of bets that former Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN Cleveland” evening-previously-afternoon drive host Kenny Roda would land on WKNR’s competitor, “92.3 The Fan”.

While we still believe he won’t displace any of the station’s weekday hosts, Roda has indeed landed.

What 92.3 midday hosts Andy Baskin and Jeff Phelps called “The Roda Moment” debuted Wednesday on the CBS Radio sports talker. You can hear the first segment here (dubbed “Roda Report”).

Roda will appear on “Baskin and Phelps” each Wednesday at 12:40 PM to talk about a wide variety of sports topics. His first appearance Wednesday was via phone.

The veteran host has not exactly let moss grow under his feet after Good Karma dumped him, Will Burge and T.J. Zuppe in what many believe was a salary dump by the Galleria.

Roda appears (with Baskin) regularly on Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5′s Buckeye post-game coverage, and on the station’s “Dawgs on the Run” online video show…the show is seen on WEWS’ NewsNet5.com and on the WEWS mobile apps very early on Monday mornings.

And of course, we reported earlier that Zuppe landed as a reporter at “92.3 The Fan”, presumably taking the role of Indians beat reporter at least by Spring Training. The pair join former WKNR staffer Chris Fedor on the 92.3 airwaves…

AS SUSPECTED, SAME FORMAT: We considered it somewhat likely that standards WHTX/1570 Warren would return to a former format under the control of former LMA operator/would-be buyer/future owner Nelson Cintron, and it looks like we won the easy bet.

As it did when Cintron took over the station before, an OMW reader in the Mahoning Valley tells us that WHTX has returned to “its R&B format”.

We don’t have to drive to the Valley to guess that Cintron’s Sagittarius Communications is likely using the 24/7 satellite format “The Touch”.

In a legal settlement with now-former WHTX owner and OMW reader Chris Lash, Cintron also gained control of Whiplash Radio’s WYCL/1540 Niles, a daytimer that went off the air due to a host of technical problems.

If Cintron is able to return 1540 to the air, we assume that station will also once again mount the Spanish-language “La Nueva Mia” format it had before.

Our Valley reader tells us that after the WHTX format change, Jack Cory, long-time voice of standards WKTX/830 Cortland, thanked people for listening to “the number-one rated” nostalgia/easy listening station in “all of Northeast Ohio”.

Given market size, perhaps the adult volunteer hosts at Kenston Local School District-owned nostalgia WKHR/91.5 Bainbridge, in the Cleveland market would have something to say about that…

PARKS EXITS: We don’t really cover the Cincinnati market like we used to, but a veteran radio programmer based at Clear Channel talk WLW/700 there is out of a job.

Darryl Parks used to program WLW directly, before he was prompted to Vice President of news/talk programming for the entire Clear Channel chain nationwide.

Even in his new role, Parks was based at WLW’s studios, and even until last week, he hosted the station’s Saturday midday talk show. (You don’t find many corporate VPs doing a Saturday show.)

Parks helped mold original “The Big One” into an even “Bigger One” in his time programming the 50,000 watt flamethrower at 700 in Southwest Ohio.

What happened?

Well, Parks did write a very controversial blog on the WLW site about the FCC’s plans to rehabilitate AM radio.

There’s no confirmation connecting that with his dismissal by Clear Channel Media & Entertainment and Pork Rinds (the latter our own addition), and it could also just have been a budgetary move.

We go into this because when we were trying to cover media statewide from our Northeast Ohio perch, we talked about Parks and WLW a lot.

And at least back then, we understand that Parks was a reader of this very Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), though we expect he dialed back his readership here after we stopped covering his home base on a regular basis…

AND FINALLY…: The changes we’ve teased here are indeed coming, likely in the next week or two.

Again, we aren’t returning to our earlier move of basically limiting the OMW presence to social media.

In fact, this blog will likely grow, with some help we’ll tell you about soon…

Changes Are Coming, But First…

One reason we’ve been almost “hiatus scarce” in recent days has been technical. But that’s about to change, and other changes will come to the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) as a result.

No, don’t worry…we aren’t planning on forwarding the website to our social media presence again. But as an early hint: you might want to start accessing the blog via our dedicated domain name

NEW BEAT: Long-time local radio sports reporter Matt Loede was part of the launch staff at CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan” when it started in August 2011. (You might have read a little about it on a certain blog.)

We don’t know why, but Loede recently exited “The Fan”.

Though the 92.3 website doesn’t specifically list him as “Indians beat reporter” (or list him at all at this point), it appears that the opening will be filled by a former staffer of crosstown Good Karma sports WKNR/850-WWGK/1540 “ESPN Cleveland”.

After studiously avoiding poaching the Galleria for talent at launch, WKRK has brought aboard another former WKNR personality – T.J. Zuppe, one of three staffers fired in a talent purge last August.

Zuppe was most recently the Indians beat reporter at “ESPN Cleveland”, and was shown the door along with fellow staffers Will Burge and Cleveland sports talk veteran Kenny Roda in an apparent budget-related move.

Zuppe joins former WKNR personality Chris Fedor on the “Fan” staff. Fedor has been doing weekend/fill-in sports update anchoring and occasional talk fill-in for 92.3.

We don’t generally talk about ratings here, for various reasons, but a look at the most recent public Cleveland market ratings numbers shows that the folks in the Halle Building are probably celebrating “92.3 The Fan’s” most recent showing…it’s best as a sports talk station.

At the Galleria, WKNR does not show up in what’s now the Nielsen Audio ratings report…because Good Karma doesn’t buy the ratings…

SPEAKING OF THE HALLE: WKRK, and its CBS Radio clustermates, had a bit of a tense morning the other day.

Early Friday morning, it was believed that a downtown Cleveland street shooting happened on the Huron Road side of the aforementioned Halle Building, giving CBS Radio staffers a view of a lot of police activity.

This B-roll video from the scene, shot by Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3, even shows one Cleveland police car directly in front of the CBS Radio cluster’s front door. (It’s the same door we showed you right before WKRK/92.3 flipped to sports in 2011.)

But the story, on WKYC’s WKYC.com, has changed since early Friday:

Two men were shot in the 1200 block of Prospect Avenue by an unknown gunman.

After being shot, the two victims ran to the area of E. 12th and Huron Road, and took a taxi to MetroHealth Medical Center, where they are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

With that new information, we can now pretty safely assume that no CBS Radio Cleveland employees were hurt in the shooting…

NEW CO-HOST IN AKRON: We told you, back when local radio veteran Tony McGinty moved from the morning producer role at Rubber City Radio’s news/oldies/sports WAKR/1590 to a similar role at Clear Channel CHR WKDD/98.1, that a third, female voice would join him alongside WKDD’s Keith Kennedy.

That woman has now started at Freedom Avenue.

She’s Meg White, who comes to WKDD and Northeast Ohio from Bristol Broadcasting CHR powerhouse WVSR/102.7 “Electric 102.7″ in Charleston WV…

DAVE HAS A PARTNER: “27 First News” in Youngstown, seen on LIN TV’s CBS-Fox combo of WKBN-TV/27 and WYFX-LD/19, has a new evening co-anchor.

She’s Erika Thomas, who the station says comes to the Mahoning Valley after a stint as “main anchor in Sioux City, Iowa.”

A quick Google search places her as the now-former evening co-anchor for “Siouxland News”, on CBS affiliate KMEG/14-Fox affiliate KPTH/44, a combo operated by Sinclair.

A goodbye video on her YouTube page is dated May 31 of this year.

Thomas shares many other videos of her previous work on her own website.

Quoting a press release helpfully sent directly to us by WKBN/WYFX:

“We are extremely pleased to have a journalist of Erika’s caliber joining our news operation. Erika’s passion for news is a very welcome addition to our news team, her skills will only enhance our ability to provide our local viewers the very best in news coverage each and every day,” said Dave Coy, President and General Manager of WKBN and its sister stations.

Thomas replaces Teresa Weakley alongside co-anchor Dave Sess. Weakley left WKBN/WYFX to co-anchor the morning newscast at now-LIN TV sister station WIVB/4 in Buffalo

VALLEY STATIONS CHANGE HANDS: Continuing the Mahoning Valley theme, two radio stations in the Youngstown-Warren radio market are in new hands. Or old “new hands”.

Former Cleveland city councilman Nelson Cintron Jr. filed to purchase Whiplash Radio’s WHTX/1570 Warren and WYCL/1540 Niles – under his Sagittarius Communications – in October of last year. It’s a deal the FCC blessed with approval two months later.

But Cintron, who immediately LMAed the stations and flipped formats (WHTX to urban adult contemporary using the syndicated “The Touch”, and WYCL becoming Spanish-language “La Nueva Mia”), never actually took ownership of either station.

By May, 1540 had returned to owner Chris Lash’s “The Farm” classic country format, and 1570 returned to standards as “Fabulous 1570″.

The stations are now returning to Cintron, in what’s being called a court settlement. Cintron sued Lash and his Whiplash Radio, LLC over the transaction, in a suit we found in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. The settlement has not yet made it to online court records.

On his way out the Mahoning Valley Radio Ownership door, long-time OMW reader Chris Lash has given us a rather interesting statement:

“The formats I tried didn’t work. While they have worked very well in other markets that were currently in, we couldn’t get them to work there. I failed not only in programming, but in character judgement as well. No matter what we tried and worked with, it didn’t work. It changed my whole prospective on the business.”

Lash has been living in Florida in the last part of his ownership of the two local stations, and still operates stations in Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska (a non-commercial trio running his “Cat Country” format) and two commercial stations in Tenneesee.

We’ll have to depend on Mahoning Valley ears to hear what Cintron is doing with the stations, though we presume a return to his previous formats listed above would be a good bet…though Lash recently took WYCL off the air due to a number of technical problems…

ANN’S CORNER: We’re overdue for this item from “Ann’s Corner”, a regular feature with items brought to us by (all together, now!) long-time personal and professional Friend of OMW Ann VerWiebe, public relations/marketing guru for Kent State University public radio outlet WKSU/89.7-and-its-many-simulcasters.

As always, Ann sent this to us very much on-time, but we didn’t get a Round Tuit(tm) until now:

WKSU Assistant News Director Amanda Rabinowitz was presented a prestigious National Murrow Award from Radio-Television-Digital News Association (RTDNA) at an Oct. 14 ceremony at the Times Square Marriott Marquis in New York, N.Y. The award was presented by ESPN investigative reporter T.J. Quinn during the live-streamed formal event. The winning entry previously won a Regional Murrow, competing against work from large market radio stations in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.

Rabinowitz was honored for Best Sports Reporting for an in-depth report on the misuse of prescription painkillers by college athletes.

Ann’s release helpfully notes that Rabinowitz, a WKSU news staffer since 2007, is currently the local weekday host for NPR’s “Morning Edition”…

MIKE O’S CORNER: And here are some items from another Friend of OMW, long-time Cleveland radio type Mike Olszewski.

Mike tells us about a benefit for Sonny Geraci, who was lead singer for the popular Cleveland-based group “The Outsiders” and later, for “Climax”.

He says Geraci recently suffered a devastating stroke, and a benefit will be held for him this month:

“We’re having a benefit at a huge concert venue in Streetsboro on November 15th and 16th with all proceeds going to Sonny,” Olszewski tells us. “Even the artists are donating their services, and what a lineup!”

A web page for the event says it features “over 20+ national artists” including some pretty big name contemporaries of Geraci, and you can see those artists in the YouTube video promoting the event:

Tickets start at $35 per person each day, and can be bought online.

Mike tells us it’s “also going to be filmed for a benefit DVD and a local PBS presentation, with all proceeds to Sonny.”

He quotes Geraci’s friend Chuck Kocisko:

“A year and a half latter, Sonny is still unable to walk. Knowing the financial hard ship with all of this, a few of us decided to help the Geraci family. All proceeds generated from this event will be used to offset the huge expenses incurred by the Geraci Family, and to rehab the Geraci’s home for more home care. The home needs to be ADA useable before bringing Sonny home for any length of time.”

Olszewski will be busy in Streetsboro that weekend, displaying his collection of rare “Superman” artifacts at a benefit for the Twinsburg Library

From TV To FM Radio

And it’s mostly an FM thing this time…but let’s start with some TV…

DR. GONE: Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 made a big deal out of its choice to replace Oprah Winfrey at 4 PM, when the queen of TV talk left the over-air airwaves for her own “OWN” – “Oprah Winfrey Network”.

Dr. Mehmet Oz from the Oprah Universe, who had already been airing on WEWS at 10 AM weekdays, would air also at 4…with the later edition being his “newest” show, and the 10 AM airing a repeat from a week earlier.

“Dr. Oz” is no longer practicing TV medicine on Channel 5 at 4 PM, in an abrupt move made a while back.

We noticed it when we turned to WEWS a couple of weeks ago, and found two airings of the half-hour video clip show “RightThisMinute”. The show has aired at various times on Channel 5 in the past.

Why so abrupt a change?

Maybe the folks at 3001 Euclid were tired of “Dr. Oz”‘s sagging ratings, and for that matter, were worried about its effect on NewsChannel 5′s “Live on Five” at 5 PM…a show that we hear has definitely seen better ratings days. You could well say the same for the station’s “Good Morning Cleveland”.

As the folks at 3001 Euclid are fond of doing, “Live on Five” has undergone tweaking…that apparently isn’t helping the ratings.

We’re told that “RightThisMinute” isn’t really improving things so far in the former “Dr. Oz” slot, though it is early. (“RTM” is owned by a consortium including Scripps, and WOIO/19-WUAB/43 owner Raycom Media.)

“Dr. Oz” continues on WEWS in its original 10 AM time slot, and according to listings, also airs at 1:37 AM…

GRACE FINALLY MAKES IT: Shortly after Akron’s Rubber City Radio Group bought WNWV/107.3 and returned it to its historic “Wave” identity, back in early 2012, we noticed a new staff member:

Also aboard the new “Wave” is Grace Roberts, who started her career at the station (under Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting ownership, of course), and eventually became a mainstay at Radio One urban AC WZAK/93.1 and gospel WJMO/1300.

There was only one problem with our item.

Despite the fact that Rubber City even added Grace to its new website, she never actually took the job at WNWV…choosing, we heard later, to stay with Radio One instead.

It turns out the announcement of Grace joining the Wave was about a year and nine months premature, as Roberts does indeed now join the “107.3 The Wave” staff…really.

From AllAccess:

RUBBER CITY RADIO GROUP Smooth AC WNWV (107.3 THE WAVE) has named GRACE ROBERTS as its new Community Affairs Director. ROBERTS will also join the WAVE MORNING SHOW team, with longtime host DAN DEELY beginning OCTOBER 28th.

Roberts tells the AllAccess folks that she’s followed Deely’s career over the years, and says it’s an honor to be working with him.

As we noted in the first item, Grace Roberts is well known for her stint as WZAK’s long-time overnighter, and her work in middays at sister gospel WJMO…and started her career at the first incarnation of WNWV under Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting’s ownership…

NEW WKSU PD: Kent State University public outlet WKSU/89.7-and-its-many-simulcasters has named a new program director. She’s Ele Ellis, who comes to the Kent-based station from WUGA in Athens GA.

Quoting WKSU executive director Dan Skinner in a release sent to us by (say it with us!) long-time personal and professional Friend of OMW Ann VerWiebe, the station’s marketing/public relations guru:

“We feel very fortunate to have Ele on board to help lead the station into an undiscovered public radio future. Her knowledge of programming – including news, classical music and even folk music – and her obvious love of public radio makes her an ideal fit for WKSU.”

Yes, “even folk music”, as Ellis rose from show host to program director of AAA/Americana/variety WNCW in Spindale NC. She hosted the bluegrass program “Goin’ Across The Mountain”.

WNCW is well-known in public radio circles for its music, and covers a wide swath of the Asheville NC and western North Carolina area, with translators in Charlotte and other cities.

WUGA’s schedule appears much like WKSU’s, before it added news/talk programming in middays…

THIS IS NPR: If you spend even a little time listening to WKSU and other NPR stations, you probably can hear the voice in your head…”This is NPR”, which used to be followed by “National Public Radio”.

That voice was Frank Tavares, who intoned the above and read thousands of underwriting announcements from his Connecticut home for three decades.

The public radio giant announced this week that a female voice will replace Tavares on the air, Sabrina Farhi.

From NPR’s press release, quoted on Jim Romenesko’s site.

Listeners will begin to hear Farhi’s own articulation of “Support for NPR comes from…” in November, as she reminds audiences of the multitude of Member stations, corporations and institutions who contribute funding to NPR and public radio.

But the little reported news involves those NPR online sponsor credits, which, according to the public media trade publication “Current”, were voiced by someone within the OMW Coverage Area:

Joe Gunderman, a production coordinator at WKSU in Kent, Ohio, and an announcer of NPR’s digital sponsorship credits, will also be replaced. Gunderman and Tavares were invited to apply for the new position, according to NPR.

And to complete the WKSU part of this story, of course, NPR VP/programming Eric Nuzum is an alumnus of the local station as well, starting his career as a student employee, and later becoming one of Ellis’ predecessors as program director…

AND ONE MORE ON WKSU: And believe it or not, this one didn’t come from (see above).

We were stumbling across the FCC databases tonight when we found an application earlier this year for a WKSU translator in Mansfield.

The 22 watt signal at 95.1 would not be a powerhouse, but would restore NPR news/talk programming to much of Mansfield that lost it when Ohio State University’s WOSU-FM decided to mount the station’s all-classical service (based at newly acquired WOSA/101.1 “Classical 101″ Grove City/Columbus) on WOSV in that Mid-Ohio city.

The proposed Mansfield translator lists WKSU’s nearest full-power repeater signal, WKRW/89.3 Wooster, as its intended primary.

WKSU also operates 80 watt W239AZ/95.7 in Ashland, another translator that doesn’t made it to the heart of Mansfield.

The WKSU translator in Boardman in Mahoning County is now off the air, and has disappeared from all databases…

UPDATE And The New WNIR Morning Host(s) Are…

UPDATE 10/23/13 9:57 AM: It has been officially announced on WNIR…Chris Fox and Angela Bellios will join the WNIR morning show on Monday.

We presume that Fox is the former WDOK/102.1 afternoon driver who left in 2007. We do know Bellios is the former WKDD/98.1 morning co-host who eventually landed at WHBC-FM/94.1.

In a news story running on WNIR right now, station manager Bill Klaus is quoted as saying Chris and Angela “bring a strong background in Northeast Ohio radio”, and will indeed join news director Phil Ferguson and sports director Steve French on the new show starting Monday…

—-

…we don’t know, yet.

But we’re pretty sure we’re the only local media types who didn’t get an E-mail tonight from WNIR/100.1 station manager Bill Klaus, saying the recipient didn’t get the morning drive gig, or gigs, at the “Talk of Akron”…replacing Stan Piatt…and also, it seems, Maggie Fuller.

At least two auditioners have posted that Klaus said “some long time radio pros” have been hired for the opening(s) that saw a number of both radio pros and comedians heard on WNIR, after Piatt abruptly started retirement a bit early.

Who isn’t in?

So far, we’ve heard on social media from Mike Novak, Chad Zumock, Jeff Blanchard and Sally Ride that they’re on the “didn’t get it” list, and that’s just a start. Another check of our social media accounts will probably reveal more.

The official “sorry” notes from Bill Klaus probably stem from the station’s search for a replacement for iconic late midday host Howie Chizek, where veteran personality Jeff Kinzbach basically had to call out the Ohio State Highway Patrol to confirm that the station no longer needed him to audition, having hired John “Couch Burner” Denning after he spent 25 years on the other end of (330) 673-1234 from Howie.

(Kinzbach, of course, ended up at Rubber City Radio rock WONE/97.5 as its morning host, where no regular caller edged him out of the job.)

So, this item will be updated when we learn the actual names…and from the above, it does appear to be plural, suggesting a return to a four person morning show.

And yes, we’ve confirmed that Novak, who got 5 days worth of auditions alongside incumbent WNIR morning co-hosts Phil Ferguson and Steve French, and a couple of days also with former WKDD/98.1 co-host Angela Bellios, is indeed “Ike the Night Guy”, who left Rubber City Radio country WQMX/94.9 in 2009…

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