Reserve Square Shakes It Up

You may have noticed that most of our items this past week come from outposts like Cincinnati and Toledo. It’s been a quiet week for Cleveland area media…until now.

Major changes are sweeping the halls at local CBS affiliate WOIO/19, according to Cleveland Plain Dealer TV/radio writer Julie Washington in the PD’s Entertainment blog.

Oh, sure, there are anchors moving around again.

New weekender Paul Joncich barely makes it into his first month at “19 Action News” before being moved to the high-profile 5 PM and 10 PM weekday assignments with WOIO’s Sharon Reed alongside him.

Anchor Jeff Eliasoph, who got glowing praise just a few weeks ago from management for his work on the station’s weekday evening newscasts, gets moved into a co-anchor slot on “19 Action News This Morning” alongside Allison Alexander.

If that sounds like a demotion to you, consider that stations are considering their early morning newscasts as very important outposts these days. It’s certainly the only time slot where TV stations are generally gaining local news viewers overall.

Ah, but we bury the lead, if only for effect.

Yes, it’ll be WTAM afternoon mushmouth Mike Trivisonno showing up with a regular segment on the “19 Action News” 5 PM cast with the aforementioned Ms. Reed, via a camera link from the WTAM studios at Clear Channel’s Oak Tree World Domination Headquarters in Independence.

Triv will be going back and forth with Reed about “whatever’s on his mind,” says WOIO news director Dan Salamone to the PD. (We can see you already typing those comments. No, we don’t know if the menu at Mallorca’s will be the topic most days, at least on those days when Triv isn’t sounding the call for casino gambling in Cleveland, or talking sports.)

Salamone definitely wins our “truth in advertising” award for this quote to Ms. Washington, though:

“He’s somebody who was born to be in a 19 Action News format.”

We’ll let Mr. Salamone’s comment stand by itself.

Triv and Sharon TV will start whenever Clear Channel ensures that Triv’s drool over Ms. Reed doesn’t short out the equipment…or perhaps October 9th, when the WTAM afternoon driver returns from his latest Las Vegas vacation.

The other WOIO change, also listed on the PD’s Entertainment blog, is almost an afterthought. Julie Washington reports that the Raycom CBS affiliate is starting up “Weather Now”, the Cleveland market’s second all-weather digital/cable channel after WKYC’s “NBC Weather Plus”.

The channel is set to launch Monday, and will reportedly be on “all the major” local cable providers…so Ms. Washington reports.

She doesn’t mention that “Weather Now” will (likely) be seen on WOIO’s over-air digital TV channel, likely as the new 19.2 subchannel. Local digital TV viewers have seen WOIO lighting up that secondary digital channel on and off over the past month or so.

Over on sister Raycom MyNetworkTV outlet WUAB/43, 43.2 is already taken up with the music video channel “The Tube”…


A Cincy Update

As has been reported, Cumulus’ 96.5 frequency in the Cincinnati market is about to be something else, when country WYGY officially moves fully to the 94.9 frequency once housing “Mojo 94.9”.

Following up on the speculation about top 40 on the former WMOJ/96.5…a top Cumulus suit says “not so fast”.

Cumulus executive VP John Dickey tells AllAccess that the station’s new calls of WPRV “mean nothing”, and calls rumors of a top 40 format “pure wishful speculation on the part of the industry”…saying the WPRV calls are “just good hard consonants when said”.

Um, OK.

“Power 96.5”, anyone? We’ll see…

Marshall Towers in Toledo

OMW reported earlier that former hot AC WWWM/105.5 “Star 105” Toledo programmer Steve Marshall had been heard in afternoons on Cumulus sister top 40 station WTWR/98.3 “Tower 98-3”.

We now hear that Marshall, as we speculated earlier, has taken the vacant program director chair at “Tower”…which has been without a PD for months…

Cincy Top 40?

AllAccess is hinting at a possible new top 40 outlet in Cincinnati, but has posted no other details.

OMW helpfully reminds folks that there’ll be an odd frequency out in all the Radio One/Cumulus shuffles involving the move-in of 100.3 FM to the Cincinnati market.

With that frequency adopting the “Mojo” identity from Cumulus/ex-Susquehanna’s 94.9, and country WYGY decamping at 94.9 from 96.5, that’ll open up the latter frequency to a new format.

OMW has not heard even any rumors about top 40 on Cumulus’ 96.5 once the WYGY simulcast ends, but it would certainly be open for a new format due to that above shuffle…

BREAKING NEWS: WOAC Sold to Multicultural

This just in…

Scripps has finally found a buyer for WOAC/67 Canton, and the four other stations formerly owned by its former Shop at Home division.

The five stations are being sold to Multicultural Television Broadcasting in a $170 million deal.

The company is a new TV offshoot of Multicultural Radio, which owns a number of foreign language/brokered radio stations in major markets like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The company made news outside the foreign language radio world when it was involved in a legal dispute with Air America Radio. Multicultural’s WNTD/950 Chicago and KBLA/1580 Santa Monica/Los Angeles were the liberal talk radio network’s initial affiliates in those markets until Multicultural owner Arthur Liu kicked off the network in a payment dispute…

Monday Morning

Starting off the week:

NO NEWS TO US: Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) is no stranger to late night hours, but we hadn’t checked in for a while with Clear Channel Cleveland talk WTAM/1100 during the hours devoted to Premiere’s George Noory and Art Bell and “Coast to Coast AM”.

So it was a surprise to us when an OMW reader informed us that he was no longer hearing WTAM overnight anchor Steve Gatans in the wee hours, and that the station was running FOX News Radio instead.

Sure enough, a late night listen revealed that WTAM is apparently no longer providing local on-air news updates in the post-midnight hours, at least when we listened at 3 AM and 4 AM late last week. We have also noticed that the “WTAM SkyChief Traffic and Weather Together 24/7” positioner is no longer being used during the day, and the traffic folks are certainly not there at 3 AM either.

We also heard a highly produced promo after the FOX News Radio casts, restating the station’s commitment to provide breaking news all day and all night.

OMW did hear Gatans during a recent edition of “Wills and Coleman”, providing news updates in the 5 AM hour the same morning he was not heard in the overnight updates. It appears likely to us that he’s been re-slotted to provide more support for the morning show. (Gatans or whoever’s done WTAM overnights has done early reporting/anchoring for it in the past.)

We don’t know if weekend overnighter Michael Kelly is still bouncing around Oak Tree, though.

We’re conflicted about this, a little.

We certainly understand that frankly, not really much happens in local news at 3 AM in Northeast Ohio. But there’s always been a comfort factor in knowing that if you hear a loud explosion or siren or whatever in the overnight hours, you could turn to WTAM, which at least had a live anchor on the air.

From our experience, though, we suspect WTAM likely has at least one person on-call for late night major breaking news, and we assume there’s at least one person in the building at Oak Tree overnight that’s able to put that “on call” process into motion if needed…

LOOKING FOR KEVIN’S REPLACEMENT: With long-time Rubber City Radio OM/WQMX 94.9 PD Kevin Mason headed for a Nashville record label, the Akron company is scouring the country for his replacement.

It’s Rubber City VP/operations Nick Anthony heading up the search, and he tells AllAccess that he’s looking for someone with at least 10 years of broadcast experience and a “proven track record” as a programmer.

OMW wonders if the new WQMX PD will also oversee day-to-day operations of sister standards WAKR/1590, as Mason did, or if the natural move would be to hand that role to veteran programmer Chuck Collins. Collins has been instrumental in implementing WAKR’s recent move to locally-voiced programming…and is basically acting in the role of PD there, even if he does not have the title yet…

Marconi Awards

Congratulations to:

Clear Channel oldies WMJI/105.7 Cleveland, for winning the Oldies Station of the Year honors at the NAB Marconi Awards last night…

And Clear Channel rock WEBN/102.7 Cincinnati for its nod as the Rock Station of the Year…