Memo To Reserve Square

It looks like WOIO/19 “19 Action News” anchor Sharon Reed isn’t proud of taking her clothes off in front of a camera, anymore.

Some three years after Ms. Reed became perhaps the most infamous local TV news anchor in America for her “Body of Art” series, the anchor and her station are now making the rounds of various websites, trying to get them to remove the racy pictures.

The Plain Dealer’s Michael K. McIntyre quotes Sharon’s immediate boss, news director Dan Salamone, in Saturday’s “TipOff” column:

There are as many as two dozen Web sites still using images and or videotape from this story. I have sent them letters. It’s our copywritten material. They don’t have the right to use it.

We actually knew about this a couple of days ago, when an unrelated search brought us to another blog – not the one mentioned by Mr. McIntyre (wizbangblog.com). That blog was unrepentant, and even posted a copy of Ms. Reed’s E-Mail threat. So did the folks at Wizbang.

Since the latest entry includes a repeat of one of the “Body of Art” pictures, and since we here at OMW don’t wish to increase Ms. Reed’s, uh, exposure – for entirely different reasons – we won’t link the entry in question here.

Feel free to use Wizbang’s handy “search” function, put in Sharon’s name, and enjoy. Or not.

For their part, the blog folks enlisted a lawyer who specializes in defending blogs from this sort of thing. Quoting lawyer Ronald D. Coleman:

Your wish to un-ring the bells sounded by the singular performance depicted in these images, while understandable, is not a legitimate ground for you to prevent their reasonable use in connection with news reporting about that performance.

And here’s where WOIO and Ms. Reed become inhabitants of Hypocrite City, a special subsection of the Reserve Square news dungeon.

OMW chuckles at the contention by Mr. Salamone – that the pictures should be pulled for copyright reasons, and that “fair use” isn’t a defense for the websites and bloggers in question.

Ah, but back in 2004, these pictures popped up on websites all over the world! And oddly enough, Raycom Media, WOIO or Ms. Reed said NOTHING. They weren’t sending out letters to webmasters, as far as we know, asking the removal of the pictures. (If we’re wrong on that, we’d like to know.)

They WANTED the pictures all over – so they could PROMOTE their willful ratings sweep stunt and drive up their ratings!

Fast forward to 2007, where even WOIO/WUAB general manager Bill Applegate said in a recent Plain Dealer interview that the “Body of Art” series was one thing he had second thoughts about.

And just days later, the Naked Anchor In Question starts firing off E-Mails threatening legal action against sites that still carry the pictures from three years ago.

How, as Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” might say, “conVENient”.

Oh, and a heads up to Reserve Square.

It should be noted that OMW has never run the actual pictures in question. It happened before we started here, and we’re not a “skin blog”. We don’t make a habit, for any reason, of featuring women removing their clothes in front of a camera, TV news anchors or otherwise.

So, Sharon, feel free to search OMW – the “Search” box is right at the top – but you won’t find the pictures.

We’ll close by quoting Mr. McIntyre’s last line on the subject:

Un-ring the bell? Shouldn’t have unbuckled the belt.

A Tight Squeeze Play

And no, we aren’t talking about a play we’d like to see the Cleveland Indians pull off in the upcoming playoff run.

We’ve let some items accumulate here, and we’re going to put them in one big item to close out the week.

BIG TEN NETWORK GETS, UH, CABLE PRESENCE: The folks at the Big Ten Network have a cable signing to crow about.

But unfortunately for the conference-owned TV network, BTN’s new signup is not Time Warner Cable, the region’s largest cable provider by far.

Instead, the new sports channel has done what the football folks call an “end around”.

To add to AT&T’s U-verse service as a carrier, the Big Ten Network has signed up WOW Cable, the former Wide Open West service that is an alternative cable operator in some parts of the Cleveland and Columbus areas. WOW operates the system once built by Ameritech, the former Ohio Bell and today’s AT&T.

BTN’s channel will be in the high-expanded basic range – cable channel 87 on the Ohio systems, starting Saturday. As of yet, there’s no word about HD carriage, but we’ll assume WOW will air the HD version of BTN at some point.

Meanwhile, we haven’t nailed it down 100 percent yet, but OMW hears that discussions involving adding Big Ten Network to Time Warner Cable are also tied in with renewal discussions for FOX Sports Net Ohio. (FOX’s cable network arm owns BTN, along with the conference.)

Whether that helps or hinders the process remains to be seen.

FSN Ohio is one of a number of networks involved in what’s usually a standard process to renew carriage agreements with Time Warner.

Don’t let that lengthy legal notice throw you, despite the fact that it includes ABC affiliate WEWS/5 and its digital side. It’s just a notice TWC is required to make public.

In addition to FSN Ohio and WEWS (and its associated Scripps-owned cable networks),
there are cable networks owned by Time Warner Cable’s parent company – the On Demand versions of networks like CNN, as well as CNN en Espanol. You don’t think THOSE are in trouble, do you?

TWC has not always “played nice” with corporate sisters – witness the trouble getting Cincinnati CW affiliate “CinCW” on basic cable on the company’s Cincinnati system, despite the fact that Time Warner owns half of that network. But they own 100% of the above mentioned networks, and there’s no other intermediary here…in Cincinnati, the latter was then-Clear Channel CBS affiliate WKRC/12, the parent of “CinCW”.

And an OMW Jeer aimed at the aforementioned “NewsChannel 5”. Their evening story on this news item made it look like there was a deal between Time Warner Cable and the Big Ten Network.

Oh, sure, the audio had the proper information, but a glance at the TV gave no indication that the deal was for an alternative provider – with not even a WOW Cable logo on the screen, let alone the service’s name.

And consumer reporter Angie Lau’s story also gleefully repeated that the BTN folks were celebrating their 30 millionth subscriber. We could have gotten that from their press release, and WEWS could have saved the electricity needed to run the camera.

At least it wasn’t a 5 minute long promo for this fall’s ABC entertainment lineup, disguised as a series of “news stories”. That happened the other day…

THIS JUST IN: And we mean JUST in…

OMW hears that Clear Channel talk WHLO/640 Akron has parted ways with news director Tom Duresky, who’s been handling those duties for WHLO and other Clear Channel Akron/Canton stations for some time. (He has also been heard on sister hot AC WKDD/98.1, and was heard on WARF/1350 in its previous liberal talk format.)

We don’t know why Tom is no longer there, but best of luck to him in the future! And may that OMW Karma work its magic for the long-time OMW reader.

Back at Freedom Avenue, operations chief Keith Kennedy needs a replacement. If you read this blog and don’t know the World Domination HQ/Southern Command’s full mailing address, good luck to you….

AWARDS: A tip of the hat to Clear Channel country WGAR/99.5 Cleveland mainstay Chuck Collier, who just picked up the NAB “Marconi Award” as Large Market Personality of the Year.

And we mean mainstay, as we didn’t realize he’s been on WGAR for over 30 years. We know he’s been there for a long time, dating back into the station’s days on AM 1220 (now Salem Christian teaching/talk WHKW), but we didn’t realize it had been 30 years.

That tidbit comes from Chuck’s show page on the WGAR site, where you can also get pictures from the awards event earlier this week at the NAB Radio Show in Charlotte…

WHICH ONE DO WE CURSE?: As mentioned last week, be prepared for fuzzy pictures on Sunday if you’re a Cleveland Browns fan.

CBS will once again designate the Browns’ contest with the Baltimore Ravens as a game that doesn’t deserve an HDTV broadcast. This week, the local NFL team’s game shares that dishonor with the Houston Texans’ game with the Atlanta Falcons.

HDTV once again returns for Browns viewers the following Sunday, with CBS listing Cleveland’s game against the New England Patriots as an HD contest. But it’s back to fuzzy SD for the following week’s game against Miami.

The week after that? Close your eyes and hope Derek Anderson doesn’t throw an interception in your imagination, as the Browns will be in their “bye” week.

As we’ve said before, with one less game due to that “bye” week the rest of the season, and with other providers (NFL Network, etc.) picking games away from the CBS Sunday schedule, there might be a chance it’ll be all HDTV for the Browns – no matter how badly they play – the rest of the year.

And in 2008, it all lights up in high-definition for CBS, and all other NFL carriers, as part of a new TV contract…

BREAKING NEWS: Ex-ESPN Host Patrick Picks Up Local Affiliate

UPDATE 9/26/07 3:35 PM: AllAccess points out that Dan Patrick’s new show, which will debut on WARF and other early affiliates on Tuesday, October 1st, will actually air live 9 AM-noon Eastern Time.

Any affiliate that carries the show in Patrick’s former ESPN Radio time slot (1-4 PM) will be carrying it on delay.

We’re curious if this “changes the game” for former affiliates of that show, who could presumably carry the show before Jim Rome. For WWGK/1540, Good Karma’s “KNR2”, that’d mean replacing part of shows hosted by FOX Sports Radio’s Steve Czaban and ESPN’s Colin Cowherd.

But as we note below, the Good Karma folks are pretty tied to the ESPN branding, and we’re not sure Bristol would like such a move. Or, for that matter, if the folks currently on Broadview Road are considering it at all…

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OMW hears – and we mean literally, on the station – that Clear Channel Akron sports talker WARF/1350 “SportsRadio 1350” will be one of the first affiliates carrying the new afternoon show hosted by now-former ESPN Radio host Dan Patrick.

An on-air announcement during a local football-oriented talk show Tuesday evening says Patrick will air on WARF in his old ESPN Radio time slot, 1-4 PM Monday through Friday. And we believe that so far, only WARF has announced his carriage in Northeast Ohio’s largest markets.

OMW reported a while back that Patrick’s Cleveland affiliate in his ESPN Radio days, Good Karma sports WWGK/1540 “Cleveland’s AM 1540, KNR2”, has already announced that it’s staying with the network’s own replacements for the former SportsCenter anchor, who is a native of the Dayton area – by the way.

Those replacements would be “Monday Night Football” voice Mike Tirico (1-3 PM) and ESPN basketball talk contributor and sportswriter Stephen A. Smith (3-4 PM, a one hour national simulcast of his show on ESPN Radio O&O WEPN/1050 in New York City).

We can’t find the earlier announcement on the station’s ESPNCleveland.com website, but we have no indication that 1540 is dumping the Tirico/Smith combo for Dan Patrick. For now, at any rate. One wonders how ESPN Radio would feel about it if they did…

Indians’ Clinching Game To Be Replayed

SportsTime Ohio is planning a replay of Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Indians and the Oakland A’s – the win which gave the local Major League Baseball team its shiny, new American League Central title.

The game will air Tuesday starting at 5:30 PM.

One reason STO cites for the replay – the Sunday game aired on WKYC/3, the Cleveland NBC affiliate which is the team’s over-air home, instead of on STO.

Quoting the press release:

The Indians clinched the Central Division Title on Sunday and the game aired on WKYC Channel 3. STO will replay it as an instant classic to provide out of market viewers the opportunity to relive the game in its entirety, including the post game celebration.

We don’t know if the other over-air out-of-market affiliates carried the game, but we’ll assume they did. But there are still many areas of Tribe fandom where they CAN get STO, but can’t get an over-air affiliate.

The Indians Radio Network flagship, Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland, has a ton of pictures and sound from the game on its website

Passings

We note the passing of two names with history in Northeast Ohio media.

REX HUMBARD DIES: As far as we know, Rex Humbard hasn’t been seen on local TV for many years, and he moved to Florida years ago.

But Humbard turned Northeast Ohio into the epicenter of televangelism, as one magazine noted, bringing televised evangelism “to Main Street” from its center in suburban Akron.

The New York Times notes the height of his worldwide television presence:

At its peak, in 1977-8, the program leased time on 378 television stations in the United States and Canada and broadcast on about 1,200 more in other countries. Mr. Humbard claimed that “Cathedral of Tomorrow” was on more television stations than any other program in the nation.

Humbard was a massive presence even locally, even to those who did not tune into his long-running TV programs. Shoppers at State Road Shopping Center in Cuyahoga Falls could not miss that white domed Cathedral of Tomorrow across the street, and eventually, the concrete tower Rex built next door.

That tower was destined to be a monument to the heavens, almost literally. It would have held a revolving restaurant at the top, providing expansive views of the region.

But more importantly to this group, it would have held the transmission tower for what was then known as WCOT-TV 55 – the call letters standing, of course, for Humbard’s church below.

As far as we know, WCOT never made the air, and we’re not even sure it got any construction permit. The unfinished tower remains today, providing a home for antennas for cellular phone service.

Rex Humbard moved his operation to Florida, and sold both the Cathedral of Tomorrow and his television studios to fellow televangelist Ernest Angley in the mid-1990’s. (The tower eventually went to the family which owns Krieger’s Farm Market on nearby Graham Road.)

After converting the Cathedral of Tomorrow to the new location for his Grace Cathedral, Angley got Channel 55 on the air as independent WBNX-TV Akron. The transmitter site for WBNX was originally in Brecksville, but moved into the Parma antenna farm to its current location. WBNX is, of course, today’s CW Network affiliate for the Cleveland market.

WBNX had a ready-made TV studio operation, of course, because the same building which houses the Cathedral Buffet was well-equipped for Humbard’s own TV empire.

Humbard continued his TV ministry from Florida, going into “semi-retirement” from it in 1999.

Rex Humbard died at the age of 88 on Friday, of natural causes…

“HOOLIHAN’S” WIFE PASSES ON: The second death we mark today is of someone who wasn’t as well known in front of the camera in Northeast Ohio – but you surely know her husband.

OMW hears that Barbara Wells, wife of former WJW/8 personality Bob Wells, passed away on August 28th in Florida, after a lengthy bout with cancer.

Mrs. Wells’ husband was a local TV icon – “Hoolihan” of Channel 8’s “Hoolihan and Big Chuck” show. The show survived in a new form through recent years at today’s “FOX 8” as “Big Chuck and Lil’ John”, until the recent retirement of “Big Chuck” Schodowski. Bob Wells was also a weatherman at Channel 8, then the area’s long-running CBS affiliate, known as “Hoolihan the Weatherman”.

The Wells family moved to Florida, after Bob had a stint managing Christian station WSUM (now WCCD)/1000 Parma.

But it’s not just her more well-known husband with an extensive media background.

Barbara Wells was, we’re told, one of the first female disk jockeys at then-WJW/850 in Cleveland, and also was on air at WTAN in Clearwater FL. She was very active in both community and professional theater, modeled on TV’s Home Shopping Network, and did radio and TV commercials.

And like her husband, she was quite active in the church community.

An excellent look into their history and family life can be found in this article on the Cleveland Seniors website, where we also found the photo we’ve used here.

Barbara Wells passed away at the age of 72…

Friday Stuff

We’re clearing out the decks for the weekend…with some updates, some new stuff (mostly from elsewhere), and some thoughts…

“SISSY’S” START: As it turns out, the Stefani Schaefer Era (round 2) on WJW/8’s “FOX 8 News in the Morning” hasn’t officially started yet.

The former WJW and WEWS anchor returned home to Cleveland after leaving NBC Universal’s talk show for company O&O’s, “iVillage Live”. And her return was announced on the FOX 8 morning show last week, complete with an appearance by her in studio.

We don’t really watch the TV morning shows, but Schaefer – known by her childhood nickname “Sissy” on the “iVillage Live” show – apparently just made the one day appearance a week ago Wednesday.

We know that because “FOX 8” has been frequently promoting her official start date on the air. Schaefer will join the “FOX 8 in the Morning” team starting Monday.

As we reported earlier, she’ll only be on the 7-9 AM part of the show, the part that competes against the network morning shows like NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America”. Oh, and whatever CBS is doing in that time slot these days…

NO BROWNS HD, AGAIN: A reader reminds us of a sad fact we already know. If you’re a Cleveland Browns fan and an HDTV owner, prepare to squint at a really, really fuzzy picture.

CBS, the carrier of games involving AFC teams, will once again not carry the Browns’ contest with the Oakland Raiders in the HD format (Sunday, 4 PM, WOIO/19 in Cleveland).

And furthermore, the Browns game the following week against the Baltimore Ravens will also be Standard Definition Only.

This week’s Browns game at Oakland is the ONLY CBS game not in HDTV, and likely the only NFL game this entire week not to get the HDTV format.

We’ve detailed the problem before.

CBS has said it would carry “up to 6” Sunday games in HD format, and Browns/Raiders happens to be Game 7 this week.

As we’ve said, this will all clear up next season, with every CBS game broadcast in HD.

In our “sports media competitive balance” department: Sunday afternoon’s Cleveland Indians game with the Oakland A’s will most assuredly be in HD, via Indians over-air television flagship WKYC/3 in Cleveland. (As per usual, we’re pretty sure the team’s TV network affiliates outside of Cleveland won’t broadcast the game in HD.)

And the local MLB team could very well clinch an American League Central Division title that very day…

SPORTS LEAP: OK, more sports stuff, but this is one we teased a ways back.

A well-known local sports radio caller has parlayed his training and education into a career – as a TV sportscaster.

He’s Anthony Lima, who’s now the weekend sportscaster for Parkersburg/Marietta NBC affiliate WTAP/15.

And his linked bio tells interested WTAP viewers the “rest of the story”, and how you may know him:

Anthony has always had a passion for talking sports in one medium or another since the age of 15, when he first became a Cleveland radio celebrity under the moniker “SportsBoy Tony.”

Yep. “SportsBoy Tony”, who was calling WKNR/850 “ESPN 850” mid-morning host Tony Rizzo’s old show on the former WHK/1420 sports format as a teenager in the mid-90’s, is now a member of the TV sports fraternity along with Rizz, the lead sports anchor at WJW “FOX 8”.

Well, OK, he’s in a very small market, doing weekends…but everyone’s gotta start somewhere!

Tony, er, Anthony, tells OMW:

It’s truly a rags to rags story…young sportstalk show caller becomes weekend sports anchor in the one of the smallest markets in the country…and that’s including a stop at Syracuse University…

Heh.

Actually, young Mr. Lima is modest about the educational part of his resume.

He picked up a master’s degree at Syracuse, that communications school powerhouse responsible for starting sportscasters like Bob Costas and Marv Albert. If you’re plotting a career in sports media, Syracuse is stop number one. He’s also holding a degree from THE Ohio State University.

It’s quite a different route from “caller to pro” than the one taken by a certain afternoon talk radio host who launched his sports radio post-caller career reading sports headlines out of the paper on an FM station.

So, best of luck to you, NoLongerSportsBoy Tony….may we proudly say, down the road, that we “knew you when”…

What We’re Not

OMW gets a lot of E-Mail.

We’d estimate that roughly two dozen items come through our E-Mail account every day. And that’s not including copies of blog comments – which used to be a lot more.

Some folks seem confused about who we are, and why they’re writing to us. We’re a blog covering local radio, TV and other media, mainly in the Northeast Ohio area, with some forays beyond the Cleveland/Akron/Canton/Youngstown axis.

So…here’s what we’re not.

NOT A SHOW: No, we’re not a radio show or station.

We’ve gotten many E-Mails from folks telling us about something they heard us broadcast. No, we don’t have “OMW Radio”, and no, we weren’t conducting a survey on fast food the other morning.

We can’t play your favorite Shania Twain song. We can’t do a thing about that annoying caller on talk radio yesterday afternoon. (Or for that matter, that annoying host.)

We don’t have a link to the Patriots song on the radio the other day – though we now suspect that was syndicated morning team “Bob and Tom” out of Indianapolis airing the song. (No, we’re not connected to the show or any of its affiliates.)

We’ll be helpful and pass along your E-Mail and request to the station or show involved, if we can figure that out (we still don’t know who was doing the fast food survey).

NOT A PUBLICITY OUTLET: We get roughly two or three E-Mails a week from people looking for us to “spread the word” about some injustice or news item.

We aren’t a news outlet. We don’t cover stories here, we cover local media.

If you’re not able to find the various TV or radio stations that might be interested, we’ll be happy to provide you with their contact information – if you can’t already find it on their websites or via Google.

But putting the item here? Even if we are read in most TV and radio newsrooms in Ohio, we aren’t doing it. This is not a site to advance people’s agendas to advance possible news coverage, and we bet if we started running such items regularly, the insiders at local newsrooms who DO read this blog would go away.

We’re not your way to get around the “gatekeepers” of news coverage. It just doesn’t work.

We’ll be more than happy to provide help with stuff you can’t otherwise find in a Google search.

But the E-Mail as described above is more numerous than it used to be, so we felt we had to say something…