A Quick Group Of Items

Just some stuff that’s been floating around the OMW Inbox, mostly outside of our immediate Northeast Ohio focus. OK, there is one Cleveland item, which we’ve saved for last…

WSYX HD NEWS: As hinted and expected, Sinclair has flipped the HD News Switch at its Columbus stations, WSYX/6 (ABC) and WTTE/28 (FOX).

The move makes the company’s news operation the last Columbus market TV newsroom to go the HDTV route.

We haven’t figured out yet, despite input from our readers in the market, how far Sinclair is going as far as HD news is concerned. They’re at very least passing 16×9 SD from the field, from what we’ve heard, and Sinclair has invested in HD weather graphics for WSYX/WTTE and all of its stations making the conversion…

TOLEDO FORMAT CHANGE: You can move Cornerstone Church religious/CCM outlet WDMN/1520 in the Toledo market into the list of stations running a talk format there. Or, mainly.

OMW hears that the station, which has been known as “Dominion 1520 Jamz”, has added a variety of syndicated talkers not otherwise being cleared in the Toledo market – including Take On The Day advice queen Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Cox/Jones consumer crusader Clark Howard, and the new afternoon drive show hosted by CNN’s Lou Dobbs.

There may also be some music programming, but we don’t have details on that.

1520 is no stranger to secular programming. It picked up the Toledo rights to the Cleveland Browns radio broadcasts when those rights fell through a hole in the market, and has also joined the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets radio network.

And WDMN’s low-power TV sister station (WMNT-CA 48, via Matrix Broadcasting) is a mainly secular MyNetworkTV affiliate.

Cornerstone also still owns, as far as we know, western Toledo market rimshot WNKL/96.9 Wauseon, which runs the satellite-fed “K-Love” CCM format from Sacramento-based Educational Media Foundation.

Could the talk programming being added to WDMN prompt a station just down the AM band to make some adjustments, with not much room left in the “alternative to WSPD/1370 category”? We’ll see…

WAVE OF THE FINGER: We’re told it’s the talk of the message boards…but really, when the subject is WOIO/19 “19 Action News” anchor Sharon Reed, when isn’t it?

So, we thank Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Michael K. McIntyre and his “Tipoff” column Saturday for getting to the bottom of this.

As it turns out, a promoted “Sharon Reed Exclusive” interview with Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. wasn’t either – a Sharon Reed interview or an exclusive to “19 Action News”. Quoting Mr. McIntyre:

…the long interview piece featured Winslow crying as he talked of his deceased brother, his injury and his relationship with his parents. Reed’s narration, which came off as intimate and familiar, was interspersed with Winslow’s words.

There was never a shot of Reed actually interviewing Winslow. There’s a good reason for that: She didn’t do the interview.

Nope, she didn’t, says McIntyre…she simply, well, acted like she did, using old network interview footage. WOIO, as the CBS affiliate in the market, has apparently had that video since sometime in the last NFL season, and conveniently pulled it out from the archives for May sweeps. Imagine that!

Maybe Sharon should have pulled out her Personal Cell Phone(tm) to make it more believable. We’ll guess that “K2” is likely to have that number. Ms. Reed all but wrote it on his hand and whispered “call me” when she interviewed him a couple of years ago…back when her station had the Browns pre-season rights.

For his part, “Action News”‘ newsroom boss is unapologetic to the PD’s McIntyre, recognizing that competitors weren’t exactly happy campers:

“That’s when I know I’m in my sweet spot,” said Channel 19 News Director Dan Salamone, who said there’s no “gotcha” here. “We never once suggested Sharon Reed sat down and did the interview. We just said she had an exclusive story,” he said.

Uh, OK, Dan.

We haven’t seen the piece, but if “she had an exclusive story”, why would she “act” like she was the one doing the interview? Why would you not give credit to (presumably) your own network or whoever interviewed him? Why was Ms. Reed involved at all, other than as an anchor tossing to a network piece?

You know, we spend much less time tweaking Reserve Square than we did when this blog started nearly 3 years ago.

But sometimes, the station basically dares its critics to weigh in. Here, they’ve darn near painted a bright red and white target for us…

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