Random Weekend Cleanup

Come to think of it, we have some early summer cleaning to do at the Palatial OMW World Headquarters as well…

JUNE 20TH: We did not note it here beforehand, but Friday was a busy day at the Clear Channel World Domination HQ compound on Oak Tree.

Cleveland talker WTAM/1100 morning host Bill Wills celebrated his 10th anniversary at the Northern Ohio version of “The Big One”. He joined ‘TAM on June 20, 1998 – from the original “Big One”, co-owned WLW/700 Cincinnati.

“Wills and Snyder” is a pretty typical large-market morning news/information/traffic/sports/weather/feature program. Wills is not controversial, for the most part (that’s left to hosts later in the schedule), but has stuck around. His stint at WLW lasted 13 years, so he’s no stranger to radio longevity.

The “Snyder” in the show’s current title is station mainstay Mike Snyder, WTAM’s long-time sports director who slid comfortably into the role after the unfortunate passing of one Casey Coleman…lost to listeners and the world way too early with his death from pancreatic cancer…

AND THAT SAME DAY: Clear Channel pulled out all the stops for one of its newest arrivals, as rock WMMS/100.7 Cleveland morning driver Shane “Rover” French hosted the live “Roverfest” event.

We’re not – as explained numerous times – in “Rover’s Morning Glory’s” target demo. And since he’s been back on the radio in Cleveland since April, that flood of RoverFans which followed links to us from blog postings on his own website has probably long left.

So, we didn’t stop by West 6th Street on Friday afternoon. But we’re sure the target audience enjoyed their day of “All Things Rover”…

CLEVELAND GETS PLUGGED IN: Plain Dealer media columnist Julie Washington weighs in Saturday on the addition of “People Meters” by TV ratings service Nielsen in the Cleveland/Akron (Canton) TV market later this year.

Some 600 lucky households will get these boxes starting in August, with the goal of accurately tracking daily viewership – which will get broken out into monthly reports, basically.

Quoting Ms. Washington’s article:

Often, stronger stations are hurt and weaker stations are helped when meters come to town, says local ratings guru Gary Stark, director of programming and research for Scripps-Howard Television Station Group and WEWS Channel 5.

If you were to open up the TV dictionary for Cleveland, the “weaker stations” entry would have two large logos…those of Raycom Media’s WOIO/19 “CBS 19” and WUAB/43 “My43”.

To that effect, local Raycom boss “The Controversial” Bill Applegate tells Washington that he expects his stations to be helped by what he calls “more accurate” data.

The move to continuously measure TV ratings is expected to eventually lessen the dependence of “sweeps periods”, the four times a year local stations pull out all the gimmicks and stops to help goose more ratings.

But Applegate notes that the networks will still offer “sweeps months” resources and promotions, presumably because there are still a lot of markets not on the People Meters… and he believes local stations will still attach their promotional efforts to those months as a result.

For now, Ms. Washington reports that stations will start getting monthly reports in addition to the “sweeps” reports they already get.

There appears to be no interest or talk about “live” or even daily ratings data being offered…which is probably a good thing, not to walk into that Max Headroom world of instant ratings feedback.

And thanks to our colleague and friend Blaine Thompson over at Indiana RadioWatch, for the easy-to-paste link from Cleveland.com. We didn’t feel like digging around to see wherever they stuck Ms. Washington’s article this time, or if they even posted it…

MS. INGRAHAM “BACK”?: Fellow media blogger Brian Maloney at his “Radio Equalizer” has been keeping tabs on missing Talk Radio Network midday host Laura Ingraham.

Actually, Ingraham has been missing only from her syndicated radio show, which is on the schedule of Salem Cleveland talker WHK/1420.

She’s doing a TV tryout on the FOX News Channel, and has told just about anyone within earshot that no, she isn’t sick, no, she isn’t leaving radio, and that her absence from the TRN show is, well, their idea.

While TRN continues to insist that Ms. Ingraham will be back behind the microphone “on or before” June 30th, Mr. Maloney uncovered a pretty telling and interesting E-Mail memo sent by the Oregon-based syndicator to her affiliates.

While the reported memo continues to state that Laura Ingraham will be back soon, it trumpets the sudden popularity of her current fill-in, TRN weekend host Monica Crowley.

(Locally, affiliate WHK dumped the Laura Ingraham Show Without Laura Ingraham for about a week for Salem’s own Mike Gallagher, but we are told they’ve returned to the Ingraham show with Crowley aboard.)

The purported TRN memo gushes excitedly about the “unsolicited” feedback from listeners and program directors about Ms. Crowley. Reading it, you think she was about to explode as the Next Big Radio Star, and the company is asking around about what weekday time slot would be best for Crowley to expand beyond weekends. Crowley’s own show is only carried in the region by Cumulus talk WPIC/790 out of Sharon PA, which is heard in much of the Youngstown market.

In reality, it’s probably a very public negotiating ploy to tell Laura Ingraham “see, you can be replaced if you don’t agree to our terms” – and to hasten her return to the program.

The memo seems to indicate that Crowley will continue to occupy the slot while Ingraham is gone, sending fill-ins like fellow TRN weekender Tammy Bruce to the sidelines…

AND OTHER STUFF: Since we aren’t making a daily commitment to this thing, we’ve missed a lot of smaller items…like various on-air moves in markets outside our usual focus, like Columbus and Cincinnati.

And a reader noted that we missed a lot about the on-air turmoil that’s apparently been going on at Toledo NBC affiliate WNWO/24, with various exits and contracts not being renewed.

We’re just reminding readers that…well, we’ll get to what we get to.

As a free service of your Primary Editorial Voice(tm), who has A Life and then some, it’s difficult to keep up with everything.

The easiest way for us to follow the markets outside Northeast Ohio is to have detailed, already written information (from various newspapers, trade sites, etc.), but even then, we may not have time to get to stuff and repost it here. Since we’re not really “breaking” a lot of items from outside our home area, we’re in no hurry if the news is already up elsewhere.

So, we appreciate the “heads up”. And please, keep sending us tips.

But we have no obligation to put up any specific item – and sometimes, may not even have the time if we have the inclination.

Thank you for your cooperation, as always…

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