Monday Update

Starting a new week with these items…

DRAGGED INTO THE 21ST CENTURY: It’s the Nagging Rumor That Won’t Go Away, Northeast Ohio radio-wise.

Is Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron” about ready to become “The Talk of the (Internet) World”, as it were?

An OMW reader tipped us a month or two back to an on-air comment by WNIR midday host Howie Chizek…that the station was apparently readying a streaming audio feed, offering the local talk station’s programming to Internet listeners.

And then, there’s this reader comment to one of our recent items:

The real big news is that WNIR is finally going to stream their signal starting next week. A new, updated website is also on the way.

Will the world be ready for the great Howie Chizek, Schwebel Bread, Community Club Awards and Bennie Da Bookie?

We have not been yet able to get confirmation from our sources about that timing, though we do believe the station is in the process of such an upgrade.

But we’d be very, very surprised if the new website and Internet stream for WNIR started in the next week or so.

Why?

WNIR, more than just about any major station in Northeast Ohio, has been incredibly slow to embrace technology.

We’re told, for example, that after the station caved into the age of computerized spot delivery by buying “Scott Systems” equipment, that equipment sat boxed and unused for a LONG time. (A possible exception: it was probably put into place fairly quickly for automated FOX Sports Radio sister station WJMP/1520.)

WNIR has, somewhere in that building, an ISDN studio unit which enables it to air Kent State University sports.

Yet the station has not, to this day, bought another ISDN or other digital telephone feed system to air its long-running Saturday remotes from the various Klaben dealerships. (As we mentioned back when the ISDN studio box went in, we believe it’s actually owned by Kent State.) Or, a relatively modest RPU/Marti unit that would enable them to radio the broadcasts without any additional charge, in broadcast quality.

Or…you get the idea.

The land of WNIR Internet Streaming seems like a far-away place, though we do believe it’s in the works from all the rumbling we’ve heard.

For now, though, the WNIR website continues to exist primarily for one purpose – to attract whatever banner ads the station can throw up there for its sponsors.

Those banner ads continue to overwhelm the original part of the site, which has shrunk in size dramatically since it began.

And for now, the only audio on the WNIR site is the embedded “The Talk of Akron” jingle that comes up each time you visit…

UP FOR AN AWARD: We’re reminded that Akron “Triple-A” outlet WAPS/91.3 “The Summit” is up for a national award.

“Summit” on-air personality Bill Hall tells OMW that the nomination came late last month for the Akron Public Schools-owned station:

Radio & Records nominated us in the category “Triple A Station of the Year” in markets 50+ (Non-commercial). We’re competing against stations in Albany, NY, Durango, CO, Louisville, KY, Anchorage, AK and Ocean City/Monmouth, NJ.

For the TV types who visit here, and don’t know much about radio formats, “Triple-A” (AAA) is radiospeak for “Adult Album Alternative” rock…

FILL-IN: Clear Channel talk WTVN/610 Columbus weekend host Dirk Thompson checks in to let us know he’s being heard in Toledo for a while.

Thompson is filling the 6-7 PM “Eye on Toledo” slot on sister talk WSPD/1370 in the Glass City through the end of the week, as regular host Maggie Thurber moves into program director Brian Wilson’s afternoon drive slot during his vacation.

We believe Wilson returns to his perch at WSPD a week from today (Monday).

Thompson hosts WTVN’s Sunday afternoon “Radio Deli” show…

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