TWC: OSU Big Ten Network Saturday Game In HD

Time Warner Cable’s Northeast Ohio division has announced that this weekend’s Ohio State Buckeyes game on Big Ten Network will indeed air locally in high-definition.

The contest between the Buckeyes and the Youngstown State University Penguins will air Saturday at noon on HD digital channel 433.

A TWC Northeast Ohio press release on the subject is reprinted below:

——————

Time Warner Cable To Offer OSU Game
In High-Definition on Channel 433

Akron, OH (AUGUST 2008) – Time Warner Cable customers will be able to watch this Saturday’s Ohio State University football game in high-definition on channel 433. This announcement follows yesterday’s news that Time Warner Cable will carry the Big Ten Network in standard-definition on channel 77 and 333.

Time Warner Cable will also offer customers an additional Big Ten Network channel that will air out-of-market games when an in-market game is on at the same time. That channel will be located at 334. This Saturday, the out-of-market game will be the University of Akron versus the University of Wisconsin, at 12 noon, the same time as the Ohio State game.

More information on channel lineups can be found at http://www.twcguide.com or through the on-screen guide.

In addition to this weekend’s Ohio State University game versus Youngstown State, Big Ten Network is also scheduled to broadcast the September 20th Buckeyes game against Troy University.

For more information about Time Warner Cable, please visit http://www.twcneo.com.

Radio One Cuts Hit Ohio, Other Markets

The down economy, and the media’s troubles, are just part of the story at Radio One – which reportedly made a wide variety of job cuts in a number of markets Thursday, including at all of its Ohio clusters.

We don’t have any details directly about the company’s Cleveland stations, but Radio-Info.com columnist Tom Taylor includes this line in his story about the Radio One job cuts:

In Cleveland, production talent, parttime air talent and producers gone and some fulltime vacancies not filled, for a total of perhaps 12 bodies.

The number seems a bit high, and we haven’t confirmed it from within Radio One’s Cleveland cluster, which includes urban AC WZAK/93.1, hip-hop WENZ/107.9, gospel WJMO/1300 and urban talk/brokered WERE/1490.

But there are reports of eight job cuts at Radio One’s hometown Washington DC cluster, and as many as 20 are said to be out of work at the company’s Atlanta operation.

Taylor also reports word of two staffers being let go, each, at Radio One’s Cincinnati cluster – urban AC WMOJ/100.3 “Mojo” program director Phillip March and an unnamed host at urban talk WDBZ/1230 – and in Columbus, where Taylor names WCKX/107.5 afternoon driver “B. Slim” and production director Ed Dozier as job casualties.

Radio One no longer owns stations in one Ohio market, Dayton, due to a recent sale to Main Line Broadcasting.

The cuts seem extensive.

But Radio One’s problems are deeper than those of most broadcast companies, with its stock tumbling to low levels. And the company hasn’t been in the best financial shape even when you set aside the economic downturn…

Akron/Canton News Returns – Sort Of – And People Meters

We’re actually surprised this didn’t happen earlier this year, when the WKYC/3-produced “Akron/Canton News” ended its run on Time Warner Cable’s “NEON” local programming channel….after a previous run over-air on ION-owned WVPX/23.

WKYC Akron bureau chief Eric Mansfield has started what we guess could be called “Akron/Canton News 2.0” via a new video player on his WKYC “Have I Got News For You!” blog. The video player aggregates all of Mansfield’s (and WKYC’s) recent Akron/Canton-based stories in one online place.

But we actually first found out about this on our own, early this morning, when we stumbled onto something that Mansfield had talked about in vague terms in his most recent item:

…and my hope is to add a few copy stories that I’ll read from our Akron newsroom to kind of round-it-all out.

Sure enough, Eric got a Round Tuit and did just that on Thursday night, in a short video that’s labeled the “Akron/Canton Webcast”, complete with use of the green screen at WKYC’s Akron bureau to resurrect the old “ACN” virtual set.

Eric credits one of the more capable digital hands at 13th and Lakeside, WKYC senior director and “Director’s Cut” blogger Frank Macek, for helping him launch the online version of “Akron/Canton News”.

It’s not quite a full over-air (or even cable) newscast, but it makes a lot of sense for WKYC to use its extensive existing online presence and video to at least try to reach those who really don’t pay much attention to news north of the Ohio Turnpike.

Speaking of Frank Macek and his blog, he alerts readers that the Cleveland/Akron (Canton) TV market has indeed entered the Nielsen “Local People Meter” era, with the controversial ratings measuring devices deployed in this region starting Thursday. Quoting:

What does this mean for Cleveland TV stations?

First, it will mean a 12 – one month survey periods. Every month becomes a new sweeps time…putting TV stations in continuous, competitive situation. Will this mean you will seen the hype stories all the time. Not likely. But it will mean stations have to become smarter and wiser as to the news content they offer all year round.

Macek notes that Cuyahoga County viewers make up 35 percent of the 17 county Cleveland market viewing area, and as such, the Nielsen folks will also subdivide Cuyahoga County into five census-based zones, including the area’s traditional west side/east side divide…

Zips Add FM Voice

The University of Akron Zips football team will not only be on TV this weekend.

In their last season at the Rubber Bowl, the Zips gain a regular FM radio home.

The university and Clear Channel Akron/Canton announced today that in addition to carriage on sports WARF/1350 Akron, the team’s games will also air on Clear Channel rock WRQK/106.9 Canton, starting with this weekend’s Zips contest with Wisconsin.

Though “Rock 106.9” has long been a Canton station, it has made efforts to expand its reach and influence into Akron under Clear Channel’s direction.

More details later…

A Newsy Thursday

Items are popping up all over…

CC CLEVELAND’S NEW OM: Clear Channel’s Cleveland cluster has found a new operations manager.

He’s Keith Abrams, who comes to Oak Tree from the VP/Programming slot at CBS Radio’s Denver cluster. Though the title is slightly different, he’ll replace former cluster programming fixture Kevin Metheny…who parted ways with Clear Channel late last month.

Abrams also has Salt Lake City, Seattle, Charlotte, Memphis and Pittsburgh on his programming resume. We hear that he and his wife are from Pittsburgh and are “big Steelers fans”, so we hope he has the good sense to lay low when the Browns and Steelers tangle later this season.

A station memo that floated into the OMW World Headquarters says Abrams will be “driving in” from Denver, and taking the operations manager reins on September 5th…

SIGN HIM UP: Crowing about his ratings successes, D.A. Peterson top 40 WDJQ/92.5 Alliance “Q92” has signed an extension with morning host DeLuca.

A station press release that floated in right before the CC memo says DeLuca is now under contract with the Canton market top 40 station through the year 2012. Quoting the release:

“Over the past two-and-a-half years, DeLuca has taken Q92 from mediocre morning numbers to the top of the Canton area Morning Drive ratings. Since coming to Morning Drive from evenings, he has always been popular with the younger segment of the radio listening audience. But DeLuca has an uncanny way of appealing to a mature audience as well.”

It’s not often that when talking about a new personality’s success, you see a station admitting that its previous numbers were “mediocre”…

BIG TEN’ING IT: Time Warner Cable has released channel numbers where Big Ten Network games will be seen starting this weekend.

As we expected, but never wrote here, BTN’s primary feed will show up on the TWC expanded basic lineup on Channel 77, where viewers will watch THE Ohio State University Buckeyes play the (lower case) Youngstown State University Penguins in the season opener.

The 77 placement makes sense, since it’s right next to the analog home for SportsTime Ohio (76).

The BTN primary feed will also be aired on digital cable channel 333, and a BTN alternate feed will be available on digital cable channel 334.

The Akron Beacon Journal’s George M. Thomas reports that the alternate feed will provide a bonus for Akron area sports fans this Saturday, as it’ll carry the University of Akron Zips game against Big Ten school Wisconsin.

The TWC/BTN deal does include HDTV feeds and on demand services, but don’t expect them to light up this weekend, says the TWC page on the deal:

Standard definition channels on our Expanded Basic and Digital Cable service levels will launch in time for the Saturday, August 30 game. High definition and Video On Demand services will be added at a later time.

As we write this on Thursday morning, even analog channel 77 doesn’t seem to be “awake” on TWC’s Cleveland-based (former Adelphia) system. We suspect it’ll go live by the close of business Friday, but that’s just a guess.

And for those on the far eastern end of the Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio empire, the TWC page has news for you, too:

Customers in the Franklin, PA area will see Big Ten on channel 28, and portions of the Erie, PA area will see the channel on position 31.

Here at your Mighty Blog, we don’t know what “portions of the Erie, PA area” means, but the TWC system there is basically in two parts – the legacy TWC part of the system, which covers the city of Erie, and the former Adelphia system, which covers the county outside Erie itself…

Big Ten Network, Time Warner Finally Reach Deal

The Big Ten Network and Time Warner Cable have reached “an agreement-in-principle” to clear the network on TWC’s expanded basic tier, along with providing high definition and video-on-demand Big Ten Network offerings.

A joint statement between the two entities was released late Monday. Time Warner is the dominant cable provider in Ohio, serving over 2 million customers and nearly all of the state’s major metropolitan areas.

The “pending” pact means TWC will be able to carry this coming weekend’s Big Ten openers, including the game between THE Ohio State University football Buckeyes and the Youngstown State University Penguins…

UPDATE: WKNR "Little Brother" Growing

Good Karma Broadcasting now has the FCC go-ahead to upgrade sports WWGK/1540 “KNR2”, the company’s first Cleveland market acquisition, with the approval earlier this month of an upgraded signal construction permit.

OMW reported in April that WWGK filed to more than triple its daytime power – from 1000 to 3500 watts – and to move its transmitter site to co-locate at the WKNR site in North Royalton. WWGK’s current transmitter site is at 1540’s long-time former home, on Euclid Avenue on Cleveland’s East Side.

The station will reduce to 1500 watts in the “critical hours” time period, defined as two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset.

But the upgrade does not give WWGK any nighttime signal – which would presumably be nearly impossible considering all the full-power stations on the 1540 frequency…among them, Waterloo IA’s KXEL and Toronto’s CHIN.

The directional signal – depicted here in a Radio-Locator “for entertainment only” signal map – aims most of WWGK’s juice north from North Royalton towards the bulk of the Cleveland area. But if the map is any guide, WWGK may actually lose some signal in some northeastern Cleveland suburbs…though it certainly improves in much of central and western Cuyahoga County.

As Good Karma’s “backup” sports station, on a difficult frequency, WWGK basically gets whatever it can squeeze out of 1540.

Good Karma, owned by Craig Karmazin, bought the former WABQ/1540 as his first Cleveland station – before eventually buying what’s now “ESPN 850 WKNR” from Salem a few months later…