Friday’s Week Ender

Barring any breaking news, this one should wrap up our week…

CLEVELAND CHRISTMAS SWEATER: As mentioned earlier, way back when Premiere syndicated midday host Glenn Beck had not yet returned to Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100, Beck’s “The Christmas Sweater” stage tour has a Cleveland stop…and it’s this weekend.

And though the performance Saturday night at Playhouse Square’s Allen Theater is sold out, you can still have a chance of meeting the popular talk radio personality.

Beck will be signing his “The Christmas Sweater” book – the inspiration for the stage play – Saturday from noon to 1 PM at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lyndhurst’s Legacy Village. Quoting WTAM’s release on the appearances:

In The Christmas Sweater, Glenn Beck delivers an instant holiday classic about boyhood memories, wrenching life lessons, and the true meaning of the gifts we give to one another in love. Based on a deeply personal true story, The Christmas Sweater is a warm and poignant tale of family, faith and forgiveness that offers us a glimpse of our own lives — while also making us question if we really know what’s most important in them.

The book has been #1 on the New York Times’ bestseller list, which still shows it as #2 this week.

It’s Beck’s first book signing appearance in Cleveland since his show was last heard on WTAM – before he was replaced by trash TV talk host Jerry Springer’s liberal talk radio show.

We happened to be in the neighborhood the last time Beck signed books at a suburban Cleveland bookstore, and the line for him wound around the large store, through the aisles and nearly out the door.

We don’t know if that turnout will be repeated, since Beck only recently returned to his Cleveland radio perch.

But he’s had successful appearances on behalf of WTAM’s Clear Channel sister talk station in Akron, WHLO/640, which got a bit of a ratings bump up north when it picked up Beck’s show after it was dumped in Cleveland…

TOLEDO AGAIN: At the risk of becoming Toledo Media Watch, another brief note about radio in Northwest Ohio’s largest market.

We won’t go into much detail about this, but embattled Toledo mayor Carty Finkbeiner has gone to Congress over his frustration with Clear Channel talk WSPD/1370.

The Toledo Blade reports that Finkbeiner is trying to strike while the iron is hot, as some lawmakers have kicked around reintroducing the media “Fairness Doctrine”.

Quoting the Blade:

The mayor on Monday accused WSPD of violating the principles of the now-defunct rule by not giving him equal time to respond to its “daily diatribes” against him, and said he would take it up with Mr. Waxman. The doctrine, which was eliminated by President Reagan in 1987, required radio and TV stations to give equal time to issues and candidates.

This being Toledo politics and media, here’s one other thing apparently under Finkbeiner’s craw:

WSPD general manager Andy Stuart is one of the charter members of Take Back Toledo, a group unveiled last week to raise a petition to try to recall Mr. Finkbeiner from office.

Finkbeiner’s appeal to Democratic California congressman Henry Waxman – who’s taking over chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee – came as part of a lobbying trip by several mayors hoping to shore up the proposed bailout of the “Big 3” U.S. automakers.

Though it’s been quite the topic on conservative talk radio, very few media or political observers expect the “Fairness Doctrine” to actually be reinstated.

Though Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had expressed interest earlier this year, there doesn’t seem to be any momentum to start working on it on Capitol Hill – or even in the incoming Obama White House.

And, of course, there’s a lot more on lawmakers’ plates these days.

But none of this stopped what we believe to be a nationwide first – a local public official taking his personal beef with a media outlet to the halls of Congress…

LAYOFF WATCH: We haven’t been able to find any word yet how the Raycom Media nationwide layoffs this week have affected the company’s FOX affiliate in Cincinnati, WXIX/19. If Cincinnati Enquirer radio/TV guru John Kiesewetter has written anything on it, we can’t find it in his radio/TV blog or elsewhere on Cincinnati.com.

Maybe the newspaper is going to start a scavenger hunt, and give prizes to people who can find articles that should be a lot easier to find?

We’re sure Jeremy at Tri-State Media Watch will keep an ear out for any news. We’re both wondering if WXIX’s ratings success, combined with speculation that the station’s morning anchor may be headed to another market – may have helped it dodge a layoff bullet – for now.

Meanwhile, OMW hears that there are more newspaper layoffs in Canton, with an unconfirmed report that the Gatehouse Media-owned Canton Repository has let go three more staffers, bring recent layoff numbers to six – plus whatever positions Gatehouse didn’t fill when it took over the Repository, Massillon’s Independent and Dover-New Philadelphia’s Times-Recorder from Copley Newspapers.

As far as we know, this is not connected to our earlier item about more expected job cuts at another Northeast Ohio newspaper operation.

And we’re wondering – does a search for “layoff” in the OMW search box at the top of this report cause the Blogger/Google computers to start overloading?

Have a good weekend…

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