Quick Moves

Two brief items that we haven’t posted yet…

SOUTH AVENUE CHANGES: OMW hears that some lineup moves are starting today at Clear Channel’s Youngstown cluster.

We have confirmed that top 40 WAKZ/95.9 “Kiss FM” midday voice Krissy Taylor is moving her voice to afternoon drive at sister hot AC WMXY/98.9 “Mix 98.9”. Her show will take the time slot once occupied by Dan Gonder, who left the station in Clear Channel’s second round of budget cuts.

That results in the following lineup on WAKZ: Columbus-based syndicated duo Dave and Jimmy until 10 AM, Los Angeles-based radio virus Ryan Seacrest 10 AM-2 PM, “96.5 Kiss FM” Cleveland-based and former Youngstown-based talent Kasper 2-6 PM, and Chris Diaz in nights…who may or may not be based at Roanoke VA Clear Channel top 40 outlet WJJS/104.9-102.7 “Jammin’ JJS”.

That’d be an odd coincidence, since one-time OMW reader Kasper once worked in the same market, at WJJS’ top 40 competitor WXLK/92.3 “K92”.

Ms. Taylor, of course, is better known west of Youngstown as the morning co-host with Matt Patrick, on Clear Channel Akron market hot AC WKDD/98.1. We’re making the assumption that she’s voicetracking Y-town from Freedom Avenue in beautiful (uhh) Jackson Township, in northern Stark County. Though…South Avenue is not THAT far away.

Whew. We THINK we got that right…

MOVIN’ OUT?: Either we’re imagining things, or today, one of the major trade websites reported the exit of a Cleveland music radio personality to a new job… in the state of Virginia.

We went back to find the item, but it has now disappeared. We also can’t find any word of it on the popular Virginia media site VARTV.

Since we’re unsure of the item now, we won’t post details about it yet…but if anyone knows what we’re talking about, we invite you to drop us an E-mail…

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ODTV: We Give Up On WJW, WOIO Signals

OK, we’ve ranted enough.

And just like with our earlier ranting about the afternoon drive talk programming on a certain major Cleveland market AM radio station, we’ve realized that ranting and raving about it here isn’t going to change the situation.

Read more on our Ohio Digital TV blog

Tom Kent Lands In Home Market

It was one of the nagging questions among local music radio types. What took them so long?

Brecksville’s Tom Kent has been building a syndication empire, most recently with the help of Citadel Media (the former ABC Radio Networks). He’s landed on big market stations with his weeknight classic hits show, and has established a solid brand in the evening time slot.

But Kent wasn’t able to land on his hometown oldies, er, classic hits station – Clear Channel Cleveland’s WMJI/105.7 “Majic 105.7”.

He’s making that landing now.

AllAccess reports that The Tom Kent Radio Network will officially place Kent’s 7-midnight national show on the classic hits station he can pick up in his kitchen, WMJI. (Or, in his basement, where he reportedly does the show.) WMJI will air the local syndicated star Monday through Friday from 7 PM to midnight starting July 8th.

Quoting a release that made its way to the national trade website, but not to us from either source:

TOM KENT quipped, “MAJIC 105.7 FM is truly one of the great radio stations in AMERICA — and to have the opportunity to be on everyday is a blessing. All I had to do was agree to come there and wash the station van on the weekends during the summer. CLEVELAND is spectacular in the summer, so the pleasure is all mine!”

WMJI OM KEITH ABRAMS added, “Simply put, TOM is one of the best talents in the format. The fact that he is a ‘Clevelander’ with great market equity doesn’t hurt either! We are excited to have him join the amazing team of talent on MAJIC!”

One of the better parts of the move is that Mr. Kent doesn’t displace anyone by being added to the “Majic” schedule.

The station has been running segments voiced by afternoon drive host Don “Action” Jackson from 2 PM-midnight, presumably through the magic (majic?) of voicetracking after afternoon drive comes to a close.

“Action” already has a lot on his VT plate. A reader checked in from the Pittsburgh area, noting that he heard Jackson overnights on WMJI sister classic hits outlet WWSW/94.5 “3WS”.

We haven’t confirmed it, but we believe the WMJI PM driver is participating in Clear Channel’s “Premium Choice” voicetracking effort…in addition to tracking Youngstown market classic hits outlet WBBG/106.1 “Big 106.1” in the same afternoon drive slot he occupies at his home radio base.

Anyway, adding Tom Kent will truncate “Action” Jackson’s WMJI mega-shift at 7 PM, presumably allowing him to either rest more, or do more VTing, or leave the couch at Oak Tree where he catches a break between VT sessions.

Thus, it would seem to have been a no brainer to add Mr. Kent’s show – being done live from his Northeast Ohio home just a short drive down I-77 from WMJI’s studios at Oak Tree.

But…we don’t know how these things work, sometimes….or why we had to get this item from a national trade website. We don’t know if we rubbed Mr. Kent the wrong way somewhere in the past four years, and we didn’t get the usual word of this out of Oak Tree…

WOAC Flips

UPDATE 6/25/09 2:23 PM: A reader comment on this item led us to our digital tuner, and indeed, the WOAC call letters and channel 67 identification are both history.

PSIP information now displays the Canton-licensed station as “47-1, WRLM-DT”. We did not have to rescan our Zenith converter box to get the new information.

The onscreen legal ID automatically inserted under the WOAC days appears to be in flux…it may well say “WRLM”, but the last time we saw it, the call letters went above the top of the screen…

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As expected, if a day late, Illinois-based Tri-State Christian Television (TCT) has taken over infomercial outlet WOAC/67 Canton, and has flipped it to its own religious programming under the new call letters WRLM.

TCT president and founder Garth Coonce is phoning in to his network’s “TCT Today” show, live from the station’s Brimfield Township transmitter facility.

He told viewers that TCT’s Radiant Life Ministries “signed the papers this morning” to close on the station purchase out of the bankruptcy of Multicultural Broadcasting’s TV arm. That echoes the information that Cleveland Classic Media’s Tim Lones got when he called the TCT headquarters in Illinois.

As of the moment, WOAC’s transmitter is still putting out PSIP information as “67-1”. We imagine that will be changed at some point, to reflect the new WRLM calls, the apparently coming change to an ID of RF channel 47, and a second TCT channel in HD.

Changing PSIP information is probably not a good idea at the station’s initial debut, since it could well throw some digital TV receivers (and for that matter, some cable systems)…

We Know And We Don’t Know

UPDATE 6/25/09 2:21 PM: Our report of the buyouts accepted by WJW/8 “Fox 8” veterans Belinda Prinz and Dan Coughlin has been confirmed/separately reported by Cleveland Plain Dealer media columnist Julie Washington

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There is a lot of information floating around, most of it related to broadcast television in Northeast Ohio.

And we “know” most of it, though some of it is still speculation based on information that’s out there…

WE KNOW – TV: OMW hears that two veteran local TV names are the latest to take the exit ramp off of the Full-Time TV Highway.

We’re told that two staffers at Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 have taken a company-offered buyout: news reporter Belinda Prinz and sports reporter/anchor Dan Coughlin.

Our sources say the buyout means the end of Prinz’ media career, after a total of over 30 years in radio and TV.

As far as Coughlin, a sports media institution who came to TV out of a long newspaper career, OMW hears that he may still do some part-time work for “Fox 8” during the high school football season.

We believe Coughlin has contributed to the Lorain Morning Journal and sister paper Lake County News-Herald, but find no evidence that he’s written anything for them recently. And we don’t have all morning to search…

WE KNOW, MOSTLY – TV: We first got word from the popular TV news insider tipsheet NewsBlues that struggling media giant Gannett was instituting a forced salary reduction for its non-contracted employees.

MinnPost.com, an excellent non-profit online news site in Minnesota established by a host of former newspaper and media types in that state, posted the staff memo explaining the pay cuts. Gannett owns NBC affiliate KARE/11 in the Twin Cities.

Quoting the memo from David Lougee, president of Gannett’s broadcast division, from the blog by MinnPost’s David Brauer:

In effect, we have to have our own “reset” to match the changes in the broadcasting business. As a result, we are making the following changes in compensation for employees making $30,000 or more in order to reduce costs and minimize the need for additional job-related actions in the future.

Effective July 1, for:

• Employees making $30,000 to $39,999, compensation is reduced 4%.
• Employees making $40,000 to $49,999, compensation is reduced 5%.
• Employees making $50,000 and higher, compensation is reduced 6%.

Lougee says Gannett’s broadcast financial results are at the “top of the industry”. We’d hate to see what’d happen if the results were at “the bottom”.

Now, thanks to the NewsBlues folks, the story that affects Northeast Ohio.

The industry news newsletter reported Wednesday that Gannett’s big broadcast property here, WKYC/3, will not be impacted by the above listed pay cuts…along with the company’s WCSH/6 in Portland ME.

Why?

They’ve already taken the pay cut pain. (Cleveland…pioneer in TV’s New Economic Model!)

And of course, as we reported back in March, Gannett staffers have been forced into taking unpaid furloughs. That may explain why a prominent WKYC reporter and anchor has “Gone Fishin'” on a week when the biggest story in his portion of the region came to a head on Tuesday…the fishing pole was forced into his hand.

There’s one other WKYC connection in this sub-story.

NewsBlues is written by former Orlando FL sports anchor Mike James, who apparently also once toiled at WKYC. His wife is the daily contributor of a grammar section written under the name “Mrs. B”, and helps her husband put out the final product.

Unless you weren’t in Northeast Ohio in the 1970’s and 1980’s, or Central Ohio after that, you know “Mrs. B” better as Mona Scott, the former WKYC anchor who moved to Columbus’ WCMH/4 in the 1980’s – along with then-husband and then-co-anchor Doug Adair. In an era where WKYC still lagged behind news powerhouse WJW/8 (then the market’s CBS affiliate), “Doug and Mona” were popular, both on-camera and off-camera.

Mona retired from the TV news game after a brief return to Columbus, where she anchored on the WBNS/10 morning show until 1998. An excellent article on the Cleveland Seniors website tells of her love of Lake Erie and suburban Bay Village, and a brief mid-career non-TV period where she lived with a relative in Ravenna, but we can’t access it at this writing.

We don’t know if Mona still has sources at the station (now at 13th and Lakeside, in the “Digital Broadcast Center” built long after Mona left Cleveland), but it’s a coincidence nonetheless…

WE DON’T KNOW – TV: We couldn’t help but notice an ad posted on fellow blogger Frank Macek’s always-excellent “Director’s Cut” blog, a great source of information about the aforementioned WKYC.

The station has posted a job opening, believe it or not, for a “multi-media journalist” for the WKYC “Good Morning Today” show and its associated morning newscasts:

WKYC-TV is currently accepting applications for the position of Multi-Media Journalist for AM newscast.

POSITION SUMMARY DESCRIPTION: * Shoot, write, edit, and report stories for daily AM newscasts. * Enterprise stories and package ideas. * Deliver live stories and packages from remote locations and in studio. * Produce daily content for website and social media platforms. * Work with desk on follow-up. * Other related duties as assigned.

We don’t know what this means for the station’s morning show, which is currently hosted by Mark Nolan alongside meteorologist Hollie Strano. We also don’t know if they intend to replace now-former co-host Abby Ham, now firmly “back home” at Gannett sister NBC affiliate WBIR/10 in Knoxville TN. (Did we mention Abby really loves Eastern Tennnesee?)

But the job ad is interesting nonetheless…

WE DON’T KNOW – TV: No, your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) has no idea why Canton-licensed infomerical outlet WOAC/67 hasn’t changed hands yet.

The incoming owner of the station, Illinois-based Tri-State Christian Television, annoucned to newsletter subscribers late last week that they planned to take over WOAC yesterday – and change its call letters to WRLM. The switch was, the group said, planned to happen during the outlet’s live, midday talk show, “TCT Today”, during the 1 PM Eastern hour.

We got the tip from Cleveland Classic Media’s Tim Lones, who signed up for that E-mail newsletter when he learned of the WOAC sale. Like many in Canton, he has memories of WOAC’s days as a local independent station.

But…nothing happened on Wednesday afternoon. As of this writing, late Thursday morning, WOAC is still pumping out the infomercials…complete with spots asking potential advertisers to call Ron Rembert at a Kent phone number – 330-677-6760. (Hey, maybe if the TCT folks called Ron now, they could book time on WOAC by the hour…before they take it over!)

FCC records still show that the sale of WOAC to TCT’s Radiant Life Ministries was approved on June 10th, and that TCT/RLM applied for the WRLM calls for WOAC on June 17th.

We’re guessing that they are waiting for the official lawyerly paperwork to be noted by the FCC, and we’re guessing the change will happen sometime during that “TCT Today” show in the next few days…

WE KNOW – RADIO: The reach of the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) sometimes surprises us, and we’ve been doing this for nearly 4 years now.

If you talk about someone and ask questions about them, they’re bound to show up in the OMW E-mail box, and that’s exactly what happened with former Metro Networks morning news anchor Chris Coleman.

Chris’ virtual ears (eyes?) were burning, so he dropped us a note explaining his current situation – which we were curious about since we heard him filling in for Metro’s Jeff Thomas on Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850″‘s morning sports updates.

Chris has done that before, but this time, Metro is a company without a local studio, and Mr. Coleman was clearly not located at WKNR’s Galleria studios…Jeff Thomas’ new work location after Metro shut down its operation on Granger Road this month.

Maybe Chris is sharing space with a former U.S. vice president this week, as he tells us he is doing the WKNR updates from “an undisclosed location in Independence”. He confirms that he did not follow Metro’s local operations to Detroit, and he isn’t one of the staffers “embedded” at Metro’s area affiliates.

Coleman tells OMW that after he finishes filling in for Thomas, he’ll officially be a former Metro Networks employee.

For now, his next move is outside radio. He tells us he plans to “begin pursuing advanced college degrees, with the goal of teaching journalism at the college level”.

But we’re not sure we’ve heard the last of Chris Coleman on the radio.

It’s a crazy business, and those who pursue it, then leave, are often lured back in one way or the other.

Maybe it’s a virus, and it’s nearly impossible to expunge it from your body…and we would not at all be surprised to hear in the future that Chris has combined his new college studies with some sort of stint behind a microphone…

Chalmers Service Update

UPDATE 6/24/09 10:47 PM: John now tells us that times have been changed for Saturday:

“Visitation will now be from 11 AM to 1 PM and the Memorial service will begin at 1.”

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We’ve gotten some clarification for the timing and events, for Saturday’s memorial service for former WMMS/WKYC graphic artist Brian Chalmers.

Courtesy of former WMMS program director John Gorman:

Regarding Brian Chalmers’ Memorial Service on Saturday June 27 – Visitation will be between 10 AM to 12 noon The Memorial Service will begin at 12. The North Royalton Christian Church is at 5100 Royalton Road (Route 82) in North Royalton. The church is just west of State Road (Route 94) on the north side of Royalton Rd. Church phone: 1-440-237-4531.

Mark Nolan’s Radio Roots

He’s much better known as long-time meteorologist – and now morning host and anchor – at Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3…but Mark Nolan is coming “back” to radio, and to an old radio home.

Umm, for one week.

Clear Channel Akron market hot AC WKDD/98.1 is announcing that Nolan will guest host the station’s morning show, normally helmed by Matt Patrick, June 29th through July 3rd.

The vacation fill-in actually means something of a quasi-homecoming for Nolan, says WKDD program director, Clear Channel Akron/Canton operations director, and OMW reader Keith Kennedy in a station press release:

This is a semi-return to WKDD for Mark Nolan who hosted afternoons on WKDD in the early 90s while beginning his education to become a meteorologist. Mark eventually joined WKYC, where he is now the anchor for “Channel 3 News Today”, weekday mornings on WKYC Channel 3. For the past five years, Mark has been the on-staff meteorologist of Clear Channel’s Akron/Canton radio stations including 98.1 WKDD.

And a quote from Mr. Nolan himself:

“I’m excited to get back behind the controls of WKDD,” said Nolan. “Radio is where I began my broadcasting career, and WKDD was always where I had the most fun”.

The release says Nolan will be alongside WKDD morning co-host Krissy Taylor, and promises guests “including popular Northeast Ohio television personalities”.

Of course, when Mark Nolan worked for WKDD, the station was “in a different place”, both physically and electronically, than it is now.

‘KDD was on its historic frequency of 96.5 in the 90’s (now Clear Channel sister top 40 WAKS “Kiss FM”, run out of suburban Cleveland), and we believe the studio facilities at that time would have been on West Market Street…just west of Acme #1, and on the other side of that supermarket from the Rubber City Radio cluster.

Or, WKDD could well have been in the old Barnstable location off West Exchange Street. (We can’t recall when 96.5 and 1350 made that move to West Market.)

And as we’ve reported here, 98.1, now licensed to Munroe Falls, is about to plant its antenna on the former 96.5 tower on Bellaire Lane…in what’s now Cuyahoga Falls…