Some Clarifications and Updates

Following along with some items that have popped up in the past few days…

SABO GONE: We don’t know much more, but we can confirm that Good Karma sports WKNR/850 Cleveland “ESPN 850” has parted ways with producer/sidekick/update anchor Josh Sabo. (And no, that’s not just because we’ve heard WKNR’s Tony Rizzo say those exact words about three times now.)

We’re getting very little information as to why, but it appears that it has nothing to do with any on-air comments or on-air performance.

As such, we’re closing the books on this item…which mostly got attention because Sabo was a producer/contributor to WKNR’s highest profile local show, “The Really Big Show” with WJW/8 “Fox 8” sports anchor Rizzo. Rizzo continues with co-host Aaron Goldhammer and update anchor Jeff Thomas.

We’ll echo others…and say that this would be an excellent chance to give Jeff a greater on-air role in the 9 AM-noon program.

Though Jeff Thomas is still an “embedded” employee of Metro Networks, the company shuttering its Independence facility has put Jeff in the Galleria studios along with Rizzo and company…and it’d be interesting to see how his talents could be used more…

WKBN UPDATE: If you’re one of those viewers on the fringes of New Vision Youngstown CBS affiliate WKBN/27 (like, say, us), and were disappointed that moving the station’s digital antenna to the top of the tower didn’t allow a signal lock last night, hold on.

Station chief engineer Tom Zocolo checks in with OMW, and passes along a detailed explanation he wrote up for a local message forum: there is still some new transmission line work to be done.

WKBN has rigged up a temporary line until the factory-made new line can be created and flown in….so the station can stay on the air for the next few days. We’re told that such a process is standard procedure in such antenna work.

With the work still in progress, Zocolo says that the WKBN facility has been operating at about 30 percent of its usual power, and will continue at that level until the final work is completed.

When will that be?

Checking the weather forecast – and even invoking “27 First News”‘ own meteorologist Don Guthrie – Zocolo says it looks like the final work will be done late Sunday night into Monday morning, from midnight to 5 AM.

Assuming all goes well, Monday morning should bring the stronger signal…though as noted before, WKBN’s regular digital signal even before this move was picked up with very little difficulty by those in the core of the Mahoning Valley area.

In the explanation, WKBN’s Zocolo also says sister-via-LMA WYTV/33’s work is up next after WKBN’s:

In this case, all of the old analog antenna and transmission line must first be removed from the tower before the new line and antenna can be installed. I have no estimate on the time frame because every bit of tower work is dependent upon the weather conditions.

Even when it’s not raining, high winds can stop work at the top of the tower. Just as an example, the crew has been on site at WKBN for a little over a month. We’ve needed about 10 good working days to get where we are right now…

Thank you, Tom, for writing all this up, and for forwarding it to us directly!

THE BSK SPEAKS: As hinted earlier, long-time Cleveland sports media personality Kendall Lewis has said his first words “on air” since suffering a stroke in recent weeks.

“The BSK”‘s current job is as program director and afternoon drive host for Paul Belfi’s Internet sports operation SportsTalkCleveland.com, and thus, his first post-stroke call was to STC’s “Press Box Rants” show with Greg Kozarik.

You can hear Kendall’s call via audio posted to this page.

To us, “The BSK” sounds like he could indeed resume his program soon, though he cautioned that he’s still working on not only his voice, but other resulting problems from the stroke…

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