Unloading The Pile

Our stack of unfinished items has gotten so large, we’re not sure we can fit it in one update. But… we’ll try, working backwards from the present…and we could have another update soon, as we’re not sure we have everything out of the backlog file yet…

ROMIGH IN: As previously posted on our Twitter account, Clear Channel talk WKBN/570 Youngstown has made fill-in Mike Romigh, the former CBS Radio talk KDKA/1020 Pittsburgh host, its new permanent morning drive host.

Quoting Clear Channel Youngstown market manager and OMW reader Bill Kelly in a release earlier today:

“Mike deserves this opportunity. He has done a great job filling in for us over the past several years and we have been searching for a place for him. This is THAT place. We are fortunate that a person of Mike’s caliber was available and our listeners and advertisers will continue to benefit.”

Kelly adds that Romigh becomes just the third morning drive host on WKBN since 1980.

He has taken the place of Robert Mangino, the New Castle PA native who now does evenings on Romigh’s old home station, KDKA. The other host, of course, was long-time WKBN morning man Pete Gabriel, who finished out his career as the morning driver at sister standards WNIO/1390.

Romigh’s addition to the permanent WKBN lineup will be from 6-9 AM weekdays. Midday host (and Clear Channel Youngstown operations director) Dan Rivers adds an hour to his show, and will be heard from 9 AM to noon…

MARCH MADNESS: On our Twitter account, we passed along a link to a Cleveland.com/Plain Dealer item on Raycom CBS affiliate WOIO/19’s Thursday NCAA tournament broadcast schedule.

We don’t have the station’s schedule of other NCAA broadcasts, and can’t find a schedule on either the “19 Action News” site, or the site of Youngstown’s CBS affiliate, New Vision’s WKBN/27.

We also won’t be able to track this on a daily basis, sorry…

TWC LINEUP CHANGES: Time Warner Cable’s massive Northeast Ohio system is in the middle of its “HD Made Easy” channel lineup change, which will scoot the system’s HDTV channel lineup up into the 1000s.

At the same time, the system is pushing out the newer style “Navigator” cable box program guide into the former Adelphia areas in greater Cleveland.

TWC’s Travis Reynolds tells OMW:

The channel and new Navigator migration is going well. We are on schedule to complete this by the end of the month.

As a general rule, anyone who already had the new Navigator, or those who’ve been transitioned to it in the past few days, should have the new lineup. As boxes migrate to the new Navigator, they’ll then get the new channel lineup with the HDs in the 1000s, the ‘Free 400s’ and On Demand Offerings in the 500s.

That meshes with some reader feedback we’ve gotten, with word that the “legacy” Akron and Canton area systems, those in the original Time Warner footprint, have the new lineup.

Those in ex-Adelphia land will have to wait until the Navigator conversion takes place, and we’ve heard from readers that the conversion is apparently taking place box-model-by-box model. One reader in the former Adelphia area tells us he has one cable box model converted to Navigator, and another that hasn’t undergone the conversion.

It’ll apparently be a bumpy ride for some of the ex-Adelphia folks, but we’re only halfway through March, the conversion target date set for the end of the month…

WEARIN’ OF THE GREEN: St. Patrick’s Day, and the annual parade, is a big deal in Cleveland, and Time Warner Cable’s Northeast Ohio Network (NEON) is once again covering the parade live.

From a TWC release:

Parade coverage, which will air on NEON for the 8th consecutive year, starts at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17th, with a pre-event show featuring parade officials and hosts. The official parade step off is 1:04PM.

The parade will also be available beginning March 19 on Time Warner Cable’s Local On Demand (LOD) channel 411.

It’ll also repeat frequently on NEON itself, starting Wednesday night at 7 PM…

THESE STATIONS CAN BE YOURS: If you have some money, that is.

OMW has dutifully reported that the Beacon Broadcasting chain, which has 5 stations along the Ohio/Pennsylvania border, is up for sale after the passing of Beacon owner Harold Glunt.

An OMW reader found the official description of the sale, with the asking price.

Are you sitting down?

Yes, for a cool $1.25 million, you, too can own five small stations in a below-top-100 market with a depressed economy, when the prices for radio stations have fallen through the floor due to the down national economy.

No, we’re not making that figure up, and it’s not a typo: one-and-a-quarter million dollars for sports WANR/1570 Warren and its daytime simulcaster, WRTK/1540 Niles, classic country combo WLOA/1470 Farrell PA and WGRP/940 Greenville PA, and the class A FM in the group, Christian/eclectic rock/talk WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA.

In case a million and a quarter is too rich for your blood, the stations are also helpfully priced by state – the Ohio stations, WANR and WRTK, are listed for $400,000, and the Pennsylvania stations, WLOA, WGRP and WEXC, are priced at $850,000, both prices in cash (as is the overall price).

The stations’ owned land and owned transmitter sites are included in the deal, and leased land and facilities are priced out in the listing, which also notes the recent format change at WRTK and notes revenue at all five stations at “approx. $12,000 a month”.

All five stations together do not approximate full coverage of the Youngstown market (particularly much of Mahoning County). But we know that Glunt put some money into equipment upgrades early on.

To put some of this in perspective: Remember that CBS Radio sold its full market FMs in Denver, a market much larger than Youngstown, for $19 million. It’ll be interesting to see how much the Beacon stations go for…

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