Holiday Weekend Post

UPDATE 8:33 PM 5/29/10: There’s an update to the last story in this item. Please scroll to the bottom of the item for more…


Here’s an update to get you through Memorial Day weekend…

LOST UPDATE: First, an update on Channel 5’s problems with the series finale of ABC’s “Lost”, parts of which were, well, lost to area viewers last Sunday night.

As we noted on our original item, the Scripps-owned local ABC affiliate was able to convince the network to allow it to rerun the show before a previously scheduled repeat tonight (Saturday).

The bad news, of course, is that the rerun was late Wednesday/early Thursday at 1:06 AM after ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, which meant most potential viewers had to set their DVRs to catch the show…and in some cases, hope the DVR worked.

Channel 5, under new VP/GM Sam Rosenwasser, has been apologizing all over the place for Sunday’s problems.

Not only has the station done so on its own airwaves – a change from Sunday night, when there was only a crawl about the problem and a brief “Watch Lost next Saturday night” message on the 11 PM edition of NewsChannel 5 – but WEWS has also apologized on its website, its social media accounts, and in display ads in both the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Akron Beacon Journal.

As for the problem? It turns out our “educated guess” about why Time Warner Cable standard definition viewers weren’t having problems was 100% correct.

Regular OMW sources at 3001 Euclid tell us that indeed, the legacy SD feed of WEWS to Time Warner is accomplished by direct fiber feed. The HD version comes from the over-air signal, whether you’re watching with an antenna, on Time Warner, DirecTV or Dish Network (and we believe AT&T U-verse and WOW Cable as well).

The problems also affected SD viewers of services (like DirecTV) that use a “center cut” image out of the HD feed to serve SD viewers.

That’s why those SD/analog cable viewers were able to watch “Lost” last Sunday night without picture breakups and interruptions. Even some of those watching the HD feed didn’t consder those breakups to be serious enough to ruin enjoyment of the show for them.

Again, if WEWS’ equipment problems did ruin Sunday night’s “Lost” finale for you, if you didn’t watch or record it late Wednesday night, or haven’t watched it online at yet, and have been able to avoid spoilers all week, the network wlll run it again tonight at 8 PM.

On the entire network, and we presume all engineering hands will be on deck at 30th and Euclid to make sure WEWS is running it glitch-free as well…

LESS LES: Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting is looking for a new morning host at its talk WEOL/930 Elyria, as Les Sekely is leaving the station for full-time teaching duties in Westlake.

Long-timie OMW tipster Nathan Obral passes along an article by Rona Proudfoot in the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram – of course, a newspaper co-owned with WEOL.

Sekely is exiting WEOL in mid-August, and Proudfoot writes:

(Station VP/GM Lonnie) Gronek said he anticipates talking and listening to a lot of people between now and then. He said he’s not sure how long the search will take but that as a last resort “there are a lot of syndicated shows out there.”

A draft of the ad provided to The Chronicle reads, “Are you a morning person? Do you have a passion for radio? Are you energetic and creative and have an engaging personality? Do you have a broad knowledge of current events, both local and global — from news and sports to pop culture? Are you quick-witted and able to handle challenging issues, subjects and callers?

“Our ideal morning-host candidate will also have a genuine desire to talk with and meet people from all walks of life. Are you ready to make a difference in the community, the county and region?”

Nathan Obral reminds us that the WEOL morning position is part-time, and the program now runs from 6:30 to 9 AM, hours Gronek tells the station’s sister newspaper “won’t change”…

HELLO, COLUMBUS 1: OMW hears that Clear Channel Columbus AC WLZT/93.3 had some changes starting Friday afternoon.

The station, under changes made by new program director Tony Florentino, is now known as “Soft Rock 93.3”, a change reflected in a new website name.

But it isn’t just a name change for the station, we hear.

Staffers are being told that the station’s music mix, now under Florentino’s direction, will be “more gold based”, about 85 percent “gold” being the goal…and fewer “trainwreck” segues between songs from artists like Elton John to songs by Adam Lambert.

Also new on the 93.3 airwaves – the station’s Heather Williams returns, in the 7 PM-midnght time slot…

HELLO, COLUMBUS 2: Speaking of Clear Channel in Columbus, its talk WTVN/610 is taking some cues from Cincinnati sister station WLW/700 “The Big One”.

Not like that’s new for WTVN, but this time, they’re taking the “controversial promotions” cue.

Looking to capitalize on controversy in Arizona – with a recently passed law aimed at illegal immigration – WTVN has been offering a contest for a free trip to Arizona, where, to quote the station, “Americans are proud, and illegals are scared”.

Quoting an article from the Columbus Dispatch:

About 5,000 people entered the drawing for round-trip airfare to Phoenix, hotel accommodations, a “few pesos” and the opportunity to “spend a weekend chasing aliens and spending cash in the desert.”

The station encouraged Columbus city employees to enter.

That, presumably, was because the city of Columbus banned city employee travel to Arizona in the wake of the state’s new law.

Like the backlash from WLW’s advertisements referring to the Cincinnati station as “The Big Juan”, Central Ohio Hispanic organizations are not thrilled with WTVN’s contest.

From the Dispatch:

At a news conference (Thursday), Reform Immigration for America called the promotion insensitive and offensive and said it inferred a racial bias. The group supports providing documents to immigrants already living in the country without permission.

Jose Luis Mas, chairman of the Ohio Hispanic Coalition, said at the news conference that the station was inviting the contest winner to “spend a weekend hunting human beings.”

Our question: Was Clear Channel Cincinnati AM operations guru Darryl Parks spending a lot of time in Columbus in recent weeks?

GOODBYE, TOLEDO: And Clear Channel talk WSPD/1370 Toledo afternoon drive host/program director Brian Wilson has apparently said goodbye to Toledo…just not on the air.

The Toledo Blade spent a bunch of column inches this week, breathlessly reporting that Wilson – and wife Cassie, CC Toledo’s former news director – have moved to Bedford County VA.

The newspaper’s Ignazio Messina writes:

The couple’s home in Perrysburg, which Wood County records show the Wilsons still own, was emptied of furniture and a neighbor Tuesday said the couple moved out five or six weeks ago.

Andy Stuart, WSPD’s vice president and market manager, refused to comment.

“Well I don’t think we want to make any comment about that,” Mr. Stuart said. “It’s not really a story.”

Brian Wilson is no stranger to broadcasting remotely, of course, even on WSPD.

For a few months, he even broadcast a show for a Baltimore talk radio station from Toledo, and occasionally, back to Toledo from Baltimore.

He was one of the earliest broadcasters to do ISDN-based remote talk radio fill-in for stations all over the country.

And in that same Clear Channel cluster, former WSPD-WVKS/92.5 host Denny Schaffer aired his Atlanta-based Internet talk show on WCWA/1230 for some time.

We’re reminded of the fuss that took place in Boston, when the print media there found out that market icon Gary LaPierre was doing his WBZ/1030 morning drive show from Florida.

Like Wilson, LaPierre made no mention of his location hundreds of miles away from his home market…and in the end, the fuss died down…

UPDATE 8:29 PM 5/29/10: We just found this link via an item posted on

The article quotes Wilson talking about the Blade article to his listeners on Thursday, and says he told them that Toledo was making him sick. Not politically, but literally:

“If you have known people who have moved in from other areas, there is something in the air, in northwest Ohio and the Toledo area,” he said. “What I have been told is that there is a residual of Toledo having been constructed on the former Black Swamp and if you’re not born here, you don’t enter the world with, I don’t know, the immunities or you grow up being able to deal with it.”

He said he saw doctors who told him to move out of Toledo or he would “have a severely truncated career.”

Wilson is using Clear Channel’s Lynchburg VA facilities to broadcast his WSPD show, near his new home…


2 Responses to Holiday Weekend Post

  1. l.york says:

    WOIO Chan 19 in Cleveland….is not coming in well ..over the past week. it is not as bad as Lost was..but in the evening….it gets worse… Has something changed…have never had a problem with this station until about a week ago?

    • nsa1012 says:

      Most likely tropo/skip of some distant Channel 10 (WOIO’s real RF channel; maybe CFPL/10 in Canada?) coming in and wiping them out for you. Been getting tons of distant stations this weekend, including one from Buffalo over the weekend.

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