Assorted June Items

Here are some assorted items as we head into June.

It must be June, because Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 “NewsChannel 5” forecaster Mark Johnson is taking up a lot of airtime talking about a tornado warning on the edge of the station’s coverage area. At least he’s not preempting a series finale…

FIRE KNOCKS OFF WSTB: Streetsboro school-owned radio station WSTB/88.9 has gone through a lot recently. Are locusts next?

The station was forced off the air late Tuesday afternoon due to fire at Streetsboro High School. The fire also closed the school itself for the remainder of the school year – there are just a handful of classes and exams left this week.

News reports say the school will need most of the summer to get ready for the start of the 2010-2011 academic year, and the district will find alternate locations for exams this week.

WSTB, meanwhile, could be back up and running soon.

The station, which hosts the student-run “AlterNation” alt-rock format Monday through Saturday, and the adult volunteer-run “Sunday Oldies Jukebox”, apparently sustained minimal damage.

“SOJ” program director and long-time OMW reader “Uncle Bill” Weisinger passes along word that the radio station had “NO water damage” and a little smoke. WSTB may be able to return to the airwaves “very soon”.

That’s good news for the station, which has faced a number of challenges in recent times. Plug “WSTB” into our search box – now conveniently located over on the right side of our new blog design – for much more…

WHERE’S WALDO…ER…BRIAN: The Toledo Blade continues to spend exhaustive resources on the location and career of Clear Channel talk WSPD/1370 host Brian Wilson.

Last week, as we mentioned here, the paper fell all over itself to expose Wilson’s move, along with his wife and former CC Toledo news boss Cassie Wilson, to Virginia. It further let readers know that the Wilsons have abandoned suburban Toledo, with their belongings cleared out of the local house they still own.

The newspaper sent a photographer to Virginia, even, and felt the need to highlight the couple’s new location on a map compared to the location of Toledo.

In a day where newspapers have trouble marshalling writers to cover even important local news stories, the Blade has made Brian Wilson’s Location a running story.

Maybe a bit too much, as it’s coming perilously close to a running joke.

Long-time friend Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch stumbled upon a Google News search result – an Blade website article noting that Wilson announced on the air that he was leaving Toledo for a new market. The link went to a “not found” page much of Tuesday.

Here’s the first couple of paragraphs, thanks to a search cache result we’ll tell you about in a bit:

Toledo news radio talk-show host Brian Wilson announced Tuesday morning that he is resigning his job with WSPD 1370-AM to take a job in another market, effective in two weeks.

Wilson, who hosts the three-hour Brian Wilson and the Afternoon Drive show that airs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays on WSPD, made the announcement while talking on air to Fred LeFebvre, who hosts a show from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on the same station.

Today, the newspaper put up – at least on its website – a version of the story calling attention to Wilson’s calling his “resignation” a joke.

Quoting:

During his show in the afternoon, Wilson implied that what he told his morning listeners was a gag.

He said the radio station had set up the joke by telling listeners that an important programming announcement was forthcoming.

“The big programming announcement is we have a new producer for the morning show,” he said.

We hear from listeners that the “announcement” that Wilson was “leaving WSPD” was laughed about on the air almost immediately after it was made.

The cache result of the original Blade story, we found on a blog called “Swamp Bubbles”, where the writers apparently aren’t thrilled with WSPD or its on-air political leanings.

Here’s the problem, and why the first version of this article was pulled fairly quickly from the Blade’s site: The first “Blade staff” report apparently originated with this item on…the Swamp Bubbles blog.

Hmmm. A newspaper running with an unverified report about a radio station seen on a blog…not like that’s ever happened to us!

(Sorry, folks in Dover/New Philadelphia’s print media. We couldn’t resist!)

The scoop, according to papers OMW readers saw floating out of South Superior Street, is that Wilson apparently still occasionally broadcasts from Toledo, even after clearing out his local home.

In fact, we hear from spies in the building that Wilson may actually have been broadcasting from Toledo when the Blade thought he was in Virginia, talking about the blue local skies in Northwest Ohio.

It should be noted here that Wilson remains program director of WSPD, and even those who live hundreds of miles away from the station they program need to show up in the building occasionally.

Citadel talk WLS/890 Chicago’s Drew Hayes took a week-long trip to the company’s WMAL/630 in Washington DC, shortly after he took those additional programming duties.

And as the Blade noted (is former Cleveland Plain Dealer sports media writer Roger Brown doing real estate listings for them?), the Wilsons still own their suburban Toledo home, as empty as it apparently is. They’d presumably have to look in on it from time to time while they still own it.

And about Wilson’s remote broadcasting, done from Clear Channel’s facilities in Lynchburg VA, AllAccess writes:

The practice of talent hosting local shows from remote locations is common in the industry but not always known to the general public.

Wilson did regular daily remote-hosted shows for radio stations in Kansas City and San Francisco, in addition to his ISDN-fill-in business which we noted in our previous item.

Clear Channel also has facilities – not far from the Wilsons’ new home – in Roanoke VA, where at least one OMW reader used to work.

Wilson has a “rant against the Blade”, an audio clip from Wednesday’s show, at his page on the WSPD website.

And unless he moves again to Cleveland or Northeast Ohio, we’re done with all this for now. We don’t have the resources of the Blade, after all…

KLAUS GEORGE ROY DIES: Please forgive us, as we don’t know much about classical radio. But it’s rather clear that a big voice in the medium has passed away.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that long-time WCLV/104.9 commentator Klaus George Roy passed away Friday at the age of 86.

And Roy apparently helped the PD write his own obituary, according to writer Grant Segall:

In 2007, the musical commentator, composer and personality sent The Plain Dealer several updated pages of notes for the obituary.

Wrote Roy, “A poem by Wordsworth(less) comes to mind: “Intimations of Immorality” or was it “Imitations of Immortality?” He signed off as “Klausewitz von Magenkrampff.”

Roy was a giant in the classical music world, writes Segall, as “program annotator and editor” for the Cleveland Orchestra for some 30 years:

He introduced some 700 concerts at Severance Hall and spoke widely around town. He interviewed top musicians for WCLV FM/104.9 during concert intermissions and doubled as the broadcasts’ assistant director. He appeared on WVIZ Channel 25 and elsewhere. He wrote the liner notes for some 200 classical albums by 10 labels. He taught at local universities.

The PD article quotes WCLV president and OMW reader Robert Conrad, who called Roy “a singular individual who put his stamp on the orchestra’s public persona” earlier this year.

And appropriate to his stature in the classical music world, the Plain Dealer reports that a memorial event for Roy will be held Sunday, June 20th at 1 p.m., at the Reinberger Chamber Hall at Severance Hall…

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2 Responses to Assorted June Items

  1. Mark says:

    WSPD only has 6 hours of local programming each day, so the station is almost running on cruise control. What do program directors even do in this day of the automated station? WGST in Atlanta, another Clear Channel station, no longer has any local programming and is run out of a broom closet. Maybe Wilson sees the writing on the wall and is cutting his losses now. There’s more to this story. He could have moved to Cleveland or Columbus and done the show from those locales.

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