Hot Holiday News

UPDATE 7/5/10 1:05 PM: If you went to this item shortly after we posted it, scroll down…we’ve added and changed a few things…


It’s been a hot July 4th holiday, and we’re not just talking about the weather.

Now, some of the fireworks…and no, we’re not going to nearly cover them with large, static graphics…we’re talking about you, Reserve Square…

THE 7 PM BATTLE: Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8’s “Fox 8 News” is expanding into a new time slot, and setting up a new local news battle.

The station has announced that its long-rumored 7 PM newscast will start next Monday, July 12th.

The addition is being positioned as a 30 minute expansion of the existing “Fox 8 News” evening block…so we don’t know if 6 PM anchors Wilma Smith and Lou Maglio will stick around, if 5 PM anchors Bill Martin and Stacey Bell will come back at 7, or if there’s “Plan C”.

What WJW doesn’t tell you, of course, is that there is a battle at all – with the existing 7 PM news show in the market, Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3’s “Channel 3 News at 7” with anchors Eric Mansfield and Monica Robins.

The 7 PM WKYC show is the only evening newscast on the station not solo anchored by Romona Robinson. Will “Fox 8” try something different in the 7 PM hour?

From everything we’ve heard, they’re happy with the 7 PM show’s performance at 13th and Lakeside, so this ought to be a very interesting battle…

STATUS REPORT: New Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 general manager Sam Rosenwasser gets the profile treatment in Sunday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer, courtesy of media writer Julie Washington.

Julie certainly approaches the turmoil at 30th and Euclid, calling Rosenwasser “the latest” general manager in a position that’s had a lot of turnover.

She also touches on Rosenwasser’s biggest crisis in his brief tenure at WEWS – the technical problems which messed up the airing of the hit ABC show “Lost”.

And with A Little Too Much Into The Show “Lost” viewers calling for his head in the middle of the crisis, Washington notes:

The “Lost” debacle taught him the importance of honesty, he said. “Immediately fess up and admit we had a problem and apologize,” he said. “It was the worst nightmare I’ve been through as a general manager.”

Julie also reminds us of the “long-vacant” main anchor chair after the departure of station and market icon Ted Henry, and it sounds like Rosenwasser may actually move to replace Henry, instead of throwing the anchors’ names into a hat, shaking the hat, and developing the anchor lineup that way:

Rosenwasser will tackle naming a permanent replacement for anchor Ted Henry, who retired in May 2009, but said he has no immediate plans to replace news director Jill Manuel with someone of his own choosing. Manuel was hired by the last general manager, Viki Regan, who left in March.

The early feedback we’ve heard from 30th and Euclid has been positive, echoing the feedback noted by Washington from Ginger Gadsden, an anchor at Rosenwasser’s former station in Tampa FL, WTSP/10:

“When you see a general manager in the newsroom, you automatically think that something has gone wrong,” Gadsden wrote in an e-mail.

“But Sam would visit us at our desks just to say hello and ask how we were doing. He would often comment on something we said during the morning newscast so we knew he watched every morning. We actually liked seeing him in the newsroom and at editorial meetings.”

That’s quite a change from Rosenwasser’s predecessor, who may have actually been pictured on the side of a few milk cartons at 30th and Euclid near the end of her time at the station.

Those running WEWS’ thought the profile was important enough to earn a link on their own site

LBJ: He’s not a local TV or radio personality, but with all the attention paid to him in the media lately, he may well be considered as one.

We’re talking, of course, about Bath Township’s LeBron James, the NBA superstar currently pondering his future – with the Cleveland Cavaliers, or five other teams which came to Cleveland to try to lure him away.

And since the Free Agency Sweepstakes came to downtown Cleveland’s IMG Building – LeBron’s marketing company has an office there – the worldwide LeBron Media Circus came here.

We spotted some Circus Sights – like a New York City photographer camped out with a camera and a large telephoto lens to get any possible shot of LeBron at his mansion, and like ESPN TV reporters setting up a nearly permanent home in front of the aforementioned IMG building.

And the locals are certainly participating as well, making national TV and radio appearances talking about the local basketball star.

It may not be a stretch to say that Good Karma sports WKNR/850 evening host-to-become afternoon co-host Kenny Roda has been on the ESPN Radio network nearly as often as he’s been on “ESPN 850” in the past few days.

But the LeBron Hype may be wearing thin, and it makes you wonder if it can wear out broadcast equipment.

After we heard Roda appearing on ESPN Radio’s Sunday afternoon show, the station’s network audio feed broke up nearly entirely. We could pick out occasional words (“LeBron”, “Cleveland”, “sign”) as the network talked to one of its own reporters spending her July 4th holiday working on the North Coast.

At one point, the feed broke up completely…just in time for the station’s local/non-official “Tenth Inning” show…

THE SOUND OF LEAVING: Ideastream public radio outlet WCPN/90.3 is now tasked with finding a new host for its signature local talk show.

That’s because host Dan Moulthrop is leaving WCPN’s “The Sound of Ideas”, and radio entirely, for a new job with the “Civic Commons” project, reports “Tipoff” columnist Michael K. McIntyre in the Plain Dealer:

The Civic Commons, created with a $3 million Knight Foundation grant, seeks to educate, engage and empower citizens to be involved and active in strengthening the community using civic journalism, public engagement and social media.

McIntyre reports that Moulthrop will be “Curator of the Conversation” for the project.

And to find the interim host taking over for Moulthrop next week, the PD columnist only had to find a mirror:

Beginning Monday, July 12, the “Sound of Ideas” – a public affairs program that airs from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays – will have an interim host — me — as the station conducts a search for Moulthrop’s successor, which is expected to take several months.

I will continue to write Tipoff Saturdays and Mondays in The Plain Dealer while hosting the show Monday through Thursday. I’ll do my best to keep the conversation going on the “town hall of the airwaves,” and I invite you to join in by listening to the program and calling in to the show.

Friday’s edition of “Sound of Ideas” has been hosted by McIntyre’s PD colleague, fellow columnist Regina Brett, though she recently stepped down from regular hosting duty due to her busy schedule…

ANOTHER SHOT: OMW hears that Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland weekender Matt Patrick gets another weekend shot at sister (brother?) “Big One” talker WLW/700 Cincinnati, Saturday from 12 noon-3 PM.OMW has just heard that Patrick’s previously scheduled second appearance on WLW has been postponed. We’ll let you know more details as we hear them.

A week ago Saturday, Patrick was heard in the time slot formerly occupied by now-former WLW talker Mike McConnell’s “The Weekend” syndicated show. (On the syndication end, we heard Texas talker Joe “Pags” doing that this past week…WLW has been filling the time slot locally since parting ways with McConnell.)

Patrick is also busy at WTAM, with the former WKDD/98.1-WHLO/640 voice filling in for WTAM afternoon driver Mike Trivisonno the week of July 12th…

CROSS-COUNTY MOVE: Just when you thought there was some stability at Market South, things change.

OMW hears that NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton now-former afternoon news anchor Geoff Mears will be going to work in a different part of Stark County starting this week, as afternoon news anchor at D.A. Peterson soft AC WDPN/1310 Alliance, the sister station of Canton market top 40 WDJQ/92.5 Alliance “Q92”.

It’s a move that suggests there could be more stability found on Smyth Avenue, at any rate.

We don’t know who replaces Geoff back at Market South. Long-time local newsman Bob Bishop has been doing fill-in there…

WRAPPING UP DON & MIKE: Everyone has now “landed”, connected with a former syndicated talk radio show once heard occasionally in Northeast Ohio.

Westwood One’s “Don and Mike Show” aired twice in the area, first on talk then-WERE/1300 in Cleveland – before Radio One’s ownership, we think, and long before the WERE talk format moved to 1490 AM.

More recently, “D&M” also aired in one of the talk incarnations of Beacon Broadcasting’s WANR/1570 Warren, now the Mahoning Valley’s Fox Sports Radio affiliate along with sister daytimer WRTK/1540 Niles.

The show broke up shortly after the tragic death of co-host Don Geronimo’s wife Freda, an event we mentioned here around the time of the death of WTAM afternoon host Mike Trivisonno’s wife Linda.

Co-host Mike O’Meara continued on his own with the show’s remaining cast members as “The Mike O’Meara Show”, until home base WJFK/106.7 in the Washington DC market flipped to a sports format.

We visit all this because though O’Meara’s show continued (and will continue) as a podcast, both primary hosts now again have full-time, broadcast radio gigs.

Geronimo landed first. After a couple of stints doing local radio in his home market of Ocean City MD (allowed under his CBS Radio non-compete), he’s taken over the midday slot once occupied by his old show on CBS Radio sports KHTK/1140 Sacramento CA.

O’Meara landed just now. He’ll be co-host along with Kirk McEwen in the morning drive slot at Citadel classic rocker WVRX/105.9 “The Edge” in the Washington DC market.

He’ll continue the podcast, with “D&M”/”MOMS” cast members Robb Spewak and Buzz Burbank aboard.

And there’s one more Northeast Ohio connection here, albeit slight.

Former “D&M”/”MOMS” producer/cast member Beth Ann McBride now works as the affiliate rep for the Tom Kent Radio Network…Kent, of course, is the classic hits syndicated radio host based in suburban Cleveland.

McBride is not, however, as she works out of her home area in North Carolina…


2 Responses to Hot Holiday News

  1. Jeremy Moses at TSMW says:

    Don’t know if you saw on Twitter, but Matt Patrick won’t be on WLW this Saturday after all.

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