Starting With Beginnings

Since we started with life ending in our last update, let’s start with life beginning…

NOT VOICETRACKING…YET: A new baby with quite a local radio “head start” entered the world over the weekend.

Katherine Ann, born Saturday morning (7 pounds, 20.5 inches), is the brand new daughter born to a couple of local Clear Channel stars… top 40 WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” assistant program director/music director/afternoon driver/OMW reader Kasper and his wife, hot AC WKDD/98.1 morning co-host Krissy Taylor.

With that radio background in the family, we wonder if Clear Channel has any children’s formatted stations that could use a voice soon.

Congratulations again to Kasper and Krissy! We’ve included a picture of Katherine Ann here courtesy of Kasper’s Twitter feed

NEW PERSON: Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 Cleveland has brought aboard another reporter, known in 2010 as an MMJ (“MultiMedia Journalist”).

Our blogging colleague Frank Macek, the WKYC senior director behind the station’s “Director’s Cut” blog, has more on Jennifer Lindgren:

She comes to WKYC from our Gannett sister station duopoly in Jacksonville, WLTV/Channel 12 & WJXX/Channel 25 – better known as First Coast News, where she has been a reporter since August 2008. Jennifer reports for their 11 p.m. broadcast and is a fill-in anchor for “Good Morning Jacksonville” on the weekends

Before that, she worked in South Carolina where she spent two years reporting for another of our Gannett stations, WLTX-TV, whose General Manager, Rich O’Dell is a former WKYC alumnist.

And being a relatively young video journalist in smaller markets, she’s already used to the future, telling Macek’s blog:

I’m one of a growing group of reporters who actually loves to shoot and edit my own stories,” she tells the Director’s Cut Blog exclusively. “It’s been a regular part of my job for five years now. I enjoy the challenge of photography!”

In the old days, “MMJing” was known as “one-man banding”…but with the flexibility of technology – large market reporters are not only shooting, but using the Internet to move news at the speed of light…er…high bandwidth.

Anyway, Lindgren is the second recent addition to the “MMJ” category at 13th and Lakeside, after the hiring of Amanda Barren. But Lindren notes she’ll be getting used to driving in the snow, something Geauga County native Barren knew well…

SPEAKING OF WKYC: …and also, the Director’s Cut blog. There are two items we missed in recent days.

The first is something we actually noticed while in Parma a week and a half ago, while on one of the usual Northeast Ohio stops by long-time friend and colleague Scott Fybush (“NorthEast Radio Watch”, “Radio Journal”, “100000watts.com” and many others).

Last time we were near the tower site of WKYC off Broadview Road, there were still two towers…the old tower that carried analog channel 3 (and digital RF channel 2), and the new home of WKYC’s digital RF channel 17 – and Ideastream PBS affiliate WVIZ/25’s RF 26 antenna. (And by “we”, we don’t mean Mr. Fybush, who only saw the dual towers in our own pictures of the site. Last time he was at the site, the new tower hadn’t started going up yet.)

Shortly after that visit, we noted here that WKYC brought down the old analog Channel 3 antenna…and now, the tower which held the old antenna is history.

Frank Macek does indeed have more on “Director’s Cut”, with the help of WKYC transmitter engineer Dave Kushman, who has his own pictures online as well…one of which we’ve taken the liberty of reprinting here.

The other piece of WKYC-related news is part of the station’s past. Macek picks up on a Cleveland Plain Dealer report of a new use for the station’s old building at 1403 E. 6th Street in downtown Cleveland.

As you might expect, the building WKYC vacated nearly 10 years ago for the “Digital Broadcast Center” won’t be home for a different TV station. It’ll be permanent office space for a law firm

NEW MORNING SHOW: Clear Channel sports WARF/1350 Akron “Fox Sports 1350” is getting ready to add a new morning show – but they’re not dumping Fox Sports Radio to do it.

That’s because the local station will become one of the first affiliates for the Indiana-based “Zack and Jack” show, which will be offered to FSR affiliates in morning drive (Eastern) as a programming option. The network retains Stephen A. Smith for its morning drive show on the “main” FSR feed.

AllAccess reports that “Zack and Jack”, based at Clear Channel’s WNDE/1260 in Indianapolis and already heard on FSR on weekends, will start on WARF next Monday. OMW hears that start date might not be exact, but it’s coming…

NOT BIG WILLIE: …and not in our immediate coverage area, but since it involves Cincinnati talk powerhouse Clear Channel talk WLW/700 “The Big One”, and we’ve covered it before, some closure.

Tribune Broadcasting has officially announced the start of what’s now being called “The Bill Cunningham Show”, the TV talk show project which will star the WLW midday icon. And Tribune execs stopped snickering long enough to rename the show from its previous name – “Big Willie”.

The company is starting the program on Tribune’s own O&O stations, weekdays starting in September 2011 (yes, we said 2011, according to the release linked above), with “negotiations continuing with distribution partners for national syndication.”

No, we don’t know yet if Local TV’s stations – including WJW/8 “Fox 8” here – are included on that first list. Northern Kentucky-based Local TV is basically operated by Tribune. With the Tribune start now set for Fall 2011, there’s plenty of time to sort that out.

As previously noted here (a LOT), Cunningham will continue his popular weekday show on WLW…and his weekend Premiere-syndicated “Live on Sunday Night” show, which airs on a number of Clear Channel talk stations in Ohio…

NEW HIRE: A local radio syndicator has some affiliate relations help.

Beachwood-based Envision Radio Networks has hired Ethan Weiss as Director of Affiliate Relations.

Quoting a company release:

In his new role, Weiss will head the company’s sales division and maintain Affiliate Relations management responsibility for top markets while leading the rest of the affiliate team.

And he is certainly no stranger to Envision’s upper management, in particular President and CEO Danno Wolkoff. Weiss worked as a music librarian and assistant producer under Wolkoff at MJI Broadcasting:

In 1997, Weiss took a 13 year sabbatical from the radio industry to gain sales experience in a corporate environment working at Dun & Bradstreet, a Fortune 1000 company.

“Danno has been a mentor to me since I started at MJI in 1992. From the day I started working outside of radio I aspired to get the experience I would need to come back,” said Weiss of his journey that led him to work at Envision.

Before he left radio, Weiss was also a producer at Columbus’ WCOL-FM/92.3 and WTVN/610. And before he got into radio, he was a page for NBC, and an assistant talent coordinator at that network’s “Saturday Night Live”…

NEW SIGNAL: We have a lot of “new” items this time, don’t we?

This one will be a new signal along Lake Erie, as a recent FCC auction landed a new class A allocation for North Madison, at 93.7 FM.

The winning bidder was South Shore Broadcasting, a company which got a bidding discount. Tom Taylor’s “Taylor on Radio-Info” newsletter has more…

The new 93.7 in North Madison, Ohio goes to Leslie and Chris Kidner’s South Shore Broadcasting, and they’ll pay $276,250 instead of $425,000.

That’s after a 35 percent “woman-owned business” credit. Losing out in the bidding is Music Express Broadcasting, which bid a non-credit assisted $386,000.

We’ve never heard of South Shore or the Kidners, but Music Express owns Geneva country outlet WKKY/104.7.

And as we were in that area recently, we’re reminded of one side effect whenever that 93.7 signal makes it to the air – South Shore has to file a construction permit, of course, and then has the usual 3 year window to build it out.

The new station will presumably wipe out CBC Radio One’s first-adjacent CBCL/93.5 from London Ontario, which enjoys some coverage on the Ohio side of Lake Erie near that very area…

MINOR EFFECT: Believe it or not, Cumulus still owns rock WRQK/106.9 Canton, though it has long been operated by Clear Channel.

But the swap that sent “Rock 106.9” to Freedom Avenue is about to become an ownership reality.

AllAccess reports of the financial manuevering that is taking place to finally close on the complicated transaction:

In an SEC filing MONDAY, CUMULUS MEDIA informed the SEC that it has entered into a fourth amendment to its existing credit agreement with the BANK OF AMERICA, with the bank resigning as administrative agent and GE CAPITAL stepping in as the new agent.
Other changes to the credit agreement include changes to allow the closing of the swap of the company’s CANTON, OH cluster for CLEAR CHANNEL-owned stations in ANN ARBOR and BATTLE CREEK,

Of course, for those working for WRQK, or who used to work there, it’s all a technicality.

Clear Channel has been running the station since…hang on, let us go into our own archives here…January 2007.

The 3-plus year LMA means Cumulus’ name is still on the license for WRQK, at least until the above financial situation gets cleared up…

AND FINALLY: A station that’s been going through a lot of changes has one more.

AllAccess reports that Fun With Radio Columbus market alt-rock WWCD/101.1 “CD 101” is saying goodbye to marketing/promotions director Karac Ruleau, who’s been with the station for over 10 years.

AllAccess says Ruleau is heading for “new opportunities in New York”.

“CD 101” is still dealing with the death of long-time program director “Andyman” Davis in a Michigan drowning, and will eventually move to now-simulcast frequency 102.5 FM…

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One Response to Starting With Beginnings

  1. Nathan says:

    The old WKYC tower also was used by the then-sister station WTAM-KYW-WKYC-WWWE/1100 from the mid 50s until the move back to their original Brecksville tower in 1974.

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