Up From Hiatus

Yes, we’re still on hiatus. But as per usual when we take a break from the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), media news breaks out…and then some…

TERRY BROOKS: The news spread fast and furious on local TV stations…and off-air, in their newsrooms.

We’ll let Scripps Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5’s “NewsChannel 5” report the happenings of this past week involving one of its own employees:

WEWS NewsChannel5 weekend sports anchor Terry Brooks was indicted Wednesday on charges of rape, attempted rape and kidnapping, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office said.

The indictment is linked to an alleged incident between Brooks and a 21 year-old woman.

And here’s a statement released by WEWS general manager Sam Rosenwasser:

“We learned late on Tuesday of the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s interest in legal action surrounding the alleged activity of Terry Brooks. Any hint of improper conduct by our employees is taken very seriously by the station and its management team. We will cooperate fully and completely with all investigating authorities in the interest of a resolution that is fair and just for all parties involved. At this time, we have placed Terry Brooks on a leave of absence until the facts are determined and we can evaluate his future with the station.”

Brooks tells his own station: “I am innocent of these charges.”

And Rosenwasser has definitely had quite an opening few weeks as general manager at 30th and Euclid. His experience as a TV management veteran is serving him very well right now.

As you might expect, all of the other local TV newsrooms covered the story.

We caught Scott Taylor breathlessly talking about the charges on Raycom CBS affiliate WOIO/19’s “19 Action News”, but Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8’s “Fox 8 News” actually went to Brooks’ South Euclid home…where they caught him taking out his garbage while wearing shorts, and the sportscaster had no comment for the “Fox 8” cameras.

(We saw early reports from both stations, and know that Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 also covered the story.)

And that’s all we’ll note, unless this affects WEWS’ sports department or some sort of resolution is forthcoming…

BOOM GOES THE TOWER: As it turns out, straight line winds over 70 miles per hour apparently caused the collapse of three directional towers at Clear Channel talk WWVA/1170 Wheeling WV, on the edge of the OMW coverage area with (normally) a 50,000 watt signal that covers much of this part of the country.

WWVA has kept listeners apprised of the situation on its website, which describes the events that took the station off the air Wednesday afternoon:

Wednesday, August 4th, around 4pm all 3 of WWVA-AM’s broadcast towers were knocked down due to severe storms and winds in excess of 70 mph. Weather experts say wind speeds at the top of the 400 foot towers could have been in excess of 100 mph at the time of the incident.

For listeners in Wheeling, the station temporarily took over sister standards outlet WBBD/1400, which aired the WWVA programming most of Thursday – starting at 6 AM with local morning drive host David Blomquist’s “Bloomdaddy Experience”.

While work continued for a temporary return for the 1170 site – involving “temporary towers”, said a station official on Blomquist’s show – WWVA’s news/talk format continued on AM 1400 until the Pittsburgh Pirates took to the airwaves in their normal spot on WBBD Thursday evening.

There was some hope not long after the Pirates played, says the WWVA website update:

Our engineering crews worked all day and into the evening Thursday, and from around 10:30pm until a little after 1am Friday morning, we were back on the air at reduced power and using temporary equipment. At approximately 1am there were some “technical difficulties” that knocked us off the air again.

That brought “Bloomdaddy” and company back to WBBD/1400 on Friday morning, but the station’s latest update says they are back on 1170 AM with a temporary setup:

We’re happy to let you know that the problems we encountered overnight have been fixed, and as of around 10:45am this morning (8/6), we are back on the air…still at reduced power and using temporary equipment….but on the air, with a signal that covers the listening area extremely well.

We don’t know what power level WWVA is running, but while the station was on the air briefly late Thursday, long-time OMW reader/tipster Nathan Obral in Lorain County heard WWVA’s temporary signal.

The station says WWVA will be restored to full power at some point, though they have no timeline right now.

WWVA does not stream its audio, but we heard snippets of the discussion on the “Bloomdaddy Experience”‘s show website.

In addition to pictures and a video walkthrough by WWVA operations manager Chad Tyson on the WWVA site, the events of the past few days have gotten WWVA a last minute spot as the featured “Site of the Week” at long-time friend and colleague Scott Fybush’s NorthEast Radio Watch.

NEW HOST: The local business newsmagazine “NEOtropolis”, seen Friday evenings on public TV outlet Western Reserve PBS (WNEO/45 Alliance-WEAO/49 Akron) does indeed have a new host.

He’s local broadcast veteran Jim Evans, who, according to the show’s online newsletter, “has more than 26 years of experience in on-air and production broadcasting and currently produces, writes and performs sports stories for Clear Channel Radio in Youngstown. He is also an instructor in the Telecommunications Department at Youngstown State University.”

Evans replaces founding NEOtropolis host Thomas Mulready of CoolCleveland.com, but the folks on Campus Center Drive say Mulready is still seen on the show:

Thomas Mulready is still contributing to the program with “The Business of Fun,” a video clip that he culls from his CoolCleveland.com productions.

A gradual retooling of the show, we’re told, includes a new podcast feature from Crain’s Cleveland Business, a feature on start-up companies called “Into the Future”, and a more focused stock market segment called “Stock Rap” – which will center on a single regional company’s stock performance, as opposed to a general weekly stock report.

The goal, according to the Western Reserve PBS folks, is to improve and the show as it seeks a new funding cycle from underwriters…

TOLEDO MOVE: As noted on our Twitter feed, there’s been a station move in Toledo. Well, a mini-station move.

Cumulus alt-rock “100.9 The Zone” moved recently to 100.7 FM, a fact we discovered in a trip to Toledo so short we only had time to catch one legal ID (“W264AK Toledo, WXKR-HD2 Port Clinton”).

Cumulus filed to move the 82 watt translator to 100.7, its original frequency, after complaints from Toledo area listeners having trouble hearing Detroit rocker WRIF/101.1.

FCC records say the construction permit to move to 100.7 was approved July 28th.

That little translator sure gets out.

We picked it up in a car radio all the way past the Route 51 exit on the Ohio Turnpike on the southeastern edge of the Toledo market, heading back to our Northeast Ohio home base…


9 Responses to Up From Hiatus

  1. Tom Lavery says:

    I was getting WWVA up here in NWPA so they are very powerful at whatever power they are at.

    • The OMW World Headquarters is in the 500 watt night signal lobe of Family Radio’s WCUE/1150, so our inside radios can’t get WWVA at night.

      • Jeremy Moses at TSMW says:

        And I don’t believe we can here at the TSMW HQ, either…we’re right in the coverage area of WQRT-AM 1160/Florence, even at nighttime.

  2. Jeremy Moses at TSMW says:

    Oh, and WQRT’s 990 watt nighttime signal? It’s directional, aimed northeast…towards Wheeling. However the local grade signal BARELY passes the 275 loop with the distant grade signal out past that only making it as far east as Georgetown, Ohio and possibly just south of Wilmington…

  3. Yekimi says:

    “Any hint of improper conduct by our employees is taken very seriously by the station and its management team. We will cooperate fully and completely with all investigating authorities in the interest of a resolution that is fair and just for all parties involved. At this time, we have placed Terry Brooks on a leave of absence until the facts are determined and we can evaluate his future with the station.”

    *Translation: “You will never see him on our airwaves again, even if he brought Mother Teresa and Princess Diana back from the dead.”

  4. Gee – it was Fox 8 who did the home ambush interview of Terry Brooks? Stuff like that seems more like the milleu of 19 Action “News” – didn’t they do the same thing to John Lanigan after he was charged with DUI one time? *shrug*

    • Nathan says:

      There was also the time Action News ambushed the Lerner family shortly after a family relative drowned. The Lerners were so outraged that they voided WOIO’s Browns preseason contract, which was promptly awarded to WKYC/STO. That’s the fault of WOIO’s management for not even giving one second to realize the risks of doing something that dumb.

      And yes, I DO remember the Lanigan fiasco. Shortly after that happened, he interviewed Denise Dufala, and it wound up with her getting thrown out of the studio and subsequent banning from his show.

      I generally have a problem with news departments doing ambush interviews. Mostly because it’s sophomoric and juvenile, but there’s also a safety issue, and even possible defamation charges. It’s surprising that WOIO took the high road this time. The apocalypse is near, I guess.

    • yekimi says:

      Yes, 19 Action “News” did that to Lanigan. and then he had his “friend” Denis Dufala from 19 Action News on his program {a few weeks later} with the stipulation that she not talk about his DUI since it was still an active case meaning no resolution had been made between the parties involved [the court system, proseutor and Lanigan]. She agreed. So what’s the first thing out of her mouth? She asks him about the DUI. Much hoo-ha ensues, she has her mike turned off and she is escorted out of the studio and you can hear her being picked up on other studio mics yelling stuff as she is escorted (or was it shoved?) out the door. In my book, that makes her a dirt bag as she agreed not to say anything and then proceeds to violate that aggreement. That’s like me being invited to your house for dinner and then complaining about the meal being served, the table settings, etc. No idea if they ever patched things up, but if it was my “friend” that did something like that to me, they’d no longer be a friend and maybe have a busted snout also.

  5. Sorry, but Terry Brooks blew himself out of the broadcast waters – here and in any other major market. No matter where he goes, once station management gets a whiff of his past scandal, his contract is void. My suggestion to Terry is to look for another line of work beyond the camera or mike. Anyone who thinks they are ‘bullet-proof’ need to realize that by committing an alledged criminal act, even if it was a stupid act due to alcohol or whatever – if it goes public, its like putting a gun to your head and pulling the trigger on their career. For any college students or young on-the-air types in the broadcast industry, take a note from the Terry Brooks ‘playbook’, and don’t make the same mistakes – otherwise your broadcast career is going to be a short one!

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