The Big Flood

UPDATED 8/10/10 10:45 PM:  Oops!  There’s one more item we forgot to mention, which you can read by scrolling down to the bottom if you read this when it came out…

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We don’t know why we bother to go on hiatus, no matter how busy life beyond the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) may be.

Items tend to write themselves, anyway, and basically demand to be put up…and there’s another flood we have to deal with…

WCLV MOVE:  Classical mainstay WCLV in Cleveland has already made one big move in the past few years…from its traditional 95.5 FM frequency to 104.9 FM, part of the Great Cleveland Frequency Swap of 2001.

The station is moving again…and this time, it’s a big physical move, not a frequency change.

WCLV president and OMW reader Bob Conrad has announced that the classical station is moving out of its long-time studios, and gaining a new set of broadcast neighbors.

Quoting a station release, which is now on WCLV’s website:

WCLV 104.9, northeast Ohio’s classical music station, will be moving its studios and offices from the current Radio Ranch location in Warrensville Heights to the Idea Center on Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland, the home of ideastream,  Cleveland’s public broadcasters WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN FM.

WCLV will be sharing space, currently not occupied in the ideastream facilities, with OneCommunity, northeast Ohio’s nonprofit broadband network, which will establish offices and work area for HealthNet, which connects rural and urban healthcare centers.

The station release talks about corroboration between the commercial classical outlet, and the public radio/TV combo:

By co-locating, WCLV and the ideastream stations will be able to collaborate on programs and services designed to strengthen current efforts and foster new concepts. As opportunities are identified, the organizations will look for ways to work more effectively by partnering with one another.

The move will cost about $2.3 million, $1.6 million of which is already covered by contributions from “individuals, corporations and foundations”.  The remaining amount will be covered by financing, but additional contributions are being sought for that.

Mr. Conrad tells us that work has begun on the project, and is expected to continue through the end of calendar year 2010.

It’s a natural partnership between the two stations.  WCPN, with its news/talk format with off-hours jazz music, and WCLV, with its long classical music history, would seem to fit together like the proverbial glove.

And one other side effect of the move?  The Idea Center is theoretically within the strong signal range of the Lorain-licensed, Avon-based 104.9 signal…give or take a skyscraper or three…and Warrensville Heights is certainly not…

INTERCEPTED:  We caught this brief item in a recent Elyria Chronicle-Telegram story by Brian Dulik:

The Browns have replaced Andre Knott as their radio sideline reporter with team employee Jamir Howerton. Knott remains the club’s beat reporter for WTAM-AM 1100.

Huh?  What happened to Andre Knott?

We did a quick beeline to our sources at Oak Tree, who tell us the Story Behind The Quick Story.

First of all, Andre Knott is not on the unemployment line.  As the item above indicates, he continues his regular duties as a sportscaster and Browns beat reporter for AM flagship Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100, and this decision doesn’t affect that at all.  In that capacity, he is employed by Clear Channel.

Second, OMW hears that the phrase “team employee” in the Chronicle-Telegram blurb is something of an understatement.

Sources at Oak Tree tell us that the Browns pressed rather hard to get one of their own in-house people in the sideline reporter role. 

The decision is not being characterized as the team having any problem with Knott’s work, but rather, that they want a team employee handling the job.

Though Knott works at WTAM, the team has control over the broadcast and the broadcast team, and that’s pretty standard in the world of pro sports radio rights.  There’s usually language to that effect during the broadcast of each and every game.

Why do the Browns want an in-house employee on the sidelines during the radio broadcasts?  Who knows?  But that’s what we hear.

Who is Jamir Howerton?  We must not watch enough SportsTime Ohio.

The “front office” page on the Browns website lists him as “Video Production Manager – New Media”.

And from his STO bio page:

Grew up in Bay Shore NY, attended the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Howerton worked with the NY Jets for six years before coming to the Cleveland Browns in 1999, been with the Browns for ten years going into his eleventh.  Jamir is the Video Content Man(a)ger and On-Air Talent for Clevelandbrowns.Com and the Corresponding Reporter for the Cleveland Browns Report on STO and the Co-Host for Beer Money on STO.

As we remember, the team is responsible for much of the Browns-related programming on STO, including “The Cleveland Browns Report”.

Andre Knott succeeded the late Casey Coleman, the WTAM sports anchor who had the sideline gig for many years until passing away due to pancreatic cancer.

Knott started off substituting for Coleman when his illness first kept him away from the microphone…

NOW FILLING IN…: When your weekend sports anchor is off on an, um, unscheduled leave of absence, SOMEONE has to read the sports.

The job on Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 “NewsChannel 5” over the weekend fell to news reporter Paul Kiska, who we saw in the Saturday night sports anchor chair that is usually occupied by Terry Brooks.

(For those who missed it, scroll down a bit to our previous item about Mr. Brooks’ current involvement in the legal system.  We won’t repeat it here.)

We seem to recall that Kiska has been pressed into sports anchor sub-service before, somewhere in that time period between the departure of names like Chris Miller, John Chandler and Sue Ann Robak, and the current team of sports director Andy Baskin (himself, once a fill-in) and Brooks.  As far as we know, there is no third member of the “NewsChannel 5” sports department, even off air.

We don’t know what seeing Kiska means for the future of the NewsChannel 5 weekend sports anchor position – our guess is that the station won’t make any decisions until Brooks’ situation is resolved one way or another.

And in an entirely unrelated item, our friends at CursedCleveland.com point out an advertisement for a sports anchor over at Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8”, posted just a few days ago:

Can you do sports like it’s never been done before on a television newscast? WJW/Fox 8 is looking for a dynamic personality to re-define the way traditional sports is done on a newscast. We want you to blow up the 1970’s sports format that most stations are still using and help us reinvent it in a 24 hour ESPN, Facebook, Twitter, Blackberry world.

Hmm.  Is this somewhat more interesting than it appears?  We’ll see… definitely “stay tuned”…

MATT’S NEXT:  Presumably still hoping to take the now-open 9 PM-midnight weeknight slot on Clear Channel talk WLW/700 Cincinnati, sister WTAM weekend host and former WKDD/98.1-WHLO/640 voice Matt Patrick is hitting the Queen City again.

This time, it’s AllAccess passing along word that Patrick will be heard on the original “Big One” again this Saturday from noon to 3 PM.

He also has a one-day fill-in gig Friday on the morning show for South Bend IN talker WTRC/95.3 “News/Talk 95.3 MNC, Michiana’s News Channel”.

We’ll assume Matt’s firing up the ISDN line in his Hudson home studio, at least for the gig in the shadow of Notre Dame University (alma mater of WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron” afternoon driver Bob Golic, of course).

We get tired just THINKING about driving from Northeast Ohio to South Bend on Friday, and then down to Cincinnati on Saturday…and back after that…

SPEAKING OF THE BIG ONE: We have some details on the partial resurrection of the third version of Clear Channel’s “Big One”, talk WWVA/1170 Wheeling WV.

WWVA lost pretty much all of its three towers in a big windstorm last week, forcing it to temporarily move programming to sister WBBD/1400 there for a couple of days.

The station returned to AM 1170 for good on Friday, on a temporary setup described in the FCC application for special temporary authority:

CAPSTAR TX LLC SEEKS SPECIAL TEMPORARY AUTHORITY TO OPERATE STATION WWVA WITH A LONG WIRE ANTENNA IN A NON-DIRECTIONAL MANNER WITH POWER REDUCED TO NOT EXCEED 12.5 KW, BOTH DAY AND NIGHT, DUE TO VERY SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE TO ALL 3 OF THE SELF SUPPORTING TOWERS UTILIZED AS ELEMENTS IN THE WWVA ANTENNA ARRAY.

The Clear Channel application says the 125 foot wire is strung between the stubs of two destroyed towers.

The signal has been heard in Northeast Ohio, though Your Mileage May Vary depending on how the 500 directional watts of Family Radio’s second-adjacent WCUE/1150 Cuyahoga Falls affects your reception of 1170.

Of course, long-time readers recall the speculation (and it was only that) that Clear Channel/Wheeling would move the WWVA talk format to 1400 AM for good, after the company applied in 2004 to move 1170 AM to a Stow license city, serving Cleveland and Akron from a transmitter site planned for eastern Lorain County.

That proposed move was taken off the books later that year…

SPEAKING OF EX-BIG ONE STAFFERS:  Back to Cleveland’s version, WTAM/1100, where we’re finding out more about what former WTAM field reporter Greg Saber is doing these days.

Saber is covering Northeast Ohio news exclusively (on a freelance basis) for CBS Radio News.

The exclusivity comes, we’re told, because appearances on FOX News Radio put him on WTAM and other Clear Channel stations, and CBS wants Saber for itself.

Greg also appears as a panelist on Ideastream PBS affiliate WVIZ/25’s “Feagler and Friends” with Dick Feagler, where we also saw Rubber City Radio VP/information media and Friend of OMW Ed Esposito make an appearance over the weekend.

But CBS Radio News doesn’t have a big penetration in Northeast Ohio… so you’re more likely to see Greg doing “Feagler” appearances than you are to hear him on the radio locally.

If you’re hankering for some good old fashioned hard-nosed award winning radio news reporting. and there are too many miles or power lines between you and local CBS affiliate WJMP/1520 Kent(/not really Akron/small parts of Cleveland’s southeast suburbs), try firing up your best AM radio at night to catch Saber’s reports.

You can hear them on CBS O&O flagship news station WCBS/880 in New York City…among other regular 50,000 watt CBS nighttime visitors to the local airwaves (WBBM/780 Chicago, etc.)….

3D:  It’s not the cable system’s first 3D program, but Time Warner Cable is promoting another sporting event in 3D this weekend…which you can see in the new format with the appropriate equipment, of course.

TWC will air the PGA Championship this Thursday and Friday in 3D format.  (If you wanted to see last week’s Bridgestone Invitational in 3D, all you had to do was drive down I-77 and buy a ticket.  Heh.)

Those who haven’t gone 3D yet can still take a look at what they’re missing.

We’ll turn to an entry in a new Time Warner corporate blog, authored by local media relations manager Travis Reynolds…but have those driving directions to Akron’s Firestone Country Club handy:

If, like most people, you don’t have a 3D TV yet, we’ll be hosting a free 3D viewing party this Friday at Hackers Bar & Grill. The restaurant is located at Firestone’s public golf course, 600 Swartz Rd, Akron 44319.

Come out to Hackers between 3 – 7 p.m., grab a bite to eat and take a few minutes to see what 3D is all about. This special coverage from Turner Sports and the PGA of America will focus on holes 12 and 17, two par 3s. Ever wonder what a hole-in-one looks like in 3D?

We’ll provide the 3D glasses…all you need to do is be ready to watch. Not a golf fan? This is still a great chance to experience 3D TV.

We have experienced 3D TV, but only in demo form….we haven’t yet seen a live event in the new format, and we’ll have to miss the Friday TWC showing.

More details on the event, and how to see it in your own home, are here.

Of course, the first thing you have to do is by one of those fancy 3D TV sets…which are so far out of our budget we couldn’t even buy the glasses…

FOLK ALLEY:  Local public radio outlet WKSU/89.7 has found another official outlet for its Folk Alley folk music programming stream.

Heard over the Internet (www.folkalley.com) and on the HD2 streams of the Kent State University-owned station’s full-power outlets (WKSU/89.7 Kent, WKSV/89.1 Thompson, WNRK/90.3 Norwalk, WKRW/89.3 Wooster and WKRJ/91.5 New Philadelphia), Folk Alley also has had an existing iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app for some time.

Those of us in Android land get to share in the Folk Alley fun, as WKSU has put out a new Folk Alley app. It is slick, well-designed and works great in the limited testing we’ve given it since this afternoon. Search the Android Market for “Folk Alley” and it’ll show right up.

There’s no word from the OMW readers at WKSU about a regular WKSU app on the Android side, though we know the Public Radio Player project is actively working on an Android app.

And there are several ways to listen to the WKSU streams on an Android device already, in both existing streaming audio apps and in a third-party app that streams a whole bunch of public radio stations.

By the way, we actually came up with that list of WKSU’s full-power stations without looking them up, which is kind of scary…

MOVING WEST?:  Thanks to long-time personal friend and colleague Scott Fybush and his NorthEast Radio Watch for this one.

It’s been a long struggle for Cumulus Youngstown, trying to nudge rock WWIZ/103.9 Mercer PA “Rock 104” closer to the Mahoning Valley, but the station may finally get its wish.

From Monday’s NERW, where Scott reports that a 2007 application to change WWIZ’s license city to West Middlesex PA (closer to Youngstown) is happening after a waiting game:

That 2007 application stalled out when it ran afoul of FCC rules barring city-of-license changes for clusters that are already grandfathered over ownership limits. But where there’s a DC communications lawyer, there’s a way – and in 2008, Cumulus quietly redrew the boundaries of the Youngstown Arbitron radio market to exclude several outlying stations, thus putting its cluster under the ownership caps and making a WWIZ move possible. That set the clock running on the Commission’s two-year waiting period, but Cumulus is patient. In January, it reapplied (as soon as it was eligible to do so) to move WWIZ to West Middlesex, and last week the move was granted.

It sounds like the same waiting game Clear Channel in Cleveland played to get top 40 WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” reattributed to the Akron market, thus allowing it to remain at Oak Tree without the move of even one microphone while it was legally in a trust.

And we wonder if the soon-to-be final disposition of the ownership of WRQK/106.9 Canton – allowing it to officially be deposited into the hands of Clear Channel after a lengthy LMA at Freedom Avenue – plays a role in Cumulus’ ability to move WWIZ to the west.

Well, in license city, at least.  As Scott points out, WWIZ’s filing for the West Middlesex COL doesn’t move its transmitter site…much like Clear Channel first did in changing the COL of WKDD/98.1 from Canton to Munroe Falls.

After that filing, Clear Channel filed to move WKDD’s facility to the former site of the station when it was at 96.5, on Bellaire Lane in what is now Cuyahoga Falls.  That move should be complete very soon.

After it covers the new “West Middlesex” construction permit with the current WWIZ transmitter site, expect Cumulus to file for a physical move west for WWIZ…

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4 Responses to The Big Flood

  1. It is not hard to figure out, Terry Brooks career at WEWS TV 5 is finished, especially considering an indictment. Paul Kiska is filling in on sports until WEWS TV 5 is finished reviewing audition videos and conducting job interviews in picking a new sports reporter as Brook’s replacement. For Brooks its goodbye broadcast sports and hello WalMart – you’ll find him working as a stockman!

    • Nathan says:

      I unfortunately have to agree. Few really consider how WOIO’s main sports anchor Tony Zarella was successfully able to turn his career around after personal issues came up with him. But that was after leaving the Denver market completely, and even taking a break from broadcasting for a brief period.

      Last Saturday, WJW also had anchor Bill Sheil read the sports headlines in place of John Telich, who was on vacation that night.

  2. victor malar says:

    The reason the Browns switched sideline reporters is because they don’t want too much information leaking out (i.e. injuries or coaching strategy).

    Howerton will likely do a sponsored, company line fluff piece once a quarter when it’s thrown to him.

    Andre Knott was getting too close and giving out too much information, and for a control freak like Coach Mangini, it was too much.

  3. Dan says:

    WKSU has released an android application for the WKSU streams, including all of our HD channels. Just search for WKSU on the android market.

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