Tons of Assorted News

‘A veritable potpourri’ of interesting news items gathered throughout the weekend:

FSO AND DAN PATRICK: Dayton native Dan Patrick’s satellite TV simulcast of his late-morning sports radio show will soon be available to non-satellite subscribers.

Yesterday morning, DirectTV, which produces the show for radio and television, announced a syndication agreement with the regional sports network service Fox Sports Net that takes the show over to basic cable, expanding the show’s reach to more than 85 million homes. Fox Sports Ohio is one of the 26 regional sports networks (three of which – including nearby FS Pittsburgh – are owned by DirecTV) that have signed up to carry this “expanded” version of his radio show, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon starting on October 25.

(For FS Ohio, this simply displaces the network’s late-morning infomercial block, not listed on their schedule page.)

Patrick, whose show’s production firm The Content Factory merged with DirecTV back in 2009, has had his radio show simulcast on the satellite provider’s “The 101® Network” since early August 2009. (Of course, the radio show’s distribution is handled by Premiere Radio Networks, and is promoted by Fox Sports Radio as part of their lineup, despite not being an FSR show.)

Patrick also made great emphasis in saying about the simulcast that “…it’s not stagnant. It’s not us doing a radio show with two cameras showing us talking. We will show you the good and bad of what goes on during a show and during the breaks. If we screw up, we can’t hide it.”

Considering that ESPN Radio’s flagship program “Mike & Mike in the Morninghas been simulcast on television for over six years, and WGN America had aired a one-hour condensed video version of “The Bob & Tom Show” in the late night hours, that emphasis can’t hurt.

Patrick’s show airs locally on Clear Channel sports WARF/1350 Akron and (as of last check) on Cumulus’ ESPN Radio affiliate, WBBW/1240 Youngstown.

MY, OH MY: A one-time competitor to Clear Channel heritage CHR WVKS/92.5 Toledo has thrown in the towel.

This past Friday, Cumulus flipped WTWR/98.1 Luna Pier MI from it’s former CHR “Tower” format to adult contemporary as “My 98.3 WMIM” – and yes, the WTWR calls were formally retired for WMIM that same day. (I presume that WMIM stands for Michigan’s My 98.3… or M(I)y Mix?) It of course has no connection or relation to Clear Channel’s usage of the format and moniker, which was once used on nearby for-now-silent WPFX/107.7 North Baltimore-to-be-Luckey-or-maybe-not(?) from January until July of 2008.

As had been the case with WTWR over the past few years, WMIM will be focusing solely on the Monroe, Michigan market, where they will do battle with an interesting competitor – Monroe Schools’ WYDM/97.5 “Dream 97-5.” A 49 watts class D signal, WYDM is operated out of Monroe High School, and is programmed and run by Monroe County Community College students.

In addition to new morning host Craig Morgan and evening host Aaron “Adubb” Watkins, WMIM will be carrying the customizable voicetracked liners of John Tesh in afternoon drive, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m…

FROM ‘NIGHT’ TO ‘NITE’: The Western Reserve PBS (WNEO/45.1 Alliance-WEAO/49.1 Akron) will be reviving their weekly Akron/Canton-centered newsmagazine “NewsNight Akron,” as the newly-christened “NewsNite,” which debuts this Friday, October 8 at 9:00 p.m.

show’s overall change, however, is hardly cosmetic. When “NewsNight Akron” was put on hiatus back in late April, Western Reserve Public Media president/CEO Trina Cutter said in the announcement:

“Western Reserve Public Media will be reshaping its regional production strategy over the summer,” explained Trina Cutter, president and CEO. “We have exciting programs planned for next fiscal year, and we will use the summer months to explore how all of our regional programs can be infused with new energy, new technologies and new media for our fall season.”

NewsNight Akron has enjoyed a loyal following over the last 12 years, reaching its peak audience in the 2008-09 season. “So much has changed in the media landscape since NewsNight Akron was launched in 1998,” Cutter continued. “This is an opportunity to reshape the program to ensure that it fits stylistically with the rest of our regional productions.”

And as our Primary Editorial Voice(tm) accurately noted back then, “the above quotes from WRPBS boss Trina Cutter seem to indicate that if “NewsNight” does return, you basically won’t recognize the show.”

“NewsNight Akron” host – and WKYC/3 reporter/anchor – Eric Mansfield will return as host of “NewsNite.” Former show panelists Ed Esposito, Steve Hoffman, Jody Miller and M.L. Schultze will also be present for “NewsNite,” but will be appearing in topics sensitive to a stories’ origin. “NewsNite” also will be expanding their focus beyond Akron over to WRPBS’ entire viewing area, offering regional coverage that ‘can’t be provided by the Cleveland and Youngstown commercial news operations.’

Western Reserve Public Media will produce the new show in the state-of-the-art Franklin Hall video studio at Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, with assistance from the University’s TeleProductions unit, as well as from faculty and students of the school. (By the way, TeleProductions’ director is none other than former WEWS/5 general manager John Butte.) As the new season progresses, “NewsNite” will work with KSU’s faculty and students on extending the program’s reach, not only through web content and social media, but also other digital platforms.

“We’re delighted to have NewsNite in our Franklin Hall studio,” said School Director Jeff Fruit. “The NewsNite team has some forward-thinking ideas and we look forward to partnering with them and with our TeleProductions colleagues on a show that takes some new approaches in 21st century journalism.”

The program will re-air three times during the weekend; on 45.1/49.1 Saturday mornings at 5:30 a.m., and on “Fusion” 45.2/49.2 Saturdays at 10 p.m. and Mondays at 8:30 p.m.

WKSU AT 60: Venerable Kent State University’s NPR affiliate WKSU/89.7 commemorated it’s 60th birthday this past Saturday.

Back on October 2, 1950, WKSU signed on with a mere 10 watts from an antenna tacked to a 50-foot pole supported by a chimney atop Kent Hall – the culmination of a two-year long quest to attain an education license by the FCC. The station’s initial broadcast schedule was limited to just five hours a day, five days a week during the academic year with a student on-air staff. KSU football and basketball games were also offered, with the away games done via Western Union telegram-recreations.

During the 70s, WKSU transitioned from a student-run station over to being an NPR member station, and during the entire time WBOE/90.3 Cleveland was silent – from 1978 until its’ 1984 relaunch as WCPN – WKSU was the only NPR affiliate in Northern Ohio.

Today, it’s NPR and classic music lineup is broadcast not only on WKSU, but on simulcasters WKRW/89.3 Wooster, WKRJ/91.5 New Philadelphia, WKSV/89.1 Thompson and WNRK/90.7 Norwalk, along with translators in Ashland (95.7) and Boardman (107.5). Both internet broadcasting and HD Radio have also brought both 24-hour Folk Alley and 24-hour classical music streams to life (as WKSU HD-2 and HD-3, respectively).

Admittedly, this is a bit belated, but better late than never…

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One Response to Tons of Assorted News

  1. Geoff says:

    “During the 70s, WKSU transitioned from a student-run station over to being an NPR member station, and during the entire time WBOE/90.3 Cleveland was silent – from 1978 until its’ 1984 relaunch as WCPN – WKSU was the only NPR affiliate in Northern Ohio.”

    WYSU/88.5 in Youngstown signed on in 1969, and became an NPR affiliate the following year. It’s Northeastern Ohio, I know, but certainly within earshot of Kent.

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