A Week’s Worth Of Stuff

We’ve been hanging onto most of this, but one just happened today…

HO, HO, HELLO: There have already been early Christmas music flips, even though Thanksgiving is still a few weeks off.

Cleveland got on the Holiday Music Sleigh Ride today.

And the first entrant in the sweepstakes isn’t a traditional Christmas music convert…with Clear Channel hot AC WMVX/106.5 “Mix 106.5” jumping into Radio Jingle Bells sometime today. (We’ll assume it happened shortly after the “Valentine in the Morning” show, but we didn’t hear the flip directly. We did hear the holiday music this afternoon.)

That puts “Mix” on Santa’s list before two Cleveland stations that usually go first in the Holiday Parade…CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 “Soft Rock 102.1”, and Salem CCM WFHM/95.5 “The Fish”. At last check this afternoon, both stations were in their normal music rotation.

For its part, WDOK is asking listeners, on its website, to help determine the holiday music rotation, and a countdown notes continuous Christmas music should start at…let’s see…about midnight on the early morning of Friday, November 19th, if we’re doing the math right.

On the “Fish” site, there are various upcoming Christmas season celebrations and remotes, but we can’t find any reference to on-air Christmas music…

NO SNOW JOB: We believe our Second is writing up a more extensive article on this, but we were close enough to the Mahoning Valley today to confirm one announced format change.

Whiplash Radio’s WANR/1570 Warren has indeed flipped to a “Classic Top 40” format as “The Blizzard”, with local news (and announced sports).

In our brief time in the station’s signal range, we heard what sounded like RKO’s Classic Top 40 format, though the promised on-air personalities were missing…it sounded to us like those personalities feed voice tracks that WANR didn’t have yet. Why else would you hear the “Classic Top 40” jingles and jock shouts for afternoon driver Eric Chase, but not hear Eric? We’re sure that’ll be corrected soon.

As we noted on our Twitter feed, “Classic Top 40” features at least two names that have been heard in Northern Ohio before – maybe three.

John Records Landecker did morning drive at then-WPHR/107.9 “Power 108” in Cleveland, and yes, “Records” is really his middle name.

Jim Zippo was heard on local affiliates of ABC/SMN’s “Pure Gold”, where he programmed and held down the morning show. Heck, we believe even WANR itself was once an affiliate of the ABC format, though it was – by that time – “Oldies Radio”, and Zippo had been gone for a while. It’s now Citadel’s “Greatest Mojo”, and airs on BAS Broadcasting’s WOHF/92.1 Bellevue “The Wolf”.

We say “maybe three” because we don’t remember if Cincinnati-based Marty “With The Party” Thompson’s voice ever made it up here when he worked for Clear Channel in Southwest Ohio.

Anyway, we also heard local (recorded) news from station owner Chris Lash, with a newscast name that’s very much a nod to the station which Lash admits inspired his changed format – “Warren’s News Now”. (New hire Marc Means is also doing news.)

The newscast name apes, of course, the “AkronNewsNow” name given to the news operation at Akron’s Rubber City Radio Group, and Lash has indeed cited RCRG’s oldies/news WAKR/1590 Akron as an inspiration behind the moves at “The Blizzard”.

The move was also prompted by the move of Fox Sports Radio across the market – where it’ll reportedly supplant standards at Clear Channel’s WNIO/1390 Youngstown.

Though FSR has yet to show up on WNIO, at least as of this afternoon, the station has already claimed the sportsradio1390.com domain, which currently forwards to the existing WNIO site.

Our first clue of that? We were trying to track the format change over here, and the WNIO “Listen Live” link directs you to a player at sportsradio1390.com.

That move leaves the older skewing market of Youngstown with just one adult standards outlet, Cumulus’ WSOM/600 Salem.

The change from “Fox Sports Radio 1570” to “The Blizzard” also encompasses another change – after calling itself “Youngstown’s Sports Station” after Lash took over WANR, it’s refocusing on its city of license, Warren. Smart move, since 1570 is scratchy in much of Mahoning County. And it also mirrors WAKR’s focus on the Akron area…

LOOKING BACK: Northeast Ohio’s Time Warner Cable operation is Looking Back.

No, not to the days of Akron Cablevision, Warner Cable or Warner-Amex Cable, but forward to a new service that is a supplement to the cable system’s “Start Over” feature.

The latter allows viewers to “start a show over” if they tune in during the middle. “Look Back” appears to be “Start Over” on cable steroids. Quoting a release from TWC:

To use this feature, Digital Video customers simply use the “Select” button on their remote control then choose Look Back to find a program. The available window for these programs will be 72 hours. For example, if a show airs from 8:00-9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, customers can view that show immediately after it has aired until 9:00 p.m. on Friday. Customers may also pause and rewind their program selection.

As with Start Over, only certain channels are enabled for the Look Back service…23 of them, in both SD and HD versions. Here’s the list…

ABC Family
Animal Planet
Discovery Science
Disney XD
History International
ID Discovery
Planet Green
Showtime East
Showtime Too
Starz East

As with Start Over (which recently gained local CBS affiliate WOIO/19), we presume other channels will be added to Look Back service later…


One Response to A Week’s Worth Of Stuff

  1. Secondary Editorial Voice (tm) says:

    Marty Thompson was on the old WSAI/1530 back in 2003 and 2004 during its’ “Real Oldies” era – the 1530/Cincinnati frequency, being 50,000 watts, booms into Cleveland at night – so it’s a borderline connection, but just barely.

    As for WNIO dropping standards, that format originated on the 1540 frequency back in early 1995, a year or two after the “Network 15” simulcast with WANR was broken up (but following an ill-fated all-comedy format as WFNE “Funny 1540”).

    WNIO moved to 1390 in 1999 as Clear Channel and Bain Gocom wound up with nine stations combined in both the Youngstown and New Castle markets (and one LMAed from Stop 26), replacing talk-formatted WRTK. Only the WRTK calls went to 1540; the station simulcast whatever aired on FM/106.1 (first WNCD, then WBBG) until WABQ owner Dale Edward bought it in early 2001.

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