Closing Out The Week And Year

After this, OMW will go on official Holiday Hiatus, with a return scheduled for January 3, 2011.

As per usual, we’ll try to get any major media news mentioned here, either on the blog itself or via our Twitter feed.

You can see our Twitter feed on the right hand side of the blog, even if you don’t “do” Twitter…and the items will also appear on our Facebook page…

4:30 NEWS: The trend of early TV news getting earlier isn’t going away with the new year.

Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 enters the Really Early News Race on January 3, when “Channel 3 News Today” moves its start time to 4:30 AM.

Quoting an item on the “Director’s Cut” blog, by blogging colleague/WKYC senior director Frank Macek:

“People lead busier lives, and viewing patterns have changed,” said WKYC News Director Rita Andolsen. “There is now a significant news audience beginning as early as 4:30 in the morning, and we want to serve their needs with the market’s best news, weather and sports coverage.”

“The timing is right,” added Brooke Spectorsky, President and General Manager. “Given how actively this winter has begun, our viewers need weather, traffic and school closings even earlier.”

OMW readers know that WKYC is the second area station to stake its pre-5 AM claim.

Last month, we reported the expansion of WEWS/5’s “Good Morning Cleveland” to 4:30 AM, a move made easier by ABC’s move of “America This Morning” to a 4 AM start.

The pre-5 AM newscast trend is growing, as the importance of morning news in TV grows nationwide. For one, morning audiences are growing… as, in many cases, evening news audiences are shrinking for local stations.

As with WEWS, WKYC will extend its existing morning news team into the earlier half-hour, with anchors Mark Nolan and Hollie Strano, and reporters Maureen Kyle, Darrielle Snipes, along with WTAM/1100 traffic reporter Pat Butler. We’d list the Bloomberg business reporters, but we’re pretty sure they’re nowhere near 13th and Lakeside…

63 CANDLES: Ohio’s oldest TV station is blowing out 63 candles today.

Scripps-owned WEWS/5 Cleveland, which still carries the same ownership, calls and channel number, has more on its NewsNet5 website:

On December 17, 1947, WEWS signed on the air bringing the Cleveland Press Christmas party hosted by Hollywood legend Jimmy Stewart to the few television sets in Cleveland.

We were the eleventh television station in the country in the pioneering days of sending pictures through the air.

The call letters for the station were derived from the initials of Scripps founder Edward Willis Scripps. The Scripps company has owned the station the entire 63 years.

WEWS notes that they’ve been in the current facility at East 30th and Euclid for almost as long – the station starting life at East 13th and Chester, spending its first decade with WEWS-FM/102.1 (today’s CBS Radio AC WDOK).

The NewsNet5 piece has video: from the station’s 50th anniversary show (with now-former anchor Ted Henry), and from the 35th anniversary, with Fred Griffith (now at WKYC/3’s on “Good Company”) and Wilma Smith (now 6 PM anchor at WJW/8).

And one interesting fact, coming out of a discussion with long-time friend and colleague Scott Fybush (“NorthEast Radio Watch”): WEWS is one of just four Ohio stations that is on its original pre-1952 channel number…a reallocation taking place that year

That means that though WKYC/3 started on Channel 4 (as WNBK), and WJW/8 started on Channel 9 (as WXEL)…WEWS has always been on Channel 5.

The other Ohio stations? Feel free to guess in the comments.

About the only thing that’s changed with WEWS over the years, aside from the faces on the air? It started life as Cleveland’s CBS affiliate…

9 OUT THE DOOR: Unfortunately for 9 employees at 30th and Euclid, they aren’t there to help blow out the proverbial 63 candles.

OMW hears that the station’s use of the “Ignite” control room automation system has cost 9 WEWS operations department employees their jobs. The layoffs are effective today, we hear.

Such systems are all the rage in TV, and we’ve actually been at TV facilities that reminded us of the “Christmas Carol” scene in an episode of TV’s “WKRP in Cincinnati”, where sales manager Herb Tarlek is the only employee at the WKRP of the Future…and shuts down the station by a switch on a small console on his desk…

NO KISS: A tumultuous year for Clear Channel top 40 WVKS/92.5 “Kiss FM” morning host “Andrew Z” is ending with unemployment.

Andrew Zepeda announced on his personal Facebook page that his contract with the station was not picked up:

As listeners you can tell today KISS FM made it official and has decided not to renew my contract which is up at the end of the month. We had 5 great years at KISS FM taking the show from some of its lowest ratings ever to its highest ratings in over 10 years! It’s disappointing that the station has decided to not stand by me. All I can ask is that you continue to let management know your displeasure.

For now, it appears the new “Kiss FM Morning Show” is basically the “Andrew Z in the Morning Show Without Andrew Z”, with a cast listed as: Bacon, Sara Hegarty, Demetrius, Donny P, Carlos Diaz, and Calen Savidge.

Using Zepeda’s last name in the OMW search engine will bring up a previous story about his legal troubles. Media reports out of Toledo say he is now asking the court to allow him to enter alcohol treatment in lieu of entering a plea…

DAILEY MEMORIAL: We have word of a local memorial for Mahoning Valley native Mark Dailey, who passed away after a long and distinguished career in Toronto…most notably, as a newsman and announcer for “CityTV” in Canada’s largest city.

OMW reader Ed Byers, known as “Ed Richards” in his local radio/TV days, has more:

The Ohio Memorial services for Mark will be held 12 Noon, Saturday, January 15, 2011, at St. Rose Church in Girard. Blackstone Funeral Home in Girard is handling arrangements. His sister Cathy tells me the Hampton Inn on Belmont Avenue (Liberty Township) has a special bereavement rate for those of you coming in from out of town.

Ed tells us the memorial is indeed January 15th, not this Saturday (as printed in a short Warren Tribune-Chronicle obituary).

You can read the full obituary courtesy of the Youngstown Vindicator, with more details on Mark’s life than we’ve even presented here.

Condolences can be left on Mark’s obituary at the Blackstone’s Funeral Home site here

FELLER MEMORIAL: Cleveland TV and radio spent much of the past few days mourning the death of a local sports giant.

Bob Feller, the Hall of Fame Cleveland Indians pitcher known as “Rapid Robert”, died of leukemia Wednesday at the age of 92.

The official TV home of the Indians, SportsTime Ohio, is airing three Feller specials:

The Bob Feller Story, Bob Feller’s Homecoming, and MLB Network’s Studio 42 with Bob Costas: Bob Feller can be seen consecutively Friday night starting at 6:00pm.

There has been plenty of talk about Feller’s death on area TV and radio stations, and interviews about the impact of “The Heater from Van Meter” on the Cleveland Indians, the only franchise where he ever played…


3 Responses to Closing Out The Week And Year

  1. Trip Ericson says:

    WSPD-13, WBNS-10, and WTVN-6.

  2. Tristan says:

    One of the Blooomberg correspondents on Channel 3 is Angie Lau, who used to be the consumer investigative reporter on Channel 5 before she left for Bloomberg, meaning there is a Cleveland connection with Bloomberg.

  3. Mark says:

    Wow! 1947 was a big year in Northeast Ohio. Howie Chizek of WNIR fame and the greatest local talk show host in the history of radio is born, and Channel 5 signs on the air! Coincidence?

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