Six Inches Of Partly Cloudy

Northeast Ohio may once again be looking at bad winter weather, but the conditions are sunny on South Marginal Road.

Dick GoddardThat’s because the Cleveland TV market’s biggest name, Local TV LLC Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8 News” meteorologist Dick Goddard, celebrates 80 years on this Earth today…and he’s still going strong.

The Plain Dealer’s Mark Dawidziak weighs in on Goddard’s birthday and local TV dominance in an article published Wednesday…which is pretty good “Goddard 101” primer focusing on his long career, and dominant status in this TV market:

And there’s another landmark date rolling toward us like a spring warm front propelled by prevailing winds of affection. May 1 is the 50th anniversary of Goddard’s TV debut as a Cleveland weatherman.

In the article, or even in private, there’s no talk about Dick Goddard retiring soon, despite the fact he’s been on TV longer than many of his viewers have been alive.

There is talk about his well-noted love of animals – a “Fox 8” segment today said that Goddard could be called “Cleveland’s Dr. Doolittle” – and of his yearly celebration of that famous weather worm, the Woollybear.

The Dawidziak piece notes an upcoming memoir by the WJW forecaster, which carries the tentative title “Six Inches of Partly Cloudy” – coming out of a viewer’s phone call after a snowstorm, upset that he had shoveled “six inches of partly cloudy” out of his driveway.

The book, published by local publisher Gray and Company, is expected to debut around Goddard’s 50th TV anniversary in May.

Whenever Dick Goddard leaves the air, it’ll be his own choice.

Like another long-time broadcaster, retiring Cavaliers Radio Network Hall of Famer Joe Tait, letting Dick Goddard go – even by a contract non-renewal – would be akin to touching “the third rail” of local broadcasting.

And no matter who owns WJW, from Storer to New World to Fox to Local TV LLC, they have known it…


Another Big Return

This time, the hiatus was caused by technical problems…which are now completely fixed. So, on with the show…we have a LOT of catching up to do!

And if we missed anything, we’ll get to it later…

JOE TAIT: The “Voice of the Cavaliers” has been heard on the airwaves again, at least temporarily.

Cavaliers Radio Network Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Tait made an appearance by telephone on Fox Sports Ohio’s Cavaliers pre-game show with Jeff Phelps and Campy Russell last Wednesday night.

FSOhio has linked the video here.

And though he said his recovery from recent health issues has been “slow but sure”, and some of his goals to return to the Cavaliers Radio microphone were “premature”, Tait told Phelps and Russell he “very definitely” plans to be back on the air before this Cavaliers season is over.

But…that’s it.

Tait is not reconsidering his decision to retire after the end of this season, saying he is ready to call it a career.

When will we hear Tait’s voice calling Cavaliers games?

Phelps threw out a possible date – March 21st – which Tait didn’t immediately recognize, but then called “possible, I’d say that’s the second possibility”…but said he wouldn’t return until his doctors cleared him to do so…

CANTON FIXTURE LEAVING: It won’t be “Fred and Pam” on NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton after Friday.

That’s because Fred – long-time morning drive co-host Fred Chenevey – is leaving Ohio, bound for a new life in Florida, according to the Canton Repository.

Unlike some who continue to do their radio shows from warmer climes, Fred is leaving WHBC, which means the station had to find a replacement to sit alongside news/program director Pam Cook in the mornings.

And it’s a familiar voice…he’s Matt Fox, who helped launch HGTV with the “Room by Room” show with co-host Shari Hiller.

The Kent State University graduates now host “Around the House with Matt and Shari” syndicated on public television nationwide – which is seen locally on Western Reserve PBS’s WNEO/45-WEAO/49 Saturdays at 12:30 PM. (And yes, KSU is a part of the three-university consortium which owns Western Reserve Public Media.)

Fox is apparently quite a regular fill-in on the “Fred and Pam” show, so he’s certainly a familiar voice to WHBC’s regular morning listeners.

Chenevey came to WHBC 11 years ago after a stint doing mornings at crosstown D.A. Peterson now-top 40 now-WDJQ/92.5 (we’re not sure it was WDJQ, WZKL or both when Fred was there…we believe it was doing oldies as “Kool 92”).

The Repository article says he’s looking to do radio voice work in Florida.

Fred’s last day is Friday, and Matt Fox starts the following Monday…

SIGN OF SPRING: As we write this early on a Tuesday morning, most of Northeast Ohio is under a Winter Storm Warning, so why not bring some baseball sunshine your way?

Yes, it’s that time of year again…as the Cleveland Indians have opened up Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona.

Indians home network SportsTime Ohio is once again pulling out all the stops for their own team.

“Spring Training Daily” kicked off Monday for its fifth season, with Tribe TV team Rick Manning and Matt Underwood broadcasting live from Arizona.

The pair will be joined by Bruce Drennan for his “All Bets Are Off” show February 27th through March 4th, and STO will keep Matt in Goodyear through March 29th, providing reports to Drennan’s show and Chuck Galeti’s “Chuck’s Last Call”.

Ah, yes, but you’re looking for the games…the sure antidote to 8 inches of snow on the ground is baseball on TV.

STO says it’ll air six live Spring Training contests, beginning March 8th with a 3 PM contest with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The network will also again air the exhibition between the Indians and their AAA farm team, the Columbus Clippers, from Huntington Park in Columbus.

Radio-wise, we’ve already heard Indians Radio Network flagship WTAM/1100 beat reporter Nick Camino in Goodyear, and other radio types will make it to Arizona this year as well.

OMW reader and Rubber City Radio (WAKR/1590-WONE/97.5-WQMX/ VP/Information Media Ed Esposito is heading out this weekend, and we suspect Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting talk WEOL/930 Elyria’s Tim Alcorn will probably make another trip out.

But will Ed, Tim and Indians Radio Network pre-game host Jim Rosenhaus partake in eating contests again this year? We’re getting hungry just thinking about it.

Elsewhere on the TV side, we’re sure the local broadcast stations will be represented as well.

We’ll mention Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 sports director and OMW reader Andy Baskin (since he mentioned us on Sunday night, thank you!), whom we’ve seen broadcasting from Arizona.

And we assume Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 will have coverage, since they’re the Indians over-air broadcast partner again this year.

We’ll have to catch up with OMW reader John Telich at Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8, and Tony Zarella and Mark Schwab at Raycom CBS affiliate WOIO/19-MyNet affiliate WUAB/43 on their Arizona plans…

PUBLIC BROADCASTING FIGHT: Local public TV and radio outlets are trying to raise awareness as they fight for federal funding.

The House of Representatives voted over the weekend to entirely defund public broadcasting as a part of widespread budget cutting moves, but as any civics student will tell you, that’s just one step.

With the House action, the public broadcasting site “170MillionAmericans” is urging viewers and listeners to write to the Senate.

You can hardly miss the appeals on local pubcasters’ websites.

In addition to alerts and links to the “170MillionAmericans” site, Western Reserve Public Media’s site has a video appeal from station president and CEO Trina Cutter.

Quoting Cutter from a station release:

“If the proposed legislation passes, public broadcasting as our viewers know it will cease to exist. It is vital that our viewers take action immediately and contact their members of Congress.”

Down the road in Kent, Kent State University NPR outlet WKSU/89.7’s site also has a link to the 170MillionAmericans campaign site.

And we’ve heard mentions of the site on both WKSU and on Northeast Ohio’s other NPR affiliate, Ideastream’s WCPN/90.3…where there’s also a prominent link to the site on both WCPN’s and sister PBS affiliate WVIZ/25’s websites.

And, since “public media” also includes non-NPR News outlets like AAA WAPS/91.3 Akron-WKTL/90.7 Struthers “The Summit”, the public broadcasting campaign site is featured on that station’s website as well…

WHERE’S TOM MOORE?: News anchor Tom Moore is a fixture on Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 in Cleveland and other regional Clear Channel stations like WKBN/570 Youngstown, but there’s been a question mark about him recently…literally.

Readers of Tom’s WTAM blog know that the long-time local newsman had surgery in late January to remove a tumor in his inner ear.

He’s been off “The Big One” since then, but is currently scheduled to return to the airwaves March 7th, after surgery to repair the function of the left side of his mouth later this week.

And just like you’d expect from a good reporter, Tom goes “in depth” on his WTAM blog about his own condition, complete with X-rays of his tumor, and a picture of that “question mark” of stitches on his head.

Tom’s also an OMW reader, and tells us that he happened upon a listener in a rather unusual way:

“I saw another doctor for a second opinion regarding my next surgery, and as soon as he realized which ‘Tom Moore’ I am, he said, ‘I wondered what happened to you! I listen to WTAM all day long!'”

We’re hoping to hear Tom on WTAM (and WKBN, et al.) on March 7th, as planned…

DIGITAL LPTV: The answer to when Canton market LPTV RTV outlet WIVM/52 will be in digital is “soon”.

The station told viewers on its Facebook page earlier this month that the antenna for RF channel 39 has arrived and will be installed “soon”…after which they’ll inform viewers on analog 52 of the switch.

Akron Beacon Journal pop culture columnist and OMW reader Rich Heldenfels in his “HeldenFiles” noted WIVM’s coming digital age (“in about a month”) in a recent item that noted that station owner Image Video got $20,000 in federal funding to help convert one of its more rural simulcasters to digital.

Apparently, Canton is “too metropolitan” to qualify for grant money to convert 52 to digital, so Image Video’s Mike Tonges tells Heldenfels…so the station is footing the bill for that conversion without federal help, which pays about two thirds of the bill, according to the article…

Forced Hiatus

Due to technical problems beyond our control, OMW has been on hiatus for about a week or so.

Things are nearly corrected – the problems are still sporadic, and we have to get this up quickly – but we expect to return on Monday morning.

In the meantime, please check our Twitter feed for any breaking media news…we should (repeat, should) be able to update that over the weekend…

Four Short Items

Three from radio, and one from TV…

19 REACHES A DEAL: Those incessant “we’re still negotiating with DirecTV” crawls on Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19 “CBS 19” and MyNetwork TV affiliate WUAB/43 “My 43” have changed.

The message we saw last night announced that the station had come to an agreement to keep the two local affiliates on DirecTV, and thanked viewers for their support.

In a Twitter update last night, we promised further details today…but we can’t find them.


The message about DirecTV negotiations has gone away from WOIO/WUAB’s website, and there’s no replacement message about a deal.

There’s also no press release that we can find on the corporate Raycom Media site, and either our Google skills are rusty, or there are no news items about the deal even on the usual trade sites.

We’ll try to find out more…

HAVE A HEART DO YOUR PART: Regular readers know that we try to spotlight worthy local media charity efforts whenever we can, and this one has a special place in our heart.

Clear Channel Akron hot AC WKDD/98.1 is again mounting its annual “Have a Heart, Do Your Part” radiothon benefiting Akron Children’s Hospital.

The effort got underway early Friday morning.

As it had last year, the radiothon has a webcam, so you can watch WKDD morning hosts Keith Kennedy and Jenn Ryan this weekend.

Pledge lines will be open until 9 PM today, and 7 AM-9 PM on Saturday and Sunday, at 866-543-0981, or as in the past, you can also donate online (at the link above).

The “special place in our heart” part?

Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) volunteered at one of the first Children’s Hospital Radiothons at Akron’s Summit Mall as a teenager.

The event was then held by talk WHLO/640 “NewsTalk 64”, at the time owned by Susquehanna, and not yet a Clear Channel sister station to WKDD…

WKSU SIGNAL BOOST: OMW hears that Kent State University NPR outlet WKSU/89.7 has lit up its new construction permit facility…and just in time. And the signal boost is being, well, well-received…literally.

The public radio outlet filed exactly three years ago to change its antenna system – ending a directional pattern from its Copley antenna site that wasn’t performing as expected, including, as noted in FCC filings, causing trouble for in-office listeners even in Kent – including Kent State University president Lester Lefton. (PDF file link)

The need for the directional antenna in Copley went away when co-channel WOSU-FM/89.7 moved its transmitter site further south, and the new pattern is helping out WKSU’s reception not only in its own city of license, but also to the southwest.

WKSU chief engineer Ron Bartlebaugh writes:

Tower workers had to battle strong winds, dangerous cold, snow, sleet and ice in raising and securing parts hundreds of feet in the air. This is precise skill that requires workers to be careful while maintaining longterm stability of the newly installed antenna. Ice and winds in particular cancelled plans on several crucial days, pushing back the schedule.

However; thanks to a break in the weather and a marathon work session on Saturday, Feb. 5 and Monday, Feb. 7, all of the parts have been installed and now it’s down to securing some wiring and making other minor adjustments.

During the installation, WKSU remained on-air, taking advantage of back-up antennas at Copley and in Kent. Initial reports are that that the WKSU 89.7 signal quality is greatly improved.

As such, we’ll suggest that folks missing NPR News in Mansfield, after WOSU turned WOSV/91.7 into a 24/7 repeater of WOSA/101.1 Grove City “Classical 101”, try 89.7 again…and see if WKSU’s new signal is more dominant over WOSU than it used to be.

Perhaps the “FM capture effect” will deliver WKSU to more listeners in that part of the mid-Ohio region.

WKSU filed a “license to cover” with the new signal just today, according to FCC records…

WOSU MOVE: Speaking of the Columbus public radio outlet owned by (the) Ohio State University…

Columbus alternative newspaper “The Other Paper” notes that WOSU’s 820 AM signal is officially for sale, which comes as no news at all to OMW readers.

“We do plan on selling 820 AM,” said Susan Meyer, director of marketing for WOSU.

Meanwhile the 820 moniker presumably has dropped from favor—and the radio waves—like the ne’er-do-well brother you don’t talk about.

“Radio listening has changed so much. Listeners really don’t tune in to AM stations unless they’re looking for sports or talk radio.”

As a result, hanging onto that AM station would not be a wise use of resources for WOSU, Meyer said.

In other breaking news, the sun reportedly rises in the east, and sets in the west.

We don’t know why “The Other Paper” just got their own Round Tuit(tm), but we’ve mentioned many times that WOSU did not plan to hang onto 820 AM.

The station pretty much admitted as such in that now-infamous blog item by GM Tom Rieland about “89.7 NPR News”, in which he dropped the bombshell (for Mansfield listeners, at least) that WOSV would become all-classical.

Here, let us quote:

89.7 FM will provide our all news service with simulcast, for the time being, on WOSU AM 820.

(emphasis ours)

“The Other Paper” piece echoes our reasonable semi-informed speculation – that the WOSU folks are in no hurry to sell 820 AM, give or take market demand:

Don’t expect any immediate changes, however, as Meyer said the divorce will be slow.

“The FCC process alone takes a very long while,” he said. And that’s before WOSU even finds a buyer for its old-school frequency.

For the moment, we know of no potential buyer for the 820 frequency…

WKYC Revamps 7, Adds Robin

As we expected early Thursday afternoon (and hinted on our earlier item), big chances were indeed afoot at a Cleveland TV newsroom, though the news hit earlier than we expected.

By the time Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 announced that it would overhaul its 7 PM newscast, bringing aboard a high-profile personality to co-anchor it, the news had been bouncing around the market like a child’s bouncing ball.

Yes, former Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8” personality Robin Swoboda is returning to news anchoring, where she’ll join WKYC as co-anchor of the 7 PM edition of “Channel 3 News”. Joining her at the anchor desk will be WKYC reporter Chris Tye, who has filled in as an anchor from time to time.

And where does that leave current anchors Eric Mansfield and Monica Robins?

Back where they started from, it appears. Quoting WKYC news director Rita Andolsen:

“When we moved to a single anchor format with Romona at 6 and 11 p.m., we took two of our strongest beat reporters off the street and moved them into a different role at 7. The opportunity to hire Robin coincided with our realization that we needed to reinstate resources for our medical coverage and Akron/Canton content.”

We don’t know if, for example, Akron resident Eric Mansfield will return directly as bureau chief of the station’s now-mostly unused bureau at Main and Market in downtown Akron…but it sure sounds like he’ll once again keep a closer eye on his hometown. (His wife, Lisa, is a member of the Akron Board of Education.)

So, why make the change?

The following is our own speculation and guessing, only, and is not based on anything we’ve heard out of 13th and Lakeside, or any other TV news operation in this market.

To us, this would seem to be summed up in one sentence – “Robin’s available…where can we put her?”

Upon learning of Swoboda’s exit from her show on WJW, WKYC had to do something to put her on the air, somewhere.

Romona Robinson is firmly in place as a solo anchor at 6 and 11 PM, and the station is unlikely to want to do anything to the Mark Nolan/Hollie Strano combination in mornings.

Plus, Robin has made it clear many times that she wants to work while still spending time with her kids, and a half-hour at 7 PM (and whatever work surrounds that) would likely not disrupt that routine.

And “Good Company Today”, up against the coming replacement for her old WJW show (“New Day Cleveland”) at 10 AM, is also not an option…which brings us to an interesting line in the WKYC press release: “Most recently, she was the program host for ‘The Robin Swoboda Show,’ an advertiser friendly show on WJW.”

In her quick exit from “Fox 8”, Swoboda made it clear that she wasn’t happy with the direction that the station wanted her show to take… with more advertising-linked content.

And “Good Company Today” is, well, an advertiser’s paradise, with all but small chat sections of the show attached to sponsors.

Though Robin Swoboda notes that “my first love has always been news, and I feel that’s where my strongest contributions will be”, we wonder if this show is just a starting place until WKYC figures what her ongoing contribution will be.

Meanwhile, incumbent 7 PM anchors Eric Mansfield and Monica Robins will once again have ongoing contributions to Akron-area coverage and medical news, very strong areas for both…but we can’t help but feel sorry that Eric and Monica had to be moved out of the way.

The release says Swoboda will start on-air in “early March”.

We’re well aware that she is a polarizing personality in the market, and the comments on the WKYC item (and our own feedback from readers over the years) bear that out.

Some would nearly walk on broken glass to watch her…and others would run away from her at top speed. (We’re pretty much in the “meh” category here at your Mighty Blog of Fun[tm]…Robin neither enchants us or annoys us to any great extent.)

We would reprint some of those comments here, but we’re sure we’ll get our own sampling after posting this very item.

The tale for WKYC will be told in the Nielsen ratings…at 7 PM, or whatever time slot where Robin ends up being featured…

A Better Mix

From your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), a better mix of today’s and yesterday’s media news items.

(Well, since Clear Channel’s WMVX changed to variety hits WHLK/106.5 “The Lake”, the slogan hasn’t been used much – give or take NextMedia’s WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” in Canton…)

NEW ASSISTANT NEWS DIRECTOR: Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 will have a new second-in-command in the newsroom, and she’s actually a familiar name to long-time Cleveland TV news viewers.

That’s because Ellen Miller spent a number of years as an investigative and general assignment reporter at now-Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3, which means this is a return to the market for her…this time, behind the camera.

Since Miller was at WKYC, she’s held a multitude of news management jobs.

Though she’s most recently been director of the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University in Georgia…here, we’ll quote from her bio there:

Previously, she was Assistant News Director at WFLD TV in Chicago, IL, responsible for seven daily newscasts and 150 people who produce the news. She has run smaller news organizations in Charlotte, NC, and Nashville, TN.

OMW hears she’s also had news management experience in Sacramento.

But Northeast Ohio viewers likely remember her from her 11 years doing both general assignment and investigative reporting at WKYC…

COMING SOON: OMW is tracking another piece of news about of local TV news, but this news egg isn’t quite ready to hatch yet.

This in-front-of-the-camera change at one local TV newsroom will be pretty big, but we’re not ready to confirm it yet.

Check back here in the next few days, or watch our Twitter account, for more…

NEW DAY’S DAY: We don’t get everything 100% right, but we’ll pat ourselves on the virtual back for extensive, correct reporting on Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8’s new mid-morning program “New Day Cleveland”.

As we reported earlier, the show will indeed feature WJW entertainment reporter David Moss and incoming “SkyFOX” traffic reporter Kristi Capel as co-hosts, with radio personalities Rebecca Wilde, Jimmy Malone and Jen Toohey – who were featured on the show’s predecessor, “The Robin Swoboda Show” – also aboard.

In Monday’s item, we noted that the premiere would be later this month:

OMW hears that the “Hollywood and Dine” experience will continue in the former “RS” time slot until the last week of the month…when “New Day Cleveland”, with Moss, Kristi Capel and various local radio personalities once featured with Swoboda (Rebecca Wilde, Jimmy Malone and Jen Toohey), takes to the “Fox 8″ airwaves.

The very next day, the “New Day Cleveland” Twitter account was kind enough to confirm our reporting, even if indirectly:

Our official launch date for new programming is….FEBRUARY 28th! Mark your calendars and begin your countdowns! T-Minus: 20 days!

The “New Day” Twitter account has offered up videos with Moss and Capel, and just before that update, they told followers that “New Day” was “out and about today shooting a brand new episode” – which would presumably also confirm our reporting that the first few “New Day” episodes will be recorded…

JOE TAIT: The latest news in the Joe Tait Recovery Story came this week from the Cleveland Cavaliers, who passed along word that the Cavaliers Radio Network Hall of Fame broadcaster has been sent home.

Cavaliers Hall of Fame radio announcer Joe Tait was able to move home from the rehabilitation facility he was at yesterday. He will now continue his rehabilitation process from home. Further updates on Joe’s condition and status will be sent as appropriate.

Joe and the entire Cavaliers organization continue to thank the many fans, broadcasting colleagues and the NBA community around the league that have recently expressed their well wishes and good thoughts related to this difficult and challenging time.

And this, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Schmitt Boyer:

It is unknown at this time whether he will be able to return to the broadcast booth this season as he has hoped.

Here at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), we’re among millions who would love to hear Joe return to the Cavaliers Radio Network microphones.

But with the team literally breaking records lately, and not of the good variety, maybe it’s better for Joe’s health to sit the rest of the season out.

Tait was often quoted as saying he’d seen “a lot of bad basketball” before a certain number 23 came to town (and later left, of course)…but this recent losing streak makes the old Cavaliers teams almost seem like winners.

On the other hand, we’d love to hear Tait’s Take on this misbegotten team that’s become a literal national joke…

PRESIDENT TRIV?: Let’s make one thing clear…if this long shot actually happens, we’re looking at moving to Canada.

But indeed, Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 afternoon driver Mike Trivisonno’s “big announcement”, pushed to Wednesday afternoon’s 5 PM hour, was that Triv would be running for president as a Libertarian Party candidate.


Of course, Triv is not actually running for anything. If anything was actually happening, he’d be immediately forced out of his perch at “The Big One” due to federal election “equal time laws”.

He can talk about “running for president” all he wants, and remain on the air, but actually filing for candidacy means he’d have to go off the air (which was actually pointed out numerous times on Wednesday’s show).

We don’t know what prompted this publicity stunt.

We do know that an Atlanta radio host, WSB’s Herman Cain, has seriously contemplated a run at the Republican nomination for president, but as far as we know, the long-time business executive is serious about his potential run.

In the end, if is for some reason not a publicity stunt, Triv would likely run into the same problem Sirius XM/former CBS Radio star Howard Stern ran into when HE announced he was running for governor of New York State (also as a Libertarian, by the way)…political candidates generally file financial disclosure forms…

503 S. FRONT AT 1036 S. FRONT: Columbus alt-rocker WWCD/102.5 “CD101 @ 102.5 fm” is moving…this time, physically.

With its Brewery District space shrinking at the Worly Building due to the incoming Shadowbox Cabaret group moving in, the Fun with Radio locally-owned station says it’s moving down the street to its own building – the Swiss Chalet Party Haus, which will become the Alternative Station Party Haus by summer.

In a statement, WWCD GM Randy Malloy says they would loved to have stayed at the Worly Building, but that space requirements for the station’s “Big Room” performance space meant that wasn’t possible:

“With Shadowbox Cabaret’s plans to move into the Brewery District this summer, many hours were spent exploring a way for WWCD and Shadowbox to coexist in the Worly Building. We are very appreciative of repeated efforts on behalf of The Worly Building management and Bill Schottenstein to work out a solution that would have allowed us to stay. Ultimately, given the space requirements for Shadowbox, we would not have been able to keep the Big Room to remain in our current space.”

Malloy would not say why the station stubbornly hangs onto its “CD101” branding long after abandoning its original home frequency at 101.1 FM (now the Ohio State University’s classical WOSA “Classical 101”) for an LMA of WHIZ Media Group’s 102.5 FM/Baltimore OH.

We wonder if there’s some as of yet unknown reason why WWCD hasn’t dropped the “101” part.

And the ongoing jokes about the branding led one message board poster to joke that WWCD’s new physical address will be “503 S. Front Street at 1036 S. Front Street”. Heh…

THIS…IS CBS NEWS: It’s pretty difficult to hear CBS Radio News in Northeast Ohio on the radio – unless you’re within range of Media-Com talk daytimer WJMP/1520 Kent-Not Really Akron-Really Not Cleveland, or unless you pick up nighttime skywave reception of big CBS-owned all-newsers like WCBS/880 New York, KYW/1060 Philadelphia or WBBM/780 Chicago.

That’s changed to those with popular smartphones with streaming audio apps.

And now, CBS Radio News has debuted a new iPhone app with an interesting feature – a 24/7 stream of the network’s offerings.

As of yet, there’s no version for our Android phone, though CBS does have other Android apps, and we actually already found the 24/7 CBS Radio News stream on CBS Radio’s new Android app.

Tom Taylor’s “Taylor on Radio-Info” newsletter quotes CBS News Radio VP Harvey Nagler as saying “there’s nothing else out there” like it, in terms of a pipeline to network radio news content.

But local listeners know that there is something else like it, at least locally, in terms of a 24/7 stream of live and rotated recorded news contact – Rubber City Radio’s “WAKRNewsNow”, which mixes in expanded news and other regular radio station features with live newscasts and other live news coverage from the cluster’s news flagship, WAKR/1590 Akron.

“WAKRNewsNow” is also available via the station’s AkronNewsNow iPhone app.

And though there is no ANN Android app yet, the 24/7 stream can be heard on Android one of two ways – via the excellent free streaming audio app TuneIn, or direct from the AkronNewsNow website, where choosing the “WAKRNewsNow” stream on an Android browser (as linked above) pops up the stream directly.

Another local angle to this story – as we reported earlier, former WTAM reporter Greg Saber contributes Northeast Ohio stories to CBS Radio News on an exclusive freelance basis…

ONE OTHER STORY FROM ELSEWHERE WITH A LOCAL ANGLE: Parkin Broadcasting, now known as “PBC”, is expanding its empire.

The Los Angeles based owner of Youngstown’s WYTV/33 recently announced that it was purchasing Topeka KS ABC affiliate KTKA/49.

We note that here, because it now appears PBC will do exactly has it already did in Youngstown – farm out actual operation to the station to New Vision, which owns Topeka NBC affiliate KSNT/27 and Fox affiliate KTMJ/43 – according to competitor Gray CBS affiliate WIBW/13.

Long-time OMW readers already know how this plays out.

In Youngstown, New Vision kept a handful of WYTV employees, including anchors Stan Boney and Len Rome, but otherwise moved the station lock, stock and newsroom over to New Vision’s studios on Sunset Boulevard, home of CBS affiliate WKBN/27 and Fox affiliate WYFX-LP/62 “Fox Youngstown”.

Watching the moves in Topeka closely from Cleveland is one Annette Lawless, the “Fox 8 News” reporter who started her career at KTKA…

Monday, Monday, February Style

UPDATE 2/7/11 6:15 PM: Our sincere apologies to long-time OMW reader Dr. Phil Hoffman, who may not be so avid a reader after we incorrectly posted his last name.

It’s probably not the first time his name has been confused with another local media Phil, and we certainly know the difference between the two (it was a temporary brain freeze). But, our apologies to both men!

UPDATE 2/7/11 10:53 AM: It looks like “Fox 8” is running one of those “Robin Swoboda Shows” without either a name or Robin, with David Moss hosting.

We assume this is to fulfill sponsor obligations…


As promised, though there is not a LOT going on, we do have a few updates…

NO NEW DAY YET: We had been speculating that Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8″‘s new mid-morning show “New Day Cleveland” could start as soon as today, given that (as pointed out by long-time OMW contributor Nathan Obral) WJW’s schedule showed “To Be Announced” at 10 AM starting today.

No, not yet.

OMW hears that the premiere of “New Day Cleveland” won’t be this morning at 10 AM, or for another few weeks yet.

“The Robin Swoboda Show” returns from its TV purgatory today and Friday, with repeats, of course.

The rest of the week will be filled by “double runs” of repeats of the half-hour Fox 8-produced syndicated show “Hollywood and Dine”, where celebrities dish about their favorite, uh, dishes (sorry, it was sitting there) with WJW entertainment reporter and future “New Day Cleveland” co-host David Moss.

OMW hears that the “Hollywood and Dine” experience will continue in the former “RS” time slot until the last week of the month…when “New Day Cleveland”, with Moss, Kristi Capel and various local radio personalities once featured with Swoboda (Rebecca Wilde, Jimmy Malone and Jen Toohey), takes to the “Fox 8” airwaves.

We hear at least the opening shows will be taped, before the show’s live run begins…not long after the debut.

The very last “Robin Swoboda Show With Repeated Robin” will air on Friday of this week.

As for Kristi Capel, whom only OMW readers and Pennsylvania residents have known about until now, EVERYONE knows about now. And we definitely mean EVERYONE.

That’s because “Fox 8” used a considerable chunk of its local promotional time during Super Bowl XLV on Sunday to promote Capel as its new “SkyFOX” traffic reporter on “Fox 8 News in the Morning”.

That’s right, not as a new morning meteorologist, or a new co-host of “New Day Cleveland” (not yet, at least).

Let’s go back to that (Wilkes-Barre PA) Times-Leader article we linked last month about Capel’s departure from NBC affiliate WBRE/28 in that Pennsylvania market:

Starting Feb. 1, (WBRE weathercaster Kristi Capel) will present the weather forecast to viewers watching the Fox news station in Cleveland, Ohio.

Her new duties in Cleveland include early morning traffic reports and an entertainment show arriving mid-day.

We never questioned that first line when talking to our friends at South Marginal, because we didn’t know it was in question, but the promos definitely spotlight her as being aboard SkyFOX.

And it makes sense to us, because her presence as a weather forecaster would make that section of the building at South Marginal a very crowded place…

MOBILE 3: Surely, you’ve seen local TV news operations use those Skype feeds in cars, giving them the option of showing moving traffic live on the air from a moving vehicle.

The feeds get used a lot during bad winter weather, and since we’ve had a LOT of that in Northeast Ohio this season, we’ve seen a lot of blurry shots of barely identifiable highways being streamed from cell phone video connections.

That’s why a recent live shot from Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3’s newly dubbed “Mobile 3” caught our eye a few days ago.

The highway! We could see it! We could make out the exit signs and the kind of precipitation!

So, we did some digging, and this video one early morning on Channel 3 helped us solve the mystery.

Reporter, er, MMJ Amanda Barren takes a moment, after chipping away some of the morning’s ice, to show off the station’s new “Mobile 3” backpack being carried by photographer Shane Snyder. (Note: the WKYC live truck’s microwave mast is fully down, and the station is actually using the unit on air.)

WKYC Video of Live-UThe backpack’s case says LiveU, which led us to find information about it on this page.

Barren does point out that the unit has “6 modems”…the system bonds together multiple cellular connections to get enough bandwidth for broadcast quality.

WKYC senior director and our blogging friend Frank Macek touches on the unit at his Director’s Cut blog…noting that it was very helpful in coverage not just of weather, but of a recent news story:

This system has been used recently to bring you live traffic updates during snowstorms from inside moving cars. Also we recently were able to get right into the heart of the Fairport gas explosions this week where vehicles (and other stations) weren’t allowed. This gave our viewers a unique perspective of news events through the eyes of those directly affected.

We don’t know if other stations in the market are adding these similar, more advanced units, but will pass along such news as soon as we find out about it.

While we’re talking about our friends at 13th and Lakeside and technology, we’ll note the new WKYC Radar smartphone weather app, which was recently made available for iPhone/iOS and Android users.

As of yet, WKYC is the only local station without a full-fledged smartphone news app, though it recently revamped its mobile website.

Judging from Frank’s blog hints, we wouldn’t be shocked to see a WKYC smartphone news app show up soon, and hope it’s also available on Android…

TIME WARNER NEWS: For whatever reason, we never got a Round Tuit(tm), but the local Time Warner Cable system has added more online access to ESPN networks.

Subscribers can now access ESPN2, ESPNU and the ESPN Buzzer Beater channel via their Internet connection – TWC has offered online versions of and the main ESPN network since October.

The access is tied to the subscriber’s video subscription, which means those viewers can go to to view the online version of the networks. Authentication is done through Time Warner’s MyServices online account system (the ESPNnetworks site will handle that redirection).

A TWC press release says “access through certain other Internet enabled devices such as mobile phones and tablets is expected in the near future.” (We’ll again lobby for an Android version.)

The area cable giant is also offering movies from the Sundance Film Festival. Quoting a release: “The Sundance Movies On Demand catalog offers a variety of Sundance films past and present, available in both standard and high-definition on channels 500 and 1500 respectively…”

STEEL DRUMS: We’ll go the extra mile for long-time admitted OMW reader Dr. Phil Hoffman at the University of Akron, who has another documentary about to air on Western Reserve Public Media’s stations (WNEO/45 Alliance-WEAO/49 Akron).

From a release we’ll let tell the tale:

The history and heart of steel drum music and its journey from tropical Trinidad to northeast Ohio is the focus of “Hammer on Steel,” two programs premiering Feb. 15 on Western Reserve Public Media (formerly PBS 45 & 49).

Set in Akron and the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago, both programs feature The University of Akron Steel Drum Band. They are the first documentaries about steel drum music ever shot in high definition. Produced, written and directed by multiple Emmy award winner Dr. Phil Hoffman from the University of Akron’s School of Communication, the programs bring home the sound of the steel pan to Ohio and celebrates 30 years of steel pan at The University of Akron under the direction of music professor Dr. Larry Snider.

First, documenting the compelling and conflict-torn history of steel drum music, “Hammer on Steel: Bad Boys and Genius” premieres Feb. 15, at 9:30 p.m. on Western Reserve PBS WNEO.1/WEAO.1.

The second program, “Hammer on Steel: The Concert,” captures the UA Steel Drum Band’s 30th anniversary concert with Calypso singer Relator and percussionist Andy Narell last April at E.J. Thomas Hall on the UA campus. It premieres Feb. 15 at 10 p.m. on Western Reserve PBS WNEO.1/WEAO.1.

Phil tells us that those who want to see a “sneak preview” of the show’s outtakes, or photos of Trinidad and Tobago, can search Facebook for “Hammer On Steel”.

Additional airings can be found on the station’s schedule, and the UA Steel Drum band can be found online as well.

And the combination of high definition production and great music means this one’s likely to both look, and sound, good….

ENGINEER WANTED: If you’re a radio engineer looking to work in Northwest Ohio, a local station group is looking for you.

This ad was forwarded to us from numerous places, originally posted by Findlay Publishing VP Kurt Heminger:

After over 40-years, our Chief is putting away his soldering iron and heading-off for a very well deserved retirement.

So, we’re looking for an engineer with at least 2-3 years experience as an Assistant or Chief Engineer for our 3 station cluster [WFIN-AM, WKXA-FM & WBUK-FM] in Findlay [OH]. If you know of an individual who may be interested in this position, please have them contact me. Thanks very much.

Since the Findlay group’s contact information isn’t as well known as places like Oak Tree or Freedom Avenue, we’ll provide it: The Findlay Publishing Company, 701 West Sandusky Street, Findlay, OH 45840… (419) 427-8077 or kurtheminger (at) findlayoh (dot) com…