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…


5 Responses to Four Short Items

  1. Rich says:

    Here in southeast Medina County, I enjoy both WKSU and WCPN. Let’s hope the Copley antenna change doesn’t wipe out WCPN’s already weak signal down here!

  2. gsplit says:

    Our NBC affiliate here in Richmond, VA (WWBT) has been running the same crawl, announcing the deal has been made. But there is no mention on their website, either.

  3. Matthew says:

    That crawl about 19 & DirecTV was one of the most annoying things. I feel like they played it at least once per every CBS program.

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