WOIO Gets “Me”
April 13, 2011 1 Comment
Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19 pulls out another pronoun in the digital TV subchannel universe, which will make this a very challenging post to write.
That’s because WOIO recently signed up to air “Me-TV,” as in “Memorable Entertainment Television,” operated by Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting in a joint venture with movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. (You know, the same MGM whose very existence was in total limbo all of last year.) It joins the ranks of other subchannel “retro networks” like Tribune’s Antenna TV – seen on LocalTV Fox affiliate WJW/8.2 – and the Retro TV Network – seen on Media-Com’s LPTV duo of WAOH-LP 29 Akron/W35AX Cleveland.
Most of Me-TV’s lineup is a steady lineup of classic TV show reruns from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Honeymooners,” “M*A*S*H,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Dobie Gillis,” “Bonanza,” “The Big Valley,” “Cheers,” “Perry Mason,” and so on. It’s reminiscent of what TV Land’s lineup was pre-2007… when they to operated as a “retro network.”
Me-TV also features long-running Chicago horror host Svengoolie (portrayed by Rich Koz) on late-night Saturdays. Of course, Weigel has carried “Svengoolie” on their flagship station, independent WCIU/26 Chicago, for many years.
Me-TV is also a sister operation to “ThisTV,” a mostly all-movie channel airing on WOIO’s sister station, WUAB/43.2. ThisTV mainly airs the bulk of MGM’s modern-day film library that Ted Turner didn’t get his hands on – most of which is the United Artists library (the same former film studio that founded WUAB in the first place). In addition (and I doubt for E/I requirements), ThisTV airs the old DiC 1980s cartoon stable of “Inspector Gadget” and “Heathcliff and the Catilliac Cats” in the early mornings.
The question, however, is why WOIO signed up to carry Me-TV (h/t: RabbitEars.info) which still sports an incredibly weak digital signal on RF 10 instead of on the more powerful WUAB. And if you type in a Cleveland zip code on Me-TV’s website, it spits back “coming soon to WOIO” – yours truly and our Primary Editorial Voice(tm) have tried.
Also in question is the fate of WOIO’s 19.2 subchannel, which currently carries the weather service “WeatherNow” – if “Me” wound up on 19.3, that would compromise the HD capabilities of CBS’ national HD 1080i feed. But since WUAB only broadcasts with a more limited 720i resolution, and can add another 480i subchannel, they could get away with adding “Me” to 43.3… joining it alongside “My” at 43.1 and “This” at 43.2.
“My,” “This” and “Me…” they aren’t network or even ‘netlet’ names. It’s an English lesson gone horribly awry.