Some Tuesday Leftovers

Here are some items we haven’t visited, or updates to what we have, or random pieces of information…

VALLEY RADIO: As we promised, an earlier item on Mahoning Valley radio changes has been taken “backstage”.

We can’t explain it until later this week, but we are trying to nail down facts related to the item in question.

Expect an update here Wednesday or Thursday…

FACEBOOK FRENZY: Cleveland market TV stations are giving away the store…or the iPad 2…or car leases…as a result of incessant promotion of their Facebook pages.

And quite frankly, it’s driving us nuts.

You can enter the various station contest by clicking “Like” on their Facebook pages, and the promotion for the content has almost overpowered the actual, uh, news content.

We’re half expecting Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 to change its newscast title to “NewsChannel 5 Powered By The iPad 2”, but that’s just one example. All four stations in the Cleveland market with news operations are promoting their Facebook contests in similar ways.

There are two things to consider here.

1) We already noted here that Local TV Fox affilate WJW/8 “Fox 8” has a national lead in the number of Facebook friends…the number propelled by a charity promotion recently.

2) We’re told that the Full Court Press for these promotions is coming from the stations’ parent companies, which means you’ll likely see other Scripps, Gannett, Local TV and Raycom stations doing this in other markets…

MORE SUBCHANNELS: Raycom’s CBS affiliate WOIO/19 (or MyNetwork TV affiliate WUAB/43) is getting another subchannel.

Raycom has announced a nationwide agreement for “Bounce TV”, a subchannel dedicated to African-American audiences.

And in this TVTechnology story, the company’s WOIO and WUAB are listed as future affiliates.

From the story:

Bounce TV will launch in the fall and target African Americans, primarily 25-54, with a mix of movies, sports, documentaries, faith-based programs, off-net series and originals. It recently acquired the rights to nearly 400 African American-skewing movies, and several college football and basketball games, in a series of licensing agreements. The network will air 24/7.

OMW already reported that WOIO is listed as a future affiliate for “Me-TV”, one of three networks offering “classic TV”. Two are already in the market: RTV/Retro TV, on Media-Com’s WAOH-LP 29 Akron/W35AX Cleveland and Image Video’s WIVM-LD/39 Canton and its numerous simulcasters, and Antenna TV, on WJW/8.2.

So, how does Reserve Square divide up all this subchannel goodness?

We don’t know, but our friend Trip Ericson at RabbitEars.info has some educated guesses.

Trip believes both Me-TV and Bounce TV will end up as WOIO subchannels, presumably bumping the station’s “WeatherNow” (now on 19.2).

Why not put one of them on WUAB? The MyNetwork TV station operates its 43.1 main feed in MyNetwork TV’s 720p format, and only has one subchannel right now – This TV on 43.2.

It would make sense to put a second subchannel on WUAB, but…

Trip notes that eventually, Raycom will put out mobile DTV streams for both WOIO and WUAB, and he expects them both to land on WUAB’s signal.

Why?

VHF is not a good choice for mobile TV, and WOIO is on RF channel 10.

WUAB is on RF channel 28, which makes it more suitable for mobile DTV streams for both stations.

This is mostly an educated guess. But WOIO will have at least one UHF component, which brings us to…

TRANSLATOR APPROVED: Those hoping to catch either Me-TV or Bounce TV cringed at the above item, since WOIO’s RF 10 signal is notoriously hard to pick up OTA in much of the market.

That could change sooner than expected, at least for many viewers south of Cleveland.

We reported here that WOIO applied for a digital fill-in translator on UHF 24, which would sit in the Akron antenna farm near what’s left of Rolling Acres Mall.

And the FCC recently issued a construction permit for the operation, which will put out an 11 kW signal from the same area as ION O&O WVPX/23 and Western Reserve PBS’ WEAO/49, not to mention TBN O&O WDLI/17.

Now, all three stations are somewhat more powerful than WOIO’s fill-in translator (again, fill-in means it’ll be in ADDITION to the existing RF 10 facility).

But the combination of being on UHF and near the Akron/Canton areas means many there will probably be quite happy when it lights up.

Based on the coverage of New Vision Fox affiliate WYFX-LD/19’s 15 kW stick in Youngstown, the WOIO fill-in translator should at very least cover most of Akron and Canton with little problem.

And no, we don’t know when it will go on the air – only that it has FCC approval to do so.

Construction permits last three years, so in theory, Raycom could sit on this thing until 2014…but we assume the plan is to construct it a lot sooner than that.

A quick check of the FCC database shows that WJW/8’s application to reallocate to its old home of RF channel 31, and to add fill-in translators on RF channel 21 (Canton) and 46 (Austintown), are still only in the application stage..

WHERE’S JON?: Jon Marochino has bounced around Clear Channel’s Freedom Avenue compound so much, you’d think he was a Super Ball.

And when he bounces around the schedules of the CC Akron/Canton stations, we are often asked “Where’s Jon?”

We’re not usually up in morning drive, but we’re pretty sure Jon is now helming the AC WHOF/101.7 “My 101.7” morning show with incumbent co-host Amy Malone. That’s the opening created by the, uh, departure of host Gary Rivers.

(Do a search on his name for previous items, we’re not going to revisit it here.)

With Jon Marochino doing the wakeup shift on “My” (at least for now [he is indeed the permanent new host at WHOF, and has been since January]), it pulls him off the afternoon drive schedule at hot AC sister station WKDD/98.1…and the station has pulled in a Clear Channel voicetracker to take his place.

We’re pretty sure Tessa Hall, now heard in afternoon drive on WKDD, is based at St. Louis sister station WSGX/100.3 “GenX Radio”, where she’s listed on their schedule from 4-9 PM.

And yes, that station should sound familiar to regular OMW readers.

That’s because Tessa’s lead-in there is a Northeast Ohio-based radio personality…Clear Channel Cleveland rock/talk WMMS/100.7 afternoon drive talk host Alan Cox, who voicetracks his “GenX Radio” midday shift into St. Louis from Oak Tree…

CONGRATULATIONS: Our sincere congratulations to CBS Radio hot AC WQAL/104.1 “Q104” morning co-host Jen Toohey (“Toohey and Fee”), who announced on-air last Friday that she is pregnant.

You might recall that Toohey got married to Nate Lyons some time back, a piece of news which was also shared enthusiastically with listeners.

Listen to her announcement here on the Q104 website.

Again, our congratulations to both Jen and Nate!

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2 Responses to Some Tuesday Leftovers

  1. dmking12370 says:

    I have a technical question regarding the WOIO translator.

    If I remember correctly, the new translator is going on the WVPX tower. As you may already know, the tower has two seperate antennas on the top of the tower (one is the WVPX-DT signal on 23 and the other antenna was for the unused WVPX-DT signal on 59 which never went on the air).

    Since the second tower never went on the air (and assuming that the transmission line for that antenna is already in place), could WOIO just need to install a transmitter for that unused antenna, or do they need to start from scratch? Also, if the antenna can not be used, can the antenna simply be repaced at the top of the tower (with the same transmission line)?

    • Trip Ericson says:

      No, a channel 59 antenna would be tuned for channel 59. Is there even a separate channel 59 antenna up there? The permit for channel 59 looked like it specified the same antenna that they’re on 23 with, which could mean it’s a broadband antenna.

      In any event, the permit specifies an antenna 140 feet lower on the tower than the 23 antenna. I suspect they’ll be hanging a new side-mounted antenna for it.

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