Moves And New Stations – Or Not

As media news items, like celebrity deaths, seem to come in threes…we couldn’t wait anymore….

3 GRABS LOTTERY TV: For decades in Cleveland, you could come to depend on some TV staples.

Tune to Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 weeknights, and you’ll see Dick Goddard forecasting the weather (still true, even after 50 years on the air at age 80).

Tune in to Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5, and you’ll get the Ohio Lottery’s live results.

Scratch that one (so to speak) off your list.

After many, many years as Cleveland’s TV Home of the Ohio Lottery, Channel 5 will no longer serve in that role after July 1st, as Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 announces it’s taking over the TV Lottery Home role, from top to bottom.

From a “Channel 3 News” station release that’s out tonight:

Beginning July 1st, 2011 Ohio Lottery players will be able to watch the Pick 3, Pick 4 and Rolling Cash 5 drawings on Channel 3 Monday through Friday at 7:29 p.m., as well as the Cash Explosion(R) television show on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.

“We are thrilled to be the new home of the Ohio Lottery in Northeast Ohio, and look forward to sharing all the excitement with our viewers,” said WKYC President and General Manager Brooke Spectorsky.

We’ve been kicking around, with our readers, just how long the Ohio Lottery’s been “Catching 5”.

The release from WKYC calls their competitor the Lottery’s “longtime carrier”, and notes the start of the “Cash Explosion” show in February 1987.

But we’re sure the presence of the Lottery drawings on WEWS goes back way before that. Our very own Secondary Editorial Voice(tm) thinks the drawings on Channel 5 date back to “the mid-1970s”.

We can’t remember another station ever carrying the Lottery drawings.

Coming in the fall of 2012, WEWS may have to put up extra “5” logos for viewers who will not only get Ohio Lottery drawings somewhere else, but also 7-8 PM staples “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy”, which move to Raycom CBS affiliate WOIO/19 next year. (A hat tip to our Second[tm], who pointed out an April article by Beacon Journal pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels about that, that we’d missed.)

And though they won’t be getting long-time WEWS staples “Wheel” and “Jeopardy”, WKYC gets a “lotto ticket” of their own, bringing a Cleveland TV institution to 13th and Lakeside…

RADIO COMING SOON?: A hat tip to RadioInsight’s Lance Venta for this one.

We told you a while back that Venture Technologies, licensee of Cleveland low-power-now-off-air TV outlet WXOX-LP 65, had filed, eventually, to relocate to analog channel 6…after a brief attempt to camp out digitally on RF channel 31, space which WJW/8 abandoned, and is now trying to reclaim.

The FCC has now issued a construction permit for the analog 6 operation.

Why channel 6, in analog?

As we noted in our earlier item, Venture Technologies makes quite a business out of leasing the channel 6 audio carrier to radio programmers, and even operates some stations themselves as so-called “Franken FM” stations…since the analog channel 6 audio carrier lands right above the top of the FM radio dial at 87.7(5) MHz.

The reference is to “Frankenstein”, not to former Air America host/now-Minnesota Senator Al Franken.

Since Venture has the construction permit now, you may very well soon tune your FM radio one notch to the left of the University of Akron’s WZIP/88.1, and encounter a new, commercial station (the LPTV license is commercial, and the audio carrier at 87.7 FM isn’t in the non-comm band).

The other Venture stations have varied programming.

There are some ethnic/foreign language outlets, but the Venture station in Chicago (WLFM-LP) is an English-language “smooth AC” station, starting life to fill the smooth jazz void in Chicago as “the L”.

Take your fingers away from the keyboard, “107.3 The Wave” fans, as we have no clue what the format on 87.7 will be…but given Venture’s history and the direct move to analog 6, WXOX will likely be operated as a radio station in LPTV clothing.

By the way, for those wondering about the FCC “channel freeze” on digital TV channel changes, and how it affects WJW’s request to return to its RF 31 allocation…here’s something from an article in Broadcasting & Cable magazine:

The bureau also said that since it had been allowing stations to apply to switch from their post-DTV transition allotments since May 30, 2008–when the previous shift freeze was lifted–“stations interested in changing channels have had sufficient time to evaluate engineering options and submit rulemaking petitions.”

The bureau will continue to process requests already on file. It has already processed about 100 channel change requests from broadcasters since 2008.

So, WJW may have slipped in its allocation request “under the wire”, as it were…

RADIO NOT SO SOON?: Lance’s note about WXOX got us running through the FCC database again, and it looks like there may be a problem for Clear Channel’s attempt to put a 99.1 Cleveland translator on an existing tower in Parma.

The current status of the 99.1 frequency for the station still known as W259BI (after a temporary move to 99.7) is listed as “APPLICATION GRANT RESCINDED”, after the station apparently got a construction permit on May 23rd.

We don’t know what that means, or how it happened, but That Can’t Be Good.

W259BI is still licensed to 99.7/Lorain, though it has never operated for any length of time (even back to its days licensed to 100.3). The 99.7 frequency is a non-starter, first adjacent to sister country powerhouse WGAR/99.5, and Clear Channel filed after a brief test to get a permit to cover, then take the licensed 99.7 facility silent (pending the planned move to 99.1).

Is the FCC starting to eye these moves a little more closely? Or is there some other reason behind this? We’ll try to find out…

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4 Responses to Moves And New Stations – Or Not

  1. Dave Peffer says:

    Channel 5 has been the home of the lottery since it began as a once-a-week 30-minute show with Gib Shanley in 1974, who was replaced shortly thereafter by Don Webster. In the late 1970s, the show was cut to five minutes once a week and eventually to the one-minute drawings for The Number (as Pick 3 was then called) in 1979, conducted by Don Webster Monday through Friday and by Bob Banks on Saturdays. Throughout it all, WEWS has been the spot for the lottery programming.

  2. Robert says:

    The Lottery drawings are moving in Toledo as well. SJL’s WTVG/13 announced today they would start airing the drawing and Cash Explosion on July 1st. And much like you, I can’t recall seeing the drawings anywhere besides Raycom’s WTOL/11.

  3. dmking12370 says:

    One can assume that the Ohio Lottery started the televised drawings with the Pick 3 and Pick 4 games. The Pick 3 began in December, 1979.

    If I remember correctly, for the longest time the lottery numbers were drawn at the WEWS studios. Needless to say, this came as a bit of a shock. I wonder if the lottery will draw the numbers at WKYC or do it from the Columbus studios where Cash Explosion is taped.

    Combined with the other announcements about the LiveWell subchannel and the Wheel/Jepoardy decisions, something tells me that these decisions were more Scripps-Howard than WEWS. I am sure that if it was up to Channel 5, the lottery and Wheel/Jeopardy would stay put

  4. Andrew says:

    Interesting coincidence that the Ohio Lottery will be on a NBC affiliated station and Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! will be on a CBS affiliated station, such is the case in Youngstown now. WYTV had both the lottery and the two prime time staple game shows for many years.

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