Opening June

Some changes, some “comings and goings” and a reminder or two…

COMINGS AND GOINGS: They’re both at Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5, with a long-time “NewsChannel 5” name heading out the door, and a new Internet hire coming in.

From a memo that floated out of 3001 Euclid, took the RTA HealthLine downtown and then made a few transfers to get to the OMW World Headquarters(tm):

Alicia Booth will be leaving Channel 5 after nine and a half years effective June 23rd.

Alicia wants to spend more time with her daughter, Lexi, who is two and a half.

Alicia tells me she was asked to cover the health beat her first week here and has been doing it ever since.

In addition to her stellar work on the anchor desk and in the field, Alicia has demonstrated an intense commitment to multi-platform journalism and was one of the first to be assigned her own set of gear.

We will all miss her talent, hard work and determination.

With nearly 10 years in the building, Booth has certainly been one of “NewsChannel 5″‘s mainstays…

AND INCOMING: She’s not coming in as a reporter, but Channel 5’s latest hire for its Internet side certainly has a reporting background.

We don’t normally cover Internet hires even attached to local TV and radio stations, but Tina Kaufmann has been on air as a reporter/anchor for Akron’s Rubber City Radio Group for 5 years…most recently heard as afternoon anchor for RCRG’s news/oldies WAKR/1590 Akron.

She’s done a lot more than just sit in the studio and open up the microphone twice an hour, though…garnering a nice cache of awards, including from the Ohio Associated Press and regional and national Edward R. Murrow awards, for her reporting such stories as the Bobby Cutts Jr. trial and an investigation into Akron police and security at private nightclubs.

She’s no stranger to working on Internet sites, as her job has also included editing and producing content for the company’s (such as the story linked above).

Tina’s new role with mostly involves producing content for the website. But like her former RCRG colleague Ryan Haidet, now at Gannett WKYC/3’s, we expect at least some on-air work from her on Channel 5.

The folks at West Market Street picked up their usual haul of awards over the weekend at the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters’ convention, with awards for best news operation, best sports operation, and a double award for versatile sports/news voice Joe Jastrzemski, for best reporter and best anchor…

LIVE WELL: We earlier noted that WEWS was readying to add “Live Well”, a lifestyle subchannel now offered to other groups by Disney/ABC.

“Live Well HD” started on the subchannels of ABC’s O&O stations, including WTVG/13 Toledo, now owned by SJL Broadcasting.

We seem to recall that “Live Well” was not actually carried in HD on WTVG, which led us to ask if it would be in HD on WEWS.

No, we’re told, in news that surely will delight those worried about a second HD subchannel’s effect on WEWS 5.1’s HD picture quality. We hear that “Live Well” will be in SD when it comes to WEWS as the station’s first subchannel.

We also hear that there’s a one hour local news repeat hole in the “Live Well” schedule, which will see “NewsChannel 5 at Noon” repeat on the subchannel at 1 PM weekdays.

The new channel comes to WEWS via a deal between Disney/ABC and WEWS owner Scripps…

YOUNGSTOWN CHANGES IN PLACE: Changes at two Youngstown market radio stations are in place as of this week.

Chris Lash’s Whiplash Radio has entered LMA (lease) agreements with two operators for its stations in the market, WYCL/1540 Niles and WHTX/1570 Warren, with one complete format change.

That change is at daytimer WYCL, which has ended the classic country format known as “The Farm” (“Youngstown’s Country Legends”) for a locally produced talk format as “The Talk of the Town”.

New LMA operator Philip Cato has kept the WYCL calls.

Well, we think they have changed to talk.

Quick listens to a flaky audio stream the past couple of days have brought us more R&B/soul music (from notables like Aretha Franklin and James Brown) than talk, though we did hear a “community talk show” Monday.

We’re having problems with the new stream for WYCL, though that may be on our end.

Cato has repeatedly promised a talk format, and the station’s weather forecast has used “The Talk of the Town” name.

The WYCL Wikipedia article claims a talk format is in the offing, with the usual Giant Grain of Salt used when we cite the online encyclopedia “that anyone can edit”:

Some of the hosts on WYCL include Philip Cato in mid-mornings, and Louis B. Free in early afternoons.

Well, what do you know…has King of Youngstown Brokered Talk Radio Louie B. Free found yet another new outlet?

We don’t know, actually.

Free’s website, hosted in his deal with the Youngstown Vindicator’s, does not mention WYCL, and continues to promote his show on Bernard Radio talk WGFT/1330.

Maybe he’ll do both? After all, he’s bringing the check.

At this writing late Tuesday morning, Free’s show is being heard live on original outlet WGFT, and WYCL is playing music.

The other part of the Whiplash Radio group, standards/soft AC WHTX/1570 Warren “Fabulous 1570”, sees new operator Jim Davison, the noted Cleveland radio historian and OMW reader. Well, we’re not sure he still is, since we’re apparently no longer on his mailing list.

WHTX will seem at least some changes, says Davison (in an note someone still on his mailing list forwarded to us), and some things will stay the same:

We will feature different weekend brokered shows, as well as playing not only adult standards, but also songs from Helen Reddy, Stylistics, Jim Croce, Paul Davis, Little River Band, Willie Nelson, Fats, The Platters, Leslie Gore, etc.

We will also feature great shows like Sounds By The Sea, Dick Clarks-Rock, Roll and Remembered, Sounds Of Sinatra, Weekend Radio hosted by Bob Conrad, The Beatle Years, Elvis Remembered, just to name a few, On Sunday evenings, WHTX will feature 5 hours of great Country Classics with a show directly from Nashville for those country listeners who are losing their country favorites on WYCL this Monday morning.

Davison says WHTX will keep its role as the home of the New York-Penn League Mahoning Valley Scrappers, along with keeping local news, USA Radio Network news, and the station’s deal with AccuWeather.

Davison’s first move is to hire a program director, as Ray LaShure steps into that role with the relaunch of WHTX.

With the new operators, Chris Lash’s Whiplash Radio maintains ownership of both stations. As noted earlier, Lash’s health concerns prompted him to lease out the stations.

We had this news originally, but pulled it to clarify the final outcome…

QAM AGAIN: Those who use digital tuners and TV sets to directly pick up the local stations in HD in parts of the Time Warner Cable system may have to rescan their tuners, again.

OMW hears that a shift of underlying “RF” channels for the QAM-based system took place last week in TWC’s so called “southern” systems, i.e. those serving Akron, Canton and the like.

You’re not affected in TWC’s “northern” systems (i.e. Cleveland), and of course, you’re not affected at all if you use a cable box to watch digital and HD stations…


One Response to Opening June

  1. RadioFan says:

    Alicia Booth was also at Channel 19 and Channel 43 for two years before moving to Channel 5. She’s a great journalist & will be missed on the airwaves.

%d bloggers like this: