Clearing Out The Inbox

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about a certain new FM sports station, but that’s mostly settled for now.

Well, there is one “92.3 The Fan” mention: the “Will or Won’t Jeff Phelps Co-Host with Andy Baskin” matter, which has had so many turns that we’re about to call it “Cleveland’s Talking Heads with Andy Baskin and (a player to be named later)”, but…

There’s a lot more going on, and if we can type it up inside an hour, here goes…an item that is MOSTLY sports radio free from now on…

WEEKEND NEWS: Every local TV newsroom moved away from weekend morning newscasts recently, except Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3.

One newsroom is about to move back.

Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8’s “Fox 8 News” adds Saturday and Sunday morning newscasts starting September 10th, helmed by OMW reader Mark Zinni with new weather hire Amanda Jahn.

The Fox 8 weekend newscasts get an hour jump on WKYC – airing at 8 AM both days. (Saturday, at least, Channel 3 airs the NBC “Today Show” until 9.)

Network programming also affects the WJW newscast on Sunday morning…with a split airing, 8-9 AM, then 10 AM-11 AM, with “Fox News Sunday” in the middle at 9 AM.

Zinni is, of course, an existing “Fox 8 News” reporter who continues that work with his new duties. Jahn was most recently on the air in the Phoenix market, where she worked at Belo independent KTVK/3 and did a radio show called “The Positive Side of Sports” on a local AM station there.

MUCH more about Jahn in Phoenix is here, thanks to the Phoenix Examiner site.

And thanks to Mark Zinni’s own YouTube account, here’s a promo for the new show…

NO POINT AFTER: Yes, after breathless questions from readers about it, OMW has heard that WKYC/3 won’t be airing “The Point After”, its Monday evening recap of Cleveland Browns action, this year.

It’s not all that hard to figure out why the show isn’t running this season.

For one, WKYC sports director Jim Donovan is still on medical leave.

We reported earlier that Donovan hopes to return to the Browns Radio Network booth for the NFL team’s regular season opener a week from Sunday against Cincinnati, but it’s not yet known when he’ll return to 13th and Lakeside to handle his TV duties on a regular basis.

Jim was the primary host for “The Point After”.

The other reason is news…Channel 3 now features its relaunched 7 PM newscast, and “Point After” would pre-empt that one day a week…

STILL 18: The folks at Nielsen reslot the rankings of TV markets for each fall season, and the latest rankings are out (PDF).

And despite sliding population numbers (losing about 12,000 TV homes for 2011-2012), the Cleveland/Akron (Canton) TV market remains in 18th place nationally…just holding off Orlando and environs.

Columbus picked up two slots – it’s now the 32nd largest TV markets. Cincinnati drops below Columbus by losing 2 spots (35th).

Youngstown moved up one notch (110th), but Toledo lost nearly 20,000 TV homes and dropped from market 70 to market 74…

NEW TWC NEWS: Time Warner Cable’s massive Northeast Ohio(-and-Western-Pennsylvania) system has a new leader.

From a TWC release:

Time Warner Cable has named John H. Higgins Jr. Area Vice President of Operations for the company’s Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania division. His primary role will be to oversee the company’s third largest division, consisting of nearly 2,500 employees.

With more than 16 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, Higgins previously served as Vice President and General Manager of Charter Communications, Inc., based at the company’s headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. During his eight years at Charter, Higgins gained a wide-range of industry knowledge. He managed many areas of the business, including operations, sales and retention, customer care, government affairs and franchising.

Higgins comes aboard as TWC announces an online component for the Big Ten Network, “BTN2Go”, which allows video subscribers to watch the network’s live or archived programming online – via a website or the coming iPad/iPhone apps (mid-September).

The release says BTN “is exploring” other platforms, including Android…

TRANSLATOR ACTION: Regular OMW readers are aware of Clear Channel’s efforts to put a new FM translator – 99.1 FM – right in the heart of the Cleveland antenna farm.

The station, which would eventually sport a 250 watt signal pretty high up on the WMJI/105.7 tower, is presumably tabbed as Clear Channel’s latest FM rebroadcaster of the company’s big AM news/talker – WTAM/1100 here. The company has made such moves in Portland (KEX/1190) and Miami, where it’s installing a second Miami-based translator for WIOD/610.

Could Akron’s WHLO/640 be next on the FM translator simulcast list?

Hat tip to RadioInsight’s Lance Venta here, who tracks these translator moves like no one’s business:

The EMF/CC combo train is also upgrading in Akron, OH. 102.5 W273BL Akron has applied to upgrade from 10 watts to 74 watts, where it will cover much of Akron proper rebroadcasting Clear Channel’s 98.1 WKDD-HD2.

The phrase “EMF/CC combo” means that Clear Channel has an apparent deal with Educational Media Foundation (parent of Christian music networks K-Love and Air1).

In markets like Minneapolis, which is referenced in Lance’s item, Clear Channel programs EMF’s translators to rebroadcast AM (talk WTCN/1130) or FM HD2 (sports KFXN “The Score”) feeds. In exchange, in Detroit in this case, EMF gets to program “K-Love” and “Air 1” on Clear Channel’s HD2 feeds – required to feed commercial band translators which can’t be fed by satellite.

Back to Northeast Ohio, where W273BL/102.5 Akron is currently pumping out 10 watts of “Air 1” for much of Akron from the WONE/WVPX/WOIO-LD/etc. tower in the Akron antenna farm not far from the remnants of Rolling Acres Mall.

WKDD-HD2, of course, is currently airing a simulcast of talk WHLO/640 Akron, so it’s probably a good guess that 102.5 will eventually (post-upgrade) become the analog FM translator simulcast of WHLO.

This is just an educated guess. We’ve asked Freedom Avenue about this, and they quickly drew the windows and locked the doors, and headed home…


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