The Exit Door

It’s nearing the end of the year, and that means at least one high profile TV news personality in Cleveland is about to end her run here…and one other could follow in the next month or so…

BELL MOVES ON: The first primary evening news anchor to exit the Cleveland market this season is Stacey Bell, who has been co-anchoring the 5 PM and 10 PM editions of Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8 News” with Bill Martin for the past few years…starting anchor duties on the 5 PM show in 2000, and adding 10 PM duties in 2006.

The station’s Dan Jovic has more on

After 13 years, she will sign off on Wednesday for the final time on Fox 8 News. Stacey is leaving Fox 8 to join her husband in New Jersey.

Please join us in saying a heartfelt goodbye to Stacey Bell over the next few days.

The announcement of Bell’s departure appears rather sudden, but we’ve talked about her impending exit here for weeks…and have already passed along word that “Fox 8 News in the Morning”‘s Tracy McCool has been the odds on “in house” favorite to move to the evening co-anchor chair alongside Martin.

We aren’t yet hearing that such a move has been made official, and we’ve heard nothing of outside candidates one way or the other.

OMW is hearing that another evening anchor, elsewhere in the Cleveland market, could be leaving their station as soon as mid-December…

OTHER MOVES: Yes, that’s former long-time Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 anchor/reporter/show host Scott Newell who’s been popping up lately reporting on Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5’s “NewsChannel 5”.

We’ve checked, and it turns out Newell is freelancing for WEWS, and has not actually been hired as a regular employee.

Not that the man most remembered for hosting WKYC’s “AM Cleveland” in the 1980s has not been busy.

He left WKYC (after returning there as a freelancer) in 2000, and has done a number of independent TV news producing jobs, including a lot of work for network TV news shows.

And we last caught up with Newell’s career after he won a seat on Pepper Pike City Council.

He was elected to begin serving in January 2010, and he’s still listed as a council member on the city’s website. We presume that if he is still on council, WEWS would ask him to refrain from covering stories about Pepper Pike’s government – but that’s not really a governmental body that gets a lot of TV news attention.

Meanwhile, OMW hears that a former local TV weather anchor has moved to a new job.

MediaBistro’s TV Spy reports that Amy Murphy has joined Scripps ABC affilate KNXV/15 “ABC 15” in Phoenix as a weekend weather anchor.

The TV Spy post notes her return to Phoenix after a stint in Los Angeles…but it doesn’t mention her time in Cleveland, where she was known as Amy Hasten, at WKYC and later at WEWS. She was here until leaving for a job in Miami, and it doesn’t sound like Amy has seen snow in years…

NO JUSTICE, NO TALK SHOW: And we freely admit we swiped that one from Paul Rado’s comment on our Facebook page.

Yes, it’s true…after years hosting Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100’s Sunday night show, “Black on Black Crime” community activist Art McKoy is without a radio platform.

OMW hears that McKoy’s exit from his post on WTAM “was not by his choice”, the station replacing his show with a new program hosted by Cleveland City Council member Zack Reed.

From a station release on the new Sunday 8-10 PM show, called “The Forum”:

Reed’s experience as a Cleveland City Councilman will give him a unique perspective on what the real problems are in our area. He will also bring insight to positive programs and developments that will make a difference in our community,” said Ray Davis, Program Director, WTAM. “We are happy to have him join the talented group of talk talent on WTAM.

But though the official release highlights Reed’s public service career, there’s not one word about the station’s former polarizing Sunday night personality.

And no, though we do know Art McKoy didn’t leave on his own, we don’t know what prompted WTAM to make the change.

Reed appeared on a recent edition of Mike Trivisonno’s afternoon drive show, with Triv noting frequently that McKoy was “no longer with the station”.

Triv and McKoy had a lot of back and forth “sparring” between the two shows over the years, though certainly much of that was played up for on-air and comedic effect…

IN STORE: We haven’t gotten a chance to visit Time Warner Cable’s new retail store across Brittain Road from Akron’s Chapel Hill Mall, but TWC local public relations guy and OMW reader Travis Reynolds has answered a few of our earlier questions.

From a fact sheet Travis passed along to us, it appears that the new store will indeed offer live “hands-on” demonstrations of TWC products:

12 interactive TVs showcasing TWC programming and features , including Digital Cable, Movies on Demand, HDTV, DVR, Look Back and Start Over
3 computers demonstrating TWC’s broadband and Wideband internet service.
2 Digital Phone displays.
2 Mobile Internet kiosks.
TWCable TV ipad app

This would presumably be a direct answer to our earlier complaints about a “demonstration” unit for AT&T’s U-verse we ran into at a local AT&T store, with a thinly disguised DVR playback system acting as the “demo” unit. (And if there is somewhere one can go “hands on” with U-verse somewhere in Northeast Ohio, we’d love to know about it.)

And as we suspected, the former Time Warner Cable customer service operation at Midway Plaza on the Tallmadge/Akron border has been moved up Brittain Road to the new retail store, with customer service being offered “on the floor” for those who wish to use it.

No, not literally “on the floor” at the Brittain Road store…they meant as opposed to being behind a counter…


6 Responses to The Exit Door

  1. Tim says:

    Art McKoy’s show would be a good fit on WERE 1490 if he and Radio One could make a deal.

  2. Bill says:

    Amy Murphy was Amy Hasten when she was on Cleveland Television. (Not Hastings)

    • Fixed. A transcription error on our part. And we’ve excised the extra “e” from Tracy McCool’s first name…it must have migrated over in our head after noting she’s a favorite to replace Stacey (with an E) Bell…

  3. yekimi says:

    Appears WAKR is hopping onto the Christmas sleigh now. Not 24/7 yet but I have heard a few. They played one you rarely hear anymore….Boney M’s “Mary’s Boy Child”! And I thank them for waiting till AFTER Thanksgiving to start.

  4. pthax says:

    I think that tracy mccool is mchot! Looking forward to seeing her in the evening.

  5. OMW Reader says:

    WAKR was all Christmas over the weekend. The onslaught of seasonal syrup has prompted me to buy a gizmo that will broadcast MP3’s from a flash drive to an FM frequency on the car radio.

    (The station group I used to work for played that Boney M cut quite often.)

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