Heading Into A Grab Bag

As we head into June, which has the potential to be a very busy month for us (both good and bad), let’s let out some more items.

We may be a bit scarce for a while, again, due to Life Intervening(tm), but we’ll be around from time to time…

WHAT COMES UP, EVENTUALLY COMES DOWN: We spent a lot of time with the digital TV transition back in 2009, both here and on our other blog, Ohio Digital TV.

One major change on the TV landscape in Northeast Ohio was the occupant of RF channel 17.

Channel 17 had long been occupied, analog style, by the Canton-licensed facility that ended up becoming religious outlet WDLI, owned and operated by religious broadcasting giant Trinity Broadcasting Network out of Santa Ana CA…and operating out of a large studio building along U.S. Route 62 in the eastern Canton suburb of Louisville.

But WDLI built its digital facility closer to the center of the market, in the Akron FM/TV antenna farm near Rolling Acres Mall. First, a pre-transition facility on RF channel 39, then taking over RF channel 49 when Western Reserve PBS’ WEAO/49 (just down the road) stayed on pre-transition 50 and took analog 49 dark.

Since the 2009 digital transition, that old WDLI analog tower has been sitting out there on U.S. 62…until recently.

OMW readers were there when the former WDLI tower met the ground in a controlled drop last week.

Friend of OMW Geoff Mears, afternoon news anchor at D.A. Peterson soft AC WDPN/1310 Alliance, sent along this picture, and tells us the former WDLI/WJAN studios next to the felled tower in Louisville are tabbed for a major remodel as an expanded audio/TV production house.

Those who grew up within range of the analog 17 signal remember it first as local independent station WJAN-TV aimed at Canton, before its time as a religious outlet under PTL’s Jim Bakker, David Livingstone (where the current calls come from), and the current ownership of TBN.

Digital TV being what it is, the station still appears on digital tuners as channel 17. The original RF channel 17 gave Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 in Cleveland an opening for a much more robust digital signal…and of course, digital tuners still show WKYC as channel 3, WEAO as channel 49, etc., but you know the drill if you read OMW at all…

STUDIO 0: We’ve been getting tips that it looks like Local TV LLC Fox affiliate WJW/8’s “Fox 8 News” has abandoned its “Studio 8” Akron bureau space in the food court of Fairlawn’s Summit Mall.

We don’t know why yet, but OMW hears that “Studio 8” is indeed being abandoned by the folks on Dick Goddard Way.

“Fox 8 News” will obviously continue to cover Akron/Canton news, but we don’t know yet if they’re looking for new space in the Akron area, or if they’ll do the I-77 Shuffle between Cleveland and Akron/Canton.

Of the four local news operations in the Cleveland TV market, only Raycom CBS affiliate WOIO/19-MyNet affiliate WUAB/43’s “19 Action News” doesn’t have Akron area space. WKYC/3 is based out of the United Building on the corner of Main and Market in Akron (former home of “Akron/Canton News”, now shared with Western Reserve PBS and Kent State University’s WKSU/89.7), and WEWS/5 has its Akron bureau in the Akron Beacon Journal building…

99X THOUGHTS: Radio listeners are discovering that if you’re far from Parma, especially to the east or west, picking up Clear Channel alt-rock “99X” on 250 watt translator W256BT/99.1 Cleveland is quite a challenge.

We surely expected complaints from folks in Westlake, Mentor and Fairlawn, where the signal disappeared for us in the heart of the Montrose commercial area. And one listener has trouble picking up “99X” in Strongsville.

To the west, especially, perhaps it’s tropospheric propagation (“trop”) carrying on-channel BAS Broadcasting AC WFRO/99.1 Fremont “Eagle 99” a bit further afield to the east.

But it looks like those 250 watts are also having some trouble getting into downtown Cleveland, perhaps due to those big buildings.

It reminds us of the signal problems Clear Channel sister hot AC WKDD had in the 2001 frequency swap, when it moved from its long-time home at 96.5/Akron to the former WTOF-FM/98.1 Canton stick in eastern Stark County.

At the time, WKDD promoted 98.1 as “the most powerful signal in Ohio!” or something like that.

But the former WTOF-FM’s reach was primarily due to its antenna height, not its base power, and anyone who knows FM signals will tell you that the signal for such a station is “a mile wide, but a foot deep”.

That prompted Clear Channel to quickly move 98.1 to Hartville – closer to Akron. It eventually landed at the former tower site of its original frequency, 96.5, in the former Northampton Township, after a city of license change to the Akron suburb of Munroe Falls.

For the record, long-time personal and professional friend Scott Fybush of NorthEast Radio Watch (go, subscribe, it’s worth every penny!) caught a recent Cleveland Indians game at Progressive Field, and reports that he had mixed “99X” reception results in section 555 with two radios – one, a CCrane “Witness”, showed no sign of picking up 99.1, and the other, an Insignia HD Radio portable, picked it up with a listenable signal. (Of course, that second receiver can also get the “99X” feed on WMMS/100.7’s HD2 sidechannel.)

It should be noted that section 555 is actually blocked from Parma by…the structure of Progressive Field.

It is no surprise that the signal “is what it is”, as a station rep has said on Facebook, and that the station heavily promotes 99X’s feed on iHeartRadio.

But smartphone-wise, at least in the Android version of iHeartRadio, “99X” is buried at the bottom of the listings, well under all of its on-air siblings, and all of the other “Featured” iHeartRadio feeds, including “The Alternative Project”…with an identical playlist to the local alt-rock outlet.

We assume it’s the same on the iOS/iPhone/etc. version of iHeartRadio, as we believe the platforms have feature parity now…

RATINGS TALK: Long-time OMW readers know that we basically don’t report either radio or TV ratings.

The reasons are many: among them, there are only certain numbers we can even report, and they may or may not reflect reality – like the Arbitron “beauty pageant” radio numbers of all listeners 6-plus (12-plus in diary markets).

Thanks to a change at the leading radio ratings service, even that “beauty pageant” is now missing some contestants.

Beginning with the most recent ratings released to the media and the public, Arbitron is only listing stations that subscribe to its service. The stations that aren’t subscribers? They’ve vanished from the reports like they were not even on the air.

Perhaps the best example of the vagaries of the new system comes with the recent Akron ratings. We’ll quote the excellent “Taylor on Radio-Info” E-mail newsletter put out by Radio-Info.com columnist Tom Taylor:

Of the two major local owners, Rubber City Radio is subscribing to the trends, and Media-Com’s not. Rubber City Radio’s country WQMX goes 8.3-7.7. Its rock WONE-FM dips 4.3-3.8. But we’re not able to see Media-Com’s talk WNIR, a 5.6 share in the Winter book. Clear Channel’s hot AC WKDD is a consistent 3.8-3.6. But we’re not seeing any of the normally high-scoring Clear Channel stations from Cleveland like classic hits WMJI (a 6.5 last Fall).

It could be worse…Taylor reports that the entire Knoxville market has no public ratings.

This makes figuring out ratings winners and losers, at least in the “beauty contest”, difficult. And yes, we’ve been given private numbers by various people in the industry, but won’t publish those.

We can’t afford the legal bill from Dewey, Cheatum and Howe, after all. Frankly, we’re not even sure we’re allowed to reprint the numbers we did here. And generally, sources will give us a slice of the numbers that make their own station or cluster look good.

We CAN determine something that is also evident – Arbiton’s “subscriber only” policy means that only stations that subscribe to THAT MARKET’S REPORT are listed.

For example, the stations based at Oak Tree, in Clear Channel’s big Cleveland cluster, have no need to separately subscribe to Arbitron’s Akron market report…since the numbers are already available within the company at Freedom Avenue’s Akron/Canton operation.

Ditto, if Freedom Avenue wants to see how their stations are doing in Cleveland.

But…the clusters generally only sell based on local numbers, anyway. Ask talk WTAM/1100 afternoon mouth Mike Trivisonno about “not getting credit” for his Akron market numbers…he’ll go on about it for an hour.

We also don’t know if some stations are subscribing only to certain Arbitron reports, or if they’ll show up in the reports where they subscribe.

We’re also not surprised to see that the thrifty Media-Com doesn’t subscribe in the Akron market.

TV-wise, at least one station has sent us an official release on improved ratings, but we’re not sure we’ll print it unless we get similar releases from the other three major local stations with news operations…


The 99X Follow Post

UPDATE 5/23/12 8:01 PM: Due to Internet routing tables and how they handle last minute changes, some Internet users are getting redirected to the main iHeartRadio page when going to 99XCleveland.com. The newly launched “99X” page can be accessed instead via its “WMMS HD” address (wmms-hd.clearchannel.com) until all the routing catches up over the next day or two…


As per usual around here, here’s our followup item on a major debut today, the start of Clear Channel Cleveland alt-rocker “99X” (W256BT/99.1 Cleveland, WMMS-HD2/100.7 Cleveland, to be official.)

Clear Channel made the move no one expected them to make.

Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) was by far not alone in expecting Clear Channel to mount a “now on 99.1 FM!” simulcast of talk WTAM/1100 on the 250 watt translator sharing tower space with sister classic hits WMJI/105.7 “Majic 105.7”, after a torturous shift from a not-on-air position at 100.3/Lorain, stopping long just enough for air at a North Ridgeville cell phone tower as 99.7, and finally showing up as 99.1 in Cleveland – give or take one previously rescinded construction permit that came alive again.


The answer as to how 99.1 became “99X” may lie in something RadioInsight’s domain snooping king Lance Venta brought to our attention in the previous “99X” item.

Quoting Lance’s comment:

99XCleveland.com was registered on September 20, 2011 so apparently this decision was made sometime after 92.3 became The Fan and perhaps changed CC’s plans as I too expected WTAM on 99.1.

By the way, Lance has posted audio of the debut at FormatChange.com, in case you missed it.

One thing is for sure. If CBS Radio alt-rock “Radio 92.3” wasn’t taken to the woodshed on August 29th, and was still around today, there’s no way Clear Channel would mount a competitor to it on a 250 watt translator. It’d be the broadcast definition of insanity.

For that matter, if alt-rock was in the radio programming/LMA plans of Venture Technologies’ WLFM-LP/6, the audio carrier of the LPTV station that will land on top of the FM dial at 87.7, it isn’t now. (See above reference to broadcast insanity, low-power TV analog audio carrier vs. FM translator run by broadcasting giant local division.)

Today, we were in a good position to catch the fringe of the W256BT signal to the south.

In car reception makes it well into Akron, though the signal can get fluttery, at least in the OMW Mobile as you head further south.  Inside is trickier that far south, depending on your radio.

But “99X”, of course, is not aiming for Akron or Summit County at all, despite debuting with a song from Akron’s own Black Keys.

Our best guess puts the areas that would have young listeners most receptive to alt-rock music well within the “99X” strong signal area…places like Ohio City, Tremont, Lakewood and the Cleveland State University campus…will have no trouble picking up 99.1.

It’s taking advantage of the lack of height regulations to sit 238 meters (nearly 800 feet!) above ground on the classic hits WMJI/105.7 tower in Parma, above it on the tower at 344 meters. Even at 250 watts, an antenna height closing in on 800 feet will bring in a signal not far off the range of, say, a full-power class A station at lower height.

Here’s Radio-Locator’s signal map “for entertainment only”, under the previous W259BI calls. We were basically inside the purple “Distant” ring while listening:

The new alt-rocker is heavily promoting its iHeartRadio feed, both on its website and on-air…”on the air in CLE on 99.1, on iHeartRadio everywhere”, assuming those far afield from the signal or commuting to Cleveland State can just pick up the feed on their smartphones or computers.

“99X” is a very easy move for Clear Channel, once they decided to go after the alt-rock audience abandoned by CBS Radio.

We haven’t done an A-B listening test post-debut, but we’ll be surprised if the station isn’t using the Premium Choice “Alt Project” feed it was using when “99X” existed solely on WMMS HD2 and iHeartRadio.  We’d also be surprised if anything is added to that in the future.

Throw in a few new liners for “99X”, and voila! It’s Instant Radio Station, with very little oversight needed by Clear Channel programmer Bo Matthews.  Very much like a WTAM simulcast would have been, eh?

Below is the official Clear Channel release on the debut of “99X”…



Cleveland, Ohio – May 23, 2012 – Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Cleveland announced today the debut of 99X, Cleveland’s New Rock Alternative.  The station broadcasts from the 99.1 FM frequency and hit the airwaves on Wednesday, May 23, at 12:00 p.m. ET.

99X is a simulcast of 100.7 WMMS’s HD2 station and plays the best new rock alternative music.  99X features core alternative artists including The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Nirvana, and Green Day.  The station will also include artists such as Muse, Jimmy Eat World, Young The Giant, Harvey Danger, Gotye, Imagine Dragons and Airborne Toxic Event.

“99X fills the void in Cleveland radio for a new rock alternative music station,” said Gary Mincer, President and Market Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Cleveland. “Cleveland now has a new alternative voice which we are excited to offer to listeners on-air and to alternative music fans throughout the country on iHeartRadio.”

Fans can listen to 99X, on the station’s website, 99XCleveland.com, as well as on iHeartRadio.com and the iHeartRadio mobile app, Clear Channel’s best-in-class customizable digital listening experience, offering more than 800 of the nation’s most popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations, plus user-created Custom Stations which provide listeners more songs, better music intelligence, more user control and deeper social media integration, all combined in one free, fully-integrated service.

Alt Rock “99X” For Cleveland Translator?

UPDATE 5/23/12 12:02 PM: As expected, alt-rock “99X” has launched on the 99.1 translator known legally now as W256BT (due to the move from 99.7 to 99.1).

Debut song: “Gold on the Ceiling” by Akron’s Black Keys.

UPDATE 5/23/12 11:15 AM: There’s word out of Oak Tree that this may launch on 99.1 FM as soon as 12 noon today.

We noticed what we think is a dead carrier on 99.1 a little earlier, replacing a distant, scratchy pickup of what we believe was BAS Broadcasting’s WFRO/99.1 “Eagle 99.1” Fremont. The (for-now) OMW World Headquarters is on the fringe of the 99.1 air signal…


It looks like it might be alternative rock, not talk, for that Clear Channel Cleveland FM translator we’ve been tracking ever since it was licensed to Lorain.

99X LogoClear Channel has launched a website – 99XCleveland.com – and an iHeartRadio feed of what’s currently being heard on the HD2 sidechannel of rock/talk WMMS/100.7. (It’s the Premium Choice “Alt Project” feed with WMMS HD2 liners and no mentions of “99X”, yet.)

The website promises you can listen to “99X” on the aforementioned 99.1 FM, the 250 watt translator mounted on the tower of classic hits WMJI/105.7 in the Parma antenna farm, and calls the station “Cleveland’s New Rock Alternative”.

As of this writing, W259BI/99.1 doesn’t appear to be on the air, though Clear Channel filed Monday for a license to cover its construction permit.

Long-time readers know that when we are wrong, we nearly put up a billboard telling everyone.

Yes, we’ve been speculating that 99.1 would end up as an FM repeater of talk WTAM/1100.

We did make it clear, however, that our thoughts were educated guesses based upon Clear Channel’s moves in other markets in similar situations.

The company attached FM translators to powerful AM news/talkers in Portland OR (50 kW KEX/1190) and Miami (5 kW low-band WIOD/610) among others, in markets where it had no flagging full-power FMs to spare.

In other markets, like Sacramento (50 kW KFBK/1530) and Albany (50 kW WGY/810), Clear Channel sacrificed full-power FMs for the AM news/talk simulcast.

Add to that that, off the top of our head, at least, we can only name one Clear Channel HD-fed FM translator used to mount a new music format – “103.1 The Vulcan” in Birmingham AL – and the circumstantial evidence was very much in favor of a talk simulcast on Cleveland’s 99.1. (Even the Birmingham effort took over – for a time – an AM that was the long-time home of talk WERC, which itself moved to a full-power FM frequency.)

Note that we carefully pointed out each time that we’d heard exactly nothing about the fate of 99.1, format-wise, out of Oak Tree. We haven’t yet heard anything about “99X”, either.

But…we’re not ready to close the books on this one, yet.

Clear Channel has, after all, pulled a “fake” on us before.

Remember when Dover-New Philadelphia’s WJER-FM/101.7 was in the process of moving north to Canton, and someone at Freedom Avenue messed with our heads by creating a full-fledged country format website claiming to be for “101.7 The Bull”?

The station, of course, is today’s AC WHOF/101.7 “My 101.7”, and aside for perhaps a crossover tune or two, not a note of country music ever aired on that frequency.

OK, so this is a bit more elaborate, complete with the iHeartRadio feed and public website.

Maybe we’re just gunshy…

Press Release Theatre, Act 1

From time to time, we will directly put up press releases from area broadcasters, shows or other media related entities… mostly of items we don’t intend to “cover” in any depth.

Many of these will be put up in a group of more than one, like we’re doing with this entry. Some of these are a few days old, since we just started this feature.

We reserve the right to not post releases sent to us, especially if they don’t meet the criteria we’re looking for. We also reserve the right to put releases in our regular run of items in main blog entries. We do have “corners” with friends in them to visit, after all.

In the future, some releases will be put up separately in a “Press Release Little Theatre”, if you will. Our goal is to get the information up without a lot of heavy lifting on our part…increasing the value of this blog while we still deal with Life Intervening(tm).

Now, round 1:


(From CBS Radio hot AC WQAL/104.1 “Q104”)

CLEVELAND, OH (May 14, 2011) Q104’s Fee’s Kompany Pledge for Pets Radiothon, held over the past two days , raised $120,936 for the Cleveland Animal Protective League, an organization which helps end animal suffering by rescuing abused and homeless pets and finding loving homes for them.

Q104’s morning team of Katherine Boyd and Allan Fee, who can be heard weekdays from 5-10am on-air 104.1 FM, streaming online at http://www.Q104.com and through the Radio.com app on mobile devices, hosted the radiothon Friday from 6a-6p and Saturday from 10-4pm. During the 18 hours the pair broadcasted, they not only took phone pledges, but brought about awareness for the cause and helped many animals get adopted throughout the two day radiothon.

“Thank you Cleveland for caring about Animals,” states Q104 program director Dave Popovich. “We have the best and most caring listeners around!”

In addition, Q104 recruited over 200 “Cash Captains” and “Q Cash Kids” who were out in the community over the past two months collecting spare change and donations to help the cause.


(From Time Warner Cable, Northeast Ohio)

Akron, OH (MAY 11, 2012) – Ten local students will be featured May 14 – June 25 on Time Warner Cable as part of the Coolest Creations contest on Local On Demand channel 411. The winning student will receive a $500 scholarship.

To vote with your remote, Digital Cable customers can tune into channel 411, select the Coolest Creations category and then watch the clip of the inventor you wish to support. Each view counts as a vote. The contest runs May 14 – June 25. The winner will be announced June 29.

The Coolest Creations contest is part of Time Warner Cable’s philanthropic initiative Connect a Million Minds, which promotes education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math and recognizes the creative efforts of students who show innovation, creativity, problem solving and perseverance.

The 10 finalists were selected from the Just Think, Inc. Invention Convention held on April 28 at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland.

2012 Coolest Creations Finalists:
(student name, school, invention)

Maura Ingraham, Menlo Park Academy, The Fashion Jump
Cora Gill, Copopa Columbia Station, MagniSweep Accessory 5000
Sarah Bennett, Maple Elementary (Chardon), Miracle Sprout
Shawn Zavodney, Nolley Elementary (Akron), The Cap-It
Madison Gauder, Nolley Elementary (Akron), Light-Up Slippers
Lauren Hailey, Boulevard Elementary (Cleveland Hts.), Closet Board Game Organizer
Alex Hauptman, Kirtland Elementary School, E-Z Rise
Lilly Kelemen, Kirtland Elementary, Where’s the Bulb?
Maggie Keller, Cuyahoga Hts. Elementary, Space Saving Seat
Yuke Zheng, Beachwood Middle School, The Room Method


(From Time Warner Cable, Northeast Ohio)

Akron, Ohio (May 10, 2012) – This month, Time Warner Cable is bringing Digital TV customers comic book heroes from the big screen On Demand. From The Incredible Hulk to X-Men and Fantastic Four, the must-see, action-packed movies are only a click away. Enjoy heroes better and watch your favorite super heroes save the world again and again. In addition, get exclusive extras for Marvel’s The Avengers on Time Warner Cable’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/twc/) and on Movies On Demand. The Comic Book Heroes movie collection On Demand is available now through June 4 and includes the following films plus exclusive extras:

With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story (2010)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Fantastic Four (2005)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
X-Men (2000)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Blade (1998)
Blade 2 (2002)

Exclusive interviews from The Avengers:
Joss Whedon — Director
Scarlett Johansson & Mark Ruffalo
Chris Hemsworth & Chris Evans
Samuel Jackson
Cobie Smulders & Clark Gregg
Tom Hiddleston

These films are available in SD and HD. Customers can watch them by tuning to the Movies On Demand channel 500 and selecting the “Comic Book Heroes” option.

The Train Goes On

Here we go…it’s time to distribute what we have as of late, and even some stuff we missed…

MORE PRAYERS: It is a scene unlike anything we’ve seen in local media. A popular personality not as a polished TV host, but a crying wife just praying for her husband to be brought back to her.

Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8 News in the Morning” co-host Stefani Schaefer wasn’t smiling about the latest news or Hollywood gossip in her return to the show on Wednesday morning.

No, she was Roger’s wife, giving an update – the first she’s given on TV – on her husband’s medical condition. He fell in a construction accident on April 27th and has been hospitalized ever since.

Surrounded on a long couch by pretty much the entire “Fox 8 News in the Morning” on-air crew, in a very emotional appearance, Stefani thanked viewers for their prayers, which she said were “working”:

“I see your notes on my Facebook page and the emails that you send and the calls to the station. That’s what carried us through. That literally carried us through this,” Stefani said in a message to the multitude of caring viewers. “I can’t thank you enough for your prayers because they have gotten us to this point. I have my husband, and he is alive.”

Stefani Schaefer returns to “Fox 8 News in the Morning” tomorrow…hoping to save her off time so she can spend time with Roger in his recovery, a recovery which she said doctors have told her will have its “ups and downs”.

For those who missed Schaefer’s appearance on Wednesday, the Fox8.com article linked above has video links…

PASSING ON: Sadly, one former local TV personality did not survive the weekend.

In our last update, we told you that Brian McIntyre – the former Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 and Ohio News Network Cleveland bureau reporter – was in hospice care.

And NewsNet5’s Mike Waterhouse reports that facility…the Hospice of the Western Reserve…is where McIntyre passed away Sunday after a battle with cancer:

Two qualities many people most likely recall about McIntyre are probably his smile and ability to make others laugh.

After his stint as ONN’s Cleveland bureau chief, which ended up with McIntyre working out of 3001 Euclid, he became a community relations specialist for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

He leaves Megan, his wife, and Gavin, his son, who will no doubt have help and support from his “family” of co-workers both past and recent…

INCOMING: Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 afternoon mouth Mike Trivisonno has brought aboard another producer.

After Ryan Gohmann left the “Big One’s” afternoon drive funfest – of his own accord, as we earlier reported – it’s night news anchor Glenn Forbes taking on a role that Triv quipped “only seems to last about six weeks, I don’t know why”.

We’ll decline that open opportunity, and note that on Wednesday afternoon’s program, new producer Forbes (“no relation to former Cleveland NAACP chairman George Forbes”) got the usual first day run-through of “Get To Know the Producer”…

OUTGOING: We briefly mentioned the apparent announcement from Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 “Good Company” co-host Andrea Vecchio that she was leaving the program, and sure enough, she is…with no apparent TV destination, yet.

Cleveland Plain Dealer writer Chuck Yarborough weighs in about what was indeed a surprise announcement – to both viewers and co-workers – with a quote Vecchio put up on her Facebook page shortly after our most recent update:

“Well, my immediate plan is to enjoy some time off first,” Vecchio wrote. “My work schedule often included working weekends with movie junket travel and other events around town. I’m definitely in need of some R & R, so I’ll likely visit my family in Florida to unwind. When I get back, I’ll finally have a chance to take in an afternoon baseball game to see the #1 Cleveland Indians! As for work, I love working in Cleveland television. We’ll see what the future holds. I did hear they’re casting for “Iron Man 3″ (wink wink).”

Vecchio is winking, of course, to her “blink or you’ll miss it” turn as a reporter in “The Avengers”, the mega-hit movie that did partial filming in downtown Cleveland. (Hey, didn’t someone open a casino down there recently? We think we saw something about that on TV.)

We have no word on any immediate future gig for Vecchio, either in film or local TV, though it sure sounds like she’s angling for some sort of role on another station…and she’s promising Facebook “friends” she’ll keep them updated on “what’s next”.

WKYC GM Brooke Spectorsky tells Yarborough that “for now”, “Good Company” would continue with remaining co-hosts Michael Cardamone and Joe Cronauer.

We saw CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 “New 102” afternoon driver Desiray McCray joining them the other day…we don’t know if that falls under the “let’s get a radio personality to fill-in” rule of local mid-morning talk TV, or if they are actively searching for a third host to replace Vecchio.

Note, of course, that Cronauer had a long radio background (“Brian and Joe”) before becoming a regular “Good Company” fixture…

AVERAGE JOE: Cardamone came to “Good Company” (and its predecessor, “Studio 3”) after gaining a measure of fame as a contestant on the reality show “Average Joe”.

“Average Joe” is coming to Cleveland radio, and we’re not talking about either Cardamone or his former TV show.

This “Average Joe” is one Joe McGuire, who All Access reports has been the APD/imaging director/PM driver at Green Bay WI’s WIXX radio, and takes the 7 PM to midnight slot weekdays at CBS Radio hot AC WQAL/104.1 “Q104”.

McGuire takes the Q104 night slot vacated by Kory, who moved to middays on sister AC WDOK/102.1 “New 102” in the continuing Reshuffle Of The Blocks In CBS Radio’s Wall Of Women (Audiences).

He does indeed go by the air name “Average Joe” in Green Bay, and his bio on the WIXX site is rather, uh, interesting.

“Average Joe” apparently got programmer Dave Popovich’s attention by sending a poster for a resume, and vows to All Access that he’ll attend Browns games…wearing “Green and Gold”. We assume he’s aware that if that “green” looks more like “black”, he’s taking his life into his own hands…

FRANKEN FM SOON?: We were notified by about a half-dozen readers that Cleveland’s assumed-soon-to-be “Franken FM” had taken rather interesting new call letters.

Low-power TV outlet WXOX-LP, which has a construction permit to move to analog channel 6, is now WLFM-LP. The station’s owner, Venture Technologies, moved those calls over from its similar outlet it owns in Chicago.

And of course, it’s not the ability to broadcast an analog TV signal on channel 6 that is in play for any of this.

WLFM-LP (in Chicago) was leased from Venture by former executives of former Clear Channel Chicago smooth jazz outlet WNUA/95.5. When Clear Channel dumped smooth jazz on WNUA for Spanish-language contemporary music, the executives relaunched it on WLFM-LP…which, since the audio of analog channel 6 lands it on the FM band, gave Chicago a new smooth jazz “radio station” at the top of the band at 87.7 FM.

That lasted until just recently, when the group running “The L” shuttered the smooth jazz “radio station”…citing the FCC’s recently imposed 2015 deadline, which will shut down all of the so-called “Franken FMs” by requiring the TV side to go all digital. The audio of digital channel 6 doesn’t show up on the FM band, due to the different technologies.

The move of the WLFM-LP calls to Cleveland’s would-be “Franken FM” (think “Frankenstein”, not Senator and former Air America host and “Saturday Night Live” alum Al Franken) has opened up speculation.

Those doing the speculation are looking at the obvious format holes in Cleveland…let’s see if any of them have legs:

* Of course, with Rubber City Radio flipping WNWV/107.3 back to smooth jazz(/AC) as “107.3 The Wave”, it would be rather unlikely that the WLFM calls get reunited with the former Chicago format. Besides, the calls were more associated with the iconic Chicago train system than any musical play.

* Several wonder if the outlet would become a Spanish-language station, with much more coverage than stations like WNZN/89.1 Lorain and WHWN/88.3 Painesville (both non-commercial). WLFM owner Venture has a history of leasing the “Franken FM” audio signals to ethnic/foreign language operators, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. Though the “87.7 FM” audio is on top of the non-commercial band, the license belonging to a commercial TV station means the outlets can sell regular advertising…not just non-comm “underwriting”.

* Alternative rock is another “format hole” in Cleveland, with the flipping of CBS Radio’s WKRK/92.3 from “Radio 92.3” to sports “92.3 The Fan” last August. Of note here: The Chicago station that carried the WLFM-LP calls is now alt-rocker WKQX-LP “Q87.7”, leased from Venture by Merlin Media to replace the original alt-rock WKQX/101.1, which Merlin flipped to all-news as “FM News 101.1”.

Close observers will note here that Merlin Media is the current Randy Michaels Radio Empire, and that Michaels – who used to be Clear Channel’s radio boss – traipsed all over Ohio buying stations for that company. The suburban Cincinnati resident is no stranger to radio in this state.

It wouldn’t take much to create a “Q87.7” clone in Cleveland. But we have no idea if Merlin, as a company, or Randy, as its leader, are interested in such a business opportunity here…

The Next Batch

As has been our custom in recent months, we’ll continue to parcel out updates in batches…depending on our availability to update this Mighty Blog(tm) and the constraints of Real Life(tm).

As such, we just happen to have some free time this afternoon…

SAD NEWS: Two severe personal situations have local newsrooms in a bit of a “down” mood… but working hard to provide moral and other support.

The first situation is quite public.

Not only has Local TV LLC Fox affiliate WJW/8’s “Fox 8 News” put up a story about it on Fox8.com, morning co-anchors Wayne Dawson and Kristi Capel have been asking on the show for prayers and thoughts towards colleague Stefani Schaefer and her family, whose husband Roger was seriously injured on April 27th.

From the Fox8.com article, which quotes a message Schaefer posted on her Facebook fan page:

My husband, best friend and soul mate fell 12 feet off scaffolding while working at a construction site. He was rushed to Hillcrest and once they realized his head trauma was so extensive and severe, he was lifeflighted to a level 1 trauma center. I was able to see him just before he was lifeflighted-Wayne carried me and Roger’s mom into that room.

It was the most horrific sight I had ever experienced-I held his face and told him how much I loved him, that he was my world, I told him to keep fighting, talked about Race and Siena. He was reacting-it was amazing. I know he heard every word I said. Roger was diagnosed with severe head fractures, severe brain bleeding and brain bruising. Friday evening, the swelling got to be too much, so doctors performed a craniectomy, where they removed the side of his skull to allow the brain to swell outside and not down to the brain stem which would be fatal.

That night, my mother brought our children Race and Siena to the hospital-we were told for them to be there. During surgery, my children, mother, Roger’s mom, my friends, many of my co-workers and even some of my bosses, picked me up off the floor, held me and prayed with me. We said the Rosary all during Roger’s surgery. It made us all feel so strong during my darkness hours. That group of amazing people gave me strength to want to live-because I was dying inside. That surgery and all the prayers saved him that night-NO question. He is still in a coma and has been fighting for his life every single moment since then.

Schaefer thanked both her Fox 8 co-workers and viewers for their support.

Don’t be surprised if you see her back on “Fox 8 News in the Morning” sooner rather than later. Stefani has said she would return to work, only because she wants to take her time off later when Roger is conscious and recovering, so they can spend time together…

AND AT 3001 EUCLID: It’s been about two or three years since reporter Brian McIntyre was the Ohio News Network’s Cleveland bureau reporter, feeding stories to the Columbus-based news network from Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 “NewsChannel 5” – much like ONN’s Cristin Severance does today.

And McIntyre preceded his run with ONN as a “NewsChannel 5” reporter and producer. His time at ONN actually started embedded at former ONN Cleveland affiliate WOIO/19. McIntyre has most recently been in the community relations department at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Today, he’s got people praying for the best.

OMW hears that Brian McIntyre has prostate cancer, and is currently in hospice care.

Family and friends, including his WEWS and ONN former colleagues, are organizing a fundraising benefit the evening of Saturday, May 19th at Cleveland’s Brennan’s Party Center on Triskett Road. There’s a $50 suggested donation, and you can set it up through Paypal through May 15th.

Our sincere wishes and prayers for both the Schaefer family, and the McIntyre family…

WE DON’T KNOW WHERE SHE’S GOING: A question that has been peppering the OMW mailbox today – “Where is Andrea Vecchio going?”

Apparently, away from Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3’s mid-morning talk show “Good Company”, where she has been a host and producer for some time.

Judging by the timing of the random Emails, Vecchio must have made an announcement this morning that she’s leaving the show she co-hosts with Michael Cardamone and Joe Cronauer.

But…we yet don’t know why she’s leaving, or where Vecchio plans to land next.

Stay tuned…and watch our social media accounts for breaking updates…

NO, SHE’S NOT PERMANENT: Similar “breathless” Email from at least 2 readers told us last week that former CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 midday star Nancy Alden had finally joined the staff of Rubber City Radio smooth AC WNWV/107.3 “The Wave”, and would be heard starting this Monday from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Well, they were sort of right.

Nancy is indeed being heard on “The Wave” this week from 10 AM to 2 PM, but only as a three day fill-in (Wednesday is her final day).

The fill-in was made possible because “The Wave” middayer Mark Ribbins has been filling in during afternoon drive for the presumably-vacationing Bobby Thomas. Last week, a whole host of former “Wave” talent rotated in the midday slot.

Really, who could blame our readers for a bit of Nancy Alden excitement? After all, someone wrote stuff like this shortly after WDOK dropped both Alden and its long-time “Soft Rock 102.1” identity…

There are some who would personally drive Alden down I-77, and over to the Rubber City Radio Group studios on West Market Street in Akron…heading for the temporary home of new smooth AC WNWV/107.3 “The Wave” with a host of other ex-WDOKers, including founding “Soft Rock 102.1” programmer Sue Wilson – who now programs and co-hosts mornings on sister country powerhouse WQMX/94.9.

Hey, that looks familiar! Maybe we wrote it!

But we laid down the facts shortly thereafter:

It’s not that we don’t expect her to land at “The Wave” eventually…there’s just no place for her right now, and certainly not in her natural midday time slot.

WNWV middayer Mark Ribbins is just as vital to the new/returned station as a bridge to “The Wave’s” smooth jazz history.

We have no indication that any of that has changed.

So, if you’re a big Nancy Alden fan, catch her on “107.3 The Wave” on Wednesday from 10 AM to 2 PM…we’ll let you know if anything else develops for her on the radio, anywhere…

TV BOMBSHELL: The TV station long owned by Youngstown’s Williamson family has gone through a lot of ownership changes in recent years.

Here comes another.

But if the scuttlebutt we’re hearing is accurate, that might be a good thing for Youngstown CBS affiliate WKBN/27 and its sister station, WYFX-LD/19 “Fox Youngstown”.

Unlike some past transactions, current WKBN/WYFX owner New Vision is selling the entire group (covering 8 markets) to LIN TV.

From a release sent directly to us by New Vision:

For a purchase price of $330.4 million and the assumption of some debt, LIN Television Corporation will acquire the assets of New Vision’s owned stations. New Vision’s assets include 17 stations in eight television markets: Portland, Birmingham, Honolulu, Wichita, Savannah, Youngstown, Topeka, and Mason City. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, and New Vision expects the acquisition to close before the end of 2012.

The “unlike some past transactions” line is a veiled reference to Los Angeles-based Parkin Broadcasting basically holding the license to Youngstown ABC affiliate WYTV/33, with operations turned over to, umm, New Vision.

TVNewsCheck reports that LIN will assume New Vision’s operating agreements, which include the “shared services agreement” that brought WYTV’s news and operations to Sunset Boulevard.

We don’t know much about LIN, but we’re told they’re considered one of the more solid operators…especially in today’s TV climate. We hope that bodes well for the folks in Youngstown, where operations for WKBN-TV, WYFX, and WYTV are also joined by WYTV’s “My YTV” MyNetwork TV subchannel at 33.2, and the station’s weather subchannel at 33.3…

HIS 100.1: For most of our readers, a spin by 100.1 on the FM dial brings them such notables as Howie Chizek and Bob Golic, bringing talk radio to a decent chunk of Northeast Ohio from their perch between Kent and Ravenna on Ohio 59.

But this is not about WNIR/100.1, “The Talk of Akron”.

Once you get past, say, Medina to the west, you’ll now hear classic hits music on a station that went through with its format change on Friday. Or rather, a format return.

WSWR/100.1 Shelby, licensed to a small town north of Mansfield, has a long history with the oldies format.

At one time, it was one of Northern Ohio’s affiliates of SMN/ABC’s 24 hour “Pure Gold” format…which we believe is still being heard not far away on BAS Broadcasting’s WOHF/92.1 Bellevue “The Wolf”…under whatever name current format owner Cumulus uses these days.

(“Oldies Radio”? “Greatest Mojo”? It’s been called about every possible name…we still miss “Zippo in the Morning”… )

Until December, WSWR was in the classic hits format as “My 100.1 and 98.3”, the latter being the 98.3 licensed to Fredericktown.

Then, both stations were appended to the talk format airing on WMAN/1400 Mansfield, and the classic hits went away.

It is being positioned as “heavy public demand” that returned WSWR to the format as “My 100.1”.

Clear Channel regional programming manager and OMW reader Keith Kennedy tells us:

I’ve never been involved with a situation where the public was so vocal about a switch. To the credit of Margie Tasseff (GSM), and programmers Rusty Cates and Ron Colman, they pushed to undo the moves/changes of last December…and as a result Classic Hits returns to My 100.1fm.

And the station’s press release quotes Tasseff:

My 100.1 General Sales Manager Margie Tasseff said comments from the public lead to the return of the music station after a simulcast of WMAN-AM. “Phone calls, emails, I was even stopped in the grocery store more than a few times. We are thrilled to bring back a station that the community embraced, and we hope they will do it again.”

As noted, 98.3 Fredericktown remains in the WMAN simulcast with 1400 AM, and takes the WMAN-FM calls as 100.1 returns to its historic WSWR calls…

WAIT WAIT…GET TICKETS!: The popular NPR weekend comedy news quiz “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” is coming to Northeast Ohio.

From a news release helpfully provided to us about the June 28th event in Cleveland by the talented Ann VerWiebe in Kent State University public radio outlet WKSU/89.7’s Marketing and Public Relations Department – and really, to us, she IS the department:

The event takes place at Playhouse Square’s State Theatre and audience members must be in their seats by 7 p.m. Tickets go on sale to the general public on May 16 at 11 a.m. through the Playhouse Square box office – (216) 241-6000 or (866) 546-1353 or online at www.playhousesquare.org. The live presentation will be taped and edited for broadcast on NPR stations nationwide the weekend of June 30 and July 1.

Though the release came from WKSU’s Ann VerWiebe, a long time Friend of OMW, the “Wait Wait” event at Cleveland’s State Theatre is actually a cooperative effort of WKSU and Ideastream public radio outlet WCPN/90.3, which has its studios a very short walk from the State Theatre on Playhouse Square.

The Cleveland appearance is a return to Northeast Ohio for the Chicago-based “Wait Wait”. WKSU sponsored a show at the Akron Civic Theatre in 2003.

WKSU airs the program Saturdays at 11 AM, and it is heard on WCPN at 2 PM on Sundays…

ANDROID CORNER: Unlike Ann, who carries around an iPhone, your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) has been in the smartphone world of Android since 2009.

We’re happy to pass along word that WKYC/3 has released a general Android news app. The station has been on the Android platform with its WKYC Radar app (thanks to the WSI folks) for some time.

Fellow blogger, WKYC senior director and now fellow media watcher Frank Macek has the details.

While you’re at Macek’s “WKYC Director’s Cut” blog, check out his account of a recent “all high definition remote” “Channel 3 News” newscast, which contained live, high definition video from the field from start to end.

Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5’s “NewsChannel 5” was the first to send HD video from its remote trucks. As far as we know, WKYC was the first to use the “LiveU” HD backpack video system we featured here in a previous item…

We’re Back

Whew. That was a long hiatus, wasn’t it?

As explained in the previous items, various issues affecting your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) are not done yet. But we missed this blog, frankly.

We will not “be back” on a daily basis, and life off-blog may still intervene from time to time. But, overall, we have returned.

We’ll start with some newer stuff, and recap some other things that happened in our absence…most of it in a “Twitter Recap” of items we’ve posted before on our social media accounts.

So, let’s get this going…and if we missed anything, we’ll put it up later…

DON’T DARE DIETER: The last time that rock/talk WMMS/100.7 “Rover’s Morning Glory” cast member Dominic Dieter was making national news, it was because he was injured in a stunt that brought the show’s “Dare Dieter” segment to an end.

This time, it was Dieter’s mouth that did it.

We’ll let the Plain Dealer’s Chuck Yarborough do the heavy lifting:

Dominic Dieter, a member of the “Rover’s Morning Glory” team on WMMS-FM/100.7, has been disciplined by station owner Clear Channel for an off-color suggestion to a father worried about his daughter’s possible homosexuality.

In response to an email from the father, Dieter advised the father to have a friend “screw [her] straight.”

To say there was an outcry from the gay and lesbian community is, well, an understatement.

A sample, from the website LGBTQNation, in a post by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Senior Media Field Strategist Justin Ward:

This is not okay. Not on any level, and not in any context. We trust that the majority of fair-minded Americans will agree. Make no mistake, if this young woman is, in fact, gay – or if she’s simply not interested in having sex with any of her father’s friends, then what Dieter is suggesting is rape.

Fast forward to Monday, after the GLAAD folks talked with Clear Channel Cleveland market manager Keith Abrams. Dieter offered up a recorded apology on Monday’s “RMG”, but wasn’t otherwise on the show. From a transcript:

I regret what I did say. My comments were inappropriate. They were inexcusable, and just downright stupid. And I want to make it clear; there was absolutely no intention to promote physical or sexual violence.

Abrams has his own response to the PD’s Yarborough:

“We take matters of this nature very seriously; his comment was thoughtless and unacceptable, and we apologize to those who were offended. We can assure you the appropriate disciplinary action has been taken, and Dieter has since apologized on air and is fully aware that what he said was unacceptable.

Abrams notes that immediately after Dieter’s Friday remarks, other “RMG” cast members called him to task for it, and that the show (we didn’t hear it) moved into a “productive” on-air discussion about “the acceptance of all lifestyles”, complete with calls from members of the gay community.

There’s no word on the length of Dieter’s suspension. We haven’t listened to the show this week to see if he’s back on…

NOT AT WTAM ANYMORE, THAT’S WHERE: When a cast member of a highly-rated afternoon drive AM radio talk show goes missing…well, that’s by far our most asked question of the hiatus: “Where’s Gohmann?”

That’s Ryan Gohmann, who returned to Oak Tree to join the fun on talk WTAM/1100’s Mike Trivisonno Show…and has now left the program, and left the station once again.

Gohmann left WTAM before back in 2007, segueing from his role as Bob Frantz’s producer to Florida, to become the assistant program director/morning drive producer at Clear Channel sister talk WFLA/970 Tampa.

In 2012, OMW only hears that the answer to the Most Asked Question of Our Hiatus is “Ryan’s decision to leave WTAM was his own decision”. This time, we have no word of an impending or already nabbed new gig for Gohmann, but we’ll let you know if such word pops up…

LEFT SWITCH: Aside from a shoestring effort by LMA operator Gary Richards at Painesville’s WABQ/1460, liberal talk radio has otherwise pretty much been left for dead in Northeast Ohio.

There’s at least a pulse, somewhere.

In a time slot that has seen conservatives Glenn Beck and most recently, Laura Ingraham, Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting talk WEOL/930 Elyria has returned Dial Global syndicated liberal host Stephanie Miller to airwaves on much of Cleveland’s west side.

Richards runs Miller on WABQ as well, but WEOL does a much better job of rimshotting Cleveland’s western suburbs (and places like Medina) than 1460 does of rimshotting Cleveland’s eastern suburbs. Both boast 1000 watt signals during the day, but WEOL has the considerable advantage of being lower on the AM dial.

Thus, even some Akron area fans of Miller’s show during its run on then-liberal talk WARF/1350 “Radio Free Ohio” have a shot at listening to her on WEOL…through some static. (This is by far not the Radio Battle of the Titans, signal wise.)

WARF, of course, is today’s “Fox Sports 1350”.

Why did WEOL make the change? It’s right on the station’s website:

We made this programming change because we needed to balance our programming in order to better serve both sides—both conversations. We were hearing too often that listeners perceived the station had swayed to the extreme right since two of our daytime talk shows were conservative.

Though it has carried Beck, Ingraham and continues to carry Premiere afternoon driver Sean Hannity, WEOL has been far from defined as “a conservative talk station”.

The noon-3 time slot is filled by another Dial Global talker, consumer advocate Clark Howard. We assume Cumulus Media is pitching the station on its new show with former Arkansas governor, Republican presidential candidate and Fox News Channel weekend host Mike Huckabee, but we don’t expect WEOL to pick it up for the reasons cited above.

Remember, WEOL used to feature news blocks from AP Radio Network News in many of these same time slots…and still airs a news/service non-politically polarized local morning drive show.

Across town, Laura Ingraham is still listed 10 AM to noon weekdays on the schedule of Spirit Media variety WELW/1330 Willoughby, but very few people who can pick up WEOL would have a shot at that east side station.

As far as we know, no Northeast Ohio station has yet picked up Mike Huckabee’s show…though we wouldn’t be surprised to see Cumulus Youngstown market talkers WSOM/600 Salem and WPIC/790 Sharon PA find a place for the in-house program.

MILLER, ON THE CONSERVATIVE SIDE: Another Miller, this one a conservative host, is now being heard in Cleveland.

Dennis Miller’s Dial Global show gains a Cleveland clearance, delayed 9 PM-midnight weekdays on Salem talk WHK/1420. The move bumps Cumulus’ Mark Levin and the local show “Kelly and Company” hosted by Tom Kelly.

Kelly is still on the WHK schedule in his original Sunday 4-6 PM time slot…he added late weekday evenings after WHK sent Michael Savage packing and replaced him with the then-two hour Levin show…

MANSFIELD CHANGES: Just a few months ago, Clear Channel’s Ashland/Mansfield cluster bumped classic hits “My 100.1 and 98.3”, adding the cluster’s 100.1 Shelby and 98.3 Fredericktown as FM simulcasters of talk WMAN/1400.

The 100.1 frequency, a northern rimshot into Mansfield, became the primary promoted signal. 98.3 rimshots Mansfield from the south, from a transmitter site in southern Richland County.

Not anymore.

It’s been officially announced on the WMAN web site…100.1 is going off in a different direction, leaving 1400 and 98.3 as the only WMAN signals.

The announcement on the main WMAN page reads, in big white on black letters:


The change is reflected on the station’s new logo, which now “leads” with FM 98.3, with 1400 AM below.

Where is 100.1 going?

An OMW reader alerted us to an E-mail from Clear Channel, directing to a new Facebook page:

There, this is one of the messages posted:

A radio station in Mid-Ohio under construction. We will sign on Friday May 4th at Noon.

Though we don’t know if this feed is on the air (we are, after all, well within WNIR’s signal range), a brand new feed for “My 100.1”, listed in the “Oldies” category, is stunting:

Amid the usual “construction” noises of a pounding hammer, liners promise “there’s a new radio station being built right now at 100.1 FM…you’d better listen when it debuts Friday at noon”.

“Pardon the dust,” indeed.

Another liner tells listeners they can still find WMAN on 98.3 FM or 1400 AM (yes, voiced by Clear Channel regional operations director and OMW reader Keith Kennedy), and we’ve heard an odd music mix from Michael Stanley to Frank Sinatra in the stunting.

Again, since we hear Howie Chizek instead of a Mansfield-area station on 100.1, we don’t know if this is being broadcast on 100.1 yet.

We assume Clear Channel will scoot the WMAN-FM calls over to 98.3, as they reside right now on 100.1 Shelby…

MOVING ON: After being synonymous with Cleveland radio and TV traffic reporting for a long time, Terry Groden has moved to fill some big broadcasting shoes.

At the peak of his time with Metro Traffic/Metro Networks, Groden was the local director of operations in Cleveland, even after Westwood One bought Metro.

He survived the closure of Metro’s Independence Media Gulch office and continued to do news and traffic embedded at Salem’s nearby facility.

TV viewers knew Groden as the primary fill-in for Metro’s traffic reporters at WOIO/19’s “19 Action News”…first for Rick Abell, and more recently for ground-based Joy Redmond.

He apparently survived the merger of Metro into Clear Channel’s Total Traffic…but Groden has moved on.

OMW hears that he’s filled the big shoes of the late Bruce Ryan as the new education director at the Ohio Center for Broadcasting.

Our best wishes to Terry…


Most of the following has been already shared in brief on our social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. And we’re sure we’ll miss something. But here’s what we’ve noted…with some new information…

CC CUTS: We briefly noted the usual Clear Channel seasonal job cuts, but here is some interesting detail we haven’t shared yet with you.

We told you that we hear a total of 8 employees at Clear Channel’s Oak Tree facility in Cleveland were involuntarily separated from their jobs (now, that’s a way to put it).

On air talent no longer toiling at Oak Tree include long-time WTAM Saturday morning host Bob Becker and classic hits WMJI/105.7-country WGAR/99.5 air personality Jim Hart.

Also out the Oak Tree door: WGAR morning producer Sean Lowery, 40-year veteran administrative assistant Kathy Seman, marketing/promo director Jen Black, and two associated with sports coverage at Oak Tree: Indians radio network senior producer Stephanie Hagele and WTAM “Bob Frantz Show” producer/Browns producer Brian Motsay.

Both Hagele and Motsay got on air references after their dismissals…with Indians Radio play-by-play voice Tom Hamilton giving Hagele a strong on-air job reference in the middle of the Tribe’s opening regular season contest.

Frantz, from what we heard, wasn’t as specific about losing Motsay, but he sounded rather ticked in veiled references to Motsay’s exit in a segment we heard shortly after the job cuts.

And now, the untold story.

Among his duties during WTAM’s evening shift, Motsay ran the local control board for WTAM’s broadcasts of Indians baseball, since Frantz’s show is not on the air during that time. (Hagele, of course, was at the network level.)

OMW hears from a very reliable source that when it came time to relieve Motsay of his duties at WTAM, he was shown the door IN THE MIDDLE OF A WTAM INDIANS BROADCAST.

Now, we realize that he’s just “the local board op” in the case of WTAM, flagship of the network, but a station which gets the network feed (being produced in another studio) like all other affiliates do.

But…couldn’t they wait until the game was over? For continuity’s sake, if nothing else? The concept of sending the guy to the exits mid-game seems a bit odd to us.

Oddly enough, OMW hears that aboard behind the board for the Indians broadcasts this year is the man who once held the job Sean Lowery lost in the most recent Oak Tree budget cuts…former WGAR morning producer Tony McGinty, who lost that job when WGAR didn’t renew the contract of host Jim Mantel (still in North Carolina, we trust). He’s returned to Cleveland after a stint at a station in Maine.

But Tony had nothing to do with any of the activity above – and may be learning of some of it by reading this item. He’s a good guy, and we’re very much glad to see him back in Cleveland…

BROWNS PRE-SEASON GAME ON WOIO: Disgusted with how Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19’s “19 Action News” aired 911 tapes of a family tragedy back in 2006, Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner moved with swift speed to end the station’s contract as the Browns’ local over-air partner…a deal which included broadcasting the Browns pre-season games on “Cleveland’s CBS 19”.

Shortly after coming to a settlement with WOIO, the games landed on Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3, which has been the Browns pre-season partner ever since.

So, why is the team’s August 10th pre-season game slated to air on “CBS 19”?

Blame London…the London 2012 Olympics, that is. The games will take over the airwaves of NBC from July 27th through August 12th, and that includes the airwaves of WKYC.

Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN Cleveland”‘s newest addition, now-former Cleveland Plain Dealer sportswriter Tony Grossi, explains:

The home team controls the date and time of preseason games, but the Lions were locked into Aug. 11 because of their own logistical issues and declined to move the start time to the afternoon to accommodate WKYC.

The Browns declined to have the game aired on a delayed basis. WKYC, which is contractually obligated to produce the broadcast, had to offer the game to a competing station. It worked out an agreement to air it on WOIO Channel 19.

Note the date: it had originally been thought that the Browns/Lions pre-season tilt would be on August 11, but the final NFL pre-season schedule puts it on the 10th. That doesn’t do away with the Olympic conflict, of course, so we’ll assume WOIO will still air the game and the Lions are still unwilling to move the time.

“CBS 19”, of course, still airs nearly all of the Browns’ regular season games due to its CBS affiliation.

But if the team visiting Cleveland Browns Stadium on Any Given Sunday is in the NFC (the Browns and most of their opponents are in the AFC), the game will be seen on Fox – locally, Local TV LLC Fox affilate WJW/8.

That applies this year to the opening game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and the December 16th contest with the Washington Redskins, if it’s not “flexed” into Sunday Night Football on NBC. (Stop, we can hear you laughing from here!)

The other non-standard game is the Thursday Night Football game on September 27th, when the Browns play at Baltimore on NFL Network. All of the cable/satellite games are sold to local affiliates in the two teams’ market, and we don’t know who will buy the rights to that game yet…

TONY: And yes, after being kicked off the Plain Dealer’s Browns beat due to a controversial tweet about Browns owner Lerner, veteran sportswriter Tony Grossi moved over to become a columnist for ESPNCleveland.com, the website of Good Karma sports WKNR/850-WWGK/1540.

Grossi does not have a show of his own on WKNR, but spent a lot of time on the station as a guest in the run-up to the recent NFL Draft…

SPEAKING OF GROSSI’S LONG-TIME HOME: The Plain Dealer and its Cleveland.com have entered a “partnership” with WKNR’s new competitor, CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan”.

We can’t find any online references to the deal from either organization’s website…we found out about it because midday co-host Andy Baskin (“Cleveland’s Baskin and Talking Phelps Heads” or whatever they call the show now) mention it briefly.

At very least, it appears to involve regular appearances by Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com sports staffers on the 92.3 airwaves…

SPEAKING OF 92.3: New voices on “92.3 The Fan”‘s weekend schedule include Baskin’s co-worker in Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5’s sports department, Mike Cairns.

“19 Action News” sports anchor/reporter and former WTAM/1100 sports staffer Mark Schwab has been heard on the “Fan” weekend schedule often as well.

And WKRK has lured a name from…Erie PA.

Mike “Chico” Bormann was most recently heard on now-Cumulus sports WRIE/1260 “The Score” in that Northwest Pennsylvania market…and signed up for what appears to be a weekend-only gig at “92.3 The Fan”.

Though “Chico” has 10-plus years in the Erie market, he’s a native Clevelander, so it’s a homecoming for him.

And we’re wondering, based on past experience in other markets, if when Cumulus took over the Erie cluster from former owner Citadel, they kindly offered Bormann an opportunity to keep his afternoon drive gig…at minimum wage.

It’s just a guess on our part…we don’t know if that actually happened in Erie. But it did happen at Cumulus Toledo, where such an offer was made to former WTOD/1560 morning host Tom Watkins…

ANOTHER QUICK 92.3 ITEM: The CBS FM sports talker has returned to a popular smartphone app.

TuneIn, which has versions for all the major mobile platforms, used to carry CBS Radio stations as a part of its aggregation directory – which also appears at TuneIn.com.

CBS recently asked TuneIn to remove its stations, but the two sides apparently didn’t stop talking… CBS and TuneIn recently came to a deal adding all the company’s spoken word stations (news/talk/sports) to the TuneIn directory.

That brought “92.3 The Fan” back to TuneIn within hours of the announcement.

But those looking to listen to WKRK’s sister stations (WDOK/102.1, WQAL/104.1 and WNCX/98.5) on a smart phone still need to turn to CBS’ Radio.com app (iOS and Android) or the CBS Cleveland app (ditto).

We are a big fan of TuneIn on the official OMW Smartphone, an Android device. Not only can you pick up just about all the non-Clear Channel stations (they’re on iHeartRadio), and record those stations on the Pro version of TuneIn…you can also change the kind of stream, picking whatever the station offers.

We often switch to the AAC feed, which is brighter and more “open” to our ears than MP3 streaming…

THIS IS NOT THIS: An apparent contract end bumped the MGM-owned movie digital subchannel This TV off of WUAB/43.2, a subchannel of Raycom Media’s MyNetwork TV affiliate WUAB/43 “My 43 The Block”.

The network made a quick landing on WBNX/55.3, a subchannel of Winston Broadcasting’s CW affiliate WBNX/55.

But don’t expect it to return to Time Warner Cable anytime soon. A TWC spokesman says there are “no plans” to bring This TV back to TWC. We’re guessing because subchannel carriage is tied to the host channel, since WUAB quickly got “Bounce TV” (43.2 now) added to cable carriage…

Y-TOWN FLIPS: There are some recent format changes we haven’t tracked in the Youngstown radio market.

Whiplash talk WYCL/1540 Niles moved back to a full simulcast of sister standards WHTX/1570 Warren “Fabulous 1570”. But in the process, WYCL midday talker Louie b. Free’s show survived (his checks, after all, do clear), and is now heard 10 AM-2 PM on the newly combined “Fabulous 1570/1540”.

Jim Davison and Laurel Taylor, under the JL Communications banner, are still LMAing both stations from Whiplash owner Chris Lash. (And all are OMW readers, well, at least Jim and Chris are.)

Bernard Radio talk WGFT/1330 Campbell quit yakking at some point. It’s now “Oldies 1330″…

AND SINCE WE PROMISED: The latest voiceover clients for long-time OMW reader Chuck Matthews:

Alaska Integrated Media sports KUDO-AM/1080 The Ticket Anchorage/AK

Appaloosa Broadcasting sports (ESPN) KRKI-FM/Rapid City SD

Cookeville Communications sports (FSN) WPTN-FM/The Eagle Cookeville TN

Great Plains Media sports (FSN) WZIM-FM/The Ticket Bloomington/Normal IL

El Dorado Broadcasters’ rocker KXFM/San Luis Obispo

Chuck says he’s doing VO work for all the stations, and producing his work for KXFM. “Radio imaging available on retainer or barter via Benztown Branding/Cumulus Media Networks,” Chuck tells us…