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…

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6 Responses to The Next Batch

  1. Mark says:

    Went to high school with Roger. He was one of the good guys there.

  2. Becky and Ron Schaaf says:

    Thank you for coming back!! I missed you!!!!!!!

  3. steve says:

    Has Frank Macek stopped Macek’s Media World?
    When I click the link, I now just get the regular facebook page and facebook search lists only his Director’s Cut blog.

  4. newsfan says:

    Yes, it was shut down read it on newsblues.

    • steve says:

      Today I see on his Director’s Cut blog that Frank isn’t going to do either for now. He wrote that the station had nothing to do with it, it became too much work. Glad to have OMW back!

      • I don’t know what NewsBlues said, but I can certainly understand the whole timesink thing…as any regular reader here would know.

        These things become beasts to maintain.

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