The Week Ender

The week ender, as we head into the weekend…

ALBRIGHT TO MIDDAYS: The death of iconic Akron talk radio host Howie Chizek has left a major hole in the schedule of his 38 year home station, Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron”, which is vowing to continue its all-local talk lineup…while faced with the unenviable task of figuring out who will be heard on WNIR, permanently, from 10 AM to 3 PM weekdays.

The unfortunate demise of Akron’s talk radio king has also presented an opportunity for a competitor.

Clear Channel talk WHLO/640 Akron has announced that starting July 9th, morning show host Jim Albright will move to the station’s 9 AM to noon time slot, with, quoting a station press release from Clear Channel regional programming manager and OMW reader Keith Kennedy, “a new Akron centric call in talk show” that is meant to “fill the void of entertaining, compelling local talk radio created by the untimely death of legend Howie Chizek.”

It is not a move that would have been at all likely while Howie, dominant in the ratings for nearly all of those 38 years, was still alive.

The WHLO schedule change flips Clear Channel syndicated show “Quinn and Rose” back to a live clearance from 6-9 AM. WPGB/104.7 Pittsburgh-based Jim Quinn and Rose Somma Tennant were moved to the delayed 9 AM-noon clearance on WHLO when Albright was hired for mornings.

Of course, Jim Albright rose to prominence in the Akron radio market on WNIR, hosting the station’s popular “The Dating Show” for many years.

After a stint doing marketing for the now-defunct Carousel Dinner Theatre in Akron, Albright eventually landed first off-air, then on-air at NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton. He last hosted afternoon drive there, before being supplanted by WHBC sports director Sam Bourquin…

AND SPEAKING OF WHBC: The Canton station has provided at least a partial radio landing place for an Akron radio news and sports veteran.

Joe Jasztremski had covered just about every possible sporting event, and was also morning news editor until budget cuts forced Rubber City Radio news/oldies WAKR/1590 to let him go after 17 years. Assignment editor and morning news anchor Marcy Pappafava was also released in those cuts.

Jasztremski wasn’t directly replaced, and Lindsay McCoy (recently married, by the way) returned to the station to take the morning news anchor position.

But Joe Jasztremski is being heard on radio in the area again. OMW hears that Joe has been doing fill-in news anchoring in afternoons at WHBC/1480.

We don’t know if he’ll help out Sam Bourquin on the sports side of the WHBC ledger, but he’d certainly be a natural…and probably even covered games with a number of Canton area schools as their games intersected with nearby Akron area schools…

IT’S BAAACK: The return of the historic Cleveland sports fight songs-and-Michael Stanley Band’s “My Town” loop on WLFM-LP/87.7 (TV 6) provides us with a peg to update the story.

The Plain Dealer’s Shaina Cavazos provides the newspaper’s first run at the upcoming local station, headed up by former Cleveland radio executive and owner Tom Wilson.

And Cavazos’ article lets a cat out of the bag…Wilson’s former radio ownership partners, Tom Embrescia and Larry Pollock, are also a part of this venture, though apparently a silent part.

We’re learning more about the music mix Wilson envisions for the radio station that only exists on the FM dial because the audio carrier of analog TV channel 6 lands there:

The still-in-the-works format of talk, a blend of “more mature” rock music and a team dedicated to everything Cleveland will fill a hole that Wilson said he sees in Cleveland’s radio market.

The station will be aimed at the 25-44 demo, Wilson tells the Plain Dealer, though expects “even older and younger listeners” to tune in. Streaming audio will allow those outside the station’s listening area to follow along.

Off-blog, we’ve been doing some digging on the Wilson-Venture Technologies connection, and here’s what we’ve found.

Tom Wilson’s Malibu Broadcasting has partnered with Venture on a number of TV (and radio-from-TV) ownership ventures.

FCC records list Malibu as a 25 percent owner of WLFM, LLC., the company which launched the previous WLFM-LP, the low-power TV 6/87.7 “radio” combo in Chicago which launched as smooth jazz “The L”…days after Clear Channel abandoned the format on WNUA/95.5 (now in its second incarnation as a Spanish-language outlet).

After nudging into smooth AC territory like most smooth jazz stations, including Rubber City Radio’s relaunched WNWV/107.3 “The Wave”, the former WNUA general manager running “The L” bowed out, citing the FCC mandatory deadline of 2015 for such LPTV operations to go digital.

We also found Wilson’s Malibu Broadcasting as part-owner (49%) with Venture of the Four Seasons group of two TV stations in the Quad Cities (IA/IL) market, WBQD-LP and WAOE.

The Wilson-Venture collaboration reportedly started with Las Vegas outlet LPTV outlet KTUD-LP.

Of the above, only the Chicago station (now Merlin Media-run alt-rock WKQX “Q87.7”) is one of the so-called “Franken FMs”. The rest operate as TV stations.

FCC records still list Venture Technologies Group as sole owner of Cleveland’s WLFM-LP, though ownership records on non-Class A LPTVs are difficult to find.

As we noted to someone else, given Tom Wilson’s long history of doing business with Venture, they probably have no problem (and some arrangement) with him to start ramping up WLFM here…even if “Murray Hill Broadcasting” is nowhere to be found in the FCC records, yet.

Though Wilson and his partners can certainly cite a record of success in this market dating back to the 1980s, it’s impossible to overstate the barriers we cited earlier…the station’s “dial position” and lack of history as a radio station in any form, the temporary nature of the setup due to the aforementioned FCC deadline, and the like.

But in a world where music is found on Pandora, iTunes, Spotify and similar online and smartphone services, is the target audience (particularly the lower end of it) even interested in finding music on the radio in 2012, on a station they’ll have to be directed to find?

And how much of the “rock and entertainment talk” mix will mirror what’s already being done rather successfully at Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7?

That station’s fully local talk segments, “Rover’s Morning Glory” in morning drive and “The Alan Cox Show” in afternoon drive, are both ratings monsters. We’re wondering where 87.7 will go that is not already served by what WMMS is already doing.

We’ll see.

We’re still “rooting” for Tom Wilson, as it’s a very good story for those who like local radio.

But it seems a rather high mountain that WLFM will have to clear to be successful…

PLEASE STAND BY: We’re not sure what was going on, but Thursday night was a tough night for some local TV operations…and their viewers.

Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 lost its over air signal in the middle of prime time, an outage which spilled over to the first few minutes of “Channel 3 News at 11”.

The outage did not affect viewers watching on most local Time Warner Cable systems, as WKYC sends a fiber feed to the cable company that bypasses over-air reception. (More on Time Warner, later.)

It did drop the station off of some other cable systems, and DirecTV and Dish Network, particularly on HD feeds that apparently use the over-air signal to feed the services.

We spotted WKYC’s over-air signal back on the air shortly after the start of “Channel 3 News at 11”, and the other services returned after that.

But if you were an Akron-area Time Warner subscriber looking for NBC programming Thursday night, you may not have had that alternative…the cable company says an outage knocked out service to many Akron area viewers Thursday evening.

It appears subscribers on the former Adelphia system (Cleveland, and northern and western Summit County), were not affected…and the OMW World Headquarters can confirm that from our end.

All returned to normal before the midnight hour…

HIS OHIO: The first special hosted by Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 “NewsChannel 5” anchor Leon Bibb aired Wednesday evening.

The half-hour special “My Ohio with Leon Bibb” featured the veteran anchor spotlighting various people and places in the region.

It pre-empted a repeat of ABC’s popular sitcom “Modern Family”, which we’re told still aired late night Wednesday on Channel 5.

“My Ohio” is one of the projects Bibb has taken on after changing his anchor schedule. Though he is still helming the weekday editions of “NewsChannel 5 At Noon”, he’s no longer anchoring at 6 PM…the station moving to match its 11 PM anchor lineup of Chris Flanagan and Danita Harris…

Advertisements

Job Board, June Edition

Long time OMW readers know that we eagerly accept employment related posts…both from job seekers, and those with actual employment opportunities..and post them free of charge.

Here’s a good one for the right, up and coming radio engineer.

Radio One’s Cleveland cluster is looking for an assistant chief engineer. The cluster’s chief engineer, Gary Zocolo, tells us:

I have a great position for an aspiring engineer who has the fundamental knowledge accumulated. It would probably be one of the best jobs they ever held in their lives.

Gary says pay is “quite respectable” and appropriate for the position, and knows this is the perfect job for someone out there…perhaps you, OMW reader.

Now, we’ll put up the official Radio One job posting in a bit, but why are we getting so detailed on this?

Gary Zocolo is a long-time Friend of OMW…dating back decades, long before the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) was even a twinkle in your Primary Editorial Voice’s eye.

In fact, he is the OMW reader we’ve known the longest, and that even includes long-time personal and professional friend Scott Fybush of NorthEast Radio Watch. (We’ve had more hot dogs with Scott, though. Heh.)

We know Gary. He’s a good guy, a talented engineer (along with his brother, both well-established veterans in the broadcast engineering game), and we’d like to help him fill this opening.

Here’s the official Radio One job opening…you can apply through the company’s careers website (search on Cleveland), and we can put you in touch with Gary. Just drop us a note, and we’ll send it along.

Good luck!

———–

Assistant Chief Engineer

Assists the Chief Engineer with installation, maintenance, or modification of studio broadcasting equipment and transmitter site infrastructure in accordance with FCC compliance.

Qualifications:

One year certificate from college or technical school; three years of related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience;
Able to lift 50 lbs;
Multitask and work long hours
Excellent communication skills and able to interact effectively with the station clients and listeners;
Other duties may be assigned.

Responsibilities:

Systems and Equipment
Self-Management
Professional Development

OBJECTIVES (by Responsibility):

Systems and Equipment

1. To routinely and competently perform maintenance of all the technical systems and equipment that include:

IT Systems installation, maintenance and support
Transmitter equipment installation and maintenance
Studio technical maintenance
Work with other department staff members on common technical matters such as remote broadcasts and special events.
All other technical facets in broadcast engineering

2. To competently assist in the design and installation of new equipment on a project basis as assigned by the Chief Engineer.

Self-Management

1. To ensure that appropriate Self-Management is exercised at all times, as it applies to the overall function and specifically as it relates to:

Overall Professionalism
Judgement
Propriety
Dress code (should be consistent with your job function, includes appropriate grooming)
Confidentiality (at all times)
Managing Emotions (Emotional Maturity and control in all situations)
Taking Initiative (may include taking risks)
Being self-directed
Accepting responsibility
Being accountable
Self-critiquing
Accepting and growing with others Critique

Being objective (issue relevant)
Building and maintaining workable relationships
Suspending judgment (when relevant)
Not discriminating
Being accepting rather than judgmental (when appropriate)
Allowing others their feelings
Extending common courtesies
Behaving out of a sense of urgency (when appropriate)
Striving for Balance
Appropriately delegating
Evolving self-awareness
Problem Solving and Decision Making (within scope of the function)

Professional Development

1. To participate in relevant skill building workshops as it applies to the ongoing development of the function.
2. To stay current with all relevant industry information as it applies to the overall job responsibility.
3. To drive your own Performance Appraisal every six months.
*Professionalism is described as being consistently appropriate in all situations and at all times

*Competence is defined as using “effectiveness and efficiency” in equal measure at all times

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer

Press Release Theatre, Vol. 4 (The Drew Carey Edition)

It’s not often we get two press releases within a day about the same person, with wholly unrelated topics behind them…but that’s what’s happened with Cleveland native Drew Carey (“The Price is Right”, “The Drew Carey Show”).

As per usual, Friend of OMW Ann VerWiebe, marketing and public relations guru for Kent State University’s WKSU/89.7-and-its-many-simulcasters, goes first…with help from Cleveland’s Ideastream (WCPN/90.3)…

—————

Drew Carey on Stage for Live Presentation of NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! in Cleveland at PlayhouseSquare on June 28

Cleveland favorite son Drew Carey will return home as the “Not My Job” guest during the live presentation of NPR’s Peabody Award-winning Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! this Thursday, June 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the State Theatre at Cleveland’s PlayhouseSquare. “Not My Job” is a popular segment on the comedy news quiz and offers a celebrity guest three multiple choice questions on a topic outside of their chosen field. If Carey answers two out of three questions correctly, a listener wins the prize of having Official Judge and Scorekeeper Carl Kasell record a message for his or her answering machine or cell phone. Other top WWDTM games include “Who’s Carl This Time?,” “The Limerick Challenge,” and the final panelist lightening round.

Carey is no stranger to WWDTM. After successfully playing “Not My Job” in 2008, he appeared as a panelist later that year. His busy schedule, which includes his current duties hosting The Price is Right, kept him from becoming a panel regular. Carey was a student at Kent State University in the late 1970s.

Along with Carey and Kasell, host Peter Sagal and panelists Mo Rocca, Kyrie O’Connor and Alonzo Bodden will challenge the audience with a slightly twisted take on the week’s news. Although the program is broadcast as an hour show, the taping expands the time available for observations that might be too broad for public radio – or random, funny sidetracks that entertain the live audience. Thursday’s show will be edited for airing the following weekend. WKSU airs the program Saturdays at 11 a.m., and it is heard on 90.3 WCPN at 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Tickets are now on sale through the PlayhouseSquare box office – (216) 241-6000 or (866) 546-1353 or online at www.playhousesquare.org . The live show in Cleveland is co-hosted by 89.7 WKSU and 90.3 WCPN ideastream.

Now in its 14th season, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! uses headline stories from across the country and around the world as the fodder for questions for an hour of laughter. At home listeners compete as well – anxious to earn the coveted prize of Kasell’s voice on their home answering machine or voicemail. Special treats and games keep the theatre audience laughing as well.

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is a co-production of NPR and WBEZ-Chicago. With a weekly national audience of 3.2 million people, the show ranks second to only Car Talk on a list of NPR’s most highly rated weekend programming. This is the second time Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! will be live in Northeast Ohio. WKSU presented the program at the Akron Civic Theatre in 2003.

ideastream is a public service, multiple-media organization with a mission to strengthen our communities by providing distinctive, thought-provoking programs and services that enlighten, inspire, educate and entertain.

WKSU broadcasts NPR & Classical Music at 89.7 FM, and is a service of Kent State University. WKSU programming is also heard on 89.3 WKRW in Wooster, 91.5 WKRJ in New Philadelphia, 89.1 WKSV in Thompson, 90.7 WNRK in Norwalk and 95.7 W239AZ in Ashland. The station broadcasts four HD Radio channels: WKSU-1, WKSU-2 Folk Alley, WKSU-3 The Classical Channel and WKSU-4 The News Channel. The WKSU website is www.wksu.org.

————

19 Action News Has a New Voice

Drew Carey Comes Home to Cleveland as Voice of 19 Action News

CLEVELAND, OH June 27, 2012- Starting today 19 Action News adds Drew Carey’s voice to all of its newscasts. Carey will now be the signature voice of the “EVERYWHERE” news segment that features short community stories from local towns and cities. The “EVERYWHERE” news segment has been a staple of 19 ACTION NEWS since 2003. Several voices, including a whisper, have been through the years. Most recently the voiceover was provided by Kathy Applegate, wife of WOIO General Manager Bill Applegate.

About Drew Carey

Carey, 54, is a Cleveland native who is the host of the CBS hit game show THE PRICE IS RIGHT, which airs weekdays at 11am on WOIO-TV 19. He is also well known for his sitcom THE DREW CAREY SHOW which aired from 1995 to 2004, and the host of the primetime game show WHO’S LINE IS IT ANYWAY?, from 1998 to 2006.

The 87.7 Bombshell

So, we were right to be skeptical of talk (and even some rumors, not connected to us) that Venture Technologies could LMA WLFM-LP/87.7 to local sports radio operator Good Karma Broadcasting (WKNR/850-WWGK/1540) to simulcast their operation on the FM band.

No, as it turns out, we should have paid attention to these curious, anonymous comments on our own item about the so-called “Franken FM” radio station, posted the night of June 14th by an OMW reader named “Kate”:

Interesting new FM Cleveland. Tom Wilson of Cleveland talking to radio people about format.

We approved these comments without even realizing what was being posted…the name of former Cleveland radio executive/owner Tom Wilson (WDOK/102.1, WRMR/850, etc.) wasn’t ringing any bells with us.

Then, Crain’s Cleveland Business got those bells ringing early Monday morning with an article by Michelle Park, titled “Longtime radio exec plans launch of new Cleveland rock station”.

Park’s article says Wilson will indeed launch a local radio station on the 87.7 audio carrier of low-power TV station WLFM-LP/6, which as we extensively reported, has been testing on and off recently:

(Wilson) has planned a rock and entertainment talk format driven by a team of about a dozen people who will take to the streets of Cleveland and put Clevelanders on the air. (What kind of rock is still up in the air, and yes, he’s open to involving local artists.)

Indeed, Park’s article invokes your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), where we suggested that the sports “fight songs” some thought were pointing to sports radio on 87.7 could mean something else.

Quoting, well, our own blog, first, in the item where we offered up audio from the WLFM-LP test:

For all we know, the sports-themed songs are an attempt to “sound Cleveland” – as few songs exist that mention the city by Lake Erie.

Crain’s quotes this passage of ours in the Monday article, which says our musings appear to have been on target:

That’s exactly it: Mr. Wilson says the station will work to sound Cleveland. He has planned a rock and entertainment talk format driven by a team of about a dozen people who will take to the streets of Cleveland and put Clevelanders on the air. (What kind of rock is still up in the air, and yes, he’s open to involving local artists.)

(Yes, it feels a bit surreal to us, and we’ve never had any contact with Tom Wilson.)

Wilson preaches the Radio Gospel of Localism, and aims directly at the “corporate radio sucks” crowd (presumably a receptive audience of rock radio fans) with quotes like this:

“We just see a need in the market,” Mr. Wilson said. “Radio has become so homogenized and corporate throughout the country that the localism has vanished. What we’re doing is bringing that back.”

The goal is to hire local personalities and immerse them at rib cook-offs, county fairs and the like, Mr. Wilson said. He’s in talks with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame about promotions, too.

The connection with the current WLFM-LP ownership, Los Angeles-based TV company Venture Technologies Group LLC, is apparently this: We didn’t know that Wilson is apparently a principal in Venture. The article links him to Venture’s TV operations in markets like Las Vegas, and the recent LMA of the original WLFM-LP in Chicago (now WKQX-LP) to Merlin Media as the reinvented alt-rocker “Q87.7”.

He tells Crain’s that he’s holding ownership of WLFM-LP under his Murray Hill Broadcasting, though FCC records only mention Venture at this time. (Assuming he is indeed involved with Venture, that’s just a filing formality.)

The Crain’s article quotes, of all people, Good Karma Broadcasting’s Craig Karmazin…Ms. Park presumably approached him in the first place due to the aforementioned LMA rumors that never panned out.

The “ESPN Cleveland” owner calls the prospect of the upcoming WLFM-LP “intense” competition, but is happy to see expansion of the radio pie by an experienced Cleveland operator with a record of success

Tom Wilson certainly knows how to create successful radio stations, in his ownership partnership with Tom Embrescia and Larry Pollock back in the 1980s.

He does have some obstacles now, that he didn’t have with WDOK.

For one, 87.7 FM is not a “full” radio station.

As noted here numerous times, it exists because the analog audio carrier of television’s Channel 6 lands at 87.75 mHz. It’s the same phenomenon that allowed numerous TV channel 6 operations in the analog days to offer the audio of their newscasts to commuters in cars.

Second, at least some radios can’t tune down to 87.7 FM…though in our personal experience, those radios are older or cheaper. Here at the OMW World Headquarters, we can tune into 87.7 on every radio inside, plus in the OMW Mobile.

Third, WLFM-LP will, barring changes at the FCC, have a defined radio shelf-life. The station is licensed as an analog LPTV station, which are all required to convert to digital by September 1, 2015. The audio carrier of digital TV channel 6 does not show up on the FM radio band.

(That same commercial LPTV license, of course, allows WLFM to operate as a “commercial radio station” right next to the non-comm band.)

But though we’re rooting for Tom Wilson, very much so…(it’s a great story!)…there’s another obstacle.

No one knows 87.7 FM exists, or is a radio station. Well, aside from OMW and radio message board readers, Crain’s Cleveland Business readers, and those who stumble upon the station scanning up on their FM radio from “Z107.9”, or down from the non-comm band.

With 3,000 watts in its license, WLFM-LP will be the relative equivalent of a class A FM station. That’s not a full-market class B (like WDOK, etc.), but more power than 250 watt translator W256BT/99.1, the analog on-air home of Clear Channel alt-rocker “99X”.

Wilson is clearly ready for battle…investing money and people into the station which he tells Crain’s should launch by late July.

But no one had to remind people that 102.1 was a radio station back when WDOK “came out of the elevator” into its successful AC format as “Soft Rock 102.1”. Wilson will have to have money for promotion, more so than most existing stations.

How Tom Wilson manages to stake out literally new space on the FM dial, just north of the University of Akron’s WZIP/88.1, will be fascinating to watch.

As happened in our coverage of the launch of CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan”, we’re getting questions…like “how do I get ahold of Tom Wilson?”

We assume contacting Venture Technologies Group directly would probably get you in touch with Mr. Wilson.

(The company actually operates many full-fledged TV stations, including MyNetwork TV and Me-TV affiliates. The so-called “Franken FMs” are just part of the Venture portfolio, though they are certainly the most known company in that field.)

One other question: how similar will WLFM’s “rock and entertainment talk” format be to Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7’s successful “man cave” format?

Does Wilson plan to mix the music and talk elements more than WMMS does now, with that station’s drive times almost exclusively talk? And for that matter, what kind of rock music will 87.7 feature?

(Those suggesting AAA would be wise to revisit the history of short-lived AAA outlet “V107.3”.)

Check back in a month or so, when Wilson’s Murray Hill Broadcasting plans to launch Cleveland’s newest radio station, in quotes or not…

Viral TV News Video, Round 2

UPDATE 6/22/12 6:53 PM: “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” featured a portion of this video in tonight’s newscast, though Sawyer called Johnson “Mark Jackson”…

– – – – – – –

Just about everyone in Northeast Ohio knows by now that Akron native and former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James finally got his “ring”…as an NBA champion, his Miami Heat closing out the NBA Finals series with the Oklahoma City Thunder last night.

Note, of course, that both teams have weather related nicknames…nicknames that could be easily used to describe the area weather conditions recently.

And Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 “NewsChannel 5” meteorologist Mark Johnson was off to the races on the much-delayed edition of last night’s “NewsChannel 5 at 11″…in a video that has started to “go viral”, with about 5,000 hits so far on ESPN’s YouTube channel…

If this sounds familiar, go back to 2009, when the hometown Cavaliers (with LeBron) were playing the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The game wasn’t on WEWS, but you knew the result if you were watching that evening’s “NewsChannel 5 at 11″…

The screaming sportscaster in this video, of course, was former WEWS sports reporter/anchor Terry Brooks…and that ESPN video ended up with just over 50,000 hits.

Maybe we’re stretching the phrase “viral video” here. These hit counts have been nowhere near what a certain formerly homeless ex-Columbus radio personality got for his YouTube video.

But these kinds of “moments” are actively being used by TV stations on social media sites as promotions…and that’s exactly what the folks at 3001 Euclid did today…

Much Ado About Sports Radio

We actually predicted this before local CBS Radio sports outlet WKRK/92.3 “92.3 The Fan” debuted last August.

We’d been hearing rumors that CBS was going to launch its own national sports talk radio network, though at the time we believed it would be limited to the night/weekend hours to fill time on its full-fledged sports talkers. The comparison we made was with CBS’ initial efforts to air KMOX/1120 St. Louis-based overnight host Jon Grayson (“Overnight America”) on other large market CBS news/talk stations.

The show survived on KDKA/1020 Pittsburgh and WCCO/830 Minneapolis, but was hooted off WBZ/1030 Boston in favor of the return of local talker Steve LeVeille…who recently retired (this time, presumably on his own terms). “Overnight America” is now syndicated by the Dial Global empire.

Anyway, instead of going in-house/in-company, CBS Radio went with Fox Sports Radio for its off hours on “92.3 The Fan”. But…not anymore.

CBS Radio and Cumulus have announced that they’re joining forces for the 24/7 CBS Sports Radio network, which debuts full-time January 2, 2013 and will start offering CBS Sports updates to affiliates this September 4th.

The network will be operated by CBS Sports, and distributed and represented by Cumulus (which already does so for ESPN Radio…various reports from the business media world say that deal is ending).

In addition to “various components” of the programming being offered to the company’s large market locally-programmed sports talkers (including WKRK here), Cumulus sports stations will also air CBS Sports Radio… including Toledo’s WLQR/1470-WLQR-FM/106.5 “106.5 The Ticket”, now an ESPN Radio affiliate.

We’ll assume that Cumulus’ two ESPN affiliates in the Youngstown market, WBBW/1240 and Mercer County’s WLLF/96.7, will be aboard as well…the CBS press release only listed top 100 market stations.

CBS Sports Radio will also air 24/7 on CBS AM stations in a number of large markets, including the AM side of stations that moved to FM. That includes Philadelphia (WIP/610 moved to 94.1 FM) and Detroit (WXYT/1270 moved to 97.1 FM).

And yes, that more than likely means the end of the WXYT/1270 Detroit afternoon drive show hosted by Ashtabula native and Northeast Ohio radio veteran Doc Thompson (WMJI/105.7, WLW/700, etc.). If 1270 is going 24/7 satellite-fed sports in January, there’d be no room for Doc.

The move comes after NBC Sports and Dial Global announced they would launch yet another sports radio network, NBC Sports Radio.

The odd man out? Probably Yahoo Sports Radio, which will lose big market clearances in Detroit and Chicago, where it airs off-hours on WSCR/670 “The Score”. We can’t see it surviving in a sports radio market with two new big network-run services.

ESPN Radio will lose the Cumulus stations, mostly in medium and small markets.

Fox Sports Radio will lose some clearances as well…in addition to “92.3 The Fan” here, Boston’s WBZ-FM 98.5 “The Sports Hub” also carries FSR in late night hours. We are assuming CBS Sports Radio will displace other networks in off-hours on all of the large market CBS-owned stations.

That, by the way, might be good news for one Cleveland sports radio personality.

Since Good Karma sports WWGK/1540, little brother to “ESPN 850 WKNR”, lost Fox Sports Radio, the station’s Mark “Munch” Bishop had limited time opportunities to fill in on FSR – since his station’s main competitor picked up that network.

“Munch” has most recently been filling in on FSR late Saturday afternoons, when “92.3 The Fan” is in local programming. Starting in January, he won’t have that timing problem.

Here’s one intriguing part of the CBS Sports Radio announcement:

Opportunities for affiliates to regionalize their lineup by choosing from select programs currently featured on CBS RADIO or Cumulus sports stations.

Could that mean that you might hear “92.3 The Fan” personalities somehow on those aforementioned Cumulus sports stations in Youngstown and Toledo? (Or “97.1 The Ticket” personalities heard in Toledo?) Even on a limited basis?

That, we don’t know.

But the Sports Radio battle, nationwide and locally, is getting even more interesting…

Press Release Theatre, Vol. 3

We’re not even going to explain these items anymore…but first, “Ann’s Mini Corner”! With at least one day left in “this week” (sorry, Ann!)…

———–

VIVIAN GOODMAN REPORTS FROM EUROPE ON THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA YOUTH ORCHESTRA TOUR

(Press release from Ann VerWiebe, WKSU)

This week, WKSU Reporter/Producer Vivian Goodman is on the road with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in Europe as they travel to Vienna and Salzburg, Austria. She is capturing audio during the day and editing it for broadcast during “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” on WKSU. Goodman can also be heard on “Here and Now” discussing COYO’s activities with local host Mark Pennell. Along with audio reports, Goodman extends her coverage by posting images and blogs on WKSU.org. Content will be added on the New and Classical Music pages on the website.

This tour is the first international venture for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in the organization’s 26-year history. With her coverage, Goodman hopes not only to cover the success of the concerts but also capture the response of 75 Northeast Ohio middle- and high-school students as they perform in the cradle of classical music. While in Europe, Goodman will posting as well to the Facebook page for her food-centric “Quick Bites” feature.

WKSU’s coverage of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is made possible through support from Diebold and the Noble Foundation.

———–

VERIZON WIRELESS AND TIME WARNER CABLE TO DELIVER GREAT VIDEO ENTERTAINMENT, COMMUNICATIONS AND INTERNET EXPERIENCES – FOR THE HOME AND ON THE GO IN NORTHEAST OHIO

CLEVELAND (June 21, 2012) – Verizon Wireless and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) today announced they are teaming up in portions of Northeast Ohio to give new and existing customers greater choice, value and convenience in their wireless and entertainment packages. Customers in the area can now purchase packages of Time Warner Cable video, Internet and voice services and Verizon Wireless smartphones and tablets from both companies and may be eligible to receive a Visa™ prepaid debit card valued up to $200.

Markets launching today include many cities in Northeast Ohio, Wisconsin, North and South Carolina. Earlier this year, Time Warner Cable and Verizon Wireless kicked off their joint marketing initiative in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City, Kan.; and Raleigh, N.C. Both companies expect to launch these packages and services in additional Time Warner Cable communities in the coming months.

Customers can select their combination of services from a range of offers that include video, Internet, home phone and mobile service. Time Warner Cable’s Ultimate Internet and SignatureHome® are also available to be packaged with a Verizon Wireless offer.

“This is a big win for customers looking for a more complete entertainment and communications offering for inside the home and wherever they go,” said John H. Higgins, Jr., area vice president of operations, Time Warner Cable. “The joining together of products and services from Time Warner Cable and Verizon Wireless into a single offer provides customers more choice, convenience and greater value.”

“Wireless, entertainment and communications are important to our mutual customer base,” said Mark Frazier, president–Ohio/Pennsylvania/West Virginia Region, Verizon Wireless. “Collectively, our goal is to deliver a solid product with long-term value to the end user, resulting in an enjoyable experience. Time Warner Cable continues to deliver the highest quality entertainment and communications services in the area and the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network is the perfect complement to round out the package.”

For additional information, please visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/twc or http://www.twc.com/verizonwireless. Customers can sign up for these packages in person at a Verizon Wireless Communications Store or over the phone at 1-888-535-0187 or 1-800-TWCABLE.

(Editorial note: Long list of retail locations snipped…)