A Wide Variety Of Items

No clever theme, just a Wide Variety of Items this time around.

As usual, some have already been seen on Twitter, and others are brand new…or at least, running first in this post…

ALLIE’S DEPARTURE: We learned at the end of last week that Local TV LLC Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8 News” was losing another popular personality.

This time, it was sports reporter/anchor Allie LaForce heading “to California”, to a TV destination that was not revealed last Friday when she said her on-air goodbyes to the folks on South Marginal/Dick Goddard Way, and her viewers in the Cleveland market.

We now know the destination.

LaForce will be co-hosting a new late night talk show on the CBS Sports Network, that cable/satellite TV network that was once “CSTV”. Quoting the CBS PR piece:

CBS Sports Network’s new live, late night show, LEAD OFF, which will air weekdays from 12:00-1:00 AM, ET, debuts Monday, Oct. 22. The show has added Allie LaForce as co-host, teaming with Doug Gottlieb. LEAD OFF will feature commentary and debate on the top stories and news with a focus on the next day’s conversation. Gottlieb and LaForce will lead off together this week as contributors on ROME, which airs on CBS Sports Network from 6:00-6:30 PM, ET.

That is Jim Rome’s TV show as a result of his first CBS contract, not his radio show that’s moving from Premiere Radio Networks. And for that matter, Gottlieb was lured to CBS Sports Radio to do an afternoon drive (ET) show that starts in January.

But aside from possible appearances on both Gottlieb and Rome’s radio shows, Allie will be doing TV work…and doing it at CBS Sports Network’s studios in Orange County, suburban Los Angeles (there, of course, because that’s where Jim Rome is based).

The departure of Allie LaForce will leave a hole in the “Fox 8 News” sports department…she was also host of the station’s popular “Friday Night Touchdown”. That show also recently lost Dan Jovic to Louisiana.

Speaking of “FNTD”, we hear (but weren’t awake to see) that a cardboard cutout of Allie was slated to be used Friday night this week. That’s actually a tradition borrowed (likely, accidentally) from ABC’s “World News Now” back in the day…

BROWNS RADIO: We told you when it became apparent that the Cleveland Indians would re-sign with Clear Channel Media+Entertainment+Pork Rinds (we’re only kidding about the snack).

Here, let us quote the highly respected (cough, cough) Ohio Media Watch blog:

We hear very strong rumblings out of Clear Channel’s Oak Tree facility that the company expects an even tougher fight to keep the NFL’s Cleveland Browns on WMMS(/WTAM).

At the risk of patting ourselves on the virtual back(s), that’s now becoming clear.

A hat tip to Crain’s Cleveland Business writer Joel Hammond, who let forth Monday with an article titled “Browns next to explore market for radio rights” (subscriber link):

All signs are pointing to Clear Channel Communications retaining the rights to broadcast Cleveland Indians games on WTAM-AM 1100. But it appears the company will have to fight to keep another of its signature properties, the Cleveland Browns, after this season.

The Browns, whose radio contract is set to expire in the spring, late last week circulated requests for proposals to “interested parties” for a new radio deal.

Crain’s goes on to name the three stations – Clear Channel’s WTAM(/WMMS), Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850” and CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan” – asked to submit proposals…and apparently, “ancillary programming” is very important to the Browns.

A team official tells Crain’s that the Browns “have an excellent relationship” with Clear Channel, but says the Browns would “do ourselves a disservice” not to look at expanded programming and marketing possibilities.

The team is looking for a partner that can provide it a place for extra programming like “Cleveland Browns Daily”, the hour-long year-long show that airs weekday evenings at 6 PM on WKNR….though Ross tells the paper that the program may not necessarily move from WKNR or be linked to the play-by-play rights.

Crain’s Hammond quotes figures from Arbitron showing “meager” ratings for “Cleveland Browns Daily” – barely showing up in its time slot, and the article says the show gets beaten by the last hour of “92.3 The Fan”‘s Adam “The Bull” Gerstenhaber and Dustin Fox. (And by extension, we’ll have to assume both afternoon drive shows on WTAM and WMMS beat “CBD” like a proverbial drum.)

Remember, Clear Channel passed on the Browns-produced show the first time, since it didn’t want to carve into either Mike Trivisonno’s show on WTAM, or “The Alan Cox Show” on WMMS…both very successful.

But the team isn’t looking at ratings, according to Ross. It seems similar to Disney’s stance on the “Radio Disney” concept (WWMK/1260 in Cleveland), what it does for the brand being most important.

Crain’s also notes that the reported five-year deal between the Cleveland Indians and Clear Channel has yet to be signed…

NEW JOB FOR KATHY: Kathy Williams had a whirlwind, short tour as a news director in the Cleveland market.

Kathy had gained her first ND job in the 1990s at the aforementioned WJW/8’s “Fox 8 News”, then moved to Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3’s “Channel 3 News” before landing as news director at Houston’s Fox O&O, KRIV/26.

Williams has landed in Jacksonville FL, and is again working for Gannett…as the newly named news director of the company’s NBC/ABC duopoly known as “First Coast News” (WTLV/12-WJXX/25)…

LIN HAS COME IN: It’s official – LIN Media has taken over the former New Vision TV stations in the Youngstown market.

That means LIN now officially owns CBS affiliate WKBN/27 and Fox affiliate WYFX-LP/19, and takes over operations of ABC affiliate WYTV/33 and its “MyYTV” MyNetwork TV-affiliated subchannel.

At the same time, nominal WYTV owner Parkin Broadcasting (PBC) has sold the stations to Vaughan Media, and LIN will take over the Shared Services Agreement for WYTV from New Vision. (Both PBC and Vaughan are essentially one-man companies, as you only need one person to cash a check from the station’s operator.)

We’ve been asked more than once…”will there be layoffs?”

Based on LIN’s general track record, probably not in an already combined news operation that was cut significantly when New Vision took over.

However, LIN is a big believer in “centralcasting” – providing master control for its stations at one central location via remote technology.

For example, as OMW reader Mark Zinni (“Fox 8 News” anchor/reporter) pointed out to us, his former home station – LIN’s WPRI/12 Providence – was hubbed out of Springfield MA along with other stations. (Local newscast control room functions are presumably still done in the station.)

We wouldn’t be surprised to see day-to-day master control operations at Sunset Boulevard hubbed out to, say, LIN’s Indianapolis stations. Just a guess…

MOVING DAY: After announcing a few months ago that it would move smooth AC WNWV/107.3 “The Wave” from its Akron headquarters to a new studio in the Cleveland market, Rubber City Radio Group has just done so.

Monday, “The Wave” took the freeway “wave” up from Rubber City’s West Market Street studio in Akron to a brand new facility a very short drive away from the I-77/Rockside Road exit in Independence.

WNWV’s new studio is on Rockside just across I-77 from the other current occupants of the Independence Media Gulch, Clear Channel’s Oak Tree World Domination HQ and Salem’s Summit Park Drive studios.

The folks on West Market Street get a production studio back, but Rubber City Radio news and traffic staffers still feed “The Wave” Cleveland news and traffic from Akron.

“The Wave”‘s streaming audio was out again immediately following the move, but returned soon after WNWV camped out in Independence…

THIS IS (SORT OF) ABC: Cumulus Media Networks, which took over the ABC Radio network operations, is selling some new programming in Cleveland.

The company has added Radio One talk/brokered WERE/1490 in the Cleveland market for a number of shows and services.

Included are:

* The “ABC News Now” 60 second hourly news package
* “Red Eye Radio”, the company’s syndicated overnight talk show
* “Bob Brinker’s Moneytalk” on Sundays, and Brinker’s Saturday financial talk replacement, Larry Kudlow

Of course, ABC News Radio’s flagship newscast, the 5 minute Information Network report, is only heard in Northeast Ohio on Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron”. Or most of it is, at any rate, if the talk show host doesn’t step on the opening of the network newscast.

Various other ABC News Radio newscasts are heard on other area stations, including Rubber City Radio news/oldies WAKR/1590 in Akron.

OMW hears that WERE is also picking up the weekend version of Geraldo Rivera’s talk show, also syndicated by Cumulus (which airs live 9 AM to noon weekdays).

Out in the changes is IRN/USA Radio, which provided news and syndicated talk in the hours that are not brokered by program providers…and the brokered programming, of course, continues even with the above changes.

UPDATE 6:40 PM 10/20/12: We forgot to mention that WERE programming from Radio One-owned Syndication One is not affected by the above…

WMFD SATELLITE: Mid-State Television independent WMFD/68 Mansfield has, honest, been broadcasting as normal to its local cable viewers and those picking up the over-air signal (RF 12/68.1).

But WMFD is also – usually – seen on both major satellite services…DirecTV and Dish. Usually.

After an Alert OMW Reader let us know, we found out that WMFD has occasionally been gone from both services over the past few days…with just a color bar pattern and the station’s call letters greeting those trying to tune into WMFD via satellite.

We know why.

We hear from the Gunther Meisse Media Empire that the equipment used to backhaul WMFD’s signal from Mansfield to Cleveland, for uplink to the satellite services, has been acting up.

Those in the immediate Mansfield/Ashland/Mid-Ohio area, watching via cable or over-air, haven’t been affected.

Though it has worked from time to time, the backhaul box will be replaced soon with a new box.

And of course, it’s financially important to the Mid-State folks to be on satellite TV.

Not only does it provide the WMFD signal to local viewers who happen to have satellite dishes as opposed to cable, the satellite carriage means WMFD can sell the entire Cleveland/Akron (Canton) TV market to advertisers…more specifically, those buying infomercial time.

Whether people far afield from Mansfield/Ashland are actually WATCHING the infomercials the station sells…well, that’s another story. But, actual viewership numbers rarely come into play in such buys…


2 Responses to A Wide Variety Of Items

  1. I am mildly surprised that WERE is only clearing the weekend version of Geraldo’s show. Out of all the Cumulus product, his show is the most compatible with the rest of WERE’s urban talk format, but I guess they aren’t doing any re-feeds for later hours?

    Usually, WERE has significant amounts of hours that aren’t pre-sold post 6pm (that’s been the case after WERE and WJMO swapped dial positions). What will they put up in-between? Reruns of Tom Joyner? Or are they taking Cumulus’ only available talk product at that time, Mark Levin and Micheal Savage? (Of which I would laugh if that was the case.)

    ABC also offers a four-minute TOH newscast (under the “Entertainment” banner?) that would be a better fit than ABC News Now, but it’s probably spoken for by both WEOL/930 Elyria and WAKR/1590 Akron.

    In any event, the majority of programming carried on WERE will also be heard, loud and clear, on WJR/760 Detroit.

  2. drewzuhoskydaily says:

    Also within the past week: Kelsey Webb’s father, Tim, passed away following a lengthy illness. Webb is heard daily on The WNCI Morning Zoo in Columbus (a.k.a., Dave and Jimmy on WAKZ-FM 95.9 KISS FM.) Webb missed four straight shows and returned this past Thursday. Here is the obituary via The Vindicator:

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