Our New Look

Effective immediately, Ohio Media Watch is moving to a site hosted under our domain name:

ohiomediawatch.com

This will be the last post on WordPress.com…please click the link above and, as we hinted earlier, bookmark it for use in the future.

OMW is moving to a self-hosted site, and off of the free WordPress.com platform. We’re still using WordPress on the new site, just not their hosting side.

There are many reasons we are doing this. Our goal, in the end, will be a site still very familiar to you in content and mission.

We look to expand OMW beyond just a simple blog, and would like suggestions on content you’d like to see here in the future.

But we’ll also give you a heads up…with our move, we can now offer advertising. Before you scroll down to the comments and fire away at us, read a bit further.

This Mighty Blog(tm) has no intent on turning into an advertising-laden site.

We absolutely enjoy Dave Hughes’ DCRTV, the authority on broadcasting and media in the Washington/Baltimore area. Dave has a large number of advertisers and advertisements are all over the top and the right side of his scroll.

The scope of what we do here at OMW is quite limited by comparison to Dave’s effort. The area’s TV and radio markets combined are much smaller than the DC/Baltimore area.

If we get enough advertising to pay our communications/phone/Internet bills, we’ll be doing better than expected.

For now, there’s one primary advertiser you’ll learn about soon, with a very unique story that fits in perfectly with what we do here. (And that advertiser is a long-time OMW reader.)

You’ll also see small ads for two long-time Friends of OMW.

Scott Fybush (NorthEast Radio Watch) has helped your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) and this blog many times over the years, so it’s about time we help him a little. You’ve read much about Scott over the years, and NERW. It’s required reading if you care even one whit about radio and other media just to our east. (And occasionally, NERW-land and OMW-land share space along the Ohio/Pennsylvania border, particularly in the Youngstown/Warren market.)

Lance Venta is the proprietor of RadioInsight.com. It started as an alternative to the long-time Radio-Info.com message boards, but Lance has turned RadioInsight into a premiere source of radio information. He’s gained a name sleuthing radio station domain registrations that often lead to a new, unannounced format change.

Lance is providing the hosting and backend support for the new OMW site, including its new design and logo.

RadioInsight has also launched its RadioInsight Community, sort of the modern version of the old message boards.

Effective immediately, the RadioInsight Community’s Cleveland forum will become the official forum of Ohio Media Watch. For those of you seeking more interactivity aside from our comments section, this is a perfect solution. There’s a link to RadioInsight Community on the main page of OMW.

We’re proud to call NERW and RadioInsight our “content partners” here at OMW.

Again, we have no intent on overloading OMW with advertising, or even moderately loading it with ads.

We do intend on increasing useful content wherever possible.

Of course, Life will still Intervene(tm), and we can’t promise you that we won’t drop the “H” word anymore.

But we intend on making this site better, and we have no plans to go to a subscription model…so, our refund policy is still to pay you whatever you paid us to read OMW…

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The Move

As explained below, for now, all Ohio Media Watch activity will take place on our social media presence (Twitter/Facebook).

The ohiomediawatch.com domain is forwarding to our Twitter page, which you can see here:

http://twitter.com/OhioMediaWatch

As a reminder and clarification, you do NOT HAVE TO JOIN TWITTER to read that page. There is a sign in link and a “Follow” area, but you can just ignore them if you aren’t on Twitter, or don’t want to be on Twitter. Just read the page that comes up.

When/if this blog returns in its original form, you’ll see the link to the announcement on that page, and ohiomediawatch.com will be set to no longer forward to the Twitter page.

Again, you don’t have to be a member of Twitter, you don’t have to sign up or follow us on Twitter, just read the page that comes up…

–The Management

A Different Kind Of Hiatus

Yes, we’re going on hiatus again. (Don’t tell us you didn’t expect it!)

But this is an experiment.

We’ve often considered if this blog will remain in its current form, or if a blog is really a necessary online publishing form in 2013.

For the immediate future, we’ll not be publishing here.

Instead, the OhioMediaWatch.com domain will be set to forward to our Twitter account, and visitors here will get a link to that page at the top of this scroll. We will continue to update as frequently as we do now.

No, you won’t have to sign up for Twitter or Facebook. You’ll just be directed to our page, where our updates will appear just as they would if you were on Twitter. It’ll be a web page, with no Twitter login required.

We’ll see how it goes, and the blog (in this form) may nor may not return. We’ll see if social media fills the role instead.

For the record…we feel fine, we have no major Life Interventions(tm) offline, and we’re not having a nervous breakdown (closed circuit to the Galleria)…

Here we go:

http://www.twitter.com/OhioMediaWatch

–Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm)

Bleeping Bleep, You’re Fired

An administrative note, first: Ohio Media Watch is on “deep hiatus”. Things Offline(tm) have conspired to reduce our available free time to almost zero.

We’ll try to continue getting the Big News up here as soon as possible…items like the last few ones, for example.

Any other items will be posted as soon as possible to our growing social media presence.

You don’t need to be signed up at Facebook or Twitter to read our items… just click here or read the feed at the right of this page.

If the current situation continues, we may just redirect this page to our Twitter page. Again, you don’t need to have a Twitter or Facebook account to just read the page…it’s a regular web page, no login required.

At least one regular OMW reader actually asked if your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) is still alive…yes. And despite musings from a certain sports talk radio host, we’re not having a nervous breakdown.

Now, on we go to our own “musings”.

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George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words” have been on over-air broadcasting’s no list for decades, though some have less “power” than others these days.

The two words uttered by a rookie North Dakota TV news anchor Sunday night are still very much verboten…and that impromptu “bleep bomb” got West Virginia University grad A.J. Clemente the title of “former” anchor/reporter for KFYR-TV in Bismarck, North Dakota…ending a one-show stint as weekend co-anchor for “NBC North Dakota News”.

The same co-anchor who introduced him to the audience in the early news sat on the set alone during the newscast’s late report, apologizing for her now-former co-anchor’s behavior hours earlier.

As long-time OMW reader Ed Esposito, VP/information media for Akron’s Rubber City Radio Group, points out…young Mr. Clemente is far from the first broadcaster to inadvertently drop salty language on the air.

Here’s the take from the Radio-Television Digital News Association’s secretary-treasurer, in an item on the RTDNA.org website…“Memo to AJ: Learn, don’t burn”:

I was working at Bluefield, West Virginia at the then-combo of WHIS-TV/AM/FM when an offhand remark through the cue channel using the newsbooth mic somehow wound up bleeding into the West Virginia University-Virginia Tech game. Most people weren’t prepared to hear another voice joining Jack Fleming and Woody O’Hara in the booth, much less one using one of George Carlin’s seven words.

That was Saturday. On Monday, I was toast. I still recall the discomfort General Manager John Shott had in firing me; he honestly regretted having to do so but it was a no-brainer. Just as it was a no-brainer for KFYR-TV General Manager Dick Heidt to do the same thing. Only difference: these days the FCC has the axe waiting overhead for stations running afoul of their profanity regulations, and the axe swings up to $375,000.

Since A.J. Went Viral, we’ve heard stories privately from readers… one tells us at his own very first radio gig, he dropped the “S-bomb” when he was nervous…then startled by a co-worker tapping his shoulder during a short commercial break where he left the microphone on.

Since Bismarck is a very, very small TV market, perhaps a very small audience heard A.J.’s Mistake when it happened.

But the following week, A.J. Clemente was back on “NBC North Dakota”…not as an employee doing news, but as a guest on the entire network’s “Today” show.

Add to that appearances on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman”, on MSNBC, and the syndicated “Kelly and Michael” morning talk fest, and his audience numbers easily dwarfed his Sunday night viewership numbers.

And in today’s online world, just ONE clip of Clemente’s slip on YouTube has over 1.3 million views at this writing…with numerous other clips with hundreds of thousands of views.

We aren’t linking or embedding the clip here – in part because of the language (we’ve been filtered by web filters doing that before), but also because just typing the name “A.J. Clemente” into YouTube’s search engine provides a wide range of options, including clips of Clemente on the above mentioned shows.

Will dropping the two most feared words on live TV in North Dakota turn into a career booster for A.J. Clemente?

As Ed Esposito points out in his RTNDA.org item:

You are in journalism and television because it is a calling. It’ll be harder finding your next opportunity, but somewhere there’s a television GM and news director (or a radio manager, or a web manager) willing to bet that which didn’t kill you will make you stronger. You won’t take such guidance as “always treat a mic as live” lightly anymore.

Ed notes that things that could have been “career killers” in the past have happened in this very market, including female anchors disrobing on camera (shout out to St. Louis!).

Oddly enough, former Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19 “19 Action News” anchor Sharon Reed has something in common with A.J. Clemente…she also appeared on the Letterman show after her “Body of Art” series gained nationwide notoriety…

You Need This Calendar

You ask, “why do I need a calendar in 2013 at all, when there’s one right on my smartphone?”

Does your smartphone, even your tablet, include in its calendar full color, full size glossy pictures of some of the most interesting radio and television tower and transmitter sites, and broadcast facilities in North America and beyond?

Does it note famous dates in broadcast history, anniversaries and other dates of interest?

And you just try putting a nail through your smartphone or tablet’s screen to hang it on your favorite office or home wall.

Yep, it’s that time of year again… long-time personal and professional Friend of OMW Scott Fybush (“NorthEast Radio Watch”) has come out with another Tower Site Calendar.

We’ll let Scott and his wife Lisa do the honors with all the details on the 2013 Tower Site Calendar, which hangs in some of the best engineering shops, studios and homes in America.

And this picture is familiar to many locals, particularly those who endured frequent visits of the OMW Mobile while the facility was under construction in Parma…it’s a shot of the WKYC/3 transmitter site.

We’re pretty sure we were alongside Scott at the time.

Anyway, if you’re convinced by now, order one…and if you remember, tell Scott you heard about it from OMW…

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POPULAR CALENDAR SHOWCASES BEAUTY OF BROADCAST TOWERS

Twelve years later, what started as a lark is still going strong

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – To some, they’re eyesores on the landscape. But to one man, radio and television towers are landscapes, and beautiful ones, too. For a dozen years now, journalist/photographer/broadcaster Scott Fybush has created an annual wall calendar featuring artistic photos of important and historic broadcast tower sites from coast to coast, and he’s just released the 2013 edition.

“Some people may think all radio towers look alike, but the Tower Site Calendar shows every year that that’s not the case,” says Fybush, who has worked in radio and television news for more than two decades. The calendar began in 2002 as an outgrowth of his weekly industry news column, NorthEast Radio Watch, and its offshoot, “Tower Site of the Week,” a weekly feature at his fybush.com website.

“It has developed a passionate following in the broadcast engineering community,” Fybush says. “Engineers are notoriously underappreciated for the hard work they do, and the calendar is one little way I can help show some recognition for the infrastructure that engineers design and maintain to make sure all of us have easy access to radio, TV and our cellphones, too.”

The 2013 edition, now shipping from the Fybush Media store (store.fybush.com/store) features a fresh new page design, a spiral binding, and 13 new pictures taken from Fybush’s travels all over North America and beyond. Some of the highlights this year:

* The Sandia Peak TV/FM antenna farm high above Albuquerque, New Mexico. At more than 10,000 feet above sea level, this is the highest-elevation site ever featured in the calendar.

* WFXJ (formerly WJAX), Jacksonville, Florida. This historic site, built in the 1930s, sits amidst the greens of a golf course.

* KWAL, Wallace, Idaho. This unique site features two towers split down the middle by a busy coast-to-coast highway, Interstate 90, as it threads through a narrow valley.

* WVJS, Owensboro, Kentucky. A reminder of the impermanence of broadcast infrastructure, this calendar photo features three towers that were dismantled in 2011 after 65 years at the same site.

* WXXI-TV, Rochester, New York. A dramatic night photo showing a massive crane in action, removing an analog TV antenna from its 400-foot-high perch after the digital television transition made it obsolete.

In addition to tower photos, the calendar’s monthly pages include significant dates in radio and television history, as well as civil and religious holidays.

The 2013 calendars cost $18.50 each ($19.98 including sales tax for New York State residents) and can be purchased by check (payable to “Fybush Media”) or money order to 92 Bonnie Brae Avenue, Rochester NY 14618. Orders can also be placed with major credit cards, or online at www.fybush.com.

“Engineers email me all the time to ask if their towers can be a featured site or a calendar page,” says Fybush, who also anchors newscasts for NPR member station WXXI in Rochester.

Our Big Catchup Post

Yes, we’ve been gone a while. (“Life Intervenes”, you know.)

As things settle down a little, we can come up for air and shovel out a lot of items. We’ll revisit some items both here and on our social media accounts, and put in some new items as well.

A warning…you’ll definitely need to bring a lunch for this one…

NFL NETWORK, TWC MAKE FRIENDS: Northeast Ohio’s Time Warner Cable subscribers didn’t have to wait until Thursday to get the long-awaited NFL Network.

TWC’s Travis Reynolds confirms to OMW that the NFL-owned cable channel is indeed now available systemwide, a process that happened at about 11 AM Saturday.

Who won the battle which lasted some 8 years?

The NFL got an important point they asked for…Time Warner is making the network available on its Digital Basic tier, not in the extra-cost ($5.99/mo.) Sports Pass tier. (The associated NFL RedZone, which features live look-ins during key Sunday NFL game plays, will be in that extra-cost tier.)

And no, putting the network in analog Extended Basic wasn’t likely…though that’s where it was years ago on the old Adelphia system locally until Time Warner bought Adelphia, and yanked the NFL Network.

As noted in our previous item, the deal does not affect over-air carriage of Thursday night’s epic NFL battle (cough, cough!) between the hometown alleged NFL team, the Cleveland Browns, and the hated former Browns, the Baltimore Ravens.

Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 bought the local over-air rights this time around, and will air Browns/Ravens as scheduled (and will air the NFL Network feed directly, if the promos with that creepy bearded NFL Network character are any indication).

The local over-air carriage is not tied to the cable/satellite network’s availability, but is an NFL rule to provide hometown, over-air coverage in the two markets involved in the game.

Of course, if the game is not sold out, it does not air in the home market…either on the over-air carrier or on the cable network involved (NFL Network, ESPN, etc.).

It’s one reason the rightsholder for one cable game, Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8, banded together with the team and a beer company to buy out a few thousand tickets to avoid a blackout.

The news is certainly welcome to Browns fans who are Time Warner subscribers outside the immediate Cleveland/Akron TV market. In markets like Youngstown and Columbus, the cable/satellite games do not air on a local over-air station…

92.3 THE INDIANS FLAGSHIP?: It hasn’t happened yet, but last week, there was quite a bit of speculation that CBS Radio was nearing a deal to move Cleveland Indians broadcasts to its sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan”.

Crain’s Cleveland Business got it started last Monday, noting that several sources were saying that CBS Radio was the “front runner” to take the local rights package from Clear Channel, which has aired the team on talk WTAM/1100 for years. (The article is behind Crain’s subscriber wall.)

The Cleveland Plain Dealer carried an item also confirming the negotiations, but both newspapers were clear that the deal (for either company) had not yet been signed.

Both articles say Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN Cleveland” dropped out of the talks early on.

But the Crain’s article quotes one source as saying they were “blown away” by CBS Radio’s offer to move the team’s games to just over one-year old “92.3 The Fan”…though there’s no word on any dollar value.

As we’ve long said, we expected CBS to “back up the Brinks truck” to bring major league play-by-play to “The Fan”, and that appears to be happening.

The company has certainly done so in other markets, and you only have to head about 100 miles to the southeast to find an example.

This season, 92.3’s sister station in Pittsburgh, KDKA-FM/93.7 “The Fan”, grabbed the Pittsburgh Pirates from…yes, Clear Channel talk WPGB/104.7.

One wild card in this is the relatively anemic signal of WKRK.

Though it’s enough to cover much of the immediate Cleveland area, there are holes in the 92.3 signal, to the west and to the south in particular.

The east-side based WKRK signal has to account for powerful 92.3 signals in Detroit and Columbus, and to the southeast, those outside the immediate Cleveland area have to pick it out from adjacent-channel interference from D.A. Peterson top 40 WDJQ/92.5 Alliance “Q92” in the Canton market.

There are some wondering if this will be the catalyst for CBS to move “The Fan” to the more powerful 98.5 signal, presumably scooting classic rock WNCX to 92.3. We have yet to hear any rumor, even, that would suggest such a move is happening.

If the Indians move to WKRK, and it doesn’t move from 92.3, of course, the team has an extensive radio network surrounding Cleveland, with long-time carriers such as WEOL/930 Elyria, WQKT/104.5 Wooster, WAKR/1590 Akron, WHBC/1480 Canton, WKBN/570 Youngstown and WFUN/970 Ashtabula.

But those stations would not be a perfect fit with 92.3, if we’re talking about Indians coverage in a post-WTAM world.

For one, nearly all of them are highly directional AM signals that miss some areas, especially at night. WQKT is the exception, being on FM, and it’s actually a rather good option into much of the area southwest of Cleveland.

But…as an OMW reader pointed out to us, these stations often preempt Indians broadcasts for such things as high school sports coverage. That particularly applies to WQKT, which either preempts the Tribe or moves the Indians coverage to sister oldies WKVX/960. WKVX’s 32 watt night signal goes away roughly at the Wooster city limits.

If WKRK doesn’t move to 98.5, and gets the games, we expect the team will helpfully direct those outside the 92.3 and affiliates signal reach to the league’s extra-cost “GameDay Audio” feeds, either from MLB.com, or from the “MLB At Bat” mobile app.

That’s what happened in St. Louis, where CBS Radio talk blowtorch KMOX/1120 lost the rights to KTRS/550, a heavily nighttime directional station that is still part-owned by the St. Louis Cardinals. (KMOX eventually nabbed the rights again.)

Even 98.5 wouldn’t be a perfect replacement for Cleveland’s own blowtorch, WTAM.

It’d cover the immediate Cleveland market very well, but can’t be heard in “38 states and half of Canada” at night at all, being a local FM station and not a 50,000 watt AM station.

“92.3 The Fan” is certainly likely to go after the other play-by-play contracts in the market. We believe Clear Channel’s deal with the Cleveland Browns (flagship WMMS/100.7 and AM flagship WTAM/1100) expires at the end of this NFL season…

87.7’S SOUND: Yes, as we noted here, Murray Hill Broadcasting AAA/alt-rock WLFM-LP 6/87.7 “Cleveland’s Sound” did finally debut on Sunday, September 9th.

Listeners tell us the station is running liners actually mentioning the two defunct stations it hopes to mine for lost listeners – CBS Radio former alt-rocker WKRK/92.3 “Radio 92.3” (now sports “The Fan”, see above), and former Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting AAA outlet WNWV/107.3 “V107.3” (now Rubber City Radio’s smooth AC “107.3 The Wave”).

Crain’s Cleveland Business has been following this new station since before day one, providing first details of what the station had planned.

And the business newspaper comes through again, with an article on the launch by writer Michelle Park. (Like the article about the Cleveland Indians radio rights, this one is behind a subscriber wall.)

WLFM’s Tom Wilson tells Crain’s that the station had to wait for a consulting engineer to be able to come from Chicago, and that WLFM invested “a few thousand dollars” to install a direct studio-transmitter link to overcome audio problems pointed out on the Internet (presumably including posts right here on your Mighty Blog of Fun[tm]).

The new station is mostly being praised online by those looking for such rock music, but we saw how far a passionate music core got those two now-defunct stations. (Though to be fair, there were other factors…CBS’ desire to start a sports station in Cleveland, and the ownership change at WNWV.)

To Crain’s, Wilson defended the choice of radio novice Archie Berwick for radio’s most important time slot, morning drive…telling the paper that “sometimes, the raw talent that’s never been on air, that doesn’t have the strict radio presentation, are the best.”

As previously noted here, Berwick, known as “Just Archie” at 87.7, has no previous on-air experience at all.

His sole contact with the industry before the WLFM gig was as a promotions assistant at the local CBS Radio cluster. Of course, former CBS Radio market manager Chris Maduri is involved with the new station.

Archie tells Crain’s that his listeners can “expect the unexpected”.

We haven’t tuned into “The Archie Morning Show” yet, and will give Mr. Berwick the same courtesy we gave once-syndicated CBS Radio morning man and “Van Halen” frontman David Lee Roth…we won’t review his show in its early days.

We actually never fully reviewed Mr. Roth, even though his show may have been the worst thing to ever hit major market FM radio airwaves.

A particularly bright spot and good move for “87.7 Cleveland’s Sound” was the hiring of someone with alternative rock radio chops…popular former 92.3 personality Rachel Steele is also the station’s music director along with her afternoon drive on-air duties.

And Marty Bender, known as Marty Sobol back in his Cleveland radio days, is the program director for “Cleveland’s Sound”. Bender ended up in Indianapolis before returning to Northeast Ohio, and was most recently executive producer for Premiere’s Indianapolis-based morning duo “Bob and Tom”. He was once program director for the old rock challenger to WMMS, WWWM/105.7 “M105” (today’s Clear Channel classic hits WMJI “Majic 105.7”). And of course, “Bob and Tom” had a short run at WMMS.

So, some good pieces are in place, and some moves have people scratching their heads at “Cleveland’s Sound”.

One thing is still clear: despite some newspaper articles and online attention (not just us and the message boards, but in social media), “Cleveland’s Sound” will have to promote the dickens out of itself.

After all, as we’ve told you many times, 87.7 is not a radio frequency. It’s the audio carrier of analog LPTV channel 6, and despite the fact that Murray Hill reportedly signed a five-year lease on its space at the Cleveland Agora, the FCC still plans to shut down analog LPTV in September of 2015…making “87.7 FM” go away.

(We presume that the Murray Hill folks would say that the station would seek a new home, but there are probably not a lot of folks betting that the radio entity known as “Cleveland’s Sound” will make it to 2015 in any form…)

DAN AND JACQUE TO LOUISIANA: Last Friday was Local TV LLC Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8 News” anchor Dan Jovic’s last day in the building at South Marginal Road, or Dick Goddard Way if you prefer.

Jovic and his wife, former “Fox 8 News” staffer Jacque Smith, are heading to Shreveport LA. Dan will be morning anchor at the market’s NBC affiliate, KTAL/6, and Jacque will anchor in evenings, according to both the couple and the Arkansas TV News blog. (The Shreveport market contains a chunk of Arkansas, as part of the “ArkLaTex” region.)

Jovic was a web producer, member of the “Fox 8 News in the Morning” team as a technology reporter, and was also on another “team” at the station…the “Friday Night Touchdown” high-school football extravaganza that features what may be half the station’s staff.

(OK, so we’re exaggerating.)

Best wishes to both Dan and Jacque in Louisiana!

BARTHOLET RETIRES: A fixture in the local public broadcasting community is calling it a career.

Al Bartholet, general manager of Kent State University’s WKSU/89.7-and-its-many-simulcasters, is retiring in December.

Bartholet started at WKSU back in 1980, and was the station’s top leader for some 11 years. He was previously station manager, and spent nearly 20 years as director of development and operations coordinator…and was a student employee at the station before graduating in 1976.

How does one replace Al Bartholet?

Well, we presume the station/university will lead an extensive search. The station has retained Livingston Associates to find its next general manager, and you can see the job description here.

It notes a deadline of Saturday, September 29 for “full consideration”.

A big thanks to long-time Friend of OMW Ann VerWiebe, WKSU’s marketing guru, for the heads up.

And though we’re biased, WKSU’s incoming general manager would do very well to hang onto, and promote, Ann. She represents the station very well, and has always been professional and pleasant in her dealings with the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm)…

OK, now take a break, stretch your legs and come back. We’re not done yet…

WEST MARKET CHANGES: There’s a bit of on air shuffling at the AM side of the Akron Radio Center on West Market Street.

Rubber City Radio oldies/news WAKR/1590 has made a change in afternoon drive, with “Bobbi with an i” taking over for Brad Shupe. Shupe continues elsewhere in the building, including weekend on-air work on country WQMX/94.9 and rock WONE/97.5.

If “Bobbi”‘s voice sounds familiar to WAKR listeners, there’s a reason. She’s also the studio host of the station’s “At Your Service” block of Saturday morning talk shows, including various shows on money, gardening, home improvement and health. The block is repeated Sunday evenings on WAKR.

The news-heavy station has also found a replacement for morning news anchor Lindsay McCoy, who left to become a multimedia journalist at Vindicator NBC affiliate WFMJ/21 Youngstown.

Now-former WHBC/1480 afternoon anchor Scott Jennings will be heard in that time slot later this year. Until he takes over morning drive news anchor duties on the “Ray Horner Morning Show”, Jennings will work elsewhere in the WAKR news anchor rotation.

He has also worked at Findlay’s WFIN/1330, where he reported on that city’s extensive flooding problems.

Until Jennings moves to mornings, Mark Williamson – the former Akron city spokesman and news director/anchor for the former WAKC/23’s “23 Newsday” – will continue to anchor morning news alongside veteran WAKR host Ray Horner and traffic reporter Amani Abraham.

Back at Market South in Canton, OMW hears that Michaela Madison heads north from WTUZ/99.9 Uhrichsville in the Dover/New Philadelphia area to replace Jennings at WHBC.

Also at WAKR – “The Hunting and Fishing Show” joins the Akron station’s Sunday evening lineup starting October 7th at 6 PM.

Quoting a release from the show:

The Hunting & Fishing show originally aired on Kent’s WNIR and WAOH LP channel 29 and has built a large following of faithful listeners. Show host Steve Jones of Portage County has long been an active member of the outdoor media community advocating for youth involvement in the sport. Co-Host Jack Kiser, who also hosts the statewide award winning fishing program “Buckeye Angler” which aired on the Ohio News Network and PBS affiliate 45/49 in Kent, and is the outdoor editor for Record Publishing family of newspapers, brings a mix of anecdotal and often humorous fishing tales to the mix. A television version of the live call-in format program can be seen on Armstrong cable systems that lie in the Medina, Ashland, Orrville, North Lima and Boardman areas.

Both the TV version and the radio version will be done live – the TV show at 4 PM Sundays at Armstrong’s Medina facility, and the radio show at 6 PM at the Akron Radio Center.

Google Maps tells us that it’s a 34 minute drive between the two studios, and we assume the TV version ends at 5 PM…

FOX LEAVES WHBC: NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton morning co-host Matt Fox has left the station.

The Canton Repository has details:

Fox has taken a position outside radio, the specifics of which he is choosing not to divulge. “It’s a small company in Minerva owned by a friend of mine,” he said. “I’m going to be doing some marketing for them.”

Like countless other morning drive radio hosts before him, the Repository reports that the early alarm clock was a factor in Fox’s decision.

He’ll continue to co-host the public television home improvement show “Around the House with Matt and Shari,” which has apparently migrated from Western Reserve PBS (WNEO/45-WEAO/49) to the national PBS “Create” channel, with numerous airings on Saturdays.

Locally, “Create” is seen on the 25.4 subchannel of Ideastream’s WVIZ/25 Cleveland, and is not carried among the Western Reserve PBS subchannels.

At least temporarily replacing Fox on the newly renamed “Canton’s Morning News” is someone who is no stranger to WHBC.

Repository sports columnist Todd Porter, a regular WHBC fill-in, is sitting alongside WHBC program/news director Pam Cook…

CAN YOU HEAR STAR?: Media One Group hot AC WREO-FM/97.1 “Star 97.1” Ashtabula is proud of the reach of its 50,000 watt transmitter.

Even on the “Star 97.1” website, it proclaims, “Mentor, Cleveland, Erie and you!”

Lately, that’d be more accurately put as “Jefferson, North Kingsville, Geneva, and you!”

We’ll let the station itself tell the story:

We are having some work done on our star 97.1 radio towers. We hope to have it done soon so that we can get back to providing you with the regional coverage and fun tunes you love from Cleveland to Erie. We have a very low signal going out to Ashtabula and Geneva right now. We miss you all as well.
Be back soon from your Star 97.1 family

OMW hears that the antenna took significant damage in a recent storm, and had to be replaced.

There’s good news for the folks missing “Star” in Mentor and Erie, as OMW hears a new antenna is in the house…and weather and tower crew availability permitting, it should be back up on the tower very soon…

QUICK HITS!

33RD: A tip of the hat to OMW reader and sports anchor John Telich, who just started his 33rd year at what’s now “Fox 8 News”. Of course, WJW-TV was Cleveland’s CBS affiliate when John started there, and we’re pretty sure it wasn’t even on South Marginal Road back then…

FRESH JAVA: Fans of Clear Channel top 40 WAKS/96.5 nighttime personality “Java Joel” Murphy should check out his interview with Chicago’s Margaret Larkin and her “Radiogirl” podcast.

Joel tells the story behind his return to Cleveland – from a voicetrack gig out of Chicago to a live Cleveland show (after losing his gig in Chicago, and being on the Radio Beach for a while). He also tells Margaret the origin of his on-air nickname, and that he never set out to be an air personality.

Joel is also music director of sister adult hits WHLK/106.5 “The Lake”, which he tells Margaret means he gets to pick out the variety station’s musical “curveballs”…

NOT OURS: We got one inquiry about the “strange” video ad which appeared on the bottom of one of our items.

Just a clarification here – for now, at least, any advertisements (video or otherwise) belong to WordPress, as part of the “cost of doing business” here on the free version of WordPress.com.

At this time, we have no connection to the ads, or input into which ads air. They don’t show up on all items…

Not Really A Hiatus

It’s just that we’ve had a lot of Real Life Intervening(tm), and have had precious little time to update.

We are readying a new update which we HOPE to have up in the next two days.

No, not right now. We’re tapping this out on our smartphone, and have an appointment in 10 minutes. So, we’ve gotta go…