Press Release Theatre (Vol. 9), The Time Warner Cable SportsChannel Edition

UPDATE 12/20/12 10:07 PM: We’re told that the network actually launched in August…we haven’t had Time Warner Cable’s digital service since before then.

But TWC’s own release talks about the network in terms of “will be” and “will bring”, so they must see this as a post-soft launch statewide.

Some wording fixed…

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Having apparently lost or abandoned its reported bid to buy SportsTime Ohio, Time Warner Cable is going ahead full steam with its own statewide sports network…called “Time Warner Cable SportsChannel”.

The network features Ohio high school and collegiate sports, and other as of yet unspecified programming.

And the move of TWC Northeast Ohio Network (NEON) fixture Les Levine to the statewide platform apparently affects Les’ soon to be former home on Time Warner Cable’s channel 23 in Northeast Ohio.

The release below says NEON will “transition to a new format featuring local weather information” early next month, but gives no word on the fate of the remaining programs on the local origination channel.

Here’s Time Warner’s release, which announces the new statewide platform for “More Sports & Les Levine”.

Of course, Les’ show has been on “SportsChannel” before…the original local cable sports channel which became Fox Sports Net Ohio. The show was called “More SportsChannel & Les Levine”…

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Time Warner Cable has announced that More Sports & Les Levine, a Northeast Ohio tradition for 20 years, now has a statewide audience on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, as of this week.

Most recently found on the Northeast Ohio Network (NEON) channel 23, More Sports & Les Levine can now been seen throughout the state live, Monday-Thursday from 6-7 p.m., on Channels 311 and 1311. Time Warner Cable’s channel 23 in Northeast Ohio will transition to a new format featuring local weather information in early January. Time Warner Cable SportsChannel 311/1311 will be the new home for local sports, including high school and college games, in addition to a variety of other original programming.

“We are very pleased to welcome Les and his show to our ever-expanding programming lineup,” said Vince Jones, director of sports programming for Time Warner Cable in Ohio and Kentucky. “Les brings with him an established and loyal viewership and we look forward to helping him grow it on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.”

Levine has been a fixture covering sports in Northeast Ohio virtually every weeknight since 1989. More Sports & Les Levine began on radio (WERE from 1992-94 and WHK from 1994-96), before moving to TV with Time Warner Cable in 1996.

Known throughout Northeast Ohio as “The Self-Proclaimed Voice of Truth & Reason,” Levine has regularly welcomed owners, general managers and coaches of the Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers. The show has featured over 25 Hall of Famers, as well as numerous Super Bowl and World Series participants.

“After being on radio or TV on a daily basis in Northeast Ohio for the past 23 years, I am looking forward to expanding the reach of ‘More Sports & Les Levine’ and I’d like to thank Time Warner Cable SportsChannel for the opportunity,” Levine said. “I’m told that I’m an ‘acquired taste’ and hopefully viewers around the state will give the show a try.”

A graduate of The Ohio State University, Levine has covered the Cleveland Browns and Indians for a variety of outlets and served as play-by-play announcer for the WHA’s Cleveland Crusaders (1972-74), Kent State football and basketball (1974-79), Cleveland State basketball (1985-2006), the AFL’s Cleveland Thunderbolts (1992-94) and countless high school football and basketball games.

About Time Warner Cable SportsChannel

Time Warner Cable SportsChannel is a 24/7 high-definition sports network currently found on channels 311 and 1311 HD across the state of Ohio. Through its partnerships with the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), Miami University and the Atlantic 10 Conference, with member institutions Xavier University and the University of Dayton, TWC SportsChannel will bring viewers more than 150 scholastic events and college basketball and hockey games annually, in addition to a variety of other original programming.

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WOIO Gets “Me”

Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19 pulls out another pronoun in the digital TV subchannel universe, which will make this a very challenging post to write.

That’s because WOIO recently signed up to air “Me-TV,” as in “Memorable Entertainment Television,” operated by Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting in a joint venture with movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. (You know, the same MGM whose very existence was in total limbo all of last year.) It joins the ranks of other subchannel “retro networks” like Tribune’s Antenna TV – seen on LocalTV Fox affiliate WJW/8.2 – and the Retro TV Network – seen on Media-Com’s LPTV duo of WAOH-LP 29 Akron/W35AX Cleveland.

Most of Me-TV’s lineup is a steady lineup of classic TV show reruns from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Honeymooners,” “M*A*S*H,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Dobie Gillis,” “Bonanza,” “The Big Valley,” “Cheers,” “Perry Mason,” and so on. It’s reminiscent of what TV Land’s lineup was pre-2007… when they to operated as a “retro network.”

Me-TV also features long-running Chicago horror host Svengoolie (portrayed by Rich Koz) on late-night Saturdays. Of course, Weigel has carried “Svengoolie” on their flagship station, independent WCIU/26 Chicago, for many years.

Me-TV is also a sister operation to “ThisTV,” a mostly all-movie channel airing on WOIO’s sister station, WUAB/43.2. ThisTV mainly airs the bulk of MGM’s modern-day film library that Ted Turner didn’t get his hands on – most of which is the United Artists library (the same former film studio that founded WUAB in the first place). In addition (and I doubt for E/I requirements), ThisTV airs the old DiC 1980s cartoon stable of “Inspector Gadget” and “Heathcliff and the Catilliac Cats” in the early mornings.

The question, however, is why WOIO signed up to carry Me-TV (h/t: RabbitEars.info) which still sports an incredibly weak digital signal on RF 10 instead of on the more powerful WUAB. And if you type in a Cleveland zip code on Me-TV’s website, it spits back “coming soon to WOIO” – yours truly and our Primary Editorial Voice(tm) have tried.

Also in question is the fate of WOIO’s 19.2 subchannel, which currently carries the weather service “WeatherNow” – if “Me” wound up on 19.3, that would compromise the HD capabilities of CBS’ national HD 1080i feed. But since WUAB only broadcasts with a more limited 720i resolution, and can add another 480i subchannel, they could get away with adding “Me” to 43.3… joining it alongside “My” at 43.1 and “This” at 43.2.

“My,” “This” and “Me…” they aren’t network or even ‘netlet’ names. It’s an English lesson gone horribly awry.

A Youngstown Two-For-Tuesday

Two big news items impacting the Mahoning Valley today:

WHTX’s “Fabulous” Turn: Back in January, Whiplash Media’s WHTX/1570 Warren formally announced plans to convert the station to adult standards, in response to Youngstown standards stalwarts WSOM/600 Salem and WNIO/1390 Youngstown to spoken word formats (WSOM went all-talk; WNIO went all-sports).

After some contractual hang-ups with the TKO Radio Network – providers of the now-former “Classic Top 40” format – WHTX finally made the switch to standards this past afternoon at 3:00PM.

PhotobucketThe redubbed “Fabulous 1570 WHTX: Youngstown’s Original Hits” is affiliated with Dial-Global Local’s “The Lounge” service, and came complete with an upgraded automation system. An affiliation deal with Accu-Weather for both WHTX and sister station classic country WYCL/1540 Niles has also been reached.

(Their website is slated to move to 1570whtx.com in the coming days, but for now is still accessible at 1570theblizzard.com – complete with live streaming audio.)

The station will still maintain the flagship status for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and still serve as the Youngstown affiliate for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and high school sports primarily with Warren Harding and Warren JFK. However, lost in the move was John “Cappy” Capanaris afternoon “Tip Of The Cap” sports talk show, which was canceled back in late February. Capanaris moved the long-running show to 1570 in late November 2009 from Cumulus sports WBBW/1240 “ESPN 1240.”

WHTX will also be adding many boutique and specialty shows during the weekend hours. Already on the new Saturday lineup is “Ohio Valley Outdoors” at 8am, followed by a 50s/60s oldies show hosted by longtime Pittsburgh oldies personality Frankie Day (current morning host for oldies/talk WKFB/770 Jeannette) from 9am-11am.

Lash is still looking for more experienced sales personnel to join him at the Mineral Ridge Radio Ranch. Any interested applicants can e-mail him at fishfm1(at)hotmail.com.

Low-Power HD for WYFX: New Vision Television’s low-powered Fox affiliate WYFX-LP/62 Youngstown made the flash-cut from analog to digital at RF 19 earlier today.

WYFX, as of right now, is still simulcast on the digital subchannel of its’ much larger sister station – CBS affiliate WKBN/27 – at 27.2 (RF 41.2), and from all indications, the simulcast on 27.2 could still continue for the long-term future, if not to help maximize WYFX’s coverage area… which is far more limited as a low-powered digital TV station.

Of course, a long time ago, WYFX was paired with a repeater in Mercer, Pennsylvania – WFXI-CA/17 – but that station signed off for good in October 2009, and its’ license was returned to the FCC.

WJW Grabs an “Antenna”

No, it’s not the antenna that Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 has sorely needed for their signal-plagued VHF digital TV signal (real channel 8/virtual channel 8).

It’s “Antenna TV,” a new Tribune programming service that will launch this coming January. WJW has been cleared as an affiliate, mainly owing to the managing relationship between the two companies… for now, at least.

Antenna TV will offer a combination of movies and classic television shows including: Burns & Allen, Hazel, Father Knows Best, Three’s Company, All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Benny Hill, Maude, The Nanny and Married with Children. Classic television series will air overnight, including: Dennis the Menace, The Donna Reed Show and The Three Stooges. Their inaugural schedule can be seen here.

Tribune collaborated with MGM back in early 2009 to launch “ThisTV,” which airs on Raycom Media MyNetwork TV affiliate WUAB 43.2. ThisTV’s programming consists of MGM’s movie library that still remains in their possession (which is now primarily United Artists material – the very same movie studio that founded WUAB.)

The bigger question, however, is the future of LocalTV and Tribune itself… because of LocalTV’s primary owner Randy Michaels, who stepped down as CEO of Tribune Broadcasting at the end of this past week. To wit, WJW’s website was just upgraded to an newer version of the Tribune Interactive site design two weeks ago.

Our Primary Editorial Voice ™ will have more to report on Michaels’ departure in the coming days…

Supersized Update

As promised, here’s our update that spans all over the map, and with updates on just about every subject area we cover. How big is it? Let’s just put it this way…we’re lucky Blogger doesn’t charge at all, let alone by the kilobyte…

WVPX HD: Put on hold by Ion Media Networks’ bankruptcy a while back, the HD upgrade at Ion’s local owned-and-operated station is complete.

Over-air viewers of Akron-licensed WVPX/23 are now seeing an HD feed on 23.1, and viewers of Time Warner Cable will get the station on their HD cable boxes soon…if it has not happened already.

We can also pass along word that in the former Adelphia Cleveland-based system, those picking up clear QAM feeds can find WVPX’s HD feed on RF channel 78.2.

Another oddity of the clear QAM feeds – though they do not appear on cable boxes in the Cleveland-based arm of the TWC NEO system, Western Reserve PBS’ HD WEAO/49.1 and its subchannels are available to those picking up the QAM feeds, mapped to their over-air channel numbers.

WEAO’s main feed is still available on analog cable channel 9 in the former Adelphia system, and WEAO/WNEO’s HD feed and subchannels are on cable boxes in the “legacy” Time Warner Akron/Canton/Youngstown area systems. Time Warner lists the feed as “WNEO” even in the WEAO signal area.

Anyway, back to WVPX. We don’t have a complete list of programming in HD, but it appears that prime-time off-network shows (such as “Ghost Whisperer”) and at least some movies are in HD. Shortly after the launch, we saw an Ion movie in the daytime hours that was not only in HD, but using its original aspect ratio…which should make some movie buffs very happy…

YOUNGSTOWN HD/DIGITAL ACTIVITY: It seems the dust has settled, and Parkin/New Vision ABC affiliate WYTV/33 in Youngstown is now pumping out a million watts of power.

Viewers all over the Mahoning Valley and beyond report drastically improved reception from the new facility. (No, we can’t get it from the OMW World Headquarters…but we also have trouble with New Vision sister CBS affiliate WKBN/27 from this far out on our modest setup. We imagine those in the far eastern suburbs of Cleveland and Akron should have a better shot at it.)

WYTV is indeed more powerful than WKBN, by a few hundred kilowatts, but the station’s antenna is much lower than the WKBN antenna.

Elsewhere on Sunset Boulevard, the multi-station combo is preparing to add the Youngstown market’s first HD newscasts.

It was supposed to happen back on April 19th, but viewers/OMW readers in the market, including PBRTV’s Tom Lavery, tell us that newscasts on WKBN and its sister stations are still in SD.

We can’t find a reference right now, but we seem to recall the update will also bring WYTV’s MyNetwork TV subchannel (33.2) into the world of HD…

WIN IT FOR JOE: When will local sports radio legend Joe Tait hang up his headphones, and turn the Cleveland Cavaliers Radio Network microphone over to someone with very big shoes to fill?

We don’t recall when he said it, but a recent profile of Tait in the Chicago Sun-Times –“Tait, as in great” – has this:

Tait, 72, has said that next season will be his last. If he sticks to that, the breed of working NBA broadcast greats will be down one.


We reported earlier that Tait’s contract was renewed, indeed, through the end of the 2010-2011 season, thoguh even at age 72, Dan Gilbert is likely to keep the iconic Cavs broadcaster behind the microphone for basically as long as he wants.

Tait tells the Sun-Times:

”I feel old, fat and tired,” the signature radio voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers said. ”Some days, I feel like I could go on forever. Other days, I’m not sure I’ll make it past noon.”

and…
‘In a year, the house will be paid off,” said Tait, Evanston (IL)-born and a graduate of Monmouth College. ”Then all I want to worry about is taking care of Jeannie and enjoying the sunsets.”
Though he does sound like a man ready to retire after a long and illustrious career, he tells the newspaper he very much still enjoys his work…enjoyment, presumably, that will be magnified ten-fold if the Cavaliers manage to do what no Cleveland-based major professional team has done since 1964…win it all.

Win one for Tait, indeed.

By the way, tonight’s Game 5 of the first round NBA playoff series against the Chicago Bulls will air on Fox Sports Ohio, and will also be simulcast on broadcast partner Raycom Media MyNetwork TV affliate WUAB/43. The WUAB broadcast of FSOhio games are also in HD, giving over-air viewers a chance to see the game in the crisper TV format.

And by the way again, we’ve confirmed through numerous sources part of an item we ran earlier: The Cavaliers Radio Network is indeed produced at Quicken Loans Arena, not at the facilities of flagship Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100. That means new Cavs Radio Network producer Marty “Big Daddy” Allen doesn’t have to go back to Oak Tree for his new job.

We should have realized this, since the Cavs’ post-game radio show gives 420-exchange phone numbers, the same exchange as used by the team and arena. WTAM uses the standard 578 exchange, an old “choke” exchange used by local broadcasters for years.

Back in the day, the 578 exchange was used so floods of radio contest and request calls didn’t bring down other phone network users, though technology has rendered that problem obsolete…

WHILE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT OAK TREE: A former WTAM staffer is making quite a career change.

Former WTAM news director R.C. Bauer left the building in October 2006, taking a news management gig at sister Clear Channel talk WFLA/970 in Tampa FL.

He got a promotion to the top programming job at the successful Florida station in early 2009, after Gabe Hobbs felt the Clear Channel downsizing axe.

Bauer is leaving WFLA on his own…and to a higher “station” as it were.

Radio-Info.com columnist Tom Taylor provides us the confirmation of a tip we received late last week, in his column which landed in E-mail boxes Monday morning:

RC Bauer hears the call of the ministry and is leaving radio – and his job as Director of Information and Services and PD of talker WFLA, Tampa (970) – to become a full-time minister. RC’s departing the Clear Channel roster at the end of May to become executive pastor at the Generations Christian Church in Trinity, Florida.

Taylor notes that R.C. will remain on WFLA’s local programming advisory board, and could even do some fill-in for the station once he moves to his new role as a pastor…

THE TRIBE IN THE ‘BULA: That’s Ashtabula, and the Indians are getting some FM air-time in that extreme Northeast Ohio community.

Media One Group features both the Indians and the team’s nearby minor league affiliate, the single-A Lake County Captains, on sports WFUN/970 “ESPN 970”.

Conflicts this year will push the major league club onto sister country WYBL/98.3 “The Bull”, with the April Indians/WYBL schedule here.

Last Sunday was a conflict of particular note, with the Captains on WFUN, the Indians on WYBL, and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Media One’s WZOO/102.5 “Oldies 102.5”.

SPEAKING OF MINOR LEAGUE BALL: By the way, according to a Captains release, Spirit Media talk/brokered WELW/1330 Willoughby is resuming its role as the team’s flagship outlet in 2010, with “selected games” on WFUN and WZOO.

Over in Lorain County, we neglected to inform you that the Lake Erie Crushers, the Avon-based independent minor league team, gets a partial broadcast presence this year, with Sunday afternoon home games heard on Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting talk WEOL/930 Elyria.

It’s not the entire schedule, but the team had no over-air call in its initial season.

Former WOBL/1320-WDLW/1380 and Metro Networks staffer and voice of Oberlin College sports, Dave DeNatale, called the games online via SportsJuice.com. DeNatale was the afternoon sports update voice at Metro for Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850” in Cleveland, until the local Metro Networks operation closed its Independence facility.

For WEOL, staffers Tim Alcorn and Rob Polinsky are calling the Crushers’ Sunday afternoon contests…

TWC AWARDS: The local arm of Time Warner Cable picked up a lot of hardware at the Ohio Cable Television Association’s annual award ceremony – for a number of programs on its Northeast Ohio Network (NEON) and associated Local On Demand (LOD) channel.

Here’s the list, courtesy of a TWC release:

The 9 Awards:
Excellence in Local Programming – NEON/LOD programming
Education Outreach – Connect A Million Minds
Product Launch/Promotion – Viewer’s Choice LOD Contest
Community Outreach – Connect A Million Minds
Live Action Sports Programming – High School Football Game of the Week
Community Affairs Programming (2) – Helping Hands and Great Lakes Science Center Partnership
Entertainment Programming – Made Here
PSA/Promotional Message – Connect A Million Minds 30-second spot

The awards are called the “Image Awards”, which are “established to honor OCTA members’ efforts to build and enhance relationships with their customers and foster a positive image in their communities.”

The local programming is part of the service’s arsenal in competing against satellite and other multichannel providers like AT&T U-verse. Or as TWC VP/Communications and OMW reader Bill Jasso puts it:

“NEON and LOD are unique to Time Warner Cable, an added value only available to our customers.”

THE ZONE IS BACK: It had been speculated by many of our Toledo-area readers for some time, but Cumulus has indeed used an FM translator to bring back a format recently killed to give sports WLQR/1470 “The Ticket” an FM home.

As expected, W264AK, the former Cavalry Chapel-owned religious translator at 100.7 FM, has moved to a more centrally located facility in Toledo, and is now under Cumulus control at 100.9 FM – pumping out the “Zone” alt-rock format displaced by sports on the former WRWK-now-WLQR-FM/106.5.

Tom Taylor’s Radio-Info.com column notes that the feed is coming from classic rock WXKR/94.5’s HD2 channel, and that Cumulus did much the same in Atlanta for an alt-rock station there (“99X”).

The Calvary Chapel folks, meantime, have completed their end of the swap with Cumulus, broadcasting the network’s religious programming on 1560 AM. The station long held the WTOD call letters, but Calvary Chapel changed calls Friday to WWYC.

This page on the church’s website incorrectly identifies the new station as being at 1590 AM, and incorrectly identifies the new WWYC as an FM station – though it also notes the AM station’s daytime-only operation.

The station does have a construction permit for a whopping 3 watts of nighttime power, a level that might cover a few blocks around the transmitter – if the signal doesn’t get clobbered by the skywave of Radio Disney’s WQEW/1560 in New York City. (We’re betting on the Mouse.)

As Cumulus’ WTOD, the station ran a mostly syndicated talk format.

The WTOD calls are now being parked on a Cumulus station in Hartsville SC…

Unloading The Pile

Our stack of unfinished items has gotten so large, we’re not sure we can fit it in one update. But… we’ll try, working backwards from the present…and we could have another update soon, as we’re not sure we have everything out of the backlog file yet…

ROMIGH IN: As previously posted on our Twitter account, Clear Channel talk WKBN/570 Youngstown has made fill-in Mike Romigh, the former CBS Radio talk KDKA/1020 Pittsburgh host, its new permanent morning drive host.

Quoting Clear Channel Youngstown market manager and OMW reader Bill Kelly in a release earlier today:

“Mike deserves this opportunity. He has done a great job filling in for us over the past several years and we have been searching for a place for him. This is THAT place. We are fortunate that a person of Mike’s caliber was available and our listeners and advertisers will continue to benefit.”

Kelly adds that Romigh becomes just the third morning drive host on WKBN since 1980.

He has taken the place of Robert Mangino, the New Castle PA native who now does evenings on Romigh’s old home station, KDKA. The other host, of course, was long-time WKBN morning man Pete Gabriel, who finished out his career as the morning driver at sister standards WNIO/1390.

Romigh’s addition to the permanent WKBN lineup will be from 6-9 AM weekdays. Midday host (and Clear Channel Youngstown operations director) Dan Rivers adds an hour to his show, and will be heard from 9 AM to noon…

MARCH MADNESS: On our Twitter account, we passed along a link to a Cleveland.com/Plain Dealer item on Raycom CBS affiliate WOIO/19’s Thursday NCAA tournament broadcast schedule.

We don’t have the station’s schedule of other NCAA broadcasts, and can’t find a schedule on either the “19 Action News” site, or the site of Youngstown’s CBS affiliate, New Vision’s WKBN/27.

We also won’t be able to track this on a daily basis, sorry…

TWC LINEUP CHANGES: Time Warner Cable’s massive Northeast Ohio system is in the middle of its “HD Made Easy” channel lineup change, which will scoot the system’s HDTV channel lineup up into the 1000s.

At the same time, the system is pushing out the newer style “Navigator” cable box program guide into the former Adelphia areas in greater Cleveland.

TWC’s Travis Reynolds tells OMW:

The channel and new Navigator migration is going well. We are on schedule to complete this by the end of the month.

As a general rule, anyone who already had the new Navigator, or those who’ve been transitioned to it in the past few days, should have the new lineup. As boxes migrate to the new Navigator, they’ll then get the new channel lineup with the HDs in the 1000s, the ‘Free 400s’ and On Demand Offerings in the 500s.

That meshes with some reader feedback we’ve gotten, with word that the “legacy” Akron and Canton area systems, those in the original Time Warner footprint, have the new lineup.

Those in ex-Adelphia land will have to wait until the Navigator conversion takes place, and we’ve heard from readers that the conversion is apparently taking place box-model-by-box model. One reader in the former Adelphia area tells us he has one cable box model converted to Navigator, and another that hasn’t undergone the conversion.

It’ll apparently be a bumpy ride for some of the ex-Adelphia folks, but we’re only halfway through March, the conversion target date set for the end of the month…

WEARIN’ OF THE GREEN: St. Patrick’s Day, and the annual parade, is a big deal in Cleveland, and Time Warner Cable’s Northeast Ohio Network (NEON) is once again covering the parade live.

From a TWC release:

Parade coverage, which will air on NEON for the 8th consecutive year, starts at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17th, with a pre-event show featuring parade officials and hosts. The official parade step off is 1:04PM.

The parade will also be available beginning March 19 on Time Warner Cable’s Local On Demand (LOD) channel 411.

It’ll also repeat frequently on NEON itself, starting Wednesday night at 7 PM…

THESE STATIONS CAN BE YOURS: If you have some money, that is.

OMW has dutifully reported that the Beacon Broadcasting chain, which has 5 stations along the Ohio/Pennsylvania border, is up for sale after the passing of Beacon owner Harold Glunt.

An OMW reader found the official description of the sale, with the asking price.

Are you sitting down?

Yes, for a cool $1.25 million, you, too can own five small stations in a below-top-100 market with a depressed economy, when the prices for radio stations have fallen through the floor due to the down national economy.

No, we’re not making that figure up, and it’s not a typo: one-and-a-quarter million dollars for sports WANR/1570 Warren and its daytime simulcaster, WRTK/1540 Niles, classic country combo WLOA/1470 Farrell PA and WGRP/940 Greenville PA, and the class A FM in the group, Christian/eclectic rock/talk WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA.

In case a million and a quarter is too rich for your blood, the stations are also helpfully priced by state – the Ohio stations, WANR and WRTK, are listed for $400,000, and the Pennsylvania stations, WLOA, WGRP and WEXC, are priced at $850,000, both prices in cash (as is the overall price).

The stations’ owned land and owned transmitter sites are included in the deal, and leased land and facilities are priced out in the listing, which also notes the recent format change at WRTK and notes revenue at all five stations at “approx. $12,000 a month”.

All five stations together do not approximate full coverage of the Youngstown market (particularly much of Mahoning County). But we know that Glunt put some money into equipment upgrades early on.

To put some of this in perspective: Remember that CBS Radio sold its full market FMs in Denver, a market much larger than Youngstown, for $19 million. It’ll be interesting to see how much the Beacon stations go for…

No, You Can’t Get The Flu From Us

Like a lot of other Northeast Ohioans, your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) is forced to admit that we have SOME sort of illness.

We’ve slept most of the past two days, and have invoked the OMW Medical Staff to help figure this out for us.

We know that the usual instructions involve plenty of rest, and plenty of liquids, but don’t usually outline plenty of updates to a blog…so, we’ve been tending to Offline Life(tm) most of the time.

As far as we know, we do NOT have the H1N1 or “swine” flu – that has even shown up in some local media operations. And as far as we know, you can’t pick up the flu just by reading a blog written by someone who has it…so, at least you’re safe, even if we did.

This will be a generally short update on items we haven’t touched upon yet. Details will come between coughs later…

TWC NEW CHANNELS: Yes, Time Warner Cable’s Northeast Ohio system has rolled out its latest HDTV channels, which were scheduled to “go live” on November 4th (/or after). Here’s the list:

Planet Green HD – 455
G4 HD – 482
MSNBC HD – 487
Weather Channel HD – 489
BBC America HD – 490
WE HD – 491
TV One HD – 492
Team HD (part of NBA League Pass) – 760

Generally speaking, if you get the non-HD version of a channel, the HD version follows along.

When we aren’t trying to fit OMW updates between doctor visits, we’ll try to get an update on the conversion process in the former Comcast areas, and when they can expect SDV-driven new HDTV channels that have already appeared in the rest of Time Warner’s massive Northeast Ohio footprint…

CAMINO GETS NOD: It didn’t take long for Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 to replace now-former Indians beat reporter/talk host/sports reporter Mark Schwab, now doing weekend sports anchoring for Raycom Media’s WOIO/19-WUAB/43 and its “19 Action News”.

Pulling the Goodyear AZ duty, and large chunks of the rest of Schwab’s WTAM workload, is young station staffer Nick Camino.

From his existing WTAM bio:

Over the past year I have been experiencing more on air time at WTAM 1100. My main job as a board op/producer keeps me running the dials and switches for talk shows and sporting events however I have filled in doing 20-20 Sports Updates. I have come out of the bullpen numerous times already to do Sports Updates during Wills & Snyder from 5:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. around the holidays and even some Saturday mornings on the Bob Becker Show from 6:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. This past year I also did on air reports for Cleveland State men’s basketball games.

Did we say “young”?

Why, yes…Mr. Camino is, by his own admission on Mike Trivisonno’s Monday show, 25 years old…and will have to “learn baseball”. Yipes.

Then again, we don’t remember Mark Schwab’s age or other experience when he was hired as WTAM’s Indians beat reporter, and he turned out pretty well…so we’ll reserve judgment, and wish Nick Camino the best….

NEOTROPWHAT?: We never provided more details for the half-hour weekly local business program that bumped Western Reserve PBS’ news roundtable “NewsNight Akron” a half hour later on Friday nights…so here’s more about “NEOtropolis”, now airing Fridays at 9 PM on WNEO/45 Alliance-WEAO/49 Akron:

Western Reserve Public Media introduces its new half-hour weekly program that will build northeast Ohio viewers’ knowledge of regional economic issues, strengthen their confidence in the economy of northeast Ohio and provide them with helpful information and resources to endure challenging economic times.

NEOtropolis focuses exclusively on the business and economy of northeast Ohio. The show will tell the full story of the regional economy, sharing both the challenges and opportunities unfolding in northeast Ohio.

The program is hosted by Thomas Mulready, publisher of CoolCleveland.com. Content partners are Crain’s Cleveland Business and The Business Journal of Youngstown. “NEOtropolis will offer timely information about the region’s business and economy in a fast-paced yet in-depth format,” said Duilio Mariola, Western Reserve Public Media executive producer. “We want to be a vehicle for dialogue about regionalism for the four major cities in our broadcast area — Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Youngstown.

NEOtropolis also repeats at 5:30 AM Saturdays – after NewsNight Akron’s 5 AM repeat – and both shows occasionally repeat on Western Reserve’s “Fusion” subchannel (45.2-49.2)…

ETHNIC BROADCASTING GIANT DIES: If you get your radio and TV locally only in English, you might not know the name Miklos Kossanyi. But if your background includes Hungary, you certainly do.

The Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com obituary section reports:

Miklos Kossanyi led a TV and radio group with the slogan, “Bring Your Heritage Home.”

The Hungarian refugee and Bay Village resident died Oct. 27 after a long struggle with cancer. He was 70.

Pertinent to this report, Kossanyi had two media operations – the Lakewood-based Nationality Broadcast Network, which produced Hungarian-language news and programming seen on cable’s SCOLA public affairs network, and WKTX/830 Cortland, a Youngstown-market daytimer that at times seemed to believe it was actually audible in Lakewood and Bay Village.

We are familiar with WKTX’s early days as a local oldies station serving Cortland, Warren and nearby areas – and the station has played nostalgic music with a local host in times that are not sold to time block buyers, even in recent years.

WKTX has to pull itself from the air each sunset, to make way for the powerful 50,000 watt signal of WCCO/830 Minneapolis MN…

AND YES, WE’RE AWARE: …yes, we’re aware of highly publicized media news elsewhere, including the Christmas music flip at Clear Channel AC WLZT/93.3 in the Columbus market.

(Judging from its website, CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 Cleveland will wait until Thanksgiving week to do the Ho Ho Flip, and we expect the usual suspects – like Salem Cleveland CCM WFHM/95.5 “The Fish” and Clear Channel Akron/Canton AC WHOF/101.7 “My 101.7” to flip sometime before that…but that’s just a guess.)

If we missed anything that will hold over, we’ll get to it between doctor’s appointments. And thanks for hanging in there with us!