Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mostly Updates

There's just barely enough for us to run this afternoon, and most of it is updates - but there's a piece of major, out-of-market news which prompted us to think locally about something similar happening here:

WKRP/WOTH Digital Flip?: You might recall that we quoted, before the Big DTV Switch on 6/12, a Cincinnati.com blog post by the (currently vacationing) TV critic John Kiesewetter, who in turn was quoting from a conversation he had with WOTH-LD/WBQC-LP owner Elliott Block.

At the time, Block stated that he'd planned to go digital-only right after everyone else in the market went.

Fast forward one month and 2 days after the switch - and still, WBQC aka WKRP is on the air in analog.

We say all that to set up the fact that this situation might be changing soon.

Rich Emery sent us word, via our Twitter, that Mr. Block posted over on AVS.com's Forums.

We'll go ahead and quote the post directly:

We were waiting for all the small cable operator to confirm the were getting us via 25.2.
Insight change over last week, so it's time, channel 5 was night lighting till the Sunday, we are doing our regular programing so I guess we can say we were the last. Channel 36 is a translator of ch 41 in Ca. (TBN).


Yep - Insight did, it would appear, switch WKRP's digital signal over from the analog 38 to the digital 25.2 feed.

Elliott mentions that second-adjacent translator on Channel 36. It's still broadcasting in analog, sure enough, with the callsign of W36DG out of Cincinnati. And so, for that matter, is the Channel 20 translator as W20CL/Springfield.

But...W36DG has a Construction Permit for a Low-Power Digital facility on channel 36. And their power on that facility will have to be reduced to 5 kW - to avoid interfering with on-channel WTVQ-TV 36/Lexington.

As for W20CL? It's staying parked in analog.

WVQC Update: We were planning to give the good folks at WVQC-LP 95.7/Cincinnati a call today - but have been out of sorts most of the day.

However, it DOES appear the station is on track to launch in just a couple weeks. (Maybe the bat-signal will work again...Paging Jonathan Goolsby or Katie Finnigan...heh.)

Seriously, they should be receiving some kind of message from us soon. It might be tonight - but it will more than likely be tomorrow - as Your Tri-State Media Watcher has commitments to rush off to shortly after we hit "Publish Post".

You DO need to be a member of WVQC to volunteer - but it's well worth doing, especially if you want locally owned-and-operated radio, playing local bands and other local stuff. (You get the idea... they're going for a local flavor here. Heh.)

And to that effect, we also note that on the WVQC twitter, Finnigan wrote (and we re-tweeted for the benefit of all of you):

Spread the word. We're looking for local music to play on the radio. Cincinnati bands send cds or digital files to WVQC. http://bit.ly/JDumA

The station is definitely still on track for an 8/1 launch far as we're aware. Again...we'll get a message out to Goolsby or Finnigan shortly.

Finally, A Not-So-Local Piece of News: This is way out of the territory of yours truly - but we couldn't go without mentioning it.

We got word via All-Access, and other sources, that WJFK-FM 106.7/Washington, DC will debut their new sports format next Monday, July 20th, and that WBMX-FM 98.5/Boston, Massachusetts will flip to sports from their Hot AC format, taking the calls WBZ-FM. And there's rumored flips in about 14 other cities, as well.

That's prompted us to ask: Will the FM Sports Bug ever bite in Cincinnati?

First, a caveat: WJFK is actually owned by CBS Radio. CBS owns no radio stations in Cincinnati.

They do, however, own stations in the territory of our friends at Ohio Media Watch, specifically and most notably, in Cleveland.

So, do we think any FM stations here will flip to Sports? The short answer: "No."

Why not? Well, one only needs to go back to WFTK-FM 96.5/Cincinnati's failed attempt at local talk a couple years ago. It proved that the city wasn't, at the time anyway, ready for any kind of syndicated talk on the FM dials here locally. And it's our belief that that extends to sports, too.

And...what would be flipped? Clear Channel basically dominates the news and talk spectrum here - with the exception of the just-flipped WQRT-AM 1160/Florence and WMOH-AM 1480/Hamilton, CC owns every AM talk and sports station in the area. Would they take a chance and flip one of their four FM's? We don't think so.

On the other hand...stranger things HAVE happened.

Consider this us just musing, not really speculating but, thinking about the possibilities...


Anonymous said...

Mix 98.5 in Boston is NOT changing format or call letters. CBS Radio is carrying out a 3-way switch: Rock station WBCN (104.1) to sign off, 98.5 The Sports Hub (WBZ-FM) to sign on, Mix 98.5 (WBMX) to become Mix 104.1. All this will take place August 13.

Rumor and speculation are one thing. Getting the facts straight is another.

J. Moses(Tri-State Media Watch Editor) said...

We did, actually, have the facts straight, Chuck. We didn't have ALL the facts, but we had some - WBMX IS flipping formats, going from Hot AC to Sports Talk. You cited the rest of it correctly - WBCN is signing off and WBMX will then move to 104.1.

Keep in mind, Boston isn't our primary market and neither is Washington, DC. Cincinnati, Ohio IS, however. Therefore - we might not have all the facts because we're not actually IN market.

We did not say the format is going away entirely. A format flip means that a given station is changing formats, and may or may not mean a format is completely going away - in this case, it is not the Mix format or calls that are going away. The same can sort of be said for WBCN - Rumor/speculation has it that format is destined for an HD subchannel on 104.1. We could be wrong about this and if we are we'll admit it. However, we're pretty sure we had the original story right. We will, however, do a clarification.