Saturday, February 28, 2009

Quick Recap of Last Two Days' Media News

Just because I was (and technically will again be) on hiatus til Monday, doesn't mean I wasn't keeping one eye glued to the TV and radio world (and doesn't mean I can't post administrative announcements, either). I did want to update the last two days, which isn't much...but since we never know what might happen Monday, I did not want to leave this stuff out there...

Former WCPO Reporter Released From Jail: Several years ago, WCPO-TV/DT 9 reporter Stephen Hill was accused of, and admitted to, sexually abusing several teenage boys. At the time, Hill received a sentence of 5 years in prison. Hill subsequently quit/was fired from WCPO.

His sentence expired Thursday, and he was released from the Lima-area Allen Correctional Center, reports WLWT.

Hill now must register as a sex offender and alert neighbors whenever he moves to where he lives.

B105 Receives Another Nod: WUBE-FM Program Director Travis Moon has been honored by Radio Ink, reports John Kiesewetter at the Cincinnati Enquirer. The publication gets nominations from radio executives, staffers, and others and then compiles the list following interviews with each nominee.

In a press release, Bonneville Cincinnati Vice President and B105 GM Jim Bryant said, "Travis, in his short time with B105, has upgraded the overall sound of our station and the overwhelming positive feedback from our listeners since his arrival is a testament to his programming skills. We feel fortunate to have him at the helm."

Congratulations to Travis on the well-deserved nod.

WXIX-TV Game Shot by High Schoolers:
Kiesewetter also reports that WXIX-TV/DT 19's live broadcast of the Princeton-Middletown high school basketball game last Saturday was shot by 7 Princeton TV Production class students, along with 2 Princeton alums. Students also ran the audio, replays and floor directing, while WXIX supplied three producers and three announcers. WXIX's Program Director Rick Oliver and two teachers also worked on the game. The equipment used also belonged to Princeton.

It sounds like this may be a first for commercial TV anywhere in town. And the telecast last Saturday night did decent numbers, even beating "Cash Explosion" on WLWT-TV 5, "House" on WSTR-DT 64 and "Two and a Half Men" on Local12.2 (CW Cincinnati) in its last half hour.

Congratulations to the kids at Princeton! Well done!

Tri-State Media Watch Joins Twitter!

I have decided to open up a specific Twitter presence for Tri-State Media Watch.

That space will be used to allow readers to see when new posts are out.

I do promise that I won't force you to read about anything personal on that link, although should you want to read about what I'm doing off the blog, you can do so at twitter.com/jeremy_moses23.

Follow TSMW at this link. Once you're there, if you're a twitter member, click the follow link and our updates will automatically be added to your feed!

And by the way, our friends at Ohio Media Watch just got their own twitter presence as well at Twitter.com/ohiomediawatch!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Piece of Administrative Business...

As a general reminder, once again, unless major news breaks out today, I won't be here...and even if it does, it may take me a couple hours to work my way in here.

I have made another administrative decision.

In the style of my friends at Ohio Media Watch, I've decided that this blog may not be regularly updated beginning Monday night.

In other words, I might take an unannounced hiatus for a couple of days once in a while, just to clear my head. (Of course, during non-active periods, there can be a two-day break between posts anyway!)

It also will affect how this blog reports on major (non-critical) stories.

Even if major news should happen to break while on hiatuses...unless it is CRITICAL information that the public needs immediately...I may not post it right away. Eventually of course, the stories will be posted, the information shared. It just might not be at a rapid pace.

Of course, if it is time-sensitive, such as the case with WKFS-FM offering free cell phone charges to any listener that could get in their office before the close of business (during the aftermath of Hurricane Ike which happened before the beginnings of this blog)...well that will be posted as SOON as we hear it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

BREAKING: Appeal by WCPO/WLWT/WXIX/NBC Denied!

We told you we would cover this kind of news if it broke today...and it did.

Per WCPO.com as of 4:34pm:

Appellate Judge Michelle Keller has denied an emergency request to hear the appeal regarding the ban on courtroom media specifics in the Cheryl McCafferty murder trial.

The appeal was in regards to Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward's decision to ban cameras and blogging in the courtroom earlier this week.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Quick Notes on a February Wednesday Night...

First a reminder: Due to Real Life Interfering (trademarked by OMW), I will not be blogging here tomorrow or Friday unless major news breaks.

Now a quick note or two:

Appeal Update: We await the appeal regarding coverage of the McCafferty trial, which was reported on Monday to have been filed with the KY Appeals Court in Frankfort.

You'll recall that WXIX-TV, WLWT-TV and WCPO-TV all filed an appeal to allow for at the very least, live blogging, up to and including live cameras in the courtroom of Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward.

Fox19.com has more on the story:

Also on Wednesday, several local and national media outlets, including FOX19, awaited word from the Kentucky Court of Appeals on whether or not that would hear an appeal on the use of cameras in the courtroom. Dateline NBC joined the suit on Tuesday.

The trial was delayed Monday because of a dispute between Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward and the media over what kind of media would be allowed in the courtroom.

Judge Ward originally said there would be no live "blogging" in the courtroom, but when the media appealed that decision, Judge Ward ordered all cameras out of the courtroom.


That's right...even Dateline NBC joined the suit, following the circus that was supposed to be Day 1 of the trial Monday.

We'll keep you posted...this is a story in which news could happen tomorrow...

WLW Audio Being Used by FSN: John Kiesewetter's blog has this story pretty well covered here and here, so we'll hit the high points.

WLW-AM audio is being used in next Monday's "Reds Classic Rewind" on Fox Sports Ohio, about the 1976 Reds-Phillies NLCS Game 3. The audio features Marty and Joe calling the game, and was spliced in upon discovery that the MLB archives only had silent NBC video.

The game will air at 10:30pm Monday, March 2 on FSN Ohio...

An Administrative Announcement About The Weekend.

This weekend, Your Tri-State Media Watcher is going to put this blog on a hiatus for a couple of days. And not just Saturday/Sunday, but Thursday and Friday also.

Thursday, I have a scheduled DJ shift, then I have to prepare for my Friday.

Friday morning, I have a 9am Social Security appointment, followed by a trip to Cincy to guest DJ for the same station I work for (it's a guest day because I don't usually work Fridays), then to a local eating establishment where I will meet my father and, very likely, head to Hamilton, Ohio to spend Friday night.

I will be back to TSMW for a post-hiatus wrapup on Monday (or if major news breaks Thursday or Friday). My Personal Thoughts blog will have at least one post on Saturday, but I am going to try to stay away from the keyboard most of this weekend.

~Jeremy Moses
Editor of TSMW

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This TV Cincinnati on Cable...

CORRECTION: I goofed. I cite his name frequently, but I goofed up big here. It's RICH Emery, NOT Rob! Sorry!

ThisTV Cincy has gotten pickup on two major cable systems.

In Kentucky, it can be received on Insight channel 194. It will also be available on Time Warner Cable at channel 920, one channel above WXIX-TV's main channel, according to Rich Emery at a posting about ThisTV Cleveland on Ohio Media Watch. (WXIX is the carrier of ThisTV Cincinnati, and TWC does tend to group the subchannels near their main channels, e.g. 19.1 next to 19.2, 12.2 next to 12.1.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

MAJOR STORY: WLWT, WCPO, WXIX Trying to Gain Courtroom Access in Murder Trial

UPDATE 7:00 PM: Well, THAT went down fast.

WLWT says that in a hastily scheduled afternoon hearing, Judge Ward decided to ban ALL cameras from the courtroom, INCLUDING those of Dateline NBC...which as we reported earlier, had agreed to share the video with all of the local outlets. Far as we can tell, that will not happen now, unless the Kentucky Court of Appeals hears the appeal being filed by attorneys for 5, 9, and 19. And all this, because those three outlets wanted to have blogs covering the trial, which was by the way allowed in the case last year in which Liz and David Carroll were both sent to prison for killing 3 year old Marcus Fiesel.

The case has now been postponed until tomorrow morning.

The original posting earlier today follows:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A major trial is scheduled to begin today in the case of Cheryl McCafferty, accused of murdering her husband.

You might be asking what this has to do with media.

Well, last night, WLWT-TV 5, WXIX-TV 19, and WCPO-TV 9, along with WKRC-TV 12, were informed that their access in the courtroom of Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward would be restricted, and blogging would not be allowed. Nor would any other type of reporting from inside the courtroom.

Here's WLWT's report on their challenge.

Here's WCPO's report.

And here's WXIX's report.

You'll notice a little piece of information in the WLWT report that is not echoed by the other two. NBC's "Dateline" (of course WLWT-TV IS an NBC affiliate) will have two remote controlled cameras in the courtroom, and they planned to share the footage with all other news outlets.

We'll update this story as it develops.

Friday, February 20, 2009

B105 Cares For Kids RadioThon...First Video Blog Post(UPDATED with Pictures)

Here's a video blog, about B105 WUBE/105.1's Cares For Kids Radiothon, going on @ Newport on the Levee through this evening...Pictures below that...

video



Coming to Tri-State Media Watch TODAY

I will, later today, be posting my first ever video blog, or vlog. The vlog will let you know about an event I attended yesterday from 5-9 sponsored by WUBE-FM B105.1...STAY TUNED!

Jeremy

Thursday, February 19, 2009

AI Poll

I have decided to make a new poll, since the DTV Transition First Wave is over.

It has to do with American Idol...will you watch once it gets to the final 12? I might...that's my maybe vote. (We're a blog...we don't just report facts, sometimes I have opinions.)

Click above right to vote...you have til midnight on the 1st!

Final DTV Post for a While...

UPDATE out of Lexington: We reported that WTVQ would shut their analog side down as well.

They did, and here's the status report straight off Kentucky.com:



The switch to digital television has begun, and if Lexington is any indication, it hasn't been as painful as some might have thought.

ABC affiliate WTVQ-36 was the only Lexington station to turn off its analog signal at midnight, but by mid-day Wednesday, it had received fewer than 250 calls from viewers.

“It's pretty much about what I expected,” said General Manager Chris Aldridge.



The article also notes WYMT-DT which had received only THREE calls by the close of business Wednesday.

The original item is below:

_____________________________________________________________________________________

We have a few final items to cover in the DTV Transition First Wave tonight.

First, a report about WSAZ 3/Huntington-Charleston, WV, which while not in Cincinnati, OR Kentucky, still can reach some viewers in the Cincinnati DMA's eastern outskirts.

That station was one of 14 Gray Television stations that switched Monday night. And the response, according to this article (Hat Tip: Rich Emery), was pretty doggone positive with not very many viewer calls reaching that station directly. (One Huntington/Charleston area station, WOWK-DT 13, didn't have analog from sometime late last year onward, and the FCC gave it the green light to go all-digital.)

On the other end of the spectrum, on the other hand, is Cincinnati's own WSTR-DT 64, which is on digital 33.

That station had received hundreds of calls by mid-morning according to our friends at the Enquirer.(See here.)

It looks as though there were at LEAST 1,000 people who lost WSTR in the switch for whatever reason.

And up the road in Dayton, Rich Emery pointed us to this article from WHIO-TV which reports the Miami Valley's DTV conversion rate was the fastest in the nation during what the station called their "DTV Action Weeks". The rate there dropped from 6.4 percent to 4.59 percent, making it a 1.81 percent drop and the fastest in the nation according to Nielsen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WSTR Makes the Transition

Last night, we were watching for WSTR/64 to become the ONLY all-digital station in Southwest Ohio.

After the 11pm episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, WSTR's analog transmitter went from broadcasting regular programming to the station's "Nightlight" service, which consists of still slides with DTV information, and a couple of videos about the switch, one of which is in Spanish.

We will attempt to get this on video later today...but that's what we have right now.

Monday, February 16, 2009

One almost-final DTV update

UPDATE 2 11:25 PM: Per Rich Emery: The Kentucky.com article below has mistakes.

Ignore WCHS and WVAH in Charleston. Those two are NOT going to go.

As for WOWK they're already digital, and WSAZ is going to go tonight, following the mistake by Gray Television which will send WYMT-TV into the analog afterlife tonight.

UPDATE 11:05 PM: I have more new information on stations which are shutting down, besides those mentioned and WSTR-TV/DT here.

This list is from Kentucky.com's newest aricle and was sent to us by Tom (going by what we assume is his ham radio callsign of KR4BD), based in Lexington.

In Lexington, WTVQ-TV 36 will switch tomorrow night at midnight, during "Nightline".

In Charleston/Huntington, these stations will switch: ABC affiliate WCHS, Fox affiliate WVAH, CBS affiliate WOWK and NBC affiliate WSAZ.

Down in Louisville, the list includes CW affiliate WBKI.

In Bowling Green, this includes WKYU (PBS) and NBC affiliate WNKY.

And finally, in Paducah, the list includes WDKA (MyNetworkTV) and KBSI (Fox).

Original item follows...

______________________________________________________________________________________

I have a bunch of new information tonight about the DTV switchover that will take place tonight or tomorrow in some markets. I wish to thank Rich E. for all of his help...

First, let's go national. This AP article includes quotes from a South Dakota General Manager and the President of Gray Television who both, in no uncertain terms, disagree with the June 12 delayed date. And the authors of the article say the majority of station owners they contacted who weren't quoted, say they believe viewers are ready.

And that brings us to two Gray Television stations within the three-state area we cover, WKYT-TV 27 in Lexington, Kentucky and WYMT-TV 57 in Hazard, Kentucky.

Rich pointed us to the WYMT website, where, as of this writing at 10:45pm, their clock is steadily and dutifully counting down to midnight tonight. That's when WYMT will go all digital on digital channel 12.

We of course reported earlier on a Kentucky.com story that said WKYT will go digital-only on April 13.

Meanwhile, we come back to the local area, where we now find that WPTD-TV 16 has indeed filed to keep analog going, per this article from the Dayton Daily News.

That completes the total disintegration of the plans for Dayton to go to an all-digital TV market tomorrow.

Unless there's a major change to local plans, this will likely be our final DTV update until Wednesday, when all stations should have switched that are going to switch.

WPTD Officially NOT to Shut Down Analog Tomorrow.

UPDATE: Per Kentucky.com at this link, WKYT will NOT go tomorrow, but they will go April 13 tentatively.



We have learned, with a hat tip to emery_r and Ohio Media Watch, that WPTD-TV 16 will NOT go all digital tomorrow.

The station filed notice with the FCC yesterday that they would continue analog broadcasts, according to John Kiesewetter.

The FCC's latest guideline reads as follows:

Some stations that were not on the Appendix to the February 11 Public Notice have expressed interest in withdrawing their notifications for good reasons associated with circumstances in their markets, but not rising to the level of an “emergency or disaster.” We find that it is in the public interest to allow stations to withdraw their notifications of intent to terminate analog service on February 17, 2009.

Due to the limited period of time remaining before February 17th, stations that wish to withdraw their notifications must notify us no later than 6:00 pm EST on Sunday, February 15, 2009.


There is definitely a limited period of time alright...less than 36 hours as of the time of this post!

As for WSTR, now the ONLY southwest Ohio station going before April...they tell the Enquirer that they are DEFINITELY shutting off their analog transmitter tomorrow night. They're airing viewer notifications 10 times per hour, as well as several 30 second spots detailing the transition. We caught one of those Friday during Friday Night Smackdown.

And, we have to look south just a bit, down to Lexington.

WKYT-TV/DT 27 has its news broadcasts shown here on ICN 6 on Insight Cable. And they're owned by Gray Television. Gray has announced that they will take their stations digital tomorrow.

However, we can't get confirmation for sure that WKYT is among them, but from our understanding ALL Gray Television stations are shutting off analog tomorrow.

We'll work on confirming this...but for now, if you're a reader in Lexington, ASSUME WKYT is going digital tomorrow.

Friday, February 13, 2009

DTV Thoughts...and former reporter sues Channel 9...

UPDATE 8 PM: And there go WDTN and WBDT...and maybe even WPTD.

We're now hearing that, in the complete disintegration of the plans to become the ONLY market in southwestern Ohio to go all-digital, WDTN 2 and WBDT 26 (Dayton's CW station) have filed to keep analog signals going past Tuesday.

As for WPTD...well, they're saying the following (from John Kiesewetter's Enquirer blog referenced in the original item below):

"ThinkTV is consulting with Washington counsel and the FCC. ThinkTV 16 (WPTD) is scheduled to begin digital-only broadcast at 12:01 AM on February 18 and is required to do so by the FCC as of now."

That sounds like second thoughts to me...the original post from just before 4 PM follows:


A couple week-ending items:

DTV Update: As the Former DTV Transition Day comes within four days...we can't make heads or tails of the local picture!

In the latest surprise, WHIO-TV 7, WKEF-TV 22, and WRGT-TV 45, all in Dayton, have postponed their shutdowns. In the case of WHIO, that'll be May 3, and in the case of WKEF/WRGT which are both owned by Sinclair, that shutdown will happen on the New DTV Transition Day of June 12.

WDTN 2 is still going to shutoff analog on Tuesday, at least, as far as we know. We won't even speculate on if they've filed to delay, or if WSTR-TV 64 is going to go ahead with their planned shutdown. (UPDATE 4PM: WSTR has just told John Kiesewetter this afternoon that they WILL go all-digital on Tuesday night.) Anybody within range of that signal, let us know on Tuesday night if WDTN does shutoff...and same with WSTR. Report to us either on the blog, or by emailing us at tristatemediawatch@gmail.com.

Quinlivan Sues WCPO 9: Former I-Team reporter Laure Quinlivan sued WCPO-TV 9 in federal court, accusing the station of gender, age and pregnancy discrimination, reports the Enquirer today.

The Enquirer says that when Quinlivan came back from her maternity leave in 2006, the station wouldn't be flexible with her schedule and took her off of the I-Team, which was WCPO's investigative unit.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

BREAKING: Williams Reups with Fox19

Rob Williams will not be headed to Detroit after all.

Fox19.com reports today that Williams has inked a new deal, the terms of which haven't been announced. They also announced the promotion of Meghan Mongillo to be the anchor of the Fox19 Morning News @ 4:30am, which is the city's only regular 4:30am newscast. Here's the release from this morning:

FOX19 RENEWS ROB WILLIAMS

TEAM OF WILLIAMS AND GRAY TO CONTINUE - STATION ADDS MONGILLO TO 4:30 SHOW


CINCINNATI- FOX19 (WXIX-TV/DT) announced today the renewal of Rob Williams as Co-Anchor of the FOX19 Morning News alongside Sheila Gray. The team of Williams and Gray will celebrate their tenth anniversary on the morning newscast in August of this year. "I couldn't be more excited to be keeping the number one morning news team in tact," says FOX19 Vice President/General Manager Bill Lanesey. "Rob and Sheila are more than anchors, they are part of our viewer's lives and morning routine and I am thrilled that we are able to keep them together," adds Lanesey. Says Williams: "Growing up in Japan, I didn't get the chance to experience hometown America. Over the past fifteen years, I have developed relationships both on and off the camera that make me proud to call Cincinnati home."

Rob began his career with FOX19 News as co-anchor of the weekend edition of FOX19 Ten o'clock News in 1995. Four years later, he moved to the fledgling morning news show. Rob and Sheila Gray teamed up in 1999 and together continue to grow the city's most successful morning news show. In 2007, Rob took his passion for personal fitness and launched the station's weekly fitness franchise. "Heathwise: Fitness" is now a regular Monday feature on FOX19. "We're fortunate to have an anchor team in Rob and Sheila who easily flow back and forth between the serious news of the day and the fun that we try to bring to our morning audience," says FOX19 News Director Steven Ackermann.

Before joining FOX19, Rob was a reporter in Hartford, Connecticut and both a reporter and weekend anchor in Yakima, Washington. When not on the air, Rob is an avid runner having participated in six marathons including four Flying Pig Marathons. This year, he qualified for the Boston Marathon. In addition, Rob is active in several local community organizations. Williams resides in Mt. Adams.

FOX19 also simultaneously announced that FOX19 Morning News reporter Meghan Mongillo has been promoted and her duties expanded to include anchoring the FOX19 Morning News @ 4:30. Mongillo has routinely substituted for Dan Carroll on the city's only 4:30 morning news show. She will continue as the station's lead reporter in the morning. "Meghan's cheery attitude is just what early rising viewers expect," says Ackermann.

Mongillo joined FOX19 as the morning show's fulltime reporter in 2005. She came to Cincinnati from Fort Wayne, Indiana and previously worked in Zanesville. Mongillo is a member of Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory's "Kitchen Cabinet" and has been active in a number of other local organizations. "Moving Dan to the evening was a great opportunity for us, but being able to promote Meghan and keep her teamed with Sheila, Rob and Frank will solidify our top rated position in the morning," says Lanesey.

Raycom, an employee-owned company, is one of the nation's largest broadcasters and owns and operates 46 television stations in 18 states. Raycom stations cover more than 12 percent of U.S. television households and employ 3,760 individuals in full and part-time positions. In addition to television stations, Raycom owns Raycom Sports (a marketing, production and events management and distribution company in Charlotte); Raycom Post (a post production facility in Burbank, California), Broadview Media (a post production/telecommunications company based in Montgomery), and CableVantage (a cable advertising sales group based in Columbia, South Carolina).
Further information about Raycom can be found at the corporate website, http://www.raycommedia.com.

A quick update on our poll question...

We started a poll last week asking if YOU, the readers of Tri-State Media Watch, were ready for the DTV switch, whenever it would occur.

So far, all but ONE person says they ARE ready, and that one vote isn't a "No" but rather a "Somewhat".

Remember, "Somewhat" means that you have at least one analog TV that doesn't have a converter, or a cable or satellite hookup.

The poll closes Friday.

Update about WMUB

A bit of clarification about the WMUB deal from an inside source who asked not to be named.

We reported 24 hours ago that the deal between the station and Cincinnati Public Radio had gotten approval last week...but we're told this was only approval from the Miami University Board of Trustees.

The source reminded us that this does NOT constitute the final contract, rather it is an approval that a deal can be done. There MUST be a legal contract and so far, there is not, yet, a legal, finalized agreement.

The deal is expected to be FULLY done by 3/1.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

KET to pull the analog plug Tax Day

We've gotten word that the Kentucky Educational Television network WILL pull their analog transmitters off the air...but not on February 17 OR June 12, rather in between.

The 16 transmitters, including WCVN 54 (moving to digital 24) from Covington and WKON 52 Owenton (which will be on digital 44), will shut off as a group, according to a press release today, on April 15th.

They join WSTR-TV 64 (Moving to digital 33) and WPTO-TV 14 (moving to digital 28), as well as all Dayton stations, in moving before the scheduled June 12 date.

All the other stations in the Tri-State will move as early as May 21, but no later than June 12.

WMUB Update

We have learned that the takeover of WMUB 88.5FM (Oxford) by Cincinnati Public Radio has been confirmed as of the end of last week (we missed it while our internet service had crashed out) and WILL happen. That station will become a repeater of WVXU-FM 91.7 on 3/1. However, Miami University retains the license as CPR negotiates a management agreement to operate WMUB.

More details in the morning...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kicking off the second week of February...

...with an award announcement, and layoffs at ANOTHER radio station group.

WLW-AM Nominated for Two Awards: The Big One at 700AM has received two nominations for awards at the Radio & Records Talk Radio seminar to be held March 12-14 in Los Angeles -- News/Talk/Sports Station of the Year (markets 26-50) and Bill Cunningham for News/Talk/Sports Local Personality of the Year (markets 26-50), reports John Kiesewetter.

WLW-AM's competition includes WIBC in Indianapols; KMBZ of Kansas City; WKXW of Middlesex; WPRO-AM & WEAN-FM in Providence; and KFBK in Sacramento. Cunningham's fellow nominees are Mark Davis of WBAP, Dallas; Mark Handel at KFI, Los Angeles; John Kobylt & Ken Chiampou also of KFI; Glenn Ordway of WEEI, Boston; and Michael Smerconish from WPHT, Philadelphia.

Down the road in Louisville, WHAS-AM 840 has been nominated for News/Talk/Sports station of the year in markets 51+.

Cumulus Layoffs: We wanted to give you the good news first...but we can't avoid the bad.

We're hearing that Cumulus has made layoffs nationwide, and according to Ohio Media Watch this morning, at least 1 station in Youngstown is now totally voice-tracked, with NO live local talent.

We don't have any information on how any layoffs may impact this area yet...but if we get it by 3pm, we'll pass it along...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A New Source for Weather...Online!

For those who are within 50 or 60 miles of Cincinnati, this is worth checking out!

A 17-year old young man has started a webcast to talk about Tri-State Weather, which will run every Sunday and Thursday night. It's called COLEd FRONT, (play on Cold Front and named after the host and owner of the website it's linked to, Trevor Cole), and runs at 7:30pm...check it out at CincyForecast.com!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Back following 24-hour cable outage and a day away...

UPDATE 2:10PM 2/7: We have new information thanks to emery_r.

It looks like WPTO-TV/DT 14(PBS/ThinkTV) is going to go digital on Feb. 17 as well, in an addition to the ranks. Nothing from WCET 48 OR WCVN 54 yet, but they may file to join, as they have til Monday night at midnight.
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Well, we're back online, following 24 hours with no Insight Broadband Internet OR Insight Phone.

Seems someone slammed their car into a pole near Insight's Florence offices Thursday morning around 10:15am, and cut off all of Insight's internet and phone customers throughout Boone County, Kentucky. However most people had their services back one hour or so later. As for Your Tri-State Media Watcher and his family...well we didn't get ours back until noon today, and by then I was off to scheduled commitments.

So, we have a piece of business known as the "DTV Transition Date Change Fallout" to talk about, so let's get to it.

We reported on Dayton already filing to move their stations all to digital on the original date. BUT...it appears only ONE Cincinnati station is joining them, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Kiesewetter's blog today.

That station is Sinclair Broadcasting-owned WSTR-TV/DT 64, which will go digital only on February 17.

WLWT, WKRC, WCPO and WXIX all announced they will keep their analog signals going until either after May sweeps end, or for sure, June 12.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Couple of Cable-Related Notes

First on the docket, we'll stay local, with LOCAL12 WKRC-TV/DT's problem with Liberty Communications, then we'll jump a bit to the national scene, where Time Warner Cable is going to be laying off a LOT of people...

LOCAL12 Not On Liberty: And no, we're not talking about the street name in Cincinnati itself.

Recently, the station, which also programs Local 12.2 The CW Cincinnati, had been in negotiations with Liberty Communications, which is in Northern Kentucky. (It's a small system, and is not one we've ever heard of.)

In any case, those negotiations were not successful, and last week, Local12 and CW Cincinnati were both yanked from the Liberty Communications lineup...and with only a few weeks before March Madness, if the University of Kentucky, UC, or Xavier University make the tournament, there will be a few thousand ticked off fans, no doubt.

Here's a statement straight off Local12.com:

Local 12 WKRC-TV and Local 12.2, The CW Cincinnati No Longer Available to Liberty Communications Customers in Cincinnati viewing area.

Cincinnati, OH, February 1, 2009 - Local 12 WKRC-TV and Local 12.2, The CW Cincinnati, television stations serving the Cincinnati viewing area announced today their current contract with Liberty Communications has expired. Local 12 and Local 12.2 attempts to reach a new multi-year agreement with Liberty Communications for both their broadcast signals have been unsuccessful.

Under the guidelines of Federal regulations, local broadcasters, such as Local 12 WKRC-TV and Local 12.2, The CW Cincinnati may negotiate with all cable companies to allow for the re-transmission of their broadcast signals. Local 12 WKRC-TV and Local 12.2, The CW Cincinnati only want what we believe to be fair compensation for the quality programming we distribute and that Liberty Communications re-sells to its customers. Local 12 WKRC-TV and Local 12.2, The CW Cincinnati have completed successful negotiations with all of the Satellite and Telecommunications providers and virtually all of the cable operators in the Cincinnati viewing area.

Viewers will not be able to watch Local 12 WKRC-TV and Local 12.2, The CW Cincinnati. You will not be able to watch CBS Network programming including such hits as CSI, Survivor and NCAA March Madness. Also, our number one rated Local 12 News and all the popular CW programming like America’s Next Top Model and Gossip Girl will not be available. Local 12 WKRC-TV and Local 12.2, The CW Cincinnati are aware of the issue and working to resolve it with Liberty Communications. If you subscribe to Liberty Communications and lose Local 12 WKRC-TV and Local 12.2, The CW Cincinnati call Liberty Communications and let them know you want them to carry our signal.

Viewers can receive Local 12 WKRC-TV and Local 12.2, The CW Cincinnati through alternate means, including free over the air with an antenna, or switching to a satellite or telecommunications service, such as Dish Network, DirecTV, Verizon Fios or AT&T U-Verse.

If you wish to once again view Local 12 WKRC-TV and Local 12.2, The CW Cincinnati on Liberty Communications, please express your views to Liberty Communications at (859) 393-8995.


Time Warner Layoffs: Announced late this afternoon, Time Warner Cable will lay off 1,250 people over the next few weeks.

It's unclear how this will affect TWC-Cincy or Dayton operations...but what we can tell you, is that it's going to be company-wide.

Details as we get them...and maybe one of our readers who works at TWC can fill us in anonymously on what's happening.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

CONFIRMED: DTV Switch Date Now June 12, 2009

UPDATE: We have decided to run the first ever Tri-State Media Watch poll. The question is, are you ready for the DTV switchover on the new date? Yes, no, or somewhat (meaning you might still have one or more analog TV's which aren't ready). Vote to the right...Poll will close Friday, February 13 at Midnight PT.

Original Item Follows...

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We have just heard via MSNBC that the DTV transition date has now been pushed back to June 12, 2009. From their story:

The House voted today 264-158 to delay the analog TV shutdown until June 12.

The nation was two weeks away from the original date of Feb. 17 for the digital transition, allowing broadcasters to replace analog TV signals with digital ones.

But the Obama administration and many Democrats asked for the delay, saying millions of people are not ready for the switch. The bill, already approved by the Senate, now goes to the president for his approval, considered a given. Still be resolved is the funding needed for more coupons to help consumers offset the cost of converter boxes. That issue will likely be considered as part of the economic stimulus legislation.


This means nobody HAS to switch on February 17, but they are allowed to do so if they file with the FCC.

So far, no Cincinnati stations have done so YET. However, RabbitEars.Info's list of stations which have filed to be allowed to switch sooner than June 12 does include Dayton's two Sinclair stations (WRGT 45/WKEF 22), COX Broadcasting's WHIO 7, and LIN's WDTN 2, for our readers up that way.

Orlando Out at WUBE...

We posted this yesterday, and today confirm it.

Amanda Orlando is gone from WUBE-FM B105.

In a statement on her website, this is what she writes:

"Are you still at B105?" is the #1 question I have received this week and the answer to that unfortunately is "No." I will miss the music, the artists and all of you so much. I have so many great memories in my career there, now I can only hope as one door shuts, another will open."

We're hearing that the folks at Bonneville Mountain wanted to switch her over to WYGY-FM 94.9 to do a morning show for them, but she vetoed that idea, and was quickly let go.

Orlando emailed John Kiesewetter at the Enquirer this morning saying very bluntly: "I did not choose to leave the B105 Morning Show, I was removed from that show and that station."

No word on if she has a non-compete clause...but, we here at Tri-State Media Watch wish her all the best of luck.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Snowstorm 2009 Ratings

This has been well in thought for the last week. I wanted to give each station individual scores for their performance last week and again today in doing weather coverage.

WLWT: LAST WEEK'S STORM: B. Reasons: Great technology use with the dashcams on their newscasts. Stayed on the air during the worst of last week's storm. Today: B+ Slight improvement. Why: Did excellent at providing coverage today, going on air at 4pm and staying on straight through to 6:30, then did hourly updates after that.

WCPO: LAST WEEK: B-. Reasons: Technology for in-field is not as good as WLWT. Decent job at staying on air, BUT did cut to regular programming on day one. Today: B. Good job at coverage today.

WKRC: LAST WEEK: Solid A. Reasons: GREAT coverage on day two! We saw a lot of the GMC team, and that alone had to be difficult. Bob Herzog did fantastic coverage on Traffic. Today: A-. Once again, great coverage this afternoon. Ticker looked crisper today, too. Looks like a slight alteration to the graphic.

WXIX: LAST WEEK: A. Solid work by Steve Horstmeyer and Frank Marzullo. When weather breaks out in the tri-state, in my mind this is the team you want. They are very dedicated professionals. Today: A+! Steve was on air every so often during the entire evening. And not only that, he took time this evening to talk LIVE on a blog with the viewers, explain what was happening, and what would happen through the evening. That's a very good thing!

BREAKING: Carroll Confirmed as Fox19 10pm/6:30pm anchor

Fox19 has CONFIRMED that Dan Carroll will be their 6:30pm/10pm Co-Anchor, to replace Jack Atherton who is moving to WLWT-TV 5.

And the musical chairs have continued...here's their presser from today:

CINCINNATI- FOX19 (WXIX-TV/DT) announced today the promotion of Anchor/Reporter Dan Carroll to Co-Anchor of the FOX19 Ten o'clock News alongside Tricia Macke. Like Macke, Carroll is a native of Greater Cincinnati and joined FOX19 in 1993 during the launch of the news department. "Dan is an experienced reporter and anchor as well as a popular local favorite," say FOX19 Vice President/General Manager Bill Lanesey. "We are extremely fortunate to have a lead anchor team who innately understand the local market not just as reporters but as lifelong members of our community," adds Lanesey.

Dan began his career with FOX19 News as one the station's first 19News reporters in 1993. When the station launched 19 in the Morning in 1996, Carroll became Cincinnati's first television airborne traffic reporter aboard the Sky FOX19 helicopter. Five years later, Carroll traded in his birds eye view to take command of the area's only Northern Kentucky News Bureau anchoring from the station's newsroom inside Newport on the Levee. Carroll launched FOX19 Morning News at 4:30 in 2003 which continues to be the markets only regularly scheduled early morning newscast. Last year, Dan began the station's incredibly popular Cool Schools franchise which has become a weekly fixture featuring Dan's visits to more than 60 area schools.

"I look forward to the new challenges and responsibilities of co-anchoring the FOX19 Ten o'clock News," says Carroll. "I feel very fortunate to do what I've been doing in Cincinnati over the past fifteen years and as I move to the next step, there is nowhere else I'd rather be doing it," he adds.

Before joining FOX19, Dan spent 5 years at WLW-AM as a reporter and as the Clermont County Bureau Chief. He began his broadcast career at WTRE-AM in Greensburg, Indiana. Carroll is a native of Cincinnati's Mariemont suburb. He and his wife Paula live in Anderson Township with their son and daughter.

"Dan brings an incredible knowledge of the area along with a genuine interest in the news," says FOX19 News Director Steven Ackermann. "Dan's energy and enthusiasm was immediately evident. His performance made it obvious that our best choice for the FOX19 Ten o'clock News was already on the FOX19 team," says Ackermann.

What's Going On With B105's AM Show?

There may be changes coming soon at B105 (WUBE-FM).

Amanda Orlando hasn't been on the show in 2 weeks, we're hearing. And nobody at Bonneville Mountain (which is the HQ of B105, WKRQ-FM 101.9 "Q102", "97.3 The Sound" WSWD-FM and WYGY-FM 94.9 "The Wolf") is commenting.

Orlando emailed John Kiesewetter in response to his questions to her, and said that she "could not comment" on the present situation.

We'll keep you posted...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Expected Fallout from Atherton Move...

Well, folks, the musical chairs could begin in Cincinnati's TV news biz with Jack Atherton's move to WLWT which we reported last night RIGHT when it first broke...

It's possible that Sandra Ali could be cut from WLWT when Atherton makes the move October 1st. (However, that's not confirmed, is pure speculation, and station management hasn't yet decided what it's going to do.)

Assuming she IS cut, where does she go?

The seemingly safest choices would be either 12 or 9, since neither have, as of now, suffered major budget cuts...but who'd be sent out the door from those places? And, are those places willing to hire her? (We'd bet yes. Especially at 12.)

Regardless, we do know two things WILL happen with Atherton's switch to 5. We know the all-female news team of Ali and Sheree Paolello will be split up in the 5-6pm hour. And we know that the solo anchoring experiment will be over.

Don't expect ratings to improve overnight either. Yes, Atherton is a HIGHLY respected, well regarded name in the city. And yes, no doubt people will tune in to see how whatever new pairing they use works, and if it may become the next Springer/Rashid number 1 team.

But, ratings success takes time, and trust, and oh yes, consistency. WLWT viewers may give the new team, whoever that may be, the first two. But will WLWT bosses allow the third to happen?

Time will tell.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

BREAKING: Atherton to News 5 CONFIRMED...plus News 5 Today to start at 5:00 am Sunday-Friday and 6am on Saturdays?

Following up on the Atherton to News 5 (WLWT-DT/TV) speculation we had spoken of in January...

We just learned tonight that Atherton IS indeed heading to WLWT starting October 1. Sheree Paolello announced it on the post-Super Bowl edition of News 5 at 11:00 just moments ago.

A related note: WLWT appears to be making a move to have local news EARLIER on weekends...with the addition of a NEW News 5 Today half-hour on Sunday 4:56-5:30am, and a 6-8am broadcast on BOTH Saturdays and Sundays, which looks like it will kick off next weekend. We saw advertisements saying News 5 Today would begin at 4:56 7 days a week, but didn't connect the dots until we checked WLWT's schedule at www.wlwt.com.