Sunday, May 31, 2009
As a review, WYGY 94.9/Cincinnati flipped from the Country "Wolf" to an 80s format as "Rewind 94.9", WSWD-FM 97.3/Ft. Thomas flipped from the alt rocker "Sound" to the "Wolf" format, and "Sound" became an exclusive on the web and on 94.9HD2.
We've got a couple more things to say about it.
1) We're as frustrated with Bonneville as you are. Believe us, the fact that they can't stick with a format on those two frequencies irks us too, not to mention makes our heads spin over here at TSMW HQ in suburban Florence.
But...TSMW can't really do much to help change the situation, except providing the "sound"-ing board (pun intended) for you, the reader, to vent. And we like to listen to our readers' thoughts on the issue, and on all media issues.
2) We'd like to note something that Bonneville has NOT changed since it started owning the above stations, along with WKRQ-FM 101.9/Cincinnati and WUBE-FM 105.1/Cincinnati.
That something, or rather those two somethings, are the formats of...well, WKRQ and WUBE. (Let's hope this doesn't spur a change there. We don't think it will in the case of WUBE.)
WKRQ has been pumping out CHR/Top 40 hits since its first days in 1975, an astonishing 34 years! And WUBE-FM has been country for 40 years, yes FORTY years, and it dominates in the ratings for the FM side.
3) If there is anything the broadcasting business, and particularly its economics, has taught us in the last two years, it's this: Stuff happens.
Why did they make the switch? You only need to look at the economics.
Again, we're not defending the switchovers. Far from it. Nor, however, can we exactly condemn them.
Think about it. Today in the broadcast world, there's more people losing their job every day. Good, honest, talented people. (One only need look at the recent Clear Channel layoffs for that evidence.)
What the economics of radio, TV, and newspaper come to is summed up with two words: Ad Sales.
Ad sales are what makes the broadcast and media world go around. And how do they get ad sales? Ratings.
We noted this somewhat in our last post on this topic. WSWD-FM did pretty well in its last book (that we know about, anyway) as "The Sound". But...the ad sales clearly could not support "The Sound" as a regular band station or it would still be at 97.3 tonight. It just would not happen.
Again: this is not a supporting statement for the "Sound" move. Nor is it condemnation. It's just how today's business works, unfortunately...
By the way, we were asked if those who were entered in the recent "SoundPass" contest will still get their winnings.
Our answer is, we assume so. I do not believe they would completely scrap the contest, without awarding the prize, seeing as they've taken thousands of entries.
But we just don't know for sure...
Saturday, May 30, 2009
We goofed. And it's not the first time we've put in the wrong name. Our sincere apologies to PEGGY Sandfort. We goofed, and used his daughter's name twice in our original posting of this item at 2:30 AM yesterday which is below.
(Note to self: Try not to post these sensitive items at those hours.)
Again, our sincere apologies, and condolences to both Peggy and Melinda. Original item follows...
We received this tip from our good friend, WMUB-FM Program Director-in-Exile (as he calls himself) John Hingsbergen.
We're hearing that Steve Sandfort, a former guest on shows on stations such as WVXU-FM 91.7/Cincinnati and what is now WVXU's repeater station WMUB-FM 88.5/Oxford, has died at age 66. (The link at left will take you to the blog of Mike Martini, who was a staffer at WVXU and is now on staff at WMKV-FM 89.3/Reading, Ohio. And here's his obituary.) Sandfort was known on the radio as being the "Urban Forester".
John wrote us that Sandfort was a frequent guest on "Free Advice", which was a program John hosted on WMUB. For those who had never heard him, the Hingsbergen Blog has some links for you to listen to Sandfort's last appearance on "Free Advice" on 1/29.
John also noted that Steve was a good friend of his:
"Steve was a dear friend to me and my wife Cheri as well as anyone else who got to know him. He always had a joke for me (usually quite naughty or politically-incorrect) and never failed to tell me to send his love to my 'ever so much better half.'"
Sandfort was the former director of Cincinnati's Office of Urban Forestry as well as his most recent position as a consultant for the Hamilton County Water and Soil Conservation District.
Sandfort is survived by his wife, Peggy and his daughter, Melinda Sandfort-Atkinson. No services are being held by Steve's request.
The family did, however, request memorial donations be made to Operation Men at UCLA, the address of which can be found in the obit linked above.
RIP to Cincinnati's "Urban Forester"...
The interesting thing to note is WDJO's nighttime signal versus its own daytime signal.
1160 broadcasts during the daytime at 5,000 watts. At night, it is reduced by 82 percent (yes, we did the math) to its authorized 900 watts, and is directional toward the east, protecting on-channel clear channel station KSL 1160AM/Salt Lake City, Utah. (Although, going by KSL's coverage map from Radio Locator, they really can't penetrate the Rockies except under the rare circumstances of perfect DX'ing conditions.)
The initial posting follows...
We're hearing that WDJO 1160/Florence has done some Christian programming today, in addition to the Oldies and Wednesday and Thursday's infomercial broadcasts.
We are trying to confirm this independently. Stay tuned, because if we don't get it tonight, we will tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
We're surprised that WXIX's backup generator did not have to fully kick in, but yet the UPS (aka Uninterrupted Power Source) didn't keep their systems completely functional.
We are wondering what exactly happened to the UPS that caused it to fail. We know it wasn't connected to the main grid, because you can't expect UPS's to stay, well, uninterrupted if you do that and there's a power failure of this sort.
We do have to give kudos to Mr. Lanesey. Ever since coming on board at WXIX, he's not only been hands-on, but he's also kept viewers in the loop, such as in situations like this. It doesn't really hurt him either, being that the show in question leads for news viewers in its time slot versus WKRC-DT2 CW Cincinnati's 10pm news offering.
But...how in the world did the UPS fail? That's a question only station engineers can answer. (If you're an engineer for a TV or radio station, and you have a UPS, talk to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Our original item is below.
We're being told that WXIX-TV 19/Newport experienced some problems last night around 10:15...right in the middle of their 10pm newscast.
Below is the text of an email, sent to all FOX19 E-news alert subscribers, explaining the situation from Bill Lanesey, who is the VP and General Manager of the station.
Tuesday's Ten O'clock News
We wanted to take a moment to explain to our loyal Ten O'clock News viewers what happened during last night's show. At about 10:15 PM Tuesday, FOX19 experienced a power failure at our studios in Queensgate. We are waiting on Duke Energy to give us a more complete explanation, but the interruption was so brief that the power came back before our emergency generator system came to full power. Unfortunately, the U-P-S system that powers all of our computers and electronics failed to keep those systems fully powered. As a result, every computer-controlled system in our building shut down and then automatically restarted. Some of those systems came back more quickly than others which is why were able to continue most of the newscast. We are still finding damaged equipment this morning, but most of our systems are now fully functional.
Those who were watching WXIX-TV over the air from our analog transmitter saw and heard only a momentary interruption in The Ten O'clock News. Those watching WXIX-TV from our digital transmitter-which includes customers of Time Warner, Insight, Dish Network and DirecTv-either saw a trouble slide or had to endure an annoying audio tone for the duration of the show-that problem was corrected near the end of the show.
We apologize to our loyal viewers for the inconvenience and we assure you that tonight's viewing experience will be much better.
Bill Lanesey, Vice President & General Manager
Whatever happened to FOX19, was serious. It may well have been the same thing that took out 14,000 Duke Customers in Northern Kentucky last night.
More on this later on...right now, we have to get going as Real Life Intervenes (TM by Ohio Media Watch) again...
At 12:30pm, we heard what sounded like a church service in progress. This was followed quickly by a paid advertisement for some kind of health product (we couldn't hear enough of it to know what it was).
As we've been listening in the last 20 minutes, they've gone to oldies, then back to what we think is the same ad.
We'll let you know, but it sounds like 1160 might flip to a Christian format...
We're preparing for the graduation of my brother Andrew Herald next Thursday, along with my trip out of town next weekend...and unfortunately, yours truly has to attend his second memorial in 3 weeks tonight in Hamilton, OH for his uncle Terry Ludwick's mother Dorothy, who died over the long holiday weekend.
Coming up tomorrow will be a quick DTV update, along with 48 hours' worth of Cincinnati media news...
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
It should be noted that WCIN and WDJO are owned by two separate entities. WCIN is currently owned by Republic Bank, while WDJO is owned by The Christian Broadcasting System, Ltd.. Original item follows...
We're listening to the stream from WDJO-AM 1160/Florence, and it sounds to us like they are simulcasting WCIN-AM 1480/Cincinnati online, but we can't confirm currently if the same is going on offline. (For some reason, even though WDJO is licensed to Florence, we can't pick up the signal at present.) This comes following a report from Jonathan Goolsby that 1160 had some format bumps this past weekend.
If anybody out there can confirm this for us by listening to the radio signal, email us. Thanks!
Monday, May 25, 2009
I will be taking a personal vacation out of the Cincinnati area...but not too far from the coverage area.
Indeed, Your Tri-State Media Watcher will be in Indianapolis, Indiana for a few days with a personal friend of his, along with the friend's family.
We'll try to get on if there is any major media news, but highly, HIGHLY doubt there will be regular updates either June 4th, 5th, or 8th. (As a general rule, yours truly takes his weekends to recuperate and spend time with those he's closest to, and only updates the Personal Thoughts Blog during the weekend. There ARE exceptions, such as the previous posting.)
And as a reminder, just because yours truly won't be regularly posting, does NOT mean he won't be checking his emails...so send tips as usual to email@example.com.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
So again, we make the argument: Why not return the "Sound" format to the 94.9 frequency?
Original Item Below...
It's the sense of yours truly that, just as happened at the Kiesewetter blog, the large majority of you who comment here at TSMW are against the "Sound" move from 97.3/WSWD-FM Ft. Thomas to the HD2 subchannel of 94.9/WYGY-FM Cincinnati, which sent "Wolf 94.9" packing back to the aforementioned 97.3 and put a new Adult Hits/AC format on 94.9 as "Rewind".
Now, to dip into the opinion part of blogging if we may.
It is this blogger's personal opinion that they should have just undone the November swap, and if they really wanted an 80s feed, put THAT on an HD2 subchannel.
We're as big of a fan of Huey Lewis as anyone who was born early enough that that was the "cool" thing to listen to(and Your Tri-State Media Watcher will celebrate his 24th birthday in August [8/19])...but to displace "The Sound" for 80s music when the former was actually pretty successful at the 94.9 signal...kind of questionable.
And you watch and see if Cumulus maybe doesn't capitalize on the angst going around town right now from all those who were "Sound" listeners, and try flipping 92.5/WOFX-FM Cincinnati or 94.1/WNNF-FM Cincinnati to a AAA format.
We don't know that they will of course. It's speculation.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Mo Egger Grieving Loss of Father: It is always sad when someone in your family dies. Unfortunately, Your Tri-State Media Watcher isn't immune to this, as in 2007 I lost three members of my family.
Now, Mo Egger is trying to deal with his dad's death.
Dennis Egger died on Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park, just before the Reds were to play the Philadelphia Phillies.
Mo has written a very nice tribute to his father, which you can find here.
Funeral arrangements aren't yet complete, but we can imagine the family will release those if they decide to make them public.
Skinner, Glenn from Mason Out at 1480: Well that experiment didn't last long.
Just a few weeks after the debut of "Saturday Morning Sports Talk" on WCIN-AM 1480/Cincinnati, the sudden change of the station to the oldies format being vacated by WDJO-AM 1160/Florence has caused the show to be put on hold.
The unfortunate thing is that the show really wasn't given much chance to survive. They were only on air for about three weeks.
And what of the smooth jazz format on WCIN?
It's now heard exclusively from the 1480 website.
Local AM News Sweepstakes is Soclose...: Literally, it's within a point in the morning.
Ratings released today show WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati gaining 44 percent audience share over a year ago, coming into a tie for second with WXIX-TV 19/Newport with a 4.8 rating. Meanwhile WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati still led at 6am, with a 5.1 rating, as well as winning at noon and 11pm. WCPO won at 5-6:30 and WXIX still dominates 10pm.
WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati still comes in last in all its timeslots, but they did enjoy a 31 percent jump in audience share in the mornings following the reunion of Todd Dykes, Lisa Cooney, and Derek Beasley.
At 5:00 last night, WYGY-FM 94.9/Cincinnati switched over to an 80s format. It's branding itself as "Rewind 94.9, Feel Good Favorites from the '80s & More".
That sends WSWD-FM 97.3/Ft. Thomas back to a country format. You'll recall that one of the very first items on this blog was the swap between 97.3 and 94.9 back in November.
And what of "The Sound"?
You'll need an HD Radio to receive that channel, as at the same time as the other two switches, "The Sound" was moved to the HD-2 signal at 94.9.
The guess is that Bonneville feels confident enough about their country monopoly at 105.1 WUBE-FM/Cincinnati and WYGY to change 94.9 to something else.
Are you happy with the switchover? Were you a listener of "The Sound" and are you going to buy an HD Radio to get it back?
(Maybe a dumb question, seeing the responses on the Kiese Blog link above. Every single response we have seen says "No, we're not happy with this".)
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
WKRP Not On Shoestring: Rich also sent us a link to a slideshow of the WKRP/38 Cincinnati (or WBQC, as we still have no proof from the FCC of a callsign change being asked for or approved) studios from the station's Flickr account.
And if anyone thought that station owner Elliot Block was operating on a shoestring budget...well you can throw that misconception right out of the windows of the station's new building on Reinhold Drive in the Bond Hill area.
Look for yourself, right here.
The bottom line is, Block Broadcasting is putting a LOT of money into this venture. We'll see where it goes.
WLEX Furloughs: We often comment on any Lexington-area media news, because with a strong enough antenna, we can pick up a couple of Lexington stations here at the TSMW HQ in the south suburbs of Cincinnati.
Unfortunately, the news isn't good for the market that sits along I-75 and I-64 70 miles south of our location.
WLEX/18 Lexington's owner, Cordillera Communications, is requiring employees to take an unpaid week off, according to this Kentucky.com article Rich sent us this afternoon. (The article will be the source for our next few sub-items, too so keep it open in another window or tab!)
Some on-air talent may have provisions in their contracts that will mean they won't be forced to take the furloughs, but most, if not everyone in the building at WLEX has been receptive to taking the week off.
The furloughs will be spread out over the next few months.
Meanwhile, at the city's Cumulus cluster, which owns WVLK-AM/590 Lexington and its simulcasting sister WVLK-FM/101.5 Richmond, along with WLTO-FM/102.5 Nicholasville, WXZZ/103.3 Lexington, and WCYN-FM/102.3 Cynthiana, all off-air employees and any on-air talent not currently under contract are also being required to take week-long furloughs before the end of June. On-air talent under contract at those 5 stations aren't required to, but are being asked to volunteer to take the furloughs, too.
News-sharing in Lexington: Our counterparts up I-71 and I-77 at Ohio Media Watch have chronicled news-sharing operations to our northeast in their coverage area.
Now, it hits to our south, in Lexington.
WKYT-DT 27/Lexington and WTVQ-DT 36/Lexington are sharing resources in the overnight hours to provide their viewers with the news that occurs overnight, according to the above link. (See, we told you we'd have more from that link.)
Take a look at what people at both stations have to say, as quoted from the article:
"It's a trend in TV markets all across the country," said WKYT News Director Robert Thomas.
When they're not providing the overnight coverage, the stations will have an extra staffer on during the day for more in-depth reporting.
WLEX News Director Bruce Carter said his station continues to have its own overnight cameraman.
WTVQ Rebrand: WTVQ also recently undertook a rebranding effort according to the above link. The station now simply calls itself ABC 36 on air.
The WTVQ calls continue to be registered to the station, but are only now being used on the station's digital subchannel 40.2 (which shows up as virtual channel 36.2) which broadcasts MyNetworkTV for the Lexington area.
WKYT Allowing Viewers to Sit In on Morning Meetings: In the final piece from the Kentucky.com article, we can report that the Live Blog Virus has spread to Lexington, too.
The CBS affiliate says they are allowing viewers to sit in on the station's morning news meeting, in a chatroom setting. It is available Monday through Friday beginning at around 9:30am on WKYT.com.
And the station now chats live with viewers during the morning news, according to the station's news director.
Of course, you'll recall that we reported that WXIX-TV 19/Newport began doing the same a few weeks ago...
Friday, May 15, 2009
Plus, yours truly is struggling to cope with a recent death in the community, of someone who was friends with several people I know and also went to school with my brother. (Please head over to my Personal Thoughts blog for more on this.)
We will be back Monday, unless MAJOR news breaks between now and then.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Reports say that as people approach downtown, they lose reception entirely on their radios.
We would like to know about any of our readers having this issue. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment on this item, and we'll get it.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
As we said before, viewers won't see any changes to the TV schedule. (That is, except for CET viewers getting the "Connect" mailings...more on that in a moment.) And viewers of Dayton's WPTO/16 won't see any changes to their digital channels, as there isn't much overlap to the coverage/viewing areas of that station vs. WCET/48 in Cincinnati.
How this could impact ThinkTV's outlet closer to Cincinnati, WPTO/14 Oxford, is another matter. (All information from this point forward, unless noted, is via the Kiese Blog.)
WPTO is licensed to Oxford, which is, by our estimation, 30 miles northwest of Cincinnati. (Or about 11 miles northwest of Your Tri-State Media Watcher's birthplace in Hamilton. But we digress.) But...its transmitter booms their now digital-only signal into the city, and in fact into much of the area, from the WXIX/19 tower at the western end of the Western Hills Viaduct. (The first link, which should lead to a look at the tower in question, was taken from Google Maps' handy drive view feature which we forgot the name of presently. And indeed, we found this coverage gain/loss map on the FCC's DTV.Gov site that shows the signal of WPTO reaching possibly as far south as Harrison County, Kentucky!)
WCET, meanwhile, covers most, if not all, of the same area. (Again, the link leads to the gain/loss map from the FCC, this one for WCET.)
Now...WCET is planning on adding 48.3 to their multicast in July. CET could theoretically restore World to their menu...but WPTO already has it as a subchannel. On the other hand, it's likely all five of WPTO's subchannels would probably be duplicated anyway, as having those, plus the 5 of WPTD and the soon to be 3 of WCET, under one management would work to Public Media Connect's advantage...we'll see what happens.
Back to the Connect program guide...we're hearing that the guide will now begin featuring listings for WPTD and WPTO in addition to those of WCET.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
From now on, we have it set so that our twitter picks up our latest posts via our RSS feed, and tweets them automatically. This way, we don't have to post, then go to twitter and go through the whole process of copying the link, then using tinyurl or somesuch to shorten the url just so we can post it to twitter. We can just post here, and twitter will automatically check this every half an hour. Heh...who knew RSS could be so useful?
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Only a couple weeks after WCET/48 Cincinnati, WPTD/16 Dayton, and WPTO/14 Oxford shut off their analog transmitters, comes the news from the Dayton Daily News that the PBS stations' owners will form a regional conglomerate known as Public Media Connect.
Considering the state of the media these days, it's not surprising.
The report says that Think TV (aka Greater Dayton Public Television) and CET (aka Greater Cincinnati Public Television) will keep separate facilities and branding, but will share resources and capabilities to better serve their local communities, said David Fogarty, who has been president and general manager of ThinkTV since 1993 and will be president of the new conglomerate.
FCC approval is expected in 90 days, so around August 9th...
Thursday, May 7, 2009
The latest is here.
It appears the details of the new deal won't be released until later this morning. From the above link at the Times' website:
A Globe spokesman, Robert Powers, released a statement saying, “We have completed negotiations with the Guild but have agreed not to release any details until the leadership speaks with Guild members on Thursday, May 7.”
People briefed on the talks, who were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, told The Times that a deal had been reached around 3 a.m., but said they did not know the details.
The Times Company reached tentative deals with all of the Globe’s other unions by Monday morning, leaving only the Guild, the largest bargaining unit, which represents more than 600 Globe employees in the newsroom, advertising and other departments.
More on this story when the details come out...
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
We heard it while listening to WKRQ-FM 101.9/Cincinnati this afternoon, who reported that the Kiese blog had posted the story there.
Here's the story, as it was reposted off the Kiese Blog, from WKRQ.com:
This just in: One of the 30 contestants on ABC's "The Bachelor" works in Milford. ABC identifies him as "David, 27, a trucking contractor from Dayton, Ohio." But folks at Total Quality Logistics (TQL) in Milford say he's coworker David Good who was absent recently for ABC's filming.
His bio simply says he lives in Dayton, and was born in West Alexandria (in Preble County, near Eaton, west of Dayton).
Good and 29 other guys are out to win the heart of fan favorite Jillian Harris, 29, a restaurant designer from Vancouver who was previously rejected on "The Bachelor" by Jason Mesnick. "The Bachelorette" premieres 9-11 p.m. Monday, May 18, after the last couples compete on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" (Chs 9, 22).
Monday, May 4, 2009
We put our stuff into the TSMW Mixer today, and came out with an okay mix...
Dayton Bull: We haven't got too many sources in Dayton, but we are hearing through the Kiese Blog that CC/Dayton's 106.5 WDSJ went country today, bumping smooth jazz to 99.9's HD2 substation. This leaves WCIN-AM 1480 as the only smooth jazz station serving the local area on AM or FM's normal bands.
Bateman Out at 5?: WLWT/5 meteorologist John Bateman is leaving WLWT to pursue other interests, also according to the Kiese Blog.
Kiese says that Bateman has been working month-to-month since October, when Valerie Abati became the station's 5th met. He won't be replaced, says Brennan Donnellan, Ch 5 news director.
It looks like Bateman may try for the vacant Butler County EMA position.
The New York Times Company, which not only owns the NY Times but the Boston Globe, says it will notify federal authorities today that it plans to shut down the Globe in 60 days. This coming after negotiations failed between the Times and the Boston Newspaper Guild, which represents 600 editorial, advertising and office workers at the Globe, among other unions.
The Post reports:
Friday, May 1, 2009
== Paul Daugherty, Enquirer sportswriter and (now former) WLW-AM SportsTalk host, writes about being canned here.
== And second...oops.
Turns out we were almost totally in the dark, and it was only after a little investigation (plus a helpful correction from OMW), that we got this little piece of information regarding the new feed arrangement between CC/Cincinnati's newsroom and CC/Boston's stations.
It turns out, Cincinnati really doesn't have a whole lot to offer Boston, if anything.
Boston's Clear Channel cluster includes two Spanish-language AM stations. We can't see Cincinnati providing Spanish newscasts to those.
That leaves Boston's FM stations...and all of them are music stations, which means of course none of them have any talk component whatsoever.
Our best guess as to what service CC/Cincinnati will provide Boston? Morning newscasts for the FM's, and MAYBE a quick PM drive news hit or two.
That is, unless CC/Boston is thinking of a format flip to take one of their stations to news/talk, to compete with WBZ-AM. Could they perhaps flip the Spanish AM's to talk (even though for a couple years [2004-2006] they were liberal talk)? Or maybe try flipping one of the FM's?
Although, Cumulus tried that FM talk experiment here with WFTK-FM, and we all know how THAT turned out...and they have WTKK-FM there in Boston, which is owned by Greater Media and has been there since 1999. You could not find two more contrasting examples of the FM Talk format, and how each one played out. In Cincinnati, it lasted just over 1 year. In Boston, WTKK has been going strong for 10 years, and remains today as Boston's only FM talk station. The closest competition on the AM dial there besides WBZ-AM is WRKO-AM, which does not even have its own newsroom, relying instead on Metro Networks' operations...which is based from one of it's thirteen hubs, we're guessing located in NYC if not Boston itself. We were looking to find that information in an OMW item from back in 2008, but as luck would have it, the article can't be found from that link...