Friday, January 28, 2011

The Final Post From Florence

As I begin to wind my efforts down, I do have a couple announcements that will be made at the conclusion.

First, let's wrap up the stuff that's been sitting around a few days...

Widmer Re-Trial Coverage: You'd practically have to be living underground to not know what's going on up north of town, in Warren County with the Ryan Widmer case.

We won't get into the legal stuff here, but will note that this is the third trial for the man accused of killing his wife up there.

What we'd like to note is that, much like the last two trials, all of the Cincinnati and Dayton area stations are going all out to cover this. We know there are live, blow-by-blow blogs on 3 of the four major affiliates in Cincinnati.

WLWT-TV 5 has brought back Travis Gettys' live blogging from the courtroom with something called Scribble, while WXIX-TV 19 appears to be going with the "Cover It Live" platform they use for their live chats. WCPO-TV 9 seems to have jumped into that platform too, with both feet. We don't see any evidence of WKRC 12 doing such a thing, but they have a reporter stationed up there now.

We're hearing national programs like Dateline are there, too.

So, if you live or work in Lebanon, expect the craziness surrounding this big case to continue...

Survivor Holding Auditions: This one's sort of late, although it's happening today.

WKRC-TV announced recently that the hit TV show "Survivor" would be holding auditions in Florence. Those auditions take place this evening, starting at 4 PM at Turfway Park. The first 200 people are guaranteed to be allowed to make an audition tape. It sounds like they're capping it around 350. That threshold might have already been reached, but you can most certainly head down there. (Turfway Park is located just off...what else....Turfway Road, near what used to be called St. Luke West Hospital, and near the old Bigg's store.)

John Kiesewetter has more on this story, including an email from someone who says they've been there since 11 PM last night. (The post was written about 8:30.)

Radio Ratings - Christmas Music CAN Help: As a general rule, we don't go into the ratings here.

But it's worth noting that Christmas music has helped stations in markets around the country, including in the home territory of our colleagues at Ohio Media Watch, where reportedly WMVX-FM 106.5 was in the top three. (They re-tooled as "106.5 The Lake" after Christmas.)

But in Cincinnati, it doesn't look like perennial Christmas music player WRRM-FM "Warm 98" 98.5 was able to take the top spot in ratings. WLW-AM 700 remained in the lead...but only just by .6 of a point!

WRRM doubled in the 3-book trend, going 4.8-6.3-9.4, just below WLW's 9.8-9.5-10.0.

It's proof that in these economic times, stations will go with what works...and this definitely worked for WRRM. (For WAKW "Star" 93.3, the other station that went all-Christmas...well it, too, doubled its ratings, but only 2.0-4.8-4.5.)

The Changes: Finally, let's finish this item out with the two major announcements.

First: Allow me to introduce you to Cindy Detro and Jerry Jicha, the couple that will take over this effort.

They are two friends of yours truly who expressed interest in taking this effort over. They're from Circleville, Ohio, which is south of Columbus and east of Cincinnati.

They also happen to be blind. (Yes, blind as in they can't see.) That doesn't mean they can't consume media just like everyone else does, and they do. They use voice technology to use computers - which is a good segue into the next change.

The official transfer will also result in a change to where this blog is hosted. Starting with Monday's posting, all future blogs will be hosted on Wordpress. We're working on that as we type this post.

The brand new, Wordpress version of TSMW will be here. We're working on getting the twitter account hooked up to that, too.

And, a note: The Blogger version will stay up for the foreseeable future. Neither myself, nor Cindy and Jerry, just not be posting to it anymore

Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Official Statement

UPDATE 2 3:40 AM 1/28: On some advice from Ohio Media Watch, I've taken some information out of this message.

UPDATE 5:45 PM 1/27: After receiving an offer from Friends of TSMW Cindy Detro and Jarrod Jicha, I have decided to hand the reigns over to them. They will continue the blog, and I trust they'll continue operating it as well as I have done.

More information will be posted Friday, in what will be my final farewell as the editor of this effort.

This statement was one I hoped I'd never have to make.

After 2 years, Tri-State Media Watch will be switching ownership. The blog will stay archived here on Blogger for the foreseeable future but may have to move to another platform. Some quite personal issues came up in the past 24 hours that could involve yours truly.

During the last couple of years, TSMW has tried to be a fair, honest way to get media news. We've credited other media when we've needed to. Other stories we've been able to break ourselves. I do not want the facts of what happened to in any way affect my objectivity.

My thanks goes out to all of you that read this.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Major Sales in Dayton AND Cincinnati

All you-know-what has broken loose in the media world, with two shoes dropping within just hours.

WNKU Buying in Middletown, Portsmouth: Let's start from the lower end of the dial, where 89.7 WNKU-FM/Highland Heights will expand to a regional network beginning February 1.

That's because the AAA format station will buy WPAY-FM 104.1/Portsmouth, Ohio and WPFB-AM 910 and WPFB-FM 105.9, both licensed to Middletown, Ohio, for 6.75 million dollars. WNKU will begin to operate the two FM's on February 1.

However, it's expected that WNKU will then turn around and sell off the AM, plus its translator, W233BG 94.5/Port Union, Ohio, together to offset the purchase price of the two FM's.

This sale would solve WNKU's problems in Butler County, and give them a shot at reaching areas from Piqua, OH to Charleston, West Virginia.

Bonneville Selling Out of Cincinnati: The other shoe dropped just about 90 minutes later, and involves Bonneville Broadcasting's entire Cincinnati cluster.

They're getting out of town, selling WREW-FM 94.9/Fairfield, WYGY-FM 97.3/Fort Thomas, WKRQ-FM 101.9/Cincinnati and WUBE-FM 105.1/Cincinnati (also known as Rewind 94.9, 97.3 The Wolf, Q102 and B105) to Hubbard Broadcasting, as reported by multiple outlets including That's part of a 505 million dollar deal that also includes Bonneville's Chicago, St. Louis and Washington, DC stations.

It's unclear just yet if that'll result in any changes to the stations, but you can bet we'll be following this closely.

Guess we can't call the building on Reading Road that the four stations are housed in "Bonneville Mountain" anymore.

"Mount Hubbard", anyone?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Headed for Spring Training and Opening Day

TSMW received a press release from Kate Buddenhagen Friday afternoon (which is also posted on FSO's site here), and it confirms something that John Fay said last week.

The Cincinnati Reds TV team on Fox Sports Ohio is changing again, for the second time in the last couple years.

Paul Keels won't be returning, as FSO says he's concentrating on Ohio State University sports broadcasts. They include the usual "all the best" line associated with a departing talent. (That's not a knock on FSO - most media outlets would include such a statement when a talent departs in this manner.)

Meanwhile, a familiar name will return and call 15 FSO broadcasts. That name is Sean Casey.

Yes, Casey, who spent 7 years here as a first baseman, will be part of the team on a limited basis. Fay reported last week that he's expected to call games between Cincinnati and the Pittsburgh Pirates, along with a 3 game set April 5-7. He's been doing analysis for the MLB Network, and we presume will still do so when not part of FSO's team.

Jim Kelch will be returning this year, too, and FSO says he'll have a greater role this season on TV, but will continue to do Reds Radio.

The rest of the FSO group is unchanged, with Jeff Piecoro, Jim Day, Thom Brenneman (5 years on FSO - as available when not doing FOX TV) and Chris Welch (19 years on TV) all returning.

Oh, and FSO says fans can expect that George Grande will return to the booth for a game here or there.

We don't have the game schedule yet, but you better believe we'll post those details when we get them.

Oh, and a heads up: If you're a satellite customer, and you can find out where other Reds Spring Training games will be shown (those not aired on FSO), please do let us know. You can contact us by email at the link above...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Picking Up New Year's Leftovers

A couple things going on in the broadcast world, that (mostly) affects TV, but there's a radio note in there...

Sinclair/Time Warner Update: There's at least a temporary reprieve for viewers of several Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned stations in Southwest Ohio.

Sinclair and Time Warner Cable reached an agreement late Friday to temporarily extend the previous contract until January 14th. (The above links to a story from WKEF-TV 22/Dayton and WRGT-TV 45/Dayton, two of the affected stations.)

This means that viewers of the above named stations, along with WSTR-TV 64/Cincinnati and WSYX-TV 6-WTTE-TV 28/Columbus who use Time Warner won't lose these stations.

Raycom/DirecTV Update: And an update (that isn't much of an update for our Twitter followers) for DirecTV subscribers who thought they faced the threat of losing WXIX-TV 19/Newport, along with Louisville-area subscribers faced with the loss of WAVE-TV 3 there.

As we reported Thursday, Raycom stations nationwide, including WXIX and WAVE, have been running announcements both on their websites and on their signals, stating that DirecTV carriage of the stations could end Saturday.

As of this writing, FOX19 still has an announcement on their webpage - but the tone appears to have changed, if only slightly. That statement now says that Raycom has sent a signed copy of terms to DirecTV and is awaiting their signature.

We've not heard that either station has been dropped from DirecTV. We'll put out a call on Twitter to ask - but we'll put it here, too.

If you have DirecTV and can get WXIX (in Cincinnati) or WAVE (in the Louisville area), email us at tristatemediawatch at gmail-dot-com. (We typed it this way to discourage spam.)

Amazon Back In Cincinnati: We're not talking about the rainforest down in Brazil...but rather, someone who's taking over WLW's 9-midnight shift.

He's Marc Amazon, and John Kiesewetter reports today that he's taking over that shift from Eric Deters (who signed off on Friday night to concentrate more on his other interests).

Amazon will continue selling for Dial-Global Radio Networks, which he's been doing for the last few years.

It sounds like this will commence this evening (but Kiese didn't specifically say so, though he hinted at it). WLW hasn't yet announced the move, but we anticipate some sort of announcement today.

If we find out that it will start today, or if it does start, before we can get back on here, we'll tweet it...