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...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

THIS JUST IN: Insight, Raycom Agree To 3 Year Deal (But Another Dispute May Loom For FOX 19 Viewers)

UPDATE 5 PM: We're hearing that the DirecTV negotiations are NOT just with Hearst. We didn't have information on this before, but apparently WXIX-TV 19 owner Raycom also has an expiring agreement with the satellite provider this weekend. Though, according to statements from DirecTV spokespeople who spoke with The State newspaper in South Carolina, the agreement renewed automatically for the next year. FOX 19 continues to run crawls about this dispute, and has slightly modified the statement they were using on their website - this was used for the Insight dispute. At this point, we cannot confirm which side is correct, but we'll find out...

We promised we'd come back if anything broke, and it did this afternoon.

Insight Communications (which is Kentucky's largest cable service provider) and Raycom Media have come to a 3 year deal to continue retransmission of 3 Raycom stations in the state. The stations involved include WXIX-TV 19/Newport, WAVE-TV 3/Louisville and WFIE-TV 14/Evansville.

Specifics on the agreement haven't been released, but we can confirm it straight from Insight's CEO, Michael Willner's blog here.

Still out there and not yet resolved are WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati and WLKY-TV 32/Louisville owner Hearst's agreement with DirecTV as well as WSTR-TV 64/Cincinnati, WRGT-TV 45/Dayton and WKEF-TV 22/Dayton owners Sinclair Broadcast Group's deal with Time Warner. (Multichannel News reports that those often terse Sinclair/Time Warner negotiations came to more or less a total impasse Wednesday.)

But at least with this agreement, fans of FOX shows like American Idol and House won't have to worry about not being able to see them with their Insight hook-ups...although DirecTV subscribers might just have to worry about it...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Closing the Year

UPDATE 2:22 AM Christmas Eve: Local TV stations pretty much confirmed our second item of the original post Thursday afternoon... the Bengals did NOT sell out and will NOT air on WKRC-TV.

Of course, the NFL doesn't black out radio (it wouldn't likely WANT to try, anyway, as some fans do like to listen to play-by-play on the radio while at the game), so you'll still be able to hear Bengals/Chargers at 4 PM Sunday on WLW-AM 700, WCKY-AM 1530/Cincinnati and WEBN 102.7/Cincinnati, along with all other Bengals Radio Network affiliates.

As of now, and only according to the MSN TV listings, FOX 19 will have this schedule Sunday, since it has to program the 1-4 PM slot itself while other FOX affiliates carry a 1 PM game:

1-3 PM: Cadillac Man - The 1990 movie in which angry husband (Tim Robbins) catches up to a wise-guy car salesman (Robin Williams) who cons customers and women.
3-3:30 PM: Seinfeld - "The Doorman" episode from February 1995.
3:30-4:00 PM: Whacked Out Sports

The original item is below...


After this post, TSMW will go on "Holiday Hiatus" with a planned return anytime around the New Year.

But we've got a couple things that we haven't noted, that some already have...

Furman To Mornings: This has been out there for several weeks, but we're just now getting Around Tuit (tm by OMW).

Andy Furman, who currently hosts "The Furman Factor" evenings on WQRT-AM 1160/Florence, is about to make a double move...with a timeslot change, and a slight change in location.

The show will now air mornings on WQRT, starting on the 3rd of January, from 7-9 AM, broadcasting live from the Graeter's location on Fountain Square downtown. That's just about 5 blocks east (and two blocks south) of the "Real Talk" studios at WXIX-TV 19 Broadcast Plaza on 7th Street. According to FOX19 (which is co-located with WQRT), Furman plans to allow live interaction with his listeners.

We wonder if this might backfire on easy access to him could lead to harm being done to him. (And before anyone says anything, NO, we do NOT encourage anyone to attempt to do physical harm to anyone else.)

Bengals Probably Won't Sell Out: You've probably heard by now of the floods and bad weather down in Southern California, home to the Bengals' opponent this weekend, the San Diego Chargers. In fact, their stadium has flooded, which raised fears that the Poinsettia Bowl wouldn't go on tonight at 8 PM EST.

Since the Chargers are here this weekend, that means they're not impacted by any flooding issues. But Cincinnati fans won't see the game on WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati, since they've already punted on the game (which has already taken a bump from the prime Sunday Night Football slot).

The game won't air here, meaning WKRC-TV would have to program the time themselves. Last weekend, WKRC turned to infomercials for the whole three hours, two of which were an hour long apiece. That's not going to happen this weekend - CBS has a motocross event scheduled for the 4 PM slot for those affiliates not airing a late game.

That forces WXIX to change their plans, too. They'll only be able to air half of the Fox doubleheader, at 4:05 PM when the New York Giants (who we saw collapse SPECTACULARLY last weekend) try for redemption against the Green Bay Packers, says John Kiesewetter...

WKRC, WCPO Adding Staff: In this economic time, it's great to see stations hiring people, and that's the case at the two stations that were 1-2 in November ratings. (Remember that as a rule, we don't do ratings here.) Kiese has this here, but we'll do quick summaries of each hire.

WCPO 9/Cincinnati added reporter Syed Shabbir on November 29. Shabbir comes from Topeka, KS station KTKA-TV, where he spent 18 months. Before that he'd interned at KSHB-TV/Kansas City from May-August 2008, while working toward his degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He's young, having just graduated in 2009. (We're presuming it's a Journalism degree...Neither WCPO, nor Kiese, says anything about that.)

Meanwhile, WKRC's hire hasn't yet started (he comes in Monday). He's Dan Spehler from WRTV-TV 6/Indianapolis. He'll be on the night shift, covering breaking news during the 11 PM 35 minute newscast. (We'd presume he might also be seen at 10 PM on 12.2.) Before WRTV, Spehler had been at WDTN-TV 2/Dayton and WUPW-TV 36/Toledo, and before those had served as News Director at BGTV 24 News while at Bowling Green State University working toward HIS degree (again, we're presuming he majored in Journalism).

WKRC had been looking to add this spot since before they started their 4:30 PM news September 7, so with this move, they've expanded their news staff as they expanded their news offerings...