Friday, January 30, 2009

"Jelly Pudding Show" host to join WNKU 2/7 at noon

Following our coverage of WMUB-FM's switch from being its own station to now a satellite for Cincinnati Public Radio, we received a press release from WNKU-FM (89.7 Highland Heights/Cincinnati and 94.5 West Chester).

Here's the main text of the release, courtesy of Chuck Miller, who is the station's GM:

Highland Heights, KY – “The sky is falling! The sky is falling on radio!” That seems to be the cry being heard around Greater Cincinnati as the local media landscape continues to tremor from sell-offs, mergers and lost jobs.

In just the last week or two, there have been shake ups at both ends of the dial - in both commercial and public radio – with Clear Channel selling 92.5 and 94.1, and now Miami University pawning off the programming and management of public radio station WMUB in Oxford to Cincinnati Public Radio (WGUC/WVXU) in response to budget cutbacks at the University.

That leaves WNKU as the last university owned and operated station standing, and the last bastion of local, community-oriented public radio in Cincinnati and beyond. And things are only getting better for 89.7 FM. In the last 3 years, Greater Cincinnati’s youngest public radio station has acquired a new signal in West Chester, recruited a new leader in GM Chuck Miller, purchased and installed a new transmitter to improve their signal, and significantly expanded its online presence. All the while, the station continues to focus more and more on the local community and local programming.

Things get even better for WNKU on February 7th. That’s the day that Mary Peale, former host of The Jelly Pudding Show on 92.5, joins WNKU’s Saturday lineup. A name for the show has not yet been determined, but for one thing is for certain. Mary Peale and her incredible musical knowledge and taste will remain on the air in Cincinnati.

“We’re really thrilled Mary is joining our dynamic staff. She brings WNKU a wonderful track record in our business that adds to WNKU’s creativity and pledge of local service,” says WNKU GM, Chuck Miller. “Being able to perpetuate the history that comes with the Jelly Pudding Show is an honor and responsibility we take very seriously.”

For those who may not know, The Jelly Pudding Show was created by Frank Wood, Jr. in the 60’s for air on the new classical station owned by his father. That station was, of course, the now legendary WEBN. The Jelly Pudding Show aired in the early morning hours and presented deeper album cuts from popular artists. The show with its album-oriented format became so popular, that it eventually led to WEBN changing from a mostly classical format to an album rock station. As that happened, the Jelly Pudding name went away for a number of years until the new owners of WEBN purchased 92.5 in the mid nineties, and the show was revived on Sunday nights with host, Mary Peale.

Now, the pudding has come full circle. The show that launched one of the first album-oriented rock stations in the country, has now landed at one of the country’s few remaining album-rock stations, 89.7 WNKU.

Other great things are happening on the weekend as well. Earlier this year, WNKU was mentioned in a local publication as being the best thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. Now, it only gets better with the following line up:

6a: Living on Earth – award-winning environmental news magazine

7a: Keep Antiquing – a locally produced antique show hosted by celebrity appraiser, Frank Farmer Loomis.

8a: Brian OD – continues playing great rock ‘n roll, but now at an earlier slot to give you a jump start to your Saturday morning.

12p: Mary Peale – Former host of The Jelly Pudding show. Enough said.

4p: Little Steven’s Underground Garage – Garage rock and other tasty treats at it’s finest presented by the legendary E-Street guitarist, A.K.A, Sylvio.

6p: Mr. Rhythm Man – voted Best Radio Show in Cincinnati by Cincinnati Magazine. If you’re not hip to this tip, get out from under the rock!

9p: The Golden Road – jam bands, jam bands, jam bands!

1p: Grateful Dead Hour – no explanation needed.

12a: Rainbow Bridge – progressive rock from the Beatles to Zappa.

Sunday will see changes also with the addition of Sunday morning music with Deb Randall, and Jefferson Airplane founder and Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer, Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch. Deb Randall has been a substitute host on WNKU for many years while maintaining a womens’ issues and music program on WAIF.

Jorma Kaukonen retired to a ranch in southeastern Ohio in 1989 where he and his wife began a guitar boot camp for aspiring students. Soon they began recruiting friends in the business to teach at the camp and before long realized they had enough great talent coming through to host regular concerts. Those concerts are now a new radio show that can be heard Sundays at 11am on WNKU and will feature guitar virtuosos such as G.E. Smith (of SNL fame), David Bromberg, William Lee Ellis, Will Kimbrough, and Tommy Emmanuel to name just a few.

The new Sunday line up will be as follows:

6a: On the Media – a compelling programming that questions common beliefs about television, radio, newspapers, books, films, and online media, and -- at the same time -- helps listeners understand the media as thoroughly as the media understands them.

7a: Voices - features singer-songwriters expressing a more meaningful side of life. Host Lori Holladay, carefully selects each song based on its lyrics choosing only those songs that bring an introspective look at life’s more poignant issues.

8a: Debra Randall – 3 hours of WNKU’s award-winning weekday format injected into your Sunday morning.

11a: Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch (The concert series from Athens, OH)

12p: The Front Porch (folk and Americana)

3p: E-Town (Americana in concert with green living tips)

4p: Celtic Afternoon

6p: Music from the Hills of Home (Bluegrass and other stringed things)

9p: Acoustic Avenue (Music from the "unplugged side of life")

Gone are national programs such as Weekend Edition and This American Life. Make no mistake about it,” says WNKU Program Director, Michael Grayson. “They are great shows. But you can find them elsewhere in the market and anywhere online. Replacing these shows with local programming is just one more way for us to put more local voices on the air and really serve this community in a way that simply is not happening in radio anymore.”

Final analysis? The sky is not falling. Great local radio with a personality is alive and well on 89.7 FM and online at "We plan on giving your I-Pod a run for its money," added Miller.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

WMUB-FM to lose original programming, merge with WGUC/WVXU

In a major announcement late Thursday just as we had to step away, WMUB-FM 88.5 will be merging into Cincinnati Public Radio in March, and as a result, will lose all original programming.

We hear that WVXU-FM 91.7 will use the station as a repeater.

From the university's press release late Thursday afternoon:

President (David) Hodge, Provost Jeffrey Herbst and Vice President for Finance and Business Services David Creamer will host a community forum to provide background on plans for the station at 5 p.m. Wednesday, January 28, in 102 Benton Hall on High Street on Miami's Oxford campus.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A WCPO Weather Tracker Update

And no, we're not a member of the 9 News Ultimate Doppler team...

We reported at the start of the year/month that Insight would, and did, pull Weather Tracker off channel 71, which is part of Insight's Classic/Basic cable service, on January 8th.

We now know what happened to it, and why you can't receive it on Insight's Digital Cable on that channel, either.

It appears you not only need the digital converter to access the channel, BUT you need to subscribe to Insight Digital 4.0...which includes - surprise, surprise - Weather Tracker, and News 5 Weather Plus, which is WLWT-DT 5.2.

The listings at Insight's website(click Local Insight at the bottom, then enter a N KY ZIP code, once you're there the listings will be on the right) say the channel is on Digital 4.0 channel 432 in the News and Documentaries Tier.

An email from Abigail Miller who lives here in NKY told us that the channel isn't on 71 anymore even on a digital cable we thank her for that information.

UPDATE 1/25: Abigail has begun a petition for Insight subscribers to ask that the channel be brought back. We normally are an impartial source, but we do agree with the basic premise of the petition. To sign it, click here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

CC Update...

We're a day late, but it is due to circumstances beyond our control that we couldn't update yesterday...mainly, a rush to get out the door to our scheduled commitment yesterday afternoon.

But we've got the update, courtesy AllAccess and our friends at OMW:

Talk WLW-A morning news anchor SCOTT SPRINGER and reporter PERRY SCHIABLE, production staffer ADAM CAMPBELL, and Rock WEBN morning co-host JENNI HUSS are out at the company's CINCINNATI cluster.

And that's in addition to what we reported Tuesday afternoon about Tommy Leugers being cut from WLW and WCKY-AM.

We also hear that an additional 14 or 15 sales staffers were cut, according to John Kiesewetter at the Enquirer. We're told the list included 3 at WEBN-FM 102.7 (including the general sales manager), two from WLW-AM, three from WKRC-AM, three from WCKY-AM, the national sales manager and a national sales person.

This does not count several who left when Cumulus took over WOFX-FM 92.5 and WNNF-FM 94.1, which included PD Tony Toliver, DJ Gary Jeff Walker and some sales people. We haven't got exact numbers.

If this is the first round...imagine what later rounds might look like?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

CC Cuts

As expected Clear Channel brought out the axe today. So far only one person has been let go at Kenwood Tower that we know of...and that's Tommy Leugers, who had been a producer at WLW/WCKY-AM for 14 years, until today according to our friends at Ohio Media Watch via AllAccess.

CC wanted to bury the cuts amidst the Barack Obama inauguration today.

More as we know it...

UPDATE 3:20PM: I will have more on the CC cuts tomorrow morning. A 4:30pm meeting has been called at Kenwood Tower for all staff. It also appears Scott Springer is among the cuts.

Let the bloodletting begin...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"This TV Cincy"...DTV Update After Second Test...CC Update...

A quickie update on a couple items, and a brand new station...And some technical difficulties here.

"This TV Cincinnati": That's right...there's a new subchannel in town...and it's run by Fox19.

WXIX FINALLY got rid of that message that apologized for the loss of "The Tube" network when it shut down over a year ago. And it's been replaced with...a 24-hour movie channel!

This TV was launched in November by MGM, as an outlet for its movie library. So we may see the James Bond and Pink Panther films, or "The Burning Bed", says John Kiesewetter of the Enquirer in a blog earlier this week.

DTV Update: Looks like the second test of DTV went well at the home of Your Tri-State Media Watcher. All the channels came in, except, of course, for WCPO-DT 9's second subchannel which was taken off basic cable (1-99) by Insight on Jan. 8.

And now it looks like Univision is going to suffer the same fate by the end of the month. We can't read much Spanish but we saw enough to know that that's the case, by next weekend or the weekend after that.

Clear Channel Cuts on Inauguration Day?: That's how it's looking, say our friends at Ohio Media Watch, citing this New York Post article.

We're interested in seeing if they DO try to do this, but it won't be a surprise. Expect some personalities to not be at work on Wednesday.

The CC moves (or so far, lack thereof) have been the big pink elephant in the it should be interesting.

Finally, a quick note: Due to technical troubles at home, this blog may not be updated as frequently as usual until Jan. 30..wireless internet is not working at my home right now. It's not good for blogging, but it can't be avoided. We'll update of course if there's big breaking news.

Monday, January 12, 2009

WLW host may have had last show?...AI Local...

A couple quickies:

American Idol Local Contestant: We learned today from Fox that a local is an American Idol singer, but may not appear on the show itself, which premieres tomorrow night (8pm, WXIX 19/WRGT 45).

Fairfield native Ryan PA (Paul August) Johnson made the Hollywood Round during July auditions in Louisville. Fox19 had a contest which guaranteed the winner a spot auditioning for producers; Johnson won.

Getting into the Hollywood Round doesn't mean, however, he will appear on the show.

Gary Jeff Walker's Last WLW Show?: Gary Jeff Walker has been a mainstay at Clear Channel's Kenwood Tower for the last 14 and a half years, as a DJ for 92.5FM WOFX (FOX) as well as a host on Saturdays on 700WLW-AM.

However, the recent sale of FOX to Cumulus may end the WLW show.

Walker told the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Kiesewetter that he met with Cumulus' TJ Holland last week. If they make him a good faith offer, Walker says he'll jump.

But he'd like to stay at 700WLW as well as his passion is talk radio. Which, if he goes to Cumulus' FOX, would likely not be an easy sell for Cumulus. Cumulus, however, doesn't do talk radio, after 96Rock was flipped from Supertalk last year.

More on this one, as we get it...

Friday, January 9, 2009

A couple quick notes

Here's a couple fast notes, as Your Tri-State Media Watcher is trying to fix his computer's wireless net access, and recover from a pectoral injury:

WCPO Weather Tracker Pulled on Insight: As expected and reported last week here, WCPO has indeed pulled their Weather Tracker off Insight's basic cable service (which only includes channels 1-99).

As we reported, the service went to a digital signal, which means Insight subscribers will need a digital converter to receive channel 71.

It's unclear when, or even IF, Insight will make any effort to return the channel.

WXIX-TV Update: It looks like Dan Carroll is indeed settling in as 19's new news anchor.

Carroll moved to the post on January 1, following Jack Atherton's departure.

For now, there's no word on his replacement, OR his plans going forward.

Remember, if Atherton wishes to remain in town, he has to sit out for 9 months due to a non-compete clause.

Meanwhile, it looks like they have locked up the services of Tricia Macke for 5 1/2 more years, according to John Kiesewetter of the Enquirer.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

LaBarbara Cut...More on Atherton

These items courtesy of John Kiesewetter and his media blog, with our own thoughts at the end of each:

Music Professor Dismissed Again: Jim LaBarbara's no longer the Country Music Professor.

LaBarbara did his last show on Dry Ridge country station WNKR-FM (106.5) last Tuesday, Dec. 30. He had done afternoon drive (2-6 p.m.) since September 2007.

"We didn't see the revenue influx for his show, and had to make a cut," explains GM Jeff Ziesmann.

WNKR-FM has reverted to the lineup from before LaBarbara's arrival -- voice-tracking mid-days, with Jay Anthony back to the 2-6pm slot.

We can certainly empathize with WNKR in this case. But, this is the second time LaBarbara has been cut, so we can feel bad for him, too.

Atherton to WLWT, Part Deux?:
There is now a little more truth to speculation that former WXIX-TV 19 anchor Jack Atherton will head to Channel 5 when his non-compete clause is over.

You'll recall that the same kind of clause was on Steve Horstmeyer's contract when he left WKRC-TV to head to WXIX.

That clause expires in September.

WLWT bosses wouldn't confirm the speculation...but, they didn't deny it either, unlike their colleagues at 9, 12, 19, 64, and 48.

And Atherton is tight-lipped about it too.

That could mean nothing...or it could mean what we heard, which was Atherton would head to 5.

If he does, then we can basically assume that Sheree Paolello and Sandra Ali's days as a team are numbered. One of them is likely to be cut if Atherton is going to do evenings.

The only reason we can think that the announcement is being delayed, is due to WLWT bosses wanting to decide who to keep and who to let go.

Regardless, we still wish Atherton the best of luck...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another DTV Test Next Week

We have learned that Local12 WKRC-TV/DT and other stations will conduct a second DTV test next Thursday.

The test will run at 7:30pm on Thursday, January 15th.

BREAKING: Cumulus Acquires Radio 94.1, 92.5 The Fox

Cumulus Media, Inc. will acquire WNNF-FM (Radio 94.1) and WOFX-FM (92.5 The Fox) later this month, in a deal signed last week and announced yesterday, according to John Kiesewetter's latest blog.

It's reported that the deal also involves five stations in Green Bay, Wisconsin and should be finalized by month's end.

You'll recall that Clear Channel was ordered to sell either these two or WKFS-FM 107.1/WLW-AM 700 in order to prohibit a monopoly, as Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners control Cumulus Media Partners, the privately held company operating the 3 Cincinnati Cumulus stations (WGRR-FM 103.5, WRRM-FM 98.5, WFTK-FM 96.5 are the Cumulus stations currently). So Cumulus will now control 5 FM's while Clear Channel will have 2 FM's and 4 AM's, and Bonneville controls 4 FM stations.

Anticipate some DJ's not making the transition from CC to Cumulus, and expect changes on 92.5 and 103.5.

Monday, January 5, 2009

FCC Chair In Town Tomorrow

WKRC-TV/DT 12 reported on their noon news just minutes ago that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin will be in Cincinnati tomorrow, trying to help educate people about the Digital Transition.

Martin and the other four FCC Commissioners will be at the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency on Langdon Farm Road at 9:30 AM. The FCC is visiting several TV markets, especially those in which more than 100,000 households or at least 15% of the households rely solely on over-the-air signals for television reception, according to Local12.

Viewers of course have until 2/17 to get cable, satellite, or a converter (or brand new TV) to continue getting programming.

Here's the link to the story from WKRC and

Leading off the first full week of '09!

UPDATE: 7:37 AM: We are hearing a few ideas from Tim Gorman. Click here to read his thoughts. He draws some interesting comparisons, but his ideas are very sound. And by the way, he has us linked, so we shall give him the same courtesy. We thank Cliff (74WIXYgrad) for linking us to that information - had no idea we were linked over there.

Original posting below:


We're leading off the first week of 2009 with a quick note about local radio, and an administrative announcement:

Clear Channel Meetings in Dallas This Week, Layoffs Coming?: Clear Channel, which last we checked A) still hasn't sold WOFX-FM or WNNF-FM (or anything else locally) yet, and thus B) is still in control of its radio clusters, is about to finalize its budget for the year. And that means meetings with local cluster managers this week.

These meetings will happen in Dallas, Texas, and according to our friends and colleagues at Ohio Media Watch, MAY result in layoffs across the nation. That's unconfirmed though.

Regardless, we'll be watching to see what happens here. Kenwood Tower is actually overdue for major cuts, which have usually happened pre-Christmas. We guess the CC bosses decided to have a heart this year, and not cut folks before the holiday.

And the Administrative Announcement Is: Recently, I told you that starting after the New Year, I would be moving all TSMW emails to a separate email address that I set up specifically for that purpose.

Effective today, that change goes into full effect.

As a reminder, the email address is

EDITOR'S NOTE: And by the way, if you look at my profile, you of course will note I have a separate blog for personal thoughts. That blog is NOT impacted by the change in emails, and you'll see that on that blog.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Carl Nichols to retire from WDTN next week

Chief Meteorologist Carl Nichols, of WDTN-TV/DT 2 in Dayton, will retire on January 9, according to the Dayton Daily News.

The station doesn't have any information on who will replace the 66 year old Nichols, who has been in Dayton since 1977.

Nichols called the Blizzard of 1978 and the Xenia tornado of 2000 two of his career highlights.

We here at Tri-State Media Watch wish Mr. Nichols a happy retirement.

The Axe at 19 WXIX

Finally, we have news about the WXIX-TV cuts, but...this wasn't a station initiated move! We missed this only due to computer troubles that were going on much of the week, or we would have posted this before Tuesday...

Jack Atherton, the anchor of the station's two evening shows since their inceptions, left the station on Tuesday night following the 10pm newscast. This was his decision, according to WXIX officials.

Those same WXIX officials will not comment more on the departure, BUT it's being reported that it's a contract dispute that resulted in Atherton's departure.

Furthermore, there's a rumor floating around that he will go to WLWT-TV/DT 5.

Our best wishes to Mr. Atherton...

Friday, January 2, 2009

2 days late, but here's our end of year message

In the tradition of our friends at Ohio Media Watch, I've decided to have an end-of-year personal message from me to my readers, so, here it is.

Dear Tri-State Media Watch Readers,

This blog hasn't been in existence for too long. But in the short time, we've all become like family.

Some of you have shared small tips about your favorite stations. Some have just read to tell me I've done a good job. And others haven't jumped in yet. (I don't bite, promise!)

But regardless of whether you have or have not commented...I am glad you joined me on the journey so far.

2009 looks to be another down year for most media. If any medium survives, I believe it will be radio. TV and papers have been hit hard by the recent crisis. The fact is, media outlets across our nation are having trouble.

Here at Tri-State Media Watch, I and all my friends and family hope that there's a lot more positive to report than negative in 2009.

Thank you again for joining me on this journey.


Your Tri-State Media Watcher
Jeremy S. Moses, Editor

After Hiatus...

We are back, and I am posting from in front of my BRAND NEW monitor. It is an Acer X163W, 15.6" wide flatscreen :).

That being out of the way, we have two items to kick off the 2009 blog:

TWC/Viacom Deal Reached: Apparently, the last minute deal we speculated on Wednesday, was indeed taking place. Yesterday, it was revealed that Time Warner and Viacom agreed to a 23 cent per subscriber, or 36 million dollar fee increase. More details are to be released today or Monday.

WCPO Weather Tracker Off Insight?: Apparently, the WCPO-TV/DT Weather Tracker subchannel will soon be wiped off Insight's Basic service. In other words, it looks like it'll be moved exclusively to digital channel 432 next Thursday, going by the crawl on the channel. We'll confirm, but this looks like a bad idea to us...taking the ONLY local weather tracking channel off the basic cable side (no, we don't count NBC-owned The Weather Channel as a LOCAL channel). More on this as we get it.

Thank you for following us into the New Year...