Thursday, July 30, 2009

Breaking News from OMW Territory - PM Drive Talker's Wife Passes Away

UPDATE 6:40 PM: While listening to the WTAM webstream here at the TSMW HQ in suburban Cincinnati, we just heard Trivisonno's brother, Gary on air.

Triv's brother spoke briefly about their relationship, and noted that he saw Linda Trivisonno yesterday for a couple of hours, before leaving town.

We're hearing a lot of listeners to what has become "Wills and Snyder in the Afternoon" expressing their condolences to Triv, and we're certainly with the Cleveland area in those sentiments.

It's a truly sad day for those at what our friends at OMW call "Clear Channel World Domination HQ on Oak Tree" there in Cleveland...

Original item is below...

While we usually leave the Cleveland-area news to Ohio Media Watch, we can't really let this one go unnoticed.

OMW reports today that WTAM 1100/Cleveland PM drive talker Mike Trivisonno's wife, Linda, lost her battle with lung cancer this morning.

Obviously, again - this isn't in our normal coverage area. But, like 700 WLW/Cincinnati, WTAM has a blowtorch 50,000 watt signal that, at night especially, can and does propagate far into our coverage area. As such, we felt this could not go unnoticed even here.

Tri-State Media Watch extends our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Trivisonno and his family. No matter what you may think of what Triv does or says on the radio...this is a human being who is grieving...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Major Re-Organization By Time Warner, and Radio Ratings

We won't spend much time on the latter...because our big focus is on the former...

TWC Re-Organizing Channels Here: We first saw the required FCC notice on Time Warner's Cincinnati-area website, stating that a bunch of channels were about to be dropped, moved or added. Here's the page if you're interested. We didn't post it because we did not have a hard date, or confirmation that these would even occur. Now we'll be August 25, reports John Kiesewetter. And local PBS members/viewers won't be happy in either Dayton OR Cincinnati.

Here's some of what's going to happen, per that page, and there's a lot:

--Sundance from Movie Tier to Digital Variety
--WXIX/19 Newport, WKRC/12, WLWT/5, WCPO/9, WCET/48, WCVN/54 Covington and WPTD/16 Dayton HD channels move to between 1003 and 1021. All but WCVN and WPTD still will have a basic cable presence...with WPTD being moved in Butler, Warren and Clinton (see below). WCVN KET1 (or main feed) to channel 980. Also, WCVN KET2 to 981, and WCVN KET4 to 982. No word on KET3.
--WCPO Weather Tracker to channel 373, with WLWT Weather Plus to 371
--CinCW (aka Local12.2 WKRC-DT2) to channel 989
--This TV Cincy to channel 994
--In Butler, Warren and Clinton Counties, WPTD replaced by HSN on Channel 16. WPTD moves to Channel 990.

But...a few of these moves take channels OFF the basic cable side. WCVN won't be available, and neither will WPTD. In fact, WPTO/14 Oxford also loses EVERY SINGLE subchannel.

And if you're in Adams County and are served by Time could potentially lose another PBS channel. WPBO/Portsmouth is listed in the "may have to drop in the future" category.

Kiese reports that management at Public Media Connect (aka the merged 48/14/16 operation) will meet with Time Warner management Thursday. As you can imagine, nobody at the new Public Media Connect is very happy with this move. And neither is KET...either its viewers in southwest Ohio, or the management THERE. We're looking to find someone at KET to talk to...more on this story next week...and more on WHY next week at the end of this quickie...

Radio Ratings Out: As mentioned, we're not gonna spend much time here. But we wanted to give everybody the gist of the top few in ratings...

--WLW-AM 700/Cincinnati was, of course, number one in town with the vanity 12+ numbers.
--WUBE-FM 105.1/Cincinnati was #3 with all listeners.
--WGRR-FM 103.5/Cincinnati rose from #4 to #2, as WKRC-AM 550, WRRM-FM 98.5, WEBN-FM 102.7, and WKFS-FM 107.1/Cincinnati tied at 4th.

If you want a bit more in-depth breakdown, we suggest heading over to the Kiese Blog.

Finally, A Quick Note: Barring any major breaking developments, this will be the closeout item for July due to personal issues. We'll return August 4. Until then, if you have tips, send them to us. The link is below our Twitter feed on the right side.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seems We Struck A Nerve

...with our posting of yesterday morning around 8 AM.

Below, I'll reprint my response from the comments section of that item. But first, a recap:

Around 6:30 PM, Your Tri-State Media Watcher was alerted to the fact that a home had exploded in the 7200 block of US Route 25 in the historic downtown section of Florence. The location winds up being next to both a doctor's office complex near the intersection of US Routes 25 and 42 and Main Street and a Catholic church, Saint Paul's Church immediately to the south. I didn't hear about it til 6:37 PM - but apparently it was shown on the 6 PM news.

I didn't happen to catch it, even as I flipped the dial on a Sunday night. It was, again, that twitter message that got my attention.

I didn't leave home until 7:30 PM, opting to try and stay out of the way of crews by staying on the other side of the road. But yes, I was at the local Taco Bell (which FYI is within 1/2 mile of the scene). And yours truly never saw a news crew - it's hard to miss a big vehicle with a station logo on it, and I never saw one. (The above revelation isn't exactly irrelevant, but it's not really important either - again, we didn't depart until 7:30 from the TSMW HQ.)

Now, the comment and my response (the first comment is the anonymous poster, the rest is my reply):

Channel 9 had a story and photo posted within 30 minutes, along with video from 6 within an hour... what else do you need?

Besides, sources say you were at Taco Bell at the same time as a news crew.

July 28, 2009 4:56 AM

J. Moses(Tri-State Media Watch Editor) said...
Anonymous 4:56 AM: One, yes I hit a taco bell establishment in town. But I didn't go there, nor was I near the scene, until AFTER 7 PM (and in fact, my recollection is that I looked at my cell phone clock which showed it being almost 8:30 before yours truly headed home). I did see the scene itself, for myself because I almost couldn't believe it had happened. (By the way, reports that it shook houses up to 2 miles away are true. I felt something here.) I only saw stories that had been published around 6:30 PM - which may have been updates to previous stories, but ALL those stories were "breaking news" on the websites even at 15 minutes before 7 PM, 3 hours post-event. Never once did I see anything via twitter from any station until the above tweet came in (around 6:37 PM), or any kind of breaking news alert anywhere else on TV. Correct me if I am wrong - but, shouldn't local stations run SOME kind of alert, whether going across the bottom of the screen, OR do a cut-in as soon as they know of the event? I didn't see either.

This leads us to another point: The explosion happened in the historic DOWNTOWN AREA of Florence, near Main Street's intersection with US 25 and US 42. Those US highways are all heavily traveled thoroughfares. 25 was closed well into the evening, or at least one lane was northbound. Shouldn't viewers know about that? Betcha if this had happened Monday afternoon instead of Sunday - every news operation would have had boots on the ground, reporting live by 4 PM. THAT is the point I'm trying to get to. Not that they DIDN'T cover it. They did. I didn't happen to see coverage until after 6 PM news had ended, either online or elsewhere.

By the way, 5 and 19 both had video from the auto spa across the street from the scene today on their websites before 4 PM, so I'll give them points for that nice grab. (I suspect 9 and 12 have it, too.)

Oh and one more thing, if you find the above referenced video - note how close the red car comes to being IN FRONT OF the house when it explodes! It passes by, and about 10 seconds later, the explosion, debris goes everywhere (there was broken glass all the way across US 25 [and that's, again, a heavily traveled roadway with 3 lanes]). Further, natural gas is highly explosive. IF someone had been on scene and lit up a cigarette, anybody within a half mile of the place would have been blown to smithereens. Sunday or not, is that not dangerous enough to be on air saying hey, stay away from this area until otherwise notified?

Monday, July 27, 2009

T-W Followup - We'd like to hear from you!

We're just writing this to ask for reader help as to the local issues.

We chronicled early this morning the issues with Time Warner with regards to Pay-Per-View viewing in town.

Now we've stumbled, quite by accident, on what could have been a larger issue.

It seems that quite a few channels went out yesterday evening at one point or another. The channels reported to have issues were WCPO 9, WKRC 12, and Fox Sports Ohio. And our colleagues and friends over at Ohio Media Watch report similar issues up that way, which began with SDV (or Switched Digital Video) outages, and now has moved to regular HD and digital channels.

That's where you, the reader, can help us help you.

If you had issues with viewing of any of the above channels, OR the WWE pay-per-view last night or even are having troubles now, drop us a comment here below this item, OR send us an email to tristatemediawatch at gmail-dot-com. (We're trying to stop spam bots...although they never hit the inboxes on our windows mail client, instead going straight to the spam folder.)

Sunday News Coverage - Adequate or Lacking?

When this idea fell into our laps, it was difficult not to just take it and run with it...

Sunday evening, as is our normal custom here at TSMW HQ in the suburbs of Cincinnati in Northern or Eastern Boone County, we were relaxing and taking a day to just unwind, watching our personal twitter page and chatting with friends.

Suddenly, a tweet came in from Fox19 senior producer Christi Reynard that had us pausing and saying, "What?":

"gas explosion at a vacant home in Florence. We got GREAT video."

Of course, this piqued our interest here, and we went looking for the information.

Our problem isn't with the websites. They all had SOMETHING about the house that exploded around 3:20 PM this afternoon in the 7200 block of US 25, just about .63 mile southeast of the TSMW HQ.

The problem is, most of the websites asked readers to tune in to the 11 PM news (or 10 PM in the case of WXIX 19/Newport and WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati's subchannel 12.2).

When you're just hearing about it at 6:30, of course, there's not much you can do about it.

But...when a gas line explodes, destroying a home, and doing collateral damage to other structures, it's a smart move to inform the viewers as SOON as you know about it - especially those living in the immediate area.

We're going to check with those involved with decision making - but, we didn't happen to catch a single alert on any station in town in the first hour after it happened - and didn't even HEAR about the explosion until 6:30 PM, when the aforementioned tweet came in.

And it makes us much staff do the newsrooms have on Sundays? Maybe this is a question we need to ask people at WLWT 5/Cincinnati, WCPO 9/Cincinnati, 19 and 12...

TWC Technical Difficulties Stop Viewing of WWE

UPDATE 2 2:20 AM EDT 7/27: Michael tweeted the following to us: "Guess what works as of 2:02am? Little late mayhaps?" Apparently, the HD feed JUST came back on TWC Cincy's PPV channel...

UPDATE 1 AM EDT 7/27: Michael updated us via text...quoting verbatim: "The sd channel now works but the hd channel is blank."

Original item below...


We just got word from Friend of TSMW Michael Taylor that viewers of Time Warner Cable in the Cincinnati area had some Pay-Per-View technical issues tonight.

Mike tells us that he ordered the WWE's "Night of Champions" pay-per-view at 7:25 PM tonight, and when he went to watch it at 7:30...he did not get to watch it. Neither did anyone else in town, we're told. This happened to both HD and SD viewers of Time-Warner in Cincinnati's system...and as of 12:15 AM, both the HD and SD Pay-Per-View channels are still out.

He's been told, and this is basically a quote from whatever CSR he talked to, "Anyone who didn't get to see the show tonight, won't be charged for it". That means most will wind up with either credit back if they pre-ordered well ahead of time, OR won't be charged if, like Mike, they ordered shortly before the show was to begin.

We're wondering, and we'll send a query to our friends at Ohio Media Watch asking, if this happened elsewhere, as well.

More Monday on this still-developing story...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More on MetroMix

Your Tri-State Media Watcher had been wondering how the switchover from CiN Weekly to MetroMix was going for Gannett, which also owns the Enquirer.

Well, I was out last night and snapped this photo of a newspaper box which had formerly been a CiN Weekly box at Fourth and Main Streets in downtown Cincinnati:

As you can see, the conversion of CiN to MetroMix on the boxes is completely done, at least downtown (and probably everywhere else also). I didn't see a single box that still had the CiN logo on it. For that matter, when I looked inside the boxes, I saw this:

Obviously, the conversion had been quickly done in print, as well.

So, consider this just us checking what had been previously reported by other sources, while doing other errands yesterday...we'd heard that MetroMix stickers were being put on the CiN boxes - but wanted to confirm that they were indeed being converted.

On a related note, we looked in the box, too - and it seems to us people don't much care that CiN is no more - they're liking the MetroMix brand, also.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Marconi Awards Nominations Announced

We got word of this via our colleagues and friends at Ohio Media Watch.

The National Association of Broadcasters has announced nominees for the 2009 Marconi Awards. These awards will be announced during the 2009 NAB Radio Show convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania September 23-25.

In TSMW territory, there are only three nominees:

*WTUE-FM 104.7/Dayton PM driver John "B-Man" Beaulieu is up for Medium Market Personality of the Year.

*WLW-AM 700/Cincinnati midday talker Bill Cunningham is up for Large Market Personality of the Year.

*WUBE-FM 105.1 "B105"/Cincinnati is up for Country Station of the Year.

Ironically, B105's nomination comes a couple months after they let Amanda Orlando go in a dispute.

And near our coverage area, in Indianapolis, WIBC-FM 93.1/Indianapolis is up for two nods as well, one in the aforementioned Large Market Personality of the Year (Terri Stacy) and one for Large Market Station of the Year. Also in Indianapolis, Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt & Kevin Freeman, all three from country WFMS-FM 95.5/Indianapolis, earn a nod for Large Market Personality, too. And in Cleveland, as OMW mentions in their post above, WTAM-AM 1100/Cleveland PM drive talker Mike Trivisonno has a Large Market Personality of the Year nod as well.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Musings on Walter Cronkite, Plus News on WOXY

As opposed to "News minus Walter Cronkite", but we'll get to those thoughts... Move Reaction and New Info: There continues to be fallout and new information about WOXY's move south.

As we reported last week, the internet/HD2 radio station is moving southward to Austin, Texas on September 8th.

And as you would have expected if you live in Cincinnati, the reaction wasn't very good.

Readers of that site's blogs were understandably worried that they'd lose the local flavor that WOXY carried for some time. (And we remind you, that reaction is even in spite of WVQC-FM 95.7/Cincinnati launching its effort in just a few days with local bands in heavy rotation.)

And that brings us to new information about the move of

The station told the Enquirer on Friday that they would end the live broadcasts from Cincinnati on Friday, August 28. From then until September 8, won't be broadcasting on the website - and we guess that the HD2 subchannel of 91.7 WVXU/Cincinnati will also go silent.

The move puts WOXY at the center of a blooming music scene in Austin. Austin hosts the "South by Southwest" music festival every March, and various bands tour through Austin every year.

That was something WOXY didn't have here - as many bands opted not to come to Cincinnati.

Regardless, on air, the station's DJ's have been reassuring listeners that the local music they like isn't going anywhere.

To us, that's good news...the more outlets that local bands have, the better...

Social Media Strikes Again: As a valuable news source, that is.

When news of Walter Cronkite's death last Friday night reached us, it wasn't by the TV or radio.

Rather, it was by Twitter. And it wasn't even our Tri State Media twitter, but Your Tri-State Media Watcher's personal twitter.

We were tipped off by Enquirer reporter Alex Shebar (whose twitter is here) who tweeted at 8:32 PM with the report from the New York Times about it. That of course sent us scurrying to other reputable news organization webpages on the TSMW laptop to confirm, then write our last post.

It once again shows the power of Twitter as a news source - but only when used the right way.

Our Own Musings on Cronkite: Your Tri-State Media Watcher doesn't have a personal story to share on Cronkite.

That's because yours truly wasn't born until 1985, when Cronkite's last telecast was in 1981.

However, we'd like to note that Cronkite was well respected. The fact that he told it "the way it is" really earned him that nickname.

Last night, CBS aired a one hour special on Cronkite titled "That's the Way It Was". The show really helped us understand why he was so respected.

It appears Cronkite has inspired a lot of potential journalists to hone their craft. And no matter how the news will be delivered in the future, Your Tri-State Media Watcher really would like to see it done in such a way as to remove biases and personal feelings from the equation. That means no spin, no left- or right-wing bias...just the facts.

We know we strive for that every day here. And we're just a blog about media, after all.

Friday, July 17, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Walter Cronkite Has Died

UPDATE 9:45 PM: Here's an article from WCBS-TV 2/New York City that contains reaction to Cronkite's death from various friends and colleagues.

The Associated Press, as well as others, are reporting that former CBS News legend Walter Cronkite has died.

Cronkite was the main anchor for CBS Evening News for 19 years, from 1962 to 1981, and his entire career spanned about 46 years, from beginnings in Kansas City, Missouri in 1935 to the end of his career at CBS News in 1981. He was widely recognized as the most trusted man in America in 1973. His reports came to be widely acclaimed, including one following the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in 1968.

More information as we get it - but for now, here's a link to a Washington Post article.

Quickie Post

We're doing this quickie post to talk about a minor detail or two...

Bonneville Cincinnati Sponsors Job Fair: While browsing the net, we came across an ad on WKRQ-FM 101.9/Cincinnati's website.

It talks of a job fair, being presented by station owners Bonneville along with

We normally wouldn't talk about a job fair, but as this one is being sponsored by Bonneville, we'll make an exception.

The fair is Monday 8/10 at Receptions North, 5975 Boymel Drive in Fairfield. Call 513-699-5091 if you need more information.

Bonneville, by the way, also owns WUBE-FM 105.1 "B105"/Cincinnati, WYGY-FM 97.3 "The Wolf"/Ft. Thomas, and WREW-FM "Rewind 94.9"/Cincinnati.

WKRQ's Instant Marriage: Information on this is also from WKRQ's website.

The station is sponsoring an "Instant Marriage" contest. All a listener needs to do is email the "Jeff and Jenn" morning show ( and tell them why you want to get engaged and married to your significant other.

The station will select one lucky couple, Jeff and Jenn will help with the engagement - AND invite the couple to get married THIS FRIDAY live on the air, with wedding and engagement rings provided by James Free Jewelers in Montgomery.

We thought that was interesting. The promotion has been done before in other cities - but we can't remember the last time a "live wedding" has ever happened in town.

And Finally: Your Tri-State Media Watcher is dealing with a few different life-related things next week, including a birthday in the family (the first of several in the next six weeks), other family dramas that are on-going (which will stay off the record), and of course the ongoing "off blog" project.

So, as a general "heads-up", we may not be able to post as much next week.

We'll try to get a post out at least most days next week with whatever news there may be - but, we can't guarantee that that will occur, especially in the latter half of the week.

Of course, things could change, and we might get one out every day anyway - but in case we don' know why.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

BREAKING TODAY: On The Move South!

This is HUGE local news that affects a well-liked, internet and HDRadio operation - which in just under two months, will no longer be completely "live and local". (not to be confused with First Broadcasting's WOXY-FM 97.7/Mason), along with (station management hopes) their broadcast on Cincinnati Public Radio's WVXU 91.7/Cincinnati's HD2 subchannel, is moving south. How far south?

How about Austin, Texas?

Why? This comes from the station's webpage, posted earlier today:

Every March for the past 3 years, we've headed south to Austin, Texas, for the SXSW Music Festival. We set up camp at EAR Studios in East Austin, rounded up some of the best up-and-coming bands we could find, and broadcast 20+ live WOXY Lounge Act sessions over the course of the week. With such great access to the artists that make these Lounge Act sessions so special, we thought why not broadcast from "The Live Music Capital of the World" full-time?

WOXY is headed south. Come September 8th, WOXY will be broadcasting full-time from Austin, Texas. Our new digs in Austin will allow us to take things to the next level and bring you even more live Lounge Act sessions. You'll not only get to hear the sessions, but you'll be able to see them as well. We'll have our own sound stage that will allow us to shoot video of all of our Lounge Acts and bring them to you in HD video.

In case you've still got questions, has posted a Q-and-A page to its website.

We're shocked as many are. WOXY has been touted by people around town as being one of the only true "independent" stations in town. Of course, WVQC-FM, which launches soon, will be another independent station, not owned by any local commercial conglomerate.

But to us, WOXY will always stand out as being one of the first true indy stations in town that never had to be bought out by local media giants like Clear Channel or Cumulus - and has stayed true to those roots all the way through...

Clarifying Something From Tuesday's Update

A comment on our Tuesday update has us wanting to clarify what we meant regarding the Boston, Massachusetts flip of what is now WBMX-FM 98.5/Boston to a sports station (WBZ-FM "98.5 The Sports Hub"), with the WBMX-FM calls and "Mix" format currently on that station switching to 104.1 (currently WBCN-FM, a rock station), and the rock format switching to a subchannel of one of the two frequencies.

Whew, that's a lot to say in one sentence! Now, to what needed clarification.

We said that WBMX was being "flipped" to sports talk. In this case that's the truth. Our reader said that the Mix format isn't going away. He has that correct - it's being switched to 104.1 FM as mentioned above.

As for the Rock format - for most non-HD Radio listeners, that IS going away after August 13. If you've got an HD radio and live in or are going through Boston, you WILL be able to pick up that rock format on an HD-2 subchannel when 104.1 flips formats to the "Mix" format.

This also drives us to clarify what we mean when we say "flip" in regards to formats. "Flipping" formats means a change from one format (e.g. Hot Adult Contemporary, Rock, Sports talk) to another format.

It may or may not mean a particular format will disappear completely from the airwaves. In this case, again - "Mix" doesn't go away, but it does get moved to another frequency (104.1), and "Sports Hub" takes its place on the 98.5 frequency. The rock format doesn't completely disappear, but it does go to an HD subchannel.

Here's a bit of new information: There's currently some confusion as to which frequency's subchannels will play host to the current "Rock of Boston". But yesterday, that was supposed to be on 104.1 HD-2. Tonight we're reading it could be 98.5 HD-2. We definitely know tonight that it'll be on the internet - but that's all we know.

So there's some clarifications to the situation up there.

If anybody wants to tell us what the plans are in Washington, feel free to do so.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sinclair Broadcasting Facing Possible Bankruptcy

Yes, this is HUGE news, much like a similar situation going on in the territory of our friends at Ohio Media Watch this afternoon.

We have several stories sent to us by Friend of TSMW Rich Emery, all of which point to recent SEC filings by Sinclair Broadcast Group. We'll list them below.

The big detail is that all of the stories report the same thing: Sinclair is warning that it may file for bankruptcy soon based on sinking revenues and concerns about the finances of Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation. (They are one of the partners in Local Marketing Agreements or LMA's
p with Sinclair - but Cunningham is technically owned lock, stock and barrel by Sinclair, or at least members of the Smith family which founded Sinclair.)

What does this have to do with the Cincinnati or Dayton media markets? Sinclair owns four different stations. Those of course would be WSTR-TV 64/Cincinnati, and the FOX/ABC duopoly in Dayton of WRGT-TV 45/Dayton (with MNTV on the 45.2 subchannel) and WKEF-TV 22/Dayton. They also own the FOX/ABC duopoly in Columbus, WSYX-TV 6/Columbus and WTTE-TV 28/Columbus (together with the My Network TV station in that city).

Here's all of the links to our sources. More coming tomorrow, including (we hope) comments from WSTR management, and maybe WKEF or WRGT too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Out of Market - Lexington Personality For Congress?

We have been sitting on this one for a couple of days, but it's just too huge to not talk about, especially for our friends to the south in Lexington.

Rich Emery sent us this article about WLEX-TV 18/Lexington anchor Lee Cruse, who is mulling over a possible run at the US Congress seat currently held by Ben Chandler. Cruse currently anchors "LEX 18 News Sunrise" and "LEX 18 News at 12:30".

“I am considering it, but I’m nowhere near a decision,” Cruse said Tuesday.
Cruse, a Republican, declined to identify the people who approached him.
He said they probably did so because of his “name recognition” and perhaps because of entertainer Al Franken’s success in Minnesota.
“It’s an honorable thing to do to serve your country,” Cruse said. “But I’m not sure I’m willing to make that big a sacrifice.”

Now, we don't do politics here at TSMW. The only time we cover political stories like this are, well, when a current or very recent personality either debates running, or decides to run, for office. If you want to debate the political side of this, there are message boards where you can.

But, what we're here to cover is this little tidbit further down the article:

“The usual politician turns out to be a lawyer or doctor. Someone in my profession would have to quit.”
Bruce Carter, news director for WLEX (Channel 18), said the station is aware of the situation and “we would take appropriate steps if he decides to run for office.”
News outlets typically have strict rules about staff members running for political office.

The translation, basically, means Cruse would either have to quit his job at WLEX or would be fired.

The article goes on to cite Cruse's history in Lexington, saying he's been at WLEX for over a decade, and also has been part of Lexington radio, as a DJ at "Z103" WXZZ-FM 103.3/Lexington.

Again: feel free to discuss the media implications - but we're not going to be a political soundboard. This is a media blog, not a political one.

Mostly Updates

There's just barely enough for us to run this afternoon, and most of it is updates - but there's a piece of major, out-of-market news which prompted us to think locally about something similar happening here:

WKRP/WOTH Digital Flip?: You might recall that we quoted, before the Big DTV Switch on 6/12, a blog post by the (currently vacationing) TV critic John Kiesewetter, who in turn was quoting from a conversation he had with WOTH-LD/WBQC-LP owner Elliott Block.

At the time, Block stated that he'd planned to go digital-only right after everyone else in the market went.

Fast forward one month and 2 days after the switch - and still, WBQC aka WKRP is on the air in analog.

We say all that to set up the fact that this situation might be changing soon.

Rich Emery sent us word, via our Twitter, that Mr. Block posted over on's Forums.

We'll go ahead and quote the post directly:

We were waiting for all the small cable operator to confirm the were getting us via 25.2.
Insight change over last week, so it's time, channel 5 was night lighting till the Sunday, we are doing our regular programing so I guess we can say we were the last. Channel 36 is a translator of ch 41 in Ca. (TBN).


Yep - Insight did, it would appear, switch WKRP's digital signal over from the analog 38 to the digital 25.2 feed.

Elliott mentions that second-adjacent translator on Channel 36. It's still broadcasting in analog, sure enough, with the callsign of W36DG out of Cincinnati. And so, for that matter, is the Channel 20 translator as W20CL/Springfield.

But...W36DG has a Construction Permit for a Low-Power Digital facility on channel 36. And their power on that facility will have to be reduced to 5 kW - to avoid interfering with on-channel WTVQ-TV 36/Lexington.

As for W20CL? It's staying parked in analog.

WVQC Update: We were planning to give the good folks at WVQC-LP 95.7/Cincinnati a call today - but have been out of sorts most of the day.

However, it DOES appear the station is on track to launch in just a couple weeks. (Maybe the bat-signal will work again...Paging Jonathan Goolsby or Katie Finnigan...heh.)

Seriously, they should be receiving some kind of message from us soon. It might be tonight - but it will more than likely be tomorrow - as Your Tri-State Media Watcher has commitments to rush off to shortly after we hit "Publish Post".

You DO need to be a member of WVQC to volunteer - but it's well worth doing, especially if you want locally owned-and-operated radio, playing local bands and other local stuff. (You get the idea... they're going for a local flavor here. Heh.)

And to that effect, we also note that on the WVQC twitter, Finnigan wrote (and we re-tweeted for the benefit of all of you):

Spread the word. We're looking for local music to play on the radio. Cincinnati bands send cds or digital files to WVQC.

The station is definitely still on track for an 8/1 launch far as we're aware. Again...we'll get a message out to Goolsby or Finnigan shortly.

Finally, A Not-So-Local Piece of News: This is way out of the territory of yours truly - but we couldn't go without mentioning it.

We got word via All-Access, and other sources, that WJFK-FM 106.7/Washington, DC will debut their new sports format next Monday, July 20th, and that WBMX-FM 98.5/Boston, Massachusetts will flip to sports from their Hot AC format, taking the calls WBZ-FM. And there's rumored flips in about 14 other cities, as well.

That's prompted us to ask: Will the FM Sports Bug ever bite in Cincinnati?

First, a caveat: WJFK is actually owned by CBS Radio. CBS owns no radio stations in Cincinnati.

They do, however, own stations in the territory of our friends at Ohio Media Watch, specifically and most notably, in Cleveland.

So, do we think any FM stations here will flip to Sports? The short answer: "No."

Why not? Well, one only needs to go back to WFTK-FM 96.5/Cincinnati's failed attempt at local talk a couple years ago. It proved that the city wasn't, at the time anyway, ready for any kind of syndicated talk on the FM dials here locally. And it's our belief that that extends to sports, too.

And...what would be flipped? Clear Channel basically dominates the news and talk spectrum here - with the exception of the just-flipped WQRT-AM 1160/Florence and WMOH-AM 1480/Hamilton, CC owns every AM talk and sports station in the area. Would they take a chance and flip one of their four FM's? We don't think so.

On the other hand...stranger things HAVE happened.

Consider this us just musing, not really speculating but, thinking about the possibilities...

Last WCPO Update, Plus News on WHIO-TV 7

Yesterday, we were the first to report (before the station itself did so later in the day) that WCPO would turn on their new antenna setup early this morning. The above link confirms that they did so.

Now, we know how it went.

Rich Emery sent us the following (before, and in response to, seeing our "Bat Signal" in our Middle Of The Year Message):

Good morning again!

Just saw your 8 AM item on TSMW, and wanted to confirm what I said below -- I'm definitely seeing a huge improvement in WCPO's signal near Hamilton, and several other people on AVS discussion threads report the same. Looks like they've successfully erased lots of their reception problems through their tower work!

Which leaves WHIO as the last one likely to improve in the short term for me -- whenever that happens, I'll be a very happy DTV camper.


For what it's worth, I'm seeing greatly improved WCPO signal strength at my house. "voyager6" posted a message on the Dayton AVS thread describing exactly what he saw after midnight -- I'd given up and gone to bed, after nothing happened by 12:10 AM -- and he reported a huge improvement. Activity actually started shortly after 12:15 AM, it seems.

I can definitely confirm far better signal strength for WCPO in the Hamilton area this morning. As I'd commented on AVS, one set-up I have doesn't even need to have rabbit ears extended to get a solid signal, and that's quite an improvement!


Rich mentions WHIO-TV 7/Dayton. Well, he sent us information yesterday on that, too.

He tells us via our twitter WHIO's Chief Engineer, Chuck Eastman, informed him that their work began Saturday. There's no timetable on when they'll wrap their work, only that it'll be done "as soon as possible". WHIO, like WCPO, has to move their antenna to atop their tower.

Of course, southwest Ohio summers are notorious for having thunderstorm chances during the late afternoon hours...and you can't safely put a tower crew up with lightning around. So they're at the mercy of the weather. The good news is they do have a nice day today to do the work, and will have a couple good days later this week, too...

A Middle Of The Year Message

Dear Readers,

Yours truly decided, as we're well past the 8 month mark of blogging here on Tri-State Media Watch, to have a mid-year message to all of you.

Through these last 8 months, you, the reader, have been instrumental in our progress. You were there when we began on Tuesday, November 10, 2008.

You were there, some of you in different ways from others, when just one month later, yours truly went through a brief health scare.

You were there through hiatuses, re-tools, the digital transition that was postponed on our watch, mass layoffs, and other things that happened during the short life of this blog.

A couple of you even, through emails, kept me from deciding to shut down the blog after some criticisms got a bit too far under Your Tri-State Media Watcher's skin.

For that, I thank you. You, the reader, are part of why I do this.

Are we, and is this blog, a professional effort? Not exactly, but we, and the blog, are getting better at this.

Are there still times when yours truly needs help? Absolutely, and you, the readers, do respond to our "Bat Signals".

Will this blog survive? I sure hope, and believe, that it will.

You, the reader, might be wondering what prompted the impetus to have a "Middle Of The Year Message" as the title of this particular post states.

Quite simply, this message is an effort to keep myself humble. It's an effort to remind myself not to gloat too much, following being (so far) the first to break the official word of WCPO's digital antenna being fired up this early Tuesday morning. (Paging Rich Emery or anyone else...did it go as planned? Or could you tell a difference? See...we're sending out the bat-signal!)

So, take this as this blog, and this writer, giving himself a dose of humble pie to keep himself focused on serving the Tri-State area, while also taking the opportunity to go ahead and thank YOU, the readers, for reading!


Jeremy Moses
Editor and Writer of Tri-State Media Watch and Tri-State DTV Watch

Monday, July 13, 2009

UPDATE: WCPO's New Transmitter/Antenna

UPDATE 2 3:40 PM: Mr. Talley called us while we were actually calling him to get the update.

WCPO is a GO for the switch to the new antenna/transmitter setup - but not at 2:45 in the morning.

Instead, we have word straight from Mr. Talley that they will turn the new antenna on at 12:05 AM, following ABC's "Nightline".

So again, we CAN CONFIRM the original information, minus the time change.

UPDATE 1 2:15 PM: A quick phone call has produced some what we will call "soft confirmation" from WCPO Chief Engineer Tom Talley.

Tom tells us that they have someone testing the new antenna to make sure everything works as it is planned to. If all of the testing goes well, then he says yes, the soft plan is to go ahead and go full-power tonight. We will know by 3:30 PM, and will have the absolute latest by 4 PM.

Original item follows...


We received this just minutes ago, forwarded to us by Friend of TSMW Rich Emery. It was posted on the AVS Forums' Cincinnati DTV section a short time ago by someone under the handle of ncincy1.


According to WCPO Channel 9 Chief Engineer and station management they will "switch" on the new transmitter with increased power at approximately 2:45 AM, Tuesday, July 14th.

Guess they decided to do it at such an odd time to minimize disruption.

So, when you wake up tomorrow morning the signal should be much improved.

Just to be safe, rescanning would be recommended.


We're working on independent confirmation now...

Monday's Morning Update

We have a few least, enough to run a morning update.

WNNF-FM Is...Frequency 94.1?: We should have seen this some time back - but we hadn't at the time.

It seems WNNF-FM 94.1/Cincinnati is leaning more Hot AC in its format recently, and is branded on air as "Frequency 94.1".

The station still solicits listener opinions on their website at, which gives a phone number to call and a form on the page to send in your opinions as well.

They do, however, promise "less repetition" and "music from different genres and eras", both of which don't seem far off looking at their playlist from today so far.

In a related note, we stumbled upon something odd with the website of WOFX-FM 92.5/Cincinnati (which is known as 92.5 FM The Fox), which was also taken over in the swap between Cumulus and Clear Channel early this year.

Search results for WOFX-FM show the very first match as directing to the domain - even as the website continues to exist. As of right now, all that that domain links to is a large image of the station's current FOX logo.

But it makes us wonder....does Cumulus plan to launch a site at Hmmmm...stay tuned...

WLWT Analog Now Totally Shut Down: Rich Emery tweeted this to us - and we can confirm it...

WLWT shut off their analog signal around midnight tonight. You might recall that the station has been serving as the local "Nightlight" service for those viewers not yet converted to digital, ever since the DTV switch was flipped exactly one month ago Sunday.

Bronson Writes Final Column: And in fallout from last week's large-scale layoffs at the Cincinnati Enquirer, now-former columnist Peter Bronson wrote his final farewell which appeared in Friday's Dead Trees and online editions of the paper and can be read here.

Although, it does appear that that "farewell" wasn't the final piece he wrote for the paper, as they do show that yesterday's writeup on local ice cream parlors was the most recent piece he did for them. This leads us to believe that while he might not be a paid writer anymore, he did write that piece before leaving the building at 312 Elm Street. (And a side note: We originally had him listed as a "political writer", which was a goofup on our part. His blogging seemed to be more politically-based, but we think he was more of a general columnist officially at the paper.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

WCPO Losing Five Staff

A centralization of two departments by Scripps Howard Broadcasting will result in five jobs being dropped at WCPO, according to an Enquirer article here.

Scripps is centralizing both their traffic (as in, commercial sales and scheduling, not the type that affects the drive to and from work) and graphics departments which will operate out of Tampa (east) or Phoenix (west). This is being done with all ten of Scripps' TV properties nationwide.

The centralization will happen around 9/1 for the traffic department, then 2 months later all graphics should be centralized.

By the way, our friends at Ohio Media Watch posted this one about 5 hours ago as part of their larger update for today, only their story was about WEWS-TV 5/Cleveland, which is also a Scripps-owned ABC affiliate...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

BREAKING: Layoffs Hit Enquirer, CiN

UPDATE 2 8:10 PM: Wow - high-profile columnist indeed!

Political reporter Peter Bronson was among the cuts, according to WLWT:

Gannett is slashing 1,400 jobs nationwide, and editorial page editor David Wells and columnist Peter Bronson were among the local cuts.

For now, Bronson's blog hasn't been purged from the Enquirer site...

UPDATE 8 PM: Just after we (finally) got this item off to be read, we were able to reach a CityBeat link that Rich Emery had given us.

That link confirms that all of the CiN Weekly staff was laid off today. It also reports (but we can't yet confirm) that one high-profile columnist was laid off, too.

We'll have more on this on Thursday.

Original item below.


We received word of this earlier today via, ironically, our personal twitter - and confirmed it with help from our good friend Rich Emery.

What we heard is that employees at the Enquirer as well as at CiN Weekly (a local entertainment magazine) were hit with layoffs today, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier. It looks like most, if not all, of the staff of CiN was laid off, and early reports from WCPO say up to 100 people at the Enquirer as well.

We can't currently confirm that it was the entire staff of CiN Weekly, but that link from the Cincinnati Business Courier suggests that it was. In any case, it would appear as many as 100 people are out of work from 312 Elm today.

LOTS to catch up on

We told you via our Twitter (located to the right) that we had a LOT to cover - and seeing as yours truly has time to do so this morning, here we go:

WLWT News Director Gone: WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati News Director Brennan Donnellan is gone after 6 years, reports John Kiesewetter at the Enquirer.

We have a feeling station GM Richard Dyer won't have anything to say beyond what he already told Kiese, so here's that statement:

"I have no comment on the internal conditions that led us to taking the road we're taking. It is what it is. We're looking at the road ahead, and we're going to make a change.... Of course you want to be first or second. You've got to be No. 1 or No. 2, and that continues to be our goal. We've had some peaks and some successes (second place in a couple of ratings periods for some newscasts), but we have a lot of work to do. It's a slow proceess. It's a hard processes. We have four very strong stations in Cincinnati."

Sounds to us as though they'll move the station in a new direction, without Donnellan.

FOX19 Re-signs Russo: Regina Russo, FOX19's weekend night anchor, re-signed with the station earlier this week, reports Kiese.

A station press release, which we just happened to find on the station's website, talks about Russo's history at the Fox affiliate, with which she signed in 1996, starting out as a general assignment reporter, then going on to be anchor of FOX19's first 6 AM news (First Look, which is now FOX19 Morning News at 6:00), then finally being promoted again the following year to her current position.

"Regina has been an integral member of the FOX19 news team for over a decade; we are extremely pleased that will continue into the future," FOX19 Vice President/General Manager Bill Lanesey is quoted as saying.

Russo of course is quoted in the release, saying, "There's a home you're born into which is by chance and a home you make which is by choice. I'm proud to have made my home, and now my family here in Cincinnati and look forward to bringing more positive stories to the community that I love so much."

WCPO Update: We told you we'd have more on this one.

WCPO has finally installed the digital antenna which will be the fully-authorized facility for the station's Post-DTV Transition Facility.

The station reports that they began the installation during the daytime hours yesterday. All that's left, now that it's been mounted to the top of the tower, is to connect the wires and turn it on, which they still expect to happen by Monday.

Former TV Director Dead: In the last piece from the Kiese Blog, Kiese says director Bob Wells, who was best known for directing programs like Midwestern Hayride, Ruty Lyons' 50-50 Club, Peter Grant's newscasts and Bob Braun's Bandstand show on WLWT-TV 5, died over the Fourth of July holiday weekend at age 76.

Before coming here, Wells' career began at KKTV 11 in Colorado Springs from 1953 to 1957. Wells also worked at WLWD-TV (now WDTN-TV) 2/Dayton, along with his duties at WLWT-TV, from 1957 to 1964, and helped to get WKEF-TV 22/Dayton on the air between 1964 and 1969. From there, he went on to end his career at WHIO-TV 7/Dayton, from which he retired in 1990 having served as marketing and promotions director for 14 years. His career overall spanned 38 years.

Here's a link to a very well-done obituary by Wilson Schramm Spaulding Funeral Home in Middletown.

Wells' visitation will be this evening from 5-8 PM, with a service at 10 AM tomorrow at the funeral home.

We think that covers the early half of the week. Whew. More later today, as we get it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

WCPO DTV Switch Update

This is a full repost of an item over on Tri-State DTV Watch.

We are getting this about a week or so late - but there's still part of this story to come, so stay tuned for more... has the latest on their transition:

WCPO-TV's analog antenna is no longer.

Workers removed the antenna from the tower on the morning of Wednesday, June 24. After they removed the analog antenna, crews began the process of moving the new one to the top of the tower.

The new antenna will provide viewers with a much more powerful digital signal.

The transition will be completed when the new top-mounted antenna is turned on around July 13.

We'd heard the end of June or first of July as dates for the switch to be finished over at WCPO. But this is the first solid date we've gotten.

On a related note: We will close this blog to new posts after WCPO finishes their full transition. From that point on, any and ALL Cincinnati-area TV information will be back on Tri-State Media Watch.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Wishing a Happy Birthday to Cincinnati's ONLY Dancing Traffic Reporter!

That's right, the man who dances on Friday mornings when nothing is happening on the roads, has a birthday TODAY.

Bob Herzog is thirty-something (OK, he's 35) today.

Your Tri-State Media Watcher is a personal friend of Mr. Herzog, stemming from my appearances for LOCAL12's Bengals Nation show during that NFL franchise's seasons. We even sent him a traffic question via email, but had totally missed that it was his birthday until a glance at Facebook told us...

If he reads this blog, we'd like to wish Bob a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Out of Our Main Market

OK this here will be our last update of the week.

We received this from Friend of TSMW Rich Emery earlier this week, but, due to illness, hadn't commented on it. (aka the online arm of the Lexington Herald-Leader) reports that media outlets down there are making widespread cuts. All of the following comes from this ONE article, so keep it open!

WTVQ: Starting at the ABC affiliate WTVQ-TV 36/Lexington, where they won't renew three reporter contracts and are cutting 2 full-time news producers.

The station has also trimmed back their morning news, slicing the 5 AM half-hour off, making that newscast from 5:30-7 AM.

And, says the Herald-Leader:

In a separate move, the station will not be renewing the contracts of reporters Michelle Rauch, Tony Hensley and Cheryl Glassford over the coming months.

WDKY: Next we head to WDKY-TV 56/Danville, which has eliminated three traffic staffers.

No, we're not talking about those who report road conditions around the city (such as WKYT's "Officer Don" Evans or WKRC's Bob Herzog).

We're talking about the division of a TV station that schedules commercials, programming and promotion for air.

Sinclair Broadcasting Group owns WDKY and is streamlining that entire division for every one of its properties, says the Herald-Leader.

Sinclair also owns WSTR-TV 64/Cincinnati in the home market of this blog. It's not clear how the move affects WSTR-TV. We'll dig for that information.

WKYT: Our final stop, at least on the TV side of media in Lexington, is WKYT-TV 27/Lexington.

That station has eliminated the position of a business manager who oversaw the finances of WKYT as well as sister Gray Television station WVLT-TV 8/Knoxville.

Quoting once more from the article:

"They've just moved the accounting functions for all of the Gray stations," said Chris Baker, general manager at WVLT. "It's been an evolution. The accounting functions are coming out of Tallahassee and slowly folding other stations in."

Lexington Herald-Leader: When we said that WKYT was the last stop on the TV knew there had to be more.

And - surprise! - it comes from the people who PRODUCE!

Quoting one last time:

The Herald-Leader announced earlier this month that its employees must take an unpaid week off before the middle of December.

The newspaper announced during a period of layoffs in March that it might require an unpaid week off should the economy, which is ravaging print advertising revenues, not recover quickly.

The unpaid week off applies to all employees, including union-represented newsroom employees who approved the possibility of one before the March layoffs, which saw 49 full-time and four part-time employees cut.

There's a running gag that our friends at OMW use about one of the local papers there..."We hope they keep their AP bill current."

We hope we never have to start thinking that way about any newspaper in our area...but fear that those days may not be far off at this rate...

Ending the Week

We're gonna wrap this short week up (which was actually shorter than we had wanted), and go do some stuff to prepare for the Fourth.

And speaking of the 4th of July...From all of us here at the TSMW/TSDTW HQ, to our American readers, a happy patriotic 4th wish to you all!

FOX19 Evening News at...6:00?: That's what we're hearing, and indeed, according to the Kiese Blog, that's what we're going to get!

The 6:30 news that WXIX-TV 19/Newport, Kentucky has run for nearly 1 year will be expanded into a 1 hour newscast beginning 9/21, says Kiese. FOX19 informed its staffers of the move late yesterday.

We'll be reaching out to ND Steve Ackermann for more on this. remains to be seen if this is going to work for FOX19. However, the station has continually beaten "Today" and "Good Morning America" between 7-9 AM, and has run second to WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati at 6 AM.

Sitcoms, "AFV" Part of FOX19 Afternoons: And FOX19 has announced their 3-8 PM lineup, as well.

In the same blog, Kiese notes the released portions of the FOX19 schedule for fall, leading into the new 6 PM news.

"America's Funniest Home Videos" will air in reruns from 3-4 PM. Then there will be a block of sitcoms following that until 5:30 PM. A syndicated version of "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" will lead into the 6 PM news. After the news, the syndicated "Family Guy" (7 PM) and "Simpsons" (7:30) will lead into the FOX Primetime lineup.

Again: We'll reserve judgement on how well the new schedule will work. We need to see it in action, first. Time will tell how viewers will warm to the new plan.

FSO Begins Bearcat Football, 2 Months Before Kickoff: After the July 4th weekend, most of us will not yet be thinking football. Fox Sports Ohio hopes to change that as they begin coverage of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats' Athletics Season 2009-10.

A press release from the university says Fox Sports Net will air 8 football games from last season, mostly on Mondays. beginning next week. (The exceptions are 7/14 [Tuesday] and 7/31 [Friday].) This will continue up to August 24th.

Other highlights of the FSO Bearcat Athletics Coverage include:

--Nine midnight replays of '09 football games.
--A preseason special the week of Aug. 31 for football, and on October 21 for basketball.
--Weekly Brian Kelly show starting 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 (repeating at 10 p.m.).
--A bowl special Dec. 23.
--11 mens basketball games and 2 womens basketball game.
--Weekly Mick Cronin show at 6 p.m. Thursdays starting Dec. 3. (repeating at 10 p.m.).
--8 Bearcats Classics basketball games Monday, Sept. 7 at midnight, through Oct. 26.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A bit to catch up on

Sorry for the lack of updates last two weeks. We've just finished one off-blog project (and we're about to take up another unrelated project), but will still update more often when there's stuff to talk about.

But there's a couple tidbits we'd like to mention.

WGRR, WNKR and WUBE Support Relay For Life: We mentioned the off blog project. That was the Relay For Life in Boone County this past Friday. And we noted three radio stations that supported that.

WGRR-FM 103.5/Cincinnati, WNKR-FM 106.7/Williamstown, and WUBE-FM 105.1/Cincinnati were all part of the Relay at Randall K. Cooper High in Union, Kentucky last Friday night. WNKR was a supporting sponsor. WGRR had Chris and Janeen for MC duty, while WUBE had a booth above the track.

We're waiting for the total amounts raised by the relay here. We'll update you, since this was a project Your Tri-State Media Watcher was personally involved with...

Gannett Cutting Across Newspapers: That's right...Gannett, which has already had employees take two rounds of furloughs.

We get this through our friends at Ohio Media Watch, who in turn got it through the Wall Street Journal. Quoting the article:

Gannett Co., the largest U.S. newspaper publisher by daily circulation, will cut between 1,000 and 2,000 jobs out of its 41,500-person work force in response to continuing revenue declines, according to a person familiar with the company's thinking.

The cuts will come from the U.S. Community Publishing division, which consists of Gannett's more than 80 local dailies, the person said, and won't affect the company's flagship, USA Today. The exact number of jobs to be cut wasn't clear. The cuts will be disclosed in the next few days.

That, by the way, DOES include the staff of the Cincinnati Enquirer as far as we're aware.

The fact we're talking "Clear Channel Cut"-type numbers is startling. We wonder who will be affected. And we also wonder if this will somehow affect the Community Press and Recorder papers, which share some resources with the Enquirer. Stay tuned...