Friday, October 30, 2009

Looking Ahead to Halloween

We're gonna look at Halloween as a couple radio stations give you what one of them is calling "Music to Trick or Treat By"...

WKRQ-FM 101.9/Cincinnati: "Q102" will be playing two hours of a mix of classic Halloween tunes ("Monster Mash", anyone?) and other scary sounds from 6-8 PM. The station is touting itself as "Q 10-Boo" for that time period.

At 8 PM, they'll be doing a one hour special presentation, titled "The Twilight Saga: An Inside Look at 'New Moon'", about the second installment of the "Twilight" series which officially opens in theaters November 20th. It will feature, we hear, some tunes from the movie's soundtrack, along with cast interviews. Oh, and the station is giving away tickets to the Q102 Premiere of "New Moon" via their "Q102 Rewards" site and other promotions ahead of November 18th's special screening.

WGUC 90.9/Cincinnati: Here's a look at the classical station's plans via the Kiese Blog:

4-6 p.m.: Listeners will hear “Tunes from the Crypt Goes to the Movies,” featuring spine tingling film scores and classical compositions that have created some of the most chilling, thrilling, and tension-filled moments on the silver screen. This two-hour program blends better known pieces such as John Williams’ theme from Jaws, Bernard Herrmann’s suite from Psycho, and Wendy Carlos’ opening from The Shining, along with other surprising selections.

6-8 p.m.: “Tunes from the Crypt: More Musical Treats” (last aired in 2007) will offer little vampires and princesses the perfect accompaniment for gathering up all those delicious treats. Selections from the films “War of the Worlds,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and “Lord of the Rings 3” join Tunes from the Crypt classics such as Danse Macabre from Camille Saint-Saens and This is Halloween by Danny Elfman (from Tim Burton’s The Night Before Christmas.) This two-hour fright fest will also feature music from Andrew Lloyd-Webber, John Williams, Igor Stravinsky, Giacomo Puccini, and many others, with the diabolical Mark Perzel as host.

So, there are two options for Trick-or-Treaters in the Tri-State to hear some Halloween-themed music. We personally have never heard the WGUC shows, but we'll give them a listen too at times on Saturday...

THIS JUST IN: Cavs Conflict to Bounce St. X/Moeller Game

Saturday night, the Saint Xavier Bombers face the Moeller Crusaders for the GCL South Championship at 7:30 PM on Fox Sports Ohio.

There's just one problem.

The Cleveland Cavaliers face the Charlotte Bobcats tomorrow night at 7:30...also on Fox Sports Ohio.

How have they solved this problem?

FSOhio has posted this word, also available at, on their Facebook page:


FOX Sports Ohio announces October 31 action-packed schedule including the Cavaliers & High School Football featuring St. Xavier vs. Moeller

Saturday, October 31, 2009 is an eventful evening on FOX Sports Ohio as we are covering the Cavaliers and the St. Xavier vs. Moeller high school football game. We don’t want fans to miss any of the action. Here are programming details.

Saturday, October 31

The Cavaliers vs. Charlotte Bobcats will be on FOX Sports Ohio, starting at 7pm with Cavaliers Live.

The St. Xavier vs. Moeller High School Football Game of the Week will be on the following alternate channels starting at 7pm with FOX Sports Ohio Live.

Time Warner – 99
Insight – 6
Direct TV – FSCincinnati
Dish Network - FSCincinnati

This scenario is unlikely to repeat during the playoffs, but if it should, we'll let you know those details...

Christmas Already

No, we didn't skip Halloween and Thanksgiving.

But one radio station is already doing the Christmas tunes, 24/7, as John Kiesewetter reports and we can confirm this morning.

WAKW-FM 93.3 "Star 93"/Cincinnati is already in Christmas mode, has been since Tuesday (!!) and could be the earliest station ever to start doing Christmas tunes, according to Tom Taylor, editor of the Taylor On Radio-Info weekday trade newsletter.

Randy James, Star 93's Program Director, said, “We’re a Christian station, this is our holiday, so we want to celebrate the season as soon as possible. We want to be more competitive, and this helps that. We wanted to be the first.”

Well, they sure of this writing, they're playing "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". Wow...

Our take: They have the right idea...lots of people need the hopefully this helps. Even though, yours truly isn't ready for it...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

B105 Morning Man on AFV Sunday

We get this from the Kiese Blog...

WUBE-FM 105.1/Cincinnati morning man Jason Statt will be part of "America's Funniest Home Videos" on Sunday night (7 PM, WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati, WKEF-TV 22/Dayton and WTVQ-TV 36/Lexington). Apparently, the show will have video of Statt in a donkey costume trying to ride a miniature horse on the farm of B105 DJ Duke Hamilton in January.

Statt says they sent it in in May and heard back on Tuesday that it will air. It's not known what AFV will do with the video.

In a related note, Newport Aquarium will be featured on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on Sunday, too, immediately following AFV...rapper Xzibit takes a dive in the shark tank there, and people from the aquarium help with the build of a home for the Mattingly family in Daviess County, KY near Owensboro...

Catch Up Thursday Morning Update

UPDATE: We now hear that Ochocinco is scheduled to plug his latest book on Tuesday night on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 AM, WLWT 5/Cincinnati, WDTN-TV 2/Dayton and WLEX-TV 18/Lexington). This word coming from John Kiesewetter @ the Enquirer via this post.

By the way, yours truly didn't catch Chad's appearance this morning on ESPN First Take, but our stepfather did...and said that Chad blew up at Skip Bayless in the first "1st and Ten" segment he did, over some comments the latter made.

The original item is below...


We're catching up, after being away from the TSMW HQ all day yesterday...

Ochocinco Blitzes the Media: Well...nationally, at least.

Chad Ochocinco, formerly known as Chad Johnson, is in the middle of a major one-day media blitz as we write this this morning.

He'll appear on ESPN's "First Take" and "Sportscenter" today ("First Take" on ESPN2 10-noon, "Sportscenter" at 12:50 PM on ESPN), as well as "NFL Live" (4:00 PM, ESPN). Tonight he does "The Late Show with David Letterman" (11:35 PM, WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati, WHIO-TV 7/Dayton and WKYT-TV 27/Lexington). Oh, and on Sunday he'll appear on “Sunday NFL Countdown Mayne Event” (Sunday morning), which was also taped today.

"Earl Pitts, Uhmerikan" Endorses Quinlivan: Yes, retired 700 WLW-AM/Cincinnati legend Gary Burbank's alter ego is endorsing a candidate for Cincinnati's City Council, as John Kiesewetter reported the other day.

We usually don't do politics here at the Blog Of Fun, but we mention this because of the Burbank connection. The spots are on former WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati reporter Laure Quinlivan's campaign website.

Pitts sounds as "Pitts'ed Off" as usual in these spots...and that's all we have to say about them. We won't get into the politics.

But in Cincinnati, this could attract voters to vote for we'll see.

Furman In Houston...Kinda: We hinted about this one Tuesday, but didn't get Around Tuit (TM by OMW) until this morning because we didn't have a whole lot of information.

Former 700 WLW radio host Andy Furman did do a gig for Houston, TX station 790 KBME-AM on Tuesday. But he wasn't physically IN Houston, as we first thought.

Furman told Kiese Wednesday that he did the shows from WLW's studios. Here's what else he had to say, from the Kiese Blog:

“This was an accident… Someone told me about 790… I started listening about 2 weeks ago online…Got really upset one day and called in, but the producer wouldn’t let me on. He thought I was nuts I guess… So I e-mailed the PD (Bryan) and told him I couldn’t get on. He e-mailed me back with a date to do the show… It was today (Tuesday)…I did it from WLW, 7-9 and 12-4… We had Pete Rose, Aaron Boone and Ziggy Gruber… He’s the owner of the biggest kosher deli in Texas. Kenny and Ziggys and a real character… I don’t know what the future may bring… So I’m not even going to think about it. Actually I wanted to do it to see if I still had it in me… I do…Maybe 1530 could use me from 9-12… Who knows. Just felt good to talk sports again. Thanks for your interest.”

Our take: Furman isn't likely to return to the Clear Channel/Cincinnati airwaves anytime soon. He was fired from there in '06 because of comments made about former Bengal TJ Houshmandzadeh, after the wide receiver (who is now with the Seattle Seahawks) missed what was called the "Bengals RoundTable". Houston, however, is a whole other story. We will have to see what happens...but, needless to say, this looks like it was a one shot deal...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Holland Moving Northeast

We're not talking about the country, either...

TJ Holland, formerly PD at WNNF-FM 94.1/Cincinnati and WRRM-FM 98.5/Cincinnati (until he was cut at the tail end of March), is moving up the I-71 corridor to Columbus.

He's taking over for Tony Florentino, according to our friends and esteemed colleagues at Ohio Media Watch as Operations Manager and Program Director at Saga Communications up there. Florentino's contract wasn't renewed by Saga.

The Saga group includes WVMX-FM 107.9/Westerville, WODB-FM 104.3/Richwood, OH, WSNY-FM 94.7/Columbus and WJZA-FM 103.5/Pickerington. (Oh, and if the WVMX call sign sounds familiar...those letters were formerly on 94.1 here.)

It's basically out of our main coverage area (about halfway between our territory and OMW's reach), but it is still worth noting as it involves the former Cumulus programmer finding work in these tough times...

Congratulations, TJ...

Monday, October 26, 2009

UPDATE: Abati Move Not Permanent...Just For a Few Days.

This morning, we reported on Valerie Abati being moved to the mornings, and we didn't have any word on what would happen evenings.

Now we have some updated information.

According to TV Critic John Kiesewetter at the Enquirer, WLWT News Director Stacy Owen says the move is only for a few days. Abati will go back to evenings on Thursday, in time for the crucial 4 week sweeps period to begin. Eric Green is doing evenings today through Wednesday.

The move looks to be a test for whenever WLWT hires their new chief meteorologist. Speculation suggests Abati would move permanently into mornings.

Meanwhile, we wondered where a move for Abati would leave Randi Ricco - and apparently, we have our answer on that, too. We saw Ricco doing health reporter duty during the same News 5 Today newscast, talking about the swine flu. The thinking appears to be to move her into a reporter role of some kind with Abati doing mornings, Eric Green and/or John Bateman doing weekends and a new chief meteorologist coming in to do evenings, whoever that may be.

By the way, fans of WKRC 12's Bob Herzog and Liz Bonis need not worry about their absences this morning. They're both taking a short vacation and are anticipated to return for Thursday's sweeps start.

Monday Mix

A few things to kick off your final week of October...

WLWT Moves Met to Mornings: A move that we had been looking for confirmation on, appears to be true as of this morning.

A source familiar with WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati's continuing search for a new chief meteorologist (they did not wish to be named) told us yesterday that Valerie Abati would be moved to mornings at least for the short term.

We took time to watch News 5 this morning, and we can confirm this is TRUE. Abati is doing this morning's News 5 Today as we type this (5:00 AM).

That source also told us that the station is still trying to find its new chief, but has at least two candidates for the job. They had to start looking after Derek Beasley bolted from WLWT in August to take the chief position at WPMI-TV 15/Mobile, AL.

WCPO Using New Graphics: Yes, we noticed some significant changes to WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati's news presentation over the weekend. We hadn't seen them before, so no, we don't know when they debuted.

Their opening graphic, along with in-newscast bugs, the scroll, and the Chyron graphics used during stories have all been changed.

The newer graphics appear to use more brown/earth tones, and they come with new music.

From our guess, these are still produced in-house, but not at WCPO.

Recall a few months back, we reported that WCPO had to drop 5 staffers, when parent Scripps Howard Broadcasting centralized graphic and ad traffic operations in Tampa (at station WFTS/8) and Phoenix (KNXV-TV 15 there).

Our thinking is that the graphics look like those used at the aforementioned Phoenix station... but we're not totally sure. Comparison sure doesn't look much different between KNXV and WCPO...

World Series to Wreak Havoc With WXIX: We've been looking for news from other corners of our domain...honest! But WXIX-TV 19/Newport seems to be making most of the news,, here we go again.

The AL Championship Series ended last night, after 6 games, the last of which had to be pushed back 1 day.

However...WXIX isn't done with baseball yet.

Enter, the World Series.

Because most of, if not every one of, the games will be played at night, that forces a move we already figured would happen...and one that actually took place last night for that aforementioned Game 6.

WXIX-DT2 19.2, aka THIS TV Cincy, will continue doing FOX 19 10:00 News broadcasts on nights when the station has baseball.

WXIX, however, will not have games on either Friday of this week, or Tuesday of next week (if a Game 5 is needed, it will happen on Monday, November 2, with Game 6 [again, if needed] scheduled for Wednesday, November 4th).

So, a few more nights of confusion for WXIX viewers...and then baseball is over.

Bengals Goofups: By the way, we didn't see any hints that WXIX is considering another "Bengals Sunday"...but if they do decide to do the same thing for the December 7th game between Detroit and Cincinnati, they might want to work on a problem with superimposition of their text Station ID - because it bothered a few fans of the team last night.

We were watching the Bengals game against the NFC North's Chicago Bears Sunday, and several times, whenever the station decided to drop in a Station ID bug on the bottom of the screen, the audio would cut out for a second, but then it would rewind - and you'd hear that second that you missed! The video was also goofed up at those times.

We weren't alone - reports from the AVS Science Forum confirm this, also.

It sounded to one forum poster like they'd sent the FOX HD feed through the encoder, not a splicer, when they went to insert the station ID.

If that's the case, that explains the momentary audio/video issue.

Seriously, WXIX...that was annoying. It needs And preferably, before the World Series begins on Wednesday, and you tick off a LOT more people...

Friday, October 23, 2009

WXIX Planning Bengals Coverage This Weekend

Normally, Bengals games air on WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati, because CBS has the rights to air all AFC games...unless those games are home games against NFC teams.

The latter scenario is the case this weekend, as the Bengals battle the Chicago Bears Sunday afternoon at 4:15 PM at Paul Brown Stadium. WXIX-TV 19/Newport has the rights to the game because of FOX's contract to carry NFC games.

The game comes with some locally produced pre- and post-game shows by WXIX, as the Enquirer and John Kiesewetter report.

At 3:15 PM, WXIX will do a special 45 minute pre-game show exclusively on THIS TV Cincy (19.2 over-the-air, Insight 194 and Time-Warner 994). Anchors Tricia Macke and Dan Carroll, along with sports director Brian Giesenschlag and sports anchor Zach Wells will present stories on players and tailgaters. WXIX-TV 19.1 will be finishing the Pittsburgh/Minnesota game at that time.

After the game, WXIX will pre-empt any special coverage and/or "The OT" and jump straight into a postgame show, also hosted by Macke, Carroll, Giesenschlag and Wells. That may include postgame press conferences with QB Carson Palmer and head coach Marvin Lewis if there is time. That will end at 8 PM when NBC has exclusive rights to football.

The only other game that FOX 19 will air is on December 6, when the Detroit Lions come into town. However, that game has not sold out so far...


A legendary comedian who got his start here in Cincinnati has died.

Soupy Sales (real name Milton Supman) died overnight at age 83, according to the AP.

Sales' career began in Cincinnati, where he was a radio DJ. His TV career started at WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati. He later moved on to Cleveland, then Detroit, where his career really took off with his show on WXYZ-TV/Detroit, called "Lunch Time with Soupy Sales". In 1959, that show went national on ABC, and the next year it moved to Los Angeles, then New York in 1964.

He later went on to take part in numerous game shows in the 1970s and '80s, and released an album in the late 60's titled "A Bag of Soup".

Sales will forever be remembered as one of the great comedians of his time.

Funeral arrangements are pending, and it is unclear if there will be any public memorials...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Barely Enough To Run

We've got a few items...let's start with something I was slightly involved with yesterday...

WKRC's Big Bengals Nation Giveaway Kickoff: WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati is giving away some tickets to a certain big football game in February.

Yes, we mean the Super Bowl.

The station began the giveaway yesterday, with an appearance by the station's Jen Dalton at Countertops and Cabinetry By Design in Florence on Mall Road.

Yours truly headed down there, originally with intentions of finding out more about it, certainly not planning to be on camera - and wound up involved in the 12:10 PM live shot that Dalton did announcing the giveaway on Local12 News at Noon.

If you want to register, head to any one of the four Countertops and Cabinetry By Design locations. For more info, log onto

While We're At 1906 Highland: The station also announced some lineup changes after Election Day.

"Local12 Newsmakers", hosted by Dan Hurley, will move to CW Cincinnati 12.2 on November 8th at 11 AM. Meanwhile "The Dish", currently seen on CW Cincinnati at 12:30 PM (new episodes Fridays, old ones Monday-Thursday) will move into that same slot on Local 12.

John Kiesewetter has the details here. The thinking is that "Dish" will be a good fit in the 11 AM slot on Sundays on the main signal.

Our take? While we agree that 11 AM Sundays is probably a good slot for a cooking show, "Newsmakers" is one of the better public affairs programs around. It might even be the best one in town. We shall see how this impacts the ratings.

WXIX Welcomes Back A Reporter: WXIX-TV 19/Newport welcomes back one of their own from a wedding and honeymoon.

Sara Celi, formerly known as Sara Gouedy, returned this week after getting married a couple weeks ago. She's had to get used to her new name - so we're giving her a pass on messing it up a couple times today.

Congratulations to Mrs. Celi and welcome back...

WOBO-FM Mourning: WOBO 88.7FM/Batavia is mourning the loss of one of their own.

John Kiesewetter of the Enquirer reported yesterday that Hank Bangert, who hosted the "Musical Moods" show(Mondays, 3-6 PM) on the Clermont County variety station, died at age 81. Hank was the father of 700 WLW-AM/Cincinnati newsman Bill Bangert.

We here at TSMW extend our heartfelt sympathies to the Bangert this is a huge loss for them. We also wish to extend the same to the staff of WOBO, who lost a dear colleague and friend...

Forecast on the Weather Channel is...Movies??: Yes, that's in the cards.

The cable network more widely known for its "Local on the Eights" and "Storm Stories" will test the movie idea, according to the AP. The first movie to be shown will be "The Perfect Storm", based on the 1991 storm that happened 18 years ago.

Ironically, the movie will air on the 18th anniversary of that storm, Friday, October 30th(Insight digital 30/430, Time Warner digital 370/analog 41), but the time is still to be announced. Jen Carfagno will provide commentary on the weather-related aspects of the movie.

The connection to the Tri-State, albeit a tedious one, is that WXIX has tried airing "Storm Stories" episodes, with commentary provided by that station's chief meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer.

Our take? We're big weather nuts here at the Blog of Fun. If the Weather Channel is going to air movies, then something like this is an appropriate idea.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Talking Sports

QUICK UPDATE: We did some research, and we found this nugget from Wikipedia:

During the afternoon games, CBS and Fox may switch a market's game to a more competitive one, particularly when a contest becomes lopsided. For this to occur, one team must be ahead by at least 18 points in the second half.

That would certainly fit with the New England Patriots...which were ahead 52-0 at 6:17 PM when CBS pulled the plug nationally...

Original item below...


Yes, we're here, sort of.

As noted, our updates will be less frequent for a couple days. But, we're running this one out there, while it's still fresh in our minds...

CBS Pulls National Coverage: We didn't think the networks had flexibility to DO this for doubleheaders...

Your Tri-State Media Watcher was watching WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati, where the New England Patriots were completely decimating the Tennessee Titans.

Notice we said "were".

The game is STILL going on as we type this. But...CBS pulled the plug on the national coverage of the game - with most of the second half still to be played!

We wonder if the NFL gave them the okay to do that. It wasn't a very competitive contest...but you're gonna have some ticked off Tennessee fans in some places if that game gets competitive again.

FOX 19 News at...1:20 AM???: Yes, it happened last night.

We were up, because of being something of an insomniac. The New York Yankees were playing the L.A. Angels of Anaheim, in a game that just would...not...end.

Mercifully, the Yankees DID end it, in the 13th inning.

As 12:30 AM turned to 12:45...then 1 AM...then 1:10...we wondered if WXIX-TV 19/Newport would even attempt to mount a late news on their main channel. (By the way: WXIX is airing the 10 PM news, at its regular time, on 19.2 (aka This TV Cincinnati) when WXIX airs a late game, and the 6 PM news tomorrow because of a 4 PM start for the ALCS. It's seen on Time Warner digital channel 994 and Insight digital channel 194.)

When the postgame ended around 1:20 AM, WXIX DID have a very short (presumably recorded) newscast of about 5 minutes duration...before jumping to "Talkshow with Spike Feresten".

We think WXIX officials saw the writing on the wall when the game went past 11:30 it appeared at least the radar loop used for the short newscast was from that time.

We can't blame WXIX (or for that matter, most FOX affiates in the eastern US) if they don't air the local news in these situations. (We hear from our friends and colleagues at Ohio Media Watch that WJW-TV 8/Cleveland went straight to Feresten after postgame.)

The fact is, at 1:20 AM, there's not much market for local news...except the sports fans, or insomniacs, like Your Tri-State Media Watcher.

Of course all of that was a moot point for the West those areas were still able to do a semi-on time late local news...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rare Early Saturday Update

UPDATE 4:05 PM Saturday: An anonymous commenter tells us The Sound is still on the air. They apparently went down last month for about a week - but they are back now. And as for the previous "Sound" domain names, they're still inactive, but our commenter tells us that the online stream is at

This is rare that we do an early Saturday morning update...but we need to clear the plate for a simple medical reason.

As it looks right now, the next week will likely be a week that sees Your Tri-State Media Watcher need at least some medical rest due to problems in BOTH arms (read: not using the arms so much). As a consequence, the Blog of Fun won't see as many updates this week, as it has in recent months. More on this below.

So, let's clear the plate, before we head over to the hospital sometime this weekend for the official diagnosis:

B105 Has IPhone App:'re hearing it RIGHT HERE, first (unless you happen to be a member of the B105 Facebook Group, in which case unless you come here first, you're reading it there first).

WUBE-FM 105.1/Cincinnati announced late last evening, after most everyone had gone off for the night, that they've got a brand new IPhone application. Straight from the station via their Facebook Group, in a message sent out to their members:

Attention iPhone users:

Now follow B105 through your phone by adding the B105 iPhone app exclusively at

Tell your friends!

We're pretty sure at least a couple of our readers, those fans of what once was 94.9-then 97.3-then 94.9 again "The Sound" (which we'll get to in our next item) excluded, may be fans of B105. As such, we wanted to let them know about it.

"Sound" Gone? Looks Like It: Speaking of "The Sound", it looks as if that's now totally gone.

It doesn't exist, online or otherwise, it would seem. It had been at 94.9 HD2, for those with HD Radios. Online, it was at

Right now, and we mean now as of 6:07 AM on Saturday morning as we're writing this, that link points to a domain expiration page. Reports have the 94.9 HD2 signal discontinued on September 14th. We didn't know it - and apparently, neither did John Kiesewetter at the Enquirer. A tweet on 9/17 to us, only came to our attention a couple weeks after the fact (we had some computer troubles at the time not to mention other projects we were working on) - and when it did, we began to track it down.

It's taken us two weeks - but we know now. Sorry, Insane Elvis for taking so long to track down this one. We were fans, too when we could get the station at 94.9. At the TSMW HQ, their signal from the Star Tower (which is the location of WSTR-TV 64(RF 33)/Cincinnati, WREW-FM 94.9/Cincinnati, WRRM-FM 98.5/Cincinnati, and WGRR-FM 103.5/Cincinnati at least, along with we think one more) in North College Hill had trouble penetrating the hills of NKY when they were on 97.3 FM with their 2,550 watts of ERP.

Finally, The Quick Note: Barring any indication of major injury to my arms, The Blog Of Fun should return sometime between Thursday, October 22nd and next Saturday.

As you are aware from my personal blog, being in a wheelchair means I need both arms at full strength. And if that means I need to stop trying to type so much, I will do it.

I'll come out of hiatus with major, breaking news if it occurs (such as, I don't know, radio formats returning or changing, a mass fire sale at a local group, or something else).

I hate needing hiatuses. I really do. But, to maintain health, sometimes these are necessary...

Keep Your Tri-State Media Watcher's family and yours truly in your thoughts, as I look to figure out what's going on, and what might be next...

Friday, October 16, 2009

THIS JUST IN: No Blackout

There will be no blackout in Cincinnati, Dayton, or Lexington for this week's Bengals game against the Texans, LOCAL12 reports. From the story above:

The Bengals, Local 12 (CBS affiliate WKRC-TV in Cincinnati) and Motorola worked together to ensure the blackout would be lifted. As part of this plan, Motorola will give away 1200 tickets (600 pairs of tickets) to Bengals fans for free, starting at 11:30 am Saturday at the North Ticket Office (next to the Bengals Pro Shop) at Paul Brown Stadium. Motorola is a long-time sponsor of the Bengals and has a newly aligned partnership with Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco.

There are still tickets available. The blackout is usually lifted in these situations when tickets are available in certain areas of the stadium.

Mid-October Weekend

Let's see what we have to run this Friday...some good, it looks like, but one minor, slightly-related bad news item from the local area:

Burbank's Closes: While Gary Burbank is known in media circles for his long-running show on 700 WLW-AM/Cincinnati, he also had a restaurant at I-75 and Sharon Road in Sharonville.

That is, until now.

The Enquirer reports this morning that Burbank's Bar-B-Q has closed. Reports suggest that the owners are working on a spinoff concept to open in another locale in town.

Burbank has been reported in the past to be thinking about a 1,200 seat restaurant/concert venue, something close to what the Funny Bone Comedy Club does. It would host 35-50 national acts per year.

As we noted, it's only slightly related, as Burbank himself is the connection here to media. But we figured we'd mention it.

If memory serves us correctly, Burbank's even had a location in Florence at one time. It was just off I-75 exit 180, at US 42 and Dream Street. That site is now a Frisch's Big Boy.

Balloon Boy: It was hard to miss this story yesterday, when a balloon took off in Denver with a small child reported to be inside. The child was later found in his home, hiding in a cardboard box in the attic.

It seemed like everybody in town was covering it, even though it didn't happen here in Cincinnati (rather, it occurred just outside of Denver, Colorado).

Within minutes, everybody and their brothers knew of the story, via Twitter, including yours truly.

It just proves once again that, with Twitter, word can and does spread quickly.

Finding Out About TV Blackout: Yes, the elephant in the room.

As we type this just before 1 PM, we should be finding out soon if TV stations in Cincinnati, Dayton or Lexington will be allowed to show this weekend's home game for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The good news? They had 500 fewer tickets to sell this morning, as the Bengals announced they were giving that many tickets to military families so they could attend the Bengals' tilt with the Houston Texans. We're all for that, for sure.

The Bengals are also hosting a midfield halftime enlistment ceremony:

The Bengals previously announced a partnership with the United States Marines Corps that will bring more than 200 future Marines to Sunday's game. During a halftime ceremony, fans will have the rare opportunity to see hometown men and women enlist in the Marine Corps. The ceremony will honor those who are making the commitment. The ceremony will also include a video of active-duty Cincinnati Marines currently serving in Iraq.

Again, we'll find out later today whether the game sold out...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bengals Getting 24 Hour Extension

We just got word of this while out, and tweeted about it from a quick run to the Florence Mall area.

WCPO, WKRC and the Bengals all report that the NFL team responsible for, we're sure, more than a few cardiac scares, is getting an extension of the league imposed deadline for TV blackouts.

Normally, the league declares extensions for teams when they have less than 1500 tickets remaining, and there's a high likelihood they will sell out within that extension period.

In the Bengals' case, they apparently think there's a high likelihood that they'll sell over 3,000 tickets, or TWICE what is normally required for an extension to be granted, and the league seems to agree.

Over the period from last night to midday today, the Bengals ticket sales spiked, which apparently helped influence the decision. Yesterday at midday, over 6,000 tickets remained.

We'll let you know if they make the 1 PM Friday deadline...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weighing In on Cookie Wars

We're around - and so we wanted to talk a little about something not even John Kiesewetter has.

During the month of October, WKRC-TV LOCAL 12/Cincinnati anchor Kit Andrews and meteorologist Tim Hedrick are waging a "Cookie War". Here's how Kit explains it, from the station's website:

I have a favorite recipe that the newsroom folks seem to like. Tim has his own. We want you to decide which is best.

Just go to Busken Bakery or Remke Markets during the month of October, and buy either a chocolate chunk pecan, or a Doppler Tim's peanut butter picaso, or one of each, to be really fair. Then buy more of the one you like, and the proceeds will provide tuition assistance for Catholic school kids on both sides of the river, including the children at Saint Boniface in Northside.

No, we've yet to get any of the cookies. Your Tri-State Media Watcher is partial to Peanut Butter however, and yet I like chocolate, too. (We're gonna try to get a few of the cookies in the next 2-3 days.)

This time of year, seeing a TV station get behind a cause such is this is great. No, we're not Catholic here at Tri-State Media Watch. And that means, we're behind stations supporting education in any way possible.

On a slightly related note, a station in Atlanta, a city hit by floods last month, went all out trying to help kids at one of the hardest hit schools there recently.

Clarkdale Elementary was inundated when Sweetwater Creek rose out of its banks September 21. WXIA-TV 11/Atlanta collected donations for the school in the week following the flood.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Enough to Run - Barely

Yes, we've been around. We just didn't have too much that NEEDED to be reported as breaking news. But we do have a FRESH item just reported by our friends and colleagues at OMW:

Arbitron PPM's Here Soon: Yep... the long talked about Portable People Meters are coming at last!

If you're wondering, the PPM is the newest ratings technology in terms of getting radio ratings. They're one reason that a lot of places don't have smooth jazz stations anymore...and one reason CBS Radio has been loading up on a LOT of sports radio and top 40 stations. And, they've been rumored in quite a few markets, INCLUDING Cleveland, in the territory of our friends at OMW, for a few weeks. (We didn't hear those rumors in the Tri-State.)

Well, they will soon be in Cincinnati, according to AllAccess as well as OMW this morning:

On DECEMBER 31st, 2009, ARBITRON plans to commercialize the PPM radio ratings service in PORTLAND, OREGON, SACRAMENTO, CINCINNATI, CLEVELAND, SALT LAKE CITY-OGDEN-PROVO, SAN ANTONIO, KANSAS CITY and LAS VEGAS with the release of the DECEMBER PPM survey report (NOVEMBER 12th - DECEMBER 9th).

What does this mean for Cincinnati? Well...right now, not much. Not until December 31, anyway.

After that, it means that the information gathered by the PPM's are "money" when it comes to ratings. And the diaries people have recorded radio ratings by for years? Well...those are consigned to history, or the scrap heap.

Either way, it'll be interesting to see how it impacts things in this area.

NFL Net Picking Up Ravens/Bengals Replay: We're sure most of our readers already know of the Bengals, which are quickly becoming known as the "Cardiac Cats" for the nailbiting finishes to...every single game this YEAR, and how they had yet another near-miss on Sunday.

If you want to relive it, we heard yesterday, courtesy of the Kiese Blog, that the NFL Network will replay last Sunday's game against the Ravens tonight at 8 PM in a 90 minute format called "NFL Replay". NFL Replay is basically the game, condensed into 90 minutes, with the halftime and other things that don't affect the outcome edited out, and sideline and on-field sound added in. Also, fans will get to see snippets of the post-game pressers.

We mused to a personal friend of ours, Mike Taylor, that we can't take too many more of these close games. We think it's taken 5 years off our lifespan, at LEAST. Heh.

By the way, STILL no deal between Time Warner Cable and NFL Network... which means those subscribers won't be able to see the replay of the game, unless a last-second deal is reached today, OR they get satellite. On Insight, it's channel 547 for SD, or 926 for HD...

Insight Adds New HD Channels: And we couldn't have come up with a better segue than that, because our next item is about the HD side of that cable provider's offerings.

The Kiese Blog reports that subscribers in Northern Kentucky are getting NINE HD channels following some new additions last night.

The new additions are (channel positions are in parentheses, taken from the updated online lineup on page 2 of this PDF):

Big Ten Network (920)
ESPN News (927)
Bravo (991)
CNBC (905)
Fox Business (903)
Speed (969)
ABC Family (982)
WGN (940)
Lifetime (985)

This is a good move - but, it doesn't go as far as they'd like with restoring their goodwill with those people left somewhat in the dark when they took the WCPO-DT2 Weather Tracker off basic cable, along with the Univision Network earlier this year...

And looking at that lineup...something isn't making sense here.

Specifically: We went back to that lineup and looked CLOSELY at the little marks at the end of some of the channel listings.

And we noted that BOTH WLWT and WCPO's weather channels are noted as being "Provided with Basic Service, additional equipment may be required".

Last time we were able to check, we were pretty sure that THOSE two channels, ESPECIALLY WLWT-DT2, were NOT on basic cable in any position near or after channel 69. Maybe we need to go back and look, but, we're pretty sure on the living room TV here at TSMW's World HQ in Eastern or Northern Boone County, you WON'T find WCPO-DT2, much less WLWT-DT2...update will come sometime before we need to leave this afternoon...

UPDATE 11:30 AM: Well, THIS is odd to us.

We just looked at channels 71-75. And indeed, WCPO-DT2 IS on basic, but ONLY if you have the converter box.

But the odd thing isn't that it's on channel 71.

In fact, if you move UP to channel 75...IT'S THERE, TOO.

Are they about to move WLWT-DT2 to that slot? Maybe. Maybe not.

It's something to check on with the good folks at WLWT...BUT, we know for a FACT that what's trimulcasting on channels 71, 75, and 432, IS WCPO WeatherTracker...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

WKRC Radar Back?

We're watching a livestream on Local 12 WKRC-TV/Cincinnati's website right now. And we think, but aren't sure, they got Precision Doppler 12 radar back up and running.

We know we have at least one reader out there at 1906 Highland. Maybe they can help us out... did Local12 get the radar back after technical issues had it shut down for ten months? Or are they still using the NWS 88D radar at Wilmington?

UPDATE: One of our readers says it isn't. However... from what we saw when they had the live stream up last night, it was.


This word came late yesterday afternoon while we were at Bengals Nation...

The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on WCPO-TV's request to move to digital RF 22 from its current RF 10. (WARNING: LARGE PDF ahead!)

The NPRM would grant WCPO a power level of 850 kilowatts, as opposed to the 1000 kW requested. From the sound of it, it would still be on-par with WLWT's current 1,000 kW signal.

Interested parties have 15 days to send comments to the FCC. Even so, the process isn't over yet.

WCPO would still have to file for a construction permit, and then only once that was granted could they abandon RF 10...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Returning With WLWT Thoughts

Our apologies for the absence in the early half of the week. Unfortunately, illness tends to be an issue right now... but we're back with a couple thoughts, mostly about WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati...

Jack's Back - How'd He Do?: We've caught some of Jack Atherton's first newscasts for what is currently the most powerful station in Cincinnati.

Our first comment is that it seems Atherton made an effort to lose some weight during a few months off from TV. He looked slimmer and trimmer. Some comments we heard haven't really been too kind about his appearance. But he looked okay to us, not sick or dead.

Second, it's clear that his folksy style is slightly different from the "Straight to the Point" idea. Not much - but slightly. Jack seemed more conversational in his tone. He did show he could talk sports or just about anything. (We hear that there was a quip by Sheree about Atherton being a cross-dresser - but we're sure that he isn't. He didn't comment on the broadcast.)

We caught, barely, his introduction on Monday. He said when asked about his 9 month hiatus (his contract with WXIX-TV 19/Newport stated he couldn't work for anyone else in town for 9 months), "My heart goes out to people out there who are out of work. It’s no fun. It really wasn’t." That was a great heartfelt moment.

Then he said, “This is a great business, and I just hope we get to bring you good news every night.” There wasn't very much good news on his first night. It reminds us of his standard tag line at Fox 19 which he ended every broadcast with: "We hope your news is good."

Overall, we give Atherton's debut a solid B. Good job by WLWT on the roll-out.

Live Blogging with Travis: Recall that earlier this year, WLWT live blogged the murder trial of Ryan Widmer, accused (and ultimately convicted at the time) of killing his wife Sarah. (For the record: Widmer is getting a retrial, but it's unknown when. EDIT: And as we're typing this, we get that date - March 15, 2010.)

Now, a popular web staffer is back and blogging again.

The "Travis" we refer to is Travis Gettys of Gettys became popular following his exhaustive coverage of the Widmer trial. Now, he's blogging from the trial of Mark Blankenburg, a Hamilton doctor accused of sexual abuse crimes. You'll find the blogs on

Again: We're not a crime blog. We're a media blog. This just happens to fall in our domain of media.

Letterman Thoughts: Finally, we diverge from the world of local media for a minute, and head for the national media.

Specifically, we're talking about David Letterman's revelations last week that he had sex with staffers on his show, and was blackmailed by a CBS producer, Robert Halderman, who is currently free on bond while awaiting trial on charges of extortion. You'd have to have been under a rock to not hear about it by now. Letterman's show is seen nightly on WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati and WHIO-TV 7/Dayton (11:35 PM Monday-Friday nights).

Our thoughts: That's enough, Dave. Seriously.

You're not really helping your case here. Apologizing for it is one thing and perfectly acceptable (actually, it was a good gesture). Joking about it ON A NIGHTLY BASIS is a whole other matter.

It won't help your case in court. We're pretty sure that a jury wouldn't know whether you were joking, or serious.

Granted: You won't be on trial for anything. But you could be called to testify. If we were you, we'd stop joking and treat this seriously. Don't talk about it except under the advice of your private counsel. Wait til after Halderman goes through trial. Then, and ONLY THEN, should you even try to joke about it.

We won't disagree about one thing: You have your work cut out for you...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Jack Is Back - Tonight on WLWT-TV 5

Yes, folks, we took that title straight from WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati's advertising campaign.

WLWT has been trumpeting the return of former WXIX-TV 19/Newport anchor Jack Atherton for the last week plus. And this evening (or it will be by the time most of you read this), Atherton makes the return on the station with the most powerful signal in town.

Atherton will co-anchor News 5 at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 with Sheree Paolello, until Sandra Ali returns from maternity leave. (What's in the water at WLWT, what with all the pregnancies between Ali and Paolello the last few years?? We're just joking, Channel 5, don't take it personally!)

Anyway, the station's advertising it pretty hard right now. We just saw two separate ads for the big debut of Atherton since we began typing this item!

Will it be enough to pull WLWT out of the cellar ratings-wise? We think it might be enough to put them in second place - but not in November. It might be February before we see that.

Atherton began working behind a desk at WLWT on Thursday, when his no-compete clause with WXIX expired.

However, even before it expired, we saw a few PSA's with Atherton featured for some non-profit or another. We don't remember at the moment what they were for - maybe our readers can fill us in. And that makes us wonder if WXIX made an exception for those PSA's. Hmmm...

DEVELOPING STORY: George Grande Retires, Opting Out of FSN Contract

This broke early this afternoon - but Your Tri-State Media Watcher has been out of commission all day today due to illness.

George Grande, play-by-play man for the Cincinnati Reds on television for the last 17 years, announced today that he is retiring, in the process opting out of the last year of his contract with Fox Sports Ohio.

Grande announced it now to give the Reds and FSO time to find his replacement, says the Enquirer. Grande said he hopes that FSO stays in-house, naming Dan Hoard (who himself has WXIX-TV 19/Newport to his credit) or Jim Kelch (currently the radio voice for the Louisville River Bats) as possible replacements.

Grande says he wants to spend more time with his family, who live in Connecticut.

He has history in television sports and broadcasting in general spanning back over 45 years.

Going back about 36 years, his first TV experience was on local ABC affiliate WTNH-TV 8/New Haven, CT. He then moved to New York City, where he has WCBS-TV 2/NYC to his credit for a short stint as weekend sports anchor.

After New York, Grande was on the very first edition of ESPN's Sportscenter and remained with the network until 1988.

Thirteen years after that, he would begin broadcasts for the Cincinnati Reds for FSO, after brief stints with the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals.

Before all of that, Grande had stations in Los Angeles, Rhode Island and Connecticut on his resume on the radio side of broadcasting.

Grande has been the MC for the annual Baseball Hall of Fame Ceremony in Cooperstown, NY since 1980, and will continue with those responsibilities most likely even after this year.

By the way, Hal McCoy also retires later this month from the Dayton Daily News, after 37 years with that publication covering the Reds.

We here at TSMW wish Grande and McCoy both nothing but the best and happy retirements...