Monday, November 30, 2009

NEW THIS MORNING: WHIO Not Transmitting Over-Air

A hat tip to our esteemed colleagues at Ohio Media Watch for taking the lead on this story...

Seems WHIO-TV 7/Dayton is not transmitting over-the-air as of last word this morning.

Quoting an article from the Dayton Daily News:

The station first began experiencing intermittent problems at about 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, (Vice President and General Manager Harry) Delaney said. By 1:30 p.m., the station stopped transmitting a signal through regular antennas and satellite providers, Delaney said.

The kicker (no pun intended) that is upsetting a lot of OTA and satellite viewers? The problems came in the midst of the Cincinnati Bengals' 16-7 win over the Cleveland Browns. WHIO is Dayton's Bengals affiliate.

Anyway, there's no word what is causing the transmission issue, and there's also no timetable for when the station will return to the airwaves of Southwest and West-Central Ohio.

We'll update you as we know more.

And by the way, we're back to full speed this morning. Yours truly's mother is basically out of the woods for now with regard to her heart troubles, so we feel comfortable coming back to our normal update schedule.

We do extend our gratitude to all those people who kept us in mind over the last couple weeks. Things like this make you realize what is really important in family and your own health...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


A source that asked us not to identify them sent us word that Sandra Ali, who has been an anchor at WLWT 5/Cincinnati for five years, has decided to leave.

The word is that after the birth of her son recently, she's decided to focus on her family and then, when the time is right for her, move on to a new opportunity.

We certainly can understand Ali's wishes, and commend her for doing what she believes is right. After all, family should be important in ANYONE's life. (Yours truly had to learn that lesson all over again this week with his mother's health scare - which, by the way, she is home and doing very well.)

We wish Ali the best in her move to raise her new family.

As another side note, we'll be back on Monday, November 30 full strength. We should have anything that breaks on Friday, but to be honest, we're not expecting that to happen. Some media folks do take the holiday off - some, not all. (Yes, John Gumm at WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati, we're aware you are probably not off.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Back on Hiatus UFN

Due to a developing situation with yours truly's mother, Tri-State Media Watch is now back on hiatus until further notice.

At this hour, the mother of Your Tri-State Media Watcher is in a Campbell County, KY hospital with what doctors are saying is a heart issue. We don't have many more details than that at the present time.

Our return is likely to be this Monday at the earliest, and that assumes she gets out of the hospital over the upcoming weekend.

We may not even be around to post any long form information on any breaking news, although we certainly will attempt to do so.

Keep an eye on the official twitter, located to the right of the blog or at for any news we feel needs to be posted ASAP.

Coming Back Early

We're coming back a day earlier than we announced last week, with a short update. Basically, it's all about the Christmas Music Sweepstakes, but there's one non-Christmas item to begin...

Regent Hires New Interactive Sales Director: Ben Hoffman took over the new position of Director of Interactive Sales at Regent Communications here, moving there from just up I-75 at the Clear Channel Dayton cluster, where he was Director of Sales.

He’ll work with Regent’s current VP of Technology and Digital Media Larry Downes, according to the excellent Radio-Info Newsletter last Tuesday. (You have to subscribe to read the newsletter - but it is well worth the five minutes it will take to register.)

Our congratulations to Mr. Hoffman, who has no relation that we know of to a personal friend of ours...

The Big Christmas Sweepstakes: And finally, the large elephant in the building...a lot of stations in and around TSMW-land going All Christmas.

We start in Cincinnati, where we already covered WAKW-FM 93.3/College Hill's flip before the month even BEGAN. You can now add WRRM-FM 98.5/Cincinnati to the list, which flipped their terrestrial signal last Wednesday.

Up in Dayton, still in what we consider our primary area, WLQT-FM 99.9/Kettering went to all-Christmas recently.

Let's go east on I-70 over to Columbus. Three stations there have flipped or will flip the switch soon. WLZT 93.3/Ashville, Ohio and WSNY-FM 94.7/Columbus already flipped in the last week, while WCVO-FM 104.7/Gahanna will on Thursday.

Next, down in Lexington, WLFX 106.7/Berea, WGKS 96.9/Paris and WMXL 94.5/Lexington all flipped recently. WSTV 103.7/Frankfort may flip, as well.

Heading west on I-64, Louisville stations haven't flipped, but there are three candidates for a flip, two of which will only do so on weekends. WVEZ-FM 106.9/St. Matthews goes all-Christmas from Thursday at midnight straight through to Christmas night. WJIE-FM 88.5/Okolona flips only on Black Friday and then weekends, and WMJM-FM 101.3/Jeffersontown plays Christmas music Black Friday, then on Saturdays until 7 PM.

Finally, we're heading up I-65 to Indianapolis. One station is stunting all Christmas, that being WNTR-FM 107.9/Indianapolis. That one will then change formats sometime on December 26th. They were a "Jack-like" station until they began stunting November 13.

The other station that has dropped the Christmas shoe is WYXB-FM 105.7/Indianapolis, and that is expected to go back to its normal format on December 26.

If we've missed any in any of these cities, please let us know by either email or twitter. We'll get Around Tuit (tm OMW) tomorrow or between bites of leftover turkey on Friday...

Friday, November 20, 2009

BREAKING: Steve Mann Jumps From WGRR to Rewind

We've confirmed today that Steve Mann, who has been a DJ at WGRR 103.5/Hamilton, has left there for the 2-7 PM shift at WREW 94.9/Fairfield.

Mann was announced by Rewind as the new PM drive guy today at 1:40 PM via their Twitter.

We hear that Danny Erals is doing Mann's slot on WGRR from a post on the Cincinnati Radio-Info message board.

We first read about Mann's jump through the above twitter post, however we didn't put two and two together until after seeing the message board post.

As we said before - we would come out of hiatus if something happens in local media that's worth a post. And this CERTAINLY qualifies.

By the way - Your Tri-State Media Watcher appreciates that some of This Space's readers are keeping him in thought at this time.

We're still dealing with Life As It Is, and we're hanging in there. It has, to be sure, been a trying 3 days.

But, hang in there, faithful readers...we will be back, better than ever, and maybe even before our announced date of Friday, November 27.

We'll probably draw up a post on Wednesday, November 25, just to summarize happenings before the holiday, then for sure on 11/27.

Keep us in your thoughts - and keep an eye on our Twitter feed, that'll let you know if we have something to share, or just make our return...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Clearing the Plate

Just a couple quick, and I do mean QUICK, updates, then an announcement.

Lou Dobbs' Replacement: Nothing we can solidly, 100 percent confirm this morning, but, just from what we're hearing, an update to our post from the other day on Lou Dobbs' CNN exit last Wednesday.

We're hearing that John King, currently host of CNN's "State of the Union" broadcast on Sundays, will take over the timeslot in 2010.

Until then, it looks like our earlier thoughts were wrong - Wolf Blitzer WILL continue doing "Situation Room" in an expanded, four hour slot.

It's not known what the 7 PM hour will be named after King takes over that 7 PM slot in 2010...

UK On STAR: We get word from both the Kiese Blog, and the website of WSTR-TV 64/Cincinnati.

WSTR will air three University of Kentucky Basketball games this week. The first is tonight, when UK takes on Miami University of Ohio at 7 PM.

The other two games that have been announced will be a tape delay of UK vs. Sam Houston State (10 PM Thursday night) and a live airing of UK vs. Rider University (4 PM Saturday).

Fox Sports Ohio New Policy: We don't really know why they did it, but, Fox Sports Ohio is now giving total priority to the two pro teams currently playing games. We got most of the story off the Kiese Blog - but the hat tip for the initial alert on the story goes to a reader of our colleague at Ohio Media Watch in this item.

Specifically, viewers of FSO will see ALL of the Columbus Blue Jackets' and Cleveland Cavaliers' games scheduled to air on the cable network on the main channels...even when teams like Xavier University or the University of Cincinnati are playing at the same time.

That, of course, bounces the college teams to alternate channels. And, as you can imagine, fans of both those teams are NONE too pleased.

We've got an e-mail out to FSO - and we'll let you know what we hear if anything. But...this is a segue we didn't plan...

An Announcement of an Impromptu Hiatus: We'd originally announced that we planned on fewer updates from Thursday onward. But...your local Media Watcher has decided he needs to just clear his entire schedule for a few days.

We're overloaded, stressed, and frankly, we don't want to end up like our aforementioned, very esteemed colleagues up in Northeast Ohio (who are dealing with illness at the present time).

So, our updates will be very near nil between the time this is posted, at 8 AM today, and Black Friday, to give us an extended break.

Of course, if we feel we need to, we'll update just to make sure that our return doesn't get TOO overloaded. And breaking media news will be available asap.

But...personal life needs to come first...and at this point, yours truly is near his breaking, we're stepping away.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

TSMW Remembers Jim Knippenberg

Sad news to report, as we noted via our twitter yesterday afternoon.

Jim Knippenberg, the Enquirer's gossip columnist for 37 years before his retirement last year, has died. He was 63 years old.

The Enquirer reports in the above link that he had been ill for several days - but it doesn't appear to be flu-related. It's not clear what illness he may have had.

Knippenberg is, as we note, best known for 37 years as the "man about town" who would, as he said in a column:

"...go to stuff – parties, benefits, restaurant openings, cast parties on opening night, hot new nightspots. All the time, just trying to keep up with who’s doing what around town. Then, I report back to readers who wanted to get to that glitzy party but had baby-sitter problems or the sniffles or too bad a day at work.

“Ideally, this yields columns full of names of interesting people doing interesting things.”

For those 37 years, if you wanted to know who was doing what and where in Cincinnati...the "Psst!" column was where you looked to figure that out.

Knippenberg could do it all. He was a copy boy from 1965 to 1968 for the paper. He left there to teach journalism for three years at Newport Central Catholic - but couldn't stay away, and in 1971 rejoined the Enquirer as a general news writer, eventually rising to his position as a columnist and editor, and the rest is history.

By the way, you can view Knippenberg's columns from 1996-2003 via this link. And here's a well done tribute by current Enquirer TV critic John Kiesewetter.

We here at TSMW extend heartfelt sympathies to his friends, family, and colleagues...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Following Up on News Broken Yesterday

We received word almost at the same time other news organizations got it...but our source was Rick Sanchez on CNN via Twitter.

Lou Dobbs, who has been at CNN through almost its entire existence, announced rather abruptly he was leaving his TV program last night.

Dobbs helped launch CNN in 1980. He hosted "Moneyline" from that time until 1999 - when he abruptly left to found, which he ran until 2001.

Dobbs then returned to CNN, where he became anchor and managing editor of "Moneyline News Hour", which became the program he now leaves, "Lou Dobbs Tonight". He had positioned himself as an independent, "lashing out at what he described as the deficiencies and "partisan nonsense" of both major political parties, and injecting advocacy journalism into his coverage of topics ranging from free trade to immigration," as CNN says in their coverage of the longtime anchor's departure.

There's no replacement named yet, but it must be assumed some programming will air in the 7-8 PM slot on CNN.

Dobbs, meanwhile, continues his radio show, as we noted overnight via Twitter.

That show, "The Lou Dobbs Show", airs to 160 affiliates nationwide via United Stations Radio Networks, including stations in Lexington (96.1 WLXO-FM/Stamping Ground, KY) and Dayton(we're not sure, but his site lists 2, one being 1490 WKBV-AM/Richmond, Indiana as a signal so we're guessing it's that one, on a delayed clearance. The other is not in existence). It lists FOUR stations in Columbus.

But - there's a problem with those Columbus listings...namely, 1 out of those four no longer exists in the talk incarnation under which they carried Dobbs while we're unable to find his presence on one. WVKO-AM 1230/Columbus is a Fox Sports Radio affiliate now and has been for some time. Meanwhile, we can find no evidence of his presence on WATH-AM 970/Athens. That doesn't mean he doesn't air there - we just can't find him on their schedule. WATH mostly airs oldies during the day.

That makes his lone Central Ohio affiliate WCLT-AM 1430/Newark (along with the sister FM 100.3 WCLT-FM's HD3 signal which simulcasts the AM). And considering that 1430 there operates 500 watts daytime and 48 watts at night, they need that 50kW HD3 signal.

Anyway, our point is: Dobbs leaving his TV program suddenly causes a mad scramble for CNN to fill that 7 PM hour. Who do they take?

Our guess (and uneducated at that): Campbell Brown will have her program extended to a 2 hour show, beginning tonight.

We don't see them taking Wolf Blitzer and "The Situation Room" to a 4 hour slot.

The other possibility would have Blitzer's program moved to 5-8 PM, with Sanchez's "CNN Newsroom" taking a second hour at 4PM.

We'll let you know this evening...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Step Toward Launch for WVQC

WVQC-LP 95.7FM/Cincinnati has taken another step toward their launch.

While they're still working on getting a signal ready for terrestrial broadcast, they've posted a schedule of programming on their website.

That schedule is jam packed full of what looks like good, local programming.

One angle we hadn't covered before because we didn't know the full details of it: WVQC, based at Media Bridges, isn't going to be alone on the 95.7 frequency.

They're sharing airtime on that spot on the dial with Holy Spirit Center (in Norwood) and the Forest Hills School District (in Anderson Township, east of downtown). WVQC gets 51 hours a week to program on 95.7 FM. That's the reason for the grey areas on the schedule. If a timeslot is greyed out on the schedule, then Media Bridges-produced programming will air on the web only.

As we said, it's a schedule full of what sounds like great, local programming. Stations like this are always a great asset to the community...

Fort Hood Memorial Coverage, Plus Advanced Warning

UPDATE: Almost as soon as we posted that WXIX was going web-only with their coverage...Dan Carroll just broke into programming for live coverage...web only is still the case for WKRC and WCPO.

As you can see to the right of our page, we've been checking everywhere for coverage of the Fort Hood memorial.

We've found it on all four TV news stations' websites - but we almost didn't see it on WCPO 9/Cincinnati's site until we looked here.

WLWT 5/Cincinnati has it both online and on TV. We're watching it on 5.1 now.

WKRC 12/Cincinnati and WXIX 19/Newport both have it on their websites only as does the aforementioned WCPO. We flipped through those 3 channels, and saw normal programming.

By the way, just some advance warning: Business on the personal side of yours truly's life is about to pick up, between a holiday and some medical things Your Tri-State Media Watcher has to do.

As a consequence, our updates may not be as frequent November 18-30. We'll get here and post breaking news ASAP - but just know that our regular updates (meaning daily/near daily) will be scarcer in that time frame...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Couple Quick Bits

There's a couple of pieces of information we had meant to share this morning - but didn't get Around Tuit until now...

Regent Communications Not Losing As Much: This one came out of the Enquirer this morning.

We mentioned some time back about a very low stock price...NINE CENTS.

Today, it's not a whole lot 43 cents a share as of this evening.

But, says the Enquirer, the tide might just be beginning to turn:

The downtown-based broadcaster said it had a net loss for the quarter of $442,000, or 1 cent a share compared to a net loss of $46.3 million, or $1.19 a share, in the third quarter of 2008. The 2008 results included a non-cash asset-impairment charge of $67.5 million.

Regent doesn't own anything in the metro - but it owns stations down in Evansville, IN and Owensboro, KY. Those are in our extended coverage zone...and they're based they're also local.

FOX Sports Ohio Swaps HD, SD Games: This word came from Fox Sports Ohio itself, via their Facebook Fan Page. They're planning a ten game switcheroo of High Def and Standard Def broadcasts - one of which already occurred.

The 10/20 Columbus Blue Jackets game against the Calgary Flames aired in Standard Definition, instead of HD.

The following, quoted from the FS Ohio Facebook Notes page, is the rest of the plan for HD and SD broadcasts:

The following games will be aired in standard definition:
1/2 vs. Avalanche
1/18 vs. Blues
3/19 vs. Wild
3/28 @ Blackhawks

The following games will be aired in high definition:
12/10 @ Predators
12/12 vs. Ducks
1/7 @ Oilers
3/9 @ Ducks
3/20 @ Predators

The total number of HD Blue Jackets broadcasts won't change - with 50 games expected to be in HD.

No Blackout...Yet: We found out about this on our return to the TSMW HQ, but tweeted about it this morning.

Local12 WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati, WKYT-TV 27/Lexington and WHIO-TV 7/Dayton get another 24 hour extension on the blackout deadline guessed it... the Cincinnati Bengals.

That deadline came and went this afternoon at 1 PM, but the Bengals had 3,000 tickets left to sell - and once again negotiated the extension with the NFL.

Our hope is, no more of these threatened blackouts...we're getting tired of having to say the same thing for nearly every Bengals home game...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

News About Channel 9 News

We've got a couple stories in the hopper...and both are about WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati...and no, we still don't have word about their move to RF 22...

Quinlivan Elected: As we covered its start, we feel compelled to update you on Laure Quinlivan's run for Cincinnati City Council.

Sure enough, last night Quinlivan won election to that body, coming in 8th. There were 9 seats open.

As we've said a few times before: We don't cover politics unless there's a media connection: in this case Quinlivan was an award winning I-Team reporter for Channel 9 before her contract was not renewed a couple years ago...

WCPO to do Bearcat Pregame Show: The station announced today that they'll have a pregame show before the University of Cincinnati Bearcats take on the University of Connecticut Huskies at 8 PM Saturday night.

Here's a quote from the station's story regarding the Bearcats selling out the only two home games that hadn't, well, sold out yet:

Before the teams kickoff at 8 p.m., Channel 9 will broadcast a special one-hour pregame show at 7 p.m. The show will include in-depth interviews, analysis on UC's national championship hopes, and what the nationally televised game means to the university.

John Kiesewetter reports that the show will be called “Bearcat Fever: Climb To The Top", and that Channel 9 hopes to get most, if not all, of the 7 PM hour. (They're broadcasting Ohio State's game Saturday night, too - and as soon as that ends will go straight to the pregame.) The Channel 9 sports team will report from UC's Nippert Stadium and the WCPO studios - but it's not known who will be where.

Our Take: This is a very smart move by WCPO. They're featuring this game locally, so, why not do a pre-game show?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rhodes Takes a Break

John Kiesewetter is the first to report this...we're just picking it up...

Dusty Rhodes, Hamilton County's current auditor and part-time host at WDJO-AM 1480/Cincinnati, will be taking a break from his 5-10 AM morning show.

Rhodes did his last show for the station, which features the programming formerly at what is now WQRT-AM 1160/Florence, on Friday morning. He's been a Cincinnati radio staple for 48 years, with WSAI-AM (when it was at 1580), WLW-AM 700/Cincinnati, WDJO (the 1160 version), and WGRR-FM 103.5/Cincinnati to his credit, among others.

It's only a break for the 68 year old, who will return by the new year, according to Rodger Kay, who is OM for the Blue Ash oldies station. Rhodes says he has things he has to catch up on, and will be updating his Christmas music marathon program while he's away.

Subbing for him is Marty Thompson, who has WLW, WUBE-FM 105.1/Cincinnati, WDJO, WGRR, and other stations to his credit, and who now is programming VP for Dallas, Texas-based TKO Radio Network, and does a syndicated show out of his Miami Twp. home. That show reaches 130 affiliates 6 nights a week - but we don't know if any Cincinnati stations are among them.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Election Coverage

We're just popping in to let you all know what's going on tomorrow...and it looks like a former WMUB 88.5/Oxford staffer has some work for Election Day...all of this coming from the Enquirer and John Kiesewetter...

On the Radio: Don't expect up-to-the-minute local coverage on WNKU-FM 89.7/Highland Heights.

There aren't any elections in the Northern Kentucky no coverage on Tuesday night from the NKU station.

However, that station WILL have some coverage and interviews Wednesday morning, with 'NKU News Director Craig Kopp (when did he become ND?? Someone know??) saying they'll do reports at 10 minutes before the hours of 6 AM, 7 AM and 8 AM. The first report, however, will air at 20 minutes before 6 AM. (So they're going to have to do a quick re-rack job or use something different at 5:50.) And, they'll have reports at the top and bottom of the hour as well throughout the morning hours of Wednesday.

Across the river in Ohio, meanwhile, WMUB and WVXU 91.7/Cincinnati will continue their simulcasting as usual...with a former 'MUB staffer filing reports for 'VXU.

Maryanne Zeleznik, who is ND at WVXU, says they'll have Tana Weingartner, a multiple-time award winner during her tenure at 'MUB (where our friend John Hingsbergen was Program Director), filing reports at WVXU. Reports will air at 4 minutes after 9 PM, at 9:30 PM, then at 1 minute after every hour until final results are in from the Ohio elections. We do not know about WGUC-FM 90.9/Cincinnati - but we know they use WVXU's news people 4 times a day (top of hour 6-9 AM and 5 PM). We'll check on it in the morning.

WLW-AM 700/Cincinnati will also report election results throughout the night during regular newsbreaks,

On Television: WCPO-TV 9 won't be blowing out the highly anticipated premiere of "V", ABC's new drama about "Visitors" from outer space (9 PM, 9 and WKEF-TV 22/Dayton). (We don't know what WKEF plans to do...we'd assume they'll have some coverage during prime-time.)

Meanwhile, over at WXIX-TV 19/Newport, they'll cut in "as needed". And of course, as usual...prepare for the return of the "Crawls"...all stations are planning to use them, as well as posting the results online as soon as possible.

And, the statewide Ohio News Network will have coverage as well. But, they won't blow out the Jim Tressel presser that they usually air from 8-9 PM (Time Warner digital 362 in Cincinnati). So, election coverage will take a break during that hour, resuming at 9 PM and going from there.