Thursday, December 30, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Closing the Year

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

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

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

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

The original item is below...


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Two More Re-Transmission Agreements Expiring

UPDATE 1:35 AM EST Christmas Eve: A quick update, as we've uncovered the following statement from Insight regarding the Raycom negotiation, via this website, NOTE: Any emphasis is ours, not theirs.

"Here at Insight, our goal is to make sure you continue to receive all of the great TV programming you've come to expect from us.

"Every so often, we have to renew our contracts with programmers and broadcast companies and that is exactly what it going on right now with Raycom, the parent company of WAVE-TV in Louisville, WXIX-TV in Northern Kentucky and WFIE-TV in Evansville.

"Insight is currently negotiating with Raycom to ensure our customers get the best value for their money and we hope to reach an agreement soon.

"We negotiate hundreds of these types of deals each year and we've seen these types of tactics Raycom is employing, such as crawls running at the bottom of your TV screen, before.

"The fact is, Insight won't pull any of Raycom's stations off of our networks. Only Raycom would decide pull their channel signal from your Insight lineup.

"As a company that is has its main operations based right here and employees thousands of families in this area, Insight understands the importance of local programming. That's one reason we launched an alternative source for local weather, news and sports, called cn|2 on Insight channel 2.

"We understand that these types of tactics that Raycom is using can be disconcerting, but we are on your side, trying to negotiate a fair price with Raycom. Ultimately, these situations tend to work themselves out without any impact to customers.

"We appreciate your patience. Please check back to this site often for more updates."

Oh, and Insight CEO Michael Willner has his own post on his "Michael's Insight" blog here.

One additional note: TSMW, as a rule, doesn't spend much time on Louisville, and spends even less time on Evansville. We'd suggest subscribing to Indiana Radio Watch (which we do...Blaine, here's a free plug for you) for info on Indiana media, mainly radio (though we've seen a TV bit thrown in at times).

Now, we do not have a similar statement from DirecTV regarding the Hearst dispute that also impacts Louisville families using that service. But we do attempt to provide both sides of these issues, and that's why we've come briefly off our hiatus to update this item...

The original posting follows below.


We've got news of two more re-transmission agreements that are about to end over the New Year's Weekend...

WXIX/Insight: Yep, we've seen the crawls, too... Insight Communications in Northern Kentucky and WXIX-TV 19/Newport owners Raycom Media are working on a new agreement, as the old one ends on New Year's Eve.

WXIX has their take on the situation on this post on their website. Try as we might, we can't find a statement from Insight anywhere on their site. We'll keep looking.

Do we think WXIX will be removed from Insight systems? We're not 100 percent sure it WON'T happen. Agreements are usually reached in the final days (and in some cases hours) of the old ones expiring.

But, it's something to take note WXIX (and most likely their HD signal AND ThisTV Cincinnati) would disappear from Insight on January 1 if an agreement doesn't happen.

And for Louisville area readers: Yes, this impacts you, NBC station WAVE 3/Louisville would also disappear from Insight in THAT area...

WLWT/DirecTV: Again, we're looking for information from the DirecTV perspective...but WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati has their perspective on their website here. In this case, the owners are Hearst Television. This agreement ends January 1, and would result in removal of WLWT from THAT provider.

Again, we're not sold on the station actually disappearing off of DirecTV.

And again, for you Louisville readers: You're impacted by THIS one, WLKY 32/Louisville is a Hearst Television-owned station, like WLWT-TV. WLKY has posted much the same statement as WLWT, with a few words changed, as a PDF file here...

JUST IN TO TSMW: Former WXIX VP and Engineer Dies

We were just watching WXIX-TV 19/Cincinnati, and caught word of this story.

A former Vice President and engineer for FOX 19 died over the weekend. James Parker was 79 years old when he passed on December 18th (Saturday).

We don't have his full history at the station (they haven't released any information, at least in their web story), but nonetheless, they mentioned it, so we're posting the news of it.

Parker's visitation will be Friday (Christmas Eve) at 10 AM with the memorial service to follow an hour later.

By the way, you can sign the online condolence book at this link.

Oh, and we do know of the WXIX/Insight negotiations. But we'll post about that separately, shortly...along with new word of yet ANOTHER agreement that may expire soon involving WLWT-TV 5.

And yes, we'll be going on our official "Holiday Hiatus" after that...but, due to the above mentioned situations with retransmission agreements, it might be shorter than normal...

Friday, December 10, 2010

An Editorial On News Coverage

DISCLAIMER: The following views are the sole views of Jeremy Moses, and are not necessarily the views of any local television station, reporter or station ownership.

There are times when we here at Tri-State Media Watch cover the human side of TV news, such as food drives, coat drives, and other things like that.

Then...there are times when we have to cover the negatives of TV news...firings, departures, and deaths.

This is a bit of both.

If you live in Cincinnati or northern Kentucky and you watch local newscasts, you know that a fire broke out in Ludlow, Kentucky last night. That's just across the river from Cincinnati, and a few minutes west of Covington. The fire took the lives of two children and their grandmother, who have since been identified. We won't reprint those names, so as to avoid causing more pain to the family.

The human side of TV news came through when WKRC-TV 12 traffic reporter Bob Herzog decided to cancel the popular "Dance Party Friday" segment for the day, saying that it just "wasn't the right time", to paraphrase his statements.

The negative? That, according to viewers, came through when reporter Angenette Levy got an interview with the father of the deceased children "just minutes", we hear, after he found out about their deaths.

I can see both sides of the latter, and commend the former. Mr. Herzog is right...doing a lighthearted segment just after news of a deadly fire doesn't look right, doesn't reflect well on any news station, and doesn't feel right to me either.

As for Ms. Levy... it might seem insensitive at first glance. But, if the father hadn't wanted to talk, he could've simply said, "No comment" or something to that effect. I suspect the reporter wouldn't have pressed the issue in this case. It's that simple.

Reporters have a human side, too. They AREN'T, despite what some people may think, trained robots sent to get the news at any cost. They're humans. They breathe, eat, sleep...and feel emotions, just like any television viewer.

I can imagine that Levy probably did NOT, in all actuality, even WANT to get those comments. If it were up to yours truly, I wouldn't want to do it. In fact, I probably would NOT have made that attempt. But I can't blame her for trying. Was it the wrong time? Yeah, probably. Could she have waited several days to get the story? Yes. It still would've had the same impact.

But again...the father wanted to talk to the station...and did so of his own free will. He's since granted interviews to the other 3 stations in town.

We have to add: This fire took place 4-5 hours before this morning's newscasts, according to news reports, happening just before 11 PM Thursday night. We don't know when Levy actually did the interview. It could have been minutes, or it could've been an hour or two. Or it could've been this morning. For all we know, Levy works early mornings - so it would've been this morning.

We don't know the family involved. But the loss of two four year old girls and their own parent has to be hitting the family hard.

As such...we do extend our sympathies and prayers to the family. And we hope that, if indeed the interview was minutes after the fire as we've heard, TV stations perhaps learn something from this...that sometimes, getting the story first will mean some backlash...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WCPO Finally Makes Move to 22 Next Week

We can finally say that there's a "drop dead" date for WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati to get off of its VHF signal, and go to UHF.

That date is next Wednesday, December 8, at 2:05 AM. (That is right at the start of "The Insider" entertainment show, for those who are insomniacs like yours truly.)

WCPO has, if you recall, been working over the last few weeks to get their signal switched from RF Channel 10 to RF Channel 22. (Your TV displays that RF number as channel 9, through the use of PSIP technology.)

Here's the WCPO release from their own website:

CINCINNATI - WCPO, Channel 9, the Tri-State’s ABC affiliate, announced today that on Wednesday, December 8 at 2:05 a.m., the station will transition to its new, 910 kilowatt (Effective Radiated Power) transmitting facility. WCPO’s signal will move from its current VHF frequency to the stronger UHF band. The new transmitter and antenna will increase WCPO’s power by 300% and allow the station to broadcast a stronger signal to all parts of the Tri-State.

According to WCPO Vice President & General Manager Bill Fee, “The investment in the new, more powerful broadcast equipment will address over-the-signal issues some viewers have experienced since the digital transition, and prepare WCPO for exciting new services such as Mobile Television. This project powerfully demonstrates WCPO’s and its parent company, Scripps Media’s belief in, and commitment to, over-the-air broadcasting in the Tri-State.”

On December 1st, the station will kick off its “Plan to Rescan” campaign to make Tri-State viewers aware of the upcoming changes, and what they need to do to receive the new, stronger signal. Because of the move to the new transmitter and antenna, viewers who watch WCPO over-the-air (with an indoor antenna such as rabbit ears or an outside rooftop antenna) will need to rescan their digital televisions and/or digital converter boxes. Viewers may rescan any time after 2:05 a.m. on December 8 to receive the improved signal. For questions, WCPO will operate The “Plan to Rescan” hotline on December 8 from 5 a.m. to 12 midnight. The number for the hotline is 513-749-9400.

People who watch WCPO on televisions with DirecTV, Dish Network or cable service will not be affected. Cable and satellite service providers will automatically place WCPO on the correct channel.

Something we need to note, as it seemed to be a point of confusion: If you normally view WKEF-TV 22/Dayton over the air, you should NOT be concerned about losing that channel. WKEF uses RF Channel 51, NOT RF 22 - your TV only displays it as 22 through that PSIP technology. Nor does it affect any of the WKEF/WRGT subchannels; again, none of them are on RF 22 as it was a vacant allocation.

Another point: You'll recall that the switch was originally set to happen on November 15. WCPO decided to delay the switch at the last minute, to prevent confusion and to not interfere with November's "sweeps" period.

That ended last week...but since WCPO opted to warn viewers in advance, it's not happening for another week...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

TSMW FIRST: NBC, Fox Going Mobile In Cincinnati

This news, as far as we know, has NOT yet been posted to the Kiese Blog, or anywhere on the Enquirer site, so as far as we know, it's something we're getting to before any major news operation in town.

And it involves...well, two of the major TV stations, WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati and WXIX-TV 19/Newport.

These stations, along with 38 other NBC and FOX affiliates and O-and-O (Owned and Operated) stations, will be able to broadcast to mobile devices that contain DTV receivers by the end of next year, meaning people can watch TV from their smart phones.

TV Newscheck posted about it Friday morning here.

The thinking is that while it'll launch with no subscribers at first, mobile device manufacturers like Apple, Research in Motion and others will start including DTV receivers in their devices, which would launch Mobile TV viewing.

On paper, it seems like a nice idea. We're on the go constantly, it seems of late, and we'd kinda like to be able to watch WLWT news at 5 if we're on the way to an appointment, or the WXIX 9-10 am hour.

The downside, however: It's another potential distraction to drivers. Since yours truly doesn't drive, it wouldn't be a problem for us...but for others, it just might. Although more and more states are looking to outlaw driving while texting or calling from mobile phones, the laws will have to be re-done when this technology hits the market.

Now, we have to note: Most stations have apps for smartphones already, many of which DO include mobile video. And WXIX just launched a weather app for Android phones (with an iPhone version expected soon).

But this is different. This would be, essentially, the live TV signal, optimized for mobile phones.

That, and there's the possibility that you might need an entirely independent app to view the signal in the first place...but, that's kind of putting the cart before the horse at the moment...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sinclair/Time Warner Flap

There's a BIG elephant in the room, and as of right now - it's not looking good for Cincinnati or Dayton viewers of Time Warner Cable.

Here's what we know: Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which owns and/or operates WSTR 64/Cincinnati, WRGT 45/Dayton, WKEF 22/Dayton, WSYX 6/Columbus and WTTE 28/Columbus, is in negotiations with Time Warner Cable for their retransmission agreements, along with 28 other station agreements. These negotiations come up every so often, about roughly every 5-6 years.

As usual, the fight is about money, and how much Time Warner has to pay Sinclair. As of 3 days ago, Sinclair was, shall we say, less than optimistic. (The previous link is from Sinclair says they'll yank programming off of Time Warner systems in the affected areas if there's no agreement on December 31.

Hmmmm...doesn't this sound like something that's happened before? If yours truly recalls, FOX was threatening the same thing last year at this time, impacting several cable stations, against Time Warner.

It's somewhat ironic - now, several FOX stations that weren't even involved in last year's issues between News Corp and Time Warner, though they have a News Corp network affiliation, are now in danger of being yanked off air.

We're following this one CLOSELY. By the way, as of this writing, WRGT and WKEF's websites are flat inaccessible - or at least very slow. Even WSTR isn't working. We've got no idea why - but stay tuned, we're going to see if it's working later today...and then see if it has anything to do with the negotiations...

FSO Bouncing Several Balls Around

There's a few balls that'll be bounced around by Fox Sports Ohio tomorrow, and so far, we can only tell you how it'll impact Southwest Ohio...with no word on Northern Kentucky just yet.

Here's what's set to happen:

Big 12 Football 12:00 PM Oklahoma State vs Kansas: Cincinnati and Dayton - FS Ohio

UC vs IPFW Basketball 1:00 PM: Cincinnati and Dayton on Time Warner 310, DirectTV 661, Dish Network 427 and AT&T U-Verse (If available in your area) 732. Dish Network, DirectTV and AT&T U-Verse are FS Cincinnati channels. Insight still not announced. We have no idea if they will use channel 99 for any analog customers who haven't switched over yet, or what they'll do for those who have switched to the digital mini-boxes.

Missouri vs. Iowa State 7:00 PM: Cincinnati: FS Ohio SD channel. Satellite providers will have it on FS Cincinnati in ALL AREAS.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs San Antonio Spurs 8:30 PM: Cincinnati on Alternate Channels listed above except satellite providers on FS Ohio (we're presuming). Again, Northern Kentucky Insight customers should probably check around the dial at 8:30 PM.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs San Jose Sharks 10:30 PM: Cincinnati on FS Ohio, except probably on FS Cincinnati on Satellite.

Check the TSMW Twitter later today or tomorrow. As soon as we find out what's set to happen on Insight, we'll let you know.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Catching Up

Seems we're constantly playing catch-up - but a few things we've missed:

Time Warner Adds Something we were told would happen over the weekend, launched Monday morning to a large part of our area.

Time Warner added the web-based for customers of Time-Warner Cable - regardless of who you get internet through.


It was part of a larger deal with Disney/ABC. Unlike with Insight (where, as we understood it, you need to have Insight Broadband AND Cable), Time Warner is only requiring customers to have TW Cable service - meaning you could have Cincinnati Bell Zoomtown or something else, and you'll have access to The reverse isn't true if you have Roadrunner, but get TV over a dish.

Our Take: We have used ESPN3 before, and found it to be a good service. If you want to follow your team, and they aren't on ESPN or ESPN2 or even ESPNU, that's where you can find it most of the time.

But the drawback is you really need a good connection...and a good video have a great video experience. It's simply not good enough on a dial-up connection or with a bad video card. Our old video card simply couldn't handle it even on our fast broadband.

Louisville Station Sold: We finally found out the reason that WDRD-AM 680/Newburg, KY switched from Radio Disney to ESPN Radio a few weeks ago.

It's a station sale, with Disney selling off WDRD to Chad Boeger. We don't know offhand the terms of the sale, but the LMA began early this month, says our colleague Tom Taylor at Radio-Info.

Recall that we covered the sudden shutdown of Louisville's previous ESPN Radio affiliate, WQKC-AM went dark August 2nd when Cumulus got out of the market...which is a nice segue into our next item...

WLCL Back: The other station that shut down back on August 2nd is back... but with a new owner, says Taylor.

WAY-FM Media Group has added WLCL-FM 93.9/Sellersburg to its ranks, LMA'ing it at first. But it appears they'll buy it outright.

WAY-FM already has their own WAYI-FM 105.9/Valley Station, and in fact the two stations are simulcasting, which we can confirm with folks in the area. But for how long? WAY-FM says they'll announce what will happen to WAYI later this year. We assume, though, with the new WLCL signal being full-market, they don't exactly need 105.9 anymore...

Michaels Out: By now, you know about this major elephant in the room... Randy Michaels' departure Friday from Tribune. Take your pick of any number of articles on Google, but here's two we have read:

Radio-Info Story Friday

Chicago Tribune Story

What's next for Michaels? We're speculating - but he has a couple things he could do. Perhaps he can head back to Local TV LLC, which owns 18 stations in the US, including WJW-TV 8/Cleveland in Ohio Media Watch territory. (Yes, we checked Local TV's own website.) He helped form that company, Kiese helpfully reminds us here.

Maybe, as Kiese also suggested back on October 20 here, he could start a new radio empire with some of his old friends from the Jacor days (pre-Clear Channel). It could even include the recently fired Eddie Fingers, as Kiese suggests.

We won't know until and unless we hear from the man himself. That's not likely to happen for awhile - we expect he's laying low...

An Aside: Since we invoked OMW here, a quick administrative note.

OMW now has what they call a "Secondary Editorial Voice (TM)" to go with the obviously "Primary Editorial Voice (TM)".

TSMW welcomes OMW's "Secondary Voice"... this should help OMW when the "Primary Voice" has to step away.

We kinda wish we'd done it sooner, ourselves, especially this summer...and still could at any time take reader applications to be our own second...but for now, we're not.

But that door could open in the'd have to be someone we could trust...

Monday, October 11, 2010

That WCPO Digital Transition

We'd been waiting for THIS one for a good, long while now...and it finally happens soon! Ironically, this word came on the heels of an email we got from Karen in Colerain Township (northwestern Hamilton County), asking about this very subject.

WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati will finally begin the process of switching over to UHF broadcasting, going from digital TV channel 10 to DTV 22. (You'll still see it as channel 9; this is because of a process called PSIP encoding that will display the new signal as channel 9 on your TV, just as the current channel 10 signal is.)

This article from John Kiesewetter Sunday explains the details of how the transition will progress over the next six weeks or so. It all begins this week, with the installation of a temporary, side-mounted antenna from which WCPO will temporarily transmit, and a new UHF transmitter.

Following this, the most critical phase begins. That's when WCPO will install their new antenna on top of their 900 foot tower in Walnut Hills. That work begins October 25, and Over-The-Air (OTA) viewers who currently can receive WCPO without issues may temporarily lose that signal, as WCPO must reduce the power on that side-mounted antenna so that workers can safely operate atop the tower.

Once that work is done, testing is expected to commence Veterans' Day, running for four days, and on or around November 15, WCPO will turn on the new digital 22 signal for good. OTA viewers will have to rescan their TV's.

For those with Cable or Satellite service, NONE OF THE WORK will impact you. You'll still have WCPO programming. And if you're close enough to the tower in Walnut Hills, you shouldn't have problems either.

WCPO has had a construction permit for three months to make the switch from channel 10 to channel 22. They've installed the new generator and wiring needed for the new transmitter, and we'd wondered how this was coming along...until the article above fell into our laps...

Weekend Wrapup

After things had been pretty quiet on the TSMW front, as far as news we normally post anyway, Thursday changed one big and one small way...

Big One Cuts off its "Finger": As in Eddie Fingers, a 25 year veteran of Cincinnati radio. And yes, we're talking about what is still apparently Cincinnati's number 1 PM drive time program on WLW-AM 700/Cincinnati.

We didn't catch it happening, but John Kiesewetter has this story, saying he was let go around 1:45 PM Thursday in what appears to be a contract dispute.

Apparently, Fingers actually offered to take some cuts...not bonuses, not a raise, but a CUT. The decision came from higher up, somewhere above the local level, Kiese says.

We're pretty sure this is one of those rare situations where a personality offers to take a cut in pay or benefits, only to find themselves out of a job.

Now, it appears, WLW-AM 700's PM drive program will still be hosted by Tracy Jones, but he'll be joined by WLW-AM PD Darryl what will unofficially become "The Tracy and Darryl Show"...

MAX Goes Espanol...For Some?: There's another chapter in the long history of the terrestrial version of the WOXY-FM call letters. (We'll give you that history in a moment.)

That station, located at 97.7 FM and licensed to Mason (yes, near Kings Island), has just been LMA'ed to TSJ News Incorporated, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier. (LMA means Local Marketing Agreement, a common industry term.) In this case, TSJ News Inc. will operate WOXY-FM, but First Broadcasting will retain ownership...well, for now. The agreement does give TSJ an option to buy WOXY eventually if they choose to.

What's unclear is the fate of current simulcast partner WAOL-FM 99.5/Ripley. We've heard different things (the station is included; it's not and will continue with the MAX FM format; it's not included but a new format will be launched for it)...all of which could be true. We'll double check the documents and get back to you, our readers.

We also don't know the status of personalities that are currently with the station, although we'd presume they'll just transition over to WAOL if it's not part of the LMA.

For now, this much we do know: WOXY will part with the Variety Hits format on November 1st.

Oh, and as for the history of WOXY? It was formerly targeted at Miami University students as WOXR-FM, then became WOXY-FM, transitioned to a Modern Rock format in 1983 which continued until it ceased to exist as a terrestrial station in 2004, leading to shut down in March - we'd forgotten that fact. Thanks to an anonymous commenter below for the fact-check.). First Broadcasting picked up the FM license shortly after WOXY's former owners left terrestrial radio, and it relaunched in 2005 as "MAX FM". (Another anonymous commenter below this item clarified that for us...while WOXY's former owners DID indeed end their version of WOXY on the frequency in May 2004, First Broadcasting picked it up the next day, according to our anonymous commenter. Thanks to them for THAT fact-check, also...we could not easily pick up WOXY back in those days, as they were still in Oxford and did not reach Northern Kentucky with a very good signal - at least that we ever could pick up.)

Oh, and there had been a third simulcast partner too...WAXZ-FM 97.7. That station is currently licensed to Salt Lick, KY, between Lexington and Ashland...and we don't know if it's still part of the simulcast. Heck, we can't even FIND the station in the FCC database - it simply doesn't exist there.

Whew...that's a LOT of history...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The NL Central Division Championship Clinching Coverage

When the Cincinnati Reds clinched a trip to the post-season with their win over the Houston Astros, we started to monitor the coverage that each station had on air and online. Here, we'll give a brief recap and a preview of what Reds fans should expect coming up.

WXIX 19/Newport: FOX 19 probably stayed with the Reds coverage longer than any station in town last night following the Reds win.

We didn't catch it when they started, but the FOX affiliate was non-stop with the Reds postgame coverage all the way until 11:30, blowing out the 11:00 PM showing of "Family Guy". They also dipped into FOX Sports Ohio's live coverage early and often.

WKRC-TV 12: Channel 12 and its sister station 12.2 did some extended coverage, and it looked like they went into normal news rotation somewhat later than the other 3 11 PM newscasts...but not by much.

WLWT-TV 5: Channel 5 probably had the least coverage that we saw...which again, isn't by much.

WCPO-TV 9: Channel 9's coverage looked to us like it ended somewhere between 5's and 12's.

Of course, that says nothing about their sports segments' coverage...well 5's, 9's and 12's, we said, 19 had the most by far, going wall-to-wall Reds for an hour and a half.

Upcoming: The Reds' divisional series games are still to be determined as to opponent, times and locations. However, TV coverage is already set, with all divisional series games to be televised on cable's TBS.

Word has come on the radio side, too. WLW-AM 700/Cincinnati will have EVERY postseason game. But other radio affiliates in the Reds Radio Network are out of luck (unless they are ESPN Radio affiliates) as ESPN Radio has all other rights to the games. And it could create a simulcast situation, also here in WCKY 1530 is, of course, an ESPN Radio affiliate.

But we do know that FSO will do post-game coverage after every game in the playoffs as long as the Reds stay in it...we got that press release this morning from Kate Buddenhagen at FSO this afternoon...and we're re-printing it below:

Network To Feature Live Postgame Coverage After Reds Playoff Games

CINCINNATI, OHIO – As THE television home of the 2010 NL Central Division Champion Cincinnati Reds, FOX Sports Ohio is excited for the Reds’ first playoff appearance since 1995. As the team pursues their mission of a World Series Championship, the network will give fans an inside look at the Reds postseason with Reds Live postgame coverage.

Reds Live will air LIVE following Reds playoff games. Each show will recap the game and preview upcoming contests as well as feature highlights, analysis, and interviews of the Reds and their opponents.

Jim Day and Chris Welsh will host the show from the FOX Sports Ohio studio with Jeff Piecoro reporting from the game site.

Fans can also visit for news, polls, videos and more surrounding Reds postseason. During home games, Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy will host live chats online from Great American Ball Park.

“As the proud home of the Cincinnati Reds for over 20 years, fans have come to know and trust our coverage of the team,” stated Henry Ford, Senior Vice President & General Manager, FOX Sports Ohio. “We congratulate the Reds on an outstanding season, and as they march through postseason, we’re delighted to take fans along and provide insight they can’t get anywhere else.”

So, as the Redlegs head for a possible World Series, we'll keep you updated on local coverage plans...

Friday, September 17, 2010


We just learned this via the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Kiesewetter. And it's a big one.

WRRM-FM 98.5/Cincinnati has dumped Dean Miuccio, only a month after deciding to put the entire WARM 98 Morning Show on his shoulders. They let Randi Douglas go a month ago.

Miuccio posted this to his Facebook account this morning:

"Hi to all my friends! I want to let you know that WARM 98 just fired me. Hey if you know of an opening that fits my line of work...which is pretty much anything...."

That's it. We assume he wants them to let him know through a message.

WRRM is going with a "more music in the morning" show with a fill-in host until a new host is named, says Kiese. We'll know who the fill-in will be Monday, but we presume it'll be another WARM 98 staffer.

We don't know what prompted his firing. On the surface it would seem to be a ratings move - WRRM had lost ground since the Portable People Meter debuted a few months back. (Tom Taylor's Radio-Info reports that WRRM slid from 5.2 to 4.9 June to July, but then rebounded in August to a 5.3...for what it's worth. As you know, we don't typically talk ratings.)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Insight Going All Digital - An Update

We were up early (or maybe it should be late) this morning, and were able to get more information on the upcoming transition to all-digital for Insight Cable.

It looks as if that transition is going to take place over the next couple of months, from having some TV's that are hard-wired to the wall, to having "mini-boxes" for any TV without a larger converter.

In fact, we caught an instructional video on Insight Cable channel 19. That had been C-SPAN's old channel number. (That video is now available on a newly launched website. Click here to see it.)

We had heard that the timeline for the upgrade here would be the end of the year. As far as we know, that's still active.

Stay tuned, we're going to have a lot more on this story as the upgrade date gets closer...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The 4:30 AM Birthday Follow Up

As we're celebrating a birthday today, we've got a couple things to pick up.

Your Editor is 25 years old today, something that didn't seem possible for us personally 10 years ago.

With the pleasantries out of the way, it's time to focus on a suddenly VERY crowded 4:30 AM news race...

WCPO Hops Into the Fray: Yes, the only station that had NOT declared entry into what was, when we left for Missouri, a 3 horse race at 4:30 AM, did so last week.

This entry from the Kiese Blog details why WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati decided to hop in. ABC has given affiliates permission to, if they choose, take over the 4:30-5 AM time block, and Channel 9 has decided that with WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati jumping in, they didn't want to be the odd station out.

With ABC getting out of the way at 4:30, ABC will move "America This Morning" to 4:00 AM. (We presume that in cities where affiliates choose not to take over at 4:30 AM, ABC will still give those affiliates a 4:30 AM lead-in to local news.) Katherine Nero, Larry Handley, and the entire crew of "Good Morning Tri-State" will lead an expanded news block at 4:30 AM.

WKRC Plans Updated: Across I-71 at 1906 Highland, it looks like the current "Good Morning Cincinnati" team at WKRC will also extend their working hours.

But we saw advertisements this morning touting that the newly expanded newscast will start not at 4:30 AM - but at 4:25 AM. And both traffic anchor Bob Herzog and AM meteorologist John Gumm posed questions to fans of their respective facebook pages to see what their fanbase thinks of the new move.

By the way, it also looks that Kit Andrews will continue to anchor the now-expanded 4-5 PM block, as well. (By the way, the above link also explains the disposition of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" - it jumps over to WXIX-TV 19/Newport.)

FOX 19 Expanding, Too...: But WXIX is planning to go the OPPOSITE direction, expanding later into the morning hours.

Kiese reports on this one too, saying that Frank Marzullo will be paired with a still-to-be-hired new anchor for a new 9-10 AM hour of what looks like a newscast geared to the stay-at-home parent. (Kiese said stay-at-home moms, but we know some dads stay home with their children, as well.) And it appears that another meteorologist will be hired to help 4:30-9 AM, too, while Rob Williams and Sheila Gray will have a limited presence in that new hour.

One has to wonder if FOX 19 News Director Matt Miller saw something he liked in Marzullo's recent stint as replacement anchor, and decided to give him a shot at a regular position...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wheeling's "Big One" Off The Air

This is well outside our coverage area, but we're going to note this one anyway...

At this hour, WWVA-AM 1170/Wheeling, WV is still off the air due to a tower collapse. Sometime around 4:00 PM yesterday, a line of severe thunderstorms that contained winds of upwards of 70 miles per hour tore through the St. Clairsville, Ohio area, which is where WWVA's tower array is. WTRF-TV 7/Wheeling-Steubenville has more here, where they report that the National Weather Service confirms a downburst hit that area.

Those winds somehow did the damage you see in video on the webpage of WEGW-FM 107.5/Wheeling PM Driver and CC/Wheeling OM Chad Tyson.

At this point, it's unclear exactly when WWVA will get back on the air on 1170. For the time being, regular WWVA programming is being aired on sister WBBD 1400/Wheeling, except overnights and during Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games.

We'll attempt to update you as warranted, even while off on hiatus. You can also follow friend of TSMW Cindy Detro at who may also have updates, and for official info straight from WWVA itself, visit

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mid-week Update

As we clear our plate before our (hopefully stress-free) vacation, a few notes and news pieces...

Russo Out, but is Holmes In?: We're now able to confirm what we spoke of Friday morning.

The Enquirer confirmed that Regina Russo does indeed leave FOX 19 WXIX-TV/Newport on the 21st, to take the new marketing job at the Art Museum across town. (And it literally IS across town...just on the other side of downtown from the FOX 19 studios.)

John Kiesewetter also reports that WXIX is looking at Kimberly Holmes to fill Russo's seat at 10 PM on weekends, but that she is just one candidate.

You may remember that last week we speculated that Sara Celi could be tapped...and we still think that's possible. But Holmes would also be a good choice. She did weekends in Salisbury, MD, from which she came to FOX 19.

Anyway, any speculation is just that...speculation...until we hear definite news from FOX 19.

Furman Moves Up The Dial: Also today, it's reported that Andy Furman, the host of WQRT-AM 1160/Florence's "Furman Factor" is not on this week - but yet is still on the air in Cincinnati.

Why? Well, Kiese reported this morning that Furman was asked to fill in on Fox Sports Radio for the week. He's doing 3-7 PM on WSAI-AM 1360/Cincinnati this week filling in while FSR searches for a replacement for Sean Farnham, who just quit FSR to do ESPN. Furman was scheduled for vacation from 1160 this week...but when he was asked Saturday, he jumped at the chance to do a national show.

Openly, Furman's bosses at WQRT are supportive, it seems, of him doing the national show, saying they'd miss him but "the radio station is not built around Andy".

We'll have to see, but for now, Furman says he's still scheduled to return to WQRT on Monday...

Another Reds Game Taken For National FOX TV: With the Cincinnati Reds now in a very interesting pennant race in the National League Central, FOX is cashing in with yet another national broadcast, having just done one this past Saturday night.

This time, the game will be a pivotal one in the aforementioned pennant run, as the Reds' tilt with the current NL Central leaders the St. Louis Cardinals on September 4th will now be on FOX nationwide, and NOT on Fox Sports Ohio.

FSO has decided to pick up next Wednesday's game between the two teams, instead. It'll air at 12:30 next Wednesday, August 11th with the usual "Reds Live" pregame at 12 noon. That game is a home game for Cincinnati. FSO didn't say, but we'll assume it'll be in High Definition.

We'll be on hiatus next week, but will make sure we can tweet the reminder...

Sloan Confirmed to Replace McConnell: We confirmed this item Friday night in a tweet, but some closure.

Scott Sloan does indeed move up the schedule to replace Mike McConnell, whose Chicago show debuts next Monday morning. FOX 19 had the story Friday night, before we were aware.

That, of course, still leaves a hole 9 pm to midnight...but we don't know who will air in that slot. And we can't imagine WLW going syndicated at's just not them...

Columbus "Rewinds": And an item or two from markets we don't typically cover wraps up this super large update.

We were able to confirm that WODB 104.3/Richwood, Ohio and WJZA 103.5/Pickerington, Ohio paired up Friday afternoon to do 80s oldies as "Rewind 103.5/104.3".

Sound familiar?

That's because WREW 94.9/Fairfield currently does much the same thing as "Rewind 94.9".

We had thought that WODB and WJZA would somehow go talk. It fooled our cross-state colleagues at Ohio Media Watch as well as RadioInsight's Lance Venta, who had pegged the new coming format as FM talk.

But let's face it...even if Saga had wanted to do FM talk, who's out there that Saga could use for content?

Louisville No More for Cumulus: And just in to TSMW via the aforementioned, comes word that Cumulus has left the Louisville market altogether.

The move out of the market leaves WLCL-FM 93.9/Sellersburg, Indiana and WQKC-AM 1450/Jeffersonville, Indiana completely dark. At this moment, the websites and both redirect to the Cumulus homepage.

Both signals weren't very good...WLCL was, according to RadioInsight, a Class A licensed with 2650 watts, while WQKC was 1000 watts non-directional, and both transmitters were north of Louisville.

What does this mean? At the moment, we're not sure, other than the loss of ESPN Radio from the 1450 signal, and classic hits from 93.9.

Stay tuned...this could be interesting...

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Few Catchup Items

Here's just a couple items to catch up on, as we end the very busy (both personally and otherwise) month of July...

Russo To Leave FOX19??: We find this word from the Cincinnati Art Museum on the Kiese Blog this morning...even as Kiese himself takes a vacation.
Fill-in Tasha Stewart posts word from a press release sent out last weekend that Regina Russo, who has been with WXIX-TV 19/Newport, KY for the past 15 years, will (most likely) be leaving the station to take a new position with the museum in Cincinnati's Eden Park area:

Cincinnati Art Museum announces Regina Russo as new Director of Marketing and Communications

The Cincinnati Art Museum is pleased to announce that Regina Russo will be joining their staff as the new Director of Marketing and Communications. Ms. Russo comes to the Art Museum from WXIX-TV FOX19, where she worked for 15 years as a news reporter and anchor. She has over 20 years of combined experience in print, online and televised media.

Ms. Russo is an active member of the Cincinnati community serving on various boards including, STOP AIDS, Race Relations Council of Greater Cincinnati, Y.W.C.A. L.E.A.R.N. and Contemporary Dance Theatre of Cincinnati, is a member of Cincinnati Black Ambassadors and NAACP Cincinnati, and is a former member of the Queen City Women’s Club. She brings industry experience, knowledge of the community and media expertise to her new role at the Art Museum.

“We are thrilled to gain Regina as a member of the Art Museum team. Her knowledge and experience with a variety of media formats will be invaluable in furthering our mission to bring people and art together”, said Director Aaron Betsky.

Ms. Russo will report to Deputy Director of Institutional Advancement David Linnenberg and will oversee all marketing and media communications. Additionally she will serve as a representative of the Art Museum to the media and work with Director Betsky to develop opportunities to enhance its presence in the Greater Cincinnati community as well as manage all internal and external Art Museum communications. Ms. Russo will work closely with the Marketing Committee of the Art Museum’s Board of Trustees to develop and implement successful communications strategies. She is looking forward to joining the Art Museum team on September 1.

Still unclear, is who will be promoted to Russo's current position as weekend 10 pm anchor. We're pretty sure Tricia Macke and Dan Carroll may not want to work 7 days a week.

Our (purely speculative) guess as to who will be tapped: Sara Celi.

Why? We happened to see her a few weeks ago anchoring the 10 pm on a weekend, and thought she did a decent job. She does a good job in the mornings at the update desk.

We admit: This guess is far fetched. There may be other candidates that FOX 19 is looking at. But that's our guess, and unless we see something different, we're sticking with this.

"Big Willie", Yes...But Not Till '11: And yes, we mean 2011.

In a story we broke Wednesday evening, Tribune confirmed that they will indeed give 700 WLW/Cincinnati midday talker Bill Cunningham a long-term shot at daytime talk television.

But, says Tom Taylor, it won't be until Fall... Fall of 2011 that is.

Why 2011? It has to do with another Chicago-based talk show host: Oprah Winfrey.

Yep, Tribune is looking to fill the syndication hole created by Oprah's decision to end distribution of her show to local affiliates (including WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati) and go cable-only next year.

We're not clear if, or maybe more appropriately WHO, will get the rights in Cincinnati. But we'd have to guess it's FOX 19's to lose. After all, he bumped ratings by some 38%, week to week, over "America's Funniest Home Videos" when he did his 4 day trial a couple weeks ago, according to the Nielsen ratings, beating shows like "Let's Make A Deal" and "Dr. Phil".

Anyway, our best guess says FOX 19 keeps this one. Besides, they can get some cross promotion, with Willie still on 700 WLW, which is FOX 19's radio partner...

A Note: We hope to be back to a more normal posting schedule next week...but here's a heads up for the week after.

The TSMW Headquarters will be packing up and heading out of town for a week beginning August 8th (one week from Sunday). We'll be in Branson, Missouri, spending time with family... and more likely than not will not have much if any internet access during the week.

If we hear anything pressing, we'll tweet about it from the Cricket Twitter-Phone as soon as humanly possible. But we're not making guarantees, and we're pretty sure we WON'T be doing long-form updates. Heck, we can't even guarantee cell phone service out in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri. Heh.

Nonetheless, you have the heads up on that. After that, we should be back in northern Kentucky for the rest of the year...and posting a bit more frequently...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wrapping Up Our Hiatus

As we pick up another piece or two that we missed during our hiatus to attend the Spina Bifida Association of America conference, we've also got a couple of new news items to tell you about...

Former Taft Broadcasting Reporter, Executive Dead: And we're talking about two separate people here, so it's doubly sad news for the folks involved with Taft Broadcasting back when it was its own entity in the 70s. These were reported by John Kiesewetter at the Enquirer today.

Carl J. Wagner, who was an executive for Taft/Great American, died last Monday, June 28, at age 76. He was the number 2 executive for the broadcasting group, which owned WKRC-TV/AM here. He'd retired in 1991, after spending some 17 years as its Vice President. He'd also worked with WTVN-AM/FM in Columbus and what would become WKRQ-FM 101.9 here, along with a station in Birmingham, AL.

Bill Crafton died last Friday. He had been diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis in 2008, and had written a blog called "What It's Like to be Told You're Terminally Ill". That blog (click here) hasn't been updated since last Tuesday. He was the anchor on air when the Beverly Hills Supper Club burned to the ground in 1977. He also worked for stations in South Bend, Indianapolis, and West Palm Beach, among others.

TSMW extends our condolences to both families as they deal with their losses...

Harris Back In Cincy: Steve Harris has landed back here in Cincinnati, after a stint as Senior Program Director at ESPN Radio.

He'll take over Radio One operations here, following the termination of GM Lisa Thal and regional VP Rick Porter back in May, according to our colleague Tom Taylor at Radio-Info on June 29.

Harris was the PD at WCIN-AM here 25 years ago, the Kiese Blog reported the same day.

We wonder what brought him back to the Queen City...but wish him luck...

Radio Station Launch: We go back to Friday now - and that radio station launch that happened in Cincinnati.

Yes, we're talking about WVQC-FM 95.7/Cincinnati, which kicked off live FM broadcasts at 6 PM Friday night.

"Producers", as WVQC program hosts are called by Media Bridges, rotated in and out of the studio sharing their feelings on the new FM signal broadcasting from atop the Essex Studios building in Walnut Hills. At one point around 6:45 PM, if you were within 3-5 miles of the launch or listening on the WVQC website, you may have even heard Your Editor on air for a quick sit-in. We didn't ask to be put on air, but were asked by Katie Finnigan if we wanted to say a few words, which we took the opportunity to do. (By the way, if you did hear the interview and are taking a look at us for the first time, welcome!)

I'm not sure if that interview is archived on WVQC's end (I'd guess they may have recorded it for historical purposes), but yours truly was nervous. As I tweeted, this was my first interview ever on a terrestrial radio studio anyway. (Yes, I've called into radio stations in the past.)

Nonetheless, the atmosphere at the Media Bridges headquarters on Race Street in Cincinnati was very festive - as was that at Hoffner Park in Northside where a festival was being held and WVQC hosts were also broadcasting.

TSMW congratulates Media we noted, it was about time...

And Finally, A Personal Note: I don't do this often here, if at all, but I wish to extend my personal appreciation to Mr. Tom Taylor at Radio-Info.

I've received an email from him over the last few hours, where he addresses our prologue to Friday's post, saying that I handled my absence from This Space well.

I'd like to say this in public, as I did in private: Spina Bifida is very much a part of my life that I have made zero effort to hide. In fact, if you meet me on the street and ask the right question, I'll literally talk your ear off about it, and about how to prevent it.

In that respect, I don't ever plan to hide this portion of my life. My personal YouTube and Twitter spaces are places where I will talk about my life - very publicly. Spina Bifida is a part of that, and will be for the rest of my life.

As I said Friday: Spina Bifida has come a long way in my 25 years of life and longer. 50 years ago, it was such that a lot of children didn't live to see their 30th birthdays. Today, my generation is, at the very least, one of the first if not THE first to make it that far.

My personal hope is that the research done now continues to move forward over the next 50 years.

I hope you'll forgive the personal nature of this portion of today's post...but I felt I needed to share a little more about this...

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Couple Friday Notes

We apologize for our absence over the last week or so.

As we told Tom Taylor of, we were at a Spina Bifida Association of America conference. It was their yearly mega-event, and this year it was in we went. (And how's this for advance notice: We'll be on the West Coast in June of 2011 for next year's conference.)

If you're wondering or are new to this blog: yours truly has Spina Bifida, a potentially devastating neural tube defect which has come a long way in our nearly 25 years of life.

Anyway, a few items that have been, unlike us, lounging around through these hot summer days...

Fee to Retire In December: This one comes straight from the Kiese one of Cincinnati's TV station GM's will end his tenure later this year.

Bill Fee, of WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati, will retire on December 31st, it was announced Thursday.

Fee is 63 years old, and has been working with WCPO since 1978, when he joined the station as its community affairs director. He also spent time at WLWT-TV 5 here and at WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee. He became GM at WCPO in 1999.

The transition was announced six months ahead so that WCPO can hopefully have a new GM in place at the first of the new year. In the meantime, WCPO still has to get authorization to construct, then build out, channel 22 for DTV - since they lost a great deal of viewers after last year's DTV switchover.

TSMW congratulates Mr. Fee and wishes him a good retirement.

WKRC Will Air Primetime Bengals Games: A move announced by WKRC-TV 12 here will mean two games will air on the CBS affiliate here.

Those games are the two major primetime games this year: the November 8 ESPN Monday Night Football divisional showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Thanksgiving Night (!) NFL Network-produced game against the New York Jets. In both cases, remember, the TV deals with the cable networks require an over-air affiliate to carry the games.

We're not sure which stations will air the games in Lexington or Dayton. (If you live in or near these two cities, you can email us and let us know if you know this.)

Oh, and if you're wondering why the Hall of Fame game isn't on WKRC: NBC (and thusly, WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati, WDTN-TV 2/Dayton and WLEX-TV 18/Lexington) get that game as part of their package. Nor can WKRC carry the Philadelphia Eagles/Bengals game in mid-August - Fox has those rights.

WVQC-FM Launch Tonight: Finally, the elephant in the media room in Cincinnati today.

WVQC-FM 95.7/Cincinnati will launch tonight at 6:00 PM. There is a happy hour launch party of sorts happening tonight 5-7 PM at Media Bridges' headquarters on Race Street in downtown Cincy.

We're downtown now and will be at the launch - that's where we're typing this post - and we'll have coverage after the July 4th holiday weekend, on Tuesday.

We hope to be back to a full-time schedule of posts after the weekend is over - if we're not in a food or caffeine-induced coma by that point...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Done Deal: Willie To Stay at 700 WLW + WKRC-TV To Launch 2 More Newscasts

Two early Wednesday morning items as we pick up more debris, both from the storms that have hit over the last five days, and the biggest story of the last two weeks...

Willie Signs: We hinted at this one yesterday - but now we can confirm that the deal is signed, sealed, and delivered at WLW.

Clear Channel-Cincinnati released a statement saying Bill Cunningham has agreed to a long term deal to remain on the city's number one talk station.

For Cunningham's part, he'd already confirmed it to John Kiesewetter Monday, as we reported.

The entire release is below...

Bill Cunningham Re-Ups with “The Big One”

Popular 700WLW Personality Affirms Commitment to Cincinnati

Cincinnati, June 15, 2010 -- 700WLW Cincinnati – “The Big One” – today announced that legendary, two-time Marconi Award winning personality Bill “Willie” Cunningham has signed a long term agreement to remain on the station – and reaffirmed his commitment to the Queen City and its radio listeners.

“We are extremely pleased that Willie will remain part of the 700WLW team for many years to come,” said Chuck Fredrick, President and Market Manager - Clear Channel Cincinnati. “The Big One is one of America's great radio stations because of its personalities and Willie and 700WLW are synonymous. Our audience expects the very best – and 700WLW works relentlessly to exceed their expectations."

Commenting on his decision, Cunningham said, “Cincinnati is my home. The first air I breathed. The first milk I drank was from Cincinnati. Others may have come as carpet baggers to loot the Queen City and then move on. Willie will remain true.”

Cunningham is host of The Big One's market leading Noon-3pm show – which has been rated #1 in Midday's for over 10 years. Twice-honored with a Marconi Award for Radio Personality of the Year, Cunningham has made numerous appearances on Fox News Channel, CNN and other television shows. Cunningham's show is also featured on iHeartRadio on "Channel Willie."

700WLW – The Big One – is a leading radio station in the “Queen City” (Cincinnati) area, broadcasting a News/Talk format that is highly popular with its local community where it is the #1 radio station with listeners 12+. 700WLW has a long and storied history that extends back to the earliest days of radio broadcasting – when the station was owned by the Crosley Radio company. 700WLW was the first United States commercial 50 KW station and the only standard broadcast station to ever broadcast at a power of 500KW – truly a “clear channel” station.

Our Take: This is good news for WLW 700. While they no longer have to worry about filling THREE slots...they still must deal with the 9-noon slot (and it's thought that Scott Sloan has the best shot at that opportunity) and the 9 PM-midnight slot (if Sloan does take the above).

Assuming Matt Patrick is in the running (Ohio Media Watch says that his guest hosting gig next Saturday is ONLY on WLW, and will NOT be on WTAM 1100/Cleveland), it looks to us like he would likely end up in the latter slot.

Either way, it is a good thing for WLW. They'd probably be fine even if Cunningham had left - let's face it, it's a heritage station and has both the pro sports teams...

WKRC Launching News at 4:30: And in this case it's not just 4:30 AM or PM - it's BOTH.

The station announced the move on their website Tuesday. The 4:30 AM/4:30 PM newscasts will begin September 6th.

The 4:30 AM news will join WXIX-TV 19/Newport and WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati as the third such newscast in town. But WKRC will have the distinction of having Cincinnati's ONLY 4:30 PM newscast, and thusly the only station in town to go two and a half hours instead of the traditional 90 minutes starting at 5:00 PM.

Our Take: This one is not really a bad move by WKRC. Think about it. Oprah will end her nationwide syndication next year, leaving WCPO-TV 9 with a HUGE hole in their schedule. And WCPO wasn't exactly strong at 4:00 PM against WKRC (which, we remind you, swept the TV news ratings...uh, sweeps) in May.

WKRC will have plenty of ads to sell during the 4:30 PM news... and can either dump "Millionaire" off the main channel (still leaving it on the sub-channel 12.2, where it airs at 1:30 PM M-F), or possibly shift it to late nights. (There's really nowhere else they CAN put it - unless they move "Inside Edition" to late nights, instead - an unlikely move, as they count on that to lead into "Entertainment Tonight".)

The bottom line is this: WKRC really can't lose much by expanding the 4 PM news. As for expanding to 4:30'll face some competition from both WXIX (the first in the city to have a newscast at 4:30 AM) and WLWT. But we don't expect the latter to be tough...if WKRC has any trouble with the 4:30 AM news, it'll be competing with WXIX - which beats 12.2's 10 PM news...and that could pose a problem for WKRC.

We'll have to see how everything shakes out with these new newscasts in September, and look at them more closely in November with that ratings book. But...we really don't expect a whole lot to change, except possibly the 4:30 AM news race...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cunningham Staying, Cincy's Newest LPFM To Finally Debut, and Severe Weather Coverage

As the Cincinnati area recovers from severe storms late Monday night (more on the coverage below), here's a couple cleanup items...

"Big Willie" To Stay at WLW: We got word late Monday afternoon from TSMW reader Harry Yeprem that WLW's last major midday anchor will be staying, after all.

Bill Cunningham talked to John Kiesewetter Monday, and confirmed that he's not going to Tribune's talk WGN-AM 720/Chicago to follow his former lead-in Mike McConnell.

Apparently, he was off air last week because he wouldn't commit to an extension. (We're also hearing he went to lunch with Tribune executive Sean Compton and McConnell, and was also punished for that - but, if that's true, it seems a bit of an extreme reaction. Just our opinion.)

And, we also hear that his "Big Willie" show will debut either June 28 or July 5 on 16 Tribune television stations, as well as WXIX-TV 19/Cincinnati, and run for the week. (We presume that the latter is simply Tribune's way to throw Cincinnati a bone, since they own nothing in the area.)

WVQC-LP To Finally Debut Soon: We found this on the Kiese Blog... and it looks like it's a "drop dead" date commitment.

WVQC-LP 95.7/Cincinnati will finally launch their FM signal, almost 1 year after it was supposed to happen, on July 2nd.

They got a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Valley Foundation a few months ago, and are now constructing their tower site on top of Essex Studios in Walnut Hills. From that organization's website, we found out that they're located on - what else - Essex Street between McMillan and Taft, just off Reading Road. (It's not far from Bonneville Broadcasting's Cincinnati studios at 2060 Reading.)

We're not clear on how that signal will get from Media Bridges to the tower, but some sort of STL link is needed at the distance they're going to have to cover. (No, in this case STL doesn't stand for the hated MLB team from St. Louis, Missouri - but Studio to Transmitter Link.)

You'll recall we were among the first to talk about their planned launch last August - but in today's economy, funding is not easy to come by. That grant from OVF was what they needed, and they got it.

Congratulations to Media Bridges' staff on bringing them just that much closer...

Severe Weather Coverage: And finally, for Cincinnatians at least, the major, blackish-looking elephant in the room.

By blackish, we mean the storm clouds that raked across the area late Monday night, leaving flooding, wind damage, structure fires (including the famous so-called "Touchdown Jesus" statue in Monroe in Butler County), and even a possible tornado in the Cincinnati city limits!

We were able to sample storm coverage from just about every Cincinnati TV station Monday night...and more so when a tornado warning covered the very heart of the city in a scary, nighttime scenario.

We thought that WKRC-TV 12 did a fairly decent job of covering the situation...getting out of the way when the tornado threat passed.

WLWT-TV 5's Kevin Robinson also had no-nonsense weather coverage; given that Chief Meteorologist Kevin Robinson worked for The Weather Channel before his move here, that didn't surprise us.

We can't say WCPO-TV 9's Cyndee O' Quinn did a bad job, either, really, covering for Steve Raleigh.

But...and we say this with some hesitation... WXIX-TV 19 could have done better once the tornado warning ended. Instead...well, you've heard the complaints from people before... the same information was repeated over and over again, especially when there wasn't anything new.

Granted, yes, we're fans of the shows WXIX took off the air late Monday night...and in hindsight, yes, the storms had the potential to turn tornadic again at any point after the warning was allowed to expire at 11 PM.

But... the rotation clearly had diminished, the National Weather Service didn't mention any more reports of rotation with the storms. At that point, if you've got nothing new to report, it's time to get out of the way, in our opinion. Quick cut-ins would suffice.

We realize Steve Horstmeyer is probably told to stay on the air whenever severe storms are in the metro area. So we're not pinning this on him. (Full disclosure: If you've read yours truly's personal thoughts blog, you know that Your Tri-State Media Watcher would occasionally work alongside Horstmeyer to deliver the 6:45, 7:15 and 7:45 AM news when the latter was on WKRC-TV 12 while 12 had their Fountain Square studio.)

But in the summer and especially here in the Ohio Valley, when it gets above 85 degrees with 70 degree dewpoints, thunderstorms can and do blow up and, occasionally, hold on through 11 PM. Horstmeyer knows this - he's been here for his entire life and has worked here for over 30 years. TV stations should know that when their meteorologists say to "get out of the way for now", that's when the non-stop coverage should end...

And Finally: One year ago, TSMW was tracking the launch of WQRT-AM 1160/Florence.

The station launched exactly one year ago today, branded as "Q1160" at first - but after station management discovered that "Q" had been servicemarked by crosstown WKRQ-FM 101.9, was quickly re-branded as "Real Talk 1160".

Since then, although still working with its almost-not-quite-across Hamilton County nighttime signal, WQRT has done its best to hang in there... and has even added local talk, with Andy Furman taking the PM drive slot in February 2010.

We'd like to see WQRT actually make it. Since it must protect the nighttime signals of KSL-AM 1160/Salt Lake City, KFAQ-AM 1170/Tulsa, and, closer to home, WWVA-AM 1170/Wheeling, WV, it can't exactly up the juice. And it'll always have WLW and WKRC-AM 550, along with other, out of market flamethrowers such as 840 WHAS/Louisville to contend with.

Still...the fact is, it's's given a home to a host who was once thought to be headed out of the area to continue doing talk radio...and it's probably not going anywhere for a good while.

Monday, June 14, 2010

CONFIRMED: Northeast Ohio Talker Taking WLW Airwaves June 26

TSMW has been looking all weekend for SOME information to confirm that an Akron-area morning show legend will be taking to Cincinnati airwaves later this month.

Nathan Obral wrote in a comment on our last item that Matt Patrick will be doing WLW's now-local slot on June 26th. (How long it'll stay local is anyone's guess.)

We're no longer looking - it's confirmed by Matt Patrick himself via a Facebook post. (We think this is where Mr. Obral got the info...)

On this post at the Matt Patrick Show Facebook Page, Patrick writes:

The "Queen City" gets to hear the "Joker" of Northeast Ohio..June 26th! We are live in Cincinnati on 700WLW beginning at noon! Mark it down!!

Patrick has a late-afternoon Saturday show on Ohio's "other" Big One, WTAM 1100/Cleveland. That show is normally heard Saturdays 1-4 PM when the Cleveland Indians don't play. (He got that slot, we presume, after previous lead-in James Traficant quit to run for Congress in the 17th District.)

Before that, Patrick had a very good career elsewhere in Ohio Media Watch territory, at WKDD 98.1/Munroe Falls, Ohio and WHLO-AM 640/Akron. In fact, towards the end of his tenure for Clear Channel Akron/Canton, Patrick was doing both shows back-to-back, sliding across to WHLO at 9AM to do that show. (Ironically, his old website for "The Matt Patrick Show on 640WHLO actually still exists here. We're not sure if it's frequently updated.

We're also not clear on whether this is an audition for Patrick, though that does seem to be the case. (WLW isn't carrying the last weeks of "The Weekend" Premiere syndicated show with now-former WLW talker Mike McConnell, remember.) It seems Scott Sloan is stepping into that role as well, for now anyway, at WLW.

Could Patrick be Cincinnati's next middayer? We suppose it's possible. We've never heard him, but again - he was not only part of WKDD, but he basically WAS WKDD for 30 years. That speaks volumes to how good he was in his role at WKDD.

The only problem is, Top 40 music and talk radio are two different things. Now, Patrick was fairly successful at WHLO, also. But...Akron/Canton is the number 76 market. Cleveland is 29th, with Cincinnati one step above that.

Now, we're not sure exactly what his WTAM show is doing, ratings wise. We're certain of this: Patrick is getting more exposure than if Traficant had stayed - whatever is in Patrick's old 4-7 PM slot isn't carried if the Indians have a Saturday night game.(No, we don't know what is in that slot... WTAM hasn't updated their website.)

Anyway: We really hope that, if nothing else, Patrick continues to do well with WTAM and his Saturday show there.

Once again, a tip of the hat to Nathan Obral for putting TSMW on the trail of this one... we sure couldn't find any info on WLW's site...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More McConnell Fallout - Premiere Dumps Former WLW Talker - Not Immediately, Though

Yes, on Day Four, the fallout from Mike McConnell's departure from WLW-AM 700 here for WGN-AM 720 in Chicago continues...and this time, it involves his "Weekend" program... is his for a few more weeks.

Tom Taylor reported early Wednesday morning that Premiere, which syndicated McConnell's Saturday talkfest from 12-3 PM on WLW and over 100 other stations, will dump the talker in just a few weeks' time. Apparently, the syndicator will return to the format they used until his arrival in 2004, with rotating guest hosts. And Taylor reports today (Thursday morning) that no, WLW will NOT be airing the final weeks of "The Weekend with Mike McConnell".

So, those of you in cities outside of Cincinnati where McConnell has aired will get to hear him for another few weeks. We're pretty sure when he left WLW, that meant his weekend syndication was gone here, too. (And, where will he even HOST the program if, and that's a huge IF, he's now persona non grata at Kenwood Tower? We're guessing he had a home studio set up, ready to go for just this situation.)

Meanwhile, we pick up with his departure, and this word in the Kiesewetter TV Blog Wednesday afternoon:

McConnell will be live in the WXIX-TV (Channel 19) studio in the 8 a.m. hour of “Fox 19 Morning News” tomorrow (Thursday) to chat with Sheila Gray. McConnell will “say goodbye to all his fans, and explain why he is leaving tomorrow. Shelia Gray called Mike, and he said he wanted to come on and do this live, since he could not on 700,” says Matt Miller, new Fox 19 news director.

Hmmmm. That alone seems interesting...given that WXIX just took over doing weather on WLW in April. WXIX is giving McConnell the opportunity that apparently wasn't given to him at WLW. By the way, TSMW heard via Twitter that that interview is tentatively scheduled for around 8:15 AM, give or take 5 minutes.

The question is, who is to blame for that decision? However, McConnell told Kiesewetter Tuesday that "I doubt it was a local decision" to pull him off air here.

So, for Cincinnati, that means his WXIX 19 appearance will be his last on Cincinnati television or radio. Outside of the area, you'll probably get to hear him for a couple more weeks, before he's officially out the door. (Excluding, of course, his new home in Chicago.)

We think that about wraps up the McConnell story for us FOR NOW. Of course, news broke Wednesday in this saga - and we're not ruling out more news coming from Day Four...but for now, that's about it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: The Other McConnell Shoe Drops

Yesterday, we wrote about Mike McConnell's departure from 700 WLW-AM/Cincinnati, and noted that the speculation had been that he was headed for Tribune's WGN-AM 720/Chicago.

"Speculation" has now become "confirmation" for the second time in the last 18 hours.

Tom Taylor at Radio-Info writes in his Taylor on Radio-Info newsletter (and in a news post here) this very morning that he got hold of a presser from Tribune late last night, confirming that McConnell WILL be headed to the Chicago flamethrower, starting August 9th. (It, like WLW-AM here, is a 50,000 watt signal that blasts across the eastern United States easily after dark.) His new airshift hasn't been announced by Tribune as of yet.

Unclear also is something that our friends at OMW happened to mention: McConnell's syndication weekend middays and its future. The closest market we definitively have information for is Rushville in west-central Illinois...closer to Quincy. (Any Chicagoans out you know if he's syndicated in the Windy City on weekends?) He very well COULD lose the entire program if Clear Channel makes that choice with Premiere being his syndicator.

We haven't gotten our hands on the official word from Tribune we're just now reading from the aforementioned Tom Taylor's newsletter ourselves this morning. When and if we do, we'll put it up here.

Chicago, as has been said, is a dream market for many talents wanting to hit the big cities... and that's certainly the case right here.

As we noted, McConnell has been with WLW since sometime in the mid-80's, around the time yours truly was born. (In fact, he joined the station IN 1985.) So he's been around as long as yours truly can remember. We can't recall a time when McConnell WASN'T on middays, let's put it that way.

Anyway, congratulations to Mr. McConnell on this next step in his career...he's a true professional in every sense of the's hoping Chicago provides him with a really good platform...

Monday, June 7, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: McConnell Out At "The Big One"

We'd speculated on this last week, but elected to wait before doing a longform post - and now the station itself confirms the speculation.

Mike McConnell, who has been part of the staff at 700 WLW-AM/Cincinnati first as a production director and then a midday host since roughly around when Your Tri-State Media Watcher was born in 1985, now leaves the latter position to head north to Chicago. 700 WLW confirmed the move today just before 5:00 PM in this news release (which you can also read here):

"The Big One" Turns A Page As Mike McConnell Moves North

700WLW Midday New/Talk Personality Seeks Greener Pastures in Chicago

Cincinnati, June 7, 2010 -- 700WLW Cincinnati - "The Big One" - today announced the departure of long-serving Midday News/Talk Personality Mike McConnell, who has elected to relocate to Chicago.
The move is effective immediately, and a search for a permanent replacement has been initiated.

"We'll miss Mike," said Chuck Fredrick, President and Market Manager - Clear Channel Cincinnati. "We've long known that Chicago has represented a 'dream market' for Mike - and we firmly believe everyone has the right to chase their dreams. We wish him all the best."

McConnell has served 700WLW Cincinnati since the mid 1980's, first as production director and later as a talk host. The station indicated that long term evening talk host Scott Sloan will fill in temporarily on the Midday broadcast while the search for a permanent replacement for Mr. McConnell is conducted.

The entire staff of 700WLW wants to take this opportunity to thank Mike for his years of service to The Big One and the Tri-State area. Few radio personalities are able to reach a community in a way Mike has and that will be missed. In life people start down new roads and begin new adventures all the time. We hope everyone joins us in wishing Mike all the best in this new beginning of his career.

Again, this had been speculated for over a week. We didn't post any more than a couple short tweets - because we didn't have our own sources at Kenwood Tower.

With this press release, the only thing still hanging out there from our tweets of last week is the future of Bill Cunningham, who is WLW's other daytime anchor in the Noon-3:00 PM slot. If he leaves, that's a huge hole in WLW's lineup.

As it is, we wonder if this will impact WLW's ratings. We don't expect it'll be much of one at this point, with the Reds still heard there and (for now) Cunningham still on "The Big One".

By the way: The other half of this speculation, as to McConnell's possible destination IN Chicago, is still not announced. The speculation did have McConnell heading to WGN 720 and Tribune Broadcasting - but that part is still unconfirmed, as Clear Channel obviously didn't announce that. If he IS headed to WGN radio, expect an announcement from Tribune sometime in the next month or so...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Checking our Twitter Feed

As you may have noted, we had some issues with the TSMW twitterfeed account.

Whenever we posted new updates, the updates weren't getting sent through the Twitterfeed service, and out to our twitter followers.

So, we think we've narrowed it down. This post is mainly a test post. If we (and you) see the post sent through our RSS feed, then it's working. If not, then we've got more work to do to troubleshoot the issue...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Early Wednesday Update

We're catching up...albeit slowly.

Life has been anything but slow for yours truly's personal life recently, and Your Tri-State Media Watcher is about to hit another busy time.

As we've said, this blog is pretty much updated when we have time to do so... which lately, doesn't seem to be much. In any case, here's a couple quick items...

Bill Cunningham Show...On TV?: You may remember that a few months ago, WXIX-TV 19/Newport aired a pilot program featuring Bill Cunningham, the midday host on 700 WLW/Cincinnati. (This was BEFORE 19 and Clear Channel signed their major radio deal earlier this year.)

Now, Cunningham is taping another new show... but only five episodes at first.

John Kiesewetter has the full details... but the gist of it is that Cunningham is taping the first show tomorrrow in Dayton, then four more episodes in Chicago June 11 and 12.

There's no word on what will happen with Cunningham's radio program on taping days...but for the June tapings, we figure he'll be off. (Clear Channel does NOT have a talk station up there, though we know Tribune has WGN-AM 720, and Citadel has WLS-AM 890 [which syndicates his Sunday evening show].)

But, alas...if you think Cunningham will end his afternoon radio talkfest if this attempt at TV succeeds...think again.

Cunningham says he's planning to continue the afternoon show - but he'll do it from Chicago on Mondays through Wednesdays when he's taping the show, while doing it here in Cincinnati Thursdays and Fridays. He'll also do the Sunday show in Chicago. (Again, he has his ready affiliate for the Sunday program at Citadel's WLS-AM.) And he's about to sign an extension - but we have no word yet that he's done so.

Storm Fallout: By now, just about everybody already is aware of the fact that severe weather and tornadoes ripped through the Cincinnati area Friday night. (Yours truly was at a Relay for Life event in Florence, shortly after storms passed through...the event, and at least one other Relay in Campbell County, had to be moved indoors.)

The storms, of course, prompted the obligatory meteorologist cut-ins, which were good for people in Adams, Brown and Highland counties where tornadoes actually touched down. Many of those viewers were pleased to get some attention for their areas during bad they're not regularly covered by Cincinnati TV stations.

But for others, all that the cut-ins meant were that much of their favorite shows were cut off...including several season or series finales.

WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati in particular took a lot of criticism on their facebook page...which was quickly followed by MORE criticism when it was announced the shows wouldn't be re-aired over-the-air.

Viewers who missed season finales of "Medium", "Ghost Whisperer", and "Miami Medical" can watch them from the CBS website. As far as we're aware, none of these are on, but you should be able to watch FOX shows there, and NBC programs are available from NBC's website.

We don't make the programming decisions...but we'll be happy to let you sound off right here...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Radio One Shakeup

We're late to the party - but as we don't really have any new information, we're not missing anything.

Yesterday, word came that Radio One had fired Regional Vice President Rick Porter and Cincinnati market GM Lisa Thal. Today's Taylor on Radio-Info Newsletter (available free at cited John Kiesewetter as the source of the story.

Whatever happened, it was apparently so serious that Radio One's radio division president Barry Mayo had to come from Maryland to do the firings himself, and he's now running WIZF 101.1/Erlanger, WMOJ-FM 100.3/Norwood, and WDBZ-AM 1230/Cincinnati out of the Cincinnati cluster's front offices on Central Avenue downtown. But Radio One won't say anything more than that Thal and Porter are no longer with the company.

As Kiese notes, Thal and Porter both worked for Clear Channel before coming to Radio One. Thal jumped to Radio One just before they bought the "Mojo" intellectual property off of Cumulus (but not the 94.9 frequency), starting the 2006 radio shakeup here where half a dozen moves were made in a 3 month span. (This doesn't count WIZF's move one spot higher on the FM dial from 100.9 to its current 101.1, done three months before.)

We can't comment on the circumstances - as we simply don't know, and again, Radio One won't say anything. But something had to have gone badly wrong for the radio division's head honcho to come here...

Monday, May 17, 2010


UPDATE 7:49 AM: We just confirmed with Mr. John Gumm that WKRC meteorologists will be heard in both AM and PM drivetime...

We had speculated on this one some time back - it's now officially happening.

WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati meteorologists will now provide (at least) morning weather updates on WKRQ-FM 101.9/Cincinnati - in fact, it's already happening, as John Gumm just posted this on his Facebook:

Really happy to be working with WKRQ starting today! Catch my forecasts on there in the morning now. Great to be working with Jeff & Jenn!

We'd speculated on this on Twitter a few weeks ago, when Brian and Laura guest-picked the music for a recent "Dance Party Friday" on the TV station's morning newscast.

Now, it looks official. We don't know if WKRC meteorologists Tim Hedrick or Michelle Boutillette will do forecasts for the aforementioned Brian and Laura yet. But we'd assume that's the case - and we'll update this post this afternoon if we catch that...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Insight Cable Problem

UPDATE 2 10:25 AM: We now know, courtesy a report from WXIX-TV 19/Newport, that the server in question is indeed located in Louisville, at their ops center.

UPDATE: From the forum linked below, we now have at least ONE report that broadband has now failed. We're not 100 percent sure this is the case elsewhere just yet. Likely, any failure with broadband ANYWHERE from here until the cable's fixed, is related to the work to FIX this problem.

We first got word through the WHAS-AM 840/Louisville Facebook page of an issue with Louisville-area cable service through Kentucky statewide cable giant Insight Communications. We then heard it was happening in Shelbyville through a fan post on that same story.'s more widespread than Louisville. In fact, it's now spread to much of Central Kentucky. This link to the Insight forum is where reports are now streaming in from across the state, as more and more folks wake up and find problems.

What we know: Sometime early this morning, one of the video servers started having issues. Whether the server is in Louisville, or somewhere else in the state or even country, we do not know.

We know that the server problem has caused a multitude of issues, from analog and/or digital channels not showing up, to frozen screens. We know this firsthand because we're finding the same issues on at least one television in the TSMW headquarters. We also know that broadband and phone aren't at all affected...and we know this firsthand because our broadband and phone both work just fine right now - as they're both through Insight.

We know that, again, MUCH of Central Kentucky is impacted by this cable problem.

What we don't know is when it will be fixed.

Insight Communications' CEO Michael Willner posted, as a request on his blog, that you do NOT call your local call center. They're swamped, and they're already well aware of the issue.

We'll tweet and/or update this post, when we know that the problem is fixed. For right now, expect some channels to be missing, others to have poor video quality or even frozen pictures, and that your other Insight services are's a video server issue on Insight's end...not your cable box or hookup.