Thursday, February 25, 2010

NEW: Eric Flack Heads Southwest - to Louisville

We got word last night that Eric Flack, currently general assignment reporter for WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati, will head down to Louisville in March - and back to his former station WAVE-TV 3/Louisville. This report from says he starts March 30.

Flack has 8 TV Emmys, along with 3 AP awards for investigative and general assignment reporting to his credit.

Before his 3 years here at WLWT, Flack worked for WAVE from 2002-2007, and there are plenty of examples of his work on the WAVE website.

The story says Flack has roots in Louisville, as his mother went to Seneca High School there, and Flack mentions in a note to John Kiesewetter here that his wife is also from the area, making it an easy transition. He also says that being a full time investigative reporter was a goal of his, and this will certainly achieve that.

Congratulations, Eric, and we wish you well...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Briefly: Additional Reds Spring Training Games on TV

Courtesy of TSMW reader Brian Willenbrink, we have a full slate of the Reds' Spring Training games on TV, besides those we'd already posted a few days ago, for those of you on satellite and/or who may be able to pick up these channels. Here they are:

March 6: @ Cleveland SportsTime Ohio 3:05 PM
March 10: @ Los Angeles Angels Fox Sports West 3:05 PM
March 12: @ LA Dodgers Fox Prime Ticket 3:05 PM
March 13: @ Chicago Cubs Comcast SportsNet Chicago 2:05 PM
March 14: @ Chicago White Sox Comcast SportsNet Chicago 3:05 PM
March 17: vs Cleveland SportsTime Ohio 4:05 PM
March 20: @ San Francisco Comcast SportsNet California 1 PM
March 21: vs Chicago Comcast SportsNet Chicago 3:05 PM

This is in addition to these three games already set to be picked up by Fox Sports Ohio:

Friday, March 5 Reds vs. Cleveland Indians 3:05 PM (Shared w/ SportsTime Ohio)
Thursday, March 18 Reds @ Cleveland Indians 4:05 PM (Shared w/ SportsTime Ohio)
Monday, March 22 Reds vs. Colorado Rockies 4:05 PM

Once again, thanks to Brian Willenbrink for the full list.

All of these games should be heard locally on 700 WLW if you don't have satellite. But... it is a lot better to be able to see the action as well as hear it...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One Out, One Staying In at 19 Broadcast Plaza (But Moving Up)

We have a pair of stories that broke yesterday from 635 West Seventh Street. One is an exit, and one is just a move up...

McCoy Out: We start with the exit of short-time Andy Furman producer JC McCoy, fired abruptly yesterday from WQRT-AM 1160/Florence's newest (and only) local show.

John Kiesewetter picks up the story here:

McCoy tells (Kiesewetter) his bosses said it was a “corporate decision,” and they refused to give him a reason for the firing. “They said, ‘We can’t say anything.’” They were only paying him $150 a week to produce/co-host “The Furman Factor” (5-7 p.m.), plus he was doing some sales for the station too.

McCoy told Kiese that he's looking at legal options, even though Ohio law says that no reason is necessary for termination of a contract. He's already retained an attorney, and that WQRT (and probably their owners, Christian Broadcasting System Ltd. out of Flint, Michigan) will get a letter asking why he was terminated after just two weeks on air (plus another week off air).

Ackermann Moves Up the Ladder: And now for the one staying, but moving up, as WXIX-TV 19/Newport looks for a new news director... but this follows a promotion as opposed to a termination, as Kiese also reported yesterday.

Steve Ackermann has been WXIX's news director for 5 years, had been doing double duty, serving as both the local ND and a regional news manager for WXIX parent Raycom. The regional position covered, in addition to WXIX, stations in Cleveland, Toledo, Louisville, Evansville, Cape Girardeau, MO, and Jonesboro, AR.

Raycom announced his promotion to Regional News Director yesterday, which will see Ackermann continue to be based in Cincinnati and (we assume) out of 19 Broadcast Plaza. As it goes, announcing the local ND opening now will attract news managers who will be available in June, after the critical May sweeps end.

Under Ackermann, while they've seen several key talent depart (Jack Atherton, Valerie Abati, and Dan Hoard for example, the first two of which are now at WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati), they've also gained Steve Horstmeyer and launched their 6 and 6:30 PM newscasts. It will be interesting to see who they bring in... and what the hire may mean in the future for WXIX's ratings, which are solid in the mornings and at 10 PM (but not as good at 6 or 6:30 PM)...

Monday, February 22, 2010

FOX Sports Ohio Covering Multiple College Games Wednesday

A quick note to let you know what's going on (especially along and south of I-70):

Wednesday, Fox Sports Ohio has the unusual position of covering three different games, splitting Cleveland from Columbus and Cincinnati/Dayton areas.

As always, if you live in an area not listed here, go to Fox Sports Ohio's website for more information. Or tweet us (if you have twitter) or email us, and if we can find the information, we will and get back to you. (And to our Louisville/Lexington readers: We've checked the FSO site - and there's no alternate channel listed for you. We'll find out.)

MAC Basketball

7pm Buffalo @ Akron

Cleveland, Ohio: FOX Sports Ohio

Direct TV/Dish Network: FS Ohio

Xavier Muskeeters

7:30pm Musketeers Live pre-game show

8pm Xavier @ St. Louis

Columbus, Ohio: FOX Sports Ohio

Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio: FOX Sports Ohio

Direct TV/Dish Network: FS Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Bearcats

7p Cincinnati v. DePaul


Cox: Channel 98

Time Warner: Channel 310

Columbus, Ohio:

Time Warner, Insight and WOW - check local channels

Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio:

Time Warner: Channel 99 & 310

Insight: Channel 6

Cincinnati Bell Fioptics: Channel 261

Direct TV/Dish Network (all areas): Alternate Channel TBD, check the FSO Website tomorrow or Wednesday

A note: We usually wouldn't include Cleveland information as that's Ohio Media Watch territory, and we're...well, not them, plus we're based in Southwest Ohio. But in this case, since we mentioned them off the top, we felt it was prudent to give that information. (Plus, Direct TV and Dish Network will be using the FSO main feed for the Buffalo/Akron game, so we needed to include that.)

As always, thanks to Kate Buddenhagen at FSO for providing us the critical information.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

NEW THIS WEEKEND: WKRC Engineer Dies of Cancer at 56

We just got word of something that a lot of our Cincinnati readers may already know.

WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati engineer Don Gilbert, 56, has died following a long battle with cancer. We don't know what type - as that information hasn't been released.

From the station's website:

There are many people behind the scenes at Local 12 who keep this television station running. Our friend Don Gilbert was one of them. We lost Don Thursday night, after his long and very courageous battle with cancer.

He is survived by his wife Peggy.

Donnie, as we called him, was a veteran broadcast engineer. He worked with us here at local 12 for more than two decades. If you were in a jam, just the sight of him arriving to help made you feel better. Simply put: if it needed to be fixed, he was the man.

Many times Donnie was at our feet, literally beneath the anchor desk, while we were on the air fixing whatever critical problem needed his attention.

If your signal to your house had a glitch, Don was the man who made your picture better at home.

Donnie made TV happen and he made us better. Donnie's spirit will live on here. He will always be in our hearts.

Please take a few moments and remember Don with the tribute Brad has put together with the help of Donnie's friends.

The tribute mentioned is at the top of the story we've linked above.

We here at Tri-State Media Watch extend our condolences to Mr. Gilbert's family, friends and co-workers...

Friday, February 12, 2010

FOX Sports Ohio Releases Spring Training TV Schedule

We got this one a couple days ago, but we have been running like headless chickens for a bit.

FOX Sports Ohio has released their schedule of three Cincinnati Reds Spring Training games. Two of them are shared telecasts with SportsTime Ohio, which is the television home for the Cleveland Indians in Ohio Media Watch territory.

The Reds and the Indians share a new Spring Training facility in Goodyear, Arizona starting this year. Because this is a shared facility, FSO and STO will share the two games that will pit the two teams against each other. FSO will originate the March 5th game and share it with STO, and STO will do the same for the March 18th game and share it with FSO.

The games are:

Friday, March 5 Reds vs. Cleveland Indians 3:05pm
Thursday, March 18 Reds @ Cleveland Indians 4:05pm
Monday, March 22 Reds vs. Colorado Rockies 4:05pm

More from the release below about the two shared telecasts:

During the FOX Sports Ohio telecast on March 5th, fans will get a tour of the new Reds training facilities in Goodyear. Paul Keels, the newest member of the FOX Sports Ohio Reds broadcast team, will also be introduced for the first time. The main Reds play by play announcer Thom Brennaman will call the game alongside color analyst Chris Welsh. STO’s color analyst Rick Manning will also join them in the booth during the game.

On the STO-produced March 18th Reds-Indians game, Reds color analyst Chris Welsh will join Indians broadcasters Rick Manning and Matt Underwood in the broadcast booth.

We're not clear on what role Keels will have on the first broadcasts. We're sure FSO has plans for him beyond the introduction on the 3/5 broadcast.

We're also not sure that FSO will produce "Reds Live" before either of their games. We suspect not, as there's no mention of such in the release, and we scanned it carefully.

Either way, "Reds Live" will most definitely return for the 2010 regular season.

Anyway, we just wanted to be sure we got the information out there... in case anyone was looking for it...

THIS JUST IN: Fox Sports, ESPN Swapping Affiliations

ADDENDUM: We just noted Lance McAlister's blog on, and he says this will be 1530's new lineup on Monday:

Mike and Mike in the Morning, 6-10am
Colin Cowherd, 10am-2pm
Scott Van Pelt, 2-3pm
Mo Egger, 3-6pm
ESPN radio, 6pm-midnight

McAlister also notes that, when the Reds season begins, he'll slide back over to 1530 to do afternoon drive there (except if the Reds are off) and continue to do "SportsTalk" and "Reds Inside Pitch" on WLW-AM 700.

By the way, we got the Fox Sports Ohio Reds TV schedule for Spring Training, and we'll cover that in a separate item...

Our original posting follows....


We just got word of a major affiliation swap that will happen on Monday, February 15.

ESPN Radio programming, including "Mike and Mike in the Morning", will move to WCKY-AM 1530/Cincinnati on Monday morning. That displaces Fox Sports Radio - which will be moved to WSAI-AM 1360/Cincinnati. There will be a simulcast of "Mike and Mike" on Monday 6-10 AM, then the final flip will take place.

Here's the Clear Channel release which we just obtained:

On Monday, February 15 Cincinnati sports radio brands will be realigned both on air and online. All ESPN radio programming will be moved to WCKY-AM (1530), teaming the Mike and Mike Morning Show, which features Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, with Mo Egger and local sports talk each afternoon. With this move, Cincinnati sports fans will enjoy popular drive time programming in one place on the 50,000 watt signal of “ESPN1530” and online at

Along with the move of ESPN programming to the more powerful signal, the station will also broadcast Major League Baseball games, the MLB play-offs and World Series, NBA games and play-offs. It will continue to be the Cincinnati radio home to the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville football and basketball broadcasts. ESPN1530 will also continue as the Home of the Cincinnati Bengals, carrying all Bengals’ broadcasts, pre-season, regular season and post-season.

Fox Sports Radio programming will now be heard fulltime on WSAI-AM (1360). Popular personalities, including Ohio native Dan Patrick, Jim Rome and Tony Bruno will all be heard on WSAI-AM (1360) as the station is rebranded as “Fox Sports1360.”

Online, one of the most visited websites in Cincinnati media, will be rebranded as The new site will continue to be the go to website for all things sports and the lifestyle of a young male consumer. The very popular blogs of Lance McAlister, Mo Egger and Nick Brunker will continue on this rebranded website, along with breaking sports and lifestyle news.

“The most powerful brand in sports, ESPN, is now combined with the most popular afternoon drive sports talk show in the Cincinnati market,” said ESPN1530 program director Tony Bender. “Plus, some of the biggest events in sports will be combined in one place, on ESPN1530! New ratings research has shown the Mike and Mike Morning Show to be one of the top shows in the market each morning for male consumers. This move gives the sports’ fan access to Mike and Mike on a much more powerful signal,” concluded Bender.

The moves of the Fox Sports Radio and ESPN programming will take place beginning at 6am Monday, February 15, as the Mike and Mike Morning Show will be simulcast on both ESPN1530 and Fox Sports1360. At 10am the final switch of programming will take place.


Our take: This looks good for ESPN Radio, and not as good for Fox Sports Radio. ESPN 1530 looks really good lineup wise, while keeping the PM drive tandem of Lance McAlister and Mo Egger, all the Bengals games plus University of Kentucky and University of Louisville broadcasts. A good lineup in a sports town like Cincinnati.

Fox Sports 1360 gives FSR a fulltime home. But other than that, it doesn't gain much from the weaker signal. Here's hoping longtime Dan Patrick fans can find him on the new home...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Three Quick Notes

UPDATE 7:45 PM 2/10/10: We got an email from Matthew Gray at WOTH-LD 25. He says they were testing new equipment and nothing is on the horizon right now...

We've got 3 separate quick notes about some stuff we've gotten via e-mail. One, the person who sent us the email already has spoken for themselves about...and two of which we're still trying to follow up on.

But, a note: We're fighting some sinus issues that are making it tough to speak (at least without snorting) - so phone calls needing to be made will probably need to wait til tomorrow morning.

WOTH Test Pattern: We received an email from Max Abel on Friday, asking us what was up with the test pattern on WOTH-LD 25/Cincinnati's 25.5 subchannel.

We do have an email to people over there at WOTH 25/WBQC 38. We'd been told months ago they were going to light up something new on one of the subchannels. We'd assume this was it... but we don't know 100 percent. Stay tuned...

WKRC Signal Issue: Another email from Katie Osborne in Delhi tells us that WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati is having some signal issues.

We're not clear about this one, either. Our suspicion (and again, because of voice issues we haven't been able to make a phone call today like we'd planned to ask) would have been that there may be some issues with the recent snows making things worse... but Osborne reports that they've had this problem since before Friday's snowstorm, so that's not it. And a new digital television and moving the antenna in the correct positioning hasn't worked, either, Katie tells us.

So, we're going to work on this one, also. One thing's for sure... any additional snow tonight through Wednesday isn't going to help...

Hingsbergen to West Virginia: Finally, a hearty Congratulations and Good Luck are in order for a Friend of TSMW.

John Hingsbergen, formerly Program Director of WMUB-FM 88.5/Oxford, begins a new position as News and Public Affairs Director at West Virginia Public Broadcasting in Charleston, WV next Monday. He sent us first word on Friday, also.

John tells us that he received the offer on January 22...ironically exactly one year to the day after Miami University announced they were shutting down local operation of WMUB and handing control over to Cincinnati Public Radio, which turned it into a repeater of 91.7 WVXU-FM/Cincinnati.

For more information on West Virginia Public Broadcasting, head here.

Congratulations, John... we wish WVPB all the best...

Monday, February 1, 2010

NEW: Rhodes Out - At Least for Now - At WDJO

We have late breaking news this morning about a radio host that had been expected to make his return to the airwaves a month ago.

Dusty Rhodes, the county auditor for Hamilton County, has stepped down from the morning show of the soon to be WDJO-AM 1480/Cincinnati, reports John Kiesewetter today. Ted McAllister replaces Rhodes for the 6-10 AM shift starting today. The WDJO calls move to 1480 officially tomorrow, after Alchemy Broadcasting takes possession of the station today.

Rhodes is only stepping down for the next 10 months... during the election season. He found out over the weekend that he's got an opponent for the Auditor's seat in November in former State Rep. Tom Brinkman Jr. Equal time rules require that Rhodes would have to step down from WDJO in May anyway - but he decided to go now to give McAllister time to settle in.

There's no word if or when Rhodes would return to daily radio, but he'll still produce some special shows for syndication, including his awesome Christmas show which we got to hear this year.

Dusty, we look forward to hearing you back full time sometime soon hopefully...