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...