Introductory Post from the New TSMW

INTRODUCTORY POST FROM THE NEW TS

Hello friends and colleagues.

Consider this our first posting from the new Tri-State Media Watch headquarters.

My name is Cindy Detro, and my boyfriend is Jerry Jicha. We will now be your primary voices for this wonderful thing we call a media blog.

First some notes of business before we get to the intros.

Tri-State Media Watch will mainly be staying in the format with which you all are familiar, as I have actually been following this blog pretty much since its inceptionin November of 2008. The only difference is that we, along with our colleagues at Ohio Media Watch, will also be covering Columbus. This will not be in competition with Ohio Media Watch, but simply as a team effort out here. In other words, if you happen to be reading this from Columbus and you have a tip, you could send it either place and it will get posted, somewhere, somehow!

And speaking of tips, the previous editor has set up email forwarding so that emails will still get to new headquarters. However, you might also use tristatemediawatch@jjrn.net. We won’t change the email link on the blog unless you are using the Gmail address and stuff isn’t getting to us.

Okay, now that that is all done, time for the introductions.

As mentioned, my name is Cindy Detro. I am 30 years old. As our previous editor noted, both myself and Jerry are blind. I actually have some usable vision, but just enough to “get me in trouble”. To put it in perspective, what a normally sighted person can see from 1200 or even 1300 feet away, I need to be 20 feet from to see, and that’s only with one eye. My left one doesn’t work at all, save for maybe a bit of light perception. I have been following the happenings in media for as long as I can remember, but my first clear memory was when I was in the 7th grade. Every Wednesday in English class, we got The Columbus Dispatch and were asked to read different parts and answer questions that our teacher had come up with herself after reading it. When that was done, I always ended up in the media section, reading up on all the happenings in radio and television. Back then, my teachers all wanted me to use what is called a CCTV, which simply magnified the print quite a bit. The problem I faced was that my eyes were always so tired! Thankfully several years later, enter the Internet and screen readers on a computer! I’ll talk more about that later on, as that pertains to both of us. Some of my hobbies now include reading, watching certain television programs, spending time with family and friends (especially Jerry), taking care of my guide dog “Mesa”, following weather, Internet broadcasting, and of course keeping up on media happenings.

Jerry Jicha: he wanted me to throw the intro together, as he thinks I’m better at writing than he is! . He is 36 years old. As previously noted, he is also blind, but unlike me, he has no usable vision, not even light perception. Jerry also enjoys keeping up with media happenings, as well as weather. His dream has always been to work in the broadcast industry, however we all know, all to well, how much new openings are coming, right? He started his own Internet radio station just over 4 years ago, New Year’s Day of 2007. As a general rule, we don’t advertise here, but as a means of introduction I am here. You can visit the website of the radio station at http://www.jjrn.net. He randomly does music shows, and he and I host a show together on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM Eastern time. Feel free to listen!

I noted in my personal intro that I enjoy broadcasting, and my music shows are on Sundays from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM Eastern time, and Wednesdays from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM Eastern time, on Jerry’s station.

**End of Station Advertisements**

Something here that pertains to both of us is about screen readers. I mentioned that briefly in my intro. I use a program called JAWS for Windows, and Jerry uses one called Window Eyes. Both of them basically do the same thing, although in some cases much differently. Their purpose is to read what is on our computer screens to us, therefore allowing us to access much of the same information that regularly sighted people can access. Some sites, however, such as the blogger site this blog was previously hosted on, pose challenges to the screen readers in the posting department. Both of us are good with computers. Jerry is better at the more advance stuff than I am, however, I can tell you in many cases how to get around a system and its ins and outs, if something is explained.

You can find out more about JAWS for Windows and other Freedom Scientific products on http://www.freedomscientific.com, and about Window Eyes and other GW Micro products on http://www.gwmicro.com.

If you would like to get hold of us personally, you can follow our personal twitter accounts at http://www.twitter.com/cdetro and http://www.twitter.com/jamminjerry.

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to let us know! Both of us look forward to working with all of you! Take care from new TSM
W headquarters.

>The Final Post From Florence

>As I begin to wind my efforts down, I do have a couple announcements that will be made at the conclusion.

First, let’s wrap up the stuff that’s been sitting around a few days…

Widmer Re-Trial Coverage: You’d practically have to be living underground to not know what’s going on up north of town, in Warren County with the Ryan Widmer case.

We won’t get into the legal stuff here, but will note that this is the third trial for the man accused of killing his wife up there.

What we’d like to note is that, much like the last two trials, all of the Cincinnati and Dayton area stations are going all out to cover this. We know there are live, blow-by-blow blogs on 3 of the four major affiliates in Cincinnati.

WLWT-TV 5 has brought back Travis Gettys’ live blogging from the courtroom with something called Scribble, while WXIX-TV 19 appears to be going with the “Cover It Live” platform they use for their live chats. WCPO-TV 9 seems to have jumped into that platform too, with both feet. We don’t see any evidence of WKRC 12 doing such a thing, but they have a reporter stationed up there now.

We’re hearing national programs like Dateline are there, too.

So, if you live or work in Lebanon, expect the craziness surrounding this big case to continue…

Survivor Holding Auditions: This one’s sort of late, although it’s happening today.

WKRC-TV announced recently that the hit TV show “Survivor” would be holding auditions in Florence. Those auditions take place this evening, starting at 4 PM at Turfway Park. The first 200 people are guaranteed to be allowed to make an audition tape. It sounds like they’re capping it around 350. That threshold might have already been reached, but you can most certainly head down there. (Turfway Park is located just off…what else….Turfway Road, near what used to be called St. Luke West Hospital, and near the old Bigg’s store.)

John Kiesewetter has more on this story, including an email from someone who says they’ve been there since 11 PM last night. (The post was written about 8:30.)

Radio Ratings – Christmas Music CAN Help: As a general rule, we don’t go into the ratings here.

But it’s worth noting that Christmas music has helped stations in markets around the country, including in the home territory of our colleagues at Ohio Media Watch, where reportedly WMVX-FM 106.5 was in the top three. (They re-tooled as “106.5 The Lake” after Christmas.)

But in Cincinnati, it doesn’t look like perennial Christmas music player WRRM-FM “Warm 98” 98.5 was able to take the top spot in ratings. WLW-AM 700 remained in the lead…but only just by .6 of a point!

WRRM doubled in the 3-book trend, going 4.8-6.3-9.4, just below WLW’s 9.8-9.5-10.0.

It’s proof that in these economic times, stations will go with what works…and this definitely worked for WRRM. (For WAKW “Star” 93.3, the other station that went all-Christmas…well it, too, doubled its ratings, but only 2.0-4.8-4.5.)

The Changes: Finally, let’s finish this item out with the two major announcements.

First: Allow me to introduce you to Cindy Detro and Jerry Jicha, the couple that will take over this effort.

They are two friends of yours truly who expressed interest in taking this effort over. They’re from Circleville, Ohio, which is south of Columbus and east of Cincinnati.

They also happen to be blind. (Yes, blind as in they can’t see.) That doesn’t mean they can’t consume media just like everyone else does, and they do. They use voice technology to use computers – which is a good segue into the next change.

The official transfer will also result in a change to where this blog is hosted. Starting with Monday’s posting, all future blogs will be hosted on WordPress. We’re working on that as we type this post. The voice technology that Cindy and Jerry will use, works much better with WordPress than with Blogger.

The brand new, WordPress version of TSMW will be here. We’re working on getting the twitter account hooked up to that, too.

And, a note: The Blogger version will stay up for the foreseeable future. Neither myself, nor Cindy and Jerry, will post to it anymore after this.

Once again: I wish to thank all of you, my readers, for being part of what I’ve done here, and I ask you to support Cindy and Jerry, as they’ll do their best to keep this up.

>An Official Statement

>UPDATE 2 3:40 AM 1/28: On some advice from Ohio Media Watch, I’ve taken some information out of this message.

UPDATE 5:45 PM 1/27: After receiving an offer from Friends of TSMW Cindy Detro and Jarrod Jicha, I have decided to hand the reigns over to them. They will continue the blog, and I trust they’ll continue operating it as well as I have done.

More information will be posted Friday, in what will be my final farewell as the editor of this effort.

This statement was one I hoped I’d never have to make.

After 2 years, Tri-State Media Watch will be switching ownership. The blog will stay archived here on Blogger for the foreseeable future but may have to move to another platform. Some quite personal issues came up in the past 24 hours that could involve yours truly.

During the last couple of years, TSMW has tried to be a fair, honest way to get media news. We’ve credited other media when we’ve needed to. Other stories we’ve been able to break ourselves. I do not want the facts of what happened to in any way affect my objectivity.

My thanks goes out to all of you that read this.

>BREAKING NEWS: Major Sales in Dayton AND Cincinnati

>All you-know-what has broken loose in the media world, with two shoes dropping within just hours.

WNKU Buying in Middletown, Portsmouth: Let’s start from the lower end of the dial, where 89.7 WNKU-FM/Highland Heights will expand to a regional network beginning February 1.

That’s because the AAA format station will buy WPAY-FM 104.1/Portsmouth, Ohio and WPFB-AM 910 and WPFB-FM 105.9, both licensed to Middletown, Ohio, for 6.75 million dollars. WNKU will begin to operate the two FM’s on February 1.

However, it’s expected that WNKU will then turn around and sell off the AM, plus its translator, W233BG 94.5/Port Union, Ohio, together to offset the purchase price of the two FM’s.

This sale would solve WNKU’s problems in Butler County, and give them a shot at reaching areas from Piqua, OH to Charleston, West Virginia.

Bonneville Selling Out of Cincinnati: The other shoe dropped just about 90 minutes later, and involves Bonneville Broadcasting’s entire Cincinnati cluster.

They’re getting out of town, selling WREW-FM 94.9/Fairfield, WYGY-FM 97.3/Fort Thomas, WKRQ-FM 101.9/Cincinnati and WUBE-FM 105.1/Cincinnati (also known as Rewind 94.9, 97.3 The Wolf, Q102 and B105) to Hubbard Broadcasting, as reported by multiple outlets including Radio-Info.com. That’s part of a 505 million dollar deal that also includes Bonneville’s Chicago, St. Louis and Washington, DC stations.

It’s unclear just yet if that’ll result in any changes to the stations, but you can bet we’ll be following this closely.

Guess we can’t call the building on Reading Road that the four stations are housed in “Bonneville Mountain” anymore.

“Mount Hubbard”, anyone?

>Headed for Spring Training and Opening Day

>TSMW received a press release from Kate Buddenhagen Friday afternoon (which is also posted on FSO’s site here), and it confirms something that John Fay said last week.

The Cincinnati Reds TV team on Fox Sports Ohio is changing again, for the second time in the last couple years.

Paul Keels won’t be returning, as FSO says he’s concentrating on Ohio State University sports broadcasts. They include the usual “all the best” line associated with a departing talent. (That’s not a knock on FSO – most media outlets would include such a statement when a talent departs in this manner.)

Meanwhile, a familiar name will return and call 15 FSO broadcasts. That name is Sean Casey.

Yes, Casey, who spent 7 years here as a first baseman, will be part of the team on a limited basis. Fay reported last week that he’s expected to call games between Cincinnati and the Pittsburgh Pirates, along with a 3 game set April 5-7. He’s been doing analysis for the MLB Network, and we presume will still do so when not part of FSO’s team.

Jim Kelch will be returning this year, too, and FSO says he’ll have a greater role this season on TV, but will continue to do Reds Radio.

The rest of the FSO group is unchanged, with Jeff Piecoro, Jim Day, Thom Brenneman (5 years on FSO – as available when not doing FOX TV) and Chris Welch (19 years on TV) all returning.

Oh, and FSO says fans can expect that George Grande will return to the booth for a game here or there.

We don’t have the game schedule yet, but you better believe we’ll post those details when we get them.

Oh, and a heads up: If you’re a satellite customer, and you can find out where other Reds Spring Training games will be shown (those not aired on FSO), please do let us know. You can contact us by email at the link above…

>Picking Up New Year’s Leftovers

>A couple things going on in the broadcast world, that (mostly) affects TV, but there’s a radio note in there…

Sinclair/Time Warner Update: There’s at least a temporary reprieve for viewers of several Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned stations in Southwest Ohio.

Sinclair and Time Warner Cable reached an agreement late Friday to temporarily extend the previous contract until January 14th. (The above links to a story from WKEF-TV 22/Dayton and WRGT-TV 45/Dayton, two of the affected stations.)

This means that viewers of the above named stations, along with WSTR-TV 64/Cincinnati and WSYX-TV 6-WTTE-TV 28/Columbus who use Time Warner won’t lose these stations.

Raycom/DirecTV Update: And an update (that isn’t much of an update for our Twitter followers) for DirecTV subscribers who thought they faced the threat of losing WXIX-TV 19/Newport, along with Louisville-area subscribers faced with the loss of WAVE-TV 3 there.

As we reported Thursday, Raycom stations nationwide, including WXIX and WAVE, have been running announcements both on their websites and on their signals, stating that DirecTV carriage of the stations could end Saturday.

As of this writing, FOX19 still has an announcement on their webpage – but the tone appears to have changed, if only slightly. That statement now says that Raycom has sent a signed copy of terms to DirecTV and is awaiting their signature.

We’ve not heard that either station has been dropped from DirecTV. We’ll put out a call on Twitter to ask – but we’ll put it here, too.

If you have DirecTV and can get WXIX (in Cincinnati) or WAVE (in the Louisville area), email us at tristatemediawatch at gmail-dot-com. (We typed it this way to discourage spam.)

Amazon Back In Cincinnati: We’re not talking about the rainforest down in Brazil…but rather, someone who’s taking over WLW’s 9-midnight shift.

He’s Marc Amazon, and John Kiesewetter reports today that he’s taking over that shift from Eric Deters (who signed off on Friday night to concentrate more on his other interests).

Amazon will continue selling for Dial-Global Radio Networks, which he’s been doing for the last few years.

It sounds like this will commence this evening (but Kiese didn’t specifically say so, though he hinted at it). WLW hasn’t yet announced the move, but we anticipate some sort of announcement today.

If we find out that it will start today, or if it does start, before we can get back on here, we’ll tweet it…

>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…