Katrina Relief: Northeast Ohio TV Fundraiser

The American Red Cross

The Cleveland Plain Dealer confirms the earlier reports of a local TV “roadblock”, designed to raise money for Hurricane Katrina.

“Hurricane Katrina: Northern Ohio Responds” will indeed air on “most” local TV stations Friday from 7 to 8 PM. “Most” definitely includes all four major network affiliates (3/5/8/19), 19’s UPN sister 43 and WBNX/55 “Cleveland’s WB”…along with PBS affiliate WNEO/WEAO 45/49 out of the Akron area. Cleveland PBS affiliate WVIZ/25 will produce (and also air) the special, and local TV news anchors and personalities from all stations will once again – as they did for the similar tsunami relief special – host the show.

The simulcast of those local stations actually spreads into the 8-9 PM hour, as all broadcast networks will carry the national “Shelter from the Storm” Katrina fundraiser in that time slot.

There’s still no word whether “i”/PAX TV O&O WVPX/23 will be along for the local special. It was last time, but was represented by local news anchor Eric Mansfield, whose WKYC/3-produced news program recently moved from that station to Time Warner’s cable channel 23. Mansfield, at last check, was actually in the region as a National Guardsman, helping out in the Katrina aftermath. Without him or sub Joy Benedict on WVPX anymore, the station has no local air talent.

OMW also wonders why Kent-based MediaCom LPTV combo WAOH-LP 29 Akron/W35AX Cleveland (“The CAT”) hasn’t been involved in any of these specials. They’ve had relationships with local full-power network affiliates in the past, as they’ve run repeats of news programming from WOIO/19’s “19 Action News”. And if having talent on the air to help host is the question, surely they could spare someone from sister talk WNIR/100.1 (TV vet Bob Golic comes to mind). But OMW guesses that the full-power stations aren’t exactly eager to give the LPTV combo even the slightest exposure in that hour slot, even during the cause of disaster relief. It’s also possible the MediaCom folks just didn’t ask.

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