The New Phone Book’s Here! The New Phone Book’s Here!

(With apologies to Steve Martin in the movie “The Jerk”…)

One of our odder hobbies at OMW is to go through a newly arrived phone book, and peruse the listings of local radio and TV stations. SBC’s…er…AT&T’s…January 2006 “Akron/Medina” book – named despite the fact that Medina itself is serviced by Verizon – arrived at our doorstep this morning.

Some things we noticed in the radio/TV listings:

* PBS affiliate WVIZ/25 and its ideastream sister station, NPR affiliate WCPN/90.3, have bold-faced and larger than normal listings in both the White Pages and Yellow Pages. Both ads say the stations have (either PBS or NPR News) “for Northeast Ohio”. Neither believes Akron is important enough, however, to have a local number down here.

* Clear Channel Cleveland’s WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” has a small, perfunctory listing with no address, and the toll-free studio line and Cleveland office line. We’re not sure what the rules are these days, but at one time we believe radio stations that moved their studios/offices into other areas had to have toll-free local numbers for their actual community of license – Akron, in the case of the frequency that was once WKDD.

We’re not sure if the toll-free request line covers this, or if the rule is even in effect. We wonder, because if a busy on-air personality busies the request lines during business hours, would it be a problem? Or, indeed, if the station was voicetracked…

* The White Pages correctly place MediaCom talk WNIR/100.1 and LPTVer WAOH-LP/29 (and sister W35AX) in Portage County’s Franklin Township, physically. But the Yellow Pages listing moves them all to Akron.

* There’s always a stray listing or two for long-gone stations, due to remote line installs that never got taken out of the phone company’s database or what not. This year’s is a return from the grave for WSLR, the long-time country station once at 1350 AM in Akron. It lists a Smith Road address in Medina. (There’s a bar on that street that plays country bands at times…maybe that’s where it came from.) No, Jaybird Drennan won’t answer the phone if you call 330-722-3404, as far as we know.

* In the Yellow Pages, “Fox Sports 1350” lives on, despite that station changing to liberal talk back in May. And WCER/900 Canton has laid out the big bucks for a small color display ad. The wording:

“WCER – 900 AM – EXPOSING CORRUPTION! Our Forefathers Shed Their Blood To Defend Our Liberty… WCER is committed to keeping our listeners informed of the on-going threat to our faith, our families and our freedoms. FIND OUT – ON WCER 900 AM. PLUS – High School, College & Pro Sports!” The ad also features a patriotic graphic of a praying soldier in revolutionary garb, and a plug for the station’s live webcast.

The ad isn’t huge, but it’s a multi-color ad and had to have cost the Canton talk/religious outlet some money…

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