Tuesday Grab Bag

Just some odd items we’re stitching together:

MORE ADELPHIA/TWC/ETC.: We’re still trying to find out the disposition of locally-produced programming both on Time Warner Cable channel 23, and Adelphia cable 15.

We’re not talking about the local access programming – we’re talking about general market programming like WKYC’s “Akron/Canton News” (TWC 23) and Les Levine’s sports talk show (Adelphia 15).

For now, as we noted yesterday, both programs continue to air on the systems they started on. “Akron/Canton News” has yet to show up on the ex-Adelphia systems, and “More Sports and Les Levine” is still not seen on the Akron/Canton-based original TWC system.

We’ve tried to find out more, but it sounds like even those who put the shows together don’t know what Time Warner Cable intends to do with the programs…other than keep running them on the former systems where they started. In our ideal world, both programs will end up on the entire TWC merged system.

While trying to find answers, we checked the “DiscoverNEO” blog written by “Akron/Canton News” anchor/WKYC Akron-Canton bureau chief Eric Mansfield.

We found nothing about the future of “Akron/Canton News” on the new TWC system, but we did find an interesting item about the trouble another local TV station’s reporter got into when he was tasked with doing a story behind airport security lines last week.

It appears that airport and TSA officials are not thrilled with WEWS/5 investigative reporter Duane Pohlman’s “first person” report last week, and let all the other newsrooms in town know about it.

Cleveland Hopkins Airport PR person Pat Smith told the local newsrooms that “this kind of behavior/stunt has little tolerance under yellow warning and NO TOLERANCE under orange. This was a courtesy call to warn that if anyone from any station is caught, their gear will be confiscated and the person(s) arrested.”


By the way, though it’s out of our usual coverage, Mansfield is tracking rumors of “massive layoffs” at the Akron Beacon Journal…which he calls “a major slash-and-burn”. Are we sure that new Beacon owner Black Press isn’t a radio company in disguise?

FULL STO: One semi-related story…we noticed that after Time Warner Cable took over Adelphia’s systems locally, the cabler started running a full SportsTime Ohio feed on analog cable 17. Well, full as in “everything STO currently feeds”, which usually covers the 6 PM-midnight time frame now.

Previously, Adelphia only ran Indians games on that channel otherwise marked as an “local information” channel. There was speculation by those in the know that Adelphia was hoping to nudge people to digital cable, where STO runs on dedicated channel 179.

TWC – a partner in SportsTime Ohio with the Cleveland Indians – changed that almost immediately after taking over the old Adelphia systems earlier this month…

HACKSAW’S ANNIVERSARY: Veteran Southern California sports radio host Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton is celebrating his 20th year of talking sports in the San Diego and Los Angeles markets. “Hacksaw” is heard on Los Angeles Clear Channel sports talker KLAC/570, and on San Diego news/talker KOGO/600.

We’re mentioning him here, of course, because his career started in Northeast Ohio.

Hamilton was the radio voice of the old WHA hockey team the Cleveland Crusaders, who played at the Coliseum and were heard on then-WWWE/1100 “3WE”.

And though he did other part-time and fill-in sports talk work at 3WE, “Hacksaw” is best known locally for his stint as the weekday evening sports talk host at WHLO/640 Akron, in its days as Susquehanna-owned “News/Talk 64” in the mid-1970’s. It was the first news/talk format for the station now run in that same format by Clear Channel.

One of our favorite “Hacksaw” stories: Listening to the show the night after WHLO management took off the phone line labels (to show Akron, Canton and Cleveland lines) and color-coded them.

Hamilton is color-blind, and he spent most of his first hour that night upset that he couldn’t tell where anyone was calling from! It was great radio…

JULIE’S WORDS: Often, when we’re busy breaking major local media stories right here, it takes us a while to catch up with Plain Dealer radio/TV columnist Julie Washington.

In her column Saturday, Washington visits with new Radio One Cleveland VP/GM Chris Forgy, new WEWS/5 weekend weather forecaster Jason Nicholas, and looks at the most recent Cleveland radio rankings.

No surprises there, as Clear Channel’s trio of WMJI/105.7, WGAR/99.5 and WTAM/1100 “were the leaders” in the Spring book, says Washington. And Rover-fueled WXRK/92.3 was up, Stern-less WNCX/98.5 was down, and you can probably guess the rest.

We’re only puzzled that Washington looked at “the bottom end” of the ratings, which – hey, here’s a shocker! – was populated by three out-of-market stations. Maybe Washington can tell us how WJR/760 Detroit did in the Cleveland book…

The PD columnist also informs readers what you read here early last week – WTAM/1100’s dumping of commentator Paul Harvey on Saturday. “The Big One’s” promotions chief, Jeff Zukauckas, cites “low ratings” for the end of Harvey’s broadcasts on WTAM.

Washington does not mention that the departure of Harvey opens up mid-morning host Bob Frantz’s show to three hours…

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