Thursday Grab Bag

Back to our potpourri:

NO LAST MINUTE SCORE EXPECTED: Those hoping for a last-minute settlement between Time Warner Cable and the NFL Network, keeping that network on the systems once owned by Adelphia and Comcast, are about to lose hope.

Broadcasting and Cable reports that it’s not looking good for a long-term deal between TWC and the NFL Network. The cable operator says the parties still talking, but says “nothing conclusive” has come of those talks. And if you ask the NFL’s owned-and-operated network, they say talks have actually broken off entirely.

So, unless there’s a major change, it appears ex-Adelphia and ex-Comcast types now under the Time Warner umbrella will once again lose NFL Network as soon as Sunday, though TWC officials say the removal may be staggered to provide a buffer for the FCC mandated 30-day notice about the end of carriage.

And B&C makes the same point we did, about Time Warner basically having the upper hand for now:

The NFL Network carries every preseason game, but does not have a regular season game until Thanksgiving (Nov. 23, Denver vs. Kansas City), so, while the FCC acted quickly to restore the preseason games in August and try to nudge a market solution, after the regular season starts Sept. 7, there would arguably be less government impetus to push the parties until November, and Time Warner is free to pull it.

NEW TV NEWS WEBSITE: Vindicator NBC affiliate WFMJ/21 has become the latest local TV news operation in the Youngstown market to revamp its website. is now known as “21 News Now”, and features not only breaking news and newscast video, but a web-only “21 News Nowcast”. We checked last night, and that video file was updated at about 9 PM.

Channel 21 has had news video on its website in the past, but the video was usually delivered by very small, low-bandwidth RealVideo files. The new video is designed for high speed Internet connections and is somewhat clearer.

OMW hears that WFMJ sister station WBCB “The Valley’s WB”, soon to become the Youngstown market’s CW affiliate, will also get a new website soon…

URBAN TALK DROP: It’s not here, but nearby…as Pittsburgh’s WAMO/860 drops the Radio One-provided Syndication One urban talk lineup after just 6 months to return to an R&B/classic soul format.

That move, along with rumors that Radio One’s own WILD/1090 Boston is for sale – its FM sister was sold to Entercom recently, and WILD has itself dropped the company’s talk lineup for gospel music – is prompting some to wonder how much time Rev. Al Sharpton and company have on the national talk radio landscape.

The two situations aren’t really related.

For one, WAMO is actually owned by Radio One rival Sheridan Broadcasting, the Pittsburgh-based urban radio outfit. It was a surprise to see Sheridan sign up with the format in the first place.

As for Boston, it appears Radio One is actually exiting markets where it does not have a reasonably sized cluster built up.

That is not a problem in Cleveland, where the company owns four stations – WERE/1300 and WJMO/1490 on the AM side, and WZAK/93.1 and WENZ/107.9 on the FM side.

For now, it wouldn’t appear changes are afoot at the company’s local Syndication One affiliate, WERE…aside from the rumors that incoming WABQ/1540 owner Craig Karmazin will broker 7 PM-6 AM on 1300 for his ESPN Radio sports talk format…

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