Julie Followup – And Other Stuff

We managed to catch up with Cleveland Plain Dealer writer Julie Washington’s latest TV/radio column (and then some – though we’ll pass on the film-related stuff) on the same day it showed up online…and in a nutshell:

JONESIN’ IT AND MOVIN’ IT: Julie has more on the arrival – reported here a while ago – of WTOL/11 Toledo reporter Bob Jones at Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5.

WEWS general manager (and former newsroom boss) John Butte calls Jones “one of the top reporters in the state.” Not like there’s any pressure on the Euclid native as he starts his new job with NewsChannel 5 on Monday…

Ms. Washington also details upcoming moves on “Good Morning Cleveland”, which include what may be a temporary change – trading Jack Marschall for Curtis Jackson as co-anchor, with the venerable Marschall back to his original “GMC” post high above Cleveland – in the station’s helicopter.

(We’re reminded that the move to the GMC co-anchor slot next to Danita Harris was always advertised as a fill-in move for Jack.)

Reporter Paul Kiska will take over weekends for Jackson, and GMC weather anchor Susanne Horgan will take over the chair next to Jackson and Harris more often.

Julie also details two off-camera hires at 3001 Euclid: New managing editor Jim Scott (from KDKA/2 Pittsburgh) takes the open 2nd chair under new news director Steve Hyvonen. New morning executive producer Renee Washington (presumably no relation to the PD TV/radio writer) is inbound from Tampa just in time to get a taste of wet snow, and that moves morning executive producer Julie Roy to a similar role for the station’s consumer reporting…

INBOUND AT IDEASTREAM: Washington reports that ideaStream NPR outlet WCPN/90.3 has finally found a local “Morning Edition” voice.

He’s Northeast Ohio native Eric Wellman, who’s inbound from Harrisburg PA NPR outlet WITF. (And that’s a very good news operation for a market that size, so it’s probably a good sign for the hire.)

SPOOKY STUFF: And Julie notes the airing of the locally produced “supernatural crime” TV show “Out of Darkness” on Time Warner Cable’s channel 17.

The show apparently had a brief exposure, Ms. Washington writes, on Dish Network…though we’re trying to figure out what original programming the satellite service even runs.

We’re also assuming the airing will only be on the former Adelphia, Cleveland-based system now run by Time Warner Cable…

RANT MODE: We’d have to agree with a reader’s assessment – why do so many locally produced high school sports broadcasts on the radio sound so bad, technically?

Even stations which TRY to do it right occasionally battle with awful methods of sending the game back to the station, such as via unequalized analog phone lines, bad cell phone signals, or Marti RPU shots back to the station that suffer from poor signal quality.

We’ve complained about this before. Given the kind of money local stations make off of high school sports – in Northeast Ohio it’s about as close as you can get to an ATM attached to a radio transmitter – why don’t they invest the relatively small amount of money to make it sound as good as the rest of the station?

Some local operations get it right…we can’t remember the last time we’ve tuned by Clear Channel’s WHLO/640 or WARF/1350 and heard a game delivered on a bad phone line…and Rubber City Radio’s WAKR/1590 also seems to pay attention to the audio quality of the broadcast…

AND A RUMOR: This one has been buzzing around for the past week or so, but it’s become too loud for us to ignore, and now it’s buzzing in our own electronic hive.

Since we haven’t confirmed it yet, we’ll leave out some details. But it appears that a veteran Northeast Ohio radio news director is getting out of town just in time to avoid winter…and is taking a news and programming job in a top 20 market in the Southeast.

OK, so there aren’t a lot of people with that first job description in the first place. (Thank you, death of radio news in America…) But we’ll post more details as soon as we nail it down…

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