Random Monday Opening Salvo

Starting off the week with some followup, and some new questions:

CINCINNATI CONTINUES: We have more on the state’s most active radio market lately, with some words from OMW readers with ears near radios that can pick up stations in Cincinnati and environs.

We’re told that country WYGY/94.9 “The Star” aired frequent announcements over the weekend trying to move listeners over to new sister station WUBE/105.1 “B105”.

They tell listeners that “B105” is a “family-friendly” station, and also mention the coming presence of the newest country station in the market, “97.3 The Wolf”, complete with current “Star” morning team Ken and Kitty.

97.3, of course, that’s the station which will take the WYGY calls, and replace 94.9 (moved from 96.5) as the second country outlet for Entercom’s new Cincinnati operation…the “flanker” to WUBE.

We’re told that the mentions of “The Wolf” include such wording as “outlaw” and “butt-kicking”. Presumably, during those announcements, the company hopes those looking for “safe, family-friendly” country radio have already moved to B105.

And finally, the announcements airing on 94.9 in its final country format days make clear that the current option of hearing country music on that frequency “is going away, real soon”. OMW hears that there’s no sign of the coming changes on 97.3, which was running its usual alt-rock music “on shuffle” during the weekend. We assume that’s something the station has done on weekends before.

Meanwhile, over at SuperTalk FM 96.5, the station now legally known as WPRV is still working the kinks out of the system. One listener in the market tells us that double audio and dead air was still heard frequently this past weekend on the new Cumulus FM talk outlet. (We suppose a weekend is a very a good time to work out those kinks.)

As far as that OMW reader knows, the station ran Sporting News Radio uninterrupted over the weekend. Oh, and – quoting the reader – “more promos for (TRN evening host) Rusty Humphries than should be allowed by law to air in close succession”. (Heh.)

Yes, for whatever reason, it sounds like the promos for other hosts, like TRN’s Mancow, Bill O’Reilly and other bigger names than Humphries, are still not produced yet. We’ll leave to the assembled OMW readers to judge a station which comes out of the gate promoting only its late night host.

But we hear a woman with a British accent is the station’s primary imaging voice… which might make it worth trying to hear the station ourselves…

WBNX HD?: The website for Cleveland market CW affiliate WBNX/55 promises an HDTV feed to local cable/satellite by “the end of October”.

We’ve made it into November now, and as far as we know, there’s no sign of “Veronica Mars” et al. in HDTV in the Cleveland market.

OMW knows that WBNX’s Lou Spengler informed Akron Beacon Journal TV writer Rich Heldenfels that they were having computer problems with the feed, so we’re not surprised that the station hasn’t launched in HD yet.

There may be other considerations involving placement of the station on cable lineups, and the like. And though we’re sure WBNX would like to be the fifth station in DirecTV’s Cleveland market HD “local-into-local” service, it doesn’t look like the satellite provider has added HD local feeds beyond the “big four” networks.

(We’ve sure used a lot of quotation marks in this one.)

We’ll keep watching this one…

ONE HD CHANNEL GOING AWAY: If there’s a problem now, there may be more room bandwidth-wise for WBNX or another HD offering on local cable operators, soon.

Multichannel News reports that “INHD2”, the second all-HD channel of two run by a consortium of cable operators, is going away on January 1st.

The trade magazine reports that any INHD2 unique programming will be folded into the main INHD channel.

OMW has heard for a while that Time Warner Cable is poised to start adding NBC Universal’s UniversalHD channel locally. The outlet serves as a place to air HD offerings from NBC Universal-owned cable networks like USA Network (“Monk”, some sporting events, etc.) and Sci-Fi Channel (“Battlestar Galactica”) which are only in SD themselves…

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