The Return

OK, so we snuck in here Friday, but we’re officially back. And…we think we have a solution for our “comments problem”.

For now, we’ll leave the comments “turned on”. But a more permanent solution is on the horizon, which we hope to announce in the next week or two. Until then…we’ll dive into some leftovers:

FRANTZ CONTROVERSY: Yes, we’re aware of the hot water WTAM/1100 mid-morning host Bob Frantz got into last week.

We don’t have much to say about it now, as it’s basically over, but we understand Frantz’s show was pulled from the air briefly one day last week after the host related an off-air comment by a listener.

The listener’s “comment” was directed at a local congresswoman, who was on Frantz’s show as a guest before she walked out – apparently not at all happy with the host’s questions.

We believe it happened in the context of Frantz relating the listener’s comment second-hand in the manner of “this is not the kind of thing we want to air”, and the original comment did not air, or come from Bob himself.

Similar comments in other markets have gotten hosts suspended for long periods of time, or even fired.

In Rochester NY, sister Clear Channel talk WHAM/1180 host Bob Lonsberry was “on the beach” for months after such wording, though in that case, it was his own. He was eventually returned to WHAM, but not after some major controversy blew over.

Anyway, Bob was back on the air as normal on Friday, with no mention of all of the earlier problems. We suspect he’ll be a little more careful in relating incendiary listener comments in the future…

WOAC-TV CHANGES: As it turns out, WOAC/67 Canton’s digital signal popped into our TV recently…and we noticed changes.

MultiCultural Television, the new TV arm of New York City-based MultiCultural Radio, has officially taken over the station formerly owned by Scripps and formerly the home of “Shop at Home” and “Jewelry Television”. The latter network took over programming of WOAC and the other SaH stations after Scripps abandoned their shopping network.

Under another corporate arm, Scripps owns Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5, but the company never had any intent to operate WOAC/67 in a duopoly with WEWS.

Anyway, mark “infomercials” as the format for WOAC in the MultiCultural era. And the station is running frequent on-air announcements directing interested people to call a 212 area code number to buy on-air time…

WHILE WE’RE ON THE TV DIAL: Another Cleveland market station with small viewership is apparently changing languages.

OMW hears that WRAP-CA/32, an LPTVer broadcasting from a downtown Cleveland office tower, will move from home shopping to Spanish language programming as an affiliate of the Azteca America network.

The move gives Cleveland (nominally) its second Spanish-language TV outlet, after Univision O&O WQHS/61. Considering that the Hispanic population in Northeast Ohio is not exactly huge, we’re wondering just how many people watch either station.

Univision got WQHS in a package deal when the network bought out the old Home Shopping Network outlets. And in most large markets, Univision mounts a local newscast – but they have no local programming in Cleveland as far as we know.

And it would appear the WRAP-CA transmitter site could serve what Hispanic viewers there are in Northeast Ohio if it moved, say, about 30 miles west…round about where the only Spanish-language FM in the market is licensed (WNZN/89.1 Lorain)…

WHK ANNIVERSARY: OMW hears that Salem talk WHK/1420 Cleveland is going to air a special celebrating the station’s 85th anniversary in March.

Producer John Palmer’s Verity Media has been hired by the station to put the show together. And Palmer tells us he would like some help:

I’m looking to find as many personalities – both local and national – and as much media and memorabilia as I can, in order to pay proper tribute to the station’s history.

Maybe a friend of a friend used to record (insert former WHK programming here) and he’s got it saved on his computer. Or people that might know where former staffers are located. We need them to make this project complete.

Drop a note to John if you’d like to help out…

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