NBC 24 announces news program expansionWritten by Bill Stewart | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Lipps, general manager of NBC 24 WNWO-TV, announced a major news expansion for the station in a memo released late June 27.
“We are expanding NBC 24 Fair, Accurate, and Honest News coverage with a fourth hour of the ‘Today Show,’ Toledo’s only 11 a.m. local news, and the biggest news of all, local news at a relevant time period — Monday through Friday 7 to 8 p.m.,” Lipps said.
He said, “effective Monday Aug. 20, NBC24 News at 7 and 7:30 p.m. will bring a relevant newscast to a relevant time period. In addition, we will expand our Local News by two and a half hours per week when NBC adds a fourth hour to the Today Show on Sept. 10.
Lipps also said, “We are in the soft launch phase of our own Community Directory ‘e-yellow pages’ and will debut a whole new Web platform this August to coincide with our 7-8 p.m. local news.”
- Considering the popularity of NASCAR Auto Racing, it should come as no surprise that the radio show devoted to that subject, “On Pit Row,” which airs on Clear Channel’s WCWA Radio Tuesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m., is getting great response from its growing number of listeners. The show, dubbed the “fastest two hours on radio,” is hosted by Charlie Turner, Jason Parton and Steve Wronkowicz. Parton is the “JP” of the “On Sports with JP and Kevin” show heard weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. on WCWA-AM 1230.
Turner, a Black Belt in Aikido, is a former auto business owner and is now a sales executive for Jim White Toyota. Wronkowicz is a former general manager of Castle Photo and was instrumental in the show’s creation.
- Bill Clark, a former TV and radio talent in Toledo and advertising executive, used to host a morning-radio show on WCWA and would regularly feature Wronkowicz.
“I was impressed with Steve’s vast racing knowledge and proposed the idea to him to start a show devoted to racing,” Clark said.
From that meeting, the show was born six years ago and is now heard not only in Toledo but also in Lima, Defiance, Fremont, Sandusky and Tiffin. Since May, the show has been broadcast live from the Toledo Speedway Bar and Grille every Tuesday evening.
Clark, now the executive producer of the show, used to be one of the hosts, but recently turned over the reigns to Parton.
“The guys do a great job on the show and with all my other sports commitments I couldn’t be available for all the shows. I approached Josh about taking my place,” Clark said.
Clark is the founder and owner of Courtside Productions, the company that produces many sports shows throughout the region. He also does play by play on the Michigan State Football network as well as for many Toledo area high school sports contests on WCWA.
It’s the intention of the hosts to create an atmosphere of “bench racing” on the show.
“We all race slot cars and have a practice every Wednesday night where we all sit around the bench and talk racing and our favorite drivers. That’s basically what we all do when we’re on the air,” Wronkowicz said. “We like for people to call in and talk about their favorite drivers and what happened the week before in racing.”
The show also includes an ARCA segment, Wronkowicz said.
Wronkowicz said the trio likes to get at least one or two national racing figures on the show as a guest each week.
This past week’s show included Fox Sports Racing Reporter Jeff Hammond and NASCAR driver Chad McCumbee, who portrayed the life of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the ESPN movie “3.”
Wronkowicz said their main goal is to continue to grow via traditional radio, but the show is now getting worldwide exposure through the Web site racetalkradio.com, where “On Pit Row” is archived each week and played back Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. The show has a Web site at http://www.onpitrow.com.
- Former Blade columnist Russ Lemmon recently placed first in a National Society of Newspaper Columnists contest for the “Lemmon Drops” column he wrote for The Blade. Lemmon left The Blade at the end of last year to take a job with a newspaper organization in Stuart, Florida and was awarded first place in the category of “items,” named in honor of the longtime and legendary San Francisco columnist, the late Herb Caen.
I asked Lemmon what he misses most about Toledo and he said, “The four seasons. They say when you move to Florida you don’t have to worry about shoveling snow. What they don’t tell you is, you have to mow your yard year-round.”
Lemmon’s new territory includes the West Palm Beach television market and the Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie radio market. “Toledo is a great media market. Every medium — TV, radio and newspapers — does excellent work,” he said.
Some current or former Toledoans Lemmon has run into in Florida since relocating there include George Burton, a former manager of The Toledo Club, as well as a name readers of the Toledo Talk blog will recognize, “BrianInVero.”
- 13ABC News Director Brian Trauring reports he just returned from a “journalist exchange program to Germany and Belgium” the past two weeks and is happy about his station’s Associated Press Awards and the latest TV ratings for 13ABC. Trauring said there are no new station hires or departures at the time of this writing.
While Trauring was overseas, Anthony Knopps, assistant news director, took the helm.
- Clyde Hughes of The Blade and president of The Northwest Ohio Black Media Association ( NOBMA) is leaving Toledo.
In a farewell message, Clyde told his friends, “I’m leaving The Blade after 17 1/2 years to become a writer and media specialist for the Purdue News Service at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., starting July 9. I will continue as president of NOBMA until a new president is chosen.
“I am committed to several projects, including the Toledo Newspaper Guild/Chet Sullwold Cross Country Invitational on Sept. 1 at the Ottawa Park Golf Course and the MLK Classic, so I will still be in town a lot on the weekends. I’ve done all I could and hope that showed over the 17-plus years.”
Look for a feature on Hughes and his local impact in an upcoming issue.