Charter Cable to lose rights to carry FOX stationsWritten by Bill Stewart | | firstname.lastname@example.org
LIN TV Corp., a local television and digital media company that owns FOX Toledo, announced June 4 that negotiations with Charter Communications, Inc., appear unlikely to result in a retransmission consent agreement, according to a news release sent by Betsy Russell, Fox Toledo’s creative services director.
As a result, LIN TV expects Charter to discontinue carriage of its television stations when the current contract expires on June 30.
Eleven LIN TV-owned and/or operated local stations are carried by Charter in seven markets, including FOX Toledo.
LIN TV is in the process of securing compensation for carriage from cable companies on terms that are comparable to those given cable networks, according to the news release.
“Most cable operators, like their satellite and telephony competitors, now understand and acknowledge that fair and equitable compensation is essential to ensure the viability of our local outlets which are such a big part of the value they provide to consumers,” said LIN TV’s Executive Vice President Digital Media, Gregory M. Schmidt. “This is an evolving marketplace with a lot of background noise so reaching an agreement can sometimes be difficult. We will continue to work hard with Charter in hopes of reaching a deal with them soon.”
Russell told me there are “approximately 17,000” Charter subscribers primarily in the Monroe, Mich., area who would be affected and they would “no longer get Toledo news” if the agreement isn’t reached by June 30.
Russell said the FOX Toledo news team and MyFOXToledo.com won Associated Press Awards. Sports director Brad Fanning and sports anchor Howard Chen received first place for “Extraordinary Coverage of a Scheduled Event” for the “2007 BCS Championship Monday Show” and MyFOXToledo.com took second place for “Best Web site.”
“I am very pleased that The Associated Press has recognized FOX Toledo News for excellence both in extraordinary coverage of a scheduled event and our Web site. A great deal of hard work was put in by Brad Fanning, Howard Chen, Brian Krupp and the entire FOX Toledo sports team for the “BCS Championship Monday” show,” said FOX Toledo News Director Steve France in a news release.
• Although I didn’t hear the alleged incident myself, some area radio observers are alleging they heard Brian Wilson, afternoon talk host and program director of NewsTalk1370 WSPD, call Mayor Carty Finkbeiner the “d-word” recently on Wilson’s afternoon talk show on WSPD.
Troy Neff told me he’s been discussing the media matter recently on his morning show on WCWA-AM 1230. Neff said he got a confirmation about the alleged incident from Toledo District 2 City Councilman D. Michael Collins.
Neff said that although most of his own show’s material is recorded and rebroadcast via podcast, that doesn’t appear to be the case in the Wilson alleged incident.
Neff said Wilson and WSPD morning host Fred LeFebvre’s interviews are offered via podcast on the WSPD Web site, but there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of any such “d-word” statement.
Neff admitted that the rules for what could and could not be said on the air these days are somewhat nebulous and he has been called in to talk to Clear Channel management about various on-air statements in the past.
I asked Wilson about the allegation and he responded, “I did not call pantload a d–k.”
Meanwhile, what Wilson does on the air appears to be working rather well in the Toledo market, based on recent ratings. He said that his station “continues to dominate the vital 25-52 men audience in Toledo.”
Wilson said LeFebvre in the morning is No. 3 with a 9.2 rating. In middays, the syndicated combo of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh has a 12.1 share and in afternoon drive, Wilson is No. 1 with a 13.7, beating out K100 (10.5) and WIOT (10.3).
“Not bad for an AM talk station in a music FM market,” Wilson said.
• Anna Kooiman, the former morning anchor on NBC24, has landed on her feet after leaving that station and has a new TV gig in her hometown of Charlotte, N.C. Kooiman is now part of the morning show “FOX News Rising” on WCCB-TV 18, Charlotte’s FOX television affiliate.
• The new Timesaver Traffic Anchor on 13abc is Andi McKay. McKay, the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. midday radio host on Cumulus Classic Rocker 94.5 XKR, takes over the position from Greg Jones, who held it for many years.
Attempts to reach the latter have been unsuccessful. Brian Trauring, news director of 13abc, said, “Greg Jones resigned from Metro Traffic, which is the company we use to provide our traffic information. Andi McKay is now presenting morning traffic every 10 minutes on 13abc.”
I’ve heard from some sources that Jones decided to get out of the broadcast business.
n Radio stations in the know are wise to attract every potential listener by offering, besides terrestrial radio, Internet radio, podcasting, Web sites, text messaging and more.
I had a cool example of the practical application of that philosophy June 1 while doing my Sunday Oldies show on 93.5 WRQN, when I received a request from a listener in Chile.
The gentleman, named Tom, a Toledoan, said that he and his “soul mate, Agneta” were listening to the station in Chile on WRQN’s live stream at the station’s Web site at 935wrqn.com because “it’s rather nice to have a little bit of Toledo down here.”
Tom said he is in South America working for a chemical company in Vena del Mar, where winter was just starting and he wanted to hear the Mel Carter song, “Hold Me, Thrill Me.”
He said he had just found out about the station’s Web streaming on a recent visit to Toledo and had been taking advantage of the offering.
E-mail columnist Bill Stewart at email@example.com.