Nice article on Local Broadcaster


SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Sep 7, 2003
Canton, Ohio
Sunday's (11-16-03) Canton (Ohio) Repository had a full length article on Local Low Power station WIVM TV 52 with comments from the general manager and the President of the station with some background on the station's history and its plans for the future. Thought it would be of interest to folks in NE Ohio.

Old westerns mainstay of local TV station
Sunday, November 16, 2003 By DAN KANE Repository Entertainment Editor

JACKSON TWP. -- While cable stations like CNN, ESPN and The Food Network narrowly focus their programming topics, local television station WIVM 52 is all over the map.

Nostalgia buffs can enjoy vintage sitcoms like “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” and “The Lucy Show.”

Old westerns are a WIVM mainstay, from series like “The Lone Ranger” and “The Roy Rogers Show” to weekday matinees of cowboy movies starring Gene Autry and Tom Mix.

There’s plenty of high-school football and basketball on the lineup, public-affairs talk shows focusing on Stark County issues, and a live simulcast of WHBC-AM’s Fred-and-Pam weekday morning show. The Massillon-McKinley football game and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival parades are WIVM mainstays.

Rounding out the WIVM mix are a Southwestern cooking show, Bill Gaither’s popular “Homecoming” gospel concerts, a locally produced how-to-paint series, and a Saturday horror-movie show serving up such cheesy drive-in fare as “Devil Girl From Mars” and “The Atomic Brain.’’

“With so many cable channels out there, we’re constantly searching for things people can’t find anywhere else,” says Dean Marini, WIVM’s general manager. “You can find ‘Seinfeld’ on probably four different channels.”

In addition to unique programming, WIVM aims to have a distinctly local focus. Local programming accounts for about 40 hours on WIVM each week. Marini is hoping to broadcast local church services live on Sunday mornings, for the benefit of shut-ins.

“A local newscast is definitely a goal for us somewhere down the line,” says Mike Tonges, WIVM’s president. “We’re 60 miles from Cleveland and (Cleveland TV news crews) only come down here for the Hall of Fame or if there’s some bizarre sex scandal with a teacher.”

“We’re not just looking to make this the biggest cash cow we can,” Marini says. “We want to be a station that serves the needs of the community.

“And we want to give you television where you don’t have to worry about who might walk into the room during a show.”

A commercial, 24-hour station, WIVM is an offshoot of Image Video, a video-production company that has been in business for 22 years. The station went on the air in August 2001, after a broadcasting license was purchased from a woman in Cleveland, and the FCC granted permission to move the license to Stark County.

WIVM initially was available only on UHF at Channel 52. Last August, Time Warner Cable of Stark County added WIVM to its digital-cable lineup at channel position 585. Since early 2001, Massillon Cable has been airing WIVM’s locally-produced shows on channel position 21, alternating them with programming from other stations.

While WIVM has a ways to go in terms of visibility and availability, the station has loyal and vocal fans.

“One of things we get the most mail about are the westerns,” Marini says. “There’s nowhere I go where someone doesn’t say, ‘I love those westerns you show.’

“People keep bringing up old shows they want us to air. Everybody wants the Three Stooges. We’ve gotten some requests for ‘Alf.’”

Marini says that “Really Spooky Movies,” which airs the likes of “Teenagers From Outer Space” and “The Crawling Eye” at noon and 11 p.m. Saturdays, has its own solid following.

“One of the most repeated comments we get is people thanking us for letting the movies stand on their own. These movies are campy enough without us trying to camp them up even more,” says Marini, who co-hosts the show with Jen Evans. “We get a lot of great e-mails. People write to request movies, and they come up with titles I’ve never heard of.”

Also inspiring positive viewer feedback is “Sports Flashback,” from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturdays, which airs vintage local basketball and football games. After the 1982 Louisville-GlenOak basketball game was played recently, a woman stopped by the station to offer her thanks. She said that three generations of her family — her husband, son and grandson — sat and watched the game together.

The high-school games WIVM airs have potential benefits beyond entertainment. “A savvy coach or player from Northwest, had they been watching last Saturday, could have seen their opponent from this coming weekend,” Marini says.

WIVM partners with WHBC to air games the radio station is broadcasting. WIVM also airs sporting events from Malone and Mount Union colleges.

“Ponder the Issues,” a public-affairs talk show hosted by Ron Ponder and taped at WIVM, airs at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and 11 a.m. Sundays. Community leaders are frequent guests. Another community-focused show, “Stark Realities,” is hosted by Chris Beers and Sherrie McKinney and airs at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday. Recent programs have ranged from child abuse to local Christmas charities.

“I have a passion for local television,” Tonges says. His interest in telecommunications began when he was a student at Alliance High School, and he has since worked at WDLI 17 and at PBS channels 45 and 49.

“We just haven’t had good local television as far as local content,” he says. “For such a large area as Canton to not have local broadcast representation is unheard of.”

WOAC 67, a Canton station with local news, sports and talk shows, converted to a home-shopping channel in 1995. WDLI 17, owned by Trinity Broadcasting, is moving its entire operation to Norton and its studios on Route 62 are for sale.

“Everything’s going big, going national, but for the average person, your life is here in Canton, Massillon, Canal Fulton, Alliance,” Marini says. “Watching the Macy’s parade is fun, but if you watch the Carnation (festival) parade on WIVM, you might actually see people you know.”

Program listings for WIVM 52 can be found in The Repository’s daily TV guide and also in its Sunday TV magazine.

The above was reprinted with permission from the Canton Repository @2003

Tim Lones
Original Post
Considering it is a "Registration Only" website, perhaps there is no place at all for the link. :(
Thanks for sharing. The closest thing most communities have to local programming is PBS, which is still mostly national feeds. It seems like almost all stations are network and/or syndication fed, with news being the only local content. Nice to see someone doing 'old time TV'.

Truly local television still lives in some places. The ratings wouldn't be able to support it in a big market like Los Angeles though. People pay way to much for a station here and have to worry about the bottom line too much. Too bad because it sounds like a really good idea! :D

Signal fine tuning and amplifiers

Downside to buying a used E* IRD with no card?

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