The anonymous author behind Ohio Media Watch — the seven-year-old blog that covered the ins and outs of the Northeast Ohio radio/TV market and broke plenty of juicy stories well before the media big boys — is signing off. For now at least.
On February 29, the "Primary Editorial Voice," as he/she refers to themselves, announced an indefinite hiatus. And so goes the only outlet doing any substantial reporting on the media maneuverings in Cleveland.
The PEV didn't respond to an inquiry from Scene. But Nathan Obral, a 30-year-old CSU student who began contributing as the "Secondary Editorial Voice" a couple years ago, did.
For one, he's impressed anonymous author has stayed that way for so long. Obral guessed the identity by connecting the dots of interactions on chat boards, but almost no radio or TV personalities or management that OMW wrote about knows who it is. That doesn't stop them from peppering Obral with questions about the author.
The only clue Obral offers is that the PEV is middle-aged and works in the industry in the Cleveland market.
"The employers know, and have condoned it as long as the name's not revealed," says Obral. "I'm not speaking for him/her, and I won't say they asked him/her to stop. I just think it was a personal decision."
OMW was out front on news of 92.3 The Fan's arrival in town to challenge WKNR's sports radio fiefdom, broke news of Big Chuck and Little John's retirement before Fox 8 could announce the decision, and whispered of major moves at 3, 5, 8, and 19 well before they happened.
"I would say this is something where we provide — I won't say the past tense yet, maybe I can take over completely when my pre-existing commitments clear up — we provide coverage that would not see in any form anywhere else, even the PD," he says. "You haven't had coverage there since around 2000, and you don't have any to this day. There's plenty going on. For instance: there are many stories to tell about the end of 107.3 back in the fall, a lot of information that would really blow people away about how the station was run."
Hopefully stories like that will find a home.