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Published: Monday, 8/22/2005

Channel 24's Lipps to begin editorials today

WNWO-TV, Channel 24, general manager Rick Lipps is picking up where Carty Finkbeiner left off.

For three years, Finkbeiner, a former two-term mayor of Toledo, did a weekly commentary on WTVG-TV, Channel 13. The segment, called It's Just Not Right, aired at the end of Monday's 6 p.m. newscast. Finkbeiner left the station in late May; a few weeks later, he announced his candidacy for mayor.

Lipps chose the same day and same newscast time for his weekly editorial, which will debut today.

"I want it to be a thought-provoking minute," he said. "I don't see myself taking sides, as much as encouraging people to take sides."

Alabama-based Raycom Media, which owns WNWO, encourages its stations to do editorials.

Former WNWO general manager Jerry Heilman did editorials on a regular basis, although he shied away from anything that was controversial. His editorials were closer to public service announcements than commentary.

Lipps promises his editorials will have more bite.

"I want it to be watercooler [talk]-oriented," he said. That is, the topic will be one that people are talking about or one that generates discussion.

Today's editorial, which will air after the 6 p.m. newscast ends, will be about the Marina District and to quote Lipps the "analysis paralysis" that has come to define the project.

Lipps said viewers will have an opportunity for a rebuttal. Guest editorials will also be considered.

Wayne Daugherty, a Raycom vice president who oversees stations in 11 markets (including Toledo), said the editorials are "a platform for us to talk to the community."

Ideally, Daugherty said, the editorials will provoke people "to think about issues in the community" and then "take action."

LINEUP CHANGE: WKKO-FM (99.9) on-air personalities Craig Snyder and Cliff Smithers have switched shifts. Smithers now covers the 3-to-7 p.m. slot, and Snyder does 7 p.m. to midnight.

Snyder had worked the afternoon-drive shift for nearly five years, taking over for Gary Shores and Harvey J. Steele when they moved to mornings. Smithers joined WKKO in 2001 after working at sister station WRQN-FM (93.5).

WKKO is a perennial No. 1 from 3 to 7 p.m., and it's usually in the top two from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Shores, the station's program director, says the change is permanent.

FOOTBALL FOCUS: The high school football season kicks off on Friday, and four Toledo television stations plan to devote 20-minute segments within their late-night newscasts to game coverage each week. WUPW-TV, Channel 36, gets a head start with Hardcore Football (fronted by sports director Brad Fanning) at 10:40 p.m., while the other three Big Board Friday on WTOL-TV, Channel 11 (Dan Cummins); Football Friday with the Powers Pack on WTVG (Rob Powers); and Friday Night Frenzy on WNWO (Jim Tichy) will start about 11:15 p.m.



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