Jim Tressel scoop: Who is lying?
Wow, Columbus sure is a great place to be a sports fan.
After all, not one, not two but three broadcast outlets
were first to break the news that Jim Tressel had been hired as Ohio
State's football coach. At least that's what you're forced to
conclude if you listen to the on-air chest thumping by 610-WTVN and
two Dispatch Media Group stations, Channel 10 and 1460-AM (the
Of course, that can't be. If the Highlander movie series
taught us anything—and believe us, it taught us plenty—it's this:
"In the end, there can be only one."
After a thorough investigation—including plenty of channel
surfing last Wednesday—Media Morsels has concluded that the
relentless and unseemly boasting by WTVN has merit while the
relentless and unseemly boasting by Channel 10 and the Fan does
WTVN Sports Director George Lehner said he went on the air with
the story at 5:10 p.m.
"I feel pretty confident that we were first," said Lehner, who
credited his phone contacts and being "in the right place at the
right time" for the scoop.
Meanwhile, Channel 10 has been running an ad claiming it was the
"first station" with the news. But when we called Channel 10 Sports
Director Paul Spohn, he said that claim only covers TV stations—a
distinction the promos don't make.
Spohn said the station got a call from a source he'd "bet his
life on" at about 5:18 and had the story on-air three minutes later.
As for 610, Spohn said, "Quite frankly, we don't listen to the
"TV-wise, we beat Channel 4 by 18 minutes, Channel 6 by 40
So, what about the Fan, which presumably recognizes the existence
of other radio stations? Is 1460 just plain lying?
Jeff Austin, 1460's new program director, said Monday he was
under the impression that his station was first with both the
news of John Cooper's firing and Tressel's hiring.
"As best as we could tell, we beat them on both stories, and they
claimed credit for getting it first," Austin said.
He said he wasn't blaming 610 for taking credit, however. The
strategy of claiming someone else's scoop for your own is just
"smart" radio, he said.
In the case of the Tressel hiring, though, it appears the Fan was
the one engaging in "smart" radio.
Austin said the Fan received the tip on the story from its
corporate brethren at Channel 10 and had the story on-air at about
When informed that Lehner broke the news at 5:10, Austin conceded
"That determines that WTVN did go on the air with it (first),"
Austin said. "If that's the case, more power to them."
Lehner said most people in the Columbus media know he was
"I've had people in the news department and the sports department
at every television station call me or e-mail me to congratulate
me," Lehner said. "And I've had people from 1460 send
congratulations to me."
When he's not engaged in creative parking exercises at grocery
stores, the world's largest ex-mayor, Greg Lashutka, spends his time
working at Nationwide Insurance as senior vice president for
We haven't the slightest notion how corporations have been
relating under Greg's leadership. But we may have learned something
far more important: his new nickname.
Last week, Lashutka joined forces with Gov. Bob Taft at a press
conference to encourage blood donations to the Red Cross. Lashutka
was present to speak on behalf of Nationwide Insurance, whose
employees donate the most gallons per person or something.
After the press conference, a group of Statehouse reporters
gathered around Taft in a hallway to lob questions at him. After a
few minutes of Q and A, Taft went into an adjoining room to give
blood. The reporters were under orders to wait outside as Taft was
hooked up to the needle.
Standing among the reporters during the lull were a couple of PR
types who were taking pictures of the event.
In the hallway, they were heard complaining about being unable to
snap a good shot of Taft during the press conference.
Finally, with Lashutka hovering just out of earshot, the
camera-toting PR type told his colleague, "I couldn't get any good
pictures of Taft because Barney kept getting in the way."
For the record, the world's largest senior vice president was
not wearing a green and purple suit.
African-Americans still ski—and that, evidently, is still
For some reason, the Dispatch is absolutely fascinated by
the combination of black people and snow skiing, and the Accent
section will apparently feature a cover story about this phenomenon
at least once a decade.
In 1993, the Dispatch's Dennis Fiely wrote the
groundbreaking story "Urban mountaineers," about a ski group for
blacks called the Central Ohio Ski Troop.
Fiely talked to National Brotherhood of Skiers spokesman Bob
Bradshaw about obstacles that deterred African-Americans from
entering the "snow-white" world of skiing. That led to this
"Blacks have not historically pursued the sport because 'snow is
white,' said Bradshaw jokingly. Turning serious, he noted that
geography has been the main impediment to participation."
Now, eight years later, the Dispatch has surveyed the
slopes and discovered to its amazement that African-Americans are
On the front of Friday's Accent section was the story "Flurry of
activity: Ski club promotes fun and fellowship among blacks."
Turns out there's plenty to catch up on. Sometime since 1993, the
Central Ohio Ski Troop stuck "Alpine" in the middle of its name to
become COAST. The group is still a member of the National
Brotherhood of Skiers, but since 1993, the Dispatch revealed,
six more chapters have formed.
Unlike 1993's "Urban mountaineers," this year's story doesn't
contain the words "discrimination" or "white people." In fact, in an
impressive act of pun-avoidance, the Dispatch's Eileen
Dempsey manages to write the whole story without once using the word
We're anxiously awaiting the 2009 update.
Psst: Got any Ritalin?
If you're looking to score some contraband Ritalin, head down to
Investigators from Dateline NBC posed as students last
summer and asked four Ohio State kids to score some pills. The Ohio
State students happily complied, as reported in the Lantern
The program, which aired Jan. 16, explained the increasing allure
of Ritalin, an addictive drug prescribed for attention
deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Even middle school students are
popping it illegally these days, and it's easy to get because 7 to
10 percent of boys are on it at some point.
Ritalin—the brand name of the drug methylphenidate—gives a buzz
that's like cocaine, especially when addicts grind it up to snort or
dissolve it with water to inject it.
Some Harvard students have reported doing it to stay awake while
studying. It's unclear whether this inspiring commitment to
academics is the attraction for Ohio State students.
Ritalin abuse has been linked to heart attacks and even brain
shrinkage. Other side effects include formication—the feeling that
bugs are crawling all over your skin. And who wouldn't enjoy
Before you go bragging that Ohio State is the best place in the
country to acquire Ritalin, you should know that students at Indiana
University and the University of Texas also scored some for