At this point, WWOW is literally off the air. I like listening to that “oldies” format station on AM. I have mentioned before that WFUN locally had an “open carrier” problem broadcasting dead air over the weekend. In this case the 1360 kilohertz radio dial spot has no AM radio carrier at all.

I was able to finally reach somebody at the station on Monday. They were reluctant to state that they happened to be off the air due to ransomware taking down their computer systems. Unfortunately the broadcasting systems are almost entirely computer controlled and they don’t have analog backups or the staffing to cover that around the clock. I was given an Expected Time of Recovery of this weekend but I remain concerned.

The most recent available Emergency Alert System plan for Ohio relative to the Central & East Lakeshore area shows WWOW as a participating station. The station does show daytime and nighttime licensing in the Federal Communications Commission AM query. A search of applications related to the callsign do not show an on-file request for Special Temporary Authority to run silent in the intervening time while they respond to the ransomware problem. General guidance is available from the FCC relative to running silent.

Previously I have made mention of various proposed media efforts. During the discussion and drawing board phases the concern most frequently raised by reviewers was the hope that the media landscape in Ashtabula County happened to be stable. Between the recurrent unexplained silent periods on WFUN and now this mishap at WWOW, I stand more on the viewpoint that the media landscape is shrinking locally and is changing in ways that are not for the better.

Good Luck & Good Hunting to the folks at WWOW. I daresay someone might want to risk a freeform format station in this county. I’m not sure who could afford to do that, though.