Back in the day, WOIO was making a big move up in the ratings in Cleveland.
Bill Applegate was the GM, Steve Doerr was the News Director and the station was covering hard hitting news and was doing an “in your face” style that was grabbing viewers attention.
The station used the aggressive red,black and white colors and the 19 Action News slogan was Honest, Fair, Everywhere.
Then the station made changes. Bill Applegate left, Doerr did as well and so did many of the viewers that were watching the news product.
The station brought in a new GM and Fred D'Ambrosi entered as News Director. One of his first orders of business was to ditch “Action News” and change over to Cleveland 19. D'Ambrosi came up with a new color scheme as well. Gone was the red, black and white and it was replaced with a yellow and blue that many noticed were very close to the colors of the University of Michigan.
Michigan Wolverines in the state of Ohio? It was a huge blunder and the new “Cleveland 19 News” had lost all momentum and basically became a non-factor in the market.
D'Ambrosi was kicked to the curb and replaced with Ian Rubin and it appears that Rubin is taking the station back to the future.
FTVLive has learned that starting at 4PM Today, WOIO is ditching the Michigan color scheme and Cleveland 19 News will be dead.
The station is going back to red, black and white as the colors and will be called “19 News.”
The tag line will be First, Fair and Everywhere, which is very close to the old Honest, Fair, Everywhere that was used in the “Action News” days.
“We’re going back to the way it used to be,” said a source to FTVLive. “They are finally admitting that the Cleveland 19 News was a complete bust,” the source added.
Reporter Kendal Forward posted some pictures on her social media of a promo shoot and they included the new mic flag that will be unveiled later today.
As for D'Ambrosi? He still lives in the Cleveland area and when he tunes into the newscast this evening he will see the last of his changes no longer on air.
WOIO is headed back to the future and they are hoping the viewers will return as well.