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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Another Channel 5 anchor change

This just in…. Despite a second-place finish at 11 p.m. in November and May sweeps, Channel 5 will shake up its anchor team again on Jan. 2. Co-anchor Dave Wagner, whose tenure dates back to 1999 (with Norma Rashid), moves to day shift, at his request. He wants to do more reporting and see his kids. He’ll continue to anchor with Sandra Ali at 6 p.m.
Sheree Paolello will anchor at 11 p.m. with Ali, as she already does at 5 and 5:30 p.m.

Hasn’t “The Amazing Race” been fun to watch this fall? The Linz kids really made Cincinnati look good. They had a grand time on the adventure, and viewers had a sweet ride too. And then they give a half-million to their parents, and split the balance with the 3 brothers who couldn’t come along? Amazing, wasn’t it?
It will be interesting to see if P&G or other local companies sign up these kids for TV commercials, endorsements, etc. I think we’ll see them a lot on TV in the next year…. Wanna suggest some endorsements the kids would be perfect for?

“Race” results
Yes, Cincinnati was CBS’ No. 1 market for “The Amazing Race” finale Tuesday. (Duh!) But the 15.9 rating here was about 27% lower than Cincinnati’s first-place ratings for CBS’ “Survivor.” “TAR” ranks No. 32 for the season, while “Survivor” still hangs in the Top 10 -- at No. 7. It’s still TV’s No. 1 reality show, despite a loss of 2 million viewers from May.

Life After Howard Stern
When Howard Stern leaves WAQZ-FM (New Rock 97.3) at 10 a.m. Friday, so will all the other DJs. In a publicity stunt to promote new branding, the station will be “put on shuffle” without any music hosts through the end of the year. The station will add more cuts by current bands, and “older alternative” music, says GM Mike Fredrick. Gone is the “New Rock” label. Station will be called “97.3 everything alternative.”
“It’s not a format change,” he says. Listeners will be asked what they want to hear.
Jocks probably return to the air on or about Tuesday, Jan. 3, when new “Rover’s Morning Glory” show from Chicago officially replaces Stern.
More about satellite radio and Stern Friday in The Enquirer and on line.

Looking into the future
No blog on Friday, taking the day off…. A couple of reminders:
--Cindy-Ann Thomas from Highland Heights appears on "The Price is Right" Friday (11 a.m., Ch 12).
--“Skeleton Stories” (10 p.m. Friday, Discovery Health) does a report on how area authorities identified the burned corpse found New Year’s Day 2003 on the Butler-Preble county line. But you may not know it… because producers disguise the case (out of respect for victim, they say). Names, location and even date changed (to Halloween!). Look for Butler County detectives or Beth Murray from the College of Mount St. Joseph.
-- Shane Woods, a U.S. Army soldier from Hamilton, plays poker against actress Estella Warren (“Planet of the Apes”) for charity on “Bodog Salutes the Troops: A Tribute To American Heroes” late Sunday/early Monday (12:30 a.m. Monday, Spike).


at 12/15/2005 2:54 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

Channel 5:
So Dave Wagner wants to move to days... I'm less concerned about the loss of Dave (since I don't watch the late news anyway) and more concerned with who he will bump. I got hear Derik Beasley on B105 the other day Kristen Cornett was actually doing the weather on News 5. Still hoping she gets moved to full time days instead of weekends...

Not a big Stern fan so I obviously won't miss him. I've tuned in a couple of times recently and all I heard was him bickering with management over old show tapes. What will his show be like when he has no one to fight with and no FCC restrictions. Guess he'll actually have to do something "creative."

at 12/15/2005 7:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is bad move to move dave wagner from main anchor to reporter. They better promote from within or hire someone else to hire to fill his main anchor spot. I would like to see jonathan hawgood get the anchor spot.

at 12/15/2005 8:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

nope kristen won't be doing "news 5 today." i thought it said she was being replaced by Derek Beasley....i really wouldn't mind kristen staying either, myself.

at 12/15/2005 8:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't think that this is a bad move at all. it just shows the everchanging demographic of viewers on News5. If this gets them the best rating, then they might as well. They really are a great duo. Also the post just said Dave was still anchoring at 6:00. He's only dropping one newscast. I think Sandra and Sheree are the new faces of WLWT anyway.

at 12/16/2005 1:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's clear Dave Wagner is being pushed out. First the 5pm news is taken away and given to Sheree Paolello...and now the 11pm is taken away and given to Sheree.

He's not just being pushed, he's being SHOVED.

You can take it to the bank; Wagner won't last much past the first of the year.

Ch. 5 has mired in DEAD LAST for many, many years and one of the main reasons is INstability. Since the Jerry/Norma years, no single anchor has stayed there longer than about 5 years, and most much less (see Ann Marie Tiernon, Caroline Thau).

So, what's their latest solution? 'LET'S CHANGE IT UP AGAIN".

Next to go: the news director

at 12/16/2005 2:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps Dave wants out & they are trying to minimize the impact when he leaves? Dave & Sandra are both very good, I'm just not sure that they fit Cincinnati. 5 had the same problem with Jim Watkins years ago.

at 12/16/2005 3:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

how's he being shoved? the article said he wanted to spend more time with his family! i don't see a problem with that....

at 12/16/2005 6:59 PM Blogger Scott Evans said...

As a former Channel 5 Weather Watcher back in the Pat Barry days it saddens me to watch the news channel I grew up with become so horrible that its near tabloid.

WLWT seems to want to create the news rather than just report it with their over used Target 5 reporting. Prime example was last night when they for at least the third time in the past year did a 5 minute story on military recruiting with a negative spin while not even reporting on the positive news of the day of the successful Iraqi elections. I mainly watch out of habit and to watch Leno, though I think I'd get better news by watching Simpson reruns on 19.

at 12/16/2005 8:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely you know the classic lines when someone is being SHOVED (i.e. fired, asked to resigned, please find another job ASAP)???

1.) " spend more time with the family"

2.) " that he may tend to family/personal matters

3.) " pursue other interests"

Blah, blah, blah...


at 12/18/2005 3:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this will hurt channel 5 ratings. The reason local 12 is number 1 is because of stability of the anchors. kit and rob have been there for 40 years combined.
I will still watch news 5, but dave wagner will be missed during the 11 pm news.

by the way has anyone else noticied how bad news 5's green screen is for weather. You can see the outline of the weathermans body.

at 12/18/2005 10:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes i agree...i hate having to guess every day who will be on channel 5, or what "scandal" they will tease constantly. i really don't like it when they abruptly change the anchor; good morning cincinnati did it well with anna townsend because she was clearly visible for months, and there was no guessing that she was going to be the replacement...does channel 5 realize they will get the good ratings after awhile if they simply convince the viewers that they'll see dave,sandra,and sheree every night for years to come. then people will trust that they are not trying to just get the rating....

at 12/19/2005 12:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good riddence to Dave, he was no good.

at 12/22/2005 8:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is "Local" 12's green screen that you are talking about.
When I watch 5, the green screen keying stuff looks fine.

I watch all of the news stations and I don't think any of them are that great. They all are good and bad at different things.

12 seems to have more video of stories but I don't like their graphics and I don't really care for Rob and Kit. They always seem like they are about to fall asleep.
Tim Hendrick seems like the dork next door and I like that but their weather presentation stinks.
The gray radar looks bad in my opinion.

I think 9's graphics are good and Clyde and Steve Raleigh are good together. Carol seems very uptight and almost like she has somewhere better to be.I actually like Steve more than Pete Delkus.

I watch 19 only when I know I will not be able to stay up and watch the big three networks. I don't mind the people they have. Apuzzo has a nice presentation and seems like he genuinely cares though he can make a mountain out of mole hill. I like the morning show setup and how it is more relaxed. I am not a big fan of the people in the morning though. They are just kind of boring. I like the morning crew at 5. Lisa and Todd are very likeable. I wish Susanne Horgan would have stayed here. She was easy to look at and seemed to have a personality. The ruling is still out on Derrick Beasly. So far I think he seems like a dork. I mean that as a compliment.

5 has a lot going for them. The anchor team by far is the best looking in the market. Sheree and Sandra are both hot (compared to the competition). Dave is not a bad looking guy either. It seems to me that 5 does do a lot of non-news stories. During the November book it seemed like they had a story on every night that wasn't anything I cared about. The military pieces that Dave did I could care less about. GIVE ME THE NEWS OF THE DAY.
Sussi CAN be good but he does a lot of stuff that is crap. A couple of Sundays ago I was watching and he was talking about his face and I thought to my self this isn't news. What am I watching here isn't news and it wasn't funny either. If it's not news at least make it entertaining.
I want to see Sussi get in people's faces and give people "The Bone". More bullhorn, less bull----.

Note to the people in charge at all of the stations.

at 12/22/2005 9:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's exactly what i think too, i just couldn't put it in words. thank you!

at 12/24/2005 3:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone notice that Dave is off the main page at He's still in the staff section, but only Sheree & Sandra are left on page #1.

at 12/25/2005 12:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah sandra and shree are now the face of news 5. I just dont like how shree usually stumbles over a few words each newscast and dave is always mr. perfect.

at 12/28/2005 12:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

When it comes to News 5, I strongly think that the problem begins with Brennan Donellan, the news director. 5 can do MUCH better by replacing him. They have great on air talent, the most of any local station. Sure, their anchors aren't the most established, but at least they have personality.

at 1/05/2006 12:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

well is dave just doing the 6pm news. i havent seen him yet reporting or anything else.

also what happened to amy wagner she was a good reporter

at 1/10/2006 7:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 1/12/2006 1:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need a cold shower.

Kristen isn't going to be put back on mornings, otherwise they would have done it when Susanne left.

One person isn't going to raise the
ratings...history does that. As long as News 5 keeps changing anchors like underwear every few months it'll never happen.

If you want to see can still wake to to her on weekends.

at 1/13/2006 8:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so fed up with Channel 5. They must be a crappy place to work for. They can't keep anyone. Remember Angelic Frame? They got rid of her because she was pregnant. She sued them from what I hear. I want to see Dave Wagner when I watch. I once sent a comment to the president of channel 5 about how they changed things around and I didn't like it. Well he blew me off and said that we all must deal with change some time in our life. Their website is crap now. It's too complex. There is too much to get through to get to the facts.

at 1/13/2006 9:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hearst-Argyle sites have always been known to be complex and difficult to read....but I really don't know if any news websites that aren't cluttered with tons of information. Can't please everyone!

at 1/13/2006 12:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a few things people don't notice about WLWT. First off, this station has some of the strongest talent it has had since Hearst bought the station. Secondly, there is no way Kristen Cornett would be moved to weekdays because Derek Beasley has the new AMS broadcast certification, and he's the only one in Cincinnati with it. I have a feeling that WLWT will make that known very soon. What WLWT needs to do is find a talent schedule that works with viewers and shows off what wonderful talent they really have. I'm no news director, but here's what I would suggest.

-News 5 Today: Lisa Cooney and Courtis Fuller
-News 5 at Noon: Lisa Cooney and Courtis Fuller
-News 5 at 5: Sandra Ali and Sheree Paolello
-News 5 at 6: Sandra Ali and Dave Wagner
-News 5 at 11: Sandra Ali and Sheree Paolello
-News 5 Today Weekend: Jonathan Hawgood (primary weekday Today fill-in)
-News 5 6/11 Weekend: Todd Dykes and Candice Hunter

My biggest problem is that the station doesn't put it's 2 biggest veterans, Cooney and Fuller, together. They both work so well together, and this was proven when they worked together prior to Fuller running for mayor.

One thing I don't like is that Dave only anchors one half-hour newscast. It seems awkward. Also, the station needs to pick a permanent anchor for the noon newscast. I never know whether I'm going to see Hopkins or Cooney, and that bothers me.

at 1/13/2006 10:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

well they do get rid of people really fast, but they really do have most of the talent, and it's probably the most entertaining, even though that could be a bad thing....

at 1/13/2006 10:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow i really agree with the noon news thing and the courtis fuller and lisa cooney's really a shame because courtis is kind of shoved into the weekends, even though he's probably the best male anchor (arguably behind dave wagner.)

at 1/13/2006 10:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think we need an independent local tv news blog, just for people to talk about this kind of stuff

at 1/20/2006 3:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look here for tv:

For radio:

at 3/10/2006 2:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan Hawgood couldnt hold Dave Wagner's Jock. Acctually Hawgood would probably go down on Wagner if he had the chance, without a shot at Anchor.

at 3/19/2006 12:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you assume that when people leave they were shoved?--Most SPRINTED to get out and move up. Caroline Thau left because her husband got transfered. Norma got sick. Tiernon got a much better gig back home. Suzanne Horgan moved up many markets and money to her new gig. Wagner is a nationally known and honored reporter who has the power to name what he wants his gig to be and where. Don't think that just because people stay, they are good...they may not be good enough to get out. Channel 5's work environment is toxic. Those left behind have no other option. The management changes are frequent...those who who can move on do. They are not just pawns..that didn't work out. How Cincy to think that everyone would stay if only they weren't SHOVED. Get real.

at 3/19/2006 12:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"get rid of" seems like TV is the only business where when people get a new job the public thinks it wasn't their choice...ridiculous.

I left P&G and went to J&J for a better job. I wasn't shoved. They didn't get rid of me.

People have no idea what goes on behind they scenes.

You think Today is trying to get rid of Katie? No. If she goes to CBS it's because it was better for her. No station/program wants to lose continuity.

at 4/04/2006 6:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The above two posters definitely told it like it really is. This market..even though it is Top 50 is a feeder market in a way. Why should anyone that is young and talented stick around when they can get an even better gig elsewhere.

Cincinnati's conservatism is REALLY rearing its ugly head.

at 4/30/2006 12:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So...where did Kristen Cornett go? One day she's there, then she's there some revolving door at News 5?

at 5/15/2006 8:20 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow you are late. Kristen Cornett has BEEN gone, since February actually. You can still see her on News 5 Weather Plus from time to time. There is no revolving door at News 5, people are just finding better opportunities and moving on. I don't know too many people who'd want to stay here in Cincinnati for the rest of their lives anyway..especially young people in the business.

at 2/22/2007 9:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one even knows when there is a change. you just do not see them again.

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