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Television
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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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What about BOB?

I’m surprised at the number of calls and emails about tiny WBOB-AM (1160) changing formats from syndicated conservative talk to oldies. Dusty Rhodes, Brian Kauffmann and other local investors are leasing the station to bring back the 1950s and ’60s “real oldies” that Rhodes played on 1530 for two years (2003-05), before that station switched to Jerry Springer, Air America and liberal talk.
My story today:
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060214/ENT/602140312/1025

Too early to know
It’s too early to say if any of the old BOB shows – Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, -- will be picked up by any other station. It’s VERY UNLIKELY unlikely any station will pick up the entire lineup, since WBOB was ranked #28 of 32 stations here last fall with a 0.4% share of the audience. It was by far the lowest-rated talk station, not making any gains against WLW, WKRC, WCKY, WDBZ, WVXU, etc.

Ingraham fans can try to get her at 7 p.m. on Middletown’s WPFB-AM (910). It comes in surprisingly strong in daylight hours – I can listen to Don Imus in the morning all the way down I-75 to Paul Brown Stadium. As it gets lighter longer, you’ll be able to hear her show.
Your other option: audiostreaming Laura at http://www.lauraingraham.com/public/
Medved is streaming at http://www.michaelmedved.com.
I’d guess others are too. Google ’em.

Matthew Perry back to NBC
Former “Friends” star Matthew Perry is returning to NBC for Aaron Sorkin’s new fall drama pilot set behind-the-scenes at a fictional “Saturday Night Live”-type sketch comedy show. D.L. Hughley and Steven Weber also have been cast in the show written by Sorkin, the Emmy-winner who created “The West Wing” and ABC’s “Sports Night.”

Kiese-watching
I’m watching the Olympics again tonight, figuring that “American Idol” will go on forever. Well, at least May. We’ll see how badly “Idol” beat the Grammys when ratings come out today… and soon see if “Idol” will beat the Olympics. I’ll TiVo “Idol,” and skim it later.


38 Comments:

at 2/14/2006 2:45 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

I kinda forgot 1160 even existed. I quit listening to them after they switched away from sports - what about 6 years ago? I used to turn on 1160 at work and listen all day. I actually preferred them over 1360 Homer at the time. Of course most of are on Homer now...

 
at 2/14/2006 3:29 PM Anonymous FredS said...

As a former sports guy at 1160, it's good to see the frequency (or any other AM frequency) being put to local use. We'll never hear radio again as it was through the 60's - 90's. Don't you get a little tired of all the syndication and voice tracking???? I've known Dusty for decades, worked for a short while with Brian Kauffman, and I wish them the best. 1160 gets the button on the car, previously held by 1360. (If I hear Jeff Piecoro call the Bengals, the BINGALS one more time, I'll be sick). It won't be easy, but here's wishing all the best to Dusty and Brian.

 
at 2/14/2006 4:07 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

Speaking of changes - no mention of WSTR dropping "local" evening news. Can't say I'm surprised. I know I tried to watch but just never did feel a connection to their product or the robotic Kimberly Moening.

 
at 2/14/2006 4:12 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

I'm not a big fan of Picoro either. I've tried to but I can't tolerate listening to him for very long. I can think of a number of guys (Tim Lewis, Paul "The Fish" Stergeon, Marc Amazon, Greg Wydell) that could do a much better job than him. At least Wildman Walker isn't on there anymore...

 
at 2/14/2006 4:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to "the Fish" and "Big Dog"?

 
at 2/14/2006 5:31 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

Yeah, what happened to The Fish and the Big Dog? I enjoyed them....
As for Ch 64 news, we had story in Saturday paper on A2. Staff was told Thurs night, and I heard about it Friday while still home sick.... I know some folks will miss the compact 30-minute newscast at 10 p.m.

 
at 2/14/2006 5:43 PM Anonymous FredS said...

John, I didn't know you were hospitalized until I landed on your blog. Hope you're feeling better. The sudden disappearance of "Love Monkey" should make us all feel better tonight.

 
at 2/14/2006 7:37 PM Anonymous zuleika dobson said...

i am really sad that WBOB is no longer carrying their talk lineup. it was refreshing to actually hear some talkers with brains instead of just a schtick. with the exceptions of michael medved and mike gallagher, i always looked forward to hearing bennett, ingraham, prager, and hewitt. and it has been extremely frustrating to try and find other stations locally with a signal strong enough in the daytime hours to pull any of these programs in--in fact, i still have not been able to do so. i did find glenn beck again though, who i used to enjoy on WKRC, so it wasn't a total loss.

as for dusty and oldies--forgive me, but i listened to him back in the day and loved him, but my world and my intellect dmand more than golden oldies today.

 
at 2/14/2006 7:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it just me, or is anyone else sick of Channel 5 making such a big deal about "News 5 Weather Plus"? They have transformed what used to be "Storm Center 5" into the "News 5 Weather Plus Center," and they advertise it every chance they get...I don't honestly even find "News 5 Weather Plus" that great of a program/tool.

 
at 2/14/2006 8:12 PM Anonymous JohnM said...

I, for one, am really pleased to hear oldies on the air here again. I think Dusty, et al., got a raw deal from Clear Channel - the corporate giant could have given the station a couple more years to grow an audience.

Since 1530WSAI disappeared I have been listening to a Chicago station with a similar format over the internet (I even bought a little $15 transmitter to plug into the computer so I could listen throughout the house).

I sure hope Rhodes and Kauffman can sustain this for the 3-5 years it takes to grow a listener base. I also hope against hope they can convince the FCC to up their nighttime power.

THANK YOU DUSTY!!!!

 
at 2/15/2006 8:07 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break. I saw Channel 5's Ken Broo at Perfect North Slopes doing Olympic stories. On the screen...Torino Olympics, what a joke.

 
at 2/15/2006 8:48 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
at 2/15/2006 9:16 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

Are you kidding me?! Man that's a real stretch. I'm a sports fan but I just don't get excited about the Olympics.

Last I hear "The Big Dog" Tim Lewis was working on all sports station in Salt Lake. Haven't heard anything on the Fish.

 
at 2/15/2006 9:46 AM Anonymous FredS said...

If I remember correctly, Fish was involved in a local restaurant, while working part-time at BOB. My guess is he's still around town, but not on the air any longer(like a lot of us).

As for Channel 5, don't get me started. There's not enough room on the Internet to list all the shortcomings in that building. The "Power of 5 Radar" is the most bogus piece of junk I've ever seen. The weatherman forced on us 15 times during a 90 minute news block, has the most annoying voice on TV, next to newsman Brian Hammrick. And, how about their "Breaking News" alerts. A couple of weeks ago they led 5:30 and 6 live from the scene of a school bus "Crash" on a quiet residential street in Oakley. There were no kids on the bus and the damage amounted to a scratched bumper. I save the traffic graphics and SPORTS ROCK for another stream.

 
at 2/15/2006 12:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alright I have to make a couple comments regarding the posts on here about channel 5. As far as the breaking news alerts, all stations in Cincinnati are guilty of that. WCPO and WKRC have gotten worse and worse about that to the point where all three of them are equally guilty about. On 12, it's a breaking news alert or a developing story alert every other story, on 9 it's breaking now or developing now, and on 5 it's breaking news or developing story. All of them are guilty, and no one station is doing it more than the other in my opinion. The only station that doesn't bash us with breaking news is WXIX.

As far as weather - I will admit the Power of 5 is a stupid gimmick, but you at least have to give them credit that it's original. In fact, WEWS in Cleveland where Susanne Horgan went just started branding the Power of 5 as well. O'Brien may be annoying, but he's a pretty good meteorologist and he knows his stuff.

As far as weather plus - that's not a WLWT decision. Hearst corperate has been forcing that on all it's NBC stations. WLWT is following in the direct path of sister station WESH in Florida. about a year ago, WESH got a new weather set (very similar to WLWT's) and also started using cuts from one of Frank Gari's NBC packages, as WLWT has started doing as well. For sweeps this month, WESH just unveiled beautiful new graphics and a beautiful new main set, and I personally wonder if WLWT may be getting this stuff before too long. Long story short, get used to the Weather Plus stuff. It isn't going anywhere.

One other side note, there's going to be a meteorologist leaving WLWT soon. There's a posting on the site. I'd guess either Bateman or Cornett is leaving, but the possibility that O'Brien is leaving and someone is getting moved up to chief from within also exists too.

Pardon my rant.

 
at 2/15/2006 3:01 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

It's almost to the point now that I ignore or at least don't get as excited over "breaking news" stories. "Breaking news" used to mean something major was going on -large fire, hostage situation, something big. Lately breaking news could be just about anything and not always anything high impacting.

I do have to give credit to WKRC I think they've used it less and when they have it's been in useful situations (amber alerts and missing persons). I respect WKRC they seem to have the least Springer like coverage in town.

News coveage in general is almost comedic at times. Like when the reports are live in front of a building - just because they can. Not because anything is happening there. No press conference on the front steps, no witnesses just a reporter standing in front of a buidling. I guess that's just in case some "breaking news" breaks.

Or (sorry Megan) Megan Mongello reporting live in front of a tree that fell, not just once but multiple times. Then a couple of weeks later reporting from a what -pothole! Like we don't know what a pothole looks like! Or when Dan Carrol reports from the Northern Kentucky news bureau, which just a desk on the other side of the room. He couldn't give us the same info from the main anchor desk?


Another WLWT weather person leaving?! What is going on over there!? I just hope it's not Kristen Cornett (even though I never see her anymore).

Okay I guess I'm rambling now...

 
at 2/15/2006 3:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate to dissappoint you, but it is Kristen that is leaving. She's headed to NBC Weather Plus in New York City. Her last day on the air is Feb 26th.

 
at 2/15/2006 4:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not Surprised that shes leaving after being bounced to weekends then still on weekends when horgan left id be moving on also

 
at 2/15/2006 6:57 PM Blogger Phylo82 said...

The change at 1160 stinks.....AM radio is just not good for music. Heck, switch to 103.5FM if you want to listen to oldies.

1160 had the best talk show line-up going. These folks actually have brains and make valid points unlike the ranting you hear on 550, 700 and Air Disaster 1530.

I hope someone at 1530 gets smart and drops Air American and picks up some of the programs that were on 1160.

 
at 2/15/2006 6:57 PM Blogger Phylo82 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
at 2/16/2006 3:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason she wasn't put back on weekend mornings after Susanne left was for a reason other than "better ratings".

She got a better offer in NYC and she did what anyone with any good sense would do, and that's take the better opportunity. She'll be getting national exposure anyway...so that's good for her.

 
at 2/16/2006 3:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

correction to above... WEEKDAY mornings instead of weekend mornings.

 
at 2/16/2006 8:47 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

No matter what they tell us TV news is all about ratings. Which is why I was surprised they didn't put Kristen back on mornings after Susanne left instead they chose to bury her on weekends. Maybe they knew she was leaving or at least knew she wasn't happy and decided to save themselves the embarrassment...

 
at 2/16/2006 11:19 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

between channels 5 and 19 i dont know who has more of a revolving door but channel 5 wouldnt know what was good for them if it was right in front of them with a sign saying it is good for them. last point channel 5s web site is annoying when it first opens up and they start all their talking about the olympics and everything else DOWN WITH CHANNEL 5

 
at 2/16/2006 11:30 PM Blogger justanopinion said...

I'm thrilled that Dusty Rhodes is bringing back the oldies. WGRR has done nothing but go down hill since they quit the real oldies and started their new format, I haven't had them on once.

As soon as I read about WBOB, I tuned in and WOW.....10,000 in a row for two weeks!!!

Thanks Dusty for keeping the oldies alive.....now if you would only find room for Cool Bobby B to do two hours of his DooWop show once a week, you'd pull in more listeners. Hint....Hint...www.doowopstop.com...
Tell him Gary sent you... ;0

 
at 2/17/2006 7:01 AM Anonymous freds said...

You can see the passion over the "oldies" format by the number of comments generated on this blog, even without the attacks on channel 5. Now, I hear that Steve Mann was canned as PD at WGRR and replaced with retread Marty Thompson, who will do double-duty with B-105. Does anyone remember Thompson's comments when he got the country gig saying the oldies format was dead? More Questions: Does this mean a return to the old WGRR, or is this just another case of job elimination, 2PD's for the price of one?

 
at 2/17/2006 10:07 AM Blogger justanopinion said...

Dobson said..."as for dusty and oldies--forgive me, but i listened to him back in the day and loved him, but my world and my intellect dmand more than golden oldies today."

Yes, but isn't it nice to once in awhile take a stroll down memory lane and relive those days when life was a hell of a lot simplier?

Kids today don't go to the parks and take along a radio and sit under a tree and listen to music that you can understand and relate too.

We've all changed and yes our intellect has grown right along with us but I for one, still enjoy that step back in time and remember all the 'Peggy Sue's' and 'Donna's' that were on the journey with me.

 
at 2/17/2006 10:29 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

I think you might be onto something with the two for the price of one comment. It's that do more with less corporate mentality...

I know what you mean about the old GRR vs new. That format is a little before my time but I've listened a few times (when the controls weren't under my control) and I can hear the differnce. I was surprised at some the groups that were being played - I heard CCR and even remember hearing Led Zeppelin. I guess they gotta do what they gotta do...

 
at 2/17/2006 11:52 AM Blogger justanopinion said...

I think WBOB will pull a good share of listeners from WGRR..I may be wrong, but I think the ratings have dropped somewhat since they moved up several years in their music selection. They need a good PD like Joe Zerhusen...(voice of the Reds)He used to be PD at WARM-98 and did a hell of a job. Good all around guy.

Dusty should do very well in his endevor. I know he'll have me tuned in all the time. He's probably one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet.

 
at 2/17/2006 12:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Zerhusen was NEVER PD at Warm 98. He was a PD at the old WOFX in the early 90s. Remember 94.9 The FOX?

It was no surprise that Marty became WGRR PD. When he came back to Cincinnati to work at B105, everybody saw the writing on the wall. Speaking of Warm 98 and PDs, TJ Holland is PD of both Warm 98 and 96.5 WYGY. It happens all over town. At Clear Channel, Daryl Parks is in charge of ALL of the AM stations.

 
at 2/17/2006 2:54 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

I Remember when 94.9 was "the classic rock that really rocks." It made for a nice alternative to WEBN until Jacor squashed that idea...

 
at 2/17/2006 4:46 PM Blogger justanopinion said...

"Joe Zerhusen was NEVER PD at Warm 98. He was a PD at the old WOFX in the early 90s. Remember 94.9 The FOX?"

I'm sorry, I stand corrected. I got mixed up.....yes, I remember the FOX...great station. Love those classic rock ballads...from the 'Hairbands'

I haven't seen Joe in years. I worked with him at one time many years ago, before he got into radio. He was a DJ on WARM 98, if I recall.

 
at 2/18/2006 8:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I think it's fascinating that people can't resist the urge to use the blogs to post self-serving rants about COMPLETELY unrelated topics. This is supposed to be about 1160 AM - not a forum to bash local TELEVISION. In case all of you - as part of the "anonymous" braintrust are concerned - can't figure it out, RADIO is for the ears, TV has those fancy moving pictures and such. Got a problem with how local stations are handling things? Start your own damn blog. Call the station. As for THIS blog? Congratulations to Dusty and everyone else involved for having the balls to stand up to the Clear Channel machine. Screw that company. They kill everything they touch. Mind body and soul. I have been surprised that no one else has picked up on the oldies format. Even if it's not for you - it's timeless, important music. And as for the poster who started the whole WSTR/television ranting, raving, local TV bashing session - do a little simple research. WSTR dropping their *ahem* "news" has to do with the dissolution of the WB network as a whole. As for the other "tv experts" - blow it out your wazoo and enjoy a golden oldie. Might lighten your bitter asses up a bit. Thanks! :-)

 
at 2/18/2006 8:26 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I think it's fascinating that people can't resist the urge to use the blogs to post self-serving rants about COMPLETELY unrelated topics. This is supposed to be about 1160 AM - not a forum to bash local TELEVISION. In case all of you - as part of the "anonymous" braintrust are concerned - can't figure it out, RADIO is for the ears, TV has those fancy moving pictures and such. Got a problem with how local stations are handling things? Start your own damn blog. Call the station. As for THIS blog? Congratulations to Dusty and everyone else involved for having the balls to stand up to the Clear Channel machine. Screw that company. They kill everything they touch. Mind body and soul. I have been surprised that no one else has picked up on the oldies format. Even if it's not for you - it's timeless, important music. And as for the poster who started the whole WSTR/television ranting, raving, local TV bashing session - do a little simple research. WSTR dropping their *ahem* "news" might have something to do with the dissolution of the WB network as a whole. As for the other "tv experts" - blow it out your wazoo and enjoy a golden oldie. Might lighten your bitter asses up a bit. Thanks! :-)

 
at 3/03/2006 9:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am completely dismayed at the BOB format change. This was my fix every night on my 45 minute drive home from work. I agree with some of the other comments that BOB was the ONLY station that had smart people making smart arguments--unlike Hannity and some of the other talk show hosts that rant, rave and pontificate to further their own egocentric agendas. I now have no one to listen to and am in withdraw. I am boycotting BOB due to this change....

 
at 3/13/2006 9:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am another disappointed BOB used-to-be fan. I really enjoyed the talk shows. As for the "oldies" format - these oldies are no OLD enough for me! Give me some of the great, beautiful old "elevator" music. That would be worth the effort to tune in BOB. So long,late, great BOB.

 
at 4/12/2006 3:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who is going to broadcast Ohio State football since 1160 BOB has changed formats?

 
at 10/07/2006 12:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happen to be 19, and enjoy listening to 1160 since they flipped to 50's-60's oldies. I understand how some of you are un happy due to the format change, but must you be so negative? Thanks Mr Rhodes for bringing such great music back to the cincinnati area.

 
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