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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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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Time Warner digital interactive

Time Warner digital cable customers here who watch “Last Comic Standing” today (8-10 p.m., Ch 5) will see several interactive features during the show.
NBC and Time Warner are expanding the interactive polling, which started with Bravo’s “Top Chef” this spring.
Viewers may use their remote control to respond to trivia questions about the show, and vote on contestants. Cincinnati market results will be shown to viewers during the show, which was taped in April. "The voting will have no bearing on the show results. It’s just fun stuff for viewers to do,” says Vanthan Khel, NBC Universal publicist.
Comedian Chip Chinery, an Anderson Township native and a 1982 St. X grad, will be one of the comics auditioning tonight.

Channel 5 news?
Wish I had some more WLWT news tidbits for today, which created quite a reaction late last week. Don't have any news today, but was wondering over the weekend if they're thinking of changing the slogan to "Where the news comes second in the morning?" Or "Where the news comes third?"

You be the GM
Ok, local news junkies, you be the GM: If you ran a local TV station, would you put the CrimeStoppers "Wheel of Justice" -- a carnival wheel plastered with a dozen mugshots of fugitives -- on your air as Channel 12 does it, with Booty Collins theme song and everything?
Here's a link to my story today:
Here's a link to the WKRC-TV CrimeStoppers segments archives:
What do you think? What would you do?


at 5/30/2006 12:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WLWT Slogan: "Where the News comes from viewer voting, because we can't figure out what viewers want to watch"

at 5/30/2006 1:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How soon before we see the "news in black" become colorful and play a game of volleyball, announcing "We're the Team" Yeah!

Force out true reporters and keep bringing in reporters who are either green or plastic.

How's this slogan: "News 5, we'll keep you guessing."

at 5/30/2006 1:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rip on the viewer voting all you want, but their numbers climbed at 5 after it started.

I'm waiting to see how long before we start it here.

at 5/30/2006 2:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


His name is Bootsy

at 5/30/2006 2:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually news 5 at 5-630- has dropped. At the november sweeps the total was 4.9 and now the may sweeps are 4.0. So how could the ratings go up please someone explain that ignorant post to me.

at 5/30/2006 2:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

well news 5 should have a top 5 the voters can vote on. The thing should be thou top 5 ways to improve the newscast. Sandra always seems to be in a hurry to finish the newscast to get back to shawn ley.

Sheree stumbles over words atleast 5 times a half hour. Could this be the reason they are in last place. I think so.

at 5/30/2006 2:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

news5 also needs a dominant male anchor all the women just dont do it for me. As soon as dave wagner cut his hours the ratings began falling faster than john kerrys populairity.

at 5/30/2006 2:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree about the male anchor. Have sheree do reporting thats what she does best. Either bring courtis fuller back to anchor full time with sandra or johthan hawgood.

at 5/30/2006 2:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only now watch news5 today. I will not watch any more of that filth they call a newscast.

at 5/30/2006 2:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kiese you didnt answer my queston from a previous post?


at 5/30/2006 3:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it's a male, make it Jonathan. Curtis can't read fast, the weekend news is sooooo slow!

at 5/30/2006 4:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

channel 5 needs to cut out all of the gimmicks. they seem as if they're desperate for every viewer possible. can they not try to make a completely quality newscast. they are most proud of their weather, traffic, and attractive anchors. although these are important and sometimes essential pieces, they hardly help. maybe they do have the most accurate forecast, or they started a trend with the trafficpulse, but is it truly necessary to have the same 2 talented women together for 90 total minutes of news?

there is no michelle hopkins is supposed to be taking action for us? what about now? wasn't she the anchor of the noon news? not anymore? what happened to the "e-block"

the reason every other newscast is more successful is the normalcy of turning on the tv and seeing rob & kit or clyde & carol or tricia & jack...

wlwt has a fantastic array of talent, but are you telling me that only 3 of them are qualified to read news for 90 minutes?!

5 is such a volatile station that i hold back from liking a feature or an anchor/reporter because you don't know how long it will last.

all of the other stations have it together to some degree. experimentation time is long over. it's not about ratings, it is about trust, and channel 5 has not earned mine yet....

at 5/30/2006 4:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the above blogger, who states that ch. 5 weekend (evening) news goes by sooooo slow, due to Courtis Fuller.

I have a question: I understand that Courtis Fuller has been at ch. 5 for a very long time: Back when he was an anchor, even in the early 90s, did he ALWAYS read the news that sloooow?????

I have nothing against him, I just can't stand to watch his newscasts because I feel like it take him FOREVER to get out what he's trying to say!!! Someone should tell him to SPEED IT UP, just a little, but not as fast as Sandra Ali....

at 5/30/2006 6:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"actually news 5 at 5-630- has dropped. At the november sweeps the total was 4.9 and now the may sweeps are 4.0. So how could the ratings go up please someone explain that ignorant post to me."

I'd be happy to, and I'll use small words so you can follow it. The rating from May 1 to May 25 went up after they started the viewer survey.

I never said I was comparing to another ratings period.

Was that simple enough for you? Sheesh. Talk about ignorant.

at 5/30/2006 6:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The rating from May 1 to May 25 went up after they started the viewer survey."

man there ratings must have been 2.0. wlwt needs to stop with all the gimmicks i agree. I do however love the traffic pulse.

at 5/30/2006 6:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: What good would it do for 5 (or any third-place station) to do the same newscasts/stories that the other stations do?

I mean, if you watched 5, and it was just like 9 or 12, why would you watch it over the other two? How would that give the station better ratings?

at 5/30/2006 6:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Sheree's stumbling that bad? I may notice it from time to time, but it isn't so bad to the point where her performance is degraded. And tell me one anchor that doesn't stumble at least ONCE during their newscast. Its called being human and not a robot.

at 5/30/2006 6:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just can't seem figure out why there is so much hatred and disgust for News 5. Maybe I missed something that you guys know about that occured years before I moved here.

What in in the heck have any of those people ever done to deserve such ill-treatment? Please enlighten me. Maybe I'll somewhat understand.

at 5/30/2006 6:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

One way that channel 7-2 could improve their ratings is to have a commercial free newscast. Wait, that would defeat the whole purpose of the newscast. The advertisers are the customer. The viewers are just a nuisance you have to have to get advertisers.

at 5/30/2006 7:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
One way that channel 7-2 could improve their ratings is to have a commercial free newscast. Wait, that would defeat the whole purpose of the newscast. The advertisers are the customer. The viewers are just a nuisance you have to have to get advertisers.

5/30/2006 6:26 PM

who or what is 7-2

at 5/30/2006 7:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The poster is being cute. 7-2=5

at 5/30/2006 7:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the Clear Channel radio method of mentioning TV stations in town without violating Corporate Policy.

Talk about dumbing down. Thankya Helen Mays.

at 5/30/2006 9:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"I just can't seem figure out why there is so much hatred and disgust for News 5. Maybe I missed something that you guys know about that occured years before I moved here."

i don't think it's hatred as much as much as ways they could improve. their ratings have been down recently, and they've resorted to many different things, and some execs definitely read this blog, so they might get some hints...

at 5/30/2006 9:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen Mays isn't even real, you dope! Do you guys actually believe everything you hear and see on TV and radio? Ever heard of sarcasm?

at 5/30/2006 9:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats sarcasm?

at 5/30/2006 10:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Helen Mays isn't even real, you dope!

What? She Isn't??? Dang! She isn't real but the Clear Channel edict is. Don't mention TV competition on RADIO. So channel 12 minus 3 and channel 12 minus 7 and channel 12 plus 7 don't exist. Just Tall 12.

at 5/30/2006 10:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

in regards to the blogger who is wondering why we don't like ch. 5 news:

the truth is, that things were getting SOMEWHAT better when ch. 5 had built the team of Dave Wagner & Anne Marie Tiernon. Even Byron Webre wasn't that bad. They just kept saying "Eyewitness" News 5 too much.

However, around the time Anne Marie left and Sandra arrived, ch. 5 has gotten more 'flashy' and 'tabloidy', which most people in this market don't like. There is too much 'in your face' consumer advocacy (gets to be too much) rather that just reporting the actual news (and not making a big deal about a small story it in the process). I think ch. 5 needs to take some lessons from Rob and Kit--just give us the news and close out the newscast with a smile, that's all we're asking.

Sandra and Sheree are trying to be our 'friends' and are way too 'touchy-feely', which most viewers don't want.

And also, even though it might not actually be WLWT's fault, most viewers are getting so tired of hearing about News 5 Weather Plus on Time Warner Digital Cable, Digital Broadcast channel 5-2, etc. and wow, i just realized I have heard Jim O'Brien say that so much, I have literally memorized it.

at 5/30/2006 11:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said! Is it a newscast or promo for everything that could be even better.

It is nice on the weekends seeing the before and after.....WLWT weathercasters (not a meteorologist) and then NBC WeatherPlus's Kristen Cornett :)

What I do miss is WCPO's newscast on TimeWarner. I'm surprised 5, 12 or 19 haven't latched onto it.....or maybe 5 or 9 will do a 10 O'clock or (shreik) a 9PM newscast on Elliot Block's TV station.

But back to the blatant promotion, just remember the AVCO saying: prized awarded in exchange for advertising consideration. The preceding was an AVCO color television presentation.

at 5/31/2006 11:39 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey 9, 12 or still have a window to hire Vara. I'd do it. It'd be a shame to lose a veteran Cincinnati reporter...who is also bilingual. She'd be great on 12's new 64 newscast.

at 5/31/2006 11:57 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

I think some people need to get out of the house and quit watching so much TV news... and quit taking is so darn personal.

at 5/31/2006 12:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey bmurdock we gotta have something to gripe about besides until the new tv season starts its gona be boring

at 5/31/2006 1:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw did anyone really think that vara wasn't being let go from 5, and that she was pursuing a job on the West Coast. I'd give them some credit for at least recognizing a strong reporter and bringing her here in the first place 3 years ago...but wait, since the post was about veterans, does that make her a veteran?

at 5/31/2006 6:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

did anyone see 5's noon newscast dave wagner was lead anchor along side lisa cooney. I hope this is there pairing for the next few months. Having dave there will build up an audience.

If i was 5 I would start airing promos saying dave wagner now at noon at 6pm. Have bilboards with dave on it.

at 5/31/2006 6:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah having dave wagner anchor the noon newscast was the only brillant idea 5 has comeup with in a while.

at 5/31/2006 6:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

vara is off the website. I was going to send her an email thanking her for being a handful of real journalist at 5

at 5/31/2006 6:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just sent vara an email. all of you should to thanking her for her hard work and being a good journalist.

Steve B, colerain

at 5/31/2006 10:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now get back to work in the Channel 5 newsroom"

wait a minute you are telling me 5 has a newsroom.

at 5/31/2006 11:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kiese where can i send an email to you. whats ur email address.


at 6/01/2006 10:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, kids..
these are not as anonymous as you think.

at 6/01/2006 10:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who posts knowing who Elliot Block is or is quoting AVCO sign-offs is a long time Channel 5 employee. Quit playing station manager and as Marvin says, "Do your Job."

at 6/01/2006 10:50 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I emailed dave wagner and asked him if he was a mainstay on the noon newscast. He said no.

at 6/01/2006 3:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

wagner was probably put in the noon anchor position the other day because of breaking news

at 6/01/2006 8:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i guess i'm not the only one who notices sheree fumbling her lines. it's annoying, quite frankly!, shawn ley...what a lucky duck!...wonder how they met?... that's sure a nice ring on sandra ali's finger though...but i think most of us agree that a little stability would be in channel 5's favor.

at 6/01/2006 11:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

well shawn ley met sandra when both were in detroit. They worked at opposite news stations. When shawn came back home to cincy. Sandra followed.

It would have been nice to have shawn follow sandra to 5 .

at 6/02/2006 11:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

so now that ms. vara is gone, i guess my new favorite reporter is emily longnecker. besides the cool name, i'm smitten by her beauty, as well as her talent. she has a lot of coats too! hopefully she sticks around a while! seems like news 5 has the revolving door going again!

at 6/02/2006 3:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I emailed ms. vara and this is what she wrote back to me.
"Thank you for the note. It will be sad to leave. My last day is next
Friday. I won't be staying in this market. When I announce my plans I
will let you know!

Thanks for watching!


at 6/02/2006 3:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a class act ms. vara is.

at 6/02/2006 9:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. She's just great. in fact, after all of these posts, I bet she has enough smoke up her *ss to blow her all the way to her next job. Congratulations!

at 6/06/2006 12:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the other day I was watching 5 at 5 and sheree stumbled 5 times before the first commerical break. I then switched the channel to 9. It's sad that 5 only has 3 anchors that can read out loud. They need to get in more diversity. I still say bring in johnathan hawgood, since vara is leaving bring michell hopkins back to 530 anchor with hawgood.

at 6/06/2006 12:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree bout the the anchors at 5. They need another male anchor if only for the 530 newscast. I watch news5 today weekend and johnathan hawgood does a excellent job. I mean whats holding him back?

at 6/06/2006 1:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering how many people read the breakfast blogs. I read everyones except lisa because she only writes one once a week.

I recently emailed todd dykes and man he writes back fast and writes a lot back. He said my email made his memorial day.

at 6/06/2006 1:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

just letting u know that 5 still has the coffee mugs. All you have to do is email todd and ask him.

at 6/06/2006 3:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Self-serving posts by arrogant tv news people are funny. I *love* their programming suggestions. They keep me coming back here every day :-D

at 6/06/2006 5:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Self-serving posts by arrogant tv news people are funny. I *love* their programming suggestions.

what you mean?

Johanthan H.

at 6/06/2006 5:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mean I cant help it!


at 6/10/2006 3:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Hawgood gets promoted to any other anchor slot...I'll barf.

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