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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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Friday, July 21, 2006

I'm Back

So what did I miss while I was gone on vacation? From reading the postings on my blog, sounded like not much – except for catty comments and sniping from Anonymous folks…
I’m still trying to get caught up to everything, but here are some quick hits:

--The hype machine fires up today for Cris Collinsworth, and for NBC’s Sunday night NFL games this fall. He’s on "The Tonight Show" tonight, and Ch 5’s Ken Broo soon will be taping promos with him. You might see a lot of Collinsworth on Ch 5 this fall, since he’ll do satellite interviews with NBC stations from Ch 5 throughout the season.

--NBC’s "Deal or No Deal" holds an open casting call 9-5 Saturday in Lexington, at Freedom Dodge, 1560 East New Circle Road. A spokesman for host NBC affiliate WLEX-TV (Channel 18) told me that anyone in line by 1 p.m. will be allowed to interview. Theyr'e expecting big crowds.
No reservations required. For information, go

--No surprise that WVMX-FM (MIX94.1) is picking up the Whoopi Goldberg morning show from parent Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks. I figured all along they’d pick up Whoopi, even when station managers said they weren’t interested in May when the show was announced. The station has to do something to get some traction.

--On the other hand, I was surprised that WCVG-AM (1320) – a weak AM daytime station – would sell for $1.9 million, to become the area’s first Latino station. As usual, Cincinnati is behind the times. Louisville has had three Latino stations for several years – two of them are FMs, and one is owned by Clear Channel. Indianapolis and Lexington also already have full-time Hispanic stations.

NBC fall previews

NBC has cut a deal with Netflix so subscribers can see advance copies of two new fall series, Aaron Sorkin’s "Studio 50 on the Sunset Strip" (a behind-the-scenes drama at a "SNL"-like show -- or "SportsNight?" show -- with Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford) and "Kidnapped" (with Dana Delany, Jeremy Sisto and Mykelti Williamson). NBC, which was 4th last year in prime-time, will let Netflix customers rent DVDs of the debut episodes starting Aug. 5, about seven weeks before the fall TV season officially starts.

Studio 89 reminder
If you want to see Danny Tate's "Studio 89" concert at WNKU-FM on the Northern Kentucky University campus 9 p.m. Monday, better make a reservation soon at or by calling 859-572-6500. Tate wrote Rick Springfield's "Affair of the Heart," and songs recorded by Tim McGraw, Billy Ray Cyrus, Patti LaBelle, Lynryd Skinner, Jeff Healey, the Oak Ridge Boys and others. Or you can catch the concert live Monday on WNKU-FM (89.7) and live on the web.

Gotta go. Keep the comments coming.


at 7/21/2006 10:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's no surprise that Clear Channel found another salary it could dump. Why pay for a morning team that no one listens to.

They get Whoopi in exchange for airing some national ads, and no one still will be listening.

No one has listened to that signal since it was WINK

at 7/21/2006 11:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

memories of wink radio. didnt wink also simulcast on am for a couple of yearsback in the mid 80s?

at 7/21/2006 12:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that Cris Collinsworth will continue to be involved with any sports commentary and will actually be paid money for his efforts. Cris had no business being a track and field reporter at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as he asked ridiculous questions to World Class Athletes. Cris only offers uninteresting and feeble analogies at best. Looks like I will have to spend another season watching the great sport of football with the volume turned off.

at 7/21/2006 2:01 PM Blogger RadioCarla said...


Any thoughts on WSAI (Progressive Talk) swapping frequencies with WCKY (Sports Animal)? Weren't they at those dial settting pre-Air America format switch? The switch means my husband can't wake up to progressive talk any more (though I switched when Air America cancelled Morning Sedition).

at 7/21/2006 2:14 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

To RadioCarla:
Until last year, the call letters had been flipped, with WSAI on 1530 and WCKY on 1360. Sports talk had been done on 1360. When 1530 was a "news/talk" format, it did an evening sports talk show -- that's where Bob Trumpy got his start, before moving to WLW. As for the format switch: It's all about money. Sports talk format had more listeners, more ratings, more local commericals. (Hey, it's called commercial radio, right?) Ratings never grew much for Air-America, so they put it on the weaker 1360 (while 1530 is 50,000 watts directional). Obviously Clear Channel folks felt that 24/7 sports on 1530 wouldn't hurt WLW ratings.

at 7/21/2006 3:31 PM Anonymous Jeff Davis said...


If Cincinnati is behind the times, then Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and St. Louis are even further because they don't have Spanish stations either. And, only one of those stations in Louisville actually covers the market. The Lexington station is 10,000 watts during the day, but drops to 45 watts at night. If it covers the area of town with a high concentration of Spanish speaking listeners, then that's great.

Actually, there hasn't been a station available to do Spanish in Cincinnati. Which station would have done it? WCVG just became available because the Gospel format ended. WDBZ has been doing Spanish programming on Sunday evenings for some time, and before that on WTSJ.

Love the blog.

at 7/21/2006 3:32 PM Anonymous eneg said...


Unfortunately 1530 Homer is not a
24/7 all sports station. Overnight programming is religious preaching for 5-6 consecutive hours every night. Clear channel says this is by previous contractual agreement but one would think this should have been addressed prior to the change.
Fox sports had very good sports programming overnight on 1360 until the change.

at 7/21/2006 4:47 PM Blogger BMurdock said...


I have an idea why don't the FM stations just play music and leave the talk to the AM stations?! Morning shows (national or syndicated) are so over done and pointless. I really like Bill and Amanda on B105 but even they can be a bit much sometimes.

Sirius forever! FM radio - only if I have too..

at 7/21/2006 5:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sirius forever? Well, for awhile anyway. Like cable TV, it will soon be bloated with commercials. Then what?

at 7/22/2006 6:55 AM Anonymous dave in atlanta said...

Speaking of WINK...
I was in grade school during that station's heyday but always listening to it really got me interested into radio and the business behind it (not sure why WINK did that). Anyway, the one DJ I remember is Shadow Stevens. Who were some of the other regulars on that station and are any left in Cincinnati?

Welcome back John!

dave in Atlanta

at 7/22/2006 7:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Scott at WLW
Shadow Stevens ?????
Buddy Baron in Shreveport
Bobbie Maxwell, Randi Douglas and Jeff Davis at WARM 98
Fred Slezak at Heritage Country Club in Mason
Erin Best ?????
Dave Mason in San Diego
CC Mathews and Jim Wood at 97.3 in Cincy
Dickie Shannon ?????

at 7/22/2006 11:22 PM Anonymous Jeff Davis said...

Dickie Shannon is in Salt Lake City doing Oldies on a "Married with Microphones" show.

CC and Jim Wood are actually at MAX-FM 97.7 and 99.5.

Last time I talked to Shadow, he was working in Dayton, but that was several years ago.

I'm sad to say that Michael Warren passed away at the end of last year. He was a big help to me at WINK and was a good friend.

Haynes Johns is working in the Chicago 'burbs.

Last I heard, Michael Mitchell was in Atlanta, but I think he's left there.

Andy Curran is working at UC Clermont. (I think he's a big shot there.)

I know I'm forgetting lots of people!

I'm now producing traffic for the three Cumulus stations, WRRM, WMOJ, and WYGY, and they call me "Road Dog" on 96.5 The Star.

at 7/22/2006 11:49 PM Blogger nky_jenn79 said...

On Q102, what was the guys' name who did the morning show with Brian Douglas before Jeff and Jen? I want to say his name was JJ or something. I remember when the two of them went to New York and did the opening for the Rosie O'Donnell show. Does anyone know what he is up to? Thanks!

at 7/23/2006 12:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone know why Ted Morro was let go/fired from Warm98? I thought he always did an AWESOME job. I miss him on the Warm...

at 7/23/2006 12:31 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think his name was john jay

at 7/23/2006 9:14 AM Anonymous dave said...

Hey Anonymous and Jeff, thanks for the info on WINK. What a great station.

NkyJen - the morning show was Brian and Jon Jay (Van Ez..not sure on the spelling but that was his last name). For awhile they were the "Million Dollar morning show" nicknamed off their attempt (or hoax) to be the first station to give away a million bucks (if the winner of the contest picked the correct money bag). In my opinion, one of the best and funniest morning shows ever, and unlike some stations, they played plenty of music. Kept me laughing while sitting in traffic trying to get to UC. I even remember Floodstock '97 when they started taking donations in return for requests to help victims of the '97 flood and were on the air for something like 24hrs.

When John Jay left he took Bobo (the stunt guy) with him and I think they went to a country station in Houston. Last I checked he has disappeared.

I think he was hired away by the company that owned B105 at the time (AMFM radio I think). My conspiracy theory is this: For the first time in years, Q102 was beating B105 in the ratings for the morning show. In order to get around that, the company hired him away from Q102 and shipped him out of the city to break up the morning show, thus decrease their ratings. Just my opinion.

Nothing against Brian Douglas, he's a great personality and is 'Cincinnati radio'. But John Jay teamed with him was great.

The neatest thing about Cincinnati radio is that most of the personalities in the market have been around for a very long time. You get to 'know' them and become familiar with them. When I moved to Atlanta, I thought being in a big market would make for great radio….I was very wrong - it sucks here.

-dave in Atlanta

at 7/23/2006 6:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more ex-Winker. JJ Jackson is now operating under his real name Mike Holbrock and is a Re/Max agent in West Palm Beach Florida.

at 7/23/2006 9:00 PM Blogger nky_jenn79 said...

Dave, Thanks for the update on John Jay. I had forgotten all about Bobo until you mentioned him.

at 7/23/2006 9:20 PM Anonymous Fred S said...


You've been elected the official WINK historian.

You can host the reunion party in 2007 on the 10th anniversary of all of us getting whacked by Jacor.

I'll come if Shadow is there. I exchange e-mails with JJ every now and then, but have lost touch with everyone else. I've totally flamed out on the business and listen only to Jimmy Buffett CD's in the car, which totals about 10 minutes a day.

Also: to Mr Anonymous. How did you know where I was working?

at 7/23/2006 11:37 PM Anonymous JeffDavis said...


If I can still afford my house by then, we'll have a party here at my estate in Florence.

I forgot to mention that the other WINK/WSAI newsguy Dan Monk is writing the Insider column for the Business Courier.

at 7/25/2006 6:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to read about Michael Warren. I enjoyed seeing him pinch hit on FOX 19 doing occasional airborn traffic a number of years back. He was also an alumni of 95 W-Lite. Anyone know how he passed?

at 7/26/2006 10:07 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

95 Lite - now that's a blast from the past!!

at 8/01/2006 10:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Jim McKnight on WWNK. I believe he was operations manager and on the air from 10 to 1 everyday.

at 11/11/2006 9:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

JJ Jackson

All is well in West Palm Beach
I knew Michael Warren quite well.We used to work at Wink and did Traffic together. He had problems with his heart for years.
From what I understand I believe his heart just gave out.

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