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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 28, 2006

Today's Top Story???

Did you see the No. 1 story voted by viewers on Channel 5's "Top 5 at 11" last night? It was the North College Hill kid who appears on MTV's "Made" on Monday! That was the Top News Story of the day for Thursday??? Not CVG having the highest fares in the nation? Jillian's closing? AK Steel workers joining a big national union? Hamilton County to build a new $225 million jail? The man charged with murdering his Fairfield girlfriend? The Oxford rape suspect linked to an Indiana case?
No, our top story tonight was Jordan Rolfes, 17, getting a date for his LaSalle High School prom two months ago while being filmed by MTV. (It airs 4:30 p.m. Monday.)
I'm just wondering out loud here: Could this vote-for-your-top-5 strategy by sabotaged by folks who don't like the station, sort of like the www.votefortheworst campaign against "American Idol?" Could enough folks vote for the stupidest stories to embarrass Channel 5? Just wondering....
One more note: You can read more about Rolfes and his "Made" show in my column this Sunday.

Mike McConnell's last show
Today is Mike McConnell's last local show on WLW-AM. On Monday he begins national syndication from his 9 a.m.-noon time slot. So expect him to be less local next week... He's been doing the national "The Weekend" for 120 Clear Channel stations for three years, and thinking about doing a daily national show all that time.
When I interviewed him for a story running in Sunday's A&E section, McConnell told me his goal is to be No. 1 of all the syndicated shows in the time period in two years. His national competitions includes Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham and Jerry Springer. You can listen to his show this morning on


at 7/28/2006 10:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've liked Mike for a long time, but lately his know-it-all-and-you're-an-idiot demeanor has just gotten really really old and annoying. I'm a long time fan, but I find myself listeneing less and less each week. Unless he drops the Supreme Intellect persona, he'll go down the toilet nationally. A little of Mike goes a long way. Too much of Mike makes one gag...

at 7/28/2006 10:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Could this vote-for-your-top-5 strategy by sabotaged by folks who don't like the station, sort of like the www.votefortheworst campaign against "American Idol?" Could enough folks vote for the stupidest stories to embarrass Channel 5?"

Certainly. Of course, in this case, it was his friends doing the voting. And most of those stories you listed were old by 11 p.m.

No one ever said Your Top 5 was perfect. But the 5pm ratings were up 14 percent over last year same time, and they even came in first one night, which hadn't happened in _years_.

And pardon my saying so, Kiese, but your comment's just a tad silly, given your earlier post about it, as well as touting your Sunday column.

at 7/28/2006 11:04 AM Anonymous David said...


Is there a website or a listing of stations picking up Mike's national show? Would be interested in looking to see what reception he is receiving

at 7/28/2006 12:50 PM Blogger dmdavis said...

Back in the early 90's, McConnell used to slam nationally syndicated shows because he stated that they took jobs away from local affiliate hosts. I will miss his opinion on local happenings. He does talk sense and will succeed because he's pretty good at what he does and his competition is weak during this timeslot.

at 7/28/2006 4:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

About McConnell

He talks out of both sides of his mouth and places foot in mouth fairly often if you’ve listened to him over the years.

Previous poster is correct, he used to say that syndicated radio took jobs from local hosts AND limited the things you could talk about because you had to appeal to different parts of the country. If you have noticed he rarely does “local” topics, avoids religion like the plague and has preferred the generic “personal responsibility”; “stupid criminal” and “stupid idea” topics. He has been doing this for the last several years, it makes for boring generic radio. Me thinks he had syndication in mind for several years and has been training with the weekend show and transforming the weekday show. Also since WLW is trying to sell ads regionally (Dayton, Columbus etc.) I bet Darryl (LCD Radio) Parks said “Boys, you know I don’t think listeners in Columbus and Dayton will tune in to talk about what color to paint the Suspension Bridge. So let’s talk about my favorite subjects, Katrina and lousy customer service, you can’t miss with those.”

at 7/28/2006 4:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there is a place where you can find old TV commercials.

My friends and I are dying to find old hokey Cincinnati commercials. I would love to find commercials for King Kwik, Cash Amburgy's Cash's Big Bargain Barn in South Lebanon Ohiiiio, Buddys Carpet with Buddy.

It would be nice get them posted on YouTube for all to enjoy.

at 7/28/2006 4:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike’s doing a spot for Hamilton county recycling.

I would like to think he got set up for this. He says during the spot that recycling one aluminum can saves 6 oz. of gasoline. OH REALLY... At $3/gallon that aluminum can is worth $1.13???

Mikey boy, I will sell you aluminum cans all day long for $1 and you can pocket the diff. Why, you could drink a 12 of Bud, sell the empties and make a few bucks. Mike, avoid things that involve MATH.

at 7/29/2006 10:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is off topic but what is going on at fox19? i know carswell-russo is on maternity leave and where has gene cox been i mean i turned on fox19 tonite to watch the 10 pm news and there is andy treinen who left fox19 a few years ago so whats up with this btw treinens bio is gone from wtmjs web site so john please find out and let us know

at 7/29/2006 11:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was interesting. The wife and I turned on 19 and I immediately told her, during the open, hey, that's Andy Treinen. Sure enough...

I know they've been looking for a news reporter....perhaps he's back.

BTW, speaking of 19, can someone tell Chris Shaw to quit shaking his head like a bobblehead at the beginning of EVERY live shot??

It's routine: Shake head, purse lip and give first line. Reminds me of an old Saturday Night Live skit: Brilliant. Acting? Brilliant!

at 7/30/2006 12:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gene Cox is at the Fox Station in Indianapolis.

at 7/30/2006 2:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

at 7/30/2006 2:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Veteran weatherman Joseph to resign at Channel 4
By OMC Staff Writers

Published July 11, 2006 at 9:35 p.m.

Every time the Packers play a game on TV, the daily newspaper publishes a roster of names, numbers and positions.

The folks over there might want to consider doing the same thing with their TV station, too.

The turnover at WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) continued on Tuesday when veteran meteorologist Paul Joseph announced his retirement after 36 years. Joseph's announcement, which came during the afternoon broadcast, continued a string of departures that included Kevin Hunt, Tami Kou, Vivian King, Claudia Coffey, Kimberly Kane, Scott Friedman, Erick Weber, Jim Ott, Andy Treinen and -- most notably -- veteran anchor Mike Gousha, who ends his run next month.

at 7/30/2006 9:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


On your piece on McConnell.

Unless he moved in the last 30 days or so, he has stated numerous time on air that he lives in West Chester not Blue Ash. I think he used to live in Blue Ash about 15 years ago.

And, unless he received an honorary
degree or picked up a few night classes, he never graduated from UD. I think he has said on air he got a radio job his senior year and left school.

You might want to update your bio for him.

at 7/30/2006 10:05 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever think that the kids and parents from the dance studio featured in the "MADE" episode with Jordan wanted their story to be featured. All the other stories would have been shown regardless.

at 7/30/2006 12:02 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

I saw Andy Trienen last night too, and was wondering what's up. I'll find out. I had heard he left the Milwaukee station. Gotta email out to Gene Cox too.

at 7/30/2006 6:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clear Channel specializes in elimination jobs of local talent.
Just ask anyone let go from various stations (then jacor) in the fall of 1997 massacre.

at 7/31/2006 12:53 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one ever said Your Top 5 was perfect. But the 5pm ratings were up 14 percent over last year same time, and they even came in first one night, which hadn't happened in _years_.

What night did 5 come in first! Kiese please help

at 8/01/2006 7:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And despite all of the negativity of McConnell posted here, I'd rather listen to him that Laura Ingraham, Springer or that lame-ass Glenn Beck.

at 8/01/2006 9:00 PM Blogger Rick said...

I think Laura Ingraham is fabulous. Mike, The Superior Intellect is getting stale... I will take Laura any day of the week.....

at 8/01/2006 11:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mikey-boy's first national day and the phone system goes on the fritz.

Seemed like good ol' Mt Jacor Mattel phone daze.

Goes back to why radio is horrible. Make it totally LOCAL.
Just like 1980, with the exception of NBC TalkRadio and Larry King. Hello Rapline!

at 8/02/2006 12:33 PM Blogger ohio said...

I couldn't agree with the first poster here more. Ever since Mike went part-time-national with that Weekend program his show has been getting progressively less and less interesting. That "I'm the Host, Your the Idiot/Caller" schtick is simply the worst thing thats hit talk radio and will probably be its downfall. Why do they think listeners enjoy hearing callers get abused?

It simply goes against the main reason that talk radio caught on: a place where listeners could bring up points and hear a discussion about them. Mikes old show used to be a forum of a sort for new (and old) ideas, some were insane but most were interesting, but now all we hear are Mike's set in stone ideas about everything (which certainly aren't as free-thinking as they used to be), and if the caller doesn't agree with the him he is quickly made a fool of and dispatched. End of discussion.

The sad thing is that all the hosts do it. Theres no input from callers, especially if they don't agree with the Host.

I think all talk show hosts now think they are Edgar R. Murrows. They aren't.

I also predict that Mikes show will fall flat and in a way I will enjoy seeing it struggle. Its just too late for a new show. Especially when his originally fun rapport with the callers has been produced out of the program.

at 8/02/2006 1:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

McConnell has usually been a lil’ behind the times. Longtime listeners will remember him in the mid-90’s poo-pooing NASCAR’s popularity (when WMOH broadcast the races), having an e-mail address so listeners could send comments and denying the existence of a group called the Trilateral Commission.

So with the proliferation and saturation of right of center syndicated talk shows, what do we need now, another syndicated talk show!!

He is much better than Beck and Ingraham who specialize in bumper sticker/flash card solutions and attacking straw men. But nearly all syndicated radio is painful to listen to with so many commercials. They interrupt the discussion with abrupt cut offs for all the cram down commercials and promos. You have to be as or more skilled at hitting breaks as you do at being entertaining/interesting.

As Limbaugh has stated many times, callers are there to make the host look good. Whether that means fawning groupies regurgitating the hosts views or opponents who are either inarticulate, wack jobs or sincere opponents who aren’t very skilled at debate. Some classic calls to Limbaugh where he gets nailed are online. They are quite instructive on how plastic most talk radio is today.

What happen to Cunningham’s syndication, didn’t that last for about a month?

at 8/02/2006 5:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i remenber when burbank went national his shoe was much better in the 3 hour time allowance instead of 4 but his show just isnt as good since the departure of doc wolfe and time

at 8/02/2006 7:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taking Bets on “Lighten UP Friday” with McConnell

Hey, who wants to bet Mike’s inaugural “lighten things up” Friday topic is…. “Battle Scars”. He’s only done that about oh… one out of four Fridays for the past 20 years.

I can’t recall, has he ever done “Most annoying commercials you hear on WLW”. Now there is a topic with legs.

Local nominations include: Kerry Auto Group (the screaming woman), Eddie Lane/EDB Diamond (trying to convince men their women are gold diggers and they better buy a rock or no nookie)

National/Regional nominations: Dr. Neil Clark Warren/EHarmony (sounds like a character on the Simpsons), David Oreck (I thought he was dead), Half Price Books/Jim Swayze (sounds like a real annoying relative), Original Mattress Factory/Ron Trazinski (your mattresses would a lot cheaper if you didn’t run so many commercials AND are you running an Amish sweat shop or what?).

at 8/02/2006 7:25 PM Blogger ohio said...


The amount of commercials is really beginning to take alot away from the shows. Didn't Clear Channel say they were going to eliminate one minute of commercial time per hour? I'd like to know where that minute is.

...You forgot Geico, that name just makes me cringe now.

At least we have the memories of when talk radio was local and enjoyable.

at 8/02/2006 11:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two words: Head On

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