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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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Monday, October 23, 2006

What's So Funny About Ohio?

What’s so funny about Ohio? Jon Stewart brings "The Daily Show" to Columbus for a week, starting next Monday, since Ohio was the epicenter of the 2004 presidential election. He’ll arrive in Columbus this weekend and meet with students at the Schottenstein Center on Saturday. He'll tape the show at 6 p.m. -- same time he does in New York -- at the Roy Bowen Theatre at OSU.
And now TBS has announced a new comedy series, "10 Items Or Less," set in an Ohio family-owned grocery store. Star/co-creator/executive producer/writer John Lehr says it is located "outside Dayton." It’s semi-improvisational -- like ABC’s short-lived "Sons & Daughters" last spring set in Hamilton – with the actors improvising dialogue from a story outline provided by writers. Why did the TBS show pick Ohio? Because Lehr is from Kansas, and co-creator Robert Hickey is from Michigan, "and we thought Ohio was a good compromise." Lehr hosted one of the worst TV reality shows ever, ABC’s "I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here." His credits include playing Christina Applegate's brother on NBC’s "Jesse" and "Kicking and Screaming." "10 Items Or Less" premieres 11 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27.

More renewals
Add James Woods' CBS "Shark" and the CW’s "The Game" sitcom – plus CW’s "7th Heaven" to the list of shows renewed for a full season. Also good for a year: "Ugly Betty," "Jericho," "Brothers & Sisters" and "Heroes." So far, "Shark" is running a close second to "ER" at 10 p.m. Thursday.

What's so funny about Ohio? You tell me.


at 10/23/2006 1:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Stewart being a satirist, is probably going to expose the absurdity of having a gubernatorial candidate (Kenny Blackwell) who is a corrupt jerk, a bigot in the name of whatever god he worships, and a liar. All-in-all, a rich and fertile source of material for Ohio to be the laughing stock of the nation. Who needs chads? We have Blackwell, DeWine, Chabot, Noe, Taft, Heimlich the commisioner, etc.

at 10/23/2006 1:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am ROFLMAO at the Enquirer's endorsements of DeWine and Blackwell. THAT is what is so funny about Ohio.

at 10/23/2006 2:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what's so funny about Ohio, but I'll tell you what's not funny. ESPN's ploy to get TWC to carry ESPNU. Did anyone else know that the Crosstown Shootout will be shown on ESPNU? Currently, TWC does not carry that channel.

at 10/23/2006 2:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Shark & E R are on Thursday

at 10/23/2006 2:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny about Ohio? How about the fact hat 50% of republicans viewing "The Colbert Report" really think he is one of them!

Now that's funny! I don't care who you are.

at 10/23/2006 3:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's funny about Ohio - from a Daily Show perspective? - let me count the ways:

-the man in charge of counting votes, already accused of voter fraud from 2 years ago, is running for governor this year

-the state is divided like the US in Civil War times, with blue to the north and red to the south

-large chunks of state money was lost in a scheme involving rare coins!

-the governor was convicted on fraud charges

-two words: James Trafficant

-two more words: Dennis Kucinich

-the first congressional district race involves a man with such bad hair that it apparently is genetic because his kids also have bad hair (see Chabot family commercial) going against a Keebler elf.

-two more words: Jean Schmidt's hair (ok that's three, sue me)

-Ohio is the home to the university with the highest enrollment, the #6 party school in the US, the site of the Kent State killings, Nick Lachey, Pete Rose, and Jerry Springer.

And the Daily Show's only staying a week huh? Something's going to get left out....

at 10/23/2006 3:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's funny? A Cincinnati FM station, yes I said FM, switching their format to TALK RADIO. Gee, could that be 96.5, the "perv" WPRV?

D&M Land Miami - 10/23 - WJFK-FM afternooners Don and Mike pick up a Miami affiliate, WMEN, an AMer debuting a talk format today. The former adult standards music outlet, now "Mantalk 640," also carries Mancow, Jim Rome, Tom Leykis, and Tammy Bruce. DCRTV hears that D&M's syndicator, Westwood One, is trying to land the Rockville-based show on a Cincinnati FMer that is slated to flip to talk in November.....

at 10/23/2006 4:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's really funny about Ohio is left wingers use a television blog to propagate conspiracy theories and innuendo. AND they actually think people believe them.

I think every liberal blog site east of the Mississippi has a link to the Enquirer blog section so their members can change this evil right wing world. Every posting in the political section has some crazy left-winger trying to convince us that Blackwell is the Anti-Christ.

at 10/23/2006 4:57 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

Yes, I'm hearing that 96.5 goes talk next month... maybe as early as next week. Mancow in the morning, and maybe Bill O'Reilly too.... FM talk has been around for a while in Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, New York, Washington, Philly, Boston...
More as I get it nailed down.

at 10/23/2006 5:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

as for whats funny in ohio.........

at 10/24/2006 12:07 AM Blogger Not Todd said...

Please let us know if there's any news from CW on Veronica Mars, which is the only show on that network I even care about. Rather like Angel was when it ran on WB.

at 10/24/2006 12:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is NOT funny is mancow, in Ohio or otherwise! Was he picked because of his supposedly being Saved??

I'll take Howard Stern on Sirius any day! By the way - if you want to sample Sirius (but don't have the radio) you can listen FREE online at on October 25 & 26. Much more than just Stern - top 40, channels devoted to the 70s & 80s, Christian radio, Latino, Urban, Talk Left, Conservative talk, Standards, broadway -- channels devoted to The Who, Elvis, the Rolling Stones -- you name it! I'm a convert!!

at 10/24/2006 7:58 AM Blogger BrianDammit said...

More talk radio in this city? Great. As if the radio dial isn't already saturated with idjits from both sides blathering on. Throw in sport talk and all you've got is some nitwit shouting into a microphone.

Thank God for public radio.

at 10/24/2006 8:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Locally: The 96.5 switchover is definite. Promo/ad materials are being prepped. Can't say more than that without getting into trouble.

Nationally: It's worth mentioning that Sirius is having money troubles of its own. Most media insiders are expecting it to be folded into the financially stronger and better-subscribed XM operation eventually. Interestingly, Clear Channel sold off its stake in XM a while back. According to a CC source, CC did the math and came to the conclusion that satellite radio doesn't have a financially viable business model. I (and lots of subscribers) disagree, but the Mays family didn't generate its fortune by being willfully ignorant.

at 10/24/2006 10:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what's the problem...Blackwell IS the anti-christ. And I'm a normal go to work, pay my taxes, take care of my family christian middle of the road politically citizen of this State. And as for the comments on this blog, don't think John Stewart won't be having a hey day about Mr. B..B...B...Blackwell.

at 10/24/2006 1:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both XM and Sirius are start-up businesses - and its not unusual for the first few years to be money-losers.

But if you look at both side by side, Sirius is by far the more stable. Sirius is making HUGE jumps in subscribership, and is signing on hundreds of thousands of more subscribers than XM every quarter.

XM management keeps jumping ship - and now GM customers can easily dump their XM with a simple piece of equipment that installs behind the glove box and instantly make the existing radio Sirius compatible.

Sirius has NO advantage in folding into XM -- it would more likely be vice versa. Just wait for Christmas to be over and see where these two companies stand. I bet a heckuva lot more Sirius radios are sold than XMs.

And for the millions of people who have signed up for satellite - there is NO going back to commercial ridden, boring, completely uninteresting terrestrial radio.

at 10/24/2006 1:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, the Mays family has a stake in seeing Satellite radio fail - because all their money is in terrestrial radio, so of course they are going to do their best to make it look like its not going anywhere. What isn't going anywhere: HD radio. Gimme a break!

at 10/24/2006 4:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please -- don't buy the Sirius hype-machine.

Sirius had a huge spike in subscribers when Howard Stern flipped to satellite-only. It's not like there are a ton of people left who will buy because of him. Anyone who is a Stern fan and wanted to hear Howard has already bought their radio -- no new dollars coming off that tree (although they're trying REAL hard to work the magic again with these new "Stern Worldwide" ads). They also get a healthy spike in subscribers before the NFL season starts, which has already passed.

I don't see Sirius with any advantage this upcoming Holiday season. If anything, I expect the sales to be roughly even, with a slight lead to XM due to their just being more current subscribers to give word of mouth. Their music offerings are fairly similar, their sports packages balance out (Baseball to XM, Football to Sirius -- none of the other sports really have mass appeal) and their talk packages are about the same. Howard is old news -- he won't carry another sales cycle for the company this year.

at 10/25/2006 12:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are insane. Howard left the air with 16 million listeners. Sirius has 5 million subscribers. There are still many people out there who may not have bought Sirius because they weren't sure what they'd get. Now they can find out free. And its so much funnier without FCC restrictions. Not to mention the music channels. I'm sorry, but what's being put out on Cincinnati radio is horrible. Flip through the channels - and it's nothing but commercials or songs from the 1990s.

at 10/25/2006 8:47 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

16 million listeners, now down to roughly 2-3 million (because you're insane if you think EVERY Sirius subscriber bought his radio to listen to Howard -- lots of plain music and NFL fans on the Sirius plan that never did or will flip to hear Howard).

The remaining 13 million? Probably enjoyed Howard's show but didn't make it a priority in their lives enough to spend $13 a month to hear.

That's the thing with a talent like Stern -- he's established and a known commodity. Nobody is going to roll out of bed tomorrow and say "You know, I should give that Stern fellow a try" because, likely, they already have in the past and didn't care for it one way or the other or they listened and enjoyed.

Howard's fans are already on board with Sirius. There might be some "fence sitters" out there, but I don't imagine the number to be that high. You either went with Howard to Sirius, or you found something else to occupy your mornings.

A year since he left is an eternity in the radio world -- his listeners have dispersed to the wind, and any exec will tell you that it is hard to recapture demos.

at 10/26/2006 12:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even Howard concedes not all the 5 million Sirius subscribers are listening to him - that's impossible.

But - I imagine there will be another huge spike in subscriptions after Christmas since tech gifts are huge sellers.

And if you think satellite isn't going to take off -- just look at what people said about cable industry a couple decades back.

Once people are exposed to how great satellite is, they'll jump on board. I mean, how great is it to get in your car and NOT have to search for a radio station no matter where you are in the nation because you can ALWAYS get your favorite station???

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