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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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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Channel 12 for sale

For now, the biggest impact of the announced $18.7 billion sale of Clear Channel Communications to an investment group will be on WKRC-TV, and not the eight radio stations the company owns here.
The San Antonio-based company also announced Thursday plans to sell its 42-station television group, which includes Channel 12 and the digital CINCW (Channe 12.2). Clear Channel also will sell 448 of its 1,150 radio stations. All are located outside the top 100 markets. (Cincinnati is a top 25 radio market, so the company will hang onto WLW-AM, WEBN-FM, WOFX-FM, WKFS-FM, WVMX-FM, WCKY-AM, WKRC-AM and WSAI-AM.)
Associated Press reports than an investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners LLC is paying $37.60 in cash for each share of Clear Channel, a 10.2 percent premium over its closing price on Wednesday. The buyers are also assuming about $8 billion in debt in the deal.
The company’s directors has approved the agreement, with the board insiders recused from the vote. The company is run by the Mays family, with Lowry Mays serving as chairman and his two sons, Mark and Randall, as CEO and chief financial officer, respectively. (Not Helen Mays, who sometimes calls Bill Cunningham?)
Channel 12 has been the market’s No. 1 news station at 11 p.m. for at least seven years.

I wonder who will buy Channel 12? And how it will change?


at 11/16/2006 12:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allllll depends on the new buyer. Someone like Gray or Sinclair will probably dump the higher-priced talent. But I wouldn't be surprised if Media General bought them to go with their Columbus NBC purchase. They like having regions of stations.

at 11/16/2006 12:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever buys them is sure to cut the fat. It spells big changes at a station that's falling behind in more ways than one.

at 11/16/2006 1:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Scripps Howard said to be considering the sale of its TV stations?

at 11/16/2006 1:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

12 won't be sold to Sinclair - it's too expensive.

at 11/16/2006 1:09 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

Very interesting... maybe the alliance of WLW back to WLWT was a sign or maybe just coincidence.

at 11/16/2006 1:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WLW will be hit by the Clear Channel layoff machine next month. Pain is coming.

at 11/16/2006 1:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I felt that Jacor/Clear Channel pain 9 years ago, so I have no sympathy for those on the chopping block.

Most won't deserve it, but that's show-biz.

at 11/16/2006 1:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll bet whoever takes over Channel 12 gets rid of the main players and brings in low price talent like Rich Appuzo and Bill Meyers!

Heck, maybe Edie Magnus will come back and Dan Brady.

How about Dan Royal and George Chiccarone?

I want the good ole days!

at 11/16/2006 1:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting... maybe the alliance of WLW back to WLWT was a sign or maybe just coincidence.

Maybe, but I think 5's owner is more interested in buying Tribune's newspapers at this point.

at 11/16/2006 2:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

12 will likely go to a major owner when the whole deal is said and done. It has a strong prime time following.

at 11/16/2006 2:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

clear channel has cut hundreds of radio jobs around the country. on-air personalities and people behind the scenes alike. is this why it was easy to let go of furman?

at 11/16/2006 2:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

They let go of Furman because "someone" in the building couldn't protect him any longer.

at 11/16/2006 2:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll say that the entire Cincinnati cluster of radio AND TV stations will be purchased by a group. Radioactive?

With the pending sale...what does this do to WKRC's attempted coup on ICRC in the suburbs?

at 11/16/2006 3:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fox Network is said to be one of the first in line for a look at 12 and a handful of other clear channel TV stations. Could there be another affiliate switch?

at 11/16/2006 5:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

CBS already got hosed by Fox before back in the 90s. It'd be a hoot to see them have to change to WXIX.

at 11/16/2006 6:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - Fox buys 12 and XIX goes to CBS!?!

at 11/16/2006 8:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Purple is a good color.

at 11/16/2006 8:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are no more fish in the market.

at 11/16/2006 8:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

blogs - can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em

at 11/16/2006 8:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 5 is reporting that 12 will be the new anchor store at kenwood mall

at 11/16/2006 8:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's a sale on dopplers!

at 11/16/2006 9:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumor from San Antonio is that Clear Channel wants to sell the stations to a single group.

at 11/16/2006 10:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not really a rumor. The CEO and the news release both said clear channel want to sell the tv stations as a group. It probably won't happen that way, though.

at 11/16/2006 11:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cincy cluster going to a Cincy group.

at 11/17/2006 12:51 AM Blogger JackHill said...

I'll say that the entire Cincinnati cluster of radio AND TV stations will be purchased by a group.

The radio stations in Cincinnati are not for sale, so if your prediction comes true, I'll be forced to eat not just my hat, but yours as well. ;-)

at 11/17/2006 2:25 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if the new owners don't like their agreement with CBS? What if they dropped the affiliation? It would be funny to see CBS on another station like WSTR or WBQC.

at 11/17/2006 6:25 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The earlier comments about Fox seeking 12 would make sense. As strongly identified as Fox is with 'XIX, they've always sought to upgrade to a better channel position when the time is right.

Sinclair buying 12 would also make sense in that they could consolidate business operations of both stations, and use 64 as the go-to for network pre-emptions and local sports packages (a model used in other markets).

at 11/17/2006 7:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy Michaels - would he buy TV?

at 11/17/2006 8:31 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy Michaels is in serious talks to buy 700 WLW & WEBN from Clear Channel. My sources tell me it could be a done deal within the next 2 weeks.

at 11/17/2006 9:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if the new owners don't like their agreement with CBS? What if they dropped the affiliation? It would be funny to see CBS on another station like WSTR or WBQC.

Not unheard of. In Detroit, CBS is on channel 63, if I recall correctly. In Atlanta, it's on 46. Both places had Fox buying the CBS stations and taking the affiliation. Neither stations news has ever recovered (I'm not certain the Detroit station does news)

Going to 19 wouldn't be so bad if it happened, but if they had to jump much further up the dial, it might go badly.

at 11/17/2006 9:16 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the new buyer/owner should make Channel 12 go back to "A New Generation of News" and get rid of the "Local" stuff ... Those were the days when Ch. 12 was really the BEST

at 11/17/2006 10:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the comments on Randy Michaels buying 700 WLW and WEBN - doubtful. By shedding all the small market radio stations and their TV operations, Clear Channel is signaling they are focusing on their core business - RADIO. I cannot imagine them turning around and selling off two of their biggest stations in one of their biggest revenue-generating markets in the country. It would shake up their strategic positioning on the dial here, and cost them money.

at 11/17/2006 10:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few months ago, the Post reported that Scripps was looking to sell its tv stations, including channel 9. Is TV too expensive to operate these days?

at 11/17/2006 12:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Detroit CBS is an O&O and its on 62, and yeah its not a player at all. No newscast.

at 11/17/2006 12:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure Raycom can't afford to buy any of these stations cause they just spent like 900 million on the Liberty stations.

at 11/17/2006 2:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl Lindner may be interested in his old station.

at 11/17/2006 3:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea of FOX buying WKRC is interesting... a lot of the New Wolrd stations that FOX picked up in the early '90s were former Taft Broadcasting stations - so 12 would come full circle. It would also mean the end of news on 64 - again - since 12 would have to air a 10pm newscast.

at 11/17/2006 3:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

12's 10pm news came within a hair of beating 19's last night.

at 11/17/2006 5:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That wouldn't be too hard. 19 needs to hire a couple of true news people (Terry Thill and Peg Rusconi would be good)....

and they need to rehire Dan Hoard, who brought maturity and class to sports reporting (and could bring along his wife as a news reporter to boot - see above).

at 11/17/2006 5:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pet Rusconi used to work at 12. She was good, but she would probably want to work at 12 again.

at 11/17/2006 8:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Barney the dinosaur?

at 11/18/2006 8:11 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't see why CBS wouldn't work just as well on WXIS or WSTR as WKRC. All they don't have that WKRC has is a good local news organization.

at 11/18/2006 10:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might have bought the Fox argument a few years ago, but what good would 12's VFH signal do over 19's UHF signal, when both go away in a few years anyway? I'm not sure if the same will hold true for the digial signals. And most people watch the locals over cable anyway.

at 11/20/2006 7:25 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Barney and Randy Michaels are the same being.

Have you ever seen the two of them together in the same place?

at 11/27/2006 8:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WKRC could not handle the demands of the local programming that WXIX does. WKRC has been under the ABC and then CBS leash forever and would not know how to program there own stuff. WXIX could not handle the news load that WKRC does; doesn't seem like a good fit. WKRC lame attempt to help WSTR weak ratings would not make their owner intereted in buying them. I would look for an outside buyer that can afford a network.

at 1/02/2007 11:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any chance of a Gannett buying WKRC? I am guessing the station will go for a good chunk of change.

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