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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, November 07, 2006

"Sports Talk" auditions starts, Country "STAR" ends

The latest from the radio dial today:
Yes, Tom Gamble will be hosting WLW-AM's "SportsTalk" tonight, as Dennis Janson reported on the 11 p.m. news Monday night. But he not the permanent replacement for Andy Furman. At least not yet. Gamble, one of the "Two Angry Guys”"morning team on WCKY-AM (1530 HOMER) was absent from the show this morning because he’s doing the 6-9 p.m. "SportsTalk" tonight.
Darryl Parks, operations director for Clear Channel’s four AM stations, says it a try-out. He says he's just starting the process of looking for a host. He won't say how long Gamble will be doing the show. He says he hasn't started the interview process for replacing Furman, who was fired last week after 18 years at the satation. Furman was suspended with pay for almost three weeks for calling Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh a “racist” on his Oct. 6 show.
Parks didn’t say how many candidates he might interview. And yes, former WBOB-AM sports talk host Tim Lewis has moved back to town, and he has told me that he’s contacted Parks about working for Clear Channel.
Woiuld Gamble be a good choice? Did you like hearing Richard Skinner going solo on the HOMER morning show today? Let me know.

Country STAR vanishes
The goofy countdown on FM 94.9 -- which replaced the country "STAR" format today -- will be broadcast for more that 48 hours, till about noon Thursday. That's when a new format -- music of some kind -- debuts on 94.9, and the old "STAR" country from 96.5/4.9 morphs into the new country "Wolf" on 97.3.
Jim Bryant, market manager for the four Entercom stations (formerly CBS Radio), won't say what kind of format will be placed on powerful 94.9. Could be hard rock to go against WEBN, could be a up tempo dance format sometimes called Party or Movin'. Maybe some of you can tell me what you hear about it, or give me your best guesses.
Entercom obtained country STAR 94.9 last week in a swap to Cumulus for oldies WGRR (103.5), to give Entercom a country monopoly with WUBE-FM (105.1). They're moving country to a weaker signal on 97.3 to protect B1o5, the city's No. 1 music station (WLW-AM is No. 1 overall). But the new Wolf will sound slightly different. The Ken & Kitty morning show stays, but Jesse Tack moves from midday to afternoon drive. Kat O'Connor will move from B105 to middays on the Wolf. Bryant won't say who will do middays on B105, or nights on the Wolf.
During the stunt, country listeners will have to go to B105.


at 11/07/2006 11:18 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really prefer hearing the Two Angry Guys together. I think Lance prefers staying on Homer so he doesn't have to deal with the idiot callers on WLW. Those are people who actually LIKE Alan Cutler. They can't be very sports educated.

at 11/07/2006 11:35 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Angries by themselves just don't work. Their schtick is that they play off each other pretty well. It is successful because it evokes sitting around with your buddies and talking sports (and whatever topics naturally evolve from that).

Lance is good, but his act would not work well at all at night, IMO. Plus, it would cause him to miss his kids' bedtime every night so we'd have to listen to him whine about it all the time.

Alan Cutler? Should not even be doing what he is doing now. The man is a talentless hack who loves himself more than sports, and is not ashamed to make it evident when he's on the air.

The best bet is to bring in someone who isn't currently doing sports radio in Cincinnati. It doesn't really matter who since he (or she) will have to toe the Clear Channel company line anyway.

at 11/07/2006 11:51 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cutler has his own evening show in Lexington on WLAP.

The Two Angry guys both could go away for all I care, they are horrible.

And Lance would get the Seg Man fired for saying something private on air.

at 11/07/2006 12:25 PM Blogger Gordon said...

I agree with most of the above, the two angry guys work a lot better together then apart.

Although they play up the "we don't like each other, the other guy is an idiot" schtick a little bit too much.

Whatever happened to "Mark Amazon?"

at 11/07/2006 12:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iould hope neither Gamble nor Skinner gets the job. I call them THe Two Angry Loudmouths, and cannot stand them. Tim Lewis would be a good choice, Lance would kill us with his statistics and such, maybe coax Bob Trumpy in wotking a few nights

at 11/07/2006 12:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who directed the Two Angry Guys on TV BEFORE they were "Two Angry Guys" ("The Press Box" on TKR Cable), I think Tom and Richard would be an excellent move to 700WLW. Keep the same format and variety. It would definitely give the station a new breath of air. Just don't ask them about Bishop-Brossart football.

I'd move Tim Lewis in on mornings on WCKY.

at 11/07/2006 1:48 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

I'll second that last plan. Tom and Richard are just better together. I can take them separate from time to time but they're best when they're playing off each other.

I miss Tim Lewis and Paul "the Fish" Sturgeon either one would be a welcome change to the sports talk scene. Last time I saw Marc Amazon he was doing those trivia spots at the GABP, but that was a few years ago.

at 11/07/2006 1:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Sturgeon was an absolute goof. For folks who think Alan Cutler loves himself so much, he has nothing on that clown. His intro to his Lap & the Fish show was like 5 minutes long, and got played EVERY HOUR! It was mostly just useless noise, and was only mitigated by the fact that it kept Sturgeon's mouth closed for an extra five minutes every hour, because him talking made that intro sound like the angles singing at the pearly gates. That clown can't still be in radio anywhere. If he is, it is on some low power station that generates its signal via a hamster running in a wheel where all the employees work for free.

at 11/07/2006 2:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as 94.9's new format it should be like what the POWER PIG was in 1990-91..hard rock and heavy metal rock, and some Classic Rock that 92.5 DOSEN'T PLAY (I.E. NEW MUSIC By Deep Purple, Asia, Ted Nugent etc) from the 70's 80' and 90's PLUS NEW MUSIC of what these bands from those eras are playing today (No one ever hears NEW Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio, UFO, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Ratt, Robin Trower etc on ANY radio station here in Cincinnati...yes these bands are STILL together making new music!) Just my opinion..oh well ready to be bashed LOL!!!

at 11/07/2006 3:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh no, say it isn't so...the "Big Dog" might come back to Cincinnati sports talk radio!? I said "good riddance" when he left...he used to infuriate the begeezus out of me. Only Wildman Walker is worse.

at 11/07/2006 3:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a goofy computer-voice countdown on 94.9 FM!! WTF?? Anyway, 97.3 FM is encouraging people to tune to 94.9 FM and saying that the station will be cool and to give them a try. I'm assuming 94.9 will have an alternative format? I really hope they are like 97.3's format. 97.3 FM was an awesome station that played great music. This city needs an alternative station. If they are any other format, I will not listen to them. To the Entercom Execs-get out of Cincinnati. You had no right to fire all of the 97.3 FM jocks. You are going to ruin terrestrial radio here. Leave well-enough alone!

at 11/07/2006 3:46 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

I'd be in favor of a Power Pig/ZRock/96 Rock format. As long as they... as WEBN would say - "shut up and rock." I'm so sick of all the talk and silly gimmicks. Just play some good music and the necessary commercials and be done with it.

at 11/07/2006 4:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homer should get rid of Piecoro during these moves. He can barely speak and has the vocabulary of a 2 year old. I don't know why some people bang on Wildman so much. At least he has an opinion unlike some hosts. I did get tired of the constant Pete Rose talk, but he was a nice changeup to the other shows - especially if he would be kept to 2 hours.

at 11/07/2006 4:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope 94.9 goes with an emo-rock angle. That's a huge demographic I think is being missed in this market. It could still present itself as alternative, but with less edge. Similar to what CD101 has in Columbus.

at 11/07/2006 4:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope 94.9 plays Lawrence welks champagne music ;-)

at 11/07/2006 4:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the 4:32 PM anonymous posting. I would love to see a format like WWCD-FM in Columbus, Ohio (CD101). That station is awesome. Even a station like "The X @103.9" in Dayton would be nice. The new 94.9 should play what 97.3 is playing now-to keep alternative alive in Cincinnati. I urge everyone who likes alternative and modern rock in the Tri-State area to write to the station managers, program directors, and company execs at Cumulus and Entercom to request that they put an alternative format on one of their stations.

at 11/07/2006 6:02 PM Blogger Aaron said...

I wouldn't like another "103.9 the X" format around. I've listened to WXEG with my Grundig and it sucks. The music is awful. Maybe the new 94.9 could play some stuff that "The X" plays, but offset it with some more punk-rock type stuff like NOFX or something. And keep the 80s hair band crap off there and keep it where it belongs, which should be a dumpster, but WEBN insists on playing it still.

at 11/07/2006 8:08 PM Blogger Rick said...

The Two Angries would be fabulous on Sportstalk!! I think they are great, and they've outgrown the morning slot--I think they could shine 6pm-9pm.
Agree with the opinions that each alone is not nearly as good as the two together... Keep them together.
And again, I could also see Trumpy coming back, if available. I really did like his show.

at 11/07/2006 8:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's look at the local talent to be considered....

1) "Kathi Lee" McAlister -- Forget it. Listening to his daily ramblings about his kids and his stories about he and his wife "TiVo-ing" are not going to cut it. Can't wait to see how he reacts to some 40-something refer to his teenage daughter as being "hot".

2) Gamble -- Yeah, right. Rips rips the committee that is considering a State Football Finals bid that his company has submitted. I guess he thinks WLW doesn't reach Columbus. Can't handle criticism from anyone.

3) Skinner -- Please....Would find fault with a Carribean sunset.

3) Cutler -- Too busy adoring himself in the mirror.

4) Tracy Jones -- First in line to use the mirror that Cutler is using.

5) Sturgeon, Lewis, the others...... They couldn't stay on at the old station, how are they going to handle WLW?

6) Trumpy -- As arrogant as they come. He doesn't flip flop, or trivialize issues. He has more credibility with the sports community (fans, players, media, etc) than all the above combined...

I don't see him coming back.

Gonna be a long winter.......

Can't wait for Brenneman, Brenneman, and Brantley.............

at 11/07/2006 8:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a very warm thanks to both wkrc and wxix for not showing election updates on thier hd channels again thanks to wkrc and wxix for making tv viewing acceptable

at 11/07/2006 9:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If 94.9 does not go back on the air with an alternative format, I swear to god this could be the second coming of the riots! This city sucks!!!! They can't get a bar scene, nightlife or their radio stations together. Time for these execs to start listening to their demographics!

at 11/07/2006 10:09 PM Blogger JackHill said...

I realize it will be small consolation if 94.9 does something other than alt/modern rock, but I just figured I'd mention that ClassX DOES have a four hour modern rock show Sunday nights from 8-midnight. 88.9 on your FM dial..we're pretty proud of it.

At least you'll have SOMETHING local to listen to.

at 11/07/2006 11:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, am furious with the no-talent as$clowns that decided it to be a good idea to mess with 97.3 Has anyone read the "firing letter" sent to the staff? Unbelieveable! I live in Middletown, so I can get both Cincy and Dayton stations. 103.9 is fine, but I have loved 97.3 on shuffle since almost a year ago! NO MORE COUNTRY STATIONS!

at 11/08/2006 9:31 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cincinnati definitely needs an alternative/modern rock station. I am so angry that they are messing with 97.3 FM. There is a Demographic area that needs to be reached since WAQZ-FM 97.3 will be gone and the old WOXY-97.7 (97X)was taken off a few years ago. Thanks to Clear Channel, 107.1 went from an alternative format to kiddie rap back in the mid 90's. So, where can we get alternative rock from?

at 11/08/2006 9:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Columbus is lucky to have WWCD 101. It is an awesome station. I like that it is accessible to a wider age group and plays some classy alternative, not all this mosh pit stuff. Hey, I'm 47 and like Alternative. Bring some quality to commercial Cincy radio, please. At least we have WNKU.

at 11/08/2006 2:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have some suggestions on replacements for Furman..How about Joe Nuxhall?

Anyone remember J.D. Hayworth. Used to do sports on Channel 5 in the 80's? Well, he lost his re-election bid to congress, so he's now available.

Or perhaps Ken Blackwell..

at 11/08/2006 4:38 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

Wonder if Max Headroom will continue to be part of the on air staff? He's a trip! I'm gonna miss him..LOL!

Just think we'll all look back years from now and say "what were you doing when the big countdown stoppped at on November 9th."

at 11/08/2006 6:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Trumpy? He's horrible!!! I couldn't stand to listen to him when he did the morning show with the Angry Guys or when he did the afternoon show with Lance. I don't know why people in this town think Trumpy is all that. He outright sucks.

at 11/08/2006 8:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

njim o briens last day at 5 is the friday after sweeps end. When the next week begins derek will be the new chief. Marina is moving to mornings. Also John Bateman will be leaving also his contract is up at the end of feb sweeps.
My mole at 5 has told me that the power of 5 promos have all been filmed with derek as chief. There has also been a promo that announces new chief derek as the most qualified meterologist.

at 11/09/2006 2:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The TOO STUPID GUYS should stay where they are. They think that Sportstalk means that they talk for 40 minutes every hour. Cutler, and Furman have the same problem. Some of the best Sportstalk moments were with Trumpy talking to the late "Bill G" and to other callers like Glen. I might not always agree with him, but he does make me think. The callers make the show, not the host. If you get somebody that will let the fans participate, the shpow will be successful.

at 11/09/2006 2:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The TOO STUPID GUYS should stay where they are. They think that Sportstalk means that they talk for 40 minutes every hour. Cutler, and Furman have the same problem. Some of the best Sportstalk moments were with Trumpy talking to the late "Bill G" and to other callers like Glen. I might not always agree with him, but he does make me think. The callers make the show, not the host. If you get somebody that will let the fans participate, the shpow will be successful.

at 11/09/2006 8:31 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the several comments for an alt rock station: Remember that the modern corporate radio wars are won for investors - it's all about maintaining profits by protecting operating margins. In other words, risk management. Andy Furman's been hacking people off for years, but was only let go when the risks in keeping him outweighed the ratings (financial) benefits. Same principle operates in music radio - only more so, because it's easier to create a strong marketplace thumbprint with talk. Plus, with so many music sources for today's listener, an alt format is no longer seen as the slamdunk it could have been just a few years ago.

The references by posters to WNKU and Classix are interesting. Public radio in general is like the yappy little mutt at the master's table, trying to survive on scraps the "big boys" have no use for. There's Classical (WGUC), jazz (WOBO), Sinatra-type pop standards and old time radio (WMKV), Americana/AAA (WNKU), semi-intellectual talk (WVXU), classic country (think Patsy Cline and before - WOBO). Do you really think any corporation, in today's environment, wouldn't jump on any or all of these genres *if* there *was* a way to make money with them? There just isn't any advertiser support for these fringe formats or the demos of listeners they'd attract. That's why they're not on commercial outlets. It may seem a little early to issue the death warrant, but alt rock is in danger of turning into the next "for public radio only" niche.

at 11/09/2006 8:57 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

Yeah, what he said...

This is why I say the true music lovers will stop turning to FM radio for music and go to other outlets - Ipods, Internet, Satellite, etc..

at 11/09/2006 9:31 AM Blogger Rob Bernard said...

Got the following e-mail from 97.3 this morning, looks like 94.9 will be rock of some kind:
As you may have heard by now, 97.3 WAQZ as of noon today is no more. Thank you for listening. We've had fun bringing you Everything Alternative on shuffle.

In show business, when one show closes, another one opens - so we'd like you to know about a new sound that will be shaking up Cincinnati radio: 94.9 The Sound. They'll be playing a wide variety of music from artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, My Chemical Romance, Staind, Panic at the Disco, Nirvana, Green Day - and shuffling in surprises, too. We hope you'll set a button for 94.9 on FM. Or you can listen online at starting at noon today. I know they'll welcome your input, too.

Again, on behalf of everyone at 97.3 throughout the years, thanks for listening and thanks for your support.


Julie Evans
97.3 Program Director

at 11/09/2006 10:12 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gamble and Skinner are horrible. They know sports, but aren't talk show hosts. The incessant high-pitch whining these two guys do is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Cincinnati is too big a market for these guys. They belong right where they are - early morning and down the dial. Daryl Parks should fill Furman's spot on a 50,000 watt flamethrower with a professional sportstalk host with big market experience. Thank God for satellite radio!!!!

at 11/09/2006 10:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a quick TV-related FYI....

Mr./Ms. Anonymous 8:52PM (the WLWT "insider") is TOTALLY clueless. Just so you know.

at 11/09/2006 2:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Mr./Ms. Anonymous 8:52PM (the WLWT "insider") is TOTALLY clueless. Just so you know. "

What do you mean please clarify the statement.

at 11/10/2006 8:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 10;12am is right. Gamble isn't a professional and as they go i'd frankly rather listen to Seg Dennison than Gamble and his whining or Cutler and his know it all manner. I think Broo does a great job on the Bengals post game on the radio, but doubt he'd want the full time job.How 'bout Dan Hoard?

at 11/10/2006 10:48 PM Blogger JackHill said...

The callers make the show, not the host.

To the person who made that statement: There is no way on God's earth that you could be ANY more wrong.

The callers are there to make the host look good. They serve no other purpose. Nobody listens to Rush Limbaugh to hear the callers. Nobody listened to Furman to hear the callers. They listen for the host.

at 11/22/2006 12:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, CONFIRMATION about this, John Bateman will NOT be leaving, he JUST signed another 3 year contract. Jim will be sadly missed, and hope and pray he gets on @ WXIX!!!!!

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