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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, December 05, 2006

Jerry Thomas: New Light on Old Story

I know this is ancient history to some of you, but now I know the story behind Jerry Thomas leaving WKRC-AM for six months back in 1992, and how he almost replaced Jim Scott off WLW-AM. (I fully realize some of you will stop reading now, but that’s OK.)
Thomas, one of the city’s most popular DJs, abruptly and mysteriously left WKRC-AM in June of 1992, when the station was in deep financial trouble. That was when Great American Broadcasting (formerly Taft Broadcasting) was cutting back on radio staffing, and WKRC-AM was way behind WLW-AM and other stations in the ratings.
Thomas, who retires at the end of the month
told me what happened: With the station crumbling, Thomas secretly signed a contract to jump to WLW-AM – to replace Jim Scott! He was off the air sitting out his non-compete. But before his six-month non-compete expired, WLW’s owners had bought rival WKRC-AM, and they put Thomas back on that station to boost ratings rather than replace Jim Scott.
Now this explains why Jim Scott left his top-rated WLW-AM morning showseveral years later for old WINK 94.1, which was then owned by Great American/Citicasters or whatever the old Taft Broadcasting was called in those days. He worked for WINK 94.1 for about two months – and then WLW’s owners bought that company too, and Scott eventually returned to WLW.
As Paul Harvey would say, now we know the rest of the story…

Anyway, I hate to see Jerry Thomas retire. He’s a class act. Wouldn’t be surprised if (a) he continues to do a lot of commercials, and we continue to hear his voice all over radio and (b) he decides to dabble in politics. Everybody knows him. He’s witty and articulate. I just don’t know if he wants to bother with the politics grind at age 67.


at 12/05/2006 10:27 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

Wow... that actually makes a lot of sense. Remember the "Jerry's Back" campaign they did when Jerry rejoined 55Krc? Man that's when local radio had competition and was somewhat interesting...

Maybe good ole Jim Scott will follow Jerry's lead?

at 12/05/2006 11:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Scott turns 81 next month.

at 12/05/2006 11:35 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim scott survived the cuts because of his lucky grippos potato chip bag thats in his back pocket

at 12/05/2006 12:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this old 55KRC chatter makes you wonder whatever happened to RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRichard Hunt.

And while we're at it,some other old names from the past like Alan Browning and Dave Lee (Bunce).

And how about Bob Roberts who swung through town (WUBE/WKRC) in the mid to late 70s with deep, rich pipes. He's now the "Dave Lennox" character that you see on TV commercials around the country.

at 12/05/2006 1:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Granny with the joke of the day or Rex Barton Sharpe. How about AccuWeather with Elliot Abrams the weather poet

at 12/05/2006 1:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Richard Hunt? How about Don Jenson? Anybody remember the night owl? How about JB Miller?

Can we bring back Alan Brownings, Desperate and Dateless? I've been a little lonely lately!

55 WKRC used to rock!

at 12/05/2006 2:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, the late Rich King. The most talented radio personality of his era.

at 12/05/2006 2:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is going to lead to a long list of comments that will remind us of radio's hey-dey of the 60's thru the mid 80's.

Quite a contrast to today's garbage.

Jerry Thomas and Jim Scott are the end of an era, although for both of them, their talents have been usurped by the programmers at Clear Channel.

at 12/05/2006 2:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Jim Scott was only in his mid-70s?

at 12/05/2006 2:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

jim scott doesnt look a day over 82

at 12/05/2006 3:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget Joe Lomas and the Granny and Joe's Cookin' Show.

Punchlines you might have missed include:

Hey, that's no lady, that's Helen Mays,

I said "Cheviot"


That's why we call our dog Porky.

at 12/05/2006 3:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

dont forget JFPO

at 12/05/2006 3:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best parts of the Granny & Joe Cooking Show were left on the production room floor. It would have made Howard Stern blush. We'd all be in jail if what went on in the station back then was attempted today, not even counting hte Christmas parties. It was a hell of a good time.

at 12/05/2006 3:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Scott is 82??

at 12/05/2006 3:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The true Morning Mayor.

at 12/05/2006 4:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last time I saw Rrrrrrrrrichard Hunt, he was doing news on the 700Club.

Dave Lee is/was working at Radio Shack.

Alan Browning is/was retired....wonder if he was affected by the 1999 tornado that whipped and ripped through his neighborhood in Montgomery.

I do miss Shelly Bamberger singing God Bless Amelia and Boris Butkovich's pedestrian traffic reports on Rich King's show.

Always buy your lights at The LiteHouse because Ted McKay sent you!

at 12/05/2006 4:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember Terry Donald? How about Michelle Blehr and Chad Pergram? Mike Hoffbauer..

Donn Burrows doing sports..and where is Paul Sommerkamp.

I had lunch the other day with Stan Matlock.

Whatever happened to The Night Owl?

Ted Macallister and Doctor Boogie! Yes! thosw were the days!!! REAL RADIO!!

at 12/05/2006 8:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sommerkamp is deceased....
Terry Donald is/was working in the coroner's office (but please don't ask him for any autopsy photos)...
Donn Burrows -girls BB coach at Fenwick..
Jim Scott will soon be replacing Ed McMahon doing commercials for that life insurance company that doesn't require a physical, even if you are over the age of 90.

at 12/05/2006 8:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Scott is actually 77.

at 12/05/2006 8:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was anyone else disturbed by Grannys' commentary and the Delhi skirts game.

Bring back Dr. Laura for an explanation....

at 12/05/2006 8:49 PM Anonymous Million$ Hot Wax Weekender said...

A lot of old 55KRC memories evoked by these comments. I remember that Bill Wills said on the air on WLWA's first weekend that Jerry Thomas had been working for minimum wage as a greenskeeper for a golf course. I think we all knew that wasn't true, but thanks for the true story.

at 12/05/2006 9:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, at first I wasn't believeing all of these "Jim Scott is..." numbers. I figured just sarcastic. Now I am really wondering - is he really in his 70s? I mean I guess if I think about it, I remember him on the air in the early 90s and he was older then.....

at 12/05/2006 10:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not too many people know this, but Jim Scott can cure cancer just by thinking.

To date, no person ever listening to the Jim Scott Show has ever recovered from terminal cancer.

at 12/05/2006 10:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Scott is only 73.

at 12/05/2006 10:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Jim Scott discussion is rubbish. He is not a day over 65. I think.

at 12/05/2006 10:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is the oldest active radio personality? Is it Jim?

at 12/05/2006 10:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going to start keeping a grippos bag in my pocket.

at 12/05/2006 10:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i thought it was a mike sells bag.

at 12/06/2006 12:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i thought it was a grippos bag because they are a local company

at 12/06/2006 7:31 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone knows - grippos

at 12/06/2006 9:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Hunt does the news in the evenings on K-Love.

at 12/06/2006 3:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked at 12 the night Dave Lee was fired (WKRC-AM was located in the same biulding)and escorted out by a couple big security guys... Having listened to him for years before that (didn't he do whole shows as "Wolfman Jack"?) I was shocked to see how he was treated at the end. Years later, I saw Pat Berry treated similarly at 5. Cut-throat.

at 12/06/2006 6:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

did anyone else watch news5 at 6 tonight. Sheree was in the phone bank and when the segment was over she treated the mic as dead, well the mic was hot. You could hear her talk over jim for a minute

at 12/06/2006 6:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

heres the 50 year anniversay at 9 news.

at 12/07/2006 11:01 AM Anonymous Louis said...

What a fascinating, 15-year-old story, it's really . . . zzzzzzzzz.

at 12/08/2006 12:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sheree is the Queen Bee. She can do whatever she wants!!!

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