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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, December 04, 2006

Springer Pulls Plug on Radio

Yet another change on Clear Channel radio: Jerry Springer’s talk show is history. But it doesn’t have a lot to do with the Clear Channel bloodbath last week (firing 19 staffers), and everything to do with Springer’s seven weeks on "Dancing with the Stars."
Springer officially decided last Friday to pull the plug on his nationally syndicated radio show, which had lot about half of its affiliates. "Springer on the Radio" was carried by about two dozen stations, down from a peak of 53. Springer’s radio website was pulled down last Friday too.
Springer show producer Stephanie Tyler was told last Wednesday -- the day of the firings -- that she would be laid off when the show ended on Dec. 8. But she tells me she was NOT part of the 19 firings. Unlike the others, she's still working, has access to the building and email, she says.
Springer said he dumped radio for two reasons – it was too time-consuming, and he’d rather cash in on other opportunities from his national "Dancing with the Stars" exposure – a movie, possible Super Bowl commercial for Bud Light and maybe a recurring role on ABC’s "George Lopez" sitcom.

And maybe a third: He didn’t need it any more.
From our periodic conversations, I know Springer really loved doing radio because he could talk about serious issues seriously, as he did as a local Ch 5 news commentator in the 1980s. He saw talk radio it was a way to re-invent himself as a great liberal thinker, a platform from which he could possible re-enter politics someday.
Then came "Dancing with the Stars." The nation saw a different Jerry Springer – the disarmingly charming self-deprecating guy that won Cincinnati City Council terms in the 1970s – and that did rehabbing more for his image than two years of relative radio obscurity.
Springer might go back to radio when he cools off in Hollywood. And he might try to go back to politics in two or four years (as he flirted with in 2002), he told me Monday.
Whatever, a big hurdle has been cleared. He’s re-invented his image for many Americans. He’s now known as the funny guy from "Dancing with the Stars," not the host of what TV Guide called "The Worst Show in the History of Television." He's going from MTV's spring break to a Super Bowl commercial?
What will Bud Light have him do? Where will he show up next on TV? Any ideas or suggestions for him?


at 12/04/2006 6:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

springer could be the celebrity that sits in the diamond seats at all the reds games.

Have springer do a commerical for the city of cincy. the horrible negative image would just dissapte if springer did a commerical

at 12/04/2006 6:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

5 should do what espn did a few years ago.
Team anchors now with anchors from the past for a whole news day for example. This would only happen during one week of the may book.
5-630. Sandra and Springer (mon)
5-630. Sheree and Luken (Tues)
5-630. Wagner and Rashid (wed)

at 12/04/2006 6:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

that would be a mega hit in the ratings if 5 could ever get them back for just one time, but that would mean norma drop the sexual harrasment case against 5. I dont see norma doing that folks. Norma is suing for a hefty amount of money.

at 12/04/2006 7:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

man springer quiting radio and now learning jerry thomas is retiring after 44 years now that will shake up the am dial now who or whar will take thomass time slot
? new person or syndicated show ,what does everyone else think and jim obrien still on the air

at 12/04/2006 7:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 12/04/2006 8:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

kiese can you find out when jim obrien's final day is.

at 12/04/2006 8:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I listened to Jerry for a while, I wanted to like him because I think is an intelligent and cool guy. But he just didn't have it for talk radio.

I think DWTS was a good excuse for him to cut his losses.

He should of ran for Gov or Senate in 06. The Republican disdain for Republicans would have given him his best chance to get elected. The stars won't align like that again for him.

at 12/04/2006 8:27 PM Blogger skippercollector said...

I said a while back that I was going to keep mentioning when WCPO pre-empted ABC's programming. For once, the network programs this week aren't something I watch regularly.
This Friday, WCPO will pre-empt America's Funniest Home Videos for a Billy Graham Special at 8 p.m. At 9 p.m., WCPO will show something called 12 Days of Cookies instead of Primetime.

at 12/04/2006 8:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to that lawsuit filed against CC/1530WCKY/Bob Braun about that crook George Fiorini's 10% Income Plus fund where he stole all that money and CC pushed all those fraudulent ads?

Did the buyers of CC assume that liability?? What about future lawsuits about Enzyte, Internet Speedway and

at 12/05/2006 7:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Furman...Springer...19 grunts...Thomas.

The Clear Channel bottom line is looking better every day.


at 12/05/2006 7:16 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get ready for John Phillips to get into the talk game.

at 12/05/2006 7:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, Clear Channel should give Phillips a random drug test.

The result would save another salary.

at 12/05/2006 7:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did the new "weather specialist" on Channel 19 come from.

He's rather dry and low key, and probably nervous. and he mention he's also a substitute teacher in a couple of school districts.

Get this: He goes by the name Frank Field. Wasn't the read Dr.Frank Field a noted hurricane specialist at the NWS for many years?

at 12/05/2006 8:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


When is Jim O'Brien's last day???

at 12/05/2006 9:00 AM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

I'll try to find out. Station management hasn't wanted to talk about it whenever I've asked.

at 12/05/2006 9:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norma and Stan Chesley settled that lawsuit years ago. 7 figures is what the rumor was. There have been several more behind the scene settlements with the Legal Guru Stan and former WLWT employees since Norma's case. Channel 5 is not very smart in that department. Word is there will be more lawsuits on the way......

at 12/05/2006 12:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine that. Could it be because they keep demoting pregnant women?

at 12/05/2006 1:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't see Sandra at the desk last night.

I was passed over at Channel 5 a few years ago for an assignment editors job. I was 50 with 28 years experience in news departments around town. They hired a 24 year old from Florida instead.

Anybody have Stan's number?

at 12/05/2006 4:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phillips will replace Jerry Thomas. Count on it.

at 12/05/2006 6:11 PM Blogger Rick said...

I really do like John Phillips on air.... He is "everyman" and very comfortable to listen to.
Much preferable to a radio slick pro...

at 12/05/2006 8:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Phillips will be paired with Craig Kopp (or is it Kraig Copp?)

at 12/05/2006 10:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're wrong. Wilson Phillips will join Kraig Kopp.

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

Abba lives!

at 12/05/2006 10:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would you promote somebody as the undisputed severe weather leader and then let him go?

at 12/05/2006 10:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

when is the cincinnati post going to fold?

at 12/06/2006 12:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

something just isnt right about 5 i mean still advertising weather king and there havent been any posting for weather people on their web site and the cinci posts printing agreement ends sometime in 2007 but i believe they will become a web only publication

at 12/06/2006 8:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think everyone who reads and posts on this blog knows that there IS something wrong with channel 5. i think the only people who don't know that are the ones in charge at 5. they must think everything is great since they haven't done anything to improve in years!

at 12/06/2006 12:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet, the ratings show that they are improving in some areas. So they obviously aren't doing everything wrong. Why are 9's ratings down so much?

Oh wait, that's not bashing 5, so no one cares.

at 12/06/2006 3:30 PM Blogger Brad said...

You would have thought Springer left radio months ago based on his ratings.

at 12/06/2006 8:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

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at 12/07/2006 11:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, where credit is due...5 has improved in some areas. kudos to them!

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