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Television
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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Sunday, January 28, 2007

"Fox Sucks"

So Toria, how do you really feel? When CNN's Toria Tolley was on WLW-AM Saturday, Darryl Parks asked her to comment on the TV cable news landscape. The former Ch 5 anchor (1980-90), who now freelances for CNN from Atlanta, said:
"Well. Fox sucks. It's all opinion. You get the anchor's opinion. You get the reporter's opinion. It's definitely not unbiased. I think any network with 'news' in the its name should be unbiased." So I guess Toria won't be applying for any openings at the Fox News Channel... but she might be putting her name in for talk radio opportunities. She quibbled with my description of her appearance on Parks' Saturday morning WLW-AM show as an audition. She says she had been talking with him in recent months, and he invited her into the studio when she was in town doing a story. (She was at Children's Hospital Medical Center Friday doing a story for Turner's AccentHealth Waiting Room TV Network, seen in doctors' offices.) She had talked to him last fall about possibly replacing WKRC-AM's retiring Jerry Thomas, but the station decided to keep it a guy thing with Brian Thomas (Jerry's kid) and John Phillips.
Toria says she decided a year ago to try to break into talk radio somewhere, while continuing to freelance for CNN. She hasn't yet formally auditioned for anyone by hosting a talk radio show solo, she says. But she's anxious to try. For one thing, she likes the freedom to express an opinion after 25+ years in the news biz. Like her feelings on Fox News.
After her WLW-AM visit, she told me: "When you're doing talk radio, you can say what you really feel. It's nice to finally be able to say it (about Fox) on talk radio. I've wanted to say it for years."
I'd image the switchboard might explode from calls if she hosted a talk radio show with the topic "Fox sucks?" Did you hear her Saturday? How would she do as a talk radio host? And why don't we have more women as talk radio hosts on the air here?


33 Comments:

at 1/28/2007 7:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And CNN is not biased. Maybe she has never watched Wolf Blitzer's show.

 
at 1/28/2007 7:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other than 55KRC, where would she go? Certainly not the 700 lineup... right?

 
at 1/28/2007 8:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I were in the car and happened to hear her.She seemed to have an annoying attitude and an inflated ego.When asked a question she never answered simply or directly.Is this her true personality or was this just because she was auditioning? Darryl Parks and Sensible Don are the perfect duo.A woman talk show host would be great but based on this interview WLW could do a lot better.

 
at 1/28/2007 10:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started to listen at 10am, only to hear Parks go off on a tangent, with Toria's limo "being late".

Note to Daryl: I know Randy Michaels, he gave me my start. You are no Randy Michaels!

Toria sounded good. I would like to hear her sans Parks and Sensible Don. Maybe pair her up with Pat Barry??

 
at 1/29/2007 7:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Toria,

If you think "Fox Sucks" wait until you spend a couple of weeks at Clear Channel. All Darryl Parks want to do is capitalize on your name for a few months (ala Jerry Springer, Bob Braun etc). Then, when ratings don't happen (which they never will on 55 or 1360 because CC won't let those stations take away from WLW)You're shown the door.

You can (and will) do better.

As for why there aren't any local women doing talk radio, the answer is two-fold.

1) LOCAL talk radio period, is disappearing as CC continues to cut budget.
2) Women in radio have generally been relegated to being morning show side-kicks(most FM's) or wire-copy news readers as on WLW.

 
at 1/29/2007 8:15 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,

You said...."She quibbled with my description of her appearance on Parks' Saturday morning WLW-AM show as an audition."

I listened to her on WLW and she said the only thing you got right in you Sat article about her appearance was she used to work at Channel 5.

I liked her appearance. I like to hear someone rip on and challenge these all to common dumb callers who spout bumper sticker phrases and cannot back up what they spout as fact.

Toria, you have a bit of a tin ear for sarcasm but I'm sure you can work on that. I found most refreshing that as a rookie she was giving her opinion and not some planned/fake red meat outrage that comprises most talk radio.

I'd love to hear a scrappy chick put some of these male callers in their place. That's good talk radio

Toria... Did you have a hard time understanding Don the bus driver, lol. I always do!

 
at 1/29/2007 10:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toria doesn't like FOX News because, according to her, it's about pushing opinions and now news. Yet, she wants to get into talk radio so she can push her opinion. Sounds like to me she and Fox News would make a perfect fit.

 
at 1/29/2007 10:51 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

She did have the fact that "Fox Sucks" correct. They do as does all cable news. All are biased in some form or another, just like print and radio media...it's all going to be biased at something eventually. Enquirer included.

On another note - John or any posters here - Where did Rachael Murray from WLW go? Heard Scott Sloan say the other night that it was her last day.

 
at 1/29/2007 10:55 AM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

Rachel Murray quit WLW to take a radio job in Dayton. Not sure what station. Anyone know?
--Kiese

 
at 1/29/2007 10:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel Murray went back to WHIO.

 
at 1/29/2007 11:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sticks about Rachel. She was great. Here is what I found on the Ohio Media Watch Blog:

WHIO ADDS NEWS STAFF: Incoming at Cox news/talk WHIO/1290-WHIO-FM/95.7 Dayton is Rachel Murray...who we just heard yesterday doing midday news at Clear Channel talk WLW/700 Cincinnati (via the station's feed on XM Satellite Radio, of course). She'll take the open afternoon drive news anchor slot posted in a job listing here a while back.

It's a return to the building for Murray. WHIO operations manager Nick Roberts tells OMW that she was a co-anchor on the station's "Miami Valley Morning News" in the late 1990's.

 
at 1/29/2007 12:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chalk up one less salary at WLW thru attrition. They don't seem to be advertising for a replacement.

Then again, it's been my experience to know that by the time WLW posts a job opening in the news department, the position has already been filled. They only advertise it to keep the EEOC off their backs.

 
at 1/29/2007 1:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Toria is qualified--she definitely doesn't "have a face for radio."

 
at 1/29/2007 2:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smart move by Rachel Murray. The news department would inevitably take a hit at 700. Glad I can still hear her on WHIO.

 
at 1/29/2007 4:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on Toria tell us how you REALLY feel about fox news

 
at 1/29/2007 4:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is English Sensible Don's native language? I sure as hell can't understand him.

 
at 1/29/2007 4:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How great it would be to hear a few women on the air. How sad that in 2007 we're still having this discussion!

 
at 1/29/2007 5:20 PM Blogger ToriaTolley said...

Thank you for the comments, but I must set the record straight:

- I NEVER, at any time, spoke with Darryl Parks about joining WKRC, or any other Clear Channel radio station for that matter.(I did have a brief conversation with Program Director Tony Bender in late summer/early fall, but it was just that - brief.)
I regularly keep in touch with several Cincinnati friends in media, and Darryl is one of them. Have we talked over a meal about the crazy business of TV and radio? Yes. Do I call him for professional wisdom? Of course! I value his expertise. But as far as discussing a job.... well, that just didn't happen. And think about it, there is not one single talk radio station in Cincinnati where I would 'fit'. Not WKRC. Not WLW. Certainly not Supertalk FM. So why waste my time?

That said,
- I was NOT 'auditioning'. A few weeks ago, Darryl was ranting about the Saddam Hussein hanging video, and how CNN was censoring the news by not showing every single gory frame. I took issue with this, called in and told him he was dead wrong. We ran out of time, but he challenged me to come by the studio and defend the 'liberal, Bush-bashing media' the next time I was in Cincinnati, and that's exactly what I did. I was always scheduled as a GUEST. Not a HOST.

- YES, I'm thinking about a move. I love working with CNN and CNNRadio. I don't even mind being called a 'Spawn of Turner'. But after almost 30 years delivering the news, I think I'd much rather TALK about it with folks. Radio provides that forum. I began my career in radio...I wouldn't mind going back.

Again, thanks for the comments. As always, I think the facts should be accurate.
-Toria Tolley

P.S.- I am sorry I didn't get to fully answer some thoughtful questions, but I wasn't in charge of the caller line.

And remember, personal comment is very different from fact. I maintain they should call themselves 'Fox Opinion Channel' instead of 'Fox News Channel'.

 
at 1/29/2007 6:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed hearing Toria on the air, it was a refreshing change! I, too, think we need a woman anchored talk show - with different views (not a show for women, but a show with a woman's opinion!) She kept up with the zing's back and forth with both the men, and had a sense of humor while doing it!

 
at 1/29/2007 8:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,

Not to be sexist, but men, the primary audience of talk radio, does not want to hear a woman talking to them for 3 hours complaining about whatever issue it is, only to go home and hear the same from their wives. PC? No, True, yes.

In fact if you look at female targeted formats such as CHR or AC, most of their announcers are not female.

 
at 1/30/2007 5:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Tolley: Isn't calling Fox bias like the "pot calling the kettle black"? I wished for one day CNN could be impartial in it's reporting. CNN is as much as or greater pendulum swing left than Fox is right. I stopped watching CNN 15 years ago because it has become irrelevant to the actual issues of the day.

I think you need to take personal and professional inventory before you spout off these opinions. Facts are facts and opinions are opinions. I think you've lost perspective on which is which.

 
at 1/30/2007 8:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

All due respect to Toria but the notion that Fox News should change their name to Fox Opinion is ridiculous. Fox News may lean to the right but they offer a full spectrum of opinions (Alan Colmes, Greta, Geraldo, etc.). Who does CNN offer from the right? Anyone? CNN is every bit as biased from the left as Fox News is from the right and Toria probably knows this. She's just comfortable with the view from Atlanta.

 
at 1/30/2007 10:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to Anonymous 8:24

I think Fox positions itself as 'right' leaning ... and whatever direction CNN lists in, happens as it does in most major news gathering entities. It's a reflection of the education and experience of those reporters as they decide what to make prominent in their stories. Everyone, right and left, does it. It's editing and creating a "lede." Nothing more insidious than that.
But, most do not go in with an attitude, that they are of a certain political bent, and that's the attitude to be taken.
Also, as to CNN's "differing" voices, Wolf Blitzer has a number of talking heads of all stripes during the course of his frenetic two hours on the air. None of them is any good at generating light, but I believe the measuring stick on all those programs is the heat, not inspection of any idea seriously.
Glen Beck is certainly no liberal. I don't put Nancy Grace in that arena either.
I believe the interjection of political opinion is fine with commentators who are clearly labeled as such. The problem is with "news" anchors who betray a political direction in an aside to a story, with no one to respond. It's also not good, because I would bet dollars to donuts, the only "facts" many of these anchors know come from the short truncated versions of the stories they read, with very little study of the subject and serious discussion with knowledgeable others.
Watch what you will ... I do, and read a whole bunch on the side, so that I can make up my own mind, and not be convinced by anyone on the tube.
If you think you're getting more than just a superficial look at any subject during the regular programming on any news channel, you're cheating yourself.

 
at 1/30/2007 12:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

First let me qualify my statement by saying I am a woman who has been in the radio business for some time...I know from the inside that a taletned woman will be overlooked time and again to highlight a sophomoric male attitude...Maybe the reason that most talk radio listeners are male....is because most talk radio is programmed for men! I think having Toria and other smart female hosts talking about the same issues as men would be refreshing...not women's talk radio, but talk radio that doesn't ignore women as holding valid, intelligent opinions....we are 50% of the population....and as far as advertisers are concerned, we buy or approve the purchase of 80% of all products purchased in the US....someone should pay attention to that...someone should educate their sponsors about how they are missing out on reaching a MAJOR market...not a niche...TORIA, YOU GO GIRL!!!!!

 
at 1/30/2007 4:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toria doesn't perceive CNN's left-leaning bias because she is probably a liberal herself. Most liberals see themselves as mainstream and honestly believe that their views don't reflect any sort of bias. Their predominance in the media only serves to affirm their own opinions and further their blindness. Therefore, they can interject opinion and slant their reporting and deny any lean to the left with a completely straight face.

I've always taken Fox's claims of balance to be a bit of a tongue-in-cheek stab at the rest of the liberal media. At least they know they lean to the right. They're simply playing the same game that the liberal networks do.

 
at 1/30/2007 5:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a quick note: listened to Toria for a while and she struck me as whiny and boring. As I listened, I felt like more than about 5 minutes of her would last a lifetime.

Secondly, someone from CNN whining about Fox is absolute hypocricy. Well, she's "sort of" CNN. Filming spots for Doctor's waiting rooms?? Can you say MONSTER demotion??

 
at 1/30/2007 6:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey leave sensible don alone he is a great person who is not afraid to say whats on his mind!!!!!! of course it is kinda hard to understand him from time to time, well alot of the time;o)
P.S. Thursday starts Sweeps so be ready for more breakingdevelopingwearegonnamakeyoupuketypestuff

 
at 1/31/2007 6:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, how about a referendum on Sensible Don?

Is he Sensible Don, or, Non-Sensible Don?

 
at 1/31/2007 2:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wanna bet that if Fox News Channel offered the unemployed Toria a job, she would jump at it?

 
at 1/31/2007 5:05 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

Kiese here. Just got an e-mail from a Fox News publicist in New York who just read this blog. The person's comment: "What's a Toria Tolley? And, by the way, that's our response."

 
at 11/27/2007 7:33 PM Anonymous Karen Snyder said...

What a crock! Toria and I have been friends for over twenty years, and just recently she confessed to me how hurt she was over this story. For a "friend" and fellow journalist to get facts so wrong is an outrage! Sure, she's looking to change focus. I have dealt with her many times on local and national issues, and, despite our friendship, she has always told the truth! For all of your anonymous contributors, I would like to proudly sign my name
KAREN SNYDER

 
at 3/07/2008 2:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fox is a joke. Their mentality is sexist and racist. I mean, c'mon, Bill O'Reilly? Give me a break. That guy is so full of BS that his head is swelling. I'll admit, I'm assuming that's BS in there. =)

 
at 3/27/2008 8:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

FOX does suck! AGREE, AGREEā€¦I believe people ought to stop watching FOX altogether, bet that will make a change in their programming. They rely on what they consider to be an ignorant American audience to broadcast to every night. They express their views and opinions in an effort to sway Americans beliefs on current events for their own narcissism. If you are truly an informed American stay away from Fox and their idiocy and learn to gain your own knowledge based on facts and not overemphasized fabricated stories created by a network that thinks you are too stupid to ascertain otherwise. STOP WATCHING FOX! I stopped watching FOX altogether about 4 years ago and trust me, better yet trust you. I did, and in view of the fact that I dismissed that hideous network from my programming schedule; I have not missed much.

 
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