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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, January 02, 2007

It's Official: Derek Beasley chief meteorologist

The worst-kept secret in town is finally official: Ch 5 morning meteorologist Derek Beasley will replace Jim O'Brien as Channel 5's chief meteorologist on Jan. 15. As I noted in a September blog, O'Brien was told his three-year contract would not be renewed at the end of the year. Soon after that, Beasley began working a split shift, coming back after the morning show to do weather at 5 p.m. with main anchors Sandra Ali and Sheree Paolello. He'll do the late news this week and next, then switch back to mornings to train new hire Eric Green, weekend meteorologist at CBS affiliate WOWK-TV in Charlestown-Huntington, WV. He returns to the late shift by the end of January.
O'Brien, 34, wouldn'’t say much today about what went south at Channel 5: "The station and I decided to go in different directions." That's all he 'd say.
O'Brien still hasn’t found another job. He told me that his next gig will be filling in next week at WTHR-TV (Channel 13 in Indianapolis), where he had worked before. And he says he could do some fill-in work here, although he won't say what station. My best guess is that he could show up on WXIX-TV (Channel 19), which has been short a forecaster since firing Rich Apuzzo in early October. Ch. 19 news director Steve Ackermann confirms he has spoken to O’Brien, but won’t comment further.
Remember when Channel 5 fired chief meteorologist Dave Fraser 5 in 1999, and he ended up over at Channel 19? He did morning weather for two years, until landing a chief meteorologist job in Denver. Could the same thing happend with O'Brien?
O'Brien says he has turned down two offers to stay in the Midwest (his wife is from Louisville). "I want to take my time making a decision," he says. Being chief again "is not necessarily important," he says.
Expect to see more changes in the weather at Channel 5. The station continues to search for a replacement for Marina Jurica, the weekend morning forecaster who abruptly left the station in mid-December. Channel 5 sub Keisha Kirkland, wife of former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Levon Kirkland, had done weather in Lexington, as had Jurica. Levon Kirkland is an administrator at Clemson University, his alma mater.
So if you were running Channel 5, would you have dumped O'Brien and promoted Beasley?

Some Channel 19 news
Meteorologist Frank Field, who subbed on Channel 19 last month, is no relation to legendary New York weatherman Frank Field, says Steve Ackermann, Channel 19 news director. The younger Field is a former Boston-area TV meteorologist whose wife transferred from New England to Cincinnati when P&G bought Gillette.


at 1/02/2007 6:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also not breaking news... Eric Green.

This poster had the 411 a month ago. And who says blogs and message boards are just gossip.

at 1/02/2007 6:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's right, you posted it, kiese didn't. he has no inside scoop what so ever. newsblues was right...clueless!
cincinnati deserves better than his lazy uninformed reporting.

at 1/02/2007 7:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, "Meteorologist Frank Field" on 19 is no meteorologist at all. While he can present the weather he is not certified.

at 1/02/2007 7:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh ... and congrats Derek!!

at 1/02/2007 7:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

brian thomas sucks. if i hear one more reference to "my dad" i will hurl. this hire truly exemplifies nepotisim at its worst. the cutesy banter with john phillips doesn't work and who wants to be blown out of bed with loud bumper music at 5 am???

here's another former listener who's making a change--to WVXU!!

at 1/02/2007 7:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well good for Jim O'Brien doing some fill-in work at WTHR-TV. That means he will be with his former colleague, ANNE MARIE TIERNON!

Anne Marie + Jim O'Brien re-unite next week in Indianapolis!!!

Who would have thought, about 2-3 years ago (when they were both at then "Eyewitness News 5"), that they would be working together in Indy now?!?!

Best of luck to Jim. He got the shaft.

Anne Marie: GET HAPPY! (Is that humanly possible? She always was SUPER HAPPY all the time)

at 1/02/2007 8:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can see obrien landing at 19. It would be a great hire. Obrien brings credibility.

at 1/02/2007 8:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I called Eric Green (and have this street cred) I can say I obviously know more about TV than Kies...

1. Certified means very little. You obviously have never been party to local news research (this poster has, but not in this market). But, regardless all you have to do is look at the promos. Research tests everything... often brands (First, Live, Local... On Your Side, "Local" [not Where The News Comes First... thats a Hearst thing] are all the result of research... Each station often hears diffrent things but this much is obvious:

Theory: Weather Technology, Severe Weather, and "Neighborhood" Forecast, Accuracy all test VERY HIGH...

Proof: 9's Wx Promos "wherever you live", "weather technology leader, investment in technology, (regardless of your opinion) buying weather-rate
12: Microcast, Three pages of local temps. Investment in radar
5: Local temps, Power Of 5
19: Local Temps

So... Pat Berry, Frank Field... whomever is making the graphics and reading the numbers... viewers JUST DON'T CARE if someone has a masters, a PhD, or went to the Ohio Center For Broadcasting. 5 never promoted O'Briens CBM status, heck, 12 doesn't use seals on supers.

So in closing... look for a cycle of canidates at 19... wouldn't be surpised to see one get the nod before the next book. And hey, always remember- promos are carefuly crafted to target viewers and can tell you a lot about what a station is trying to convince viewers.

---An Insider.

at 1/02/2007 8:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiese was late to reporting McConnell's syndication.

Missed Furman's move to 96.5

I've heard in the past McConnell and Cunningham rag on Kiese for printing misinformed info on what was discussed on LW.

Seems that since he's on Burbank's show he might have a source to call for info.

I think they like seeing him come real late to info on local media.

at 1/02/2007 9:32 PM Anonymous Mark said...

I think Kiese is being hammered a bit hard for his 1/2/2007 blogs. Just because he posts some items that some blog visitors may not consider "breaking news" doesn't mean it isn't "news" to the majority of the people that visit this blog.

I enjoy reading his posts and think they provide interesting info.

Where else do you get this sort of local media info? I read Rick Bird's posts on but other than that I can't think of anything.

Keep it up, Kiese.

at 1/02/2007 10:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As of this posting it doesn't look like O'Brien strayed too far.

at 1/02/2007 10:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 5 made a big mistake in letting o'brien go. What were they thinking? O'brien is a class act...all the way. Good Luck Jim!

at 1/02/2007 10:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Although it may seem that way, Jim O'Brien was not "dumped in favor" of Derek. Derek just happened to be in a situation where the opportunity for advancment was presented to him, and he accepted.

Seriously, who would turn down a great opportunity such as that to further their career? It would be synonymous to Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys telling Bill Parcells, "You know Bill, I know you've presented me with this great opportunity, but I don't want to be your starting quarterback."

As meteorologists, Jim and Derek have great respect for one another and both have worked hard to get where they are. Jim has absolutely nothing to worry about. Look at Chris Cimino. There's proof for you that there is life after News 5.

at 1/02/2007 10:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's been my experience that nice doesn't quite buy you viewer loyalty around here. Don't you people think if 5's numbers were through the roof, then Obrien might still be around...after all didn't a previous poster say weather is the main reason people watch tv??

at 1/02/2007 11:07 PM Anonymous "know it all" anonymous is a moron said...

Anonymous, Inside, Know-it-all, whoever you are...I can't figure it out - washed out TV personality, kid, what? Just a loser i guess.....

Keep up the good work Kiese....

at 1/02/2007 11:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dont care who does the friggin weather just give us the forecast without rambling and all the fallderall(i doubt i spelled it correctly)

at 1/02/2007 11:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, do you like wearing brown shirts and pants?

at 1/03/2007 6:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 1/03/2007 8:23 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Highway Patrol
2. Have Gun Will Travel
3. Amos and Andy

at 1/03/2007 8:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone notice the subtle change in the pronounciation of "WLWT" by their announcers? Before, the accent was always on the "T". I suspect this went back to the days when the TV station was an offshoot of WLW radio, and the station was even listed as "WLW-T". However, now they have put the accent on the "L". I don't like it. Sounds like they are from out of town and don't know how to say it.

at 1/03/2007 9:53 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved Jim! He was great! How can people not like the weather? I mean, how does the weather dictate where we watch news? All people need is the forecast and everyone is within a degree or two of each other.
Channel 5 used to be one of my favorite stations. Now, I just don't know. they need to get their act together. It's a shame how this city just continually screws things up.

at 1/03/2007 12:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 10:40, you can make the picture look as rosy as you want it to - but 5 got rid of Jim O'Brien. It did not renew his contract. They got rid of him and promoted Derek. Which I think is odd, because Jim was promoted as the tri-state's undisputed severe weather leader, not Derek.

And 9 still is not disclosing that it pays WeatheRate for those cheesey promos that claim they have the most accurate forecast, but does not explain to what "accurate" refers. Sure, it says they look at temperatures and rainfall totals, but that doesn't mean those factors were actually USED in making the determination. And 9 pays WeatheRate for the right to use its "independent" research.

And whoever said if 5's ratings went through the roof, they would have kept Jim -- you can't pin all that on his shoulders. He is just one part of an overall newscast. People don't tune in for a variety of reasons.

at 1/03/2007 2:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave Kiese alone you guys. I sense professional jealousy, and some folks are keeping him out of the loop on knock it off!
Also, I see that Mario Lopez is going to host Miss America. Does that mean we have to listen to him grouse about getting gypped out of Dancing with the stars because people couldnt get through??? All those folks had to do was show a ittle patience.

at 1/03/2007 3:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saved By The Bell!

at 1/03/2007 4:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

You are correct, I'm not a meteorologist. But I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express once! :-)

I never claimed to be one and I'm not concerned about that "lack" of certification in the least.

I approach weather as any good journalist would: it's a story. I have no more apprehension about telling the weather as a story than I would about doing any other story. It's all a matter of your curiosity. What's the news about the weather? What do people need to know? How can I present the information in away that is easy to grasp? That's what I try to do when I present the weather. No more, no less. I think that's the whole point of being a broadcast journalist, isn't it?

The bonus about doing weather on TV is that you get to have a little fun. I poke a ton of fun at myself in the process and just try to be "watchable" if there is such a word. I'm still trying to get comfortable with the format at Fox19. I've made some mistakes to be sure. That's life, I guess. Luckily there's always another broadcast in which to redeem one's self!

Point is, wx is a story and I know a thing or two about storytelling.

I would guess viewers will find my approach a vast departure from Mr. Apuzzo. I don't watch TV, and I just got here this past summer, so I have no idea what he did, but I know I'm not like anybody else you've ever met in the TV biz, so I feel secure in saying that.

That's not a judgement, just a comment about me. I'm just trying to have a good time and settle into our new home.

Oh, and just a correction about the initial story. I was a reporter for the ABC affiliate in Boston, briefly. I also taught journalism at Emerson College there.

Before that I anchored morning news in Tucson, AZ, and reported for eight years or so. My career goes back 16 years, but I won't bore you with my CV. Suffice it to say that while I look very young, I'm pushing 40 (that's not old, is it?), and I have no delusions of grandeur about myself or my place in the business.

In fact, I really didn't think I'd remain in the biz. I left WCVB the split second I was accepted to grad school. I just finished a master's degree in teaching with the intent of teaching high school.

Come to think of it, I'm certified in two states, so maybe that's enough "certification!" :-)

Funny, I don't make a habit of writing to blogs, but I kind of felt that I should straighten out a couple of things and be as accessible as possible to the viewers. Hope that helps.

Take care!
~Frank Field

at 1/03/2007 5:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


I applaud you responding! The point of my post is that someone like yourself can do weather just as well as anyone who went to Mississippi State Online.

I find yourself and Pat Berry to be great storytellers of the weather (even if you haven't fallen off a stool doing weather).

I'm sure you can back me up... certified or not... you're still expected to follow the format and hit brands and styles reflected in research. Heck, as a reporter i'm sure you had many meetings with consultants.

--An Insider.

at 1/03/2007 5:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, the stories I could tell you about some of the consultants I've met, Insider! Some juicy stuff that would make Walter C. and Dan Rather proud, I assure you. They aren't all bad people, though. I've had great working relationships with a couple of people at a couple of consulting firms over the years.

Luckily, I don't think Fox19 employs consultants, but don't quote me. I just know I haven't heard of any 'round here.

But I should really get back to work.

Thanks for taking my post in the vein in which it was intended!


at 1/03/2007 6:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


A President dies and WLWT is the only station not to carry the burial services.

at 1/03/2007 7:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many times can we have funeral services for a DEAD MAN! Most of us get one. I am happy 5 did not carry it.

at 1/03/2007 8:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

has anyone else noticied that 5 the past few days since derek has been chief has had 2 extra minutes to spare at 6pm. They round up the broadcast at 625 with the 7day forecast. Then 5 has 2.45 minutes to spare so they turn off the anchors mikes and just show them sitting at the desk chit chatting. Then with 30 seconds left they show music hall and start playing the music.

at 1/03/2007 9:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

dave wagner was once again his best 2night.
After derek went over the 7day, dave made a comment and it was this "Well atleast you dont have to shovel rain" The camera zoomed in at derek and derek was cracking up laughing.

at 1/03/2007 9:16 PM Anonymous kathy said...


The sun will set for the last time on THE O.C. when the series ends its four-season run Thursday, Feb. 22 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. The countdown has begun, with all-original episodes airing from Thursday, Jan. 4 through the last episode on Feb. 22.

THE O.C. stars Peter Gallagher (Sandy Cohen), Kelly Rowan (Kirsten Cohen), Benjamin McKenzie (Ryan Atwood), Adam Brody (Seth Cohen), Melinda Clarke (Julie Cooper), Rachel Bilson (Summer Roberts), Autumn Reeser (Taylor Townsend) and Willa Holland (Autumn Reeser).

Set in Orange County, California, THE O.C. premiered in August 2003. It follows a group of friends and families whose lives were changed by the arrival of an outsider Ryan Atwood to their ocean-side community of Newport Beach.

THE O.C. revived the teen drama genre while including humorous and heartfelt adult storylines. Shortly after its summer premiere, THE O.C. was a pop culture phenomenon its actors are household names and its indie music (and subsequent six soundtracks) and hip California wardrobe are sought-after in stores. The shows Newport Beach locale also has become a popular tourist attraction as fans visit the real locations featured in their favorite episodes.

"THE O.C. Season Four finale will also be the series finale. This feels like the best time to bring the show to its close, said Josh Schwartz, creator and executive producer of THE O.C. Thanks to the hard work of our cast, crew and writers, we have enjoyed our best season yet, and what better time to go out than creatively on top. It has been an amazing experience and a great run. For a certain audience, at a certain time, THE O.C. has meant something. For that we are grateful."

at 1/03/2007 9:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad somebody had the foresight to realize that most people aren't interested in watching a funeral. And if you are, you had five or six cable channels to choose from.

at 1/03/2007 10:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to.....Barbara Billingsley?

at 1/04/2007 2:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon, That is just pure liberal media not to run President Ford's Funeral. Oh, Brandon is of course a dumbocrat. Disrespectful and just plain stupid.

at 1/04/2007 6:50 AM Blogger The Shadow said...

If anything the whole Channel 5 news management staff needs to be axed. They show no direction whatsoever and when someone good finally appears on their newscast, if the ratings don't skyrocket in 5 minutes, they replace them with someone else.

It's time channel 5 figure out that you can't always microwave success. A longer term "crock pot" approach is needed at channel 5.

As for Jim O'Brien, if I were Channel 19, I'd jump at the chance to hire him.

at 1/04/2007 7:20 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this where I can find the blog about what to do with my old Christmas tree?

at 1/04/2007 7:25 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tonight on News5, 5 Things Every Woman Needs to Know:about old Christmas trees.

P.S. Jim Scott invented Christmas Trees.

at 1/04/2007 1:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How old is Derek Beasley? I see Jim O'Brien is 34, but nothing about Derek's age unless I missed it. I'm guessing he's about the same age as me, 27. Thanks!

at 1/04/2007 1:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anon at 1:11pm if you wear glasses clean them or get new ones or if you dont wear glasses get some here are the first couple of sentences from the article Morning meteorologist Derek Beasley will replace Jim O'Brien as WLWT-TV (Channel 5) chief meteorologist on Jan. 15.

O'Brien, 34, of Fort Wright, was told last fall his contract would not be renewed. His final forecast was Friday. Beasley, 29 , of Florence, was hired as morning weatherman a year ago from Fort Smith, Ark.

at 1/04/2007 4:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these guys get their weather from services now anyway -- people tune in to get a forecast for tomorrow, I don't think anyone keeps tallies on which meterologist has a track record of being right.

WLWT just needs to set their anchor team and leave it for a few years. Run with Wagner, Ali, Beasley and Broo. At least it'll be familair to everyone after a while.

at 1/04/2007 5:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1:38 pm, Thank you for finding his age for me. I have Bell's Palsy right now and I have only one good eye but when both are open, I have double vision. Sorry that I missed 29.

at 1/04/2007 5:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anon at 5:43 it seems your like me cant see with one eye and blind in the other

at 1/04/2007 9:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randi Rico from WDTN-2 in Dayton has been hired as the replacement for Marina Jurica at WLWT... expect her to start in March.

at 1/04/2007 11:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Enquirer is the greatest paper ever - really, ever! I love you all!

at 1/05/2007 11:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like mine with lettuce and tomato...

at 1/05/2007 2:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heinz 57 and french fry potatoes

at 1/05/2007 5:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to sneeze.

at 1/05/2007 9:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...












at 1/05/2007 9:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...



at 1/05/2007 9:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...



at 1/05/2007 9:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...



at 1/05/2007 10:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

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at 1/05/2007 10:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the Enquirer blogs! I love them and I love you John! Yes!

at 1/05/2007 10:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the Enquirer blogs! I love them and I love you John! Yes!

at 1/05/2007 10:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the Enquirer blogs! I love them and I love you John! Yes!

at 1/06/2007 9:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rum Tug Tugger!

at 1/06/2007 10:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

elton john was here.

at 1/06/2007 3:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, elton john reads this blog?

at 1/06/2007 11:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 1/07/2007 10:12 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary Burbank is my hero.

at 1/07/2007 2:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary Burbank is my mini-hero. He's so cute and little!

at 1/07/2007 11:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 1/11/2007 1:53 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


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