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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, February 06, 2007

Let it snow! Let it snow!

Since several have asked for a blog to comment on weather coverage today.... So here it is.
I just watched the noon news, and the Power ofLocal 5+9+12 Ultimate Precision Doppler Weather Plus folks predict 1-2-3 inches of snow by 6 0r 7 p.m., and 4-5-6 inches of snow by midnight or 1 a.m. (Ch. 12 just announced it will blow out "The Insider" at 4:30 p.m. for Tim Hedrick and snow coverage.)
Here are the noon predictions:
--Ch. 5 Eric Green: 3-5 inches. "I think 6 will be the exception, not the norm." Heaviest band SE of Cincinnati along Ohio River.
--Ch. 9 Larry Handley: 1-3 inches by 6 p.m., 3-6 inches by 11:30 p.m.
--Ch. 12 Jeff Creighton: 2-3 inches by 7 p.m., and 4-6 inches by midnight-1 a.m. He had heaviest concentrations at Falmouth (6.7") and Owenton (6.9").
That's their predictions. Now I'll make a few of my own predictions:
--Jeff Hirsh's report at 5 minutes after noon about people going out to buy milk, bread and snow shovels will not be the only time we hear reports about consumers stocking up today.
--Viewers will complain about the on-screen weather graphics consuming so much of the TV picture.
--You'll hear coworkers and friends use the term "White Death," but nobody on TV news will utter that phrase.
Now it's your turn to post your weather predictions and observations... Have fun!


at 2/06/2007 1:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see it already today.

A map in the upper left hand corner of the screen showing which counties are under a heavy snow warning, even as the snow is piling up.
On top the screen, a rolling scroll of the latest forecast.

On the bottom of the screen a rolling scroll of closings and delays.

Lower left corner..logo declaring
the station "The Official School Closing Station" (all 4 of them say they are and have a graphic to prove it.)

Lower right corner, the usual network logo.

If you look real close, you might also see part of the show you are trying to watch.

I'll be biting my nails until 5pm to see the salt trucks being loaded and some poor defenseless reporter being sent into the snow with a plastic ruler to give us the "official" measurement. And, don't forget Courtis Fuller standing on a highway overpass to show us the slow traffic.

Good Luck everybody. The snow is starting. I hope we make it thru this 5 inches. Is there any bread left at Krogers?


at 2/06/2007 1:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard David Rose is leaving. And then you didn't mention David Rose the other day in relation to your article about Channel 9 teaming up with radio. Is this he indeed moving on?

at 2/06/2007 1:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate non-emergency crawler graphics on the bottom of my television screen.

Last night at 7:00 pm, Channel 12 had a commercial-free documentary on the life of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a civil rights legend. I decided to record this special program. Unfortunately, Channel 12 ran a school closing crawler throughout the show. The school closing crawler could have been left off for the 30 minutes this show aired.

By the way, the show, reported by Jeff Hirsh, was excellent, but I question Channel 12's decision making to run the school closing crawler for 30 minutes through their own special programming. The crawler ruined my desire to archive and re-watch this show.

This was a low-rent decision by Channel 12.

at 2/06/2007 1:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, for fun, the Enquirer should drag out the Borgman drawing mocking 5,9, 12 and every other media outlet regarding White Death: We're all gonna die!!!!'s 1:30 as I write this: predictions on:
1) who will be stationed at the salt mine?
2) who will be stationed on I-71 or I-75?
3) what "meteorologist" will "brave the snow and cold"? (must be off station property - no weather terrace or porch)
4) what station blows off a 7pm program?

at 2/06/2007 1:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can any station just squeeze back the video instead of stretching the video to fill the screen?

Last time I looked, TV is a 4:3 ratio and let's face it, Rosie O'Donnell, Montel and Bob Barker and others squeezed to fill the screen don't add up to additional cumes!

at 2/06/2007 1:40 PM Anonymous Doug said...

This comment isn't specifically about the snow, but about the coverage last night. While watching Heroes last night on channel 5, we had to put up with a big green map in the corner, and a giant brightly colored bar at the bottom with animated snowfall and fancy transitions between ads on the left and the school names. I found them very distracting, especially since a lot of the scenes in Heroes are dark and muted. I even sent an email to someone at channel 5 to voice my disappointment about them. Does anyone else think they are excessive or am I being too picky?

at 2/06/2007 2:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is our chance to finally find out who really is the ultimate and the precise weather team, we know what each station has predicted, now lets wait and see who's right

at 2/06/2007 2:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched Heroes in HD, so fortunately I didn't have to see the ugly crawl during the show. I did see it during the local news updates though. Man, the weather would have been horrible to watch all night. I hate the on screen clutter during election time too.

at 2/06/2007 2:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The closing tickers are a must in this weather, but the Heavy Snow Warning graphics are not. I don't think it was any secret that significant snow was on the way last night.

at 2/06/2007 4:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to congratulate the Enquirer for getting it first, fast , and inaccurate. The morning paper predicted snow and up to 1". Way to go Enquirer! Oh by the way why was the winter storm warning given 24 hours early? Was that telling us to get to Kroger?

at 2/06/2007 4:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 4:20, 12 was the only station to have UC's closing! Way to go! That includes online. Nothing like waiting an hour (minimum 5 & 9).

at 2/06/2007 4:43 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

I've heard "Winter Weather Advisory" a million times. Is it just me or is the term "Heavy Snow Warning" something new?

at 2/06/2007 4:52 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

To Anonymous 1:22 p.m.:
David Rose says he doesn't expect to be leaving Ch. 9 anytime soon. He's says he's in "final negotiations right now" on a new contract to continue doing "Good Morning TriState" and the 5:30 p.m. news. His contract expires March 1, but "things are going well."

at 2/06/2007 5:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking for a laugh? Watch the weather tracker channel, they control room program video instead of master control - no commericals, lots of mic checks, air fixes, anchor chatter

at 2/06/2007 5:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 12 has a new reporter out covering White Death. I believe her last name is Ingram.

She's in Florence right now and just informed us the "the snow is coming down" (as oppossed to going up?)and the "the snow in Florence is much like what we just saw over on the Ohio side."

Thanks for clearing that up, I thought Kentucky snow was different from Ohio.

at 2/06/2007 6:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to see a reporter outside with a ruler, sticking it into the snow... I kind of miss that...

at 2/06/2007 6:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm no Janell Walton fan, but I think that her report on the phone trying to get to harrison was one of the best all night! If you're stuck in traffic, you wanna know just how bad it is... she said it's taken 2 1/2 hours to get to Harrison.

I also just saw Steve Norris use a ruler.. I think that was the first ACCURATE snow totals on 9... whatever their new radar snow product they are using is way off... 8 Inches? That's why it's an estimate not an actual total.

Curious to see how the numbers work out tomorrow... 5 had other news, 12 had some, 9's gone wall to wall with snow only... any bets folks?

at 2/06/2007 6:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll bet you a hundred bucks Paul Horton does that tonight within the first 90 seconds of their news at 10

at 2/06/2007 6:51 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

I did some research (shoveled the driveway)on this "heavy snow" and this snow isn't all that heavy. It's actually the light fluffy type...

How do they decide who gets the pleasure of doing the field reports on days like this? I'd assume the preson with the least seniority but WLWT had John London reporting roadside.

at 2/06/2007 7:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The local stations should confine the news coverage to their weather channels and the news time. If I want to find out about a cancellation, I'll check the web page or go to that stations weather channel. I already get 3 weather channels (5 weather plus, 7 accuweather and 9 ) how much more weather do we need?

at 2/06/2007 7:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the thread on my biggest gripe of local tv...overkill of weather graphics. In fairfield, we have a good 7 inches and still coming down as of 7pm.

HOLY SMOKES Channel 12 is not showing the national news. I mean honestly, it ain't a blizzard.

Can you imagine if weather producers had been like this in the days of the 70's??? conniptions back in the day of the blizzard..the weather man's head would have exploded.

I am so THRILLED to see OTHERS griping about the ruinization of local tv.

To the person taping the Shuttlesworth (sp?) special, that's DISGUSTING they ran the crawl underneath. Low rent, indeed.

With everybody having a computer OR KNOWING SOMEBODY WHO DOES, there is no GOOD REASON to DISTORT and stretch tv to run this stuff liek it's the end of the world.

NOW they have adds with PERFECT NORTH SLOPES paying for an add on the crawler????

Channel 9 has so much on the TV I get vertigo. ;- o

But if they can PUT A MAN ON THE MOON and into a space station, why can't SOMEBODY MAKE THE PICTURE LOOK NORMAL and not all stretched out to make people look like fat heads. It's most annoying. It's enough to have all these 'bugs' and crap on the screen without making everybody look like a blockhead.

The arrogance of "big brother" telling us to save ourselves.

I try my best to avoid local tv and this is the reason why.

But this shall be a popular thread.
I sometimes think I am a real wicked wench as I could go on for PAGES about this "Weatherman Holding our TV Hostage" rubbish.

But I will let others have a chance at it.

Thanks again, John. :-)


p.s. We have shoveled our driveway THREE TIMES already and I look to do it again before bedtime.

p.s.s. CBS NEWS coming on at 7 so channel 12 just delayed. Off goes my tv.

at 2/06/2007 7:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems to me like Derek Beasley on 5 hit the mark best. With some areas reporting 5.5" to 8"...he was the only one to use 5+ last night (that I saw). He had 5+ south and east of Cincinnati.

at 2/06/2007 7:30 PM Anonymous usual 5 watcher. said...

9 had steve norris, deb haas, lyne giroude, tom mckee.
9 was by far the best coverage of the storm.
Steve raleigh was enthuastic and did a great job.

at 2/06/2007 7:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey was wondering how the ratings were for this snow day.

at 2/06/2007 7:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going to stay here in West Chester overnight rather than try to get back to Middletown. I understand that things are improving but... I havent done this in years, back when we were on Florence St, but if I tried, i'd probably get stuck trying to get up my driveway at the condo.
Lee Ann from the neighborhood

at 2/06/2007 8:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone on here making fun of weather coverage is either 1) disgruntled former tv news employees 2) losers. When the numbers come in I would bet the viewing is up because of the weather. If you don't like it, turn it off.

at 2/06/2007 10:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


It is SWEEPS for crying out loud and at the beginning of Boston Legal, they do a STINKING WEATHER UPDATE? WTH?

Granted, BL has jumped the shark and that's why I have the DVD season 1 from the library but the weathermen need to COOL IT!!


Thank God I STILL have a Dayton affliate.


at 2/06/2007 10:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

9's coverage was by far the worst with those crazy estimates and the "10 inch per hour" estimates by Steve Raleigh. Derek's wasn't too bad for what I saw. 19's coverage was almost as miserable as 9's coverage. 12 was by far the best, and most calm. Tim Hedrick really knows what he is doing. He did have the timing off a bit, but at least he admitted that.

at 2/06/2007 11:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Steve Raleigh must have found some old Pete Delkus Gold Bond powder or something. Why the cut in every half hour? The snow left at 7. If there's anything drastic or immediate, it's the traffic and I'm sure Clyde/Carol/web intern could do 30 seconds prior to the network feed (maybe blow off a Steve Raleigh weather promo! Lord knows WCPO Traffic could have adjusted the log)

5 and 12 did superb jobs. 9....I'm sorry, Ron Allen and Todd Hunter would have done a better job (and that's under the Al regime!(Schottelkotte...not Uncle))

Maybe Steve Raleigh should begin him weathercast with the Uncle Al jingle (What makes the thunder? What makes the flowers green and grow? What makes the weather?)

I think every meteorologist was on the air...didn't see Cyndee O'Quinn. Lucky off day!

How about all of those make goods!

at 2/07/2007 6:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Valerie Abati always in such a hurry? She always seems to be rushing and runs words together as a result.

at 2/07/2007 8:07 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hedrick was the first to give us the "water to snow ratio". Damn, that helped me make it thru the night.

Like an earlier blogger posted, what if we had today's OVERKILL of weather back when the Ohio River froze over.

Weatherman/Car Salesman Steve Raleigh should re-calibrate his computer that kept showing 8 inches of snow everywhere, and go outside with a ruler. MUCH MORE ACCURATE READING.

Channel 12 better take all the crap off the screen tonight when Survivor starts a new season.

at 2/07/2007 8:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous, do you want this blog to get the book again???
Knock off the nasty language,please

at 2/07/2007 9:32 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 5.

They were the first to run a produced promo patting themselves on the back for their "fine" coverage of the storm of 2007.


at 2/07/2007 10:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic, but did the snow plow drivers in Cincinnati go on strike last night? Reading road was worse this morning than it was last night. Outside of the city the roads were fine. In the city, they were horrible.

at 2/07/2007 10:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that more people turn to Local 12 when they want weather information. At least that is what the ratings say anyway.

at 2/07/2007 10:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of this for a few inches of snow.

at 2/07/2007 12:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Meteorologists Present on the big Snowy Tuesday:

Channel 5:
> Eric Greene--AM coverage
> John Bateman-out live doing a report, poor guy--he has the most senority of the meteorologists and he gets stuck outside!!
> Derek Beasley--PM coverage
> Randi Ricco--assuming she's not there yet (?)
> Kiesha Kirland--assuming she's gone for good(?) GLAD she didn't provide coverage yesterday!!!

Channel 9:
> Larry Handley-AM coverage
> Steve Raleigh-PM coverage
> Steve Norris-outside on the patio showing viewer pics (give me a break!)
> Didn't see Cyndee O'Quinn--did anyone see her on yesterday?

Channel 12:
> Steve Horstmeyer-great AM coverage
> Tim Hedrick-great PM coverage
> Jeff Creighton-Noon coverage
> John Gumm-live shot measuring snow
> Did not see Michelle Boutilette --did anyone see her?

at 2/07/2007 4:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just an FYI for the people upset about the crawl during the Rev. Shuttlesworth program -

It will (most likely) be rebroadcast later this month on both Ch 12 (2/24 @ 7pm) and on CinCW (2/18, 2/19, 2/25 and 2/26).

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

at 2/07/2007 5:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abati does rush and slur her words together. I am not sure what the rush is ... I just always figured the problem was her nasal-like voice.

at 2/07/2007 11:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said... LONG are they going to screw up the tv picture.

I would be screaming if I ran a network show. I only watch a couple network shows a week but do like to jump between Leno and Letterman.


Its not like we have a CHOICE but I really limit how much I watch due to this rubbish.


John, tell the weather folks to read this blog.

Dang...I would ask if this is going to last until spring but then all the weather warnings/watches/thunder/lightening/ skinned knees/ hang nails caused from rain.


Sophia still griping in Fairfield

p.s. This word verification thingie is getting way too many letters in it. I think some of us should qualify to work for the C.I.A. by now.
:- o

at 2/08/2007 10:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

at 2/06/2007 11:29 PM Anonymous said...

This has got to be the infamous Richard Todd.

Richard, we've found you out!

at 2/08/2007 2:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cyndee was on in the early morning. I thought I saw her on I-71, maybe near Rookwood.

at 2/08/2007 3:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to thank WCPO for not running the school closing crawl durring LOST last night. While it was anoying during the 9 - 10pm time period I would have hated to watch it durring the main show.

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