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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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Friday, May 11, 2007

WLW Pledges Cooperation With Hispanic Groups

WLW-AM's promise to work with local Hispanic groups after removing "The Big Juan" billboards with the stereotypical Mexian has generated a prompt response from one local Latino leader.

Alfonso Cornejo, the Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA board president, has asked that WLW-AM, the city's No. 1 talk station, tone down its talk about immigrants and immigration to ease the city's race tension.

Very interesting.

Cornejo received a letter Thursday from Churck Frederick, local Clear Channel market manager and WLW-AM general manager, expressing his regrets for the billboard campaign and his interest in being "part of the solution moving forward." Frederick didn't use the word "apology," but Cornejo accepted it as one.

So on Friday Cornejo personally handed a letter to Frederick suggesting how WLW-AM could be part of the solution: "We ask you to pledge that your station's airwaves will not permit divisive rhetoric, especially in the form on-air comments, concerning immigration or the ethnic makeup of our community. The recent advancements in race relations made since the Cincinnati riots are too precious to put at risk for a larger market share."

Next week Frederick will meet with Jason Riveiro, president of the local League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to talk about sensitivity sessions or a multi-cultural advisory board for WLW. Bill Cunningham at a sensitivy session? I don't know that would ever happen, but Latino and other groups realize the impact that WLW-AM's conservative talk hosts -- and callers -- have as the city's No. 1 station. Yet they're seeking limitations on free speech....

So "The Big Juan" billboards are gone, but their impact could be felt for a while. We'll see how this plays out.


at 5/11/2007 4:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberalism and political correctness is killing our country.

at 5/11/2007 5:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Cornejo is wrong in asking WLW to "tone down" its discussions on immigration regarding hispanics. What he's asking them to do (in a polite way) is kill or limit free speech and not to allow anything that is anti-illegal immigration. Last I checked no one is advocating killing, or otherwise doing criminal acts to hispanic locals, most likely a healthy number of which are here illegally. Basically if you talk about how we should curtail illegal immigration, round up illegals, or properly enforce our southern border or immigration laws then it amounts to hate talk, "harmful" dialogue, or any number of ridiculous PC-inspired labels. Mr. Cornejo is flat out wrong.-----

Derek Weimer

at 5/11/2007 5:14 PM Anonymous Aristotle said...

The first anonymous poster said it best. My addition - Political Correctness is a good idea taken overboard and gone astray from it's original intention. Nowadays, anyone who can fit into a "minority group" must be offended by everything said by someone not in that group.... that is, unless you are intelligent and have a steady job - then you know the meatheads in your own "minority group" who are screaming about discrimination have nothing better to do with themselves.

I want to create my own organization: WMMHC - White, Male, Middle-class, Heterosexual, Christian. Oh wait, I'm not allowed to do that because it's "discriminatory". Somehow the "majority" has become the most discriminated against group in the country.

Martin Luther King dreamed of equality among people, not separatism and bickering about skin color and nationality.

at 5/11/2007 5:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:06, well said. Since when is it wrong to enforce laws we've enacted?

at 5/11/2007 5:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone at WLW should walk out in protest. From the board ops to the hosts. More so if they have to go to the so called "sensitivity" (I know I spelled it wrong) classes.

What a farce this is. Clear Channel backed down and now these liberal groups are trying to stop free speech. Whatever happened to changing the channel when you don't like something on the radio!

at 5/11/2007 6:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, chicken hawk conservatives such as those that populate the WLW airwaves are killing this country and killing this country's future one IED at a time in Iraq.

When I was younger I used to listen to WLW even though I have been a liberal-leaning independent since 1991. I always found McConnell to be a reasonable person and at least respected his opinion. Cunningham has always been a blowhard but his schtick (and that is exactly what it is for the less educated out there) was usually entertaining. Then Darryl Parks arrived.

Since Parks has taken over at WLW the station has gone down the toilet, quite literally. It's too bad that Burbank is retiring. That will be the last show I listen to (with the exception of the Reds) on the station until Parks leaves.

at 5/11/2007 6:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don’t think that Cornejo is asking not to talk about the immigration subject. If you listen to wlw it is clear that a lot of their on air talent don’t respect immigrants especially Hispanics. I have heard many insults and derogatory comments against immigrants. Regardless of your status in this country, we are all humans and everybody should be treated with respect. The immigration issue needs a solution and by insulting people we are not going to gain anything. The bottom line is WLW was wrong and they know it. This is not a case of political correctness, is a case of a radio station purposely insulting Hispanics, especially Mexicans.

at 5/11/2007 7:50 PM Blogger Scott Evans said...

When Randy Michaels was forced out at Clear Channel, Clear Channel was basically neutered. Its already taken effect, the other day during the stooge report they dumped a drop that had Jim Scott or Paul Harvey saying something about being a Mexican. It went out over XM but Willie mentioned it had been dumped. (XM's feed is uncensored).

So yes, the topic of illegal immigrants probably won't be a topic for a while. I hope everyone reading this joins me in boycotting all Hispanic businesses in Cincinnati.

Also on a side note, Rio Grande in Newport has a guy wearing a sombrero with a donkey that greets you as you walk in the restraunt.

at 5/11/2007 8:40 PM Blogger Scott Evans said...

Here is the letter I sent Mr. Cornejo and have posted to my Myspace page as well as to many different myspace groups.


I'm offended at every single group like yours that takes the fun in free speech out of America. Here is a clue, if something hurts your feelings, toughen up. I'm a bald white American. If they ran ads saying "The Bald One" with a guy in a chrome dome I would not be offended. The Big Juan was funny. Because of your complaint I will no longer patron any of your members businesses or any Hispanic owned business including some of my favorite restraunts until you issue an apology to 700WLW for infringing on their freedom of speech and parody. Unfortunately they backed down, which just means you will go after them again next time you hear something YOU don't like. Fortunately there is still South Park, the last true realm of free speech in this country. You may be a watchgroup of the media, however I through my myspace page of thousands of members locally will be a watchgroup of you.

Scott Evans

at 5/11/2007 9:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WLW is on a downward spiral - the likes of which will not be felt again until the people meters reveal what a sham their ratings are.

at 5/11/2007 10:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for an explanation as to why the two billboards were offensive. "Radio para Gran Americanos" (apologies for the spelling; I studied French) apparently means "Radio for Great Americans." This is offensive why? Is it because Spanish speakers couldn't possibly be Great Americans? This Latino group missed the boat on that one. They should have co-opted the message and thanked WLW for recognizing that Spanish speakers CAN be Great Americans and good for WLW for finally advertising to the Latino community. Then invite WLW to dedicate air time to Spanish issues. Wonder how they'd wiggle out of that?

The "Big Juan" billboard was just silly and they are taking it way too seriously. Do we arrest WEBN because they "set the river on fire" each Labor Day? No! It's a radio station. Does this Latino group really believe that everyone will see some goofy white guy in a fake beard and sombrero with a donkey and think that he is representative of all Latinos? If so, I'm insulted that they think I'm that stupid. Maybe I should demand they deliver an officialy apology addressed personally to me.

The request that WLW personally address a letter of apology to this group was the most absurd part of the story. I think they were sitting around, trying to find ways to be relevant and picked up on this one, figuring WLW has already shown a lack of spine by getting rid of one loud mouth over a race issue, of course they'll cave on this. A personally addressed letter will make them feel like official representatives of the Latino race. Serving the community is a secondary concern.

at 5/11/2007 11:02 PM Blogger ashcrda said...

When I lived in Cincinnati I always wanted to produce and sell a t-shirt that said,"WLW: Who Do You Want to Hate Today?" That is the tone of their talk and if that kind of persistent prejudice is coming from the heartland of America then it is no wonder we are in trouble.

at 5/11/2007 11:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without a glimmer of understanding - these comments exemplify why a mode of political correctness is still necessary.

I am all for free speech - but the problem here is 1) WLW's success and reason for that success : the racist and sexist views are widely accepted in the region - that is a bad thing.
2) the corporate and political support for a program that appeals to persons with deeply seeded racist views or resentment.

If these types of comments were coming from a desk and microphone in someone's basement with 26 listeners - that would be one thing: this station is mainstream, even local politicians host on this program. That gives the rhetoric credibility and the innuendo validity in the minds of those seeking vindication for their own racist beliefs.

The answer for WLW commercially, to retain its "personality" without continuing the harm is to fill the Burbank slot with an entertaining, but opposing point of view. I have suggested that they reach the Ed Shultz Show a midwestern progressive who hunts fishes, drives a big truck -- a man's man, but offers the opposite view as the current team of hosts- and has a huge audience.
But I don't expect WLW to solve the problem - I expect them to placate the hispanic community because - well, they really believe the crap they spew

at 5/12/2007 11:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

jingoism and conservatives is/are killing our country.

at 5/13/2007 12:26 PM Anonymous Rick said...

The Hispanic leaders merely want Americans to STOP talking about the illegal Mexican issues.

I say: talk MORE!

at 5/14/2007 9:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the first amendment only applies to liberals.

at 5/14/2007 7:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironic that liberals would post in this thread that conservatives are killing our country. The outrage over WLW's silly billboard perfectly exemplifies the politically correct mindset that liberals continue force upon society. It is this kind of thinking my friends that is ruining our country.

And I too am still waiting to hear someone explain why the billboards are "hateful." A little offensive perhaps. But "hateful?" Come on liberals. Explain that.

And while you're at it, please explain why it's OK for WEBN to offend the moral sensibilities of certain religious groups but it's not OK to offend someone's ethnicity. Seems to me that both are wrong. But religious groups have taken moral issue with WEBN's crap for years and they are labled "censors." But you liberals take a similar position and yet your cause is somehow more correct and noble. Please explain the double standard to the rest of us poor ignorant souls.

As noted by Anonymous 9:13, the first amendment only seems to apply to liberals.

at 5/15/2007 1:12 PM Anonymous Latino and proud said...

For those of you who don’t understand why is offensive, don’t worry, your mind is so closed, you’ll never understand, so don’t bother. For Scott, I’m wondering, how many Hispanics business you went before your lame boycott? Don’t worry; we are not going to miss you. the Hispanic community will love to talk about immigration, but how about some equal time, maybe a debate, wlw has only presented one side of the coin and that is one of the main reasons you make this many ignorant comments.

Latino and proud.

at 5/15/2007 7:17 PM Anonymous Rick said...

There IS only ONE side to the coin of illegal immigration and criminal immigrants, isn't there?

at 5/16/2007 2:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Anon 5/14 morning, and subsequent comments, please note how this thread started. the only difference is the grammar.

at 5/16/2007 11:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a GREAT question to answer Kiese: how many employees at WLW-AM are white? How many are women? How many are none of the above?

You will find it to be roughly 90-percent white males there.

at 5/21/2007 3:23 PM Anonymous Reality said...

So what? What's the percentage of black males in the NBA? Maybe white guys are pretty good in the radio business. Maybe black guys are pretty good at playing basketball.

It's shocking for liberals to consider, but not everyone has equal ability in every aspect of life. Some people are actually *better* at some things than other people. [libs: GASP!!]

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