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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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Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Simpsons Movie: Is Bigger Better?

So while all of the other "Simpsons" fans are checking out "The Simpsons Movie" this weekend, I'll be with my son's Boy Scout Troop 967, as they bike the C&O Canal Path from Cumberland MD to Washington DC next week.

So how's the movie? Very funny, or just pretty good? Does it live up to the year-long hype? (I saw a promo in a theater a year ago!)

And here's what I really want to know: Can you catch all the background sign jokes on the big screen? Or do we have to wait until the DVD, so we can pause and rewind to see all the background jokes?

If my editors cooperate, they'll be posting your comments all week.... and I'll read them when I get back to town.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Brian Patrick Going Out On Top

I wonder if there's much second-guessing at Ch. 9 about the “Good Morning Cincinnati” anchor team? Ch. 9 will likely win the July ratings "sweeps" – not the most important sweeps month by far, but, hey, it is a ratings' victory in the very competitive morning news race – with Brian Patrick co-hosting with Kathrine Nero.

Yet despite having a No. 1 morning team for the first time in years, they're not going to keep it. They're sticking with Plan A, hiring two anchor/reporters to replace David Rose on the morning and 5:30 p.m. news. Patrick, who was fired in December after 16 years, agreed to come back to Ch. 9 April-June while the station auditioned a permanent replacement for Rose.

"We agreed from the start that he would help us during an interim period and he has done that in fine fashion," says Bob Morford, news director. "We hope to have a new permanent replacement for the morning chosen by mid-August."

Patrick, 51, says he hasn’t looked at the ratings, though he’s been told they're pretty good.

"It would have been nice to be asked to stay (morning co-anchor). It's disappointing to end it, but it was meant to be," says Patrick, who anchored mornings on WCKY-AM (1530) before joining Ch. 9 in 1990.

By "meant to be," Patrick means he already has another morning job lined up. On Sept. 4, he debuts as the first local program host on the Catholic Sacred Heart Radio, WNOP-AM (740). His new "Son Rise" show 6-8 a.m. weekdays will mix religious talk with news, traffic and weather. Billboard will be going up in a few weeks.

"I think this is what I’ve been training for my entire 32-year career," says Patrick, who operates the Good News Network publicizing Christians' good deeds under his real name, Paul Smith. "This (radio) ministry is probably the most important thing in my career. I believe the media has the power to reach people with a good message. It's a unique opportunity."

And while we’re talking about Ch. 9: I keep hearing rumblings that staffing changes are coming after the July book, possibly with sports reporter Lisa Cornwell or other areas. (Isn't Channel 9 is the only station with three full-time on-air sports anchors/reporters?) Morford side-stepped the question by saying, "There's no benefit to our station in telegraphing to our competition what our plans are for any segment or segments of our newsroom."

If you ran Ch. 9, would keep Brian Patrick on the morning show? Or do you want a more outgoing personality, ala David Rose?
Are you enough of a Patrick fan to listen to his new radio show on WNOP-AM?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Wolf Goes Open Range Country

You'll hear a new sound on the Country Wolf 97.3 (WYGY-FM), as the format shifts from young country/mainstream country to country music hits to avoid repitition with its heritage country station WUBE-FM (B105.1). Starting today, Bonneville's Wolf will be rebranded as "Open Range Country, 97.3, the Wolf."

Here'’s how operations manager Patti Marshall explains the changes:

"From Ronnie Milsap to Brad Paisley, Conway Twitty to Alan Jackson, Waylon to Wynonna, Randy Travis to Rascall Flatts, Johnny Cash to Keith Urban, Alabama to Big and Rich, Shenandoah to Shania, Cincinnati will be hearing country hits that have only been available on B-105.1 in specialty programming… on Duke Hamilton’s "Classic Country"” show 7-8 a.m. Sundays... Lots of variety and "the 9 to 5 No Repeat Work Week" make Open Range Country, 97.3 the Wolf, a one of a kind country radio station."

No repeats 9-5 Mon-Fri means requires 500 different songs. To make that happen, Kathy O’Connor is giving up her midday DJ shift to program the music. Part-time DJs will take her 10-2 shift. The Big D and Bubba morning team (6-10 a.m.) and afternoon drive DJ Jessie Tack (2-7 p.m.) remain on the air.

"This gives the Wolf a unique position, so we don’t have two stations in the market playing the exact same song. This gives country music listeners an alternative," she says.

Give it a listen, and tell me what you think.


So who had the best coverage of the big fire in Indian Hill last night? And was it worth all the air time?

Between preparing for a Boy Scout trip next week -- my son's troop is biking the C&O canal path 184 miles from Cumberland, MD, to Washington DC -- and watching Zo Wesson on "America's Next Producer" (boy, some people hate him, calling him a "bully"), and listening to the Reds game in the car, I didn't know anything about the big fire until the 11 p.m. news. And then I only saw Channel 9's coverage at 11 p.m.

What did the other stations do? Were there updates all night? Did Ch 5 have helicopter coverage?

Yes, it was a big fire, and firefighters were hurt, but I was surprised that Channel 9 devoted 9 minutes to it... How many more minutes would they have aired if someone died in the fire? Would a fire in Northside with 11 injured firefighters get 9 minutes?

You tell me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

An Explosive "America's Next Producer"

The promos last week hinted at it, and now an e-mail from contestant Sharon Nash confirms that she and Cincinnati's Alphonzo "Zo" Wesson have a major confrontation on today's "America's Next Producer."

When the premiere ended last week, Zo was seen mocking fellow motor-mouth contestant Sharon Nash in the previews. Zo and Nash are the only African-Americans on the show, and both the oldest (47-46). Nash upset people by repeatedly saying how much experience she has. And Zo and Judge Matt Roush (senior critic at TV Guide) had told me earlier that Zo will rub some people the wrong way with his strong personality.

Well, the collision comes in the second episode today (available at YouTube now, and on the TV Guide Spot on-demand channel Thursday, for those who don't get the TV Guide Network channel.)

In my blog last week, I wrote: "She (Nash) likes to tell everyone she's older and more experienced. She won't last long."
It prompted this email from her:

"I read the blog on line... where you said I needed to go :) Well, my mother always told me if people are talking about you that's good, whether they are saying good things are bad things.
Your friend Zo and I had some interesting times... Wait till you see what happens in the next two weeks. Actually the new episode is online on youtube... but it is missing (the last) 7 minutes, probably the most explosive 7. So even if you see it online, try to check it out on the TV because they put the best parts back in."

This show, from the "Project Runway" producers, sounds like great fun too watch. Too bad it's so difficult to watch in Cincinnati, where the TV Guide Net doesn't have wide distribution. They had promised to preview episodes on the TV Guide Spot on-demand channel a week early, but I could only find the week-old premiere on Time Warner last night. And my internet was down, so I couldn't watch on YouTube (which doesn't have the "reveal" at the end). So we'll have to wait until Thursday to see on-demand on TV Guide Spot. This sucks. The show deserves better.

Yes, Tom Joyner Will Be Here for Macy's Music Fest

It's official: Tom Joyner has changed his schedule, and will be at the Macy's Music Festival Friday night to introduce the O'Jays , who close the concert at Paul Brown Stadium.

Last week, Joyner backed out of coming to Cincinnati for the Macy's fest when concert promoters moved the O'Jays from early in the show to the end. Joyner had a previous commitment, and had to leave town by 9:30. But he re-arranged his schedule to make an appearance here.

Now Radio One folks are trying to get him into town in time to be on the air late Friday afternoon at WMOJ-FM (MOJO 100.3) or WDBZ-AM (1230 The BUZZ), which carry his 6-10 a.m. show. Joyner will be doing one of his "Sky Shows" concerts Friday morning in Cleveland. Joyner also will do a meet and greet with Radio One advertisers and some listeners at Paul Brown Stadium during the concert Friday night. Listen to MOJO and BUZZ for details.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Is Tom Joyner Coming To Town or Not?

Folks at the BUZZ and MOJO (WDBZ-AM 1230 and WMOJ-FM 100.3) were surprised to hear Tom Joyner tell his national morning show audience today that he's coming to Cincinnati for the Macy's Music Festival Friday..... because last week Joyner's representatives had canceled his Cincinnati trip.

Managers at Radio One -- which operates the BUZZ, MOJO and THE WIZ -- wanted Joyner to introduce the O'Jays at Paul Brown Stadium Friday night since he's broadcasting from Cleveland on Friday morning. But when the O'Jays were moved to late Friday night (11 p.m.), Joyner folks said he couldn't come because he needed to leave here by 9:30 p.m. Friday for a previous engagement.

That's where things were when Lisa Thal, general manager of the local stations, heard Joyner say this morning that he's coming to town Friday. "There is still great confusion about whether he's coming or not. He's trying to change his schedule to come to Cincinnati, because he wants to be part of the Macy's Music Festival. It still may happen. We're trying to work it out."

If Joyner comes to town, he will do a private meet and greet with Radio One advertisers and listeners somewhere in Paul Brown Stadium during the Friday concert, she says.

Joyner broadcasts one of his popular "Sky Shows" from Cleveland Music Hall Friday with Charlie Wilson and G. Thang. The BUZZ and MOJO -- which carry his show 6-10 a.m. weekdays -- are sending "bus loads of listeners" to the free Cleveland concert, Thal sys.

And one more bit of BUZZ news: Ross Love officially sold the station to Radio One on Friday. Radio One had been operating it for years (he sold WIZ to Radio One six years ago). He had agreed to sell BUZZ for $2.65 million in March to Radio One. It's now a done deal.

Exclusive Homer Simpson Interview Tonight

TV star Homer Simpson -- soon to be big-time movie star -- makes his only publicity stop for "The Simpsons Movie" on "The Tonight Show" tonight (11:35 p.m., Chs. 5, 2). NBC says Homer will make "a brief appearance" during Jay Leno's monologue.

The movie opens Friday.

Take A NPR Road Trip

If you're a loyal National Public Radio listener, here's a very cool feature on NPR's website that provides MapQuest-like driving instructions and the NPR affiliates to tune in while you're driving to anywhere. It's called NPR Road Trip at

I put in a friend's address in Memphis, and got an 18-step driving instructions to his front door, with estimated mileage for each segment, and the call letters and frequencies for 14 NPR stations between here and there.

The site also offers a station finder by ZIP code. So you can put in the ZIP code for your vacation destination -- or any place along the way -- and it gives you the "strong," "medium" and "weak" signals available, call letters, frequencies and their websites.

What a great service!

NBC Big Winner At TCA Awards

NBC's "Heroes," "Friday Night Lights" and "The Office" were honored as among TV's best programs at the 23rd annual Television Critics Association awards presented during the TV critics' press tour in Los Angeles.

Here are the winners. Since some of you have asked, I'll note my picks on my ballot for each category:

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR: "Heroes" (NBC) My pick: "Heroes."

OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM: "Friday Night Lights" (NBC) My pick: "Heroes."

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: "The Sopranos" (HBO) My pick: "Heroes."

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: "The Office" (NBC) My pick: "The Daily Show."

My pick: "When The Levees Broke," HBO.


OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINI-SERIES & SPECIALS: "Planet Earth" (Discovery) My pick: "When the Levees Broke," HBO.

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" (NBC) My pick: Jon Stewart, "The Daily Show."

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" (Showtime) My pick: Hugh Laurie, "House."

HERITAGE AWARD: "The Sopranos" (HBO) My pick: "The Sopranos."

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Mary Tyler Moore. My pick: Mary Tyler Moore.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lee Cowan Moves to NBC News

Former Ch. 5 reporter/anchor Lee Cowan has jumped to NBC News from CBS News. Cowan worked for WLWT-TV here in the mid-1990s. He left here in 1996 to join CBS Newspath, which provides reports for CBS affiliates, and later became a CBS correspondent based in Dallas and New York.

Cowan, a Salt Lake City native, will be based in Chicago and report for all NBC News properties, including "The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," the "Today" show and MSNBC.

Expanded Grid In Today's Life Section

Here's your chance to comment on the new expanded TV grid in The Enquirer's Life section today. We've added 11 channels.

For five of them, we're finally catching up to including channels that have been listed in our Sunday TV Week magazine for months: Food, Turner Classic Movies, Travel, DIY and Fine Living. We've also added Bravo, Oxygen, Style, WE (Women's Entertainment), Lifetime Movies and Discovery Health.

Do you like the revamped TV page? Or didn't you notice? What channels do you watch that we still don't list? (Or do you just use an on-screen guide?) Tell me what you think.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Morning News Changes For Channel 12?

Could Channel 12 – or CBS – change your TV habits in the morning next year?

CBS News wants to pull the plug in January on WKRC-TV (Ch 12), and 42 other stations which do a mostly local newscast 7-8 a.m. against the first hour of "Good Morning America" and the "Today" show.

Here's the problem for CBS: Only 43 stations – covering just 20 percent of the national audience – carry the hybrid format. So the content seen on the two-hour show by most of the nation is dictated by one-fifth of the stations who don’t carry all of the first hour.

Here's the problem for Channel 12: The local 7-8 a.m. hour has been popular with loyal Local 12 viewers. In May "Good Morning Cincinnati" tied "Good Morning America," and beat the "Today" show, at 7-8 a.m. here. (But Fox 19's all-local newscast won the hour).

The July ratings have not be so strong. "Good Morning Cincinnati" is fourth 7-8 a.m., behind "GMA," Fox 19 and "Today." But ratings in July, when many people vacation, are the least important of the "sweeps month." Regardless, losing any local news time means losing local advertising dollars.

So what will Channel 12 do to keep its hold in this increasingly competitive morning TV landscape? Chris Sehring, Channel 12 general manager, says he's "exploring all options" with CBS.

"We want to support CBS in its efforts to improve 'The Early Show.' There is no doubt that they are fully committed to making it a far more competitive product and need the full support of affiliates. But we also remain equally committed to our local news efforts. We have a great morning product."

Do viewers want to see more of Harry Smith, Hannah Storm and Julie Chen and less of John Lomax, Anna Townsend, Bob Herzog and Steve Horstmeyer 7-8 a.m.? Or will they switch to "GMA," "Today" or the local news on Fox?

If you ran Channel 12, what would you do?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A National Emmy Nomination For Cincinnati

"A Lion in the House," the powerful PBS documentary about kids battling cancer at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has been nominated for a national Prime-time Emmy award. The four-hour film, which premiered in June last year, was nominated today for "Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking" along with Spike Lee's "When The Levees Broke" (HBO) and "Jonestown: The Life And Death of Peoples Temple " (PBS).

Yellow Springs filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar took nine years capturing the emotional roller coaster of remissions and relapses of five Children's Hospital patients, starting in 1997.

"The Cincinnati families gave us such courage and openness, in such a difficult time in their lives. They did it to make a difference -- not to win an Emmy -- but to help other people by telling a story that needed to be told, a story kept secret and not talked about: cancer," said Reichert today. It is her first national Emmy nomination.

HBO's "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" led all programs with 17 nominations. "The Sopranos" topped all series with 15 nominations.

We've posted the Associated Press story at

Or you can read the entire 43-page list for all prime-time categories at:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

David Rose's Greetings From Seattle

Former Ch.9 reporter-anchor David Rose sent this e-mail to say he just started as a reporter/weekend anchor at KCPQ-TV, Fox 13:

"Yes, I'm in Seattle. I've already started reporting. My first night anchoring will be Friday. Here is a copy of the release that went out last night."


SeattleJuly 16, 2007 – A new face has joined Q13 FOX News as weekend anchor and reporter. David Rose joins the Q13 FOX news team from Cincinnati, OH and will anchor the weekend broadcast and report three days a week.

Rose brings a wide range of newsroom experience to Seattle. He spent the last five years as an anchor and managing editor of Good Morning Tri-State at WCPO-TV, the ABC affiliate in Cincinnati. He was recently voted winner of the 2007 Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Best Anchor Award.

"David not only anchored the 5-7 am newscasts in Cincinnati, but also worked a split-shift, coming back to anchor the #1 rated 5:30 pm newscasts each day," said Q13 FOX News Director Steve Kraycik. "That kind of commitment to journalism and broadcast news will be great for our viewers and our community."

Prior to Cincinnati, Rose worked as special projects reporter and anchor at KCOP-TV in Los Angeles. He received prestigious "Golden Mic" awards for his investigation into city buses caught on camera running red lights and breaking news coverage of the riots following a Los Angeles Lakers championship game.

From 1996 to 1998 Rose worked as weekend host and senior correspondent for the syndicated television show EXTRA. He covered the O.J. Simpson civil trial as well as numerous entertainment news stories.

He also served as 10 pm anchor at Boston’s WFXT-TV and launched Good Day Chicago on Fox owned WFLD-TV in the 1993. Rose holds a bachelor's degree in broadcast news from Southern Methodist University.

For more information, log onto

Zo Wesson On "America's Next Producer"

Cincinnati filmmaker Alphonzo "Zo" Wesson III definitely will be noticed as a contestant on "America's Next Producer" -- for those who will be able to see the new reality competition on the TV Guide Network.

Wesson, 47, who has directed everything from P&G commercials to the "Real World" and segments for "Oprah Winfrey," is one of 10 people competing for the $100,000 prize, a Hollywood office and a first-look production deal with the TV Guide Network. Here's the link to my stories today:

As one of the oldest and most experienced producers on the show, Wesson quickly emerges as a take-charge guy in the premiere. And that will rub some people the wrong way. It's clear from tonight's show, and previews for next week's episode, that Zo -- the only African-American man on the show -- will clash with Sharon Nash, the only African-American woman. And like Zo, she's older than the rest and more experienced. The big difference, however, is that she likes to tell everyone that she's older and more experienced. She won't last long.

"America's Next Producer" is an excellent production, which is what you'd expect from Magical Elves Inc., makers of "Top Chef," '"Project Runway," "Project Greenlight" and "Last Comic Standing." It's fun to watch.

Here's the problem: How to watch it. TV Guide Network execs were stunned to find out that Time Warner Cable doesn't offer the channel in most communities. Only a handful of suburbs get TV Guide Network on channel space devoted to public access programming in most communities here. So you have to watch on the TV Guide Spot on-demand channel on either Time Warner digital Ch. 1219, or Insight on-demand Ch. 99. Or you can watch online at
The show is available now -- minus the "reveal" at the end, when they send the first of the 10 cast members home. The full episode won't be available online until about Thursday noon.
And about that same time, next week's episode will be available for preview on TV Guide Spot and online, I'm told. TV Guide Network is doing all it can to promote the show, the centerpiece of its new strategy to transition from a listings channel to a programming channel.

It's a good show. You should check it out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Robert Hatcher Has Talent

Well, after six months, the national TV audience finally saw Robert Hatcher of Westwood sing an entire song tonight, Whitney Houston's "Run To You." Until now we'd only seen snippets, or clips of him jumping/crying for joy, on "American Idol" last winter (he made it to the Hollywood round) and now on "America's Got Talent" (top 20).

I was impressed, so were the judges. (if you missed tonight's show, it repeats Saturday night on NBC.)

Said Judge Piers Morgan: "I didn't think you stood a chance seeing the lineup for tonight, or the Top 20. I thought you did brilliantly to get this far. But I changed my mind. I changed my mind." Sharon Osbourne said he looked like and sang like a star.

"All you've got to do is come out here and smile. But you back it up with the talent... and it gets right to our heart," said Judge David Hasselhoff.

I say: He should have made it on "American Idol." He's that good. But maybe he can go a lot farther on NBC's summer talent show.

Can he win the $1 million? Going HD on WVXU-HD

WOXY will return to the airwaves here as a high-definition channel when public radio station WVXU-FM starts HD broacasting next month.

WOXY has been an web-only stream since 2004, after Doug and Linda Balogh sold their Oxford radio station.

But before the sale, WOXY-FM's "Future of Rock n Roll" was tough to get from Oxford throughout most of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Soon WOXY listeners will be able to hear the station -- if they buy a car or home HD radio.

It's a smart move for Cincinnati Public Radio, which operates classical WGUC-FM and news-talk-jazz WVXU-FM, and two mulitcast WGUC-HD services, a simulcast of WGUC-FM and a 24-hour jazz channel. Putting WOXY on HD -- technically it will be known as WVXU-HD2, with the 'VXU simulcast as WVUX-HD1 -- fills a void in Cincinnati radio, and allows Cinci Public Radio to reach a new demographic. In 2003, WGUC-FM was the first Ohio station to broadcast in HD.

Neither Richard Eiswerth, Cinci Public Radio GM, or Bryan Jay Miller,, know how many folks have HD radios here now. They hope this new partnership sparks sales.

Do you have HD radio? Will the deal prompt you to go buy one?

WUBE-FM Nominated for a Marconi Award

After decades of good times and great country music, WUBE-FM (105.1) has been nominated for a prestigious Marconi Award from the National Association of Broadcasters. It's certainly deserving, with its experienced DJ staff (Duke Hamilton, Bill Whyte, Amando Orlando, etc.). B105 folks say its a first for the station, which fired program director Marty Thompson two weeks ago.

Winners will be announced at the NAB convention Sept. 27.

B105 is the only Greater Cincinnati/Northern KY station to be nominated this year. No personalities from here are up for a Marconi either. Here's the list:

Who would you nominate for a Marconi as one of the best stations/personalities in the country?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Springer Renewed For Two More Seasons

Jerry! Jerry! Jerry Springer won't be returning to politics soon, after his new-found publicity on "America's Got Talent" and "Dancing With The Stars."

NBC Universal has renewed the daytime "Jerry Springer" show through September 2010, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The former Cincinnati mayor and host of NBC's summer "America’s Got Talent" show (8 p.m. Tuesdays, Channels 5, 2), told me back in 2003 that he would not re-enter politics until he had ceased production of his outrageous daytime show.... the show TV Guide has called "the worst show in the history of television."

Springer flirted with running for a statewide Ohio office in 2002-03. He will be 66 by fall of 2010, after his 19th season on daytime TV. The show started at WLWT-TV (Channel 5) in September 1991, while Springer was main news co-anchor. It moved to NBC's Chicago studios in fall 1992, and became the chair-throwing sensational show that we know today.

"Springer" (9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays, Channel 64) has been purchased through the 2009-20110 by Sinclair Broadcast Group stations in Cincinnati, Columbus and Pittsburgh, the trade magazine reported. Sinclair also has renewed Maury Povich’s "Maury" (8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, Channel 64) through 2010.

Does anyone still watch the daytime "Springer" show? And would you rather have his circus on daytime TV than make a circus out of Ohio politics? I guess Ohio Democrats did OK without him in the statewide elections last November....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dear John From Cincinnati

Dear John from Cincinnati,
I'm not sure I should be seeing you any more. What's it been now, almost six weeks? And I hardly know you. I can't figure out if you're a prophet or some sort of Christ, an alien, a mentally deficient person, or some sort of goofball, or just some over-hyped zero.

All I know is that you claim you're "John from Cincinnati," though you have nothing to do with that Ohio town. And that you hang a really screwed up Southern California surfer family, folks that I just don't care about and, after all this time, don't want to get to know any better. Your surfing entourage certainly isn't as interesting as "Entourage." There's not a Tony Soprano-like character in the bunch who I can't wait to see each week.

I'm thinking of calling it quits, but I'll give you one more chance. Actor Austin Nichols, who claims to know you very well, says this week that we'll learn a lot more about John from Cincinnati after a lot of crazy stuff happens. (The official line from HBO is that John helps Bill (Ed O'Neill) and Cissy (Rebecca De Mornay) face up to their pasts.) Frankly, I'm just about to the point where I don't care.

You'd better bring it on, John from Cincinnati, or it's over between us.... Unless somebody here can talk me into sticking with you, and convinces me that you're worth the investment of my time and emotions.... So what's it going to be?

Hugs & Kieses

Friday, July 13, 2007

Internet Radio Music Safe For Now

Stream on! Local radio stations say they won't pull the plug on audio streaming music Sunday, the deadline for implement new royalty fees. Wired magazine says new royalty rates have been temporarily set aside while negotiations continue between webcasters and the organization which collects the fees for the recording industry.

That's great news. Stations have said they could not afford to pay hefty increases starting Sunday – retroactive to Jan. 1, 2006 -- demanded by the Copyright Royalty Board. Public and commercial webcasters have been negotiating with the Sound Exchange, which collects fees for the music industry.

"As of right now, we're planning on maintaining our music stream as long as financially feasible," says Richard Eiswerth, president and CEO of Cincinnati Public Radio, operators of classical WGUC-FM (90.9) and talk/jazz WVXU-FM (91.7).

Eiswerth and Bryan Jay Miller, general manager, testified before the House Small Business committee on June 28 seeking legislative relief. Eiswerth says WGUC-FM's fees would increase 250 percent under the new rates. Public radio's web streaming agreement with the Copyright Royalty Board expired at the end of 2004.

Managers for WNKU-FM (89.7), Oxford's WMUB-FM (88.5) and commercial also plan to keep the stream flowing for now.

“ is hopeful that these negotiations will result in a long-term solution to the benefit of webcasters, artists, and labels alike,” says a statement posted this morning .

In an interview with the Radio and Internet Newsletter today, Sound Exchange director John Simson said that royalty-compliant webcasters can continue operating after Sunday without fear of legal action.

"We will continue streaming as long as we can in the hopes Congress will soon intervene," says Aaron Sharpe, WNKU-FM development and marketing director. "Obviously we’ve reached the most critical stage of this situation, and it is more important than ever to speak out against the impending rate increase."

Internet listeners can find information about the stations’ campaign at

Fr. Rey Taylor on Tavis Smiley Radio Show Sunday

Sorry for the late notice, but this just in from Oxford's WMUB-FM: Cincinnati's newly ordained African-American priest, Father Reynaldo Taylor, will be interviewed on Tavis Smiley's national radio show 1-3 p.m. Sunday on WMUB-FM (88.5) and streamed at
It will air in the second hour of the show. The program also will be available for a podcast after this weekend at

In May Father Taylor became the first African-American priest ordained in 33 years in the Roman Catholic Archiocese of Cincinnati. John Hingsbergen, WMUB-FM program director, recorded his ordination Mass and an interview with Taylor, and then produced the seven-minute segment for Smiley.

Dan Patrick's New Gig

This sure didn't take long: Dan Patrick, the Mason High School grad who announced Monday he was quitting ESPN, says he will resume doing his radio "Big Show" for The Content Factory. Several sources are reporting that he will do syndicated radio and TV for that company with Jimmy deCastro, who sold his AMFM stations to Clear Channel in 1999.

MSNBC reports that The Content Factory will take the "Big Show" brand "to broader audiences in the innovative ways they receive their information -- via radio, television, internet, podcasts, infopods, mobil devices and beyond." It also says
See the MSNBC story at

In Boston Globe interview, Patrick says he told ESPN bosses last winter he wanted to leave but they asked him to stay through the NBA Finals. He also talks about how he never considered auditioning for "The Price Is Right," that he might do ESPN TV stuff in the future.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Dish Steps To The Reds

DISH Network has stepped up to the plate and picked up Reds games in high-definition from Fox Sports Net Ohio.

DISH says it will carry "game-only baseball content" in HD on DISH Network Channel 377 starting today. FSNO has 15 (of 33) HD games remaining this season, starting with the Reds @ Mets 7 p.m. Friday -- but FSNO says games might not start on DISH until August.

The DISH also has added seven other regional sports nets: FSN Arizona (Ch. 365), FSN Northwest (Ch. 376), FSN Pittsburgh (Ch. 378), FSN Detroit (Ch. 380), SportsTime Ohio (Ch. 381) FSN North (Ch. 386) and SportsNet NY (Ch. 388). In August DISH will add more HD channels: MHD (music from MTV, VH1, CMT); Golf/Versus, Animal Planet, Science Channel, TLC, Discovery and History.

Here's the status of FSNO HD for other carriers:
--Insight: Launched before Opening Day.
--Time Warner: No deal yet, but still talking to FSNO.
--DirecTV: Has option to pick up any HD Reds game, but chooses best HD game of the night, FSNO says. The Reds are scheduled for HD on July 23 and July 25, home games with the first-place Brewers.

And since this blog gets get plenty of comments from frustrated Time Warner customers, let me add this: Nothing new on TWC picking up Big Ten Network or NFL Network either.

The Singing B- Or Worse

Did you watch "The Singing Bee" last night? Do you plan to watch Fox's identical premise, "Don't Forget The Lyrics" tonight? In each show, people must correctly sing lyrics to popular songs.

I watched "The Singing Bee" and would give it a C-. They must have packed the studio audience with karaoke fanatics for the premiere, and it was kinda spooky how into they were. If you missed it, NBC repeats at 8:30 p.m. today (Chs 5, 2).

I'm curious to see any differences in the format on Fox with Wayne Brady (9:30 p.m. today, Chs 19, 45). Maybe Fox can build in a better reason for me to become invested in the show, beyond simply seeing if somebody knows the correct lyrics to a song each week. Other than for that reason, I don't see myself tuning in each week....

If you watched last night -- or plan to tonight -- post your reviews here. I'm interested to see if these two networks (which rushed these shows on the air) are onto something, or if these are just another summer yawn.

Hatcher's Fate Tonight On "America's Got Talent"

We'll find out tonight if Westwood singer Robert V. Hatcher advances to the live shows on NBC's "America's Got Talent" (9-10 p.m., Ch. 5, 2). My guess is that he makes it. In May, after tonight's show had been taped in Las Vegas, host Jerry Springer said that the Cincinnati MSD night dispatcher "is actually going pretty far" in the competition.

Hatcher made it to the Hollywood round on "American Idol" in Feburary, but we didn't see him sing much. We've seen only a little of him singing on NBC (about 10 seconds last night), but he's been featured a lot in the promos and video. (He's the African-American man in the white tux with black trim.) Last night we saw him saying, "I'm about to pass out.... This is my life. Singing is my life."

The Top 20 acts are announced tonight. Live shows with viewer voting start Tuesday 8-9:30 p.m.

I still don't understand why this is the No. 1 show this summer.....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

No Delay For Fox's Fall TV Premieres

Good news for fans of House, Prison Break, The Simpsons and other Fox shows: Fox will premiere the fall TV season in September, and not delay shows until November. In recent years, new episodes of The Simpsons and other hits did not return until after the World Series.

Heres the Fox release:


FOX has set the fall premiere dates for its new and returning series. Five new shows – including dramas K-VILLE and NEW AMSTERDAM, comedy BACK TO YOU and the unscripted KITCHEN NIGHTMARES and NASHVILLE – join returning favorites on the fall schedule.

The premieres are listed below in chronological order. All times are ET/PT.

Thursday, Aug. 30
8:00-9:00 PM ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER? (Season Premiere)

Saturday, Sept. 8
8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT COPS (Season Premiere)
8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT COPS (Season Premiere)

Thursday, Sept. 13
9:00-10:00 PM KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (Series Premiere)

Friday, Sept. 14
9:00-10:00 PM NASHVILLE (Series Premiere)

Saturday, Sept. 15
11:00 PM-Midnight MADtv (Season Premiere)
Midnight-12:30 AM TALKSHOW WITH SPIKE FERESTEN (Season Premiere)

Monday, Sept. 17
8:00-9:00 PM PRISON BREAK (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM K-VILLE (Series Premiere)

Wednesday, Sept. 19
8:00-8:30 PM BACK TO YOU (Series Premiere)
8:30-9:00 PM ’TIL DEATH (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM BONES (Season Premiere)

Sunday, Sept. 23
8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS (Season Premiere)
8:30-9:00 PM KING OF THE HILL (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM FAMILY GUY (1-Hour Season Premiere)
EDITOR’S NOTE: On Sundays in the fall, due to live NFL football broadcasts, encore comedy programming will be scheduled from 7:00-8:00 PM.

Tuesday, Sept. 25
8:00-9:00 PM NEW AMSTERDAM (Series Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE (Season Premiere)

Sunday, Sept. 30
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY (Time Period Premiere)
9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD (Season Premiere)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Dan Patrick Quitting ESPN

Dan Patrick announced on his ESPN Radio show today that he's leaving the network -- radio, TV, magazines and everything ESPN -- on Friday, Aug. 17.

The mutual agreement will allow Patrick -- known as Dan Pugh when he was an all-conference basketball star at Mason High School (Class of 1974) -- to pursue new interests outside ESPN.

He told listeners today: "If there was animosity, I wouldn't being doing any radio after today."

In a ESPN press release he said: "I’ve spent a third of my life at ESPN. All my children were born while I was employed here. I feel privileged to have had this opportunity and I have extremely mixed emotions about leaving. With that said, I told ESPN that I believe it's time for me to try something different, something that will also be challenging and rewarding. While I'm not sure what that will be, I am grateful to ESPN for its willingness to allow me to pursue new endeavors."

Read ESPN's story at

Patrick's resignation was not unexpected. A Los Angeles newspaper reported in late June he was on the short list to replace Bob Barker on CBS' "The Price Is Right."

Patrick was born in Zanesville and moved to Mason in about 1966. He graduated from the University of Dayton in 1979. He started in broadcasting at UD's WVUD-FM, then worked for WTUE-FM (and part-time at Dayton's Ch. 2). When he whiffed at getting a full-time TV job in Dayton, he landed a CNN Sports. Patrick joined ESPN in 1989, where he co-hosted SportsCenter until last year. His ESPN Radio show is broadcast 1-4 p.m. weekdays on WSAI-AM (1360) and Hamilton's WMOH-AM (1450).

As much as I liked him on SportsCenter, particularly back in the days with Keith Olbermann, I liked his radio show even better (particularly "The Big Show" 2 p.m. hour with Olbermann).

Will you miss him? Did you like Patrick better as a radio talk host or sports anchor?

And if anyone knew him as Dan Pugh in Mason in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I'm sure many would to read your posts here...

WKRP, MTM Classics on American Life Network

"WKRP in Cincinnati" is back living on the air in Cincinnati. Well, at least on Time Warner Cable and Insight. The American Life Network (Time Warner digital Channel 141, Insight digital Channel 182) has added a MTM comedy block 9-11 p.m. Mondays with four TV classics: Mary Tyler Moore (9 p.m.), Newhart (9:30 p.m.), WKRP (10 p.m.) and the Bob Newhart Show (10:30). The block repeats at 11 p.m.

The sitcoms premiered last Monday with the 'KRP pilot. The "Pilot, Part 2" airs at 10 p.m. today, so they could be be running them in sequence. But these apparently are the redone DVD versions without the original music.

American Life, aimed at Baby Boomers, also airs "Combat" (6 p.m.), "77 Sunset Strip" (7 p.m. today), "China Beach" (9 p.m. Tuesday) ,"The FBI" (8 p.m. Friday), George Reeves "Superman" (5:30 Saturday), color "Honeymooners" (7 p.m. Saturday). "F Troop" (9:30 Saturday), and three great old NBC dramas on Sunday: "St Elsewhere" (8 p.m. Sunday), "Hill Street Blues" (9 p.m. Sunday) and "LA Law" (10 p.m. Sunday).

Search for your favorite show at

Thanks to the reader who stumbled into "WKRP" last week and posted on this blog. Honestly, I had forgotten to look up the dial at American Life this summer....
Those with dishes, do you get this channel too?
So which of those four MTM comedies is your favorite? And if you watch AmericanLife regularly, what's your favorite show on the channel?

Two TV Treats Tonight

So much for the Dog Days of Summer on TV. You'll find two really cool new TV shows on tonight.

--First is "Spielberg on Spielberg" (8 p.m. and midnight, Turner Classic Movies). Spielberg, arguably the greatest director of our generation, tells wonderful behind-the-scenes stories about making "Jaws," "Saving Private Ryan," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and his other movies.... It's great fun for fans of his films. He also talks about his flop with "1941," and how that made him a better director. "Jaws" follows at 9:30 p.m. on TCM.
During the "Schindler's List" portion, he also talks for a minute or so about growing up here in Cincinnati, and remembering his grandmother teaching English to Holocaust survivors. (He was born here in 1946, and moved away in summer of '49.) For more info, see my stories posted/published Sunday:
In researching the story, I was not surprise to hear that Spielberg has shelved that movie idea about his family's Cincinnati life. He first mentioned it in 1989, and I talked to him about it as late as 1996. But it's not on the DreamWorksStudios development list.

--Baseball fans will enjoy "The Bronx is Burning" (10 p.m. today, ESPN, after the Home Run Derby). Unlike other TV baseball dramas, this one looks realistic. Part of that has to do with ESPN using actual video and audio from the 1976 World Series with the Reds (just briefly), to set up this 8-week miniseries about George Steinbrenner signing Reggie Jackson to play for the '77 Yankees managed by Bill Martin. (A subplot is the Son of Sam serial killer on the loose in NY in 1977.) John Turturro is great as Billy Martin (those can't be his real ears!), and Daniel Sunjata ("Rescue Me") captures the swagger of slugger Reggie Jackson. Oliver Platt is over the top as Steinbrenner, but then, King George is over the top himself. The first hour is very enjoyable. It will air 10 p.m. Tuesdays through August.

By the way, thanks to all of you who knew of the Spielberg family and emailed me last week. I got a lot of good tips. Thanks!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bill Boshears Scizone Returns to Ch. 38

Bill Boshears returns to TV at midnight Saturday with a new version of his "Scizone" call-in show on low-power WBQC-TV (Ch. 38).

His "Scizone," which aired on the station in 1999-2000, is part of the strategy to develop local programming on Ch. 38, which became an independent station a year ago. Ch. 38 also airs the live "Lincoln Ware" call-in show at 10 a.m. Sundays. Boshears weekend "Scizone" radio show was dropped by WLW-AM in January.

"Our goal is to broadcast more local stuff. We’ve got to build on local programming," says general manager Elliott Block, who founded the station in 1990.

It has been a year of transition for Ch. 38. After UPN went out of business, Ch. 38 was dropped in October by Time Warner Cable, where it aired only 6-11 p.m., and by DirecTV. In December, the station moved from Golf Manor into a bigger building with two TV studios on Reinhold Drive in Roselawn.

Only being on Time Warner five hours a day confused viewers. "It wasn’t good. Losing DirecTV was more of a hit, because we were on there 24/7," he says.

Losing cable and satellite distribution has not hurt revenues that much. Income from per-inquiry infomercials is "still about the same, so people are still watching. We’re surviving fine," he says.

Do you watch Ch. 38? What would you want to watch on the low-power station? Last year they tried a "King of Cornhole" tournament. How about a revival of "King of TV Bowling?" Any suggestions?

Cincinnati Guy's Weight Loss on "Extra"

If you didn't see Cincinnati native Kiri Stevens' talking about his dramatic weight loss -- 250 pounds! -- on "Extra" last weekend, you can catch it on You Tube.

The Hollywood actor was known around here as Kiriakos Stavropoulos when he went to Western Hills High School (Class of 1999) and Xavier University (2003). He family owns Gourmet Chili in Newport. Stevens moved to Hollywood last year, and appeared in an episode of "The Unit" a few months ago.

Live Earth Coming To A Planet Near You

Al Gore's global Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis will be found on many TV channels, a couple of radio stations and the Internet long before NBC’s three-hour prime-time special Saturday night.

Microsoft's MSN says video streaming starts 9 p.m. today at
The site lists the lineups for concerts in New York, Washington, D.C., London, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai, Johannesburg and Hamburg. Scheduled to perform are Madonna, The Police, Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, Kelly Clarkson, Melissa Etheridge, Faith Hill, Fall Out Boy, Shakira, Kanye West, Enrique Iglesias, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and many others.

HDTV coverage starts at 4 a.m. on Universal HD. It will have 22 hours, until 2 a.m. Sunday.

Audio streaming starts 7 a.m. on the WVMX-FM (MIX94.1) Website,
It will also be broadcast at 7 a.m. on MIX’s high-definition channel, if you have a HD radio. On a FM radio, tune to WSWD-FM (94.9 The Sound) starting at 12:30 p.m. to hear a 20-minute Live Earth concert feed on the half hour. The last excerpt airs 7:30-7:50 p.m. Saturday. The concert also will be streamed noon-8 p.m. at

Bravo: 18 hours of live coverage, including many acts at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. 9 a.m.-3 a.m.

CNBC: Seven hours of live coverage, 7 p.m.-2 a.m.

Telemundo: Performances by Shakira, Man and Enrique Iglesias, 7-8 p.m. Sister service Mun2 provides coverage 5-7 p.m. today, repeating at 10 p.m.

NBC: A three-hour prime-time show will feature highlights from today’s concerts around the world, plus live performances from Giants Stadium. 8-11 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 5, 2.

If you know of other places, lemme know.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

More on Marc Amazon

Former sports talk host Marc Amazon, who subbed for Tim Lewis on WCKY-AM (1530 HOMER) Thursday morning, says he's been back in town since December... and off the air for more than a year.

Amazon, a 1991 Sycamore High School graduate who grew up in Montgomery, moved to Mason with his wife, Jennifer, and son, from Greensboro, N.C. For the past year, he has been selling syndicated radio shows for Dial-Global, which distributes the '80s music "Backtrax" show 7-9 a.m. Sundays on WVMX-FM ( MIX94.1) and "The Big Time with Whitney Allen" 7 p.m.-midnight Monday-Saturday on country WYGY-FM (WOLF97.3). When he realized he could do the sales job from anywhere, he and Jennifer moved back here.

Amazon was afternoon drive on Clear Channel's 1360 AM from 1998-2000. He lost his gig when Clear Channel hired Lance McAlister and the "Two Angry Guys" from WBOB-AM in late 2000. Amazon moved in 2001 to Portland, Ore., for a sports talk radio job, and then moved cross-country to Greensboro in 2004.

He was asked by Clear Channel's Dave Armbruster late last week to sub Thursday morning for Lewis, who worked the holiday for WLW-AM news (his other part-time job). Amazon says he would consider doing more fill-in work here.

"It was fun. If asked, I'd love to talk about it with them," he says. "(But) it was cool to be on the air again, if they never call me again."

My guess is that someone will call again... From 1530? 700? SupertalkFM96.5? The Buzz?

Marc Amazon Back On The Air

Did you hear former 1360 sports talk host Marc Amazon filling in for Tim Lewis this morning on WCKY-AM (1530 HOMER)?

I didn't realize he was back in town. Neither did Dave Armbruster, Clear Channel's sports operations director, until program director Darryl Parks suggested Amazon for Thursday's show. Lewis had to work the holiday for WLW-AM news, his other part-time job at Clear Channel.

I was impressed with his interview with Fox Reds TV analyst Chris Welsh about Homer Bailey, possible trades and Mgr. Pete Mackanin. So was Armbruster. "I thought he was pretty good," Armbruster says. Although it was just a one-shot fill-in, we could hear more of Amazon on Clear Channel. Armbruster hired Amazon for Clear Channel's old 1360 HOMER in 1998, but he lost his afternoon show when the station hired Lance McAlister and the Two Angry Guys from WBOB-AM in 2000. He also did some fill-in work on WLW-AM's "SportsTalk" back in 2001.

Did you hear Amazon? What did you think? Want to hear more of him?

It's Official: Valerie Abati to Pittsburgh

By the end of summer, Ch 19 meteorologist Valerie Abati will move to Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV for the job she didn't get at Fox 19: morning news forecaster.

Here's the e-mail she sent me: "It's official now. I will be heading to Pittsburgh to work for KDKA. It's a CBS O&O (owned and operated) station, and I will be working the morning/noon shift. The exact date has not be set, but it will be some time at the end of summer."

Abati was hired in September 2004 by Fox 19 to do weekends. She had been doing mornings since Paul Horton was promoted to chief meteorologist in January (after Rich Apuzzo was fired). Fox 19 last month hired Christie Dutton from Lexington to do mornings.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Marty Thompson Fired By WUBE-FM

Marty Thompson confirms that he has been fired by Bonneville International Corp. owners of WUBE-FM, WKRQ-FM, WYGY-FM and WSWD-FM (The Sound). But he won't say any more than that, and neither will market manager Jim Bryant.

Bryant confirms that "Marty is gone." After he was dismissed Monday, Q102 program director marketing director Patti Marshall was promoted to operations director for all four stations. "We are looking for a new PD for WUBE-FM and WYGY-FM," he said. When asked why Thompson was canned, despite a #2 ranking in most recent ratings trends for B105, Bryant says: "I can't go there."

Thompson had been program director at country B105 for 2-1/2 years. He added the Wolf country station in November, when Bonneville acquired WYGY-FM (96.5) and The Sounds (94.9). Thompson had been out of the office for six weeks to go to the Ukraine and adopt a 6 year old boy with Down's syndrome. He was fired Monday, his first day back at work.

B105 was No. 2 in the winter ratings released in May for all listeners and the important 25-54 demographic. B105 usually has been a top 3 station in 25-54.

Known as "Marty with the Party" on old WDJO-AM, Thompson has worked for oldies WGRR-FM, WLW-AM and other stations here.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Big Ten Network Launches Aug. 30

The Big Ten Network today finally revealed when in "late August" it will lanch -- on Thursday, Aug. 30 -- two days before the Big Ten football season opens. (Duh!) The new sports network will provide regional coverage of games on Saturday, Sept. 1, including Youngstown State at Ohio State (a great game, right?) In prime-time, the Big Ten Network will have Bowling Green at Minnesota and Indiana State at Indiana.

The Big Ten says it has deals with 75 cable systems -- and a national deal with DirecTV -- but not Time Warner. Says Karen Baxter, local Time Warner public affairs director: "We are currently in negotiations with Big Ten Network and examining the value of its content. We know these games are very important to a segment of our customers. We believe that the best place for this network is on a sports tier, so that customers who chose to pay more for this highly priced niche sports programming have access to it. We do know that OSU fans will be able to watch matchups against Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2."

Insight folks also "are talking with the BTN, but have not made any decisions yet," says John Dobken, Insight spokesman.

Read the Big Ten release at

"Highly priced niche sports programming?" Sounds like they're bracing us for a steep fee for the BTN... And the price would go up more if TWC adds the NFL Network? Which of those two would you rather have? And how much more would you be willing to pay?

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