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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, 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?


at 7/20/2007 11:07 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would this also mean changes for WBNS in Columbus? They have a three hour morning show.

at 7/20/2007 11:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would much rather watch the local news than the national program that seems to focus only on a few stories or has fluff pieces. Hopefully the local morning show gets expanded, not cut.

at 7/20/2007 12:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would much rather watch Lomax & Co.

at 7/20/2007 12:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived a few other places, Columbus included, and Cincinnati by far is THE most parochial. Sure, we care about what goes on outside the area - but what we pay attention to is all local.

Remember Mallory, when he started his campaign two years before the election, saying he had to work really hard to be known within 275?

Local12 should go it alone. Screw CBS, when has their morning broadcast EVER competed??

at 7/20/2007 1:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

MORE Anna Townsend, please.

at 7/20/2007 1:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave it alone, but please replace Bob Herzog. The guy act like a silly little clown at a kids party. NOBODY, including Cammie Dierking can act that happy whether it be morning , noon, or night.

at 7/20/2007 2:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does it matter?

WKRC-12 doesn't have a choice!

When CBS says "we're taking back the 7am-9am block," it WILL and Ch. 12 can't do anything about it.

The alternative? Ch. 12 could sever its affiliation with CBS which it would never do because it's too lucrative, especially in prime time.

at 7/20/2007 4:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If CBS would force affiliates to air their entire two hour morning show, Channel 12 could air their local program on the CinCW. While I normally watch Fox and Friends on Fox News Channel, I turn on 12 for local news, especially if the Fox show gets too repetitious as cable news can.

at 7/20/2007 6:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I start each weekday morning with John, Anna, Steve and Bob. I'm annoyed when the CBS show comes on. Channel 12 does not need The Early Show.

at 7/20/2007 7:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would really hate to see John and Steve off the morning show. We have come to trust them. The CBS morning team is boring. Julie Chen is a total waste of time. Anna Townsend is as cute as she can be. I think that Channel 12 should give her a little more of a challenge. I think she could do it.

at 7/20/2007 7:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

give us the extra hour of national programming. I couldn't care less about local Cincinnati shows. If they must air it, Put it on 12.2.

at 7/20/2007 7:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less Anna Townsend. She looks like a 6th grader and has that silly little spot on her face. She is out of place doing anything on television. Go back to baking cookies!!

at 7/20/2007 8:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would prefer to see more local news in the morning. The networks offer too many feature stories that just don't mean that much to me, especially the ones that seem to promote products or places like Disney World. Local news that is relevant please!

at 7/20/2007 10:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It won't happen...

expect some sampling on of FOX19...

Any thoughts on Local12 on My64.

at 7/20/2007 10:34 PM Blogger skippercollector said...

Since I am seldom home on weekdays, I don't usually have the TV on first thing in the morning while I am getting ready for work. But when I am home, I wait until 8 a.m. and then turn on CBS. I just always liked it better than the other morning news programs, although I can't explain why.
And, yes, I most definitely watch the CBS 7-8 a.m. broadcast if I am out of town.

at 7/21/2007 12:19 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just more good news for FOX19 who when they introduced a morning news LOCAL 12 scoffed. Now that they are dominating against networks it would only help. 12 Fell apart when Cammy left.

at 7/21/2007 8:23 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

rather have the local news, but since ch 19 let Valerie go. I'm not going to watch ANY local morning shows. I guess it's morning radio for me!!!!

Wonder what Brian and John are doing??

at 7/21/2007 8:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiese, 12 can't do anything about this. There are no options. Why not ask why Local 12 is not doing their 12 on tour? They've done this for years, until now. What happened? I thought they were committed to local coverage?

at 7/21/2007 9:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with anon 8:18 - more local news, less fluff. cooking segments and new fashion trends are enough to send me to cable. give us the news on 12!

at 7/22/2007 3:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to continue to watch local 12. I really think they have a good line up of talent with John, Steve, Anna, and Bob.

What's with the folks on this blog always complaining about Anna? She doesn't look like a little kid to me. She does a MUCH better job than most of the other women on local news in the morning. She's intelligent, well spoken and can pronounce words correctly, unlike most of the other mush mouth women on early morning local news.

As for Bob Herzog, I think he's funny as hell. He's a breath of fresh air in the morning. Keep up the good work Bob!

at 7/23/2007 10:32 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really classy of someone to criticize Anna Townsend because of the spot on her face. I mean, if you want to offer superficial criticisms of on-air talent, at least pick on things they have control over (hair, wardrobe, makeup, personality). Anna, by the way, easily has the best hair of any news person in town. Sandra Ali's hair has looked good lately as well.

at 7/23/2007 12:01 PM Blogger bmurdock said...

I have to agree - less fluff and more local. Even if the segments repeat I'd rather have local coverage than what the networks are providing.

I prefer Fox19 but 12's coverage is my second favorite. I'll flip over there during commercials or just watch 12 from time to time for something different. I don't get all the Anna bashing either. She is much better than Cammy. I never watched 12 when Cammy was on.

at 7/23/2007 12:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

12 is my choice. I hope they can do something about this.

at 7/23/2007 12:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anon 8:23 7/21.
I always chuckle when someone says they are turning to morning radio. Very funny as there are really no local radio and if you are looking for news on radio locally --- forget it, there is none. "In depth team coverage" merely means another person reading one more sentence about a story. The bumper announcing it is longer than the story. Sorry stuff. Get XM or Sirius if you want radio!

at 7/23/2007 12:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about the Anna Townsend negative comments. Will cease and be nicer from now on. Really with the departure of Valerie from channel 19 we have very few, if any, easy to look at anchors in this town any longer. Lisa Cooney is close but she is so giddy because she drinks way too much coffee and it makes her slap happy.

at 7/24/2007 2:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Murdock - I'm with you. Cut out the cooking shows and the book interviews. Give me some news!

at 7/24/2007 4:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watch the Channel 5 morning show and i find nothing 'giddy" about it. Give it a rest. Todd Dykes could be a little less stiff in fact. at least they are human and not robotic like the other stations. i can hardly watch in the evenings.

at 7/24/2007 9:28 PM Anonymous Jeremy Moses said...

WHEN I'm up at 7am, I usually flip from 12 to 19 when the CBS segments come on. 12 should go ahead and do their local news. If you can't put it on the main channel, then it should be on CW.

at 7/25/2007 8:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading this string of replies, now I understand why TV news in this town is so bad. The early posts about being parochial make it sound like that's a good thing. I don't like fluff, either, but 12 doesn't do anything one iota better than anybody else in town, and nobody in this town is delivering a product worth watching.

How 'bout you all turn off your TVs and pick up a newspaper (not merely the local ones, but some from, say, Philly, NY, Chicago or Seattle as well), and learn about what's going on outside 275 for pete's sake. Then go out for a nice walk with your spouse, dog, child, whatever. I guarantee you'll be glad you did.

at 7/26/2007 9:40 AM Blogger Daniel said...

I prefer watching the local news, primarily for the local weather and traffic. I also enjoy Bob Herzog's Water Cooler bit.

at 7/26/2007 1:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anon 8:00am 7/25. Buddy you nailed it!!! You expressed the reason these conservative tight asses in this town lack --- good radio, tv, and newspaper coverage. It takes one to leave town and then you begin to realize if you have a zip codes that begins with 452, you live in the dark ages!!

at 7/28/2007 12:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh boy!!! Bob Herzog in the morning. A Ringling Brothers clown without the clown suit. Bob, try another type gig you clown!

at 8/09/2007 7:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about bringing Oak Hills gradate Denise Alex down from Columbus' Ohio News Network to anchor here?

at 8/21/2007 10:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever really listened to Anna Townsend? She cannot get through ONE story without screwing up the words or getting tongue-tied. It's really annoying. And, when John, Anna and Steve spent a few seconds chatting between stories, the subject always gets back to HER and HER LIFE. She's very self centered and stiff. She does not project well and swallows a lot of her words, making it difficult to understand her. If you have on the Channel 12 newscast in the morning, you can walk away from the TV and still understand John or Steve, but not Anna. You practically have to stand in front of the TV and read her lips to understand what she is saying

at 9/18/2007 10:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a regular GMC watcher, I think:

1) Dump GMA and that AWEFUL Dave Price (weather dork)

2) Definitely more Anna Townsend (she's largely the reason I watch GMC)...but do loosen her up a bit.

3) Definitely less of Steve! His silly bus graphics and daily lunch menu for some meaning grade school MUST GO!

5) More local sports - virtually non-existant now.

at 9/19/2007 1:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anna is so worth waking up to... so please, please don't take her away!

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