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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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Monday, August 06, 2007

Another Change in Weather At Channel 19

Just got back from vacation to learn two things:

--Nobody posted any comments on my blog the past week, so I will do them ASAP. Thanks to all who commented on "The Simpsons Movie," the posts will be up very soon.

--Channel 19 is looking for its third chief meteorologist in 10 months. Paul Horton has accepted a job as morning and new weatherman for KPHO-TV, the CBS station in Phoenix (Channel 5). He will leave WXIX-TV on Sept. 30, two weeks after Valerie Abati goes to Pittsburgh on Sept. 14. And Pat Barry had triple-bypass surgery 10 days ago, and he's unavailable to fill in for a while.

Horton says it was a tough decision to leave the station which promoted him to chief meteorologist in January, after Rich Apuzzo was fired in October. But the Oregon native said wanted to get West, closer to his family. His parents have a winter home in Palm Springs. He wasn't looking for a job, he says. His former news director in Spokane invited him out over the July 4th holiday, saying that KPHO-TV wanted his personality for the morning show. He says he turned them down twice before accepting the job. Ch. 19 bosses didn't know he was considering leaving until last week, when he told them he wanted out of his contract. The three-year deal he signed in January allows him to buy out the remaining contract, which he's doing with help from the Phoenix station, he says.

Horton, 36, says he "felt terrible" to tell Ch. 19 bosses that he wanted to buy out his contract and move on. "They were pretty upset, and for good reason," he says. "It was a really tough decision. They promoted me, and they believed in me . I love it here, but after I talked to my family and friends, I decided I'd be crazy not to do this. You don't know when another position out West might open up again."

News Director Steve Ackermann said in a staff note Friday: "We were disappointed when Paul came to us about this, and we are sure our Fox 19 viewers will be disappointed to hear that Paul is leaving at the end of September."


at 8/06/2007 12:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That will be a real tough job forecasting the weather in Phoenix.
Tomorrow Hot, the next Hot,etc. etc.

By the way didn't Bill Kelly who used to work at 19 also go to a station in Phoenix.

at 8/06/2007 12:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is big news, working at WXIX must be interesting right now. Horton will be missed, he is the only personality at that station. But maybe with sun in the forecast all the time, personality in arizona must be important.

at 8/06/2007 12:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone heard anymore concerning ESPN2HD? I last heard Time Warner was going to start airing on Aug 1st., but i have seen nothing.

at 8/06/2007 12:34 PM Anonymous Scott said...

What about FSN-HD on Time Warner?

at 8/06/2007 12:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck Paul. Remember in Phoenix its "dont drink and drive".
Be careful.

at 8/06/2007 1:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife and my two daughters are going to be pretty upset! They wouldn't miss a morning show with him on it. What about the Reds and the show on Q-102?

at 8/06/2007 1:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Horton has done more for this city it the short 3 or 4 years he was here. I met him at the carwash fundraiser, and he couldn't have been nicer! Good luck Paul, Phoenix is very lucky.

at 8/06/2007 1:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess they will have to bring back Appuzo and HIRE Pat Barry on weekends.

at 8/06/2007 2:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats to Paul. To bad a lot of jealous broadcast hacks on this board can't be happy for you.

at 8/06/2007 2:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Has anyone seen whether the self proclaimed Bengals Nation station is going to show the pre season games in HD? No word on the Bengals owned and operated web site. I hope that no news is not bad news in this case.

at 8/06/2007 4:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How amazing, the station shows appuzo the door and doesn't promote Valerie. Then Paul sticks it to them good with a big move. Send in your tapes.

at 8/06/2007 6:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that former WLWT Channel 5 morning meteorologist Kristen Cornett would be PERFECT for either Valerie's position or Paul's position (preferable Paul's position). I think that Kristen Cornett would make a GREAT chief meteorologist at FOX 19.

at 8/06/2007 6:20 PM Blogger Toddy-O said...

It's time to bring this to a rest and hire Pat Barry. It's instant name recognition and viewer reliability.

I'd almost bring Dan Royal or even Bill Myers out of retirement for the weekend shift....or a stretch: Debbie Merritt.

at 8/06/2007 7:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

bring back jim o brien. to wxix.

at 8/07/2007 12:40 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best Wishes to Pat Barry

As a non-TV/Radio/media employee poster, you people make me sick with your vicious comments about media people on here.....

My God, get a life.......

at 8/07/2007 2:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, this market is the worst! Someone good comes along like Paul, you get attached and then they leave! I am giving up on local news, did they even try to keep him?

at 8/07/2007 7:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fox19 is the new Channel 5.

at 8/07/2007 7:10 AM Anonymous JC McCoy said...

So what XIX was mad. Big deal. loyalty is a two way street and I dont know of one broadcast company that understands that creed.

at 8/07/2007 10:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like you can't control the weather, can can't control free will of people.

Unlike the real world, the only way to make any money in Television is to move... cities, markets, stations.

I'm sure Paul was making a nice chunk of change over of 19 Broadcast Plaza, but no amount of money can replace family.

at 8/07/2007 10:47 AM Blogger bmurdock said...

Maybe they can talk Valarie into staying?

at 8/07/2007 10:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its nice to see Kristen Cornett still posts here.

Here's one thing to understand about TV people who come into the market from other cities.

If they are not from here, Cincinnati is probably just a stepping stone market for them. Everybody's goal is to get back home.

So when you hire people like 5 and 19 do, with no roots in the area, the chances of them leaving at the end of their contracts is greater.

Of course, 9 and 12 also hire out-of-towners, but they don't suffer nearly the turnover rate.

at 8/07/2007 12:16 PM Blogger JimmyD said...

stop Valerie from leaving. Offer her chief meteorologist and she'll stay. All of these weather people are just trained monkeys standing and pointing at a wall. With all of their fancy titles and scientific terminologies, they're not doing any forecasting. So why not get the bad news (like snow or oppressive heat) from someone as hot as Valerie Abati. XIX was stupid for letting her go and to Pittsburgh of all places.
If these stations want people to stay, don't put a buyout clause in their contracts. That way you have to honor it.

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

Simple... Bring back Rich Apuzzo! They kept that story awful quiet. Exactly what is he is accused of doing anyway? He had a great personality, and was very entertaining, and he knew his stuff. Pat Barry is, and always has been, a complete idiot! Bring back Rich Apuzzo.

at 8/07/2007 2:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kind of like the idea of Debbie Merritt(Banker),she's from the neighborhood,but dont remember her doing the weather.If Pat Barry is under the weather, he certainly doesnt need the stress of all the meanness that is popping up here. And the sexist comments have got to stop. If WXIX had wanted to,I am sure there are legal ways that they could have used to keep Mr. Hogan,so he must have presented his case very well.
Also there was a young man at WKRC on weekends right after Hedrick got there, his first name was Gil(NOT Whitney).He was very good. Anybody else remember him??
From the neighborhood

at 8/07/2007 2:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you meant Horton was leaving for KPHO, not WPHO.

at 8/07/2007 2:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Maurina Jurica? I have seen he subbing for the weekend morning show on channel 9 and she is good. I don't think that anyone wants Robert Hox though. I am suprised that Channel 9 would put someone like him on there.

at 8/07/2007 3:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck Paul!!! So Fox 19, any chance we can keep Valerie around. She would be forever loved if she stuck it to that Pittsburgh news station!!!

at 8/07/2007 4:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who wouldn't take a job in Phoenix. It's beautiful, clean, safe, PARIDISE. Horton, I am jelous!

at 8/07/2007 5:52 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

What about Bill Kelly? He was the Fox 19 morning weatherman in 2003 before Horton... who ironically left Fox 19 for Phoenix. But he's now the evening meteorologist (4:30, 5, 6 & 10) at KPNX-TV, NBC's Phoenix station.

at 8/07/2007 6:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant believe everyone is so worked up on some silly weather person. Why do these tv stations pay someone to tell you its hot, and to drink water, and stay indoors. Thanks, we would have never known this if they would not tell us. So good luck Paul and I really dont care who replaces you!

at 8/07/2007 9:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd say bring jude redfield back. He did a great job at 12 and has local connections he would make a great chief met.

at 8/08/2007 6:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know Bill Kelly was a bit Pompous, that was the good thing about Paul he had such a pleasant presence. I am interested in who they will get.

at 8/08/2007 8:26 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fox 19 has a nice lineage of hot weather girls from Maria Larosa to Valeria Abati. I'm looking forward to their next hot weather girl. I hope they can get Valerie to stay though.

at 8/08/2007 9:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Valerie sighned a contract shes outta here

at 8/08/2007 3:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still think they should bring back Ira Joe Fisher.(I know he wasnt at WXIX). And dont even consider Rich Apuzzo. He got canned for a reason(dont care what it was).

at 8/08/2007 3:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

that new weather gal is quite a cutie too. also the reporters are also cuties...cory mcconnel, meghan mongello...not regina russo-RIIIGHHHT NOW!!

at 8/08/2007 4:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

But do you know if Jay Ratliff who does the airport stuff is local??
I knew a Jay Ratliff years ago here in the neighborhood.
Like you, me and , and Fred S
(and Debbie Banker Merritt Contardi)
from the neighborhood

at 8/08/2007 6:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse me, I missed the weather reports on this evenings news broadcast. I know its hot out, so can someone tell me how to deal with the heat and what should I do when its hot. I know they cover this on the news. I just cant live without knowing what I should do!!

at 8/09/2007 7:11 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, 6:23 anonymous - I agree.. And they pay the A**LOADS of money to tell us it's hot, and to drink plenty of water.. Which is what I'm sure they're doing after work, as they drive home to their $800,000 home on the west side..

As for Cornett, um, she's with Weather Plus in NYC - doubt she'd come back here.. Haven't you seen her doing national weather coverage? National gig vs. Cincinnasty... Gee, let's think about that one.

at 8/09/2007 11:06 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristen Cornett has not been with WeatherPlus in NYC for almost a year now.

She was fired and continues to be "on the beach".

at 8/09/2007 11:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone is entilted to their own opinion, but I have to disagree with the above poster and 6:23 anonymous.

In defense of the meteorologists that may be reading this nonsesne, if weather was simple enough for the everyday person to figure out, then why do you watch or log on to get the forecast when you could do it yourself?

Or...when there is a severe weather event such as a tornado outbreak or winter storm, analyze the storm and calculate snow totals yourself. I'm sure you'd track that tornado with your knowledge without a problem.

Who needs weather people when you can do all of that on your own right? You can't tell me you've never flipped the tv on or looked elsewhere to get the forecast, rather than formualting your own forecast. Yeah...who needs meteorologists or doctors or lawyers...they don't serve a purpose. I think what we need to be asking is why athletes are getting paid WAY more than teachers, construction workers, etc. who serve more of a purpose in this world. When you think about it, teachers were instrumental in getting nearly ALL of us to the point where we are now in our careers. Ignorance is bliss.

As far as Kristen Cornett is she is NOT with NBC Weather Plus anymore...that stint ended earlier this year. As far as I know she is seeking employment at this very moment.

at 8/09/2007 2:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

word at fox 19 is frank field will be back to cover shifts.

at 8/09/2007 6:03 PM Anonymous Darryl said...

Who needs weatherpeople when the animated graphic in the upper right 1/4 of my screen and the concurrent flashing and beeping crawler can give it all to me in the middle of my favorite show?*sarcasm* Does the entire tri-state really have to suffer because one county in Northern KY has a thunderstorm watch? As far as I'm concerned, we need less weather... not more.

at 8/09/2007 8:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed a promo on Channel 9 saying that there morning show was #1 with Brian Patrick. Why is it that they are not doing everything they can to keep Brian? Seems that him and Larry Handley are the only things good that the morning show has.

at 8/10/2007 8:22 AM Blogger bmurdock said...

Kristen Cornette is available... Let's start the rumor that she's coming XIX!

at 8/13/2007 11:47 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Until there is technology to only allow those being affected by a certain storm in a certain county to see a weather cut-in, I guess the whole Tri-State will continue to "suffer". That's just the way it is and that's the way it'll be.

The only other suggestion would be to get enough people to complain to these news directors who are breathing down the meteorologists necks to cut into programming for a mere shower. I guarantee you, it isn't the meteorologists that are wanthing to do the cut-ins, it's the news directors who are MAKING them do it, as if they feel they have something to prove.

at 8/14/2007 8:19 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know abouyt you guys but Tim Hedrick seems like the only credible weatherman in Cincinnati. Channel 5's is way too young, Channel 19 can seem to have a regular one in the mix and Channel 9's (with the excaption of Larry Handley) dosen't know what he is talking about

at 8/15/2007 4:17 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what Hedrick has on all of the other meteorologists on the market is experience and tenure.

Hedrick is definitely a credible meteorologist, but I think a lot of you are overlooking some credibility at the other stations by getting caught up in the "too young" mentality. Both 12 and 5 have weather staffs with strong meteorological education and camera presence. 9 has great on-air talent..but their weather knowledge is lacking (watch Raleigh's severe weather coverage and count how many tornadoes sees on Ultimate Doppler). This market is way too conservative.

Let the past be the past (Tony Sands, Pat Berry, Ira Joe Fisher....their time is done) and accept the fact that the older present will be off the scene in another 10-15 years. Learn to embrace the young and new for a change. You almost don't have a choice.

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