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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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Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Return of Frog News

Most of us call it "Frog News," but Ch. 5 calls it the "Cincinnati Bell WEBN Fireworks Preview." Whatever! Feature segments about the WEBN fireworks, leading up to the 9:05 p.m. Sunday blast-0ff, will air on Channel 5's 6 p.m. news this week. Look for them about 6:15 p.m., says Brennan Donnellan, news director.

"Other material" will air during the 11 p.m. news this week, and in the morning news, he says. The WEBN fireworks, first telecast by Ch. 19 (in the early 1980s?), return to Ch. 5 this year. Ch. 5 aired the fireworks in the late 1980s, before moving to Ch 9 and Ch 12. And now back to Ch. 5.

This is the 30th anniversary for the WEBN-FM fireworks, and the 40th for the station. The first fireworks aired on a Tuesday night -- imagine that! -- on the station's 10th birthday, on Aug. 30, 1977.

Were you around back in 1977, and did you go to the first WEBN fireworks?
What's your favorite 'EBN fireworks memory?


at 8/26/2007 9:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some memories are the lack of memories from the fireworks in the 80's when it was one giant cocktail party. Now, being a parent, I am grateful that it is not that same scene from then, so I can take my kids. Apologies to all the high school and college kids missing out on what was the biggest party this city had year in and year out.

BTW, is 5 showing the big bang in HD or going with louse SD?

at 8/26/2007 10:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

kiese my question is Which anchors are going to anchor the channel 5 special.
When it was on 12 rob and kit always anchored it.

at 8/27/2007 1:42 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have nothing against Ch. 5, but that station is involved in more televised events with nothing to show for it.

1. Flying Pig Marathon
2. Opening Day Parade
4. Tall Stacks

As far as the fireworks are concerned WEBN is OK, but is nothing compared to Thunder Over Louisville's fireworks display. If you wanna see some real fireworks head down I-71 a couple of Saturdays before the derby.

at 8/27/2007 9:21 AM Anonymous baba o'reilly said...

Most of us that were there probably don't remember

at 8/27/2007 9:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nothing compared to Thunder Over Louisville."

Is that meant as a joke?

Comparing the WEBN show to Thunder is like comparing grand ballet to a grand mal seizure.

at 8/27/2007 10:07 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The commercial that is running on 5 shows that Sandra and Sheree will be the hosts for the fireworks. I also remember reading on here that Sheree said she will be back from maternity leave for that night.

at 8/27/2007 10:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nothing compared to Thunder Over Louisville"

Is that meant as a joke? was. Sorry for not being specific

at 8/28/2007 3:29 PM Anonymous Greg said...

I remember going down to first fireworks. I did't even get their before 8:30. The crowd was maybe 10-15 thousand. One of the first years I remember a train had stopped right on the tracks behind Yeatmans Cove. Everyone leaving had to crawl under it to leave. Its amazing how quickly the fireworks caught on. Within 2 years they had over 300,000 people there. Things got pretty wild before they banned people from bringing their own beer. I remember seeing people with half barrels on carts going around. One year people were jumping off the bridge. People on boats would shine their spotlights at them and off they went. I'm not going to discuss the bathroom situation.

at 8/30/2007 3:20 PM Anonymous Larry said...

I worked at Channel 9 when they first "bought" the rights to televise the fireworks. The joke in the newsroom was "great the company just paid a fortune so we can work our butts off." Remember 9 had the Jerry Lewis telethon then and Labor Day weekend was already a busy time at 'CPO. But I was fortunate enough to be the producer on the fireworks barge. That ride up the river, watching the boats part so the barges could make it through was amazing.

And there's nothing like watching a fireworks by looking straight up.
They made us wear fireprood nomex hoods to protect from the sparks, but what I needed was a hard hat. More than once parts of the hard round shell that held the fireworks would hit me on the head while I was watching. It was worth it.

I hope the Rozzi family is still involved... they made covering that event all the better. They are very good at their job plus they are outgoing, friendly and full of wonderful stories.

Definately a highlight of my TV career.

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