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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, September 07, 2007

Channel 5's Fireworks Statement

Channel 5 managers declined to talk specifics about their choices of camera angles or other aspects of their Cincinnati Bell/WEBN-FM fireworks telecast Sunday, when I asked for comment on criticisms of the broadcast. Instead I was sent this email from Richard Dyer, Channel 5 president and general manager:

As you know, I did receive e-mails from a portion of our audience expressing their disappointment with Sunday's fireworks broadcast and here's how we've responded:

"In spite of many months of planning and preparation by a team of experienced professionals, our presentation fell short of expectations for some viewers.

"Your criticisms about distant camera angles and obstructed views has been heard loud and clear and will be considered lessons learned to make our 2008 broadcast better than ever.

"WLWT has a nearly 60 year history of delivering outstanding live broadcasts to Tristate viewers, from Ruth Lyons in the '50s, the Reds in the '80's and most recently the Flying Pig Marathon and Tall Stacks. We will make the necessary adjustments and commit to delivering a much more enjoyable and satisfying product in 2008."


A footnote from Kiese: Channel 5 has a four-year deal for the WEBN fireworks, through 2010.


at 9/07/2007 1:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now, cue the return comments about how 5 sucks. I'm sure plenty of people have nothing better to do.

at 9/07/2007 1:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And when will the "necessary adjustments" be made in their news programs?

at 9/07/2007 2:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


What happened to the opening graphics of Local 12 at 11 pm on Friday? Folks in and out of the news business are saying that an unusual messsage appeared. Apparently some sort of "goodbye" in the form of an airplane with a banner was inserted by an outgoing graphics person?
Can you confirm or talk to 12 management or ask viewers if they saw it?

at 9/07/2007 5:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like the only way I am going to watch the fireworks is after 2010 that is unless I go down there and see them for myself or they change television stations.

at 9/07/2007 6:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently Mr. Dyer should recheck his history facts. WLW-T was the TEACHER for Live Television, especially Reds and Bengals to NBC in the 50's, 60's and 70's. Until Sportschannel, you only saw the Reds on TV on TV5. Gimme5, The Originator, etc.

My favorite portion of this quote kills me: "...our presentation fell short of expectations for some viewers".

NO! Really? SOME???

I'd love to see the channel churn report from TimeWarner. My guess is that huge sound you heard wasn't the fireworks, it was the large amount of viewers turning the channel.

I envision the scene from the open of old SCTV NBC-version series, where you see hundreds of TV's being thrown out of windows.

As for the WLWT-WEBN guess is there is an escape clause. Randy and Bo would have had one. This has tainted the heritage.

Perhaps it's time for Mr. Dyer and the other high ups at 5 to "resign and take some time to be with friend".

This was the biggest embarassment for WLWT since Richard Hull, Mr. Bent Spinse Bidge.

at 9/07/2007 9:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, Glue Factory?

We have another dead horse, beaten to death by the Unoriginal One at 8044 Montgomery Road.

Get a new shtick please. The Willie is suspended routine or the Willie is not going to work until something happens routine is very old. The only saving grace on this one, thankfully, I did not have to hear it. My very uninformed friend still gives the Decrepit One a listen to.

What is worse? The fact that the station is still stupid enough to do that tired act or their stupid listeners who actually buy into it. Either way, we probably now get stuck listening to the Yes Man program director try his weak act on the air all week. I for one, won't be listening, not that I did anyway.

Back away citizens, nothing to see there but a train wreck of what used to be a proud station.

at 9/07/2007 11:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we all assume the reported kerfluffle between Cunningham and Dennison today was the usual WLW publicity stunt?

at 9/07/2007 11:23 PM Anonymous Scott Evans said...


Was there actually a "special firework at 11 minutes into the show" or was it a dead stop to parody the Soprano's finale? In other words did 5 miss the shot or was there supposed to be nothing at the end of Journey?

at 9/08/2007 6:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you receive 326 comments to the original fireworks story and the followup languishes with no comments, you have to wonder if CIncinnati is experiencing an ADD epidemic.
The GM calmly responds to, and to some degree defends, what his station did. All that original outrage and no one seems to care any longer.
I guess the other explanation is that this is the first recorded experience of mass RoadRunner rage.....

at 9/09/2007 3:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Annony 2:22 p.m.:

I am an avid Local 12 viewer; I saw it, but I saw it on the 11pm Friday night BEFORE this past Friday, which would have been August did they do it again on the 11pm show on September 7th?

It was basically an airplane that flew across the top of the screen from left to right saying "good-bye somebody" (I forget the name). Right after that, the camera went straight to Rob & Kit and they both looked upset and frustrated and if I remember correctly Rob shook his head in disbelief. Then, they just continued on with the news, as professionals.

My guess was that it was supposed to be inserted at the end of the show (around 11:20, right before the "Friday Night Final"), or maybe even at the end of the "Friday Night Final", and someone either accidently or purposely put it on during the open of the 11pm newscast/show. No biggie. It was just an airplane.

at 9/09/2007 9:11 PM Anonymous Full Moon said...

To Richard Dyer: Some more advice. PLEASE don't insert multiple images in next years fireworks. It doesn't work. And PLEASE GET THAT WEBN / CHANNEL 5 LOGO OUT OF THE RIGHT HAND BOTTOM OF THE TV SCREEN. The logos were way TOO BIG and kept changing every 10 seconds. It was so distracting I turned it off.

at 9/10/2007 12:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WEBN fireworks: This was supposed to be a big thing, with the telecast to our overseas troops. Too bad there wasn't a professional in charge who knows how to present a great event. I couldn't believe the very poor visual content, with distance viewing blocked, and too many overhead shots of the fireworks. Very disappointed that there wasn't a better effort put forth for our troops.

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