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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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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rich Apuzzo on Channel 5 (Promos)

Rich Apuzzo's cameo on a Channel 5's new weather promotion doesn't mean we'll soon see him doing forecasts for the station.

"We have no plans for Rich to do weather for us. This is just a one-time deal," says Brennan Donnellan, WLWT-TV news director.

Apuzzo, fired by WXIX-TV (Channel 19) last October, appears in a yellow T-shirt reading "Bring Back Rich Apuzzo" in a spot for Channel 5 chief meteorologist Derek Beasley taped last month in Ault Park. He delivers the tag line, "Hey, Cincinnati, Derek said it would be like this."

It's a clever way to break through the clutter, to get people talking about the Beasley promotion. (Three spots have been produced from one shoot – 30, 10 and five seconds, Apuzzo says.) "They wanted kind of a fun image to the thing," Apuzzo says.

But it's more than just that to Channel 5.

"We recognize that Rich Apuzzo still has a solid reputation as a meteorologist in this market. For him to give his de facto endorsement, by being in a promo, was important, that someone with his credibility respects Derek Beasley," Donnellan says.

Apuzzo has heard quite a buzz about the spots since they debuted last Thursday. "Everybody seems to enjoy it. I love broadcasting, and being in the public eye," he says.

For now, he does daily forecasts from his Mount Washington home studio on his website, He also does forecasts for other websites and weather consulting, while staying in touch with managers at Channels 5, 9 and 12. He has done some fill-in work at Dayton's Channels 22 and 45, for Pat Casey, his former Fox 19 boss.

"If something comes up here, I'm totally available," he says. "I’ve been looking nationally (for a TV job). We love it here, but I've got to pay the bills."


at 9/18/2007 12:43 PM Blogger MEA Media said...

The promo spots are great. It's refreshing to see a campaign that is not so serious. I hope Rich can be back on a Cinci station fulltime soon, but until then I enjoy his weather emails.

at 9/18/2007 3:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the spots as well. I was startled to see Rich in this video, and the music is really rockin!

at 9/18/2007 4:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its so good to see Rich back on TV. Almost like when Gandolf came back in Lord of the Rings to save Middle Earth!!

at 9/18/2007 5:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 5 would be silly not to hire on Appuzzo. Some real talent would help the weak ratings.

at 9/18/2007 6:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad to see him on the air here if only as a joke but hey news 5 listen up keep apuzzo

at 9/18/2007 8:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am confused...Is Appuzzo going to be making a comeback? Channel 5 News Team.....Unite!!!!!!!!!!

at 9/18/2007 8:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah 5 should hire rich. It would deff help weak weak ratings.

at 9/18/2007 9:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, I also miss Rich during the weather.

at 9/18/2007 10:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Apuzzo's always right...well, if you listen to him. I think he claims 96% or something. He is full of himself, that is for sure.

at 9/19/2007 6:50 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

They should but him on 9 temporarily while Cyndee OQuinn Goes on Maternity Leave

at 9/19/2007 7:42 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This spot is terrible. Why would you put a man with known baggage in a promo? This is also not original. Stations across the country have run this campaign since the 1980's.

at 9/19/2007 7:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

talent? Right.

at 9/19/2007 9:05 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never liked apuzzo so his endorsement doesn't sway me.

at 9/19/2007 9:35 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you Appuzzo haters are just jealous of his superior weather estimating skills.

at 9/19/2007 9:54 AM Blogger Aviator said...

Thats a clever spot. Finally, the folks at channel 5 got creative!

at 9/19/2007 12:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! What a ringing endorsement from a failed/fired weather man. What was 5 thinking when they came up with this concept. It's a Bad campaign that was poorly executed. It's not the easiest thing in the world to get fired from a TV station. Did the same people who handled the fireworks mess dream up this pile of crap?

at 9/19/2007 12:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. It looks like Rich Apuzzo is keeping himself busy posting on this board.

Rich, it's time to move on. Pack up your bags and the family and move to a different city where you can get a fresh start.

You are "damaged goods" in this city. The only way to resurrect some semblance of a career is to move on, not thumbing your nose at the station who fired you.

at 9/19/2007 1:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kiese I was wondering what your thought is on back to you starting at 8pm tonight. What are your cant-miss shows of the season.

at 9/19/2007 1:31 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

Anon 1:01 p.m.:
I really like "Back to You" a lot. Yes, it's a throwback to a "Murphy Brown" or "MTM" newsroom comedy, but it works. Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton are great, and they're surrounded by a great supporting cast -- the wacky sports guy (Fred Willard), the cynical field reporter (Ty Burrell) (he complains about doing a live shot at night in front of an empty building) and the weather woman (Ayda Field). You've probably seen the promo where Grammer calls her the weatherwoman and she says she prefers, "Meteorologist." When someone points out that she's not a meteorologist, she says, "But I prefer it." It's very funny. I hope the writers can keep it up.

at 9/19/2007 2:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich probably has been busy adding positive comments and Kiese has been busy editing out the negative comments with potential legal backlash. THE TRUTH WILL OUT!

at 9/19/2007 3:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like it or's got people talking, and that's the whole point of it in the first place.

at 9/19/2007 4:39 PM Blogger bmurdock said...

I have to be honest I haven't see the spots yet... To me it sounds like a vote of no confidence in Beasly. How is the guy going to build a reputation by riding the coat tails of Apuzzo. In a business where perception and reputation mean so much why would they do something like this? It just seems wrong... but then again it is WLWT.

at 9/19/2007 6:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich + Randy = Rich Little

Sounds entertaining.

at 9/19/2007 10:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the song, it's fun and upbeat! It's NOW!!!

at 9/19/2007 11:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is by far the craziest thing I've ever seen!!! I can't believe they put Rich and Derek in the same commercial! Channel 5 has absolutely blown my freakin' mind this time!!! Holey Moley.

at 9/19/2007 11:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Steve Raleigh saying that Marina Jerica will be filling in for Cyndee when she goes on maternity leave. Sorry person who wants Rich as a fill-in. I would get rid of Steve Norris and bring in Rich.

at 9/20/2007 9:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have said before that Channel 5 is a complete trainwreck. But folks, this one is actually a pretty smart play. The whole "Derek said it would" campaign is actually kind of cutesy, but it really isn't bad. Derek is probably one of the few positives the station has, the other being the underused Dave Wagner. (The wonder twins would only be good the day Channel 5 goes to the "Naked News" format.) And for those who are slamming the station for putting Rich in the ads, Rich and Derek appear to be friends, or at least colleagues with a healthy respect for one another, since Derek posts on Rich's weather chat forum, as does Jude Redfield, btw. I think folks are reading too much into this. I think it was meant to be tongue in cheek. As for Rich and "what he did", I can't speak to it, since I don't know, but niether do probably all of the posters who claim they do.
Long live "Derek said it would!"

at 9/20/2007 10:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich in the morning with Pete & the rest of the morning group...... Would be good chemistry. Who knows.......

at 9/20/2007 1:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully this post won't be censored.....

Unless Marina Jerica is going to commute from Huntington, WV to Cincinnati every weekend morning... I think she won't be filling in at WCPO.

She now works AM mornings at WSAZ.

at 9/20/2007 1:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like the majority of Cincinnati,I never watch Ch5. So I haven't seen the promo and never will. This is a complete non-issue. Unless they buy spots on TWC the message is being broadcast to dead air.

at 9/20/2007 2:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may not ever see it, but a ton of other people are. And those that normally DON'T watch News 5 will tune in out of curiosity to see the promo.

at 9/20/2007 2:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

uh, hey anon 1:43, how about heroes, sunday night football, deal or no deal, law and order, earl, the office, 30 rock, scrubs, er....
i don't think that really qualifies as "dead air" that no one will ever see.
kiese, if you're going to keep letting people from other stations make mindless attacks, you should at least PRETEND to care about how stupid they make YOUR blog seem.
i know it's tough to be responsible, but you should at least try.

at 9/20/2007 4:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would anyone care what Apuzzo thinks of Derrick? When this city wants weather it turns to the only Weather Authority - LOCAL12.

at 9/20/2007 6:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tony Elfers Roctet blows my mind. Every time I hear them my socks get rocked off! Who-Dey think gonna stop the Roctet? Nooooobody!

at 9/20/2007 6:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the jingle...those guys and gals do a great job...and the cowbell part is priceless...more cow-bell...great for nbc

at 9/20/2007 8:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's face it, Mrs. Beasley is boring and 5 is scambling to make this stiff seem fun.
Bring back the bone!

at 9/20/2007 10:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Marina Jurica is going to be filling in for Cyndee O'Quinn's maternity, folks.

Go to this link:

So Rich Apuzzo and Kristen Cornett, you have a chance of filling in for Cyndee's maternity.

Or do we want Robert Hawks or Frank Fields to fill in for Cyndee?

at 9/21/2007 10:10 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 9:43 may be correct in saying that the only way can bump their ratings is if they move to the naked news format with the wonder twins....that was really funny! it made me laugh.

on a side note, i do like candice hunter as an anchor. sandra's appeal has worn off for me. i think the ownder twins will start up again at the end of the month.

i wonder what their ratings were like while ms. paolello was on leave?

at 9/21/2007 2:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter what the ratings were like while Sheree was away. Candice is outta there. Along with Longnecker. Same old same old.

Let's be honest here. If you had the chance to sail away, even on a smaller ship, to avoid going down with the Titanic, wouldn't you?

Unfortunately, after so many changes, 5 is trying to force feed us the same crap, whether we like it or not. Anyone with a shred of talent won't stay there long. And they're not smart enough to keep them. Keep watching.

at 9/21/2007 2:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks Anon 10:10, I aim to please. sadly, you weren't the only one who liked C. Hunter as an anchor, as she is outta here for a job in Dayton. Shame. She was one of the "good things" I was referencing.

at 9/21/2007 3:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:28 you are a moron.

If you think Derek is stiff then you don't know talent when you see it. Derek is one of the most down-to-earth people you will ever meet. Unlike many news personalities, he's the same person in person that you see on the air. He certainly doesn't need Apuzzo's opinion of him or anyone else's to succeed in this business, whether it's here or elsewhere.

My guess is that he bolts after his contract is up and move on to bigger and better things and goes where he'll be appreciated. Everyone else seems to be doing it.

at 9/23/2007 10:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure Derek Beasley loves this ringing endorsement/slap in the face by his bosses at 5. He does not need out-of-work Apuzzo to endorse him or his weather skills. Why didn't 5 go out and get 12 and 9's old weather guy Eric Warren?. He should be out of prison by now. Who green-lighted this idea? This is another questionable move by the management at 5 that drives home the fact that the problem with 5 is not with "Those You See," the problem is with "Those You Don't See". Derek, give them one tour of duty, then get the heck off of Young Street before 5 dims your bright future. You don't need the Power of 5 radar to see what they have in store for you!

at 9/24/2007 6:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich Apuzzo is like Pat Barry. Neither seems to ever go away, they just keep popping up. Pat ought to move to Sarasota. He does the mid day show there, so why dont he move?

at 9/25/2007 3:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anybody like the new fox forecaster frank m. I dont like him at all.
pat berry is going to be working weekends again once his health is better. christie dutton is going to be named chief and frank is going to be mornings.

at 9/25/2007 4:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Frank is fantastic. How can't you like him?

Christie has the qualifcations for chief... while Frank has that morning show personality.

But at the snails pace that 19 moves, they'll be lucky to have three mets by the feb book.

at 9/25/2007 5:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you mean Pat is on air in Sarasota?

at 9/26/2007 12:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to Anon 9/25 5:29pm./
Pat Barry does the afternoon shift on WSRZ 107.9 in Sarasota. Its an oldies station. I have heard him there many times on my travels to that area. He does the show from here , but it sounds as though he is locally in Sarasota. Thank Corporate radio for that deal!

at 9/26/2007 4:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to Rich Apuzzo. Please Rich just go away. No station in this market will be hiring you , so move on.

at 9/27/2007 1:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry....our house does not like the new weatherrepeater on 19. He comes off smarmy, like the movie reviewer. (Still scratchin' my head why they sent him to Australia for a few standups).

19 should bring back Craig Kopp's reviews.

at 10/19/2007 2:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pleaseeeeeee someone bring back Rich Apuzzo-the only accurate weather forecaster the area has seen in decades. And I miss my regular emails from Rich, especially when the weather turns bad (like yesterday!). I have not seen the commercial yet, but have heard about it from my coworkers who also miss Rich and his emails. SOMEBODY HIRE THIS MAN!

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