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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, October 19, 2007

Alan Cutler Replacing The Big Dog On HOMER

The Big Dog is out, and the Cut-Man is in.

Tim Lewis, aka The Big Dog, did his last double shift Friday as WLW-AM overnight newsman and WCKY-AM (Homer 1530) morning drive sports talk host.

Alan Cutler, the Lexington TV sports anchor and Clear Channel's Bengals Radio Network host, will debut 5:30-9 a.m. Monday on Homer.

Lewis was fired after his show Friday. His name and blog were removed from the station website Friday morning.

Lewis took over the morning show May 21 after Richard Skinner was fired. "It was just way too much to ask a guy to handle an 8-hour news shift and then do a 3 1/2-hour talk show," says Dave Armbruster, Homer program director.

Lewis, 44, was the first program director at old WBOB-AM in 1995. He hired the "Two Angry Guys," Tom Gamble and Skinner, before leaving for Salt Lake City in 2000. He returned to town a year ago and took an overnight news shift at WLW-AM. He will continue doing news on WLW-AM, Armbruster says.

The local morning sports talk landscape changed considerably since May. Sister Clear Channel station WSAI-AM (1360) switched to ESPN Radio on July 2, with the popular "Mike & Mike In The Morning" show. On Oct. 1, the "Angry Guys" started at SupertalkFM96.5 (WFTK-FM).

Cutler is in his seventh season hosting the Bengals Radio Network. He also frequently has filled in on WLW-AM weekend shows. The Long Island native has worked at WLEX-TV (Channel 18) since 1987.


at 10/19/2007 1:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who's worse, Tim Lewis or Alan Cutler. I bet they're kicking themselves for getting rid of the Angry Guys.

at 10/19/2007 1:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog should be called radio you never talk about TV unless its local news. Home about "The Office" or "Nip tuck" which both are starting there new seasons.

at 10/19/2007 1:54 PM Anonymous Eric said...

Hey John, any idea if Tim has been kept on at 700 doing news? Do you really think he was 'fired' (i.e. complete surprise to Tim), or do you think this was more of a mutual agreement considering the demands on him? Really hate to see this happen to a guy who picked up his family and moved back to a place where he really seems to want to be.

at 10/19/2007 2:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank god for Sirius

at 10/19/2007 2:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

1530 doesn't have a clue. They are getting rid of a horrible host for an even worse one. The last thing I want to hear driving to work is Alan Cutler's annoying voice. I will stick with the Two Angry Guys on 96.5.


at 10/19/2007 2:21 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

Tim Lewis will continue full-time as WLW's overnight newsman.

at 10/19/2007 2:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

A.C. is not annoying, he is about as good as Paul Daugherty. Big Dog is kind of boring compared to the Angry Guys. Mark Amazon is much better than Big Dog also.

at 10/19/2007 2:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh god!, Alan Cutler. His lovely banging and grunting in the early am sure is a mistake, not that Lewis was any better. Cutler reminds me of Dave Lapham without a game broadcast as they both grunt , yell, and groan. Cincinnati radio is truly a MESS!

at 10/19/2007 2:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This should help 96.5's rating the next time around.

Note to self: Skip the 1530 pre-set on the drive to work

at 10/19/2007 3:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure he'll have his finger on the pulse of the city from Lexington.

Why don't they just team him with Tracy Jones and bill them as The Two Awful Guys?!

at 10/19/2007 3:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiese -

Kindly ignore anonymous 1:54 PM's rant. Some of us actually listen to radio *and* watch TV *and* use the internet! Gosh, ain't it great living in the 21st centuree?

Besides, there's always quite a bit about the national shows on your blog. Frankly, I appreciate seeing the local coverage - the national stuff is on hundreds of web sites anyway.

Keep up the good work covering *all* of today's media.

at 10/19/2007 3:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Big Dogpoop was one of the least knowledgeable sports talk show hosts I have ever listened to. He just did not know what he was talking about most of the time. He'd make statements about sports that would leave you scratching your head.

I'll give Alan Cutler a chance, but I am already switching between the Two Angry Guys, who are great, and Mike and Mike, so he better be worth the few minutes of my time he will get.

at 10/19/2007 4:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was Tim Lewis bad? Yes he was.
Is Cutler any better? No he isn't
Does 1530 continue to circle the drain? Yes it does.
And that is NOT a beautiful thing.

at 10/19/2007 4:09 PM Anonymous joe said...

Tim was so boring. Now they need to get rid of Gregg Doyel. That guy is horrible and needs to quit talking NOW!!! Until they fire him they will never be worth listening to. They Angry Guys and Mike and Mike in the morning are so much better that anything 1530 has on.

at 10/19/2007 4:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Angry guys were good
Mo Egger is OK
Gregg Doyel is so bad listening to him actually causes me physical pain
Alan Cutler is too annoying to listen to for more than one day a week.

at 10/19/2007 6:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is not a more annoying person on the air, ok. I was feeling pretty good, ok and then they fired the Big Dog, ok and then I got the job and it was/is a GREAAAAT DAY to be Alan Cutler, ok. And a horrible day to listen to 1530 on the way to work! Great job 1530 way to keep my radio on the FM side of the dial!

at 10/19/2007 7:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, I agree that the blog should be called something more general, since it's not just about television.

Second, Cutler is a step up from Tim Lewis because he's quite a bit more knowledgeable. Lewis was unprepared for his show and just said things to get callers riled up and try to boost the ratings. That's his job, I suppose but constantly yelling things like "Make some moves!" when the Reds were struggling was annoying. Like opposing teams are willing to part with their pithing for the heck of it. Then he predicted the Bengals would go 12-4 but began calling for Marvin's head after they were 1-2 despite half the team being injured.

The only problem for 1530 is that Cutler is a step below the 2 Angry Guys because not only are they knowledgeable, they're funny, and they come in crystal clear on FM. He'll get my ear during commercials but that's about it. Clearly Cutler must be doing this gig out of his home or a local setup.

at 10/19/2007 7:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a desperate move after they realized that the Angry Guys took all of their listeners back.

Huh......maybe you should have just kept them in the first place.

at 10/19/2007 10:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Dog was ok...Cutman will be much better. The angry guys are horrible. I don't know how they have an audience. Oh yeah...bring back Mancow.

at 10/19/2007 11:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is probably just temporary until Clear Channel buys 96.5 and moves the Angries and Furman to 1530. :)

at 10/20/2007 12:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could be worse... I live in Dayton and up until about a few weeks ago, 980 Homer here in Dayton use to simulcast 1530. Now we are stuck with absolutely NO local sports talk radio... Lance included. It really blows here... I'm actually hoping I can get 96.5 in, so I can listen to the Two Angry Guys... They were pretty good. These National sports talk radios drive me insane....

at 10/20/2007 5:06 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clear Channel Cincinnati is a mess.

Nice that every other week you get another "made for the media" in house drama with WLW. Willie and Seg get in a fight? Furman calls TJ a name? The BIG JUAN controversy? This is so unprofessional. WLW should change it's call letters to WWE.

They have a pair of brothers running the show and they are killing the place. Nepotism was not allowed at WKRP, but is alive and well here in Cincinnati.

Over 80% of the sales staff has left to go to Cumulus or to other entities in town. No one wants to work in that environment.

Paul Daugherty is now on the Big One in a spot formerly occupied by Trumpy & Collinsworth. They should call this show the Little One after its ratings. If hosts are going to get the hook based on being exciting to listen to then a big GONG should be hit for Doc, he stinks on the radio.

The Homer morning show host is now from Lexington, Kentucky and will do the show from there. Wait, I thought this was Cincinnati? Another impact of the Clear Channel sell-off.

The best talent on the sports side is now working for the folks across town.

Lewis would probably seem unprepared for a show after being forced to do News for 8 hours leading up to the show. They should of partnered him with someone and given him a chance. Instead this town gets a carpetbagger morning show. That did not work for MANCOW - see Q3 ratings.

Odd to see an institution like WLW going into the toilet. But, it is what it is.

at 10/20/2007 9:22 AM Anonymous rick said...

Tim Lewis seemed like a truly decent guy. But I stopped listening when the Angry Guys came back. If I'm Lance, I am circulating my resume vigorously, as 1530 The Sports Animal is about to implode and disappear from the media landscape.

Is there any reprecussion for the genius Armbruster dismantling and chasing the Angry Guys?? What a fatal gaff that was!

And Kiese, rename your blog Electronic Media--it is almost more fascinating to hear about radio than TV.

at 10/20/2007 9:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, what a professional humiliation to be replaced by Alan Cutler. Tim might want to change his name and get plastic surgery.

at 10/20/2007 10:40 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Big Dog is awefull! I don't see how he held a talk show job for this long. 1530 did the Angry guys wrong, and now they are going to pay for it in the ratings. Doyel and Egger are funny, I enjoy them, I love Jim Rome, I have been listing him for 10 years. I start my day off with the Angry guys, move to Mo and Greg, and then to Jim Rome, and to 94.9 the sound at 3pm.

at 10/20/2007 11:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

1530 just became a 3:00 - 6:00 only channel for me. Couldn't stand The Big Dog but Cutler is worse. Other than Tracey Jones he is the worst in the entire area. Egger and Doyel are just alright but I am glad to be working when they are on. Rome = horrible. Lance is the best in the city.

at 10/20/2007 7:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim Lewis had that half-awake style that worked for me at 6AM.

Cutler, on the other hand, is one of those really bad ideas that someone in management always seems to think is just terrific.

I literally have spent time listening to "Cooking with Marilyn" type stuff rather than subject myself to the verbal horror that is the CutMan.

at 10/21/2007 1:47 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This should work out well now. Angry Guys and then Cutler for commercials. As long as they don't make another idiotic move and give Mark Amazon a show, things will be good. Talk about clueless about local sports.

All they really needed to do was put Tom Gamble back with Skinner on 1530, but they fired Skinner instead. Since they offered Gamble the full time sports talk job, they obviously thought highly of him. Sounded like they then offered Gamble his buddy Skinner's job in the morning and he said no way. Good for you, Tom!

And by the way, Lewis couldn't prepare himself with the local sports talk show because he was doing news for 8 hours? What exactly was he doing for the 50 minutes that he wasn't doing news on the half hour? Sounds like a lame excuse.

at 10/21/2007 9:44 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:06am:

I bet you anything that doc gets the hook, Lance moves to sports talk on wlw, and 1530 turns into yet another conservative "news" talk radio station in Cincy.

I wouldn't be shocked if Clear Channel bought Cumulus and shuffled everybody around. Remember what happened to Jim Scott?

at 10/21/2007 4:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a awful station. Cutler, Lance, and Doyel lets me thank god everyday that I have XM.

at 10/22/2007 8:20 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Lance and Mo/Greg, but Lewis was a nightmare and Cutler is no improvement. I'll continue to listen to Rome on 1530, but now that I know that the Angries are back on FM, 1530 has lost me forever in the morning!

at 10/22/2007 8:36 AM Blogger bmurdock said...

This bites... Lewis wasn't the best talk show host around but he is a lot better than Cutler. Cutler just comes off as one of those dime a dozen cookie cutter sports guys who just like to hear himself talk (with his fake radio voice).

Its great to have Tom and Richard back. I just wish I could pick up 96.5 at my desk...

at 10/22/2007 10:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't listen to Tim Lewis, so can't comment on that. I got him a few times but not enough to be opinionated.

Alan Cutler is HORRIBLE. Totally self important half the time and ignorantly faux-humble the other half. He works for bengals pre-game because he's energetic and he doesn't have much to do but setup the portions of the show and take calls. God forbid he has to talk about anything other than the Bengals.

1530 is going down the crapper. I absolutly LOVE Lance and hope he gets the Burbank spot after he retires this year from WLW.

Two angry guys were great on sunday mornings pre-bengals games. Good to see them on the FM. were the days.

at 10/22/2007 10:35 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

When 1530 got rid of Skinner, I switched over to Mike & Mike during my morning commute, then would listen to Lance in the afternoon. When the Two Angry Guys arrived at 96.5, I made the switch and now just keep the radio tuned to SuperTalk.

This latest move only reaffirms my choice. 1530 used to be the best sports station in town. But now you can't listen to it until 3PM because the on-air "talent" is so bad. Even Lance's show is getting tiresome because of all the time he spends talking about his kids, TV shows, women he fantasizes about, and all the other-non sports blather. Between that and being hit over the head with all the useless stats he throws out, it's just unbearable.

I'll stick to 96.5 from now on.

at 10/22/2007 12:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This for the idiot who has no clue about what the WLW Anchors do. Tim has to write, and anchor WLW, Memphis, Nashville as well as XM Satellite every half hour. So you tell me, smart-alec, when did Tim have time to prep for his morning show.
I think he did a great job anchoring his last WLW newscast at 5am, and getting on the air at 5:30 at Homer.
So many people who hate the player, but DON'T understand the game. Get a clue.

at 10/22/2007 2:19 PM Blogger bmurdock said...

Collingsworth - never thought I'd wish he was back... Guess you don't know what you got until it's gone

at 10/23/2007 6:50 AM Anonymous Rod said...

Tim Lewis is the best sports analyst in the country. No one comes close. Tim gives the listener all the facts, background, and details.

Tim goes to great lengths to carefully engage his callers in meaningfull discussion, probing them for the basis of their views and opinions. Always in a most respectful and professional manner.

Tim is only one of two people in this area that has the courage to report facts and reality in a brutally honest manner. The other person being Paul Daughterty. An area where the truth is often considered being "negative".

Tim is also the most outstanding news reporter in the nation. With vocal/speaking ability and talent, second to none.

Tim Lewis is an on-air talent that you would expect to hear in Los Angeles or New York. He has been a "Breath of Fresh Air" for myself and those few that can tell the difference between quality and crap.

Greater Cincinnati deserves the current collection of untalented boring amatuers with their redundant filler and cartoon character voices.

The person responsible for the decision to replace Tim Lewis with Alan Cutler is the same person that does the weekend overnight religious programming on 1530AM, "The Groaner." I'm certain of that.

"What a Great Day to be a Bengal Fan..... or Deaf!"

at 10/23/2007 12:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

greg doyle went off on a rant on sunday morning sports talk with ken broo. He hated the way Tim "the big dog" Lewis got fired.

at 10/23/2007 1:29 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

To Anon 12:32
I believe Gregg Doyel's exact words on Sunday with Broo were that Tim Lewis "got screwed."

at 10/23/2007 5:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim Lewis was a terrible sports show host, Alan Cutler is probaly the most annoying. Who is making the decisions at 1530.Even Greg and Mo are brutal. I used to advertise my business with them. emphasis on used to. It's back to the two anrgy guys for me. Lance is the only individual in their lineup worthy of a listen!

at 10/23/2007 5:41 PM Blogger cocoapuff said...

Best of luck to Tim Lewis. I wasn't a fan but I thought he should have had more time to build on his audience. What I thought he needed was a partner. There was a nice spark when Mo would pop in for a bit the couple times I listened.

at 10/23/2007 9:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

1530 and 700 always seem to be going for the Howard Stern phenomenon; the people that hate him listen longer than the people that love him. Unfortunately for them, the hosts they choose aren't provocative, they're just annoying and make you turn the station.

I'm afraid to think of who they may name to replace Gary Burbank when he retires. They haven't announce anything, yet, have they?

at 10/24/2007 12:09 AM Blogger aaron said...

This is definitely a boon for 96.5. Furman was struggling to get ratings, mostly because people were listening to Lance and then WLW, forgetting that Andy was there. Now that the Two Angry Guys are on opposite Alan Cutler, who reminds me too much of boring weekend radio, 96.5's ratings should go up a lot, with people maybe sticking around until the Furball in the afternoon. Speaking of Andy, I hope he can get the water out of his basement and return to the show, David Fulcher was killing me today. He's good as a co-host, not the actual host.

I'm so glad Mancow's gone. I never really got his show at all. It was ADD, all over the place. Once minute he was carrying on a conversation with the extremely annoying female co-host and then some unfunny prank call or song would play all of a sudden. Give me Howard Stern and Robin Quivers anyday.

at 10/24/2007 7:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Alan Cutler?!? Was dead air not an option?

at 10/24/2007 3:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

its a great day to be a 96.5 fan!!!!i know not hearing his annoying voice don't do it any justice but if sunday was'nt bad enof now its 5 days a week thank goodness for th angry guys and 96.5

at 10/25/2007 1:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel bad for Tim Lewis. 1530 jumped the shark whne they got rid of the Angry Guys. I spend my morning switching back and forth between Mike and Mike and the Angry Guys now. I can just barley listen to Cuttler for 5 minutes then he has to go! Lance seems to be the one shining light left on 1530. Wonder how long before he jumps to 96.5... or is pushed.

at 10/25/2007 4:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God. The Big Dog was awful. I would rather have the two angry guys back as well. I listen to Mike & Mike now.

at 10/31/2007 8:15 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim Lewis used to be really fun to listen to when he was on WBOB. He was my favorite sports talk host at the time.

I can really tell that he lacked the energy and passion for sports that he was best known for. I think the 8 hour shift really hurt him, but money wise he could not give it up.

It is ashame but I hardly ever turn on 1530 any more, even Lance is finally getting old. I can only stand to listen to Alan once a month. And Greg and MO, well what can I say, could they have got a job in Cincinnati Sports Talk Radio five years ago?

at 10/31/2007 3:49 PM Blogger uCats6162jr said...

Instead of putting on re-treads everytime ratings decline, hire me! I'll work for less money, bring fresh ideas, and not complain about doing a fun job! Quit re-using people that couldn't do the job right, the first time.

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