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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, October 08, 2007

Cunningham's Debut Cut Short By WLW-AM

Now here's one of the stories you probably WON'T be talking about on The Big One: WLW-AM dumped out of Bill Cunningham's national talk debut at midnight, cutting off the last hour in his hometown on his flagship station. WLW-AM instead went at midnight, as usual, to "America's Trucking Network" with Steve Sommers, the Truckin' Bozo's boy.

WLW-AM broadcast the first two national hours, 10 p.m.-midnight. To hear his third national hour, I had to tune in WABC-AM (770) from New York City, Sean Hannity's flagship station. Ironically, Hannity was Cunningham's first guest Sunday, and Hannity had promised Cunningham in August that he would use his influence to have WABC-AM carry Cunningham's show when he replaced Internet journalist Matt Drudge on Sunday nights. Clear Channel says Cunningham debuted on 325 stations. Wonder how many others didn't carry the full show, if it wasn't worth the time in Cunningham's hometown?

Now I understand why Darryl Parks never responded to my calls or emails last week when I was asking about how WLW-AM would carry Cunningham's show.

For the record: WLW-AM did carry three hours of Cunningham Sunday night. But the 9-10 p.m. hour was a repeat from his weekday shows last week.

What a slap at Cunningham.... He goes national on 325 stations, and his flagship station won't carry his whole show??? I'm guessing the answer to this is Darryl Parks' favorite phrase: ratings and revenues. They probably didn't want to blow off guaranteed advertising revenues from Sommers, so they pulled the plug on Willie.

For a "full report" on Cunningham's debut -- well, at least the first two hours -- read my next blog from late Sunday night. He opened with a 45-minute interview with Sean Hannity, and took one caller in the first hour. He got on five callers in the second hour, and did a "Stooge Report"-style sports update with Bill "Seg" Dennison.

Only two hours for Cunningham's national debut? That should make a great sales point nationally for Clear Channel's Premeire Networks -- he's not good enough for his flagship station to carry the whole show.... Maybe Cunningham will sue -- if he knows a good attorney....


at 10/08/2007 4:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

324 stations! 55KRC, who used to air Drudge, isn't airing this radio abortion

at 10/08/2007 6:39 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big deal.

at 10/08/2007 7:05 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are people meter ratings available from New York and larger markets?

at 10/08/2007 7:15 AM Anonymous Dave Grote said...

Typical Big One headline grabber. Let the babble begin. Parks is the hype-master.

at 10/08/2007 7:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Willie is an acquired taste. I'll wager there were Great Americans calling in the third hour with perceptive, incisive and pervocative comments, observations and opinions.

But for me, I couldn't listen to the third hour because I must have at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep in preparation for the Jim Scott Show. Scott, a longtime WLW stallwart, comes on at 5AM. Restful sleep, I call it show prep, is necessary to prepare for Jim Scott. Scott is charged with raising the flag at the flagship station.

Hopefully, Willie will re-broadcast the third "unheard" hour in place of the "stooge report" during today's broadcast in the early afternoon.

As for Darryl and his lack of comment on the third hour, his behavior is predictable, perjorative and "Parksian".

Failing to give Willie the courtesy of a full three hours would be like Gilligan's Island without the "Professor and Mary Ann". FOr those of you, thick as a brick, Gilligan and Co. were taking a three hour tour and then the shipwreck occured.

By the way, where is the "Music Professor"???...maybe he can take Burbank's spot at 3PM when "Garish" sets sail from the flagship in late 2007.

Question....Why is Seg like an iceberg???

Answer...Cause he's so cool and only two thirds of him is visible above water.

Ever notice how much Seg looks like Peter Griffin from the Family Guy??

at 10/08/2007 7:49 AM Anonymous moogie said...

This is no big deal to anyone familiar with Willie. Everytime Republican mouthpieces Sean Hannity and Willie get together, it's the usual "Your a great American lovefest" with the two of them telling each other how great and patriotic they are for being tools for the corporate world and their Republican handlers. I love listening to Willie for his quick wit, brilliant humor, interesting conversation & interviews. But when he goes political (or shilling for the occupation..... err, "War"), his morass is unlistenable as Rush and the rest of the Republican stooges. Horrendous radio that only appeals to the brain dead Republican branded sheep that can't get enough of the worn out "talking points" and propaganda. Out of the three hours of Willie's daily show there is only one hour of quality radio at most. (Thank God and Apple for podcasts and fast forward dials) So someone made a sound decision to spare us (locally), from this dirge and give us some quality, entertaining programming with the ATN show. Bill Cunningham doesn't have three hours of entertaining content, and there's nothing wrong with that. Just a fact.
(Disclaimer-I don't enjoy listening to the Democratic party's tripe, I have no use for them, either. The two parties have destroyed our country, our economy, and our future. We lost our wonderful nation long ago and we lose the remainder of our freedoms daily.)

at 10/08/2007 7:51 AM Blogger gonefromcincy said...

Thank goodness, bad enough that Cincinnatians have been subject to the assinine rantings of Cunningham for so many years. How about cutting him off at 10pm from now on? WLW has done all it can for decades to destroy the media, it would be a big step in restoring sanity!

at 10/08/2007 7:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

His hate message won't be spread. That is a good thing. I have never seen a person more out of touch with Americans then him. He is a sad American.

at 10/08/2007 8:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story could not be less important. Two Firefighters were hurt last night at a fire and that store is off to the side? I guess you guys have a stake in the radio show or Kiesewetter is trying to help out his buddy Cunningham

at 10/08/2007 8:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 hours of Cunningham are more than anyone should have to bear!

at 10/08/2007 8:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Cunningham is a total right-wing nutjob. Just what our radio airwaves need. Another mouthpiece for the lying, warmongering, corrupt and fascistic Bush administration. I saw this 'clown' out at a Blue Ash concert in the Square a month or two ago decked out in his red, white and blue stars and stripes shirt. He was making such asinine claims as saying "We (in the audience) were able to enjoy the opportunity to hear this free music thanks to the brave work of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistation".

Uh Bill, I never knew that Iraqi or Afghani insurgents were threatening the Blue Ash, Ohio community and trying to ban music? Please support this claim with documentation?

What an embarrassment to the Cincinnati area!

at 10/08/2007 8:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you ask me, they had 2 hours too many.

at 10/08/2007 8:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is Bill Cunningham?

at 10/08/2007 9:11 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darryl Parks is an idiot. I am not a fan of Cunningham, but I consider Parks decision to not air Cunningham's whole show a major mistake. Of course this is not the first time 700 WLW under his control has made questionable choices. When he pulled the plug on Bill Boshear's Sci-Zone show 700 pretty much lost me as a regular listener. In this case as with all the others, Parks did not even have the decency to give advance notice at least to the public and I'm guessing to the show's hosts as well.

at 10/08/2007 9:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darryl Parks is the most worthless media manager in the history of this or any other town. When will they wise up and get rid of him?

at 10/08/2007 9:53 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness...We absolutely can't miss any of the all-night truckers show. I need those weather and road reports from Iowa and North Dakota here in Cincinnati!

I can't get enough of the fuel surcharges discussions either. It just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside when a trucker haulin' melons across Alabama talks about it.

at 10/08/2007 10:03 AM Anonymous Cincinnati Bradley said...

Cincinnati should have dumped that idiot a long time ago.

Thanks Clear Channel!!!

at 10/08/2007 10:19 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

bill cunningham is slightly amusing and incredibly delusional. the only thing I can figure is that dick cheney gave the executive order to award this blindly patriotic buffoon with a national show.

WLW is well served to stick with the trucking show at midnight. certainly they thought this out beforehand, right?

at 10/08/2007 11:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the 3rd hour from this weeks show will be played during the 9-10 hour of next weeks show, replacing the daily show repeat?

at 10/08/2007 11:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is your next appearance on WLW? Do you call up Darryl and say, "I'll be sure to get you some ink on this to keep the people talking. Can you get me on with Jim Scott next week in exchange?"
You keep scratching Parks' back and he'll keep scratching yours, right?

How about covering what stations have done for breast cancer month - like Q102's Bosom Ball, which has sold out for the first time in a long time? Or Warm 98, with their radiothon to "Feed the Children" tomorrow? No, let's skip the positives of the non-WLW's in town in favor of two more Cunningham stories.

at 10/08/2007 11:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea for Cincy Bradley and others. WLW did the right thing in dumping this idiot. The only thing "great" about Willie is the size of his mouth Maybe his daytime show is next, can't wait.

at 10/08/2007 11:35 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am grateful to Clear Channel for putting Coast-To-Coast on 550 on Sunday nights to replace Drudge. I was worried that I might accidentally tune into Cunningham. I completely swore off WLW last February and have never felt better.

at 10/08/2007 11:51 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cunningham is a prostitute.

For the credulous with poor memory, his current incarnation as a god-fearing Christian is the opposite of his persona when he was on in the evenings 10 years ago. Remember the fun ladies, strippers, interviews with “sex therapists”, the doctor of urology who he would have on somewhat regularly………

He’s an attorney. He has the ability to argue or advocate either side of an argument.

He’s trying to entertain. Sometimes it’s brilliant, oftentimes it’s Drudgery.

He loves to hear himself talk and that’s why I’m not sure people will want to listen to a 3 hour monologue. Nobody is that interesting to listen to.

How many stations are airing McConnell M-F, how many live? He said over a year ago that he wanted to have more affiliates in 2 years than either Beck or Ingram. His show is a daytime trucker show, dumb and REAL simple topics. And dumb and real simple people calling in. It’s awful.

at 10/08/2007 12:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would anyone want to listen to 2 hours of Cunningham, much less three. Has he ever had anything intlelligent to say?

at 10/08/2007 3:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous 11:08am...nobody ever covers when radio does good! Does anyone even know that WARM 98 has raised over million dollars for children's hospital over the years.
Willie is an actor playing a role and people do like it or they would not waste their money...and Parks will be there and until the rating are gone...
It is pretty black and white.

at 10/08/2007 5:04 PM Anonymous Gene from norwood said...

You can't cut the truckers out of their 5 hours they might get po'd,then Mikey boy wouldnt have any callers,I totally agree with 11:51 Mike's show is The american truckers network daytime version,bring on "the herd"

at 10/08/2007 5:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kiese what happened to Brendan Keefe, a reporter from WCBS-TV in New York with anchor experience in Hartford, to do the 5:30 p.m. news with Tanya O'Rourke and report at 11 p.m. He starts Monday, Oct. 8.
Why wasnt he anchoring today.

at 10/08/2007 6:20 PM Blogger Toddy-O said...

Anon 3:49, before the divorce from WLWT for WKRC Local 12, or as Paula Toti said during the halftime report yesterday..."Eyewitness uhh uh Local 12", Radio 7/700WLW raised many millions for something called the "Ruth Lyons Christmas Fund".

And then with the association, the Jacor stations joined the old Taft stations to raise money for something Ruth Lyons helped invent, "The Neediest Kids of All".

SO yes, Q102, Warm98, and pretty much every station in town has raised money honorably for non-profits.

As for 700, it needs an infusion of Randy Michaels bravaderie. Some chutzpah. It lacks now. Here's hoping Eddie Fingers and Bob Berry are moved to Burbank's slot, bringing back Kevin Wolff....and maybe even a pedestrian traffic report every now and then???

at 10/08/2007 6:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised it took this long to shut him up.

at 10/08/2007 8:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attn: 3:49; Not everything is a 'black and white issue'. Does race always have to be part of a discussion about Bill "Willie" Cunningham? Next thing you will say
is that Lincoln Ware should have his WLW slot.

at 10/08/2007 8:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Willie in the daytime is plenty, too much , we turn it off, and then again at night it is sickening. We caught iton th opening nite and he had nothing intelligent to offer, and the truckers are the lifeline of your mdse being delivered to many stores to put on the shelve. They work hard and should be heard with their many useful ideas on traffic, taxes, and illegals. Keep Willie C out of our hair. THANKS

at 10/08/2007 8:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who would want to hear Cunningham at nite when there is a slew of good music on other stations?
Not thinking people listen to his drivel, he should stay home and work at something else to keep his mouth clean.
The truckers at night are most hard working and intelligent, trying to get the mdse delivered to stores so you all can shop by day.
Keep truckers on, get rid of Willie C> Thanks,

at 10/09/2007 7:42 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHO CARES? This guy isn't worth putting on the air for 5 minutes, much less hours!

at 10/09/2007 10:18 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That third hour will probably be replayed next Sunday, in lieu of the best of Willie. That's what makes the most sense.

at 10/09/2007 10:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANOTHER Cunningham story today! John, we are looking at your writing to find the happenings, in the plural form, in local media. Now you have blogged the play-by-play of Cunningham's first show, blogged and written a full story about the third hour being cut, and written ANOTHER full story about Cunningham's feelings. MOVE ON! Nobody else is upset about it, and apparently you are consumed by it.

at 10/09/2007 2:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 10/9 at 10:36am.
And then, the whole deal is , its all for ratings. Dont think for a minute this was known when the idea of a show was built etc. When are you hollow thinking geeks going to realize that 700 knows what they are doing and do it well and its all for ratings. Cunningham, Parks, and the whole crowd knew. What has happened as a result is, we have local print media and bloggers just going on and on and on about the 1 hour short and its like wow, they really screwed Cunningham. No they did not!! they pulled another ratings ploy over on you people who dont understand the inner workings of radio!!!!!!!!!!!!! Instead of writing about this why not do stories on how Corporate radio has ruined radio? and less about how awful something that 700 has done, because they are the ones laughing at you thinking all this is real. If Cunningham was that upset do you think he would air his thoughts? Remember the Seg and Willie fight?

at 10/11/2007 11:47 AM Anonymous Scott B. Helton said...

WOW, you guys are awfully rough on Willie! Willie is obviously insane and it is all tongue-in-cheek when he is on the air. It is just goofy and fun. The stooooooooooge report is just a couple of idiots and some sound bytes...and it is just entertainment.

Wille, you are a great American. Don't let these naysayers get you down!

And in the words of your good friend Zeke Mowat: "Speak into the bone-a-phone, baby!" Gimme a full report! Would you like to see me naked?


Lighten up Cincinnati. At least you are not stuck in Indianapolis!

at 10/11/2007 12:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy. In Indianapolis the main news/talk station (WIBC) at 1070 on the dial is going to FM and the 1070 spot will be all sports ESPN. That mess begins in early January. Corporate radio has really ruined AM/FM as we once knew it!

at 10/11/2007 7:21 PM Blogger Robert Scott said...

After living in the midwest for 20 years, I have grown very familiar your with the Bill Cunningham Show and the Mike McConnell Show. When ever they are doing a nation wide show on the weekends, or what have you, it is fun to hear callers who have tasted them for the first time react and call in. Some positive and, of course, some negative.

I'm going to listen to Cunningham's nationwide Sunday night show on the 77am WABCs audio stream and listen to some more first time reactions by non-midwest listeners.

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