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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 01, 2007

ESPN's John Seibel Dreamed Of The Big One

Thom Brennaman isn't the only area sports announcer who wanted to come home. ESPN Radio host John Seibel says he followed the Andy Furman suspension/firing story a year ago, and talked to WLW-AM about the "SportsTalk" opening.

Seibel grew up in Englewood, a Dayton suburb, listening to Bob Trumpy host "SportsTalk" in the 1980s on the powerful 50,000-watt signal, and cheering for the Cincinnati Bengals.

"We talked on the phone, but I don’t know if it got to anything serious,” says Seibel, 38, about his conversations with WLW-AM a year ago.

Things worked out OK for Seibel, a 1988 graduate of Clayton Northmont High School. In January, two months after Furman was fired, Seibel moved from ESPN Radio's "GameNight" (7 p.m.-1 a.m.) to the plum 4-6:30 p.m. afternoon drive show (heard here on WSAI-AM, 1360). He's broadcasting today from Jeff Ruby's Steak House downtown, where ESPN held its "Chalk Talk" lunch today with Stuart Scott, Suzy Kolber, Anthony Munoz, Ickey Woods,

"We all want to come home some day, but ESPN is great," says Seibel, whose father still lives in Englewood.

Like Dan Patrick, Seibel couldn't get a weekend sports anchoring job in Dayton. While working as an Anchorage sports anchor (1997-2000), he'd keep in touch with Dayton stations, particularly when he was home to see his family. He was talking on one station about a weekend job in 2000 when he was offered an anchor position at ESPNEWS. "When ESPN called, there was no comparison," he says. (Duh!)

He still anchors a couple of times of week on ESPNEWS, but he enjoys the freedom to express his opinons on radio. Those who listen to his show know he bleeds Cincinnati Bengals black and orange.

"I'm an unabashed Bengals fans. I get ridiculed about that a lot," he says. "But I lived through the '90s when they were awful. Somebody at ESPN has to a fan of the Bengals."

But he doesn't have high hopes tonight. He predicts a Patriots win, 38-23.

"I say that begrudgingly," Seibel says. "But the Bengals have never lost a regular season game that I've attended. I'm 5-0. So I’m hoping.... I'm going to spend part of the game in the press box. That will be the challenging part for me, not cheering in the press box.

Do you listen to Seibel? Are you a fan? How would he have done as "SportsTalk" host?


at 10/02/2007 4:21 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any new voice is a good voice...

I would have listened

at 10/02/2007 12:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seibel is terrible. A real snoozer.

at 10/03/2007 10:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is nothing else to put on local radio outside of sports?

at 11/01/2007 7:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Siebel makes ridiculous comments (such as suggesting that the Bengals would go 14-2 this season), provides little insightful commentary, and is a poor replacement for Erik Kuselias. My drive home is less interesting today than it was several months ago

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