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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

Thursday's Storm Coverage

So what did you think of the storm coverage Thursday night? Who did it right? Who had the best storm tracking technology? Who had the best reporting?


at 10/19/2007 9:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

19. They didn't cut away from the alcs despite a torrado warning.

at 10/19/2007 10:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was completely ridiculous. Channel 5 broke in to ER and then stayed on for 2 hours. It's like the stations were so desperate for something to cover because this was such a dry summer. Meanwhile, thank goodness I can go watch ER at And people wonder why tv ratings are going down...

at 10/19/2007 10:36 AM Anonymous Brian said...

Channel 5 was absolutely ridiculous. They cut into programming shortly before 10:30 and stayed on until 11:00. They said all they had to say in the first 2 minutes then repeated themselves for the next 30. 9 and 12 said all they had to say in 5 minutes and went back to programming. No wonder 5 is in dead last.

at 10/19/2007 10:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

12 did the best, followed by 5. 9 was in Pete Delkus overblown-overdrive (killing off the 10pm ABC program) and 19 had the ballgame with split screen, which looks bad with a 1/4 sized radar image!

at 10/19/2007 10:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live north of downtown, so I wasn't concerned. I just want to know when ER will be re shown, as I missed the last half hour.

at 10/19/2007 10:44 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 9 a trusted verteran
Channel 5 a joke
Did you see Sandra on the live interview? We were watching ER and she asked him "if he had seen any rain." And they got rid of Todd????????????????

at 10/19/2007 11:15 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but ch.9 drives me nuts. I know they have very sensitive radar and all but PLEASE! They were on forever going over and over and over... Ch.12 did it best and always does. Maybe 9 has such crap programming that they thought more viewers would watch radar!

at 10/19/2007 11:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The storms didn't seem that bad at my house to be worth taking away the TV shows I liked. I'm a big ER fan, and the storm was still far away when Ch. 5 kept doing weather reports. There's got to be a better way for the TV stations to do this stuff about weather and not keep taking away the shows I like. I haven't heard anything about tornado damage or hail today.

at 10/19/2007 11:59 AM Blogger utech said...

WCPO - hands down.
did Channel 12 even do any weather coverage last night? never saw anything when I flipped over. saw weather coverage on 5 but it was no where near the level of 9.
Now if we could just get the talent at 12 to go to 9 and use their equipment I would watch the weather all day.

at 10/19/2007 12:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Raleigh - he seems WAY OVER the top with all his computers and "lets get under this cell" coverage. Do we need all of that information. Just tell me where the storm is and where its going. Channel 9 must have spent a fortune on all of Steve's computers, not to mention what they must be paying Steve.
I think Channel 5 gets my vote this time.

at 10/19/2007 12:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched channel 9 last night because of its news HD radar. I expected to hear about a lot of storm damage when I woke up this morning, but the storm doesn't seem to have been that bad. Perhaps the TV stations over did it a bit last night.

at 10/19/2007 12:19 PM Blogger Matt said...

I've always watched Channel 12 for my storm coverage in the past. But getting to see Channel 9's radar in high definition was pretty awesome. Since they've gone hi-def, I've watched much more 9 News than in the past.

at 10/19/2007 12:23 PM Anonymous Zil said...

All I know is that it was killing my HD during the MLB playoff game every time they cut in on channel 19 and I was not happy about that.

at 10/19/2007 12:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, Channel 12 comes out on top. No hype, No fluff. Straight to the point about what to expect with the impending weather and back to television programming. Appropriate amount of interruptions and out, while 5 and 9 use scare tactics. Kudos to Tim Hedrick.

at 10/19/2007 12:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree storm coverage can go over the top. But there is one thing you need to remember when making complaints like: "it wasn't that bad at my house."

That may be true - but the Cincinnati viewing area covers a very large piece of geography. It may be fine at your house in Warren County, while a tornado is barrelling towards someone's house in Boone County.

You can't expect the stations to say, gee, its all fine to the north, so to heck with those people to the south, or vice versa.

If there is a tornado on the ground and lives are in danger, take a deep breath. Read a book. Talk to your family. After all, you get all this stuff on the local stations FREE. If you were paying for the stations, you might have a valid complaint.

That said, last night's storms were not that bad, and did not warrant continuous coverage, just brief updates.

That is all.

at 10/19/2007 12:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't even close...9 and Steve Raleigh blew away the competition. I'm a Science teacher and his level of expertise and level of professionalism was the best.
If a the Weather Service calls for a Tornado Warning, I'm sticking with channel 9.

at 10/19/2007 12:56 PM Anonymous Scott Littleton said...


Channel 5 did a great job with the coverage as did Channel 9. Those complaining about their entertainment shows should get a clue, Tornado's are dangerous and information is critical and does save lives, I'm a living example.

It is important to warn people when there are tornados in the area. EAS needs to be implemented for storms if we are going to have that system and radio and TV needs to use it. No tornado's touched down last night but had there been one and they stuck with ER or a ballgame and people were killed the same people would say the lack of coverage was ridiculous and would be crying why no one warned them.

Now when it comes to snow storm coverage in the winter that is a bit overdone, but you can never have too much coverage of Tornado warnings.


at 10/19/2007 12:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

People should not complain about weather coverage during bad storms. There were spotted funnel clouds. If that happened around your house, I am sure you would be watching the radar. Just remember there are other people in this world besides you.

at 10/19/2007 1:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

12 is who I watched, then I went back to baseball.

at 10/19/2007 1:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Kiesewetter,
I'm new this web messaging but since my retirement I've enjoyed reading your articles.
I have to say I don't undertand some people complaints. I live in Florence and we had awful winds and I lost a chair down the street. These complaints would change if the storms would go over their homes.

at 10/19/2007 1:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think everyone can agree though... a Torando Warning in the Metro (any county that borders Hamilton) deserves a certain degree of coverage every time.

Also, if the sirens are sounding in Hamilton County (EVERY Severe Thunderstorm Warning + Tornado Watch)... you should be able to turn on your TV and see what the heck is going on.

at 10/19/2007 2:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure we can find you a new rocking chair gramps

at 10/19/2007 2:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


It was just a thunderstorm. They all could just run a crawler at the bottom with the same information that they keep saying over and over and over again.

We went to channel 2 for the rest of ER. They cut in for about 2 minutes of weather info and didn't come back on till 11 with weather updates. So we got to see all of ER.

I wonder how many people heed their warnings to take cover. And if you take cover like they say, then how in the hell do you see their coverage of the storms.

All local new continues to get worse.

at 10/19/2007 2:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WCPO-9 has the best technology, by far. (Especially HD) Just lacking in professionalism. I watched the ALCS in HD thanks to Channel 45, but the times I flipped back to check the weather, it seemed like 12 was the most straightforward.

at 10/19/2007 3:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys can't be serious. The people that are complaining about interrupting ER. I can't wait for a tornado to destroy your house. Hey you may even end up in a coffin. Let's see how many episodes of ER you'll watch then.

at 10/19/2007 4:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the advent of digital subchannels, I think the option should be available to continue regular programming for viewers who wish to see it. For a storm in Butler county, for example, viewers in Owen shouldn't need to switch to Lexington/Louisville affiliates to watch their shows. I understand the importance of local channels providing information about severe weather, but if the storm is 70+ miles away, on the opposite side of the viewing area, some people aren't as interested. Coverage went on well past the expiraion of the tornado warnings on 9 and 5.

at 10/19/2007 4:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON 3:59
I don't think we are saying don't interrupt the program, but to warn people in the path to take cover takes all of 5 minutes. Channel 5 just kept repeating the something over and over again for 35 minutes. If you are in the path of the storm and need more coverage, that is why there is a radio, and a 24 Hour Local weather Channel. Warn people, tell them what’s going on and where the path is, then let them decide if they are in danger.

at 10/19/2007 4:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 9 Steve Raleigh had the best coverage. My hsband and I watch only Steve and 9 for the correct reports. No matter what is said about computers--they are never wrong. Steve does a wonderful job.

at 10/19/2007 4:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watch channel 9 and Steve Raleigh tornados or not.

at 10/19/2007 5:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are re-airing ER early Sat morning at 3:04am. So you whiners that can't live without your stupid sitcom, put a sock in it.

at 10/19/2007 5:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seemed like overkill last night. With that said, the win goes to Channel 9, not for personnel or technology, but for the HD broadcast.

at 10/19/2007 9:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 9 was absolutely ridiculous... Steve Raleigh always over blows the weather. His "sky is falling" attitude is putting lives in danger because he does the same thing for every storm! People are not going to take it seriously when there is actually a dangerous storm. The same could be said for channel 5 except they are a lot more professional. Channel 12 had the appropriate coverage. Tim Hedrick said it best this evening: "We'll have the pictures of the widespread damage coming up...that's right there wasn't wide spread damage!"

Raleigh needs to go - he is dangerous.

at 10/19/2007 10:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 5 was the only channel who wiped out a whole half hour of a TV show. The other channels know that people don't like that and got to the point and sent you back. All of this could be done with tickers.

Had I been actually watching at the time instead of using my DVR, I'd have switched over to Dayton's 2.

at 10/19/2007 10:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I subscribe to Channel 12's "My Weather Authority" service, where the Ch. 12 meteorologists e-mail you throughout the day about the weather.

In tonight's e-mail, Tim Hedrick explained their philosophy/approach to severe weather TV coverage, which I thought was good. Here is an excerpt:

"We sincerely appreciate your viewership each and every night and that is we try to provide you with consistent, non-threatening coverage when it comes to the weather. When we are "live" there is something to take very seriously. When we are running crawls or have our map displayed in the corner we are monitoring the situation very carefully. How could you possibly take us seriously if we are constantly on television warning for every lightning bolt and gust of wind? "

at 10/20/2007 2:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott (10/19 at 12:56) hit the nail on the head. I believe it's WAVE 3, the NBC affiliate in Louisville that has a policy of being on the air with weather updates while there is a Tornado Warning anywhere in their viewing area. A television station's FIRST priority is to inform--not entertain. They have a duty to ALL viewers to make sure they have the appropriate information to keep them safe. My area was on the edge of a Tornado Warning, and I was very thankful that 5 and 9 were on the air so I could track the storm. The storm narrowly missed me, thankfully. It amazes me how Tim Hedrick, the most experienced forecaster in this area by far, avoided the camera in lieu of the abysmal Viva Laughlin. Thank you to 5 and 9 for knowing your priorities.

at 10/20/2007 2:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WKRC did the best coverage -- by NOT going wall-to-wall. Let's keep things in perspective.

at 10/21/2007 1:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grow up and get the darn weather radio. Quit depending on local news to blow it out of proportion. I can hardly wait for the huge snow storms coming our way that will be the end all of our existence, yet only to yield to a dusting on the ground. Stay Tuned for White Death!!!

at 10/21/2007 1:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 5 had the best coverage. Derek Beasley BY FAR is the most experienced meteorologist. As people in the tri state know. Derek is underrated. He deserves more credit. Tim Hedrick is a jerk and I can NOT watch Steve Raleigh without staring at the DIMPLE CHIN. WHY WOULD WCPO WANT TO BRAG ABOUT GOING HD WITH A DIMPLE CHINNED METEOROLOGIST???? BOTTOM LINE, DEREK BEASLEY IS AMAZING!!!!

at 10/22/2007 12:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Derek is so experienced he was in diapers forecasting the weather when Hedrick was working his first TV job. Don’t get me wrong, I like Derek and I think he does a fine job for a young kid, but to call him the most experienced is ridiculous. It’s obvious he’s still green. Hopefully 5 can hold onto him so we can see him mature. Who knows, in 20 years he may have a shot at being the next Hedrick in this market. But given 5’s history, I’d say he’ll be gone in a few years…

at 10/22/2007 1:17 AM Blogger Matt said...

I suppose I may be a bit biased here but as an avid watcher of WCPO and it's weather coverage for the majority of my life time I still don't think the other local stations can touch it as far as the technology they use and the accuracy they have.

As far as Steve Raleigh goes, I like him. He's no Pete Delkus but then again, I remember saying that about Delkus when he took over for the ever popular Bob Alan.

So it would seem that the station that pours the most money into their weather casting budget ultimately comes out with the best and most accurate. And WCPO has done this time after time over the years.

And have you actually looked at their weather center? It takes up over half the set! Much larger than the competitors. And of course, owning your very own Doppler Radar System doesn't hurt much either. And now they're the only station in town that's broadcasting completely in High Definition.

Not surprising really that a station who has managed to be the cutting edge leader in the area reamins the popular leader as well... Face it, Better equipment produces a better product. In this case it happens to be weather forecasts.

at 10/22/2007 11:51 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 5:54
ER a sitcom? seriously?
and good thing they did re-air it at 3:04 AM. That is prime TV watching time there. Bottom line Channel 5 is in dead last, and will continue to be in dead last because they suck at life. Can’t wait until they block out 5 hours of prime time to tell us all that Armageddon is coming in the form of 2 inches of snow.

at 10/22/2007 5:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Creating a false sense of alarm is not a good thing, so it doesn't matter if they do have the best technology. Channel 12 has their own radar as well, which seems to be more accurate. Steve Raleigh was touting 120 MPH winds and hail three inches in diameter based on his radar - neither of which happened.

Now, 9 is playing commercials bragging about their coverage...which was dangerous.

As far as HD, it is irrelevant to the weather coverage...

at 10/22/2007 8:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a storm on Thursday?

at 10/22/2007 10:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok..Ok sounds like sour grapes from Mr. Hendrick. He wasn't on during a "Tornado Warning". Now, it's alot of backpeddling and justification. I normally watch Channel 12 for news but I have to say after last week's storms...Raleigh is getting my grudging respect.

at 10/23/2007 12:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Derek Beasley and John Bateman did a fantastic job at covering the tornado warnings and coverage in the cincinnati area Thursday Night. They are some of the most knowledgeable meteorologists in the Terms of severe weather coverage in the Cincinnati/Tri-State area. After being behind the scenes of News 5 WeatherPLUS Since Jim O'Brien was there and now Derek Beasley. If you would have seen the hoops and hurdles that the management team puts the weather team through, you would understand why the ratings are terrible. They change meteorologists like they change underwear. After training with the News 5 WeatherPLUS team, I feel like I have received the best training that ANYONE can offer. In the broadcasting business, ESPECIALLY IN WEATHER, Where people rely on forecasts from these meteorologists day in and day out, you learn STABILITY IS KEY!!!!! If the News 5 Management continues to change meteorologists like they do, they will never move anywhere in the ratings. When they move meteorologists and/or anchors to different television shows (EG: Weekdays to Weekends OR Vise-Versa.)They think the ratings are going to go with the person that they are moving, and that is simply not true. News 5 has let go of some of the best meteorologists that cincinnati has seen in a long time. If they treated them better, maybe they would still be around. In my opinion, they need to STOP trading out meteorologists everytime the ratings are bad, and trade out some of the News 5 management that are making these moves when ratings get bad. I welcome responses to this post as I have had experience with News 5 Weather and News 5 WeatherPLUS, one of the best weather teams in Cincinnati. You learn if you have been around the business for a while, you win news, and you win weather, you win the nielson ratings. If they continue to change meteorologists like they do, the ratings will continue to go nowhere.

at 10/23/2007 8:05 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate the senseless coverage on all tv. When I want the weather I do what the tv stations asked me to do. I bought a weather radio and get everything I need in under 2 minutes. Who needs to be insulted by the tv weather people. When was the last time they got it right anyway?

at 10/23/2007 12:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

derek or john please learn how to spell.

at 10/23/2007 6:39 PM Blogger Christian said...

although the coverage was overblown, I absolutely love the WCPO HD weather radar. Seeing that level of detail (down to streets) on a big screen in HD, is way cool.

at 10/23/2007 10:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Have you talked with real readers about this subject, as opposed to opening up your blog to the mostly TV/Radio/Newspaper types who post here? Face it, this blog is built around a small circle of media whiners.
Talk to some real readers/viewers. They'll give you the scoop.

at 10/24/2007 10:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you guys know it has been raining for the past couple of days. If you haven't channel 5 did a couple of stories for you, to let you know it has been raining. Great video of car accidents from those high resolution cameras on the interstates. Now that is great T.V.

at 10/30/2007 6:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Villa Hills we had the tornado warning the clouds above us that suggest one is coming I like to know if one touches down. Who cares about your programming, personally I care more about not being one of the people on ER than watching it.

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