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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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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

On Hiatus, So Talk Among Yourselves

It's been a fun year. Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm on vacation this week, and will periodically check this space through the end of the year. You can write comments and observations throughout the week, but there's no guarantee they'll be posted with any regularity.
Hope you can gather with your family and friends over the holidays, and share or make memories.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nick Lachey: Nice Guy, Tiffany Shopper

I've always loved to tell stories about celebrities who aren't wacko head cases, who haven't forgotten where they come from. Here's one about Nick Lachey...

Choir members tell me Nick Lachey was an inspirational "regular guy" hanging with them in New York -- until it came time for him to thank them. He ate in the cafeteria with them. He stayed up long hours attending their rehearsals. Before they went on stage for Wednesday's crucial three-song final competition, "he told us he loved us," says John Scott of Covington.

But when it came to saying thanks, the College Hill resident and '92 SCPA grad shared some of the wealth he's earned from MTV's "Newlyweds" and 98 Degrees. He went to Tiffany's and bought each of the 10 female singers a necklace with the letter "C" on it (for Cincinnati). He gave each of the 10 guys a money clip.

And after NBC's wrap party Thursday night in the TV studio, all the singers and their families and friends got on two charter buses and went to a cruise boat on the East River. They took a two-hour cruise up and down the East River and out into the New York harbor to the Statue of Liberty. They had food, open bar and a DJ on the boat. Nick paid for it all, choir members tell me.

What a class act. It's always nice to share a feel-good story about stars who are down to earth. I can't say I've been a big fan of his music, but now I'm a big fan of the man....

Friday, December 21, 2007

Clash of Choirs Finale Time Warner On-Demand

This Just In: For those of you who missed the last hour of the "Clash of the Choirs" finale Thursday -- Time Warner listed it as only an hour, not two -- you can watch it on Time Warner's on-demand Channel 1111. The full two hours will be available for free 2 p.m. Saturday through Monday noon, says Richard Dyer, Channel 5 general manager.
Time Warner's on-screen guide listed the Thursday show 8-9 p.m. NBC changed the conclusion to 8-10 p.m. late Wednesday afternoon.

Gary Burbank: I Must Be Off

Don't forget to tune in WLW-AM on the way home to hear Gary Burbank's last show 3-6 p.m. It won't be a typical show, with Andy Mac, Doc Wolfe and lots of special guests. And stick around until 6 p.m. for the epilogue, instead of the Marvin Lewis show.

And as a Butler County resident, I'm proud to say today has been proclaimed Gary Burbank and Gilbert G-N-A-R-L-E-Y Day in Butler County. Here's the official proclamation: Okay? Okay? Okay!

Whereas the Board of Butler County Commissioners conducted a senseless survey of all Butler County citizens; and

Whereas the results of the Butler County senseless survey were "synonymous" except for one guy named Earl Pitts (he was just jealous); and

Whereas it is the "unintentional" desire of the Butler County Commissioners to bestow Co-Citizens of the Day honor on Gilbert Gnarley G-N-A-R-L-E-Y... and Gary Burbank; and

Whereas Gilbert Gnarley G-N-A-R-L-E-Y is a Butler County citizen and an elderly member of St. Pia Zadora Golden Buckeye Retirement Community in Pisgah, Butler County, Ohio, and has brought countless hours of rip roaring enjoyment to the citizens of Butler County; and

Whereas, Gary Burbank has won several major awards, including back-to-back Marconi Awards as large market personality of the year in 1990 and 1991;

Now therefore be it resolved that Gregory V. Jolivette, Charles R. Furmon and Donald L. Dixon do hereby proclaim Friday, Dec. 21, as: Co-Citzens Gilbert Gnarley G-N-A-R--L-E-Y and Gary Burbank Day.

And we, along with the citizens of Butler County, Ohio, wish to congratulate and express our gratitude to Gary Burbank and his many characters for the many years of enjoyable listening. Okay? Okay? Okay? Okay!

PS: And to that guy named Earl, we have on this to say: "Pitts Off!"

Photos: Burbank in the studio

Audio: Listen to Burbank favorites: Earl Pitts, Gilbert Gnarley and more

Read Kiesewetter's front-page story

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sing A Song! They Did It!

THEY WON! What A Wonderful World! Sing A Song! Thanks to the killer 'Bee!

Just two weeks ago tonight, I heard the choir sing "Bumblebee" and several other songs rehearsing at Xavier University. I thought then the 'Bee would be killer... and it was. These people make such beautiful music together. And Nick Lachey has proven to be a nice, down to earth guy. At his hour (midight), he's taken the choir and their families on a two-hour boat cruise around Manhattan, paid for out of his own pocket. Class act.

And I must say it again: Steve Zegree, the Western Michigan Univ. jazz professor, deserves a lot of credit. He did the arrangements, and led the 40 hours of rehearsal. He really molded this group into one, and gave it personality and precision. If there is a Cincinnati concert -- and I believe there will be one -- Zegree should be there and honored too.

It was a great night.... And a fun ride this week.... I'm not surprised Cincinnati won, given our appetite for watching local people on reality TV shows. And this was a won-der-ful showcase for Cincinnati!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

An A+ For The Bee From Me

"Flight of the Bumblebee." A cappella I loved it. I've been dying to tell people about it since I heard Nick Lachey's Cincinnati choir rehearse it two weeks ago at Xavier University. I thought it was fantastic.

But is it enough to win "Clash of the Choirs?" I don't know.

Patti LaBelle's choir certainly is powerful. But her "Over the Rainbow" was basically her solo, and not much of a choir number. And Blake Shelton's Oklahoma City choir was very good. (Could the real winner be Shelton, who's humorous comments throughout the week could make him a big TV star, not just a country singer?)

I'll argue that Cincinnati's choir has been the most versatile -- more soloists, better choreography, a wider variety of songs, and the incredible "Bumblebee." And like Lachey, Cincinnati has a secret weapon: Cincinnati's huge reality TV audience. Cincinnati's Channel 5 has drawn bigger ratings for NBC's reality singing competion -- "American Idol" for show choirs -- than Philadelphia, Houston, New Haven or Oklahoma City. That might translate into a lotta votes.

If Cincinnati wins -- we'll find out tonight (Don't forget NBC has expanded the results show to two hours, 8-10 p.m.) -- I sure hope Steve Zegree, the Western Michigan University jazz professor (and Miami grad) who trained the choir and wrote the arrangement gets some recognition. The "Bumblebee" was his execution.

And even if the Cincinnati choir doesn't win, somebody should organize a local concert for the choir. Wouldn't that be terrific? It could be the hottest ticket in town. And I'm sure the choir would love to sing once here for us. (Even if Lachey can't make it, would Zegree come in and lead the choir?) It's a perfect project for Channel 5 -- the show was on Channel 5, it promoted Children's Hospital -- so why not do the concert as a fund-raiser for the Ruth Lyons' Children's Fund, which pays for games, toys and entertainment for Children's Hospital patients?

Maybe an arts organization or school would donate a theater for the show? Yeah, I know, the choir only know 7 songs.... but you could fill the evening with an audience Q&A where the singers could talk about their New York/TV experience, what they've learned, how this changed their lives, and Carrie Scott-Taylor could talk about how Children's Hospital has helped her daughter. And after the concert, the 20 singers could mingle with the audience and soak up well deserved adulation? Let us treat them like stars?

And then we'd get to hear "Bumblee" again!

What do you think? Will Team Lachey go all the way?

NBC Expands Thursday's Choir Finale

This just in: The popularity of NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" week has prompted the network to expand Thursday's finale to two hours (8-10 p.m., Channels 5, 2).

Tuesday's live telecast from New York averaged 7.7 million viewers, NBC says.

The 20 local singers and Lachey will learn on tonight's two-hour broadcast (8-10 p.m., Channels 5, 2) if their performance of Garth Brooks' "Friends In Low Places" won them one of three spots in the finals tonight. One of the four remaining choirs – Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, New Haven or Cincinnati – will be eliminated during the show and will not sing tonight.

The three finalists each will sing three songs tonight. If Cincinnati advances, the choir will perform Lachey's "What's Left Of Me," a Christmas song and another "top secret" song Lachey doesn't talk about.

I'm not surprised to report that Cincinnati -- which has been CBS' No. 1 market for "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" -- was NBC's No. 1 market for the "Clash of the Choirs" premiere Monday. That was the 12.2 rating and 18 percent audience share I mentioned yesterday.

On Tuesday, Channel 5's ratings fell to No. 6 nationally with a 9.0 and 15 percent audience share (but still above the 5.6/9% national overnight average). Cincinnati finished behind NBC stations in Richmond, Va.; Indianapolis; St. Louis; West Palm Beach; and Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem, N.C.

But Cincinnati had bigger ratings than the other four "Choir" cities for the second night, which could be a good omen when the viewers' voting is announced.

The choir began rehearsing at 6:30 a.m. today in New York for tonight's live show, says Dan Hilen, Lakota East High School sports information director and father of choir member April Hilen, 24, of Mason, the music director at Glen Este Middle School.

If Cincinnati wins, Children’s Hospital Medical Center will receive $250,000 from the show, and the local choir will record a song with Lachey on his next album.

Channel 19's UC Lineup

As Channel 19 prepares for its final locally produced UC basketball game next week, I thought it would be fun to look back at the announcers over the last 26 years.

Channel 19 has had quite a lineup since the Ed Badger teams of 1980-81: Dan Hoard, Thom Brennaman, Jeff Piecoro, Kevin Frazier, Andy MacWilliams, Andy Treinen, Anthony Buford, Derrek Dickey, Tom Kelly, Connie Dierking. Remember Red Pitcher? Ed Jucker did a year. Anthony Buford did more than any other (12 seasons).

Who was your favorite UC TV announcer?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Will The Cincinnati Choir Advance To Finals?

Cincinnati went country in New York on NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" Tuesday, and it worked for me. I hadn't heard Nick Lachey's vocalists sing Garth Brooks' "Friends In Low Places" in rehearsals at Xavier University, but I very impressed with the group's versatility, harmony and presentation. I think Nick Wall of Dent, the Bridgetown Road Skyline Chili server, out-countried Blake Shelton.

Lachey had told me in an interview he wanted his choir to be known for its versatility, and he's proving the point. As Michael Bolton said: "The diversity, the wit, and depth of all the voices, and fun -- pure fun." (Does this guy ever speak in complete sentences?)

Kelly Rowland, whose Houston choir was eliminated Tuesday, said: "You guys sound great. I'm speechless. You guys did a great job."

I didn't like NBC withholding the elimination until 8:45. I'd hate to have to sing after waiting 45 minutes on live TV to find out if my group made the cut. But NBC did a great job again of mixing in feel-good stories, like Wall losing 30 pounds to sing on national TV. I still don't like the title.... This format basically is "American Idol for Show Choirs."

Too bad the mastermind behind the choir hasn't received any credit. Steve Zegree, the Western Michigan University Bobby McFerrin professor of jazz, did all the Team Lachey arrangements, and presided over all the rehearals. He's a 1975 Miami University grad, by the way. (I saw just a glimpse of him on Tuesday's show, a short thin man with a dark beard, behind Lachey in one of the rehearsal shots.)

The competition:
--Again, I thought Patti LaBelle's Philly choir was very good (Duh!), singing "I'll Stand By You" by the Pretenders.

--Blake Shelton's Oklahoma City choir's "Taking It To The Streets" by the Doobie Brothers sounded good -- the solos were good, not great -- but I didn't like the choreography.... people just sitting on the steps rocking back and forth.

--Michael Bolton's New Haven choirs "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" was pretty good. He went with two soloists instead of one tonight. Frankly I think the Cincinnati choir shows more depth of talent.

I'm guessing that Shelton or Bolton won't make the finals.

I think Cincinnati proved it deserves to make the finals... and if Cincinnati leads the TV ratings again for the show tonight, that should translate into enough voters to advance. And if the Cincy singers perform Wednesday, they've got some great songs that will blow the roof off the studio.

Who did you think was the best? Which one will be voted out?

Live From The Choir Families In NY

This just in from New York from Dan Hilen, Lakota East High School sports information director, and father of April Hilen, one of the "Clash of the Choir" singers. If I get other emails from parents, spouses or singers, I'll add them to this string. Please post your reviews on the "Choirs" blog I wrote last night.

Also, a ratings note: Cincinnati had the biggest TV audience of the five choir markets, from what I can tell.
Channel 5 averaged a 12.2 rating and 18% audience share.
Philadelphia, 8.3/9%
Hartford/New Haven, 7.4/11%
Houston, 4.0/8%
Oklahoma City ratings delayed.

Just a quick update from NYC and Clash. Being at the program was so awesome last night. It was a party in the studio with the choirs and the warm-up comedian.
The producers had something in mind when they put the Cincy choir first and the Philly choir last. I think they wanted to make sure people started and finished watching the show.
If I had to bet... it will come down to these two choirs. The LaBelle choir was strong last night, but the Cincy choir has some surprises ahead if they advance. GREAT SHOW!

Yes, I Said Tracy Jones

With my Gary Burbank stories today, I was asked to do a list of possible candidates to replace Burbank after his Dec. 31 retirement. I expect WLW to drop the comedy format and go talk, for format consistency (audience flow) with McConnell, Cunningham and Sloan.
The name I keep hearing is Tracy Jones, the former Reds outfielder who hosts the weekend postgame call-in show on WLW-AM during the baseball season. As I hear it, Jones, would work with a co-host, because he doesn't have any weekday radio experience. After all, this is the #1 station in a major market. (Tracy would need a co-host, in my opinion, to keep the talk about today's hot issue -- Topic A, they call it at the Big One -- instead of about Tracy Jones. How often has WLW's "Brennaman & Jones on Baseball" segments been more like "Brennaman & Jones On Tracy?")
Other possibilities:
Scott Sloan, the 9 p.m.-midnight host who's pre-empted during the Reds season most nights. (So WLW would have to fill the night shift October-March.)
Eddie Fingers, the "Dawn Patrol" host for years who has filled in some for Burbank. (But he probably wouldn't be doing a comedy show, ala Burbank. And where would this leave the "Dawn Patrol?")
Andy Furman, fired a year ago by WLW-AM, whose contract wasn't renewed at WFTK-FM (96.5) with the format switch from SupertalkFM96.5 to 96 Rock. (Andy still has a lot of friends at WLW-AM, but would Clear Channel corporate HQ approve his rehiring?)
It also wouldn't surprise me if Darryl Parks did the show for a few weeks... to provide some space between Burbank and The Person Who Replaces Burbank.
We know it won't be John Phillips, Mr K, Craig Kopp, Jerry Thomas, Will Sterrett, Gregg Waddell, Richard Skinner or Tom Gamble because they were let go by Clear Channel in the past year....
Who do you think will replace Burbank?

Watch Gary Burbank Do Earl Pitts

Did you see Michael Keating's video of Gary Burbank doing Earl Pitts? It's on our website, with my Burbank story today. I always found it fascinating to see Gary go from being Burbank to Pitts, or another character, in the blink of an eye. Here's the link to the video. Or you can go to, and search for Gary Burbank. We've also posted audio cuts from Gilbert Gnarley, Pitts and other characters on the web.

Monday, December 17, 2007

How Well Did Lachey's Choir Do?

Did Nick Lachey's Cincinnati choir do well enough to sing a second night? I think so... even though I thought "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield wasn't the best song I heard at rehearsal about two weeks ago. It wasn't as jazzy as the other songs they've learned under Steve Zegree, the Western Michigan Univ jazz professor (and a Miami grad?).
Certainly Cincinnati got lots of great attention -- with video of the skyline, Fountain Square, Music Hall, Children's Hospital Medical Center newborn intensive card unit, the School for Creative & Performing Arts and Graeter's ice cream (yeah, like he really dished up ice cream and rode a trolley to look for singers).
The story line was very touching about Arielle Underwood and her dad, who forgot the lyrics to "Fly Me To The Moon," and her mom battling breast cancer. SCPA grad Arielle, 20, made it to the Hollywood round on "American Idol" two years ago. (NBC still has more stories in the bank, about a singer with a sick child treated at Children's Hospital; an Indiana woman who lost a child to a brain tumor; and maybe more on University Hospital nurse Shonda Fowler, Nick's classmate/first kiss.)
Did you notice in the Lachey bio, they jumped from 98 degrees to his solo career -- and forgot to mention his hit MTV show, "Newlyweds" with Jessica Simpson? Who inspired his hit "What's Left Of Me?" (which the Cincinnati singers will perform with Lachey Wednesday night, if they make it to the finals).
NBC paced the show well. The bad/goofy singers provided comic relief. So did country singer Blake Shelton, who "had no clue" about choirs, and asked one woman if she had been drinking before the audition. I liked his taped piece the best.
From my scorecard on the first night: Michael Bolton played the best air guitar; Patti LaBelle wins for best hat (multiple nominations); all groups tied in their ability to shake their shoulders (a whole lotta shakin' going on); tied for stupidest gimmicks were Nick's trolley and that Cincinnati lady in the chicken suit.
Worst moments: The repeated gushing by the celebrity choir leaders. (Where's Simon when you need him?) This will get old by Wednesday. Will we hear the least little criticism from anyone? (Or was it when the host thanked the soldiers "for making the ultimate sacrifice?" I don't think she meant a death wish.)
I'd say Round One goes to Patti LaBelle's Philly singers tonight. I think Cincinnati did well enough to advance. My guess is Michael Bolton's New Haven choir goes home, I think they did the least with "Living On A Prayer" and had the fewest solos.
You tell me: Who were the best and worst?

Singing The Praises of Our NBC Choir

Time for a confession... or two.... or more....

--I don't like the title, "Clash of the Choirs," but I think it could be a big hit this week on TV (8-10 p.m. today, Channels 5, 2), if people give it a chance. There are some "American Idol" elements to it -- a singing competition, stories about the singers (ordinary people with interesting backgrounds, including two women who have had sick children treated at Children's Hospital here, the beneficiary if Cincinnati wins the competition), and a chance to vote for your favorite singers.

--This has nothing to do with church choirs, which could turn off some potential viewers. These are vocal ensembles singing pop, R&B, country, all kinds of music. This is not your grandmother's church choir.

--The real reason this show could be a hit: I've heard the Cincinnati choir, and it's won-der-ful. Dr. Stephen Zegree, the Bobby McFerrin professor of jazz at Western Michigan University, has given Nick Lachey’s choir a jazzy twist on every song. (Ever heard Manhattan Transfer, the Grammy-winning jazz vocalists?) They make beautiful music together.

I saw them rehearse five of their seven songs a week ago, and each was terrific. One is Lachey's "What's Left Of Me."I heard the "top secret" song that Lachey didn't want to discuss in my Sunday story. If done right, it will blow people away. The big question for Lachey and Zegree is when to do that special song? If they do it tonight, might they not match those high expectations again? Should they hold it to the Wednesday finals,when each choir does three songs? What if they don’t make it that far?

That's where you come in. Watch tonight. Give it a try. If you like what you see, call and vote for the Cincinnati group.

And then check out my blog. I'll post a review tonight, and I’'l be interested to read your take too.

Channel 19 Dropping UC Basketball

The University of Cincinnati' move to the Big East has cost the Bearcats its local TV contract.
After 26 years, WXIX-TV (Channel 19) will stop producing local UC basketball games with the UC-Miami telecast Dec. 29.
"This is purely an economic decision," says John Long, Channel 19 general manager.
The station was losing money on Bearcats basketball, a 10-year contract signed five years ago, he says. Long informed UC officials last week the station was exercising its option to get out of the contract after five years.
"The economics of the deal has changed greatly in the last five years," Long says.
UC’s basketball fortunes and the TV landscape also looks much different today, when college basektball games can be found all over the TV dial and Fox's "American Idol" makes it difficult to pre-empt the nation's No. 1 TV show for local sports. Xavier University has not had a local TV affiliate for several years.

Crosley Mansion Open Again For Tours

The last time Mercy Hospital folks opened Powel Crosley Jr.'s Pinecroft mansion for self-guided tours, they were stunned to see more than 2,000 people show up. More than 100 were lined up before the door opened...
So how many will come 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday for a rare look inside the 1920s English Tudor home built in the 1920s by Crosley, the WLW-AM founder, former Cincinnati Reds owner, and Cincinnati industrialist-inventor? It's at 2366 Kipling Ave., on the grounds of Mercy Hospital Mount Airy.
The hospital is hosting a book signing there for Robert Flischel's "The University of Cincinnati, Architectural Transformation: Tradition and Innovation" (RAF Press; $55). Proceeds from the book will benefit the Pinecroft Preservation Fund to renovate, restore and document the 13,300 square foot home for nomination to the Historic Registry of Places. (You don't have to buy a book to take a self-guided tour.)
I went last year and was surprised to see that it looked so much like the way it was built for Crosley for about $750,000 in 1927. (He died in 1961.) You can still see Crosley's initials and family crest on the front of the two-story house. The original hand-carved oak walls are in excellent shape, as is the dining room mantel with carved acorns. Stained-glass insets of the University of Cincinnati and state of Ohio seals still decorate hall and dining room windows.
Off the basement game room, under the grand oak stairway, is a 1.5-inch thick metal safe door hiding Crosley's Prohibition-era wine cellar. Stained glass windows on the south basement wall depict his interests in fishing, hunting, boating, flying and polo.
Last year's open house was held 3-7 p.m. Many of us took advantage of the daylight to walk around the grounds, tennis court and garages. Opening the house after dark Tuesday won't allow you to visualize the Olympic-sized swimming pool (filled in) and bathhouse, landing strip, formal gardens, short golf course, a stable for the polo ponies and a vineyard described in the book, "Crosley: Two Brothers and a Business Empire That Transformed The Nation" by Rusty McClure, Michael A. Banks and David Stern.
Yeah, it's a week before Christmas… and we're all crazy busy… but this is a great opportunity to see one of the Queen City's elusive hidden gems.
Just try to get there early.

Reporter Will Sterrett Gone From WLW-AM

This just in: I finally confirmed the fourth person fired late last week in the Clear Channel budget cuts: News reporter-anchor Will Sterrett. He had just come to WLW in September from Atlanta, where he was an anchor/supervising producer for the CNN Radio Network.
"In your Clear Channel cuts blog entry you ended the list of those let go with "(anybody else?)," so I figured I'd pass along another one. I was let go Friday, also because of budget, from my reporter/anchor spot at WLW. I'd just come to Cincinnati from Atlanta in September, so I feel like I'm leaving a lot of unfinished business behind since I'd just gotten my sleeves rolled up and gotten down to work - but that's how it goes," he wrote in an email.
"I'd wanted to live in Cincinnati for a number of years, so while the stay was short, it did fulfill a dream of mine. I'm originally from central Missouri (Columbia to be exact) and I moved back over the weekend. Both my parents worked in radio in the 70s and got out, but I just don't think I can follow in their footsteps and walk away. It's in my DNA. I'm looking for my next opportunity in radio and have some positive leads."
Also out are John Phillips, WKRC-AM morning co-host and former traffic reporter; Mr. K, noon-3 p.m. DJ on WEBN-FM; and Gregg Doyel, WCKY-AM (1530 Homer) co-host 9 a.m.-noon.
With Doyel gone, don't be surprised if 1530 Homer picks up the syndicated Dan Patrick show 9 a.m.-noon next year. Just a hunch.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lost Will Be Found Jan. 31

ABC's midseason schedule just came out. "Lost" premieres Thursday, Jan. 31, at 9 p.m. , replacing "Grey's Anatomy." Eight "Lost" episodes were shot before the writers' strike.
Here's the release:


"Lost" Returns Thursdays at 9:00 p.m., ET on Thursday, January 31

New Seasons of "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Bachelor" Begin March 17

ABC will premiere four new series, "Cashmere Mafia," "Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann," "Eli Stone" and "Oprah’s Big Give," in addition to the premiere of the much anticipated fourth season of "Lost" on Thursday, January 31 at 9:00 p.m.

"Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann" premieres with a special two-hour episode on Monday, January 7, followed by 90-minute episodes through January. "Notes from the Underbelly" and "October Road" will continue to air at 9:30 and 10:00 p.m., respectively. "Samantha Who?" will return with original episodes in February at 9:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Bachelor" start new seasons on Monday, March 17.

"Just for Laughs" returns Tuesday, January 1, at 8:30 p.m., following the Rose Bowl, and will air back-to-back episodes Tuesday nights (8:00 and 8:30 p.m.), beginning January 8. "According to Jim" will also return January 1, with two episodes at 9:00 and 9:30 p.m. The series will regularly air at 9:00 p.m., followed by "Carpoolers" (9:30 p.m.) as of January 8. "Dancing with the Stars the Results Show" will return at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25. "Boston Legal" will continue airing Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m.

"Wife Swap" will premiere at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2, and "Supernanny" returns with special back-to-back episodes at 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. that same night. The new drama series "Cashmere Mafia" premieres in its regular timeslot at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9, following a special premiere on Thursday, January 3. Beginning February 27, "Men in Trees" will air Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m.

On Thursday nights in January, "Ugly Betty" will continue to air at 8:00 p.m., followed by "Grey’s Anatomy" at 9:00 p.m. and "Big Shots" at 10:00 p.m. "Lost" will premiere on January 31 at 9:00 p.m. (replacing "Grey's Anatomy," followed by the premiere of "Eli Stone" at 10:00 p.m.

On Fridays, drama encores will air at 8:00 and 9:00 p.m., followed by "20/20" at 10:00 p.m.

On Sunday nights, "Oprah’s Big Give" will premiere on Sunday, March 2 at 9:00 p.m.

John Phillips, Mr. K Fired By Clear Channel

More budget cuts at Clear Channel today: John Phillips, a local radio personality for 32 years, was fired this morning. And at 2:30 p.m., just confirmed that Mr K, midday guy on WEBN-FM, was let go too. (Heard of any others?)
Phillips had hosted the WKRC-AM (550) morning show with Brian Thomas for the past year, replacing Brian's father, Jerry Thomas. He's best known as the traffic reporter, starting at WKRC-AM in 1975 and moving to WLW-AM in 1983. (And for shooting at groundhogs from the WLW 'copter at the Blue Ash airport.
Phillips says he had a feeling he could get axed today, the rumored day for Clear Channel's budget cuts. Last year Clear Channel cut 20 people in early December.
"I had a one-year deal, with their option to renew. I asked them several times during the negotiating window, and they never got back to me... because they knew I wouldn't be renewed.
"They told me the position was eliminated. They're just going to go with one person on the morning show. I guess they just couldn't justify the expense of two people there.
"We all knew today would be the day they were making the cuts. I've been here long enough to know every year somebody gets it.
"I'm surprised I didn't get it a year ago. But being allowed to do that morning show for a year was great. Instead of just thinking I could do it, I know I can. I'm happy with the way I sounded on the morning show.
"There are no hard feelings. I'll be fine. People know who John Phillips is, they'll have something for me. I'll find something. I want to stay in town, and stay in radio."
Gregg Doyel, 9 a.m.-noon co-host on Clear Channel’s WCKY-AM (1530 Homer) was fired in a budget move Thursday.

When you think about, Clear Channel has lost a lot of talent (and salaries) since Andy Furman's firing on Nov. 1, 2006:
Andy Furman
Jerry Thomas
Angry Guys Tom Gamble & Richard Skinner
GM Karrie Sudbrack
Craig Kopp
Greg Waddell
Pat Barry
Gary Burbank & his sidekicks by Dec. 31?
Who else?

It's 96 Rock

96Rock? When have we heard that before? twenty-five years ago?
Cumulus' "SupertalkFM96.5" flipped formats today at noon, obviously up against Clear Channel rocker WEBN-FM. They're calling it "Cincinnati's pure rock." The on-air promos say, "We like it loud, how about you?"
The Two Angry Guys will return Jan. 2 from vacation, but Andy Furman is gone. The website says: "Angry in the morning, pissed all day."
It will be interesting to see how long this 96Rock lasts. (Little help here: When was the old 96Rock on the air?) I think it started in 1982, and went 3-4-5 years.
And how many rock stations have come and gone in the 40 year history of WEBN?
WSKS-FM (96.5)
WAQZ-FM, the power pig
WAQZ, the Howard Stern station

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Doyel Done At 1530 Homer

You won't hear Gregg Doyel on WCKY-AM (1530 Homer) any more.

Doyel, who co-hosted 9 a.m.-noon with Mo Egger, was fired today in a budget cut. Egger will continue to host solo, says program director Dave Armbruster.

"It was just part of our budget cuts. I didn't want to do it. I think he was getting a lot better," Armbruster says.

Egger and Doyel debuted in May, after the station fired Richard Skinner, half of the "Two Angry Guys." Doyel, a Fairfield resident, is a national columnist for CBS Sports' CBSSportsline. He briefly co-hosted WLW-AM’s "Sunday Morning SportsTalk" with Ken Broo, but voluntarily left the show this fall because he was traveling too much for CBS, Armbruster says.

Supertalk Changing Formats, Dropping Furman?

So what will "SupertalkFM96.5" change formats to at Friday noon?
Country music? Some sort of Rock & Jock combo of the "Two Angry Guys," rock music and sports franchises (similar to FOX92.5 mix of Bob & Tom, rock and Bengals games?)
Those are my best guesses. And I'm leaning towards Rock & Jock. Perhaps an assault on WEBN-FM? Without Andy Furman.
At 10 a.m. today, after the "Two Angry Guys," Cincinnati’s first FM talk station, "SupertalkFM96.5" (WFTK-FM) began playing construction sounds. The station's website featured a countdown to Friday noon.
The website also showed a logo for "Y96 Country," the station's long-standing format until last year. But if you hit refresh, you'll also see many other possible logos – with a disco ball, banjo, athletes (96WJOC), a Mexican sombrero and a crucifix (WWJD96).
Here's what we know: Richard Skinner, co-host of the "Two Angry Guys," says he and Tom Gamble will continue as morning hosts Jan. 2, after a previously scheduled vacation. They were told Wednesday a change was coming, although they were not told what it would be, Skinner says.
"We were told that we're changing formats and were a big part of it," Skinner says. He and Gamble, who left Clear Channel earlier this year, brought their "Two Angry Guys" show to SupertalkFM96.5 on Oct. 1.
General Manager Karrie Sudbrack hasn't responded to my calls or emails.
Furman – the fired WLW-AM “SportsTalk” host hired for the station’s first local show a year ago – apparently will not return with the new format. He told a guest booked for next week that he would not be on the air.
"I've got to assume I'm not coming back," is what I was told by Furman, whose one-year contract expires Dec. 31. "I was in negotiations, but I guess it's over now. I'm not spinning country music, that's for sure."
Local radio observers speculated Thursday that the new format could be country or rock music. Sports talk would be unlikely, if the station is dropping Furman, it's best known personality.
Furman says he regrets the Atlanta-based Cumulus Media pulled the plug on the format after less than 14 months. WFTK-FM launched Nov. 2 last year with Glenn Beck, Dave Ramsey, Bill O’Reilly and other syndicated shows.
Ratings finally began to improve after the "Two Angry Guys" debuted in mornings – radio's prime time – replacing Erich "Mancow" Muller's syndicated "Mancow’s Morning Madhouse."
"I wish they'd stayed a little bit longer with the format, because we had a pretty good (ratings) trend in November," Furman says.
"I didn’t think it would work without a live, local morning show," Furman says. "I'm not upset. I signed a one year deal."
Gamble, a teacher and director of Northern Kentucky University's sports business program, says the format change won't impact the "Two Angry Guys."
"We’re going to do what we do: It's sports and guy talk. It's working. It's worked for 11 years," says Gamble, who has done the show with Skinner for WBOB-AM, WSAI-AM and WCKY-AM.

Sneak Peek At Our Clash of the Choirs Singers

NBC has posted a video of Nick Lachey "recruiting" local singers for his "Clash of the Choirs" vocal ensemble. All the singers he "recruits" at Fountain Square actually are some of the 20 members in the choir. You might recognize a face or two. (I posted the 20 names in my blog Tuesday.)

Here's the video:

Here's the link to the 20 names:

Cincinnati TV Stars Come Out

If you go to Jim Friedman's "Cincinnati Television" book signings this weekend, keep an eye out for some Cincinnati TV stars.

TV producer turned author Friedman says about two dozen TV personalities have said they will attend the Borders Books signings (most of them Sunday at Springdale). If he does a Q&A before the signings, you could hear some great TV stories from his special guests. Friedman, the Emmy-winning owner of Blind Squirrel Production Group in North College Hill, has documented "Cincinnati Television" history with 222 photographs for Arcadia Publishing ($19.99).

Here's info about the signings and possible sightings:

Saturday 2-4 p.m., Borders Books in Crestview Hills:
Al White (WCPO News Pioneer)
Dan Hurley (Producer of Cincinnati History Series, Channel 12 NewsMakers Host)
Bill Myers (WLWT) Announcer/Weatherman

Sunday 2-4 p.m., Borders Books in Tri-County (Sprindale)
Uncle Al and Captain Windy
Larry Smith (Larry Smith Puppets, The Contemporaries, Uncle Al)Judge Paul Trevor (Juvenile Court)
Judy Perkins Sinclair (Midwestern Hayride, Morning Matinee)
Rosemary Kelly (Bill Dawes Ballroom, WLWT)
Dave Manning (Mr. Hop, WLWT)
Michael Flannery (19XIX Kids Club, WCPO on your Kids Side)
Walt Maher (WKRC News)
Rob Reider (The Bob Braun Show)
Nancy James (The Bob Braun Show)
Dave McCoy (The Bob Braun Show)
Gene McPherson (The Last Prom, Young Peoples Specials)
Rosemary Holland (Play it Safe)
Bill Myers (WLWT) Announcer/Weatherman
Len Goorian (The Paul Dixon Show, Lilias, Conversations with Irma)
Bill Nimmo (Be Our Guest, Teen Canteen)
Clyde Haehnle (WLWT Pioneer)
Faye Dorning (Midwestern Hayride, Cornhuskers Jamboree)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

CET To Simulcast On HDTV

You asked for it. You've got it.

People have been asking CET to synchonize its HDTV feed with its analog Channel 48 broadcast, so the change will be made Monday. The HDTV and analog programs will be simulcast 24/7.

For years, CET has broadcast PBS' high-definition feed, shows shot for HDTV. So HDTV owners never knew what to expect to see. Like tonight when CET's HDTV airs "The Marines," "Indian Pride" and "Wired Science" instead of "P.O.V." and "Are You Being Served?" Or when CET airs "History Detectives" and "Nova" in the afternoon instead simulcasting "Curious George" and "Arthur."

"We had some beautiful HD programs, but they were not the same ones that viewers were watching on Channel 48. Now our schedule will be similar to all of the local broadcasters in Cincinnati, providing the same programs at the same time on both the analog and digital channels," says Susan Howarth, CET president and CEO.

Programs not shot in HDTV – like those old "Lawrence Welk Shows" – will be converted to fit the 16:9 wide-screen aspect ratio. It's all a preparation for Feb. 17, 2009, the government mandated deadline for the transition to digital TV (and end of analog broadcasting).

CET also announced that the CrEaTe channel -- which was bumped from the digital airwaves to only Time Warner Channel 949 a few years ago -- will return as a CET digital broadcasting channel next year. The public TV station needs about $100,000 in new equipment to broadcast both PBS World and CrEaTe as digital channels, says Jack Dominic, vice president and chief operating officer. So don't expect to see it until next fall, at the earliest.

Jockey Joe Kelly Dies At 68

If you were listening to WLW-AM in the late 1960s, you'll remember the name Jockey Joe Kelly. He did middays from January 1969 to April 1976, and left here to buy and operate a Hawaii radio station.

"He had a great deep voice and was really popular with the ladies. He had huge ratings," says former WLW-AM coworker Jim LaBarbara, a DJ at WNKR-FM in Dry Ridge. LaBarbara recalls how Kelly did his show in two shifts, 10 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3 p.m., around the live simulcast of the "Bob Braun Show" on WLW-AM and WLWT-TV (Channel 5).

By the late 1970s, Jockey Joe was a big country music DJ in Denver. That's where he died last Saturday, at age 68.

I met him once in high school in the late 1960s, when he was MC for our talent show. Anyone have some Jockey Joe stories?

Here’s the info from

Jockey Joe passes at 68
DENVER- Joseph "Jockey Joe" Rateau died on Saturday, December 8 2007 of complications of Diabetes. He was 68.

If you lived in Denver during the late 70's through the early 90's you may have heard his name, and his voice. Joseph "Jockey Joe" Rateau worked at 56KLZ and KYGO during his 15-year stay on Denver's airwaves and his show topped the rating chart. He entertained listeners with humor and style from 6:00am to 10:00am weekdays.

Jockey Joe's career began in the 1950's when, at the age of 15, he got his first DJ job with WHBC in Canton Ohio. He spent the next 40 years as a disc jockey for such notable stations as WLS in Chicago, WONE in Dayton, KLEI in Hawaii, and WLW in Cincinnati.

Joseph Rateau was a Type I diabetic and supported the American Diabetes Association. Joseph "Jockey Joe" Rateau died at home in Littleton, CO. He is survived by his wife Alice, his son Joey, his daughter Julie, and his sisters Darlene George and Sherry Young.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Clash of Choirs Members Announced

NBC has released the names of the 20 singers for Nick Lachey's vocal ensemble in NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" competition next week (8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Channels 5, 2).

But I need your help. I'm looking for bio information for many of the singers, as you'll see below. If you know one of these people, and know their occupation/suburb/high school, please email me at Please don't just post info on this blog; take the time to email me so I can verify the information. Thanks. –Kiese

Here’s the list:
Lisa J. Baldwin, Oxford, Miami University student, 2004 Lakota East High School graduate.
Kevin Chamberlain, Wilmington.
Mary Beth Fitzpatrick-King, Aurora, Ind.
Shonda Fowler, College Hill, nurse, 1992 Creative and Performing Arts School graduate.
Jo'Ram Griffin, Cincinnati.
April Hilen, Mason, Glen Este Middle School teacher, 2002 Lakota East High School graduate.
Christy Ledden, Oxford.
Erin McCamley, Cincinnati.
Chuck Merk, Deerfield Township, Lakota West High School math teacher.
Scott Matcalf, Cincinnati.
Ellen Schneir, North College Hill, Ball State University music theater graduate.
John Scott, Covington, United Way of Greater Cincinnati senior relationship administrator, Covington Fellowship Church of God music director, 1998 Winton Woods High School graduate.
Kenny Smith, Cincinnati.
Carrie Taylor, Silverton, member of the Fulfilled Christian music group, SCPA graduate.
Jordan Thompson, Oxford.
LaShawn Tucker, Dayton, Ohio
Arielle Underwood, Springfield Township, 2005 SCPA graduate.
Willrudale Underwood, Roselawn, Easter Seals employment trainer, Arielle’s father.
Nick Wall, Dent, 2006 Oak Hills High School graduate.
Meghan Watkins, Cincinnati.

Time Warner Adds Disney On Demand

When Hannah Montana comes to US Bank Arena Thursday, Time Warner digital subscribers will find the Miley Cyrus "Hannah Montana" sitcom on the new Disney Channel on Demand.

Time Warner Cable will add the Disney Channel on Demand Thursday on Channel 1107. Digital subscribers will see free for two weeks (Dec. 27), then they must pay $3.99/month for on-demand access to the most popular Disney Channel shows.

In addition to "Hannah Montana," the Disney Channel on Demand has "Cory in the House," "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody," "That's So Raven," "Little Einsteins," "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" and "My Friends Tigger & Pooh". Disney on Demand customers also will see original movies seven days before they air on the Disney Channel, says Karen Baxter, Time Warner local public affairs director.

Oh, one more thing: Disney Channel on Demand is not available to former Adelphia customers. Just like they couldn’t see the St. X and Anderson state playoff games live on basic cable. If this keeps up, I wonder how many former Adelphia customers will be former Time Warner subscribers?

FSNO's Nuxhall Lineup

Fox Sports Net Ohio folks were busy at Redsfest collecting stories and remembrances about the Ol' Lefthander for "Spotlight: Joe Nuxhall" premiering airing (8 p.m., FSNO).
The centerpiece of the show will be about a half-hour interview that George Grande did with Nuxhall near the end of the baseball season, which has to be one of his last lengthy video interviews.
Appearing on the show will be Lee May, Bob Castellini, Sparky Anderson, Bernie Stowe, Tony Perez, Chuck Harmon, Cesar Geronimo, Dusty Baker, Adam Dunn, and Marty & Thom Brennaman.
"Spotlight: Joe Nuxhall" repeats at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Cunningham's National Show Renewed

As Paul Harvey would say: And now for the rest of the story....

It turns out that Bill Cunningham's national Sunday night show was not a full-year deal. His "Live on Sunday Night, It's Bill Cunningham" show was a three-month audition to replace Matt Drudge and Premiere's "Drudge Report" national show.

"The idea was: Let's see," Cunningham says. "We lost no affiliates. The PDs (program directors) are happy."

Cunningham received an email last week saying the show had been picked up for all of 2008. He says he's awaiting official confirmation this week.

Cunningham replaced Drudge on Oct. 8. Drudge had 325 affiliates. With Cunningham, the show moved from to 10 p.m.-midnight on WLW-AM from weaker sister station WKRC-AM. WLW-AM only carries two hours of Cunningham's national show, unlike most of his affiliates.

And now you know the rest of the story. Good day!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Writers Strike TV Show Countdown

Wondering how many episodes -- if any? -- of your favorite shows are left to air early next year? TV Guide's Michael Ausiello has an updated list you should check out. "The Office," "Heroes," "Bionic Woman" and "Big Bang Theory" are out of new shows, so if the writers' strike drags on into spring, they're done for the TV year. Most other shows will run out in January or February sweeps, depending on how the networks schedule them.

Friday, December 07, 2007

1968: What A Trip

Here are 68 reasons to watch Tom Brokaw's terrific "1968" documentary Sunday (9-11 p.m., History Channel), definitely Must See TV with a classic rock soundtrack for Baby Boomers who remember:
Tet offensive
Walter Cronkite
"Alice’s Restaurant"
Counter Culture
Mrs. Robinson

"Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out"
Gene McCarthy
Generation Gap
Freak Out
Jimi Hendrix
"Magic Carpet Ride"
Martin Luther King Jr.
Black Power
"Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner"
George Wallace
Andrew Young
Black Is Beautiful
"In The Heat Of The Night"
James Taylor
The White Album
Johnny Cash
Arthur Ashe
"Jumping Jack Flash"
Linda Ronstadt
Peggy Fleming
"Rosemary's Baby"
Middle America
lent Majority
Pat Buchanan
"Hell No, We Won’t Go"
Columbia Student Strike
Draft Dodgers
Tear Gas
"Some men see things as they are and say, 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'Why not?' "
Simon & Garfunkel
Mamas & Papas
John & Yoko
Huntley & Brinkley
"All Along The Watchtower"
Democratic National Convention
Mayor Richard Dailey
Grant Park
Police Riot
"The Whole World Is Watching"
Cesar Chavez
Denny McLain
Richard Nixon
"Sock It To Me?"
Mexico Summer Olympics
Black Power Salute
Bra Burning
Miss America
Bert Parks
"Let The Sunshine In"
Whole Earth Catalogue
Apollo 8
Tom Brokaw: "So much of who we are now was set in motion in 1968."

Good Morning, CinCW

I was puzzled to see Channel 12 simulcasting its No. 1-rated "Good Morning Cincinnati" news show on the digital CinCW channel this week. I finally figured it out:

On Jan. 7, "The Early Show' drops the hybrid local-national 7-8 a.m. format, so CBS can go head-to-head at 7 a.m. with "Today" and "Good Morning America." So Channel 12's plan is to continue doing the 7 a.m. local show on the CinCW. Channel 12's managers are hoping that habitual viewers will find John Lomax, Anna Townsend and Steve Horstmeyer on Time Warner Channel 20 or Insight Channel 25 at 7 a.m.

It's an interesting move. Certainly the ratings won't match those on Channel 12, but it gives a boost to the digital CW affiliate. And Channel 12 will do a full hour of local news and commercials spots (no cutting away to CBS), rather than surrender the 7 a.m. audience wanting local news to Channel 19.

"When you have a great brand like Local 12 News, and we have another TV station, it makes sense to expand it to the other station," says Steve Minium, acting Channel 12 general manager and former Channel 12 news director.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Gary Burbank's Replacement

Why haven't we heard who will replace Gary Burbank on WLW-AM? Because the station won't announce it until January, after he's long gone.

"I don't want to do anything to overshadow what Gary has done at this station, and his career. I want Gary to go out on top," says Darryl Parks, his boss, Clear Channel's AM operations director here.

Parks won't hint who will get the gig. When Burbank told me about his retirement last spring, Parks said the station would replace Burbank with an "entertainment" show. But to WLW, Bill Cunningham and Scott Sloan are entertainers, so we'll see what happens. (My guess is that WLW won't have a comedy show, or the station would have announced that sidekicks Duke Sinatra, Rob Ervin and Slim Tempo would be sticking around, and there would be some sort of crossover/hand-off late this month. A comedy show just doesn't fit in with the rest of WLW's white male talk hosts. )

Burbank says he's "not really planning anything out of the ordinary" for his last original show, 3-6 p.m. Dec. 21. Reruns will air through Dec. 31, including the Earl Pitts Christmas show on Dec. 24. (By the way, he's trying to track down Joey, the original "cute kid" who called in years ago. He thinks his name was Joey Mastrullo/Mastrello. If you know Joey, email the show at

He's sincere about asking callers this week about their favorite bits – because they haven't locked in the tracks for his last CDs – a two-CD "Best of Gilbert Gnarley" (with at least 40 bits), and a one-CD "Adios Muchachos" compilation of his best stuff over the years. They're still scrambling to get them done. Burbank doesn't know when they'll be available, or how much they'll cost – but you can place a reservation (order?) by calling 1-800-327-5748.

Burbank also has agreed to tape several CET interview shows looking back on his career, to air early next year. And by this time next year, bookstores should be selling a Burbank biography with Greg Hoard, Cincinnati Gentleman magazine editor and author of Joe Nuxhall's "Joe: Rounding Third & Heading For Home."

He will keep doing Earl Pitts, heard on 160 radio stations. WLW plans to keep Pitts, Burbank says, but he doesn't know when or where.

Guess we'll find out more in three weeks or so. Who do you think will replace Burbank, if they don't do a comedy show?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Paul Adler on MSNBC

Did you catch Paul Adler, former Channel 12 weekend morning anchor, on MSNBC Tuesday afternoon? I didn't, so I emailed him and he provided this account. He got national attention for a story he did for NBC's Springfield, Mo., affiliate about thefts from local charities' drop-offs. (Gee, wonder how long before the Cincinnati media does this same story?)

Here's his email:

I did appear on MSNBC. It was about 12:35 P.M. (Central) on
Tuesday with Monica Novotny. I've spent the past three months looking
into thefts from local charities. People are dropping off donations
after hours, then, thieves are moving in to swipe the donations before
they get into the store. As you know, many charities turn those
donations into dollars. Those dollars are used to feed the homeless and
those down on their luck. The network heard about the hidden camera
investigation and asked me to appear to talk about it.

Here's a link to his story:

Adler quit Channel 12 in September to anchor at Springfield, Mo., to be closer to family.

Happy Anniversary Duke Hamilton

This just in from B105: Afternoon DJ Duke Hamilton celebrates his 30th anniversary today on WUBE-FM (105.1). He debuted here Dec. 5, 1977.

I know there are many fans out there of Duke, a member of the Country Radio Broadcasters DJ Hall of fame and three times a nominee for CMA personality of the year. He's one of the nicest guys I've ever met in local radio (in a business filled with a lot of big egos). If you have a favorite Duke story or comment, please post them. (It might take a while for them to show up, because I'm going to be out of the office much of the day. But write a comment, and I'll post as soon as I can.)

Here's the B105 release.

Cincinnati, OHWUBE Afternoon Drive personality, Duke Hamilton celebrates his 30th Anniversary on the air on Cincinnati’s Country … B-105. The Josephville, Missouri native first hit the Tri-State airwaves on December 5, 1977.

In his time here, Hamilton has served as the station’s Program Director and then Music Director while also working a variety of shifts including Morning Drive, Midday and presently in Afternoon Drive (weekdays, 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.). As evidenced by his ratings, Hamilton has consistently been one of the top rated radio personalities in Cincinnati during the Afternoon Drive slot. He also writes and produces a weekly 60-minute show, B-105 Classic Country, now in its 14th year. This show airs Sunday mornings at 6:00.

He has been nominated for Country Music Association’s “Personality of the Year” award in 1997, 1998 and 1999. In 2003, Country Music bestowed Hamilton its highest honor for a radio personality: induction into the Country Radio Broadcasters DJ Hall of Fame.

Hamilton’s career began at the age of 18 in Bowling Green, Missouri. He then spent three years with the United States Army in the Panama Canal Zone working for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service before landing in the Queen City.

Away from the station, he spends his time on his farm with wife, Barb and their many miniature horses and assorted “critters.”

“In a time where there is so much change in radio, we are proud to celebrate this wonderful milestone,” said Travis Moon, WUBE Program Director. “Duke’s professionalism, talent, and commitment to country radio have continued to build on the passion that B-105 listeners have for him.”

“Duke Hamilton is truly one of radio’s great people,” added Jim Bryant, Vice President / Market Manager of Bonneville International – Cincinnati. “His long and successful career reflects the fact that Duke is loved by the people he works with and by the people he entertains on a daily basis.”

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Nuxhall Still Long Way From Cooperstown

Wow! 82,304 votes to nominate Nuxie for the Ford C. Frick broadcasting award at the Baseball Hall of Fame. And the next guy, Oakland A's voice Bill King, got 7,659. That's wonderful... but no guarantee that the Ol' Lefthander will get the award, even with 67% of the fan vote.

Thom Brennaman pointed out last week on the "Reds Hot Stove League" call-in show that an analyst had never won the award. All previous Frick Award winners -- including Marty Brennaman in 2000, Red Barber, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker, Harry Kalas, Mel Allen, Harry Caray, Jack Buck -- have been play-by-play announcers. So if Nuxie wins it, it truly will be special.

This just in: Fox Sports Net Ohio will air "Spotlight: Joe Nuxhall" at 8 p.m. next Tuesday, Dec. 11. Part of the show is an interview George Grande did with Nux "just months before he passed away," FSNO says. "Joe talks about his life, on and off the field, with commentary from special guests including some ex-teammates, current players, and various colleagues."

A footnote: Three of the 10 nominees have called Reds games. ESPN's Joe Morgan got his start doing Reds TV in 1985, the year Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's record. Ken Coleman did Reds TV 1975-79.

Can you name Morgan's TV partner? Or Coleman's TV partners?

And who's your all-time favorite Reds TV announcer? (I'd probably say Ed Kennedy and Frank McCormick from my childhood, since so few games were on TV and watching the Reds was special, although I loved Johnny Bench's insights.) Or your least favorite (Gee, there are so many: Steve LaMar? Gordy Coleman? Charlie Jones? Wes Parker? The Phys-Man? Boom Boom Hume? Jay Randolph?)

Monday, December 03, 2007

WNKU-FM Hires A New GM

The man who kept New Orleans' public radio station on the air during the recovery from Hurricane Katrina has been hired to manage WNKU-FM.

Chuck Miller, a 30-year broadcasting veteran, will start at the station next Monday.

He resigned in July as general manager of WWNO-FM, the University of New Orleans classical-jazz-news-information station.

He worked there for two years, arriving seven weeks before the devastating 2005 storm from Atlanta-based Georgia Public Radio. Miller "led the station’s recovery with a laptop and a phone" from Atlanta immediately after the storm, says Aaron, Sharpe, assistant WNKU-FM general manager for marketing and development.

Miller started in public radio while attending Southern Illinois University. He also has worked for stations in Hutchinson, Kansas; Tulsa, Okla.; Vienna, Austria; St. Louis, Mo.; and Philadelphia, Pa.

He succeeds Ben Singleton, who left the Highland Heights station in late February.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Don Imus Returns

Don Imus returns to the nationally syndicated airwaves Monday .. but probably not in Cincinnati. As of Friday, I had not heard of any area station picking him up.

CBS fired Imus in April after making derogatory remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team. He wasn't on the air here at the time. He was last heard here on Middletown's WPFB-AM (910), so maybe a weak AM station on the fringe of Greater Cincinnati could add him.

If anyone hear him Monday on the radio, post info here. Thanks.

Day 58: Jeni Dinkel Free!

Is it just me, or is the media overplaying the jail release of Jeni Dinkel for completing her sentence for having sex with a teen-age boy? It was the top story on the 8 a.m. Channel 9 news today, and the 3 p.m. WLW-AM news.
Is a woman getting out of jail three days early for good behavior really the biggest news story today?
Of all the people serving jail terms for various crimes, why has this case received so much attention? Is it deserved?
You tell me....

Jim Borgman
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