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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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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

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?


at 12/18/2007 8:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Lord. Darryl Parks is the worst thing to ever happen to Cincinnati radio. His show is horrible. Not only should he not be a temporary replacement, he should lose his job altogether.

at 12/18/2007 9:50 AM Anonymous Will said...

It's Clear Channel, they will replace him with whoever is cheapest. Talent is not necessary. In fact, with Clear Channel it may work against you.

at 12/18/2007 10:07 AM Anonymous Phil Henry said...

Sloan and Jones, syndicated junk at night

CC is getting rid of live local late night shows countrywide. WHAS in Louisville just dumped long time host Joe Elliott.

From the Courier-Journal article.......

"Ratings for nighttime radio have been falling for a long time. Elliott's dismissal is just one of the last trees to fall in the WHAS forest, as Kelly Carls, a vice president for programming at Clear Channel Radio, acknowledges.

"If you look at similar-sized radio stations in similar-sized areas of the country, I believe this was just about the last local 9-to-midnight show. We held out as long as we could," said Carls. He realizes Elliott's cancellation also closes out a tradition on WHAS."

Google Google news for CC layoffs. News and blogs are screaming the same stuff all over the country. Every local market has their Darryl Parks, for all the myopic people that think this is only happening in the Nati.

KFI in LA, WHAS in Louisville, WSB in Atlanta, 610 in Columbus....

at 12/18/2007 10:40 AM Blogger Aggrazel said...

Lance McAlister will replace Gary Burbank on my radio dial. For years I've toggled between the two shows, now I'll just leave the dial on homer. If it weren't for the reds games, I'd get rid of the 700wlw preset.

at 12/18/2007 10:58 AM Anonymous blackscorpion said...

Tracy Jones? No thank you. I can tolerate him on the weekends during baseball season, which is enough. He knows baseball and I like listening to him talk about investing but outside of that he doesn’t come across as been up on the issues of the day, at least on the radio.

at 12/18/2007 11:01 AM Anonymous Mark said...

Interesting. If I remember right Tracy Jones was hinting the final few weeks of this past Reds season that he might not be back next season to do Extra Innings on weekends. He was saying he had "other opportunities" to pursue. Of course it could have just been typical WLW shenanigans.

at 12/18/2007 11:54 AM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

Eddie Fingers is gross.

Scott Sloan is too fast talking and obnoxious and a cunningham WANNABE.

Tracy Jones?????????? He is such a WHINER...all he gets happy about is female callers he can meet before or after a game. I can NOT believe they want to give him a show in the DRIVE TIME?

Can't stand Parks...I just can't imagine anybody filling Gary's shoes but the names you mention leave me COLD.

Very sad day in radio. As far as I am concerned, WLW has been dying for a long time and when Burbank leaves, the station will be DEAD.


at 12/18/2007 12:51 PM Anonymous CHEVIOT SPORTS AUTHORITY said...

Daryl Parks is absolutely pathetic on the air and the worst part about it is that he thinks he is good. McConnell's show has gone to hell since he lost the local flair. Allan Cutler is almost as annoying as Daryl Parks. Sloan would be OK if he could come up with an interesting topic once in a while. The only thing worth listening to on WLW these days is Bill Cunningham and the Segman.

What we really need is another channel with high power owned by someone other than Clear Channel.

at 12/18/2007 1:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Tracy Jones were to get the 3-6pm slot, Topic-A would be Tracy Jones every day. His wealthy buddy who calls in on every Reds post game would have a daily forum.

at 12/18/2007 1:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Segman, since he is at the station all day anyway

at 12/18/2007 1:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly - who is listening to 700 WLW? I know its ratings are supposedly "great" - but what does it mean in terms of ACTUAL listeners?? I can't believe someone would choose to plunk themselves down in front of the Crosley radio set in 2007 and just sit there and listen.

And where is the FCC in all of this, as local radio goes out the window and is replaced by generic syndicated programming??? Why didn't our government "leaders" step in when KISS, MIX, and all of those stations went automated?

The FCC is too busy trying to stall out the Sirium XM merger under the guise it will create a "monopoly" when everyone knows that A) satellite competes with old-fashioned radio, B) the old-fashioned radio industry is terrified of the competition because it's thrown the industry into complete disarray, and C) no one really has to buy satellite, its pure choice, so who the hell cares if there is only one provider anyway????

We're getting to the point that old-fashioned radio is a near monopoly in some markets anyway!!!

at 12/18/2007 1:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah if tracy got it richard from indian hill and diamond season ticket holder would call in every day.

at 12/18/2007 1:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about the #1 station reaching out to the black listeners.

at 12/18/2007 1:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see furman getting hired after getting fired from the bigger one.

at 12/18/2007 2:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John. Love your comment about 700 being number 1 in a major market. Major is a REAL stretch. This area is the farthest thing from a major radio market ANYWHERE!!! My guess for the 3-6 slot is Bob Trumpy. Bob can handle the non sports topics. Here is another good guess -- Matt Reis and Carmine together. ha ha ha ha

at 12/18/2007 2:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Jerry Narron would be a good replacement

at 12/18/2007 3:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed...the FCC has no business determining whether XM and Sirius merge. But I think it's the SEC that's looking it over, isn't it?

at 12/18/2007 4:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, its the FCC.

at 12/18/2007 7:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, to come to John's defense, up until a few years ago, Arbitron classified Cinci as a major market in radio. It is now the 28th market in the US which puts it in the large category. But a lot of industry types consider anything under #30 to be a major market still.

at 12/18/2007 8:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Communication Acts of 1995 & 1996 are to blame for all of this corporate downsizing and decreased localism. Bill Clinton signed it and "I invented the internet and am a weather expert" Al Gore fully backed the legislation. Gore in fact was the driving force behind the EAS which replaced the EBS. EAS has no uniformity outside of the weekly tests. EAS took the human component out of the picture which means useless warnings could air and needed warnings could not air if the engineer did not program it correctly and remember to set it to automatic. Also, the one time it was needed, 9/11 it was not activated.

Nothing against current law says you have to have board ops or any local programming. Also, since Kiss was launched there have been multiple shifts that were voice tracked in from other markets.

at 12/18/2007 8:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh sweet god, not tracy jones. i'll listen to dogs barking before i listen to that. i'll listen to fingernails across a chalkboard before i listen to tracy jones. i'll stab my eardrums out with q tips before i listen to tracy jones. that should be the new thread here, things you would rather listen to than tracy jones.

at 12/18/2007 9:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have not listened to 700 in a long time but now i dont hink i will listen to 700 i can stand mike and willie and jim makes me want to go back to sleep gary was the only reason to listen to the big one. and fyi parks is doing what his bosses at cc told him to do so if you want to complain go over parks head i must be off

at 12/18/2007 9:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this yak-yak and talk-talk, anyone ever hear of good music? Would be nice to have a singalong in the car, and drive home happily. These guys make my blood pressure go up, and that is not good.
Just a traffic wake-up for safe driving, and then back to music, call in for your choices. Sounds great to us.

at 12/18/2007 10:40 PM Anonymous TJonesRoids said...

The Big One is on its way toward irrelevancy. Darryl is a buffoon and the "just doing what my bosses tell me" garbage just means he's a coward as well.

Did his bosses tell him to have such a crappy weekend show?

It's the end of an era. Burbank will be missed, but I am happy for him to get out of that mess.

at 12/19/2007 7:22 AM Anonymous Dave in Atlanta said...

I always thought Tracy Jones sounded good on the air.

With the direction things are going - Maybe the 3-6 slot will be filled with an immediate repeat of Cunningham or A Best Of Jim Scott "Live" Interviews!

at 12/19/2007 11:03 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's Zip Rzeppa when you need him...

at 12/19/2007 12:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its interesting that this merger between Sirius and XM is dragging out so long when oil companies and banks have been granted merger approval in a matter of weeks. Who was looking out for "the public interest" then??? Especially as banking fees and gasoline prices go through the roof. The XM Sirius merger actually WOULD help consumers by driving down operating costs and providing increased competition with the old-fashioned radio folks.

at 12/19/2007 1:41 PM Anonymous Sedi said...

Tracy Jones!!! What a conceited buffoon. I really only listen to 700 during the baseball season, and only to the games, his post game was horrible and has no redeeming value add discussions.
Maybe they should look out of market for someone or another national syndicated program.

at 12/19/2007 2:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This just in: San Antonio has instructed Darryl Parks that his catch phrase of "ratings and revenue" should be replaced by is "revenue and revenue".

at 12/19/2007 3:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This just in,,,,, BREAKING NEWS.
Gary Burbank's replacement show has just been announced.
The replacement will be replays of
the previous Monday Bengals Line show. Have you ever in your life heard a worse show than Bengals Line? Horrible

at 12/20/2007 8:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you thought Burbank was entertaining, you need a lobotomy. . a guy doing hilljack schtick for 20 years and listening to a bunch of local schlubs do sports trivia every afternoon was about as tired as radio gets.

at 12/21/2007 12:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Tracy Jones or / and Andy Furman. Both are good on the air.

at 12/21/2007 10:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO: 12/20/2007 8:55 PM Anonymous. My friend you could not have said it any better. If I hear "we dont we dont we dont mess around" one more time I will puke on my shoes. Burbank is really funny but that show is SOOOOOOOOOO TIRED along with the rest of WLW. The place needs to be sold and the whole staff fired and new staff hired before anything changes with that goof Darryl Parks running things. Dont you just love Dennison not being able to say two sentences back-to-back without stuttering. Then we a guy like Peter Rose comes to town he gushes all over to interview him. WLW - AWFUL!!!!!! The thing they really have going for them is there are always rated number 1 in the market. Well, go up and down the AM and FM dial and what do they compare to? Nothing, so there will always be number one with west side males who have the short height syndrome, and who think bathroom comedy is really funny!

at 1/20/2008 8:44 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG, Tracy Jones 15 hours a week! Guess his investment firm is doing so great that he can take every day off to "explore other opportunities" as he stated last fall on his other pathetic show. But if WLW wants to reach a younger audience, what better way than to offer TJ, the "oldest teenager in radio"? What a croc!

at 2/02/2008 9:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said... all of us a favor,everytime Tracy starts to say something reach over and hit the mute button-better yet throw a baseball down the hall, maybe he'll go fetch

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