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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, February 27, 2007

Changes for WGRR?

WGRR-FM listeners should expect to hear some changes -- what kind?? -- from Karrie Sudbrack, the new station manager. Sudbrack, who had been market manager for Clear Channel's eight stations here, resigned Monday after 14 months to jump across town this morning to competitor Cumulus Inc., which operates WARM98, don't-call-us-Oldies WGRR-FM and SupertalkFM96.5 That's right, she's now Andy Furman's boss again.

Our online story says she will "use WARM98 as an anchor, and look to rebuild WGRR, although it will retain the oldies format."

So what does that mean? WGRR-FM listeners know that the station musically has been all over the map. When MOJO was sold by Cumulus to Radio One, WGRR began playing a ton of "jammin' oldies" to attract the old MOJO listeners. The music concentration also has shifted from the '60s -- except for the Beatles? -- to '70s classic rock. At least that's my take.

So what would you do to WGRR? What would you change? What do you keep? Does it really need fixing, or do you enjoy what they're doing now? You tell me.

Big News About Little Steven

Big News for fans of Little Steven Van Zandt: WNKU-FM is picking up his "Little Steven's Underground Garage" syndicated show 2-4 p.m. Saturday. He claims to be the coolest DJ in the country -- who are we to argue? -- along with being the guitarist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, an actor on "The Sopranos" (Silvio Dante), and a record producer for Springsteen, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Lone Justice, Arc Angles and Gary U.S. Bonds.

The show premieres this weekend. It replaces the popular "World Cafe," which will remain on the air 3-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. (The Monday show was a repeat from Saturday).

Also this weekend, Lori Holladay -- station membership manager and former area film commission director - -will debut "Voices," a 6 a.m. Sunday show about singer-songwriters. "Acoustic Sunrise" will move to 6 a.m. Saturday, with "Folk Sampler" moving to 9 p.m. Sunday. Gone in the shuffle is "Keller's Cellar," which had aired at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Laura Powell on Q102

When I heard Laura Powell and Brian Douglas filling in for "sick" Jeff & Jenn on Q102 this morning, I figured something was up. And it was. Laura Powell, who co-hosted mornings on MOJO94.9 -- until the format was sold to Radio One for FM 100.3 last September -- will become Douglas's permanent co-host tomorrow.

Douglas says he always wanted an on-air partner "to bounce things off of. She loves pop culture. We can talk about '24' or 'American Idol' or whatever. She's really great."

Q102 folks had been talking to Powell since she lost her job in the MOJO intellectual property sale last fall.

And yes, Jeff & Jenn were really sick today. Powell and Douglas were supposed to start this afternoon, but we're called late Sunday afternoon and told to do the morning show. If Jeff & Jenn are sick again Tuesday, Douglas and Powell will do mornings again and delay their afternoon by another day, says Patti Marshall, program director.

Did you hear Laura with Brian today? Think it will work? Glad to hear her back on the air?

Last Saturday

Last Saturday was the last Saturday... without Marty Brennaman and the Cincinnati Reds. Is there a more sure sign of spring that hearing Marty back on Reds radio? As I wandered around the house Saturday, and looked at the snow on my front yard and piles of gray snow on either side of my driveway, it warmed me up to know that my soundtrack for spring and summer returns this weekend.

Marty and Thom do the spring training opener at 1:05 p.m. Thursday on WLW. They're off Friday, and then do the Saturday hope opener from Sarasota. Joe Nuxhall is scheduled to Sunday with Marty. Marty and Joe on the radio.... What could be better than that? To me, last Saturday was the last Saturday of winter, no matter what the calendar says.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Oscar Night Note

If you're reading the blogs while watching the Academy Awards Sunday night, then here's a shameless plug for colleague Brian Butts' Pop Culture blog. Brian says he and his friends will be serving up a big steaming pile of sarcasm and snarky comments during ABC's telecast. Check him out at

Tom Gamble Out, "Doc" In?

How can you not like or admire Tom Gamble for giving up "SportsTalk," the best radio sports talk job in town, so he could spend time with his family? In a world filled with too many big egos, it was refreshing to hear Gamble say that his kids were more important than his radio career.

I have enjoyed listening to him nightly on WLW. But I really enjoyed Sunday Morning SportsTalk when he rejoins Richard Skinner, for more of the "Two Angy Guys." I hope he and Clear Channel can find a place for him on the air somewhere around his busy schedule.

So it looks like Paul Daugherty, our sports columnist, will moonlight on WLW starting this spring. My guess is that the move will coincide with the start of the Reds season.

How do you think Doc will do? Would you have made the same choice?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sweeps News Ratings Update

With one week to go, news ratings are up for nearly all newscasts, because of the winter storms and Liz Carroll muder trial this month. And it was more bad weather than the murder trail, says Bill Fee, Ch 9 general manager.

All four morning newcasts are up nearly by a ratings point, with Ch. 19 up 1.4 points from November to jump ahead of Ch 5 into third. Just three-tenths of a point separates second, third and fourth place in the mornings.

Ch 9 still leads 5-6:30 p.m., up 2.2 points from November. But Ch 12 has closed the gap, up 3 points from November, and has reclaimed second place at 5 p.m. from Ch. 5, which won that time period in November. Fee notes that last night, with the Carroll verdict breaking, 51.6% of the Nielsen homes watched the 6 p.m. news -- compared to the Feb average of 57.9%, and below the 65.4% peak for the Feb. 12-14 ice/snow storm last week.

Ch 19 is having a big month at 10 p.m., up 3.6 points thanks to "American Idol" plus the bad weather and trial.

Ch 12 continues to win bigger and bigger at 11 p.m., with Ch 9 up a bit and Ch 5 flat from November.

Here are the numbers to date:
6-7 AM
Ch 12, 6.0/20%
Ch 9, 4.8/16%
Ch 19, 4.6/15%
Ch 5, 4.5/15%

5-6:30 PM
Ch 9, 10.9/20.3%
Ch 12, 9.6/17.6%
Ch 5, 5.5/13.6%

10 PM
Ch 19, 9.3/15%
Ch 64, 2.4/4%

11 PM
Ch 12, 14.3/26%
Ch 9, 8.6/16%
Ch 5, 5.6/10%

George Clooney's Kiss & Tell

George Clooney talks about his first kiss -- at age 11 -- in a conversation with actress Julia Roberts on ABC's "Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special" today (10:01 pm, Chs 9, 22).

During the conversation, taped at Clooney's Hollywood Hills home, Roberts asks him about dating, women and his first kiss. He says he was 11, and "remembers the girl was a 'bobcat,' a wild one," according to ABC publicity for the show.

The two recall meeting for the first time, during "Ocean's Eleven" in 2001. Clooney also asks Roberts, pregnant with her third child, when the baby is due. "Late summer. So it'll be nice and hot. My ankles will be nice and swollen and elephant-like," she says with a laugh.

Also on the show: Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, and Jamie Foxx and Sidney Poitier.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Miami Grad In "Today" Show Contest

Nothing like starting at the top. Got a call today from former Miss Ohio 2001 Natalie Witwer Metzger, wife of Matthew Metzger, former "American Idol" singer and "One Life To Live" actor. She's one of 16 finalists this week for the "Today" show's "Anchor for Today" sweeps contest.

On the 9 a.m. hour Thursday (Ch. 5, 2), "Today" will show her video, and entries from three other conestants. The one with the most viewer votes on the web or will advance.

"I've always dreamed big, and always thought it would be fun to be a news anchor or TV hosts," says Metzger, 25, who earned a marketing degree from Miami in 2004. She's an executive assistant in a Manhattan investment firm. "I've always wanted to get into hosting."

She says she did a Jay Leno-style "Jay-walking" man-on-the-street interviews asking people "Today" trivia.

Metzger will appear on "Today" Friday, when the field of 16 is cut down to two. Two finalists will compete next week. The winner will be announced Wednesday, the last day of sweeps, and will co-host the 9 a.m. hour on Thursday.

Thursday you can see her video and vote at Click on "Anchor for Today."

By the way, she says Matthew is in LA auditioning for roles in fall TV pilots. He's auditioning for a sitcom pilot today, she says. He was killed off "One Life To Live" last May.

No New Rosemary Clooney Movie

Did you hear about the In Touch magazine report mentioning a planned Rosemary Clooney movie? At least one radio station mentioned it today.
According to the item, George Clooney and Reese Witherspoon had dinner last month at Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks, and the Oscar-winner for her June Carter role expressed an interest in a movie project about Rosemary Clooney, George's aunt. An "insider" also told the magazine that George was interested in hooking up with Witherspoon, since she's separated in October from her husband.

I've checked around and can't find anyone who knows about any movie project about Rosemary Clooney, who died at age 74 in 2002.
Allen Sviridoff in Los Angeles, the executor of her estate, says he has "heard nothing about it."
Nick Clooney says George has never mentioned it to him. Nick says he read a rumor about a Rosemary movie project in an email last fall, called Miguel Ferrer (Rosemary's son), who also didn't know anything about it.

It's not inconceivable that George would want to do a movie about his aunt. Her lived at her Beverly Hills house for a year in the early 1980s, after dropping out of NKU, to get started in show business. And he often talks about Rosemary -- who was on a Time magazine cover in the early 1950s, had hit songs and her own TV show -- when he talks about how fleeting fame can be.

My guess is that the Reese Witherspoon romance part of the story isn't accurate either. Time will tell.
By the way, George and Julia Roberts interview each other on ABC's "Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special" at 10 p.m. Thursday (Ch. 9, 22). the clips looks fun.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sheree Paolello's Verdict on the Marcus Fiesel Murder

We expect news anchors to report the news of the day, without expressing their personal opinions or indicating any bias. We expect them to stick to the facts, particularly when a story is unfolding. So it was unusual to hear Sheree Paolello, one of Ch 5's main news anchors, giving her take to Bill Cunningham on WLW-AM Monday afternoon on Amy Baker's testimony at the Liz Carroll murder trial Monday.
Here's what she said:

"I have never believed Amy Baker's story, especially now that all of this is coming to light. You look at her history, certainly she's not an innocent party in all of this. I've been shocked all along that this girl could just walk....

"She quite possibly had more of a hand than Liz Carroll (in the death of Marcus Fiesel). Look at Liz Carroll, she looks like someone who could be easily swayed and taken advantage of, that she seems so vulnerable to me...

"I definitely have my doubts about Amy Baker. I wouldn't be surprised if she was involved with the murder of Marcus....

"Maybe she (Liz) will get manslaughter instead. I don't think she's going to walk.... She clearly knew what happened and went along with it. But I don't know if she was the one who murdered him, I really don't...

"It's so sickening. I've been hearing so much of what Amy Baker said today, and my stomach turned... In my heart -- and I'm not a juror -- I don't believe that woman is nearly as innocent as she claims to be."

Monday, February 19, 2007

XM, Sirius To Merge

This just in: XM and Sirius satellite radio to merge operations. Combined they have about 14 million subscribers.

Satellite radio fans: Are you happy? Is this good news?

Is Your TV Obsolete?

Less than two years and counting.... until your analog TV is obsolete. On Feb. 17, 2009 -- two years from last Saturday -- all US TV stations will cease broadcasting analog signals, and switch to digital. That means millions and millions of TV sets won't get over-the-air pictures without a converter box of some sort. Most of us will continue to get our TV from cable or the dish, but for those who don't, it will be a big problem.

The digital conversion deadline has been pushed back several times, but the government appears serious about the '09 deadline established in the DTV Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. The law says analog TV households can get two vouchers, worth $40 each, to help pay for a converter. But I'm not sure if many converters are on the market now (so you could watch the CinCW with your analog set). When I asked about one at a big box TV/electronics store, I was told they didn't keep them in stock, but I could order one from the website for about $200.

Hopefully the broadcast engineers who read this blog can fill in more details. I expect there will be a lot of questions over the next 24 months.

Rich Apuzzo Update

For those who miss seeing Rich Apuzzo on Fox 19 news, catch his nightly videostreamed forecast on his website,
Last week Apuzzo began doing a 10-minute forecast from his home studio in Mount Washington. He also archives the forecasts on the site.
Says Apuzzo: "I occasionally bring my family and pets into the show, and I take my camera out to get weather video as well as using video and pictures sent from my viewers."
Apuzzo has not appeared on Cincinnati TV since being fired by WXIX-TV in early October.

Fox Prime-Time News

Fox has renewed "House" and "Bones" for next season, which is no surprise given the huge ratings for them paired with "American Idol."

And you can catch a sneak peek of "The Winner," to debut March 4, episodes are posted at

"Family Guy" creator Seth McFarland is executive producer of the sitcom. Rob Corddry ("The Daily Show") plays a socially inept 34-year-old guy still living with his parents (Lenny Clarke and Cincinnati native Julie Haggerty).

Friday, February 16, 2007

Oscar Treadwell Concert Rescheduled

Hopefully snow won't cause postponement again of WVXU-FM's Ocsar Treadwell concert. "Sweet Love: A Tribute To Oscar Treadwell" is now rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday April 23 at the Madison Theater in Covington. (Will we have thawed out by then??)

WVXU-FM pulled the plug on the concert Monday afternoon, hours before it was to begin, because of the severe winter storm headed our way that night.

All of the same talent -- plus vocalist Mary Ellen Tanner -- are set to perform on April 23: the Blue Wisp Big Band with Tanner; Steve Schmidt Trio; Cohesion Jazz Ensemble; and a CCM jazz combo .

Tickets are $20 in advance plus fees at or; by calling 513-621-ARTS; or at the Aronoff Center, Music Hall, and Madison Theater box offices. Tickets are $25 day of show.

Reruns of Treadwell’s old WGUC-FM jazz shows, now called “Classic Jazz with OT,” air 9-11 p.m. Sundays on WVXU-FM.

A Different Side of Bill Tonnis

WLW-AM newsman Bill Tonnis releases his first solo Christian CD at a 7:30 p.m. concert at the Mount St. Joseph chapel. His "Listen To Your Heart" is the best of 80 songs written by Tonnis over the past 10 years. The 1978 Elder High School graduate earned a master's degree in religious studies from the Mount St. Joe in 2004. For more info about his music, go to
Concert tickets are $15 at the door.

Liz Carroll Trial Coverage

You asked for it, you've got it: A blog for you to comment on coverage of the Liz Carroll murder trial in Clermont County. Here it is....

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Studio 60" pulled by NBC

Bad news for fans of Matthew Perry's "Studio 60." The last scheduled episode is next Monday, Feb. 19. NBC just pulled the Feb. 26 episode -- the last Monday in sweeps -- to launch "The Black Donnellys," a drama from the Oscar winners Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco ("Crash"). The series follows four young Irish-Americans in New York City involved with organized crime.

"Studio 60" from writer Aaron Sorkin has been a distant second at 10 p.m. Monday to CBS' "CSI: Miami." Last week's "Studio 60," the second of a three-part sweeps story, drew 7 million viewers, down 1.5 million from the season average. "CSI" averages 17 million.

NBC says "Studio 60" will "return to the schedule later this season on a date to be determined."
Translation: Goodbye until summer, after the new fall lineups are announced?

I liked the show, but felt it never lived up to NBC 's summer hype. It wasn't another "West Wing" or "Sports Night" from Sorkin. And I heard from plenty that it was too inside TV for many viewers. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Don't Look For Robert Hatcher Tonight on "American Idol"

Don't look for Robert Hatcher of Westwood on "American Idol" tonight, because he was eliminated in last night's episode. And true to form, you didn't see it on Fox. In fact, you barely saw Hatcher on the nation's No. 1 TV series this season.

Fox didn't show his Memphis audition on the Jan. 30 show. During the "Hollywood Round" last night, he was really hard to find. Hatcher tells me he was in the first group of 6 guys singing, wearing black on the left end. He flashed by on the screen for about 1.5 seconds. He actually made it through to the next round, with singing and dancing, but Fox didn't show him perform again.

And you didn't see him in the hotel room at the end of the show, when Simon, Paula and Randy sent the 20 singers home.

As I've written before, Fox folks edit these shows knowing which singers make the top 24, and they decide which singers can be ignored. But Hatcher doesn't have a bad thing to say about his experience.

"I made it to the top 30 guys this season, and then I got cut. I had a good run on "American Idol." I'm absolutely positive somebody will see me from this... and if nothing happens, I'll be right back on the road next year auditioning again."

He's already working on a new TV gig -- auditioning for P. Diddy's "Making the Band 4," a boy band for MTV. So maybe a national TV audience will get to see him sing some day....

Wheel of Justice Will Keep On Turning (Next Week)

The "Wheel of Justice" will return next Wednesday to Channel 12's morning news after a two-week hiatus. It has not been canceled. The past two weeks the segment was postponed due to bad weather, though anchors John Lomax and Anna Townsend haven't explained to viewers why it was absent.
Deb Dixon had planned to celebrate the 1-year anniversary on Feb. 7 with Mayor Mallory and Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher, but it was dropped because of the snow last week. The anniversary will be celebrated next Wednesday, says Elbert Tucker, news director.
Ch 12 started the spinning the "Wheel" -- a carnival wheel plastered with fugitives' mugs shots -- last February after Mallory challenged citizens and the media to do more to help solve the city's crime problem. The pointer lands on a suspect, and efforts are made by police jurisdictions to locate and arrest that person. At least 52 people have been captured in a year from the "Wheel," I'm told. It's corny, but it works.

Time Warner launches SI On Demand

Just in time for the "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit edition, Time Warner cable is launching Sports Illustrated on Demand today. It's on digital Channel 1403, by the movie preview on demand channel. I haven't had time to check it out yet, but Time Warner says will include footage from SI's swimsuit video and video sports clinics. At least it will take our minds off the ice and snow today.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Oscar Treadwell Tribute Concert Postponed

Due to winter storm warnings, WVXU-FM has postponed the "Swet Love: A Tribute Concert to Oscar Treadwell" scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tonight at Madison Theater, Covington. It will be rescheduled in the next couple of months, the station says. The station asks that ticket-holders keep their tickets until a new date is anounced.

They've Got Game (Shows)

A couple of local people on TV game shows this week:
--Kevin Schmit of Cincinnati appears on "The Price Is Right" 11 a.m. today on Ch. 12.
--Jayme Holloway of Crestview Hills will be in the hot seat on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" 10:30 a.m. Wednesday on Ch. 12. She's an admissions counselor for Western Kentucky University.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Breaking News Alert: 64 Degrees at Channel 64

This just in... Ffrom the news ticker repeated several times during the 10 p.m. news tonight on Channel 64, from the Local 12 newsroom. Sunday's weather: "8 a.m., Clear and cool, 45.... Noon, Partly cloudy, mild, 64... 5 p.m., Partly cloudy, warmer, 71...."

During his weather segment, Ch. 12's John Gumm never mentioned the ticker temps. His high for Sunday was 30. Then he explained about the varying computer models for a possible major storm coming Monday or Tuesday, saying we could get another heavy snow -- or freezing rain -- or just rain. He ended his forecast by saying: "To be honest with you, this system is the type of system that can make us meteorologists look like idiots." I think he was talking about the next storm system, not the news ticker system, but I'm not sure....

To be honest with you, my favorite Weather Authority is George Carlin: "Tonight's forecast? Dark! Followed by widely scattered light."

Friday, February 09, 2007

WHIO-FM moving to Sharonville

Just when radio had settled down, here comes anther change on the dial. For the second time in a year, a broadcaster wants to move an out-of-market radion station here.

Last year, WIFE-FM from Connersville moved to Norwood to become the new MOJO 100.3. Now Cox Radio wants to move WHIO-FM (95.7) from Piqua to Sharonville. The station was "The Point" classic rock until November, when it switched to simulcasting WHIO-AM news/talk.

Obviously WHIO-FM won't continue simulcasting Dayton news/sports/traffic/weather with a signal beaming from Middletown to Covington, and saturating Hamilton County. So if the move is approved by the FCC, expect a new format or new owner. (First Broadcasting of Dallas, which bought WOXY-FM in Oxford and WOAL-FM in Ripley, and is trying to move them closer to Cincinnati as MAXX FM, did some of the engineering research for Cox on this one.)

Here's a link to a map of the proposed new signal for WHIO-FM

I know radio station staffers read this blog. Maybe they can post the latest buzz on what this move could mean.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Anne Nicole Smith: Rest in Peace?

I can't believe how all the cable news channels have lost thier minds over the death of Anna Nicole Smith.
"Anna Nicole Smith Dead!" That's the headline on Nancy Grace tonight on CNN Headline, yes with an exclamation point.
"Fox News Alert" says Fox News.
And Anderson Cooper, in New Orleans for a serious story about the city's high murder rate, has ditched the topic to talk about Anna Nicole Smith.
She's that big a deal? That significant? That newsworthy?

Anna Nicole & Me
Maybe I'm not impressed because I've met her. On the TV critics press tour in the summer of 2002, during the first season of her cable "Anna Nicole Show," she did an incoherent press conference with us. She just wasn't all together that day, and didn't say much we could quote from her seat on a couch on stage. I don't think I wrote much (if anything) about it in a day when I would have attended a dozen interview sessions. Reporters buzzed afterward about her condition. (More memorable that day was Martha Stewart showing TV critics how to decorate cookies during her press conference.)

I had watched the "Anna Nicole Show," and just kind of found her sad and pathetic.... a woman doing whatever she could to stay in the eye of the camera, to remain famous. It all seemed so calculated and fabricated then, and have since viewed her soap opera of a life in that context.

It's always sad when any human live ends. But this 24/7 treatment tonight is way over the top. I hope a Big Breaking News story soon will provide the cable networks a new obsession, and Anna Nicole will fade away. But with an autopsy, funeral, custody battle, etc., the Anne Nicole Smith Dead! story won't go away soon.

Am I wrong? Is Anna Nicole Smith's death Really Big News? What am I missing her? Up For National Award

You can help win another national award by voting in the the 10th Annual SXSW Web Awards. The Cincinnati Internet station is one of five nominees for Best Music Website, and eligible for a People's Choice Award.
You can vote once a day through March 2 at
All the nominees are listed at awards/
The winners will be announced March 11 in Austin, Texas.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Snow Ratings

Big weather news meant big TV ratings again Tuesday. Ratings for the 5-5:30 p.m. newscasts -- at the worst of the storm -- jumped on Tuesday. Overnight Nielsen meters showed that "homes using television," calls "HUTs," yesterday hit 70% from 5-6:30 p.m., a 30% increase over the usual 54 % for this month.

Ch 9 GM Bill Fee provided this analysis of the 90-minute early evening news block: "WCPO 15.5 rating, WKRC 16.4 rating, WLWT 7.6 rating. That represents an increase over February averages to date, by WCPO 76%, WKRC 86% and WLWT 41%.

Viewing also was up for the late news:
10 p.m.
WXIX: 13.7 rating, 21% audience share
WSTR: 1.7 rating, 2% audience share
11 p.m.
WKRC: 14.2 rating, 25% audience share
WCPO: 8.8 rating, 16% audience share
WLWT: 6.6 rating, 12% audience share

UC Students on Discovery Tonight

To see more about Matt Zoller and Mark Chrapla, the two UC industrial design students on the four-week "FutureCar' series (premeiring 8 p.m. today on Discovery Channel), check out this story on the UC website:
Zoller and Chrapla were two of the seven students in GM's design internship program last summer. To see their designs, and vote on your favorite, and watch webisodes, go to this Discovery Channel site for the show:

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Let it snow! Let it snow!

Since several have asked for a blog to comment on weather coverage today.... So here it is.
I just watched the noon news, and the Power ofLocal 5+9+12 Ultimate Precision Doppler Weather Plus folks predict 1-2-3 inches of snow by 6 0r 7 p.m., and 4-5-6 inches of snow by midnight or 1 a.m. (Ch. 12 just announced it will blow out "The Insider" at 4:30 p.m. for Tim Hedrick and snow coverage.)
Here are the noon predictions:
--Ch. 5 Eric Green: 3-5 inches. "I think 6 will be the exception, not the norm." Heaviest band SE of Cincinnati along Ohio River.
--Ch. 9 Larry Handley: 1-3 inches by 6 p.m., 3-6 inches by 11:30 p.m.
--Ch. 12 Jeff Creighton: 2-3 inches by 7 p.m., and 4-6 inches by midnight-1 a.m. He had heaviest concentrations at Falmouth (6.7") and Owenton (6.9").
That's their predictions. Now I'll make a few of my own predictions:
--Jeff Hirsh's report at 5 minutes after noon about people going out to buy milk, bread and snow shovels will not be the only time we hear reports about consumers stocking up today.
--Viewers will complain about the on-screen weather graphics consuming so much of the TV picture.
--You'll hear coworkers and friends use the term "White Death," but nobody on TV news will utter that phrase.
Now it's your turn to post your weather predictions and observations... Have fun!

Monday, February 05, 2007

"Supernanny" in Town

Producers of ABC's "Supernanny" want everyone to know that a casting director and camera crew are in town this week and looking for families which may want to be on the show. If you're interested, call the "Supernanny" hotline at 1-877-NANNYTIME (1-877-626-6984) and fill out the 12-page "Supernanny" application at
If selected, the episode will be filmed in spring, and broadcast sometime during the 2007-08 Fall TV season. An episode filmed last March in Erlanger still has not aired this season.

WLW Nominated For Talk Radio Awards

This just in: WLW-AM has been nominated for two Radio and Records News Talk Industry Achievement Awards. WLW-AM is one of six stations for news talk station of the year in markets 26 and up. AM Operations Director Darryl Parks was nominated for news talk program director of the year. Winners will be announced during the R&R News Talk Seminar March 8-10 in Los Angeles.
Here's the list of nominees:

Scott Springer back on WLW-AM

Good to hear Scott Springer back on WLW-AM this morning. The morning sports reporter had been off the air since Nov. 17, and some folks thought he was fired in Clear Channel's Nov. 29 purge. Not the case. He has been on disability leave since Thanksgiving, after a Botox shot gone wrong.
For the past year, he has received six to nine shots a quarter in his jaw and neck for oromandibular focal dystonia. The disorder causes jaw contractions, making it difficult to move the mouth or speak. That's not good for a Radio Guy. The Botox treatments had worked fine until November, when an injection into a jaw muscle partially paralyzed his palate. Welcome back.

"Amazing Race" Sightings Here?

I wanted you to see the posting someone just made today on my Jan. 16 blog about "The Amazing Race." The person thinks an "Amazing Race" crew could have been in town last Wednesday (Jan 31), and maybe Rob & Amber too from "The Amazing Race: All Stars." It's unlikely CBS is still shooting "TAR: All-Stars," because the season premieres in less than two weeks. But I throw it open to anyone who know any more about this....

Here's the post:
at 2/05/2007 2:32 AM Anonymous said...
Could have sworn I spotted a film crew swarming around Rob and Amber last Wednesday, January 31st, right across the street from Havana Martini Club. Or maybe it was just the martinis...
Another friend thought they spotted a film crew filming Amazing Racers in Newport On The Levee. Anyone know?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

What Was Your Favorite Super Bowl Commercial?

Were you as disappointed as I was with the Super Bowl commercials? I thought there were more misses than hits during the game. Do you agree?

To me, there were no great memorable spots, like past ads with the Coke truck driver drinking a Pepsi, the kid getting sucked into a pop bottle through a straw, the guy working with a bunch of monkees, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan playing horse, or Bud Light spots with Cedric the Entertainer spraying his date with beer, or the naked guy sliding across satin sheets and out the dedroom window. Or Wassup!

Most of the Bud Light spots made me laugh, and I didn't see the Jerry Springer one, so the suits must have felt it wasn't as strong as the others. We'll probably see it during the NCAA basketball tournament.

The Chad Johnson spot for the NFL Network ran before Billy Joel sang the National Anthem, so you might have missed it. Chad had a lot of star power (Jimmy Fallon, LL Cool J, Rascal Flatts, Martha Stewart, Reggie Bush, David Beckham), but it wasn't really funny. I thought for a while it might have been a multiple part commercial we'd see several versions of, but that didn't happen.

You can see all the ads at

Didn't see the Doritos duct tape commercial from the Batesville brothers.

Here are my favorites. Which ones did you like or hate?
FedEx moon office
Bockbuster/Pet Store animals trying to click a mouse
David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey in love
Budweiser crabs
Sprint connectile dysfunction
Doritos accident prone driver
Bud Light rock, paper scissors; talking apes in zoo; auctioneer-preacher; English class.
Songs about Chevys
Coke celebrating Black History dates -- especially today.
Nationwide Kevin Federline ad -- still found it funny, even though we've known for weeks it was coming.

Here's the ones I thought were awful: wanting training volunteers/jumping off a cliff; performance reviews
CBS' Rules of Engagement commercials
Go Daddy marketing party
Coke fantasy about assembly line filling a Coke bottle; old man who never had a Coke
Chevy contest winner about male strippers washing a car
GM's lonely yellow robot -- Was this the worst?
Sierra Mist comb-over beard; self-defense classes
Toyota trucks
Snicker: Two guys eating same candy bar
Garmin superhero victorious over monster
Talking lions for Taco Bell
Doritos grocery store check-out
E-Trade bank robbery

What did I forget? What did you like and why? And which were the worst?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Keeping Marian Spelman's Memory Alive

About 50 of Marian Spelman's friends and family gathered at Arlington Memorial Gardens this afternoon to remember the wonderful WLW radio/TV singer. Rob Reider and Nancy James led the group in hymns, then folks shared their favorite memories of Spelman, a Ruth Lyons/Bob Braun "Fifty-Fifty Club" singer from 1952 to 1975. Around the chapel were her record albums, programs from the Cincinnati Symphony, Pops, and Dayton's Kenley Players, one of her landscape paintings (who knew?), and photos (including 3 with Steve Allen from her appearance on his show in 1951).

Folks like Nick and Nina Clooney, Ch 5 producer Dick Murgatroyd, announcer Bill Myers, bandsman Bill Walters, Wray Jean Braun (Bob's widow), Nancy James, Rob Reider, Ch. 5 engineers, former coworkers and others took solace in knowing Marian would always have a place in their hearts.

But we need more than that.

We need to preserve her wonderful soprano rendition of the 'Star-Spangled Banner." Does anyone have a copy of it? For years -- if not several decades -- Spelman sang the National Anthem at Opening Day at Crosley Field, and Riverfront Stadium. She was so terrific, that she was always first choice to sing the National Anthem for major events.
Recordings of her Ruth Lyons' show Christmas song still exist, thanks to the preservation efforts by old WVXU-FM years ago. But who has a recording of her singing the National Anthem? Anyone? It should be tracked down and preserved digitally by the Media Heritage preservation group at the Voice of America, or WMKV-FM, which plays historic broadcasts.

And CD copies should be sent to the audio engineers at Great American Ball Park so her voice could open a Reds game at least once a year... And also sent to US Bank Arena, the Shoemaker Center and Cintas Center to be used, if needed, for pregame ceremonies. Maybe even make it available to some high schools too. We need to keep her voice alive.

Anyone have a copy of her "Star-Spangled Banner?" Let me know.

Ch 9 in & Randy Little out at B105

The TV wars on radio continue. Channel 9 folks today added country WUBE-FM (B105) to its list of stations airing Channnel 9's news and weather reports. Kathrine Nero and Larry Handley were on this morning, and Clyde Gray or Carol Williams will do news chats with Duke Hamilton during afternoon drive (3-5 p.m.). The deal has been in the works since Ch. 5 pulled off the station to do top-rated WLW-AM last summer.
The odd man out is Randy Little. You could say this is the second time he has been bounced by Ch. 9. His 20-year TV career ended in 2001, when Ch. 9 dropped his contract. For three years, Little did morning drive news for B105 and sister WGRR-FM (103.5). He stayed with B105 when WGRR-FM was swapped to Cumulus for WYGY-FM (97.3), the country Wolf, in November.
Technically, Little works for the Metro Networks radio traffic/news folks. He was told last Friday that B105 no longer needed him, but Little hopes to continue working "behind the scenes" for Metro Networks. His day job is in the NKU communications department. Metro Networks still provides B105 with the "Traffic Twins" airborne traffic reports.
Starting Monday, Ch 9's John Matarese will start a weekly morning chat with Bill Whyte and Amanda Orlando, and Williams will do a health feature.
Ch. 9 also services WRRM-FM (WARM98), the new WMOJ-FM (MOJO 100.3), Christiasn WAKW-FM (93.3), WFTK-FM (SupertalkFM 96.5). Add up all their listeners, and Ch 9 reaches more on radio that Ch. 5 on WLW-AM. And Ch. 12 cut back on radio at the end of the year, no longer providing local news to Clear Channel's WKRC-AM (550).
Meanwhile, Ch 9 wants to expand to more radio stations. "I'd like to provide weather and news headlines to as many radio stations that we possibly can," says Bill Fee, Ch. 9 general manager.
Is this a good strategy for Ch 9? You tell me.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Stephen Colbert Keeps His Word

This just in from Fox News, where Bill O'Reilly tonight (8 p.m., FNC) will comment on Stephen Colbert replacing the microwave oven he confiscated for Comedy Central two weeks ago. Here's the email from Fox News:
Stephen Colbrt, the man of truthiness, is also a man of his word. Colbert kept good on his promise and finally sent over a replacement microwave to Fox News for the one he "stole" on Jan. 18, when Colbert visited O'Reilly's studio. Colbert managed to smuggle the microwave from the Fox green room, although he left O'Reilly know of his plan off camera. A few hours later, doing "The Colbert Report," Colbert proudly unveiled his treasured souvenir from his idol, Papa Bear. O'Reilly is expected to talk about the incident on tonight's "The O'Reilly Factor."

Wendy Walker Returns to Clear Channel

Wendy Walker has returned to Clear Channel, although she never really left. Walker, the midday WEBN-FM host fired in late November in a budget-cutting purge, had continued to drop by the Kenwood offices to voice-track (record) her five-hour weekday show for Cayrock96.5 in the Cayman Islands. A few weeks, she saw a job posting for a Clear Channel commercial writer and producer, and she got the gig. She replaces Holly O'Leary, who quits Friday to by a stay-at-home mom for her two children, ages 6 months and 2-1/2 years.
Walker's new title is creative content director. She had been an 'EBN DJ since 1995. And she's the second person purged by Clear Channel to come back in a week: Bubba Bo returned to WLW-AM's overnight America's Trucking Network last weekend, when an advertiser agreed to pay for live programming instead of reruns.
Part of Walker's deal is that she resumes "Big Hair Wednesday, " which she did noon-1 p.m. yesterday for the first time in two months. She'll also do some part-time weekend 'EBN shifts. And soon she'll start voice-tracking weekends on a Clear Channel station in Roanoke, Va.
"It's like I'm coming back to my family. It's like I never left," she tells me.
Welcome back, Wendy...

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