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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, October 31, 2007

Attack Of The Sweeps

Halloween is over, and the scary season is just starting. It's November sweeps!
Time for "new life-saving information to keep your family safe!" Thursday at 11!
Time for a story about lapses in our house arrest system. Bad guys on the loose?
Time to dig up the Carrie Culbertson story one more time, at 11 p.m. Thursday,, right after "Without A Trace."
Yes, sweeps start Thursday.
You can tell, because Carrie Culbertson is news once again, more than 11 years after her murder. This wasn't news in October... and won't be news in December. But since it's November sweeps -- the crucial four-week ratings period for TV stations, which will help establish advertising rates and revenues -- it's time to do another story about the Blanchester women who vanished Aug. 29, 1996. "How far will her mother and investigators go to find her remains?" Film at 11 p.m. Thursday.
You can tell its sweeps because Channel 9 is starting a contest for viewers to win a free trip to see the Oprah Winfrey show. All you've got to do is watch Oprah every day 4-5 p.m. during sweeps, Nov. 1 to Nov. 28 for the word of the day.... and then stay tuned and watch the 5 p.m. news on Channel 9 for the cue to call. (Betcha the word of the day won't be "bribery.") Yes, the 5 p.m. news war is still on, and the three local news stations will do all they can to build their 5 p.m. audience. (A story that will never make the Top 5 at 5.)
And stay tuned to Channel 9 at 11p.m. for Killer! Smoke! Detectors! "Your working smoke detector may not alert you to the deadliest kind of fire." But Clyde Gray will alert you. He's on your side. He's on "the Tristate's only high-definition station," as they say. (Doesn't Channel 5 air NBC's prime-time shows in HDTV? Aren't CBS' Bengals games on Channel 12 in HDTV? CET doesn't broadcast in HD? Why hasn't Channel 9 consumer guru John Matarese investigated this claim? (Maybe he's waiting on the research to be completed by his partners at Consumer Reports?) Where's the Troubleshooter when you need him? Somebody call Tom Sussi!)
Yes, it's sweeps, when the newscasts are filled with special investigations and reports. Brace yourself, we've got 28 days of this stuff.... and then things will return to normal.

ABC Game Show Audition Saturday

Listen up, trivia experts: ABC’s new "Duel" prime-time trivia game show is coming to Dayton Saturday for a regional opening casting call.

Up to 2,000 people will be seen at the Mall at Fairfield Commons off I-675 east of Dayton in Beavercreek between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., says casting director Michael Yates. Auditions are being held in only three cities -- Las Vegas, Orlando and Dayton -- so a trip to Dayton might be worth your time Saturday.

"We chose Dayton because it's centrally located. It's 90 minutes away from Cincinnati, Columbus and Indianapolis, and represents such a good cross-section of the country," Yates says. It's also Yates hometown: He grew up in Centerville.

Based on a popular French TV show, contestants will go head-to-head answering pop culture, history, geography and literature questions, Yates says. He also has done casting for ""Deal or No Deal," "1 vs. 1oo" and "Big Brother."

ABC has ordered 10 episodes. It may premiere in December as a two-week prime-time TV event, similar to the launch of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," Yates says.

Contestants must be at least 18, and able to spend two weeks in Los Angeles for the taping, he says. You can also apply by going to and clicking on “casting” at the bottom of the home page, or by calling the Single Shot Productions casting department at 1-866-633-2408.

A Couple Of Halloween Treats For You

Two local Halloween treats for you today on classic music WGUC-FM and nostalgia/big band WMKV-FM:

WMKV-FM (89.3): At 4 p.m., Springdale's WMKV-FM broadcasts recreations of two old "Suspense" radio dramas. New Edgecliffe Theatre performers recorded the episodes, "House on Cypress Canyon" and "Ghost Hunt," at Maple Knoll Village Auditorium Sunday for broadcast 4-5 p.m. They also will be streamed at THEIOS

The shows were directed by Nathan Gabriel, 26, the New Edgecliffe associate artistic director who’s a huge fan of “The Shadow” old-time radio thrillers. WMKV-FM’s Mike Martini supervised the live sound effects and station director George Zahn recorded the shows.

WGUC-FM (90.9): At 6 p.m., WGUC-FM (90.9) again fills the Halloween airwaves with spooky classical music to crank up during Trick or Treat tonight. "Tunes from the Crypt 2007" (6-8 p.m.), a repeat from last year, includes selections from "War of the Worlds," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Lord of the Rings 3," "Danse Macabre" and "This is Halloween" from "The Night Before Christmas."

"Tunes from the Crypt Returns (8-10 p.m.), another repeat, provides what WGUC-FM publicist Kevin Reynolds calls "two hours of the most spine-tingling classical music composed (or decomposed) over the last three centuries." Host Mark Perzel plays "Danse Macabre," Stravinsky’s "Firebird: Infernal Dance," Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain," Danny Elfman's "Batman Forever: Main Theme and March" and John Williams' "Devil’s Dance" from "Witches of Eastwick."

Perzel also has written about his "Top 5 Creepy Classics" for National Public Radio, posted at

For more "Tunes from the Crypt" info, go to

John From Cincinnati Wants Your Help

"John from Cincinnati" – the HBO show, not this John from Cincinnati – needs your help. Fans of the show want you to sign an online petition at to be sent to HBO. They’re 2,800 short of the 10,000 signature goal set before sending it to HBO executives.

The group also bought a full-page ad in Variety today. The sumer series -- starring Austin Nichols as John Monad, the mysterious stranger who changed the lives of a dysfunctional Southern California surfing family – was canceled in August, soon after its final telecast.

"According to HBO's own numbers, "John from Cincinnati" had 3.8 million viewers, more than enough to continue a less expensive show. We know the numbers are close and the audience is out there within reach. We are gaining momentum, but HBO embracing this effort would really cause things to snowball," says Brian Lucey of Delaware, Ohio. He's on the "Save JFC" committee with viewers from Murray, Ky.; Jackson, N.J.; Phoenix, Ariz; Culpepper, Va.; and Austin, Texas.

The website also lists contact info for HBO executives, and their bosses at Time Warner.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NBC's Must Sing TV Coming To Cincinnati

Call it Must Sing TV. NBC casting directors are coming to Cincinnati next week to audition amateur singers for "Clash of the Choirs," a four-night prime-time reality competition airing the week before Christmas.
A celebrity with Cincinnati ties -- NBC won't say who -- Could it be Nick Lachey? -- will help assemble 25-person choir which will compete on live TV Dec. 17-20.
Open auditions will be Saturday, Nov. 10, at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Auditions by appointment will be held Nov. 8-9 at SCPA. To apply for an appointment, email Jonathan Tanzman info about your musical background, a photo and contact info. His email is His phone in LA is 818-487-5142.
People may audition as individuals or as a group. Some will be called back for an audition with the celebrity at some point. The finalists must be able to spend 10 days in New York (Dec. 13-21) rehearsing and performing.
The Cincinnati vocalists will be competing with similar groups representing four other cities. So far only one celeb and city has been announced by NBC: Patti LaBelle and Philadelphia. (The Cincinnati celeb will be announced before auditions begin next week, I'm told.)
Like "American Idol," viewers will vote nightly after live performances and determine which choir wins. Unlike "American Idol," there will not be a panel of three judges to critique the groups. "America's Best Choir" will be named Thursday, Dec. 20. A $250,000 charitable donation will be made in the winning group's name.

NBC's Medium Returns in January

Someone asked me on Burbank's show Monday the status of NBC's "Medium." Here's the scoop: It returns on NBC's Sunday nights in January, after the NFL season.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Colts-Patriots Will Play On Channel 12

Just found this out, and thought many of you would want to know: Channel 12 plans to carry the Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots game Sunday, the highly anticipated match-up of undefeated NFL teams.
The 4 p.m. game will be in HDTV, says Rick Wagar, Ch. 12 program manager.
But the Bengals game at Buffalo will not be in HDTV, he says.
Thought you'd want to know.

Pretty Good Ol Charles Schulz

"American Masters’ " profile of "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz today (9-10:30 p.m., Channels 48, 16 and Insight Channel 23) answers many questions about how the Charlie Brown cartoons mirrored the life of a lonely child from Minneapolis, Minn.

But at the end of the 90-minute show, viewers will be left with many more questions unanswered in the profile.

American Masters did a great job assmbling old B&W photos, home movies and interviews with family members, longtime friends and former coworkers. His old friends always refer to him as "Sparky," his nickname, though nobody every explains that to viewers. You'll see former co-workers at the Art Instruction school, where he worked with a Charles F. Brown and Linus Maurer --who became namesakes for his cartoon strip – the Donna Wold, the little red-headed girl who spurned his romance. You'll hear Schulz's voice from interviews, but it's not made clear enough when he was interviewed or by whom. We just kind of hear his voice from time to time.

The pictures of Schulz with his first wife, Joyce, and their kids in Coffee Lane in California are great. She's the strong personality that some think "Lucy" was based on. Her daughter Meredith calls their California home "our own little Disneyland," with the pool, tennis courts, golf holes, fishing lake, etc. Meredith, and sons Monte and Craig, provide lots of great insights about their dad...until 1972, when Charles and Joyce Schulz divorced.

Then the story shifts to his apparent personality change after marrying Jean Clyde in 1973. The kids -- a big part of the story until then -- are never seen again. We don't know how old they were at the divorce, or what kind of relationship he had with them after that. Very strange.

You'll learn a lot about Schulz, for sure. You won't learn that much about his hugely popular TV shows, except for "A Charlie Brown Christmas," his first TV special." Again, that was kind of odd.

The producers cleverly uses his old strips to illustrate what Schulz was going through or feeling in his personal life. But there are many factual gaps in the show that could frustrate viewers. I know I was.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What Makes A Good TV Anchor?

All the comments last week about morning anchors Todd Dykes, Jonathan Hawgood, Lisa Cooney, Bernard Watson and Kathrine Nero and others got me to thinking: What do you think makes a really good news anchor for Cincinnati? The Dykes-Hawgood job swap by Channel 5 really touched a nerve, so I'd like to explore it from a different angle.

What qualities make someone your favorite news anchor? Is it his or her presenation? Good looks? Depth of knowledge about the area? Their sincerity? Diction? Sense of humor? Oveall TV experience -- or just experience here?

Does being a native help? Or doesn't that matter? (Clyde, Carol, Jack, Sandra, Sheree, Kit all aren't natives.)

So I'd like to have a discussion on this thread.... Tell me what anchors you like and specifically why they're better than the rest. Or if you could assemble a perfect anchor, what pieces would you want -- The reporting skills of Dave Wagner? Storytelling abilityl of John Popovich? The smoothness of Clyde Gray or Rob Braun? The experience of Carol Williams or Kit Andrews? The sense of humor of Tricia Macke, Kathrine Nero, Ken Broo or Bob Herzog? The no-nonsense approach of Tim Hedrick?

You tell me not just who you like, but why you like them. This is not a popularity contest... but you get brownie points with me if you post under your name, rather than "Anonymous."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Time Warner Adds NHL Network and Logo

This just in: Time Warner has added its seventh and eighth new channels this month, the NHL Network and MTV's Logo.

The NHL Network will launch on Time Warner's "digital sports tier" on Wednesday, Oct. 31. It will be Channel 340 in Greater Cincinnati and on Channel 530 on former Adelphia systems here.

The NHL Network -- launched in Canada six years ago, but available starting this month in the U.S. – will telecast 50 live regular-season games (subject to local blackout restrictions) in addition to classic games, documentaries, instructional shows, highlights and more, Time Warner says. Hundreds more NHL games are available on the "NHL Center Ice" package that Time Warner has offered for several years.

Also on the sports tier are the Outdoor Channel, Speed Channel, Fox College Sports, NBA TV, Tennis Channel, Fuel TV and College Sports TV.

Logo -- the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender channel -- can be found on Channel 160 in Greater Cincinnati and Channel 180 in Dayton on the "digital variety tier." Logo premiered June 30, 2005.

TWC has launched six other services this month: Fox Business Network, and HD channels for TBS, Food, HGTV, History and A&E.

But still no NFL Network or Big Ten Network. Yeah, I know.

More Channel 19 News

Channel 19 managers are talking about expanding news programming, but they're not saying when or where just yet.

Recently there has been talk at Channel 19 of launching a 6:30 p.m. newscast to catch commuters arriving home too late for the local 5-6:30 p.m. news blocks.

News director Steve Ackermann won't confirm – or talk specifics – for competitive reasons. But he says that Channel 19 has been looking for ways to expand local news since he was hired nearly two years ago.

"We're always looking for places to add news to our schedule, but we're not ready to make a move right now," Ackermann says.

Since Channel 19 started local news on Oct. 18, 1993, the station has dropped its midnight news and added the weekday 5-9 a.m. show. Could another newscast debut sometime next year?

"Yes, it could – but that's no different from the answer I would have given you a year ago. We're always looking for opportunities. We're not looking at one time period. I want to do it when it makes sense."

If Channel 19 expands news programming, you'll hear lots about it.

"We need advertisers to know about it. We need the audience to know about it. We won't do it quietly," he says.

So here’s my question: If a TV station (any station) added a newscast to any time period, or any day, when and where would be most convenient to your lifestyle? 6:30 p.m. weekdays? Sometime else? Tell me what works for you.

Channel 12 Buys Dr. Phil Spinoff

Could "Dr. Phil" go head-to-head next fall here against his spinoff, "The Doctors," produced by his son, Jay McGraw? It could happen.

Channel 12 has bought "The Doctors," syndicated for next fall by CBS Television Distribution. CBS says it's a "firm go" with commitments to air in New York, LA, Chicago and all of the top 10 markets. Dayton (WDTN-TV, Ch. 2) and Indianapolis (WISH-TV) also have picked it up.

Dr. Travis Stork, an ER doctor from "The Bachelor," will host the show featuring five doctors with various specialties offering medical advice. The docs also will be seen frequently on "Dr. Phil" this season to promote the September 2008 premiere.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A New Twist On WLW-WLWT Partnership

Did you see WLW-AM reporter Andrew Setters on Channel 5 news last weekend?

Setters, a morning co-anchor and assignment editor, was asked to freelance for Channel 5 due a staffing crunch. He's working weekends through Nov. 18, until Lisa Cooney returns from her personal leave.

Sally Thelen, Channel 5 assistant news director, asked Setters earlier this month if he could do some fill-in work. "She said they were short staffed, and asked me if I would like to give it a try," he says.

"As far as I know at this point, this is just a temporary situation. I think it was great of the people here at the Big One to give me the go-ahead to pick up some freelance work for a while. It's been a wonderful opportunity and I'm really enjoying getting a chance to learn another side of the business. A lot of the experience I've picked up over the past 9+ years at 700 WLW has been a big help in working at News 5, but there is definitely a learning curve that comes from taking a radio guy and putting him on TV."

Says Brennan Donnellan, Channel 5 news director: "Andrew has done a great job for us the past few times on the air. If other similar opportunities arise, we'd be open to it. So far, we don't have any further plans."

It's not the first time a radio reporter has made the transition to TV, although I don't recall a radio reporter freelancing for TV at the same time. John London (Channel 5) and Dan Carroll (Channel 19) came from WLW-AM, and network news veteran Edie Magnus did radio news at WUBE-FM.

Do you recall any others? Did you see Setters on TV?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pistol Pete Moves Down The Dial

WUBE-FM midday DJ Pistol Pete has moved down the dial to sister country station WYGY-FM (97.3, The Wolf). He's doing the same 9 a.m.-2 p.m. shift. Part-timer Madison Taylor took over Pistol Pete’s 9 a.m.-2 p.m. gig on B105 Monday.

"As you know, Pete has a ton of personality image and will make the Wolf stronger and even better," says Patti Marshall, operations director. Pistol Pete's show was No. 3 in the summer ratings in the 25-54 demographic, and tied for No. 2 (with Q102) in the 18-34 demo. The Wolf midday was ranked No. 14 in 18-34... and not at all in the 25-54 or 12+ rankings. So they must be counting on him....

Taylor has been a B105 part-time/fill-in person for six months. Says Marshall: "She has landed in a perfect spot to showcase her fun and feisty personality. Madison is a working mom with 2 kids and I'm pretty sure she will find her experience on B105 to a bit more fun and less stressful than her most recent job as a 911 operator."

Why No Sunday Night CBS HDTV?

An Enquirering Mind wanted to know: Why are CBS' "Cold Case" and "Shark" in standard definition on Sunday nights, instead of HDTV?

Here's the explanation from Hank Hundemer, WKRC-TV (Channel 12) chief engineeer: CBS only provides on HDTV feed on Sundays starting promptly at 7 p.m. And that's a problem during the NFL season.

When the 4 p.m. regional games run past 7 p.m. -- as did the Bengals-Jets on Sunday -- Channel 12 had two choices: Cut off the first part of a show to join the HDTV feed in progress... or run the entire CBS lineup in full in standard definition. Channel 12 chooses to run all the shows, so no HDTV.

"Trust me, if HD is available we will have it on our air. I love HD as much as the next guy," Hundemer says.

Later in the football season, as games have playoff implications, the situation may be rectified, he says. At the end of a late game, CBS may switch to another game so all the East Coast gets a delayed prime-time lineup. In that case, we'll get the shows in HDTV.

Craig Kopp Returns To Radio On WNKU-FM

It was so nice to hear Craig Kopp's voice back on the air this morning driving to work.

Kopp, last heard in December co-hosting WKRC-AM mornings with Jerry Thomas, has been named WNKU-FM (89.7) morning news anchor. He does the local reports during NPR's "Morning Edition" 5-8 a.m.

Kopp has been part of our mornings for 30 years. He did news at WEBN-FM from 1976-96, then moved over to WKRC-AM. He was dropped when WKRC-AM hired Thomas's son, Brian, and John Phillips to co-host mornings. Kopp also been a film critic for WCPO-TV, the Cincinnati Post and Community Press Newspapers.

"Craig brings a wealth of experience in the media dating back to the mid '70s," says Aaron Sharpe, WNKU-FM assistant general manager for development and marketing. "He brings a great passion for public radio and thorough knowledge of Greater Cincinnati."

Monday, October 22, 2007

CBS Stops The Music

We could see this one coming: CBS canceled "Viva Laughlin," the musical-drama starring Hugh Jackman and Lloyd Owen, on Monday. CBS stopped the music after Sunday's audience dropped to 6.8 million, from the lousy 8.4 million premiere on Thursday. Associated Press notes that "CSI" on Thursday, before the "Laughlin" debut, drew more than 21 million.
"The Amazing Race" will return to the 8 p.m. Sunday time slot in two weeks, the first Sunday in November sweeps.
Gee, I wasn't a fan of the show, but I didn't think it was the worst show in the history of television. Now it's history.

Monday Morning Quarterback

So what did you think of the changes this morning?

--Jonathan Hawgood and Kristina Cruise anchoring "News 5 Today?

--Bernard Watson co-anchoring Ch 9's "Good Morning Tristate?"

--Alan Cutler doing WCKY-AM (1530 Homer) sports talk?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Channel 5 Drops Top 5 Vote

The poll is closed. Due to declining participation, WLWT-TV (Channel 5) will drop viewer voting for "Your Top 5" stories for the 5 p.m. newscast, says Brennan Donnellan, Ch. 5 news director. The 5 p.m. news is third in the ratings, behind leader Channel 9 and second-place Channel 12.

Here's his statement posted at

"For some time, many of you have voted regularly in our Your Top 5 daily news poll. We appreciate your loyalty to News 5. Your votes have helped us to better understand our viewers and the news they want to see.

"Effective Monday 10/22/07, we will discontinue the voting element of Your Top 5. We will still present the five most important stories of the day as our first stories on News 5 at 5 p.m. While our TV ratings at 5 p.m. have been steady, participation in the voting has declined. We don't think it's fair to give up editorial control of the newscast when the actual number of voters is small.

"We realize that you enjoyed participating in Your Top 5, based on your consistent voting. You really have helped us, and you can continue to guide our decisions by sending emails to the address below, or to the individual reporters and managers listed on We need to listen, and we want you to keep watching.

"Thanks again!"

Brennan Donnellan
News Director

Alan Cutler Replacing The Big Dog On HOMER

The Big Dog is out, and the Cut-Man is in.

Tim Lewis, aka The Big Dog, did his last double shift Friday as WLW-AM overnight newsman and WCKY-AM (Homer 1530) morning drive sports talk host.

Alan Cutler, the Lexington TV sports anchor and Clear Channel's Bengals Radio Network host, will debut 5:30-9 a.m. Monday on Homer.

Lewis was fired after his show Friday. His name and blog were removed from the station website Friday morning.

Lewis took over the morning show May 21 after Richard Skinner was fired. "It was just way too much to ask a guy to handle an 8-hour news shift and then do a 3 1/2-hour talk show," says Dave Armbruster, Homer program director.

Lewis, 44, was the first program director at old WBOB-AM in 1995. He hired the "Two Angry Guys," Tom Gamble and Skinner, before leaving for Salt Lake City in 2000. He returned to town a year ago and took an overnight news shift at WLW-AM. He will continue doing news on WLW-AM, Armbruster says.

The local morning sports talk landscape changed considerably since May. Sister Clear Channel station WSAI-AM (1360) switched to ESPN Radio on July 2, with the popular "Mike & Mike In The Morning" show. On Oct. 1, the "Angry Guys" started at SupertalkFM96.5 (WFTK-FM).

Cutler is in his seventh season hosting the Bengals Radio Network. He also frequently has filled in on WLW-AM weekend shows. The Long Island native has worked at WLEX-TV (Channel 18) since 1987.

DISH Steps To The Plate For NHL HD

Good news for hockey fans: The DISH Network has added NHL Network HD as Channel 403. That gives DISH 75 high-definition channels (compared to 25 HD channels for Time Warner here, with the addition Thursday of A&E and History Channel).

Subscribers to DISH's America’s Top 100 package (or above) with DISH HD receive the NHL Network HD free on Channel 403. NHL Network HD is also available to NHL Center Ice subscribers on Channel 559.

The DISH release says DISH HD is available free for six months to new customers, and new DISH Network subscribers may also receive a free upgrade to get HD DVR receivers. Through Jan. 31, 2008, both current and new qualifying DISH Network HD customers may also enjoy up to $800 of instant savings on a variety of Sharp's most popular line of flat-panel HDTVs.

Thursday's Storm Coverage

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

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Summer Radio Ratings Are In

Have you been enjoying "Cincinnati's greatest hits" on WGRR-FM (103.5)? Lots of people sure are. And did you ever listen to "Mancow in the Morning" on SupertalkFM96.5? (Not many did.)

WGRR-FM, which has morphed from "oldies" into classic hits from the 1970s and early '80s, rocked and rolled into second place among all listeners (age 12 and up) and the age 25-54 demographic advertisers want, in summer quarter Arbitron ratings released today. The station, including the Chris O'Brien-Janeen Coyle morning team and program director Keith Mitchell's afternoon drive show, had the best ratings in years. (Sorry, Music Professor!)

The success can be attributed to Cumulus, the new owner. The station was swapped to Cumulus from the former CBS Radio group (now Bonneville) for 94.9 (now WSWD-FM, The Sound) last Nov. 1.

O'Brien credits a better sound quality, thanks to Cumulus engineers. A good part of the success comes from a better music mix, from Mitchell and Cumulus research, to fill the void from the old MOJO. And not having any direct competition. (Might "the FOX" somedaychange its music mix?)

Being acquired by Cumulus was "definitely the best thing that happened to us. The station has flourished since we moved a year ago. We're no longer treated like the red-headed stepchild. It's been great from the start," O'Brien says.

But the celebration at Cumulus was tempered by the low ratings for SupertalkFM95.6 (WFTK-FM), launched 11 months ago. Supertalk ranked last with all listeners, and last with the 25-54 and 18-34 age groups. Ouch!

The syndicated "Mancow" show in the morning – radio's prime-time – failed to draw any ratings. That's why the "Two Angry Guys," Richard Skinner and Tom Gamble, took over mornings Oct. 1, sooner than planned. Having morning commuters tuned to "SupertalkFM96.5" should help boost Andy Furman's afternoon ratings, which again failed to match his winter quarter debut. (Or beat Lance McAlister on WCKY-AM, 1530).

"Our only constant has been Andy Furman," says Karrie Sudbrack, general manager for Cumulus' WFTK-FM, WGRR-FM and WRRM-FM. "If you don’t have ratings in the morning, you’re not going to get much of an audience for the rest of the day."

She promises that SupertalkFM96.5 will become "more live and local" in the future.

Other ratings highlights:

-As usual, WLW-AM was No. 1 with all listeners, and the 25-54 demographic. The station has been the big No. 1 for 7-1/2 years.

-Country WUBE-FM (B105.1) also had a solid summer, led by strong ratings for the Bill Whyte-Amanda Orlando morning team. Whyte & Orlando were No. 1 with listeners 18-34, and No. 2 with all listeners and the 25-54 demo.

-WKRQ-FM (Q102) was fourth in the 18-34 demo, but program director Patti Marshall was happier that Q102 was fifth in the 25-54 demo. "That's really big for Q, to be a station for all adults, and not just adult women," she says.

-Brian Thomas and John Phillips had their best quarter as WKRC-AM (550) morning hosts, with a 4.6 audience share, since replacing Jerry Thomas, Brian's dad, in January.

-WSAI-AM, which switched from recorded talk shows to ESPN July 2, did not receive any ratings. The audience share for local sports talk WCKY-AM (Homer 1530) did not drop from spring after the debut on ESPN on the sister Clear Channel station.

--The old MIX94.1 received its best ratings in three quarters... a month after the format and call letters were changed. It's now WNNF-FM, Radio 94.1 The "new adult contemporary" station dropped pop and dance songs for lots of Goo Goo Dolls, John Mayer, U2, No Doubt, Nickelback, Nelly Furtado, Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5 and INXS.

Here are the top 10s lists:


1. WLW-AM; 2. WGRR-FM; 3. WUBE-FM; 4. WRRM-FM; 5. WEBN-FM; 6. (tie) WKRC-AM, WKRQ-FM, WKFS-FM; 9. WIZF-FM; 10. (tie) WMOJ-FM, WOFX-FM.


1. WLW-AM; 2. WGRR-FM; 3. WUBE-FM; 4. WEBN-FM; 5. WKRQ-FM; 6. WRRM-FM; 7. WOFX-FM; 8. WMOJ-FM; 9. WSWD-FM; 10. WNNF-FM (f0rmerly MIX94.1).


1. WEBN-FM; 2. (tie) WUBE-FM, WKFS-FM; 4. WKRQ-FM; 5. WIZF-FM; 6. WSWD-FM; 7. WLW-AM; 8. WOFX-FM; 9. (tie) WGRR-FM, WNNF-FM.

A&E, History Channel in HDTV

Two more HDTV channels for Time Warner Cable customers arrived today: A&E (Channel 978) and the History Channel (Channel 979).

Both are part of the HD Standard tier, available at no additional charge to TWC customers who subscribe to standard service or above and have a high definition television and high definition converter. TWC now has 25 HDTV channels.

The Worst Show Ever On TV?

Some critics are calling CBS' new "Vival Laughlin" the worst show of the fall TV season. At least one has questioned whether it could be the worst show in the history of television.

For the first time since Steven Bochco's short-lived "Cop Rock" in 1990, CBS brings a musical-drama to prime-time. But will what worked for "High School Musical" do much for CBS? Rival Nevada casino owners (Hugh Jackman, Lloyd Owen) break into songs such as “Let It Ride” and “Viva Las Vegas” in the show (10 p.m. today, Channels 12, 7), which moves to its regular 8 p.m. on Sunday time period this weekend.

Unlike "Cop Rock," we'll recognize the songs. But that doesn't help the bad, predictable story line about a businessman (Owen) and his wife (Madchen Amick) trying to open a casino when their financial backer pulls out, and later is found murdered. (I almost didn't recognize Melanie Griffith as Bunny the widow.)

So watch tonight and tell me what you think. In the meantime, let's compile a list of the all-time worst TV shows. "Joey?" ""The Mullets?" "John From Cincinnati?" "Homeboys in Outer Space?" "Hiller & Diller?" "The Hat Squad," Andrew Dice Clay's "Bless This House?"

And should we have a separate division for reality shows: "Temptation Island?" "Joe Millionaire?" "Are You Hot?"

Sneak Peek At Next 24

Fox just released details for this season's "24" premiering Sunday-Monday Jan. 13-14. The first promo for "Day 7" will be available online at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, and then broadcast during Game 2 of the World Series that night on Fox.

Here's the Fox release:

As the clock ticks closer to "24's" highly anticipated return, a special, extended "Day 7" trailer will have its worldwide premiere Thursday, Oct. 25 (1 PM ET/10 AM PT) at and in New York ’s Time Square on the iconic News Astrovision by Panasonic. The worldwide premiere will be seen concurrently around the globe at locations, via mobile and online in the U.K. , Canada , South America, Europe and Asia. The countdown to the trailer's debut begins today at The first promo for the new season is also scheduled to air during Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday, Oct. 25 (8 PM ET/5 PM PT) on FOX.

The innovative, addictive, Emmy Award-winning television series 24 resets the clock for "Day 7" with a special two-night premiere event beginning Sunday, Jan. 13 (8-10 PM ET/PT) and continuing in the series' regular time period Monday, Jan. 14 (9-10 PM ET/PT) on FOX. The season will unfold without repeats, airing all originals through the season finale in June.

Set in Washington , DC , "Day 7" opens with CTU dismantled and JACK BAUER (Kiefer Sutherland) on trial. Bauer's day takes an unexpected turn when former colleague TONY ALMEIDA (Carlos Bernard) returns. Meanwhile, President ALLISON TAYLOR (Cherry Jones) leads the country alongside White House Chief of Staff ETHAN KANIN (Bob Gunton) and First Gentleman HENRY TAYLOR (Colm Feore).

A national security crisis prompts an investigation by a team of FBI agents including Agent JANIS GOLD (Janeane Garofalo), Agent RENEE WALKER (Annie Wersching), Agent LARRY MOSS (Jeffrey Nordling), Agent SEAN HILLINGER (Rhys Coiro) and security specialist MICHAEL LATHAM (John Billingsley). Although CTU is no longer, CHLOE O'BRIAN (Mary Lynn Rajskub) and BILL BUCHANAN (James Morrison) are back for another momentous day of shocking events.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Channel 5 Swaps Morning Anchors

Weekend anchor Jonathan Hawgood brings his bubbly personality to the weekday "News 5 Today" starting Monday. Hawgood switches chairs with Todd Dykes, who moves to weekends on Oct. 27.

But viewers will start to see changes tomorrow. Lisa Cooney begins a four-week personal leave Thursday to deal with a family illness. She explained to viewers today that she is taking her 11-year-old daughter Avery to the Dead Sea in Jordan for treatment of severe psoriasis, a chronic skin disease characterized by thick, scaly, itchy patches. "There is no cure, and we have gone through many treatments... We have tried everything," she says. So they're going to try climate therapy near the Dead Sea, with its high salt and mineral content. See the video today at

New morning reporter Kristina Cruise from WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, Va. -- who started work today at Channel 5 -- will co-anchor during Cooney’s absence. She has anchoring experience in Charlottesville.

Dykes, hired as a reporter in 2002, has co-anchored the weekday morning show since October 2003. He says he's "somewhat disappointed by the move because I've thoroughly enjoyed working with Lisa, Eric Green and Pete Scalia (and all the other folks connected with our morning news team, past and present). Despite the crazy hours, it's been a real privilege to work with so many professionals while doing a job I love." He will be a reporter three days a week, when not doing weekends with meteorologist Randi Rico.

The Dykes-Cooney-Green team had been together only since January, after Derek Beasley was promoted to replace chief meteorologist Jim O'Brien. Rico has worked with Hawgood since March.

Pat Barry Leaves Clear Channel Radio

Pat Barry quits his sales job at Clear Channel Cincinnati radio today, but he’s not leaving broadcasting.

Barry says he's doing weekend weather at WXIX-TV through the end of the year (so Channel 19 has plenty of time to hire a third weather person). He's also doing weather on Sundays and Mondays through March for the Dayton Sinclair stations (Channels 22 and 45), where he works with main news co-anchor Candice Hunter (recently of Channel 5).

Barry had triple bypass surgery on July 27, and wanted a less structured life as he does cardiac rehab three days a week. "When I looked at all the things I needed to do, I realized that Clear Channel was the thing that was supposed to go. I'll make enough money doing everything else I'm doing," he says.

He will be working with Listener Deals, a direct-response company founded by former Jacor/Clear Channel executive Pam Taylor. And Barry is bringing his personal coach, Bob Proctor, author of “Secret” to town on Nov. 29.

Barry sold time for WKRC-AM. He also was instrumental in getting old friend Jerry Springer to do a national talk show in 2005, which was launched at CC’s WCKY-AM (1530). For seven years he was a voice-tracked (recorded) DJ for CC’s WSRZ-FM in Sarasota, which he quit doing last month.

Barry has been a radio/TV fixture here since his Q102 days in the 1970s. He did weather for Ch. 5, and hosted a short-lived “Live on 5” midday talk show, in the 1980s. He was Fox 19’s morning weatherman in the 1990s, and somewhere along the line did afternoons on WKRC-AM. And lots of other stuff that I'm sure you'll remind me about.

CET Election Special Tonight

Kathy Lehr moderates a one-hour discussion at 7 p.m. today on CET (Channel 48) by Hamilton County Commissioners Todd Portune and Pat DeWine on Issue 27, the Hamilton County sales tax increase to pay to build a bigger jail and fund public safety programs.

"Focus: Special Report: Safety Plan or Jail Tax?"also will be simulcast on WVXU-FM 91.7, and It also will be available Thursday for streaming at,

Portune and DeWine also will answer questions from community members about the issue. Historian Dan Hurley will contribute a recorded segment about the issue.

Lehr will look at other Hamilton County issues on her Nov. 1 "Focus" (7:30 p.m.).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Channel 19 Weather Update

Here's the latest weather prediction from Steve Ackermann, WXIX-TV (Channel 19) news director: Don't look for an announcement about a new Ch. 19 chief meteorologist until the end of the month, at the earliest.

Frank Marzullo, hired from Youngstown in August, will continue doing the 10 p.m. news for now. Christie Dutton, the staff veteran -- she came from Lexington in May -- will stay on the "Fox 19 Morning News." Pat Barry will do weekends.

Chief Meteorologist Paul Horton left Sept. 30 to do mornings at an Arizona station. Valerie Abati went to Pittsburgh also in September.

Ackermann says he should have a plan to replace Horton before November "sweeps" Nov. 1. But making a decision at that time could mean the third weather person would not arrive until after sweeps end Nov. 28.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Swing With Bing This Weekend

Nostalgia/Big Band WMKV-FM (89.3 and blows out regular programming this weekend for "#0 Hours with Bing," to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Bing Crosby's death, one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century.

Starting at noon Saturday, WMKV-FM will air Bing's best songs, duets and old radio broadcasts, including some overseas World War II shows never heard in the U.S. The 30-hour marathon -- until 6 p.m. Sunday -- also includes interviews with jazz critic and Bing biographer Gary Giddins and producer Ken Barnes , and Bing's collaborations with jazz legends Bix Beiderbecke and Louis Armstrong, rocker David Bowie, comedian Bob Hope and singers Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney and others.

"The Big Broadcast" old-time radio show 7-11 p.m. Saturday will be a "Bing Broadcast," with rare audio such as 1930 recording of Bing as a band singer to his final radio series in 1962 (with Rosemary Clooney), and cuts from some of his 3,400 radio shows.

Bing, who died at age 75 on Oct. 14, was a multimedia superstar. His "White Christmas" is the most popular record ever. He had 396 hits from 1927 to 1962, as a solo artist and band singer. He had 38 No. 1 hits (compared to 24 by the Beatles and 18 by Elvis). He was the No. 1 box office star of the World War II era (1944-48).

Bing also helped revolutionize recording technology, by financing and popularizing the development of audio tape. In 1946 he was the first to record his ABC show for radio, which was a live performance medium until that time.

This will be a real treat for those of whom Bing was soundtrack to their lives.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Celebrate on EWTN

Cincinnati's "Celebrate" Christian music group performs at the "Backstage Pass" show at 10 p.m. on EWTN. The singers are from St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Monfort Heights -- Jenny Bates, Mary Massa, Pam Rosenacker and former WLW-AM newsman Bill Tonnis.

EWTN is on DirecTV Channel 422 and Time Warner Channel 23.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cumulus Stations Feed The Children

The three local Cumuls FM stations – WARM98, WGRR and SupertalkFM96.5 – raised $37,271 during its Tuesday marathon for Feed the Children.

Station officials say that amount will help feed 7,454 Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky families. The money is used to pay for gas and truck drivers to deliver donated food in Feed the Children warehouses.

Cumulus has done similar marathons in Nashville and other cities.

Bearcats On National ABC TV?

If the UC Bearcats keep on winning, they could end up on a national ABC TV game next month, says Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN and ABC college football analyst. Has UC football ever been on national broadcast TV?

On WLW-AM's "SportsTalk" last night, Herbstreit told Paul Daugherty that his preliminary TV schedule for possible national ABC broadcasts with Brent Musburger included UC's Nov. 3 game at the University of South Florida in Tampa. USF (5-0) is No. 5 in the AP and USA Today polls; UC (6-0) is No. 15 in the AP poll, and No. 17 at USA Today. Game time for the USF-UC game is "to be announced," which means it will be determined by TV coverage.

Herbstreit, a suburban Dayton native (Centerville), says ESPN's "College Game Day" Saturday will do a feature on UC quarterback Ben Mauk. "Starting Saturday, people are going to see a little bit more about the UC program," Herbstreit said.

I know UC has played often on ESPN, but have the football Bearcats ever been on national broadcast TV?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Time Warner Adding Fox Business Network

Rupert Murdoch's new Fox Business News channel will be available to Time Warner digital customers for the national launch Monday.

But Time Warner customers here will have to wait a while for the "fantasy football tracker" service available to sports fans in other TWC markets.

Here’s the scoop:

Fox Business Network: Most TWC digital customers will find it on Channel 146 Monday. In Liberty and Delhi townships, the old Adelphia systems, it will be on Channel 142.

The 24/7 channel will launch with 30 million subscribers, thanks to distribution agreements with Time Warner, Comcast, Charter, AT&T and DirecTV.

Business expert Neil Cavuto serves as FBN senior vice president, anchor and managing editor of business news. Syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey, heard 1-4 p.m. on WFTK-FM (SupertalkFM96.5), will host a prime-time show.

See a sneak peek at

Fantasy Tracker: Some day TWC will bring it's interactive fantasy football tracker to Cincinnati – after testing it in some TWC markets.

"My Football Tracker," developed with an interactive-TV media company in Plano, Texas, "displays a subscriber's fantasy team results on-screen, regardless of which channel is being viewed, and can send out alerts if a player scores a touchdown or hits other milestones," according to Multichannel News. Sounds pretty neat.

TWC offers the service in Buffalo, N.Y.; Green Bay, Wisc.; Columbia, S.C.; Portland, Me., and Waco, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Austin and San Antonio, Texas.

Greater Cincinnati will get Football Tracker "at some point in the future. We are not one of the early markets," says Karen Baxter, TWC spokeswoman here.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Cunningham's Debut Cut Short By WLW-AM

Now here's one of the stories you probably WON'T be talking about on The Big One: WLW-AM dumped out of Bill Cunningham's national talk debut at midnight, cutting off the last hour in his hometown on his flagship station. WLW-AM instead went at midnight, as usual, to "America's Trucking Network" with Steve Sommers, the Truckin' Bozo's boy.

WLW-AM broadcast the first two national hours, 10 p.m.-midnight. To hear his third national hour, I had to tune in WABC-AM (770) from New York City, Sean Hannity's flagship station. Ironically, Hannity was Cunningham's first guest Sunday, and Hannity had promised Cunningham in August that he would use his influence to have WABC-AM carry Cunningham's show when he replaced Internet journalist Matt Drudge on Sunday nights. Clear Channel says Cunningham debuted on 325 stations. Wonder how many others didn't carry the full show, if it wasn't worth the time in Cunningham's hometown?

Now I understand why Darryl Parks never responded to my calls or emails last week when I was asking about how WLW-AM would carry Cunningham's show.

For the record: WLW-AM did carry three hours of Cunningham Sunday night. But the 9-10 p.m. hour was a repeat from his weekday shows last week.

What a slap at Cunningham.... He goes national on 325 stations, and his flagship station won't carry his whole show??? I'm guessing the answer to this is Darryl Parks' favorite phrase: ratings and revenues. They probably didn't want to blow off guaranteed advertising revenues from Sommers, so they pulled the plug on Willie.

For a "full report" on Cunningham's debut -- well, at least the first two hours -- read my next blog from late Sunday night. He opened with a 45-minute interview with Sean Hannity, and took one caller in the first hour. He got on five callers in the second hour, and did a "Stooge Report"-style sports update with Bill "Seg" Dennison.

Only two hours for Cunningham's national debut? That should make a great sales point nationally for Clear Channel's Premeire Networks -- he's not good enough for his flagship station to carry the whole show.... Maybe Cunningham will sue -- if he knows a good attorney....

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Live from Kenwood, It's Bill Cunningham

Well, Bill Cunningham has opened his national talk show at 10 p.m. tonight with a big star: Sean Hannity, the Fox News Channel co-host and also a nationally syndicated radio host. Hannity praised Willie as "the greatest of all great Americans."

Here's some background on their relationship: When Hannity brought his Freedom Concert to Kings Island in August, that's when Cunningham learned that Matt Drudge was giving up his Sunday night national radio show on Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks. Sean Compton, the Clear Channel VP who started at WLW-AM, was there and asked Cunningham if if he'd like to replace Drudge. And Cunningham and Hannity spent a lot of time talking about it then, and since. Hannity also assured Cunningham that he'd do all he could to keep as many of Drudge's 325 affiliates-- including WABC in New York -- on board for the Cunningham launch.

Cunningham was on his best behavior for this opening segment. He can be a clown at times -- too often? -- but when he wants to do a serious news interview, he can do an excellent job. He's proven this throughout the years, talking to judges or newsmakers about a story in the headlines, debating back to the Home State S&L collapse.

We'll have to see what happens after Hannity, when he deals with callers.

10:52 p.m.
He just took another break, and still hasn't gone to a caller. He spent last five minutes talking about what I mentioned above, how Sean Compton of Clear Channel offered him the Sunday night Drudge slot at Hannity's Freedom Concert at Kings Island in August. He also promised a national sports report from Seg Dennison at 11:30... earlier in the week, he had told me Seg could be on at 10:40 and 11:40. Either they changed the format, or they skipped it to do another segment with Hannity.

10:55 p.m.
After fumbling through three lines, Willie finally gets to his first caller, Cecilia. Usually he puts the wackiest caller on first to light up the lines, but Cecilia -- a Drudge listener and fan -- was calm, sane and rational. She praised him for his "nice, crisp way of handling things... I think you're a normal guy from Ohio. I'm going to enjoy listening to you..." (Where was she from? She sounded to sincere to be a plant.)
Here comes the "Bad to the Bone" theme. Gotta break for news. One hour, one guest, one caller.

11:27 p.m.
Three callers this half hour, all talking politics. That's surprising, because Cunningham in an interview a few days ago told me that he wouldn't do much politics because most people don't care.... He's railing about how "the media" has determined that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, and maybe win the presidency. "The media tells us what to think, and we regurgitate it..." Gee, isn't Cunningham part of the media? And Rush, Hannity, Ingraham, O'Reilly, etc.? And don't they have far more listeners and clout than Air America or any liberal talk radio host?

11:40 p.m.
It sounded like a "Stooge Report" to me, Bill Seg Dennison's first national sports report, with audio cuts dropped in from "Airplane," President Bush, Dr. Phil and Rocket J. Squirrel from Rocky & Bullwinkle. (Hokey Smokes!) Why did Seg do the 1 p.m. NFL games first, instead of the baseball playoffs just ending now? But I digress... Will be interesting to hear if national audience comments on the Stooge/Sports Reports we've been hearing for years on WLW. But first caller after break wants to talk more politics....

12:01 a.m.
Is anyone listening in NY or LA (other than Sean Hannity)? Willie went to the midnight news break saying he had callers on hold -- two from Florida, three from Ohio (Cincinnati, Columbus, Lima) and one from Alabama. At least he has enough callers stacked up to carry through his final hour, after he does interview with La. newspaper.... Hey, Tim Lewis is doing the midnight news. What a schizophrenic life he has, being a WLW-AM overnight newsman/news anchor, then doing WCKY-AM sports talk for morning drive (radio's prime time)...

12:08 a.m.
WLW just pulled the plug on Willie! So I guess it doesn't matter to Cincinnati listeners that he has full phone lines or anything. They're airing the overnight trucking show instead of carrying the third hour of Cunningham's national debut! I had to tune in WABC-AM (770), Hannity's station, to hear the third hour. What a insult to Willie! Gotta keep the truckers (and their advertisers) happy, I guess....

Friday, October 05, 2007

Time Warner Adds HGTV-HD and Food-HD

Time Warner Cable today added two more high-definition channels: HGTV-HD (Channel 982) and Food Network HD (Channel 981) from Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps. The new channels will be part of the "HD standard tier," and "available at no additional charge to all Time Warner Cable customers who subscribe to standard service or above and have a high definition television and high definition converter," says Karen Baxter, local Time Warner public affairs director.

On Wednesday, Time Warner added TBS-HD in time for the Major League Baseball playoffs on TBS. That wasn't a big surprise, considering that Time Warner owns TBS and Turner Broadcasting.

With HGTV and Food, TWC offers 23 HDTV channels.

Hey dish owners, how does TWC's 23 HDTV channels compare to what you get?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tell Me About Your TV Habits

I need your help: I want to hear from you about whether you're watching more or less TV this fall, and how you're watching, for a story for the paper.

I hear that locally viewing is up, while nationally viewing has dropped... Are you watching more TV this fall? What brought you back to TV – some of the new fall shows, or returning favorites? What shows are you watching and enjoying?

How much viewing do you do by DVR, rather than watching live broadcasts?

How much do you watch by iPod or online?

Tell me all about it by e-mailing me. Please put "fall TV" in the subject line. Also include your full name, age, neighborhood/suburb, and a daytime phone so I can follow up for more comments.



Pushing Daisies: The Best Comes Tonight

The best of the new fall TV season finally arrives tonight: "Pushing Daisies" (8 p.m., Channels 9, 22). It's unlike any other show I've ever seen on TV. A mild-mannered baker (Lee Pace, "The Good Shepherd) discovers that he can bring people/things back to life with the touch of his finger. Here's the catch: He has to touch the person within a minute, to kill them permanently, or somebody else nearby will die.

The fun, inventive drama comes from from Barry Sonnenfeld ("Men In Black") and Bryan Fuller ("Heroes"). The "Desperate Housewives"-style narration is provided by Jim Dale, who reads the "Harry Potter" audio book series.

In the premiere, Ned makes two pivotal decision which set up the series: He teams up with a private detective (Chi McBride, "Boston Public"), so he can help solve murders. (He touches someone in the morgue, asks what happened, then touches them again and they die.) He also brings his old childhood crush back to life, a girl named Chuck (Anna Friel, "Rogue Trader"). He can't touch her again -- so no kissing, no hand-holding -- or she'll be dead forever. Talk about romantic tension. As she puts it: "I'd kiss you, but it would kill me."

Very clever. It's worth your time.

With the premiere of the much anticipated "Pushing Daisies" I thought it was time to ask: What news fall shows have you watched? What do you like -- and will watch again? What shows didn't you like? I'm enjoying "Chuck," "The Reaper," Kelsey Grammer's "Back to You" and "K-Ville." I didn't like "Cavemen" last night, though it was better than the pilot screener ABC sent out last summer (which will never air). I don't like "Kid Nation," its too contrived. I didn't like "Bionic Woman" or "Journeyman" or "Carpoolers."

What new fall shows are you watching? What do you like?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Time Warner Adds TBS HD For Baseball Playoffs

Good news for HDTV owners with Time Warner Cable: TBS HD will be added by Time Warner on Wednesday, in time for the baseball playoffs.

TBS HD will debut Wednesday as Channel 980 on the HD standard tier. It will be available at no additional charge to Time Warner subscribers who have standard HDTV service or above, a HDTV set and HDTV receiver, says Karen Baxter, local Time Warner public affairs director.

The two National League Division Series begin Wednesday on TBS. In a change from past years, TBS has TV rights to all of the National and American League Division Series games.

TBS also has the Rockies-Padres playoff game at 7:30 p.m. today. There's a chance that TBS HD will be up by then, so HDTV customers should check Channel 980 tonight too. (Baxter says TBS HD definitely will be available by Wednesday.)

TBS will have the National League Championship Series (Oct. 11-20), while Fox broadcasts the American League Championship Series (Oct. 12-21) and the World Series (starting Oct. 24).

Northern Kentucky’s Insight cable does not offer TBS in HDTV.

ESPN's John Seibel Dreamed Of The Big One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ohio Lottery Moves To Channel 5 Today

Here's a heads-up to Ohio Lottery players: The live drawing moves to WLWT-TV (Channel 5) at 7:28 p.m. tonight, from Channel 9. The move comes after Channel 9 managers couldn't reach an agreement with the Ohio Lottery.
When the popular "Cash Explosion" game returns this weekend -- replacing "Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich" -- it will air at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on Channel 5.
Midday winning numbers will be broadcast in a crawl across the TV screen bottom at 12:30 p.m., and posted at

ESPN Game Day Notes

Some notes about ESPN's Bengals-Patriots "Monday Night Football" game tonight:
--If the Bengals defensive is good or bad, you'll hear about it from Justin Smith. The Bengals defensive end will be miked during the game.
--Stuart Scott, Emmitt Smith and Steve Young will do live reports from Paul Brown Stadium during "Monday Night Countdown" 7-8:30 p.m., hosted by Chris Berman in Bristol. In the studio will be Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Chris Mortensen, Keyshawn Johnson and Bill Parcels.
--Tony Kornheiser on the game: "Carson Palmer is a great quarterback. Tom Brady is, at this moment, unparalleled in the NFL. The New England team scores 38 every single game with precision. Cincinnati gives up 32. It's an "uh-oh" situation for Cincinnati, and Cincinnati can put up 50. It's possible this is gonna happen."
--Jamie Foxx appears in the game opening in a promotion for his new movie, "The Kingdom." Foxx, who plays an elite FBI team member in the film, is shown supposedly sneaking through the back rooms of Paul Brown Stadium, looking for info on Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson. "It's going to be a shoot-out in the jungle tonight," he predicts.
--Two new Bruce Springsteen songs ("Radio Nowhere," "Living in the Future") will be featured on the MNF game and "Monday Night Countdown" pregame show. New Matchbox Twenty singles ("How Far We've Come." "I'll Believe You When") will be heard coming in and out of commercials and highlight packages.

Jim Borgman
Today at the Forum
Paul Daugherty
Politics Extra
N. Ky. Politics
Pop culture review
Who's News
Roller Derby Diva
CinStages Buzz....
The Foodie Report
Classical music
John Fay's Reds Insider
High school sports
UC Sports
CiN Weekly staff

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