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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, January 16, 2008

Another Departure From Channel 12

WKRC-TV (Channel 12) has lost another key manager as employees wait for Clear Channel to sell its TV division.

Local 12 Director of Engineering Hank Hundemer, a 13-year veteran, leaves Jan. 25 to join Randy Michaels' TV operation. He will be vice president for engineering for "The Other Company," a division of Tribune Media, he says.

Michaels, the radio wiz who ran Jacor Communications (WLW-AM/WEBN) and Clear Channel's radio division, last month was named CEO of Tribune Company's broadcasting and internet business unit after former business parter Sam Zell acquired the Chicago-based media giant.

Michaels also heads the new broadcast management company which provides shared services for the 23 Tribune TV stations and the TV stations owned by Fort Wright-based Local TV LLC.

Michaels was the founding CEO of Local TV last year, when it purchased nine TV stations from the New York Times. Robert Lawrence, Randy's long-time friend and former Jacor executive, was promoted to Local TV president and CEO from COO when Michaels left the company for Tribune last month.

In the past six months, Channel 12 has lost GM Chris Sehring, acting GM Dotsy Klei and two anchors, Dayna Eubanks and Paul Adler. Clear Channel announced in April it was selling its 51 TV stations for $1.2 billion last April to Providence Equity Partners of Rhode Island. The transaction has not been completed.

Hundemer says his decision to leave has nothing to do with the Local 12 ownership situation. He seized an opportunity to work with Michaels, whom he called "an industry visionary." The move "doesn't have anything to do with what's going on here," he says.


at 1/16/2008 2:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any chance Michaels could hire Darryl Parks?

at 1/16/2008 3:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prediction is that "The Other Company" buys 12 and part of the CC Cincinnati cluster.

at 1/16/2008 3:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy Michaels will own 12 at some point this year.

at 1/16/2008 5:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong...Randy's company will by WXIX... betcha!

at 1/16/2008 8:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see what Randy has up his sleeve, LOL......

at 1/16/2008 9:33 PM Anonymous Alan said...

Here's my take on things: Clear Channel deal with Newport TV is off. CC makes millions on that debacle. Then keeps 12 and other TV affiliates until the end of 2008 to cash in on presidental election cash. Then unloads stations in early 2009. Randy Michaels Tribune group buys WKRC-TV and select other top stations of the group. Randy is back in Cincinnati TV and WKRC is free of the evil Clear Channel empire! One can only hope.... Good Luck Hank!

at 1/17/2008 8:51 AM Blogger Toddy-O said...

Not bad for someone who started out as a volunteer camera operator for the Action Auction. Good luck and congrats Hank!

at 1/17/2008 1:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead!"

at 1/17/2008 3:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The witch is dead? LOL, sometimes forward thinking is met with great resistence. Hank is the best broadcast engineer I have ever met and likely ever will. It's a shame some people can't or won't see that. All the best, ROCK ON BROTHER!!!!

at 1/17/2008 7:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, what do you know about the Clear Channel TV deal? What's happening with it?

at 1/17/2008 8:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hank is the greatest! Some managers think they are too big to solve smaller problems. Hank always jumps in to help with any problem, in any department, without hesitation. A great opportunity for a great person! Gook luck Hank - you will be missed!

at 1/17/2008 8:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best broadcast Engineer?
Ask the people who invested millions in Delta V/Webhopper (Web Flopper).

However, he is, by far, the worst Manager any TV station has ever had, and that's saying something.

at 1/18/2008 8:50 AM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

To Anon 7:22 p.m.:
I haven't heard anything about the Clear Channel TV sale in weeks. Still not a done deal. Sale was announced last April.

at 1/18/2008 10:31 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hank Hundemer is an incredibly hard-working, dedicated, innovative and creative broadcaster. He finds a way to get things done. Randy and Bobby made a very smart hire. Yes, he is still learning how to manage people -- but any broadcasting company in the country would be incredibly fortunate to have him leading their stations in this fast-changing media world.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize. Keep on rockin' in the Free World, Hank!

at 1/19/2008 1:50 PM Anonymous MdC said...

See "Stockholm Syndrome".

It would be refreshing if Clear Channel sold WKRC-TV, and a real TV company purchased it alone or with other available stations. The business is hurt and the local market is hurt by management that has no real interest in or knowledge of television broadcasting. WKRC is now in the position of be an antiquated facility
compared to WCPO, WLWT, and WXIX which have all invested heavily in new technology and new facilities.
Over time, this will reveal itself in lost revenue.

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