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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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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Jeff Davis Fired By WFTK-FM

Many may know Jeff Davis as the Fan Cam guy on the Great American Ball Park scoreboard playing the Skyline Shuffle and other games with fans. Or you might know him as Carmon DeLeone's sidekick on WARM 98's recently canceled "Sunday Morning Music Hall." Or for a while the overnight guy on WARM98. Or as the "Road Dog" traffic reporter for old 96.5 The Star, or doing traffic for other stations. I mean, the guy is versatile. And now, unemployed.

Davis has been with WARM98 since 1995. He did overnights, was the morning show producer, and most recently was the program director for sister station WFTK-FM, SupertalkFM96.5. He was fired Friday, four weeks after the format switched from FM talk to 96 Rock.

He's a radio geek and proud of it. (And a great guy, too. Another one bites the dust...) He started at age 16 working for the old WCLU-AM (1320) in Covington after his 7th period class at Elder High School, playing Top 40 songs from 45 rpm records. Nearly every station in town is on his resume: AMs 1160, 1180, 1230, 1320 and FMs 94.1, 94.9, 96.5, 98.5, 105.1, 107.1

He hopes to be back on the Fan Cam again this year at GABP, while he looks for full-time or part-time radio work. I hope I see him around the ball park, he did a good job. I'll let you know where he lands....


at 1/12/2008 11:31 PM Anonymous SpongeBob SquarePants said...

I met Jeff about a year ago. He took time out of his busy schedule to show me the Cumulus studios one afternoon.

I swear the guy must never sleep. He was on the radio during the day and went to GABP at night. I also sometimes heard him on the radio on Saturday mornings.

It's a shame that good people get the shaft, while I can't figure out how some people can keep their job. But I'm confident he will find something else.

Jeff should know who I am - I work with his sister.

at 1/13/2008 6:11 AM Blogger Screaming Mimes said...

Jeff is incredibly talented and a smart guy. I hope he gets an even better job in Cincinnati, this town needs guys like him.

at 1/13/2008 12:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad, he is a talented guy. Over the years, the Reds have had several people hosting segments on the video board. Jeff is the only one who is really any good. Most are lousy, a few are ok, Jeff is outstanding. Good luck.

John Burroughs
Hyde Park

at 1/13/2008 2:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 1/13/2008 7:42 PM Blogger Jim said...

I worked with Jeff at NKU's college station (no - not THAT one) a.m. 810 WRFN. He is really one of he great guys. Local radio would be crazy not to pick him up. A true professional.

I know you'll land on your feet Jeff!

at 1/14/2008 8:40 AM Anonymous Vicki Monahan said...

Tahnks for a great article about Jeff Davis. As one of his biggest fans and one of his 9 siblings, I know first hand how great a guy he is. He IS a radio geek and has had a passion for radio since childhood. It reminds me of all the days playing radio station in our basement as kids. I am sure we will be hearing his voice on the air real soon!

at 1/14/2008 8:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hard work, versatility, loyalty, great attitude...what's it get you?


What a shame. Jeff's a good guy who didn't deserve what happened to him. Unfortunately, in today's broadcast world he wasn't the first and won't be the last to meet this fate.

Good luck Jeff. Since Cumulus probably has shut down your e-mail address, let me know where I can reach you.

Fred Slezak

at 1/14/2008 9:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll echo the comments about Jeff. I've bumped into him occasionally at GABP...he's a class guy all the way and a die-hard radio pro. I work for another station that switched formats recently and he sent me an encouraging "good luck" e-mail. In return, I hope Jeff lands on his feet soon! Way too often, the good folks in this business get the shaft.

at 1/14/2008 11:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karrie Sudbrink must have forgotten what she learned in all those years at Clear Channel.

When they fire good people for no reason (other than they've been there too long-making too much money)they do it two weeks BEFORE Christmas, not two weeks AFTER.

Good Luck Jeff. Save me a spot on the Lazy-Boy Sofa behind first base.

at 1/14/2008 4:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there some conspiracy to make Cincinnati radio even worse than it already is? Sometimes what appears to be a bad thing on the surface turns out to be a great thing in the end. I really hope that's the case for Jeff and that it's quick.

at 1/14/2008 5:14 PM Blogger Tom said...

Jeff Davis remains one of the most knowlegable radio junkies in the tri-state. A pleasure to work with. Can do any format -- from country to classical. Upon my departure from Warm 98, I gave Jeff an old mouse pad with the 1996Warm 98 Staff Picture. It included Tom Walker, Jim Smith, Ted Morro and Lisa McDaniel. Since Jeff was the last person left, NOW WE'RE ALL GONE! Good luck, Jeff, and thanks Keise for reconizing a true behind-the-scenes hero. -- Tom Sandman

at 1/14/2008 6:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Broadcast students and those who are just thinking about it: Don't try to make a career out of radio!!!

at 1/14/2008 9:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure to work with Jeff and he is one of the nicest, most professional people I have ever dealt with.

I'm sure he will land on his feet.

at 1/15/2008 6:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Radio a wonderful business?

at 1/15/2008 7:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So everybody who posts hates 96 Rock, and hates the combo of their morning show with their music. But, everybody also hates Cumulus for firing the Program Director of this awful station.
I get it now.
No matter what is posted about Cinci radio, hate it.

at 1/16/2008 7:42 AM Anonymous Sam said...

Jeff was my intern at Channel 64. What a great guy. Salt of the earth. Tom, keep your head up, I know you'll find something soon. - Sam

at 1/16/2008 11:52 PM Anonymous Mrs. Davis said...

If anyone knows the dedication & love for radio that Jeff has, it is his family. In the entertainment business you work when you can work, but my husband worked even when others couldn't work.

Jeff AMAZES me with his knowledge of this business! It is his passion!

He has not turned down any radio job since I've known him. Jeff credits that, as the secret to staying in the business so long. At last, he finally got what he wanted...a talk station on FM, that he was leading. Until now...

Thanks for all of your comments, emails & phone calls. Jeff is more determined than ever to make something happen.

Honey, we support you & believe you will make the most of this situation. I hope that it continues to include radio.

Radio is not just a business to is a part of who you are.

at 1/18/2008 7:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worked with Jeff for several years, a great guy and very dependable. PS Tom Sandman- I forgot about those mousepads! Was in in the photo, or was I the one who took the photo??

Brinke Guthrie
WARM98 Promotions Director 1993-1999

at 1/18/2008 11:42 PM Anonymous michael grayson WNKU said...

i am growing so weary of making these posts! once again commercial radio has shown its inability to recognize talent and reward loyality and hard work. i watched jeff move from one role to another, adapting to each seamlessly, graciously and respectfully. he was the talent behind much of the success at warm 98 and the associated stations. yes, jeff, as fred slezak mentioned let us know what you are up to and what possibilities arise. at least i'll still get to see you on the fan cam! (what a dream job that is!- getting paid to be at the ballgame???)
good luck. and thanks john for your insightful comments.

at 1/21/2008 12:56 PM Anonymous Leo Neiheisel said...

I was surprised to see the post on 1/15/2008 at 7:45 AM by Mr. Anonymous... he must be the new Program Director at 96 Rock.

Anyway, Jeff - Best of luck! I know you'll find something soon. Of course it will probably be at another radio station that changes personnel and formats faster than some people change their underwear. The radio business motto must read... if at first the format doesn't succeed, go back to something that has failed over and over again. I hope someone looks at the latest ratings for SupertalkFM 96.5 (up to 16th from 23), realizes it WAS starting to catch on and brings it back with you at another location on the dial.

Until then, I look forward to having you back on the radio soon. Good luck!

at 1/21/2008 5:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look "Jeff" to end up in a sales position at a local music station and maybe doing some voice over work, as needed.

at 1/21/2008 5:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you get a chance, Tom.. Love to hear all the names of folks in that photo :-)

Good luck, Jeff.

at 1/30/2008 8:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, have worked with Jeff (nearly 20 yrs. ago). His dismissal is yet another illustration of the brutality of the business. As anyone in the industry knows, it's as addicting as internet porn. I'm confident, though, that Jeff will land another gig. Who wouldn't want to snag someone with his experience and dedication? Corporate radio is as warm and fuzzy as a pit viper. I've been bitten a time or two myself.

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