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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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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sensible Don Pulls Off The Road

Now "Sensible Don" Lewis has more time to call WLW-AM (700) talk shows.

Lewis, 63, a regular talk show caller for more than a decade, retires Friday after 40 years and four months as a Metro bus driver, usually on route #4 Montgomery Road out to Kenwood and back downtown.

The Bond Hill resident, who has driven over than 2 million miles without an accident, will be honored Friday with a 1 p.m. party at the Bond Hill Metro garage. He retires as Metro's current longest tenured driver, says Sallie Hilvers, Metro spokeswoman. (The above photo is of Lewis receiving the "National Safety Council 2 Million Mile Award" for 30 years without a preventable accident from Metro CEO Mike Setzer.)

Lewis will begin retirement by co-hosting WLW-AM 8-9 a.m. Saturday with Gary Jeff Walker. He hasn't been a regular Saturday co-host since last summer, due to a dispute with the station, he says. He first subbed for Mike McConnell in 1994, he says.

But he continues to call talk show hosts during the day, as he has for years. He got the nickname "Sensible Don" because "being a black man, I can say things that other (white) people can't say and not get in trouble." He considers himself "a conservative on issues of society," but supports Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.

Expect to hear more from Don on the airwaves. "I'll be calling them more because I'll have time on my hands," Lewis says.


at 1/31/2008 5:34 PM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

Sorry, no offense...I can NOT UNDERSTAND a word this man says. EVER.

I don't know how he is so popular.

ALso, John, when are you doing another column on Tracy and Eddie on WLW. Tried them on and off. Eddie is on vacation this week and Tracy is TOTALLY BOGUS.

Fake guests, Faking he wants to give a promise ring to his girlfriend of 5 years, mail order brides...what is this, the WWF.

Back to WGUC for me. This is just TOTALLY LAME and I can NOT imagine anybody listening to three hours of this guy.

Just check in for 10 minutes any hour.

I just did so a little after 5...and folks are telling Tracy he is the whiny Chad Johnson of WLW and he hangs up on him.

How long does Daryl Parks think these stunts are going to last?

Even lamer than the "Helen Mays" stuff with Willie or the fake brother of Furman.

Wow...I am just shocked that Burbanks time slot went to such WWF Rubbish.

Sorry for the off topic John but you REALLY NEED to ask who is LISTENING to WLW every ain't me or anybody I know.

Tracy has to talk about himself constantly from what others say before THEY turn off the station.


at 1/31/2008 5:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree 100% with Sophia. Don can't talk clearly.

In my day, that was usually a qualification for being on the radio...the ability to enunciate words. We used to hear from the bosses if we said "jist" instead of "just".

But those were the days when I made a very good living as a broadcaster. Now listen to the garbage on the air, presented by bus drivers and retirement plan hawkers, making little more than minimum wage.

Thank you Clear Channel.

at 1/31/2008 6:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree...
I love Tracy on the radio---------alone! When he is alone, he brings all of the great qualities of his post-Reds-game show. I love his tongue in cheek attitude. However, throw Eddie into the mix and it is unlistenable. Eddie can only appeal to 16 year old boys. Lame.

at 1/31/2008 6:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sensible Don supports Hillary. We'll need to change his name to MushBrain Don!

at 1/31/2008 8:47 PM Blogger Toddy-O said...

Sorry....I can understand Sensible Don and find him and Gary Jeff a nice change of pace. Frankly, I wish Gary Jeff (and Bob Berry) were on with Eddie.

Sometimes I wish they'd dig up the archives and start playing old JFPO and Kevin Wolf era Burbank bits. The only levity between 3-6 is when Eddie interacts with Chuck Ingram and traffic on Fought Washington Way.

And yes, I am still awaiting the score from the Elder-Beerman game.

at 1/31/2008 9:38 PM Blogger liz said...

I won't be listening anymore on Saturday 8 - 9 am. I can't stand the sound of that guy's high pitched voice.

at 1/31/2008 10:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always agree with Don, because I can’t understand what he says and I just say “hey that’s what I think……..”

If you want to talk like “Sensible Don” the best way is to put cotton gauze in your cheeks and a mouthful of mini Tootsie Rolls in your mouth and then talk.

And from seeing the picture posted, stop by Goodwill and get some pants you wear up to your armpits.

Gary Jeff Walker (aka The Dumbest Man On Radio) and Sensible Don (aka The Most Unintelligible Man On Radio) says a lot about radio.

Imagine playing a clip of Gary Jeff’s and Don’s banter to high school kids, and then saying “LOOK what you are MISSING, please listen to 700 WLW, your IPods’ and texting are “square.”

“Square” is a copyright of Jim Scott, copyright 1971.

at 2/01/2008 8:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised to hear the hate for Sensible Don. I love when he is on the Saturday morning shows. He is a REAL person and not a professional broadcaster.

He is the one who is willing to say what everyone in the audience is thinking but wouldn't say. I like that he sounds like an average person and injects some reality into the shows. He's funny, always sounds like he is having a good time and seems very personable.

at 2/01/2008 9:11 AM Blogger Brad Ruther said...

Congrats to Don for 40 years of Service!!! I rode your bus years back and you were always a gentleman

Good Luck on the radio. He's right, he CAN say what others are thinking without ridicule

at 2/01/2008 11:23 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an idea...Give Sensible Don Tracy Jones spot!!! Get rid of that whinny-voiced over-hyped idiot Tracy Jones!!

at 2/01/2008 11:25 AM Anonymous CHEVIOT SPORTS AUTHORITY said...

If I have to hear Sensible Don for more than 5 or 10 minutes, then its time to change the dial or just turn it off. Of course, that is 5 or 10 minutes longer than I will listen to Daryl Parks or Alan Cutler. Mo Egger has also joined the pathetic category.

at 2/01/2008 11:31 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder he is having a dispute with Clear Channel...they make him sit in the same room with Gary Jeff Walker.

That guy is a complete idiot, and a remarkable example of how low the once great big one has sunk.

And Tracy Jones is unlistenable, unoriginal, and just plain bad. Eddie by himself might have had a quality show.(without gary jeff walker)

at 2/02/2008 8:48 AM Anonymous Peg said...

Congratulations Don, I hope you enjoy your retirement. I can understand what you say and enjoy listening to you. Good luck! Peg

at 2/02/2008 2:40 PM Anonymous Art said...

I truly enjoy Sensible Don and Gary Jeff Walker on Saturday mornings. I listen every Saturday on my way to work. Don is a REAL person. He speaks it like it is. If more people had his insight on life the world would be a much better place. However, I do not agree with his Presidential choice. Gary Burbank was my favorite and Gary Jeff with Sensible Don are second on the list. Last comment... Get rid of this Nick character. What a waste of precious oxygen!

at 2/03/2008 11:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wishing Sensible Don a well earned vacation from all the unbelievable passengers he has serviced. Your driving record is enough to secure your reputation.
But when you talk on WLW you are so excited about your subject that you really overhype and we out here are unable to hear your voice.

PLEASE calm down and tell us all this in slower mode, we want to hear what you have to say, you can bet you are the most down-to-earth spokesman for the people out in these areas, and we need to hear this from you. Someone like you has to come forth and lend a guiding hand to so many who are lost in our society, and the hope is that you can get some answers to some very bad questions out there. WE NEED YOU.

at 4/15/2008 6:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy listening to Sensible Don! He really makes sense and is entertaining!

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