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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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Friday, January 04, 2008

WARM98 Cancels Sunday AM Music Hall

Classical music lovers won't be waking up to Carmon DeLeone after this Sunday. WRRM-FM (WARM98) has canceled his "Sunday Morning Music Hall" after 16-1/2 years, in a budget cut. The final show airs 8-10 a.m. Sunday.

"We hope that 'SMMH' might someday find a new home on the air in Cincinnati," says DeLeone in an e-mail. He's music director for the Cincinnati Ballet, Middletown Symphony Orchestra and the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra in suburban Chicago.

The show was not in the 2008 budget, but DeLeone was allowed to tape a farewell show Thursday night. (He didn't learn about the cancellation until Jan. 1, when he returned home from Chicago.)

"Sunday Morning Music Hall" premiered Easter Sunday March 31, 1991, as a three-hour show, 8-11 a.m. Two years ago, when Cumulus bought the station, it was cut to two hours. Arbitron's summer quarter ratings ranked DeLeone's show as No. 3 among all listeners in its time slot.

To read more about DeLeone and the show, my colleague Janelle Gelfand has posted part of her 1997 story about the show on her classical music blog:

I'm not sure which station in town might pick up "SMMH." Any suggestions?


at 1/04/2008 11:31 AM Blogger Toddy-O said...

Hello WMKV?

at 1/04/2008 12:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only problem with WMKV is that its range is so poor. Dont suppose GUC would pick it up?
from the neighbhorhood

at 1/04/2008 1:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was just a matter of time. Once WRRM dropped Sunday Evening Standards, and after Sunday Morning Music Hall was cut back from 3 hours to only 2, the writing was on the wall. Sad to see that quality radio programming seems to have no place on the commercial dial any longer.
Since Tom Sandman was able to move his EXCELLENT Standards program to WMKV (and I'm so *glad* to be able to pick up WMKV on at least one radio in my Butler County home!), wouldn't this be the most logical refuge for Sunday Morning Music Hall?

at 1/04/2008 1:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WGUC doesn't seem likely to rescue SMMH, given that they're already "all-classical, all the time". The old WVXU, before its purchase by WGUC and Cincinnati Public Radio, would have been a real possibility, of course. Maybe WNKU could be persuaded to take a chance on "Cincinnati's Resident Conductor"!

at 1/04/2008 5:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. This is a successful, highly rated program that's being canned?

So much for the Rush Limbaugh/GOP B.S. about how the free marketplace selects the programs that live or die. The "free marketplace" spoke, the listeners turned out for Sunday Morning Music Hall, and WARM98 managment proceeds to screw them anyway.

And you wonder why people are leaving "free" radio in droves?

You're right about WVXU not being a likely home. The genuises there paid too much to XU for the station; hell, they can barely pay their own staff.

It's a sad day when the best option for shows like Sunday Morning Music Hall is a station that has a range of what, four city blocks? And they'd probably expect the host to "volunteer his services". Yeah right! What's next for Carmen, WAIF or Great Oaks?

Thank God for my iPod.

at 1/05/2008 2:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This must be the fault of Daryl Parks.

at 1/06/2008 6:23 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daryl Parks is the worst...oh, wait. He doesn't have anything to do with Warm98. Never mind.

at 1/06/2008 9:05 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobbie, Randi, Dean, Chris.

Watch your backs...Don't make any major purchases in the near future.

Good Luck.

at 1/06/2008 10:14 AM Anonymous RadioJunkie said...

with all the cut in radio in this town, how about the powers to be be on the air 8 hours a day and really save the money. I can see d parks thinking if I do that I even better than I tell myself.

at 1/06/2008 7:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks to carmon for a great show... his knowledge, charm, and positive spirit is only surpassed by the greed, manipulation and lack of concern for their listeners shown by cumulus and the other commercial radio companies. thank goodness for WNKU, WGUC, WVXU, WMKV.. public radio is the last stronghold of creativity and imaginative programming!

at 1/07/2008 12:05 PM Blogger Tom said...

I worked with Carmon for 14 years, and am a huge admirer of not only the show but also the man. Carmon utilized the show as a promo vehicle for every Musical Arts organization in the tri-state, including the Cinti Symphony, Pops, Opera & Ballet, as well as CCM, SCPA, N Ky Symphony, Middletown Symphony, etc. It was a labor of love for him. This show made our town stronger.

Carmon’s departure is a reflection of what is happening in commercial radio. It used to be that commercial radio simply ignored the listener in deference to financial considerations. Now they’re vehemently attacking variety, quality, diversity, and local content. They can’t get it off their airwaves fast enough. It’s almost as if they WANT free radio to fail. Sad Sad Sad.

Fare thee well, Carmon. I'll play Ke Mo Ky Mo in your honor.

-Tom Sandman

at 1/07/2008 3:53 PM Blogger emery_r said...

To Tom Sandman -- Your comments are DEAD ON. Commercial radio is becoming a complete joke in Cincinnati, with quality programming actually being dumped in favor of pre-packaged, repetitive tripe. Thank goodness for public radio in general, and for WMKV in particular. Tom, would it be possible for WMKV to explore piggy-backing onto a secondary digital signal from another (public?) station, allowing listeners with a digital radio who live more than a few miles from WMKV's tower to receive it more clearly?

at 1/07/2008 5:54 PM Blogger Tom said...

to Emery R:
I appreciate your kind words about WMKV. We're always exploring ways to increase our service, both via airwaves and the internet. We're locked in by other FM channels who are adjacent to 89.3 and cannot just increase our wattage at will. But your idea about piggybacking onto another HD radio signal has merit! Thanks for listening. - TS

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