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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, February 22, 2008

Congratulations Rachel Horn!

She did it! Congratulations to Rachel Horn, the 15-year-old Walnut Hills High School sophomore, who won the $75,000 "Jeopardy!" teen tournament. She beat two 17-year-old high school seniors.

"Jeopdardy!" says she's the youngest woman ever to win the teen tournament in its 21-year history. Rachel didn't know that until I spoke to her after the show. "Wow, that's pretty cool!" she said.

Did you hear Alex Trebek tonight mention to Rachel that he once lived in Cincinnati? Back in 2002, he told me that in the late 1950s, when he was 18, he spent a summer her to be with a girlfriend: "I was dating a girl. It was a nice summer. I worked in a large apartment complex, and was on the maintenance crew. So we mopped halls and sorted garbage." (How romantic!)

She's the second local Jeopardy! champ in nine years. Dave Abbott of Fort Thomas won the $100,000 Tournament of Champions nine years ago this week.

Rachel called being on the show "a lot of fun, an experience of a lifetime." She'd love to return to "Jeopardy!," but there's a catch. "I can't come back as long as Alex (Trebek) is host," she says.

Congrats to Rachel! You were so poised and confident! And smart! You made all of Greater Cincinnati very proud!


at 2/22/2008 8:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

When can we see this episode? Didn't WCPO cover it up with the car commercial?

at 2/22/2008 9:39 PM Blogger Toddy-O said...

John, yes she will. As champion of the Teen Tournament, she qualifies as a contestant in the Tournament of Champions later this year.

Make Cincinnati proud....again.

at 2/22/2008 9:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Rachel, you did great!

at 2/22/2008 10:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Rachel. We were rooting for her throughout the tournament. She definitely had the quickest response time of any of the contestants.

John- I remember my father who was a deputy sherriff telling me back in the early 80's that Alex Trebek was a "garbage man in Cleves". I always thought that was just an "urban legend" or one of my father's tall tales. Well what do you know!!!

at 2/23/2008 11:41 AM Blogger N said...

i just have to say congrats to her as well.

i took the online test last year, and i'm still waiting for my phone call, lol.

at 2/23/2008 8:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't she get to go back to the Tournament of Champions?

at 2/25/2008 8:47 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Rachel is going to the Tournament of Champions, WCPO must already be busy lining up a Marlo Thomas infomercial, or another Car Show special hosted by one of their "ad-lib challenged" weathermen. They couldn't allow us to watch the T of C without at least one pre-emption.

at 2/25/2008 10:50 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm so glad WCPO pre-empted Rachel for that bush league car commercial. High class all the way.

Speaking of the Auto Show, did anyone notice how bad the camera work was? Shots were shaky, out of focus, the whole nine yards. You would think they would put their best camera people on that job since it was a prime time special. Instead it looked like they had interns running the cameras. What gives? Does anyone have some inside scoop?

at 2/25/2008 10:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was surprised to see the Oscars actually air on Ch. 9 last night. I assumed they would cover it up with some b-rate movie or an "Auto Show Update"!!

at 2/25/2008 10:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kiese how did the oscars draw here in cincinnati?

at 2/25/2008 12:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best part of the auto show fiasco for channel 9 came about 45 minutes before the show.

Clyde and Carol throw it to weatherman Norris, who stutters and stammers his way thru a 60 second stand up, telling viewers to come down and join "all the others" who were there having a great time.

A wide shot from his vantage point showed not one patron within 100 feet of where Norris was standing. Just cars.

As for the bad production brought up by ANON 10:50. That's typical of local tv today. All the good people are gone. That includes production and air talent. The news anchors are great telepromter readers, but put one of them in an ad-lib situation and see what happens. Stations won't pay for top talent anymore.

at 2/25/2008 12:58 PM Blogger skippercollector said...

I don't believe it! Others besides myself are actually complaining about WCPO's obsession with pre-emptions!
When I've brought up the subject previously, other posters told me to stop whining because the shows were just repeats (and some of them weren't!) or that I should just watch the Dayton stations (even though I'm too far south to pick up their signals).

at 2/25/2008 3:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was truly amazed, given the weather at the time, that Wink Raleigh didn't pre-empt the first 10 minutes to do a WeatherTracker Ultra-super-duper9 weather bulletin.

I have always wondered if the toilets at 9 just suddenly drains because Wink goes into hyper mode everytime his radar sees any type of rotation.

Sorry WCPO- I do believe I heard Todd Hunter's gong chiming on Friday night.

at 2/25/2008 5:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anon 12:37. If you were aware of what was going on that day you would realize hat the reason why there was no one within 100 feet of Norris was that there was snow and freezing rain outside and no one wanted to be there and have to drive home in that mess. The other days of the auto show when the weather was decent they had a lot of people there.

at 2/26/2008 11:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very proud that Rachel won and that represented Cincinnati so well. Good Luck to you Rachel, You shall go far! During the whole show I referred to you as "Cincinnati" I kept on yelling "Go Cincinnati". I know that your parents are so proud of you!

at 2/29/2008 10:47 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Le3ave it to Cincinnati to screw up even a telecast of Jeopardy! I can not get over how lame this city is....not showing a local favorite because of a contract with a car show?!?!?! Seriously...shame on Channel 9 for not giving that girl her 30 minutes of fame. Showing it on a Friday when people are not home does not help. What a joke this city is!

at 3/05/2008 8:33 AM Anonymous suek said...

Just FYI, the teen champ does not get invited back to the tournament of champions any more. They used to, but they changed the rules. My daughter competed in the Teen tournament this year, so we got to see it live. Rachel was very poised and did a great job...congratulations!
The Kralles

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