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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, February 28, 2008

Goodbye Pete Scalia

Channel 5 traffic reporter Pete Scalia will be paying a lot of attention to I-75 traffic reports… when he begins commuting to Dayton's Channels 22/45. Scalia has been hired to co-anchor the morning news.

"It's a good upgrade for him," says Richard Dyer, Channel 5 president and general manager. And it's another change for the "News 5 Today" morning show, which in the past 14 months has changed half its cast (weathermen Eric Green, co-anchor Jonathan Hawgood).

Scalia was hired 2-1/2 years ago from Channel 5's on-air traffic tryouts. At the time he was the keyboard player for the rock band Freekbass. But he wasn't a stranger to TV. After graduating from Ohio University in 1996, he worked as a Channel 5 production assistant back in the Crosley Square days before hitting the road to tour with a band. He's also been a Channel 19 production assistant, overnight WARM98 DJ, and a producer for Dusty Rhodes' morning show on old WSAI-AM (1530).

When the 1991 Oak Hills High School graduate was hired by Channel 5 in October 2005, Scalia said: "Even with my musical background and experience, I have always wanted to somehow end up in TV here in my hometown."

Now it's time to move on, to move up to a better job. He joins primary co-anchor Candice Hunter, who left Channel 5 last summer for the same stations. The Cincinnati connection here is news director Pat Casey, former Channel 19 news director.

Can he anchor? We'll see. Traffic guy Bob Herzog does a pretty good job as Channel 12's Saturday morning anchor.

One more thing: Don't look for another "Traffic Tryout" stunt by Channel 5. "We don't have plans to do that at this point," Dyer says.


at 2/28/2008 9:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Things really must be bad at channel 5 when the general manager considers a move to channel 22 in Dayton an "upgrade."

at 2/28/2008 10:17 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats to Pete. We'll miss you!

at 2/28/2008 10:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure it's considered an upgrade because he's moving from traffic to co-anchor, not because of the station change.

at 2/28/2008 10:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 9:37....
morning traffic guy to morning anchor ANYWHERE...
uh, yeah, that's an upgrade.
ever worked in a newsroom?
ever watched TV?

at 2/28/2008 11:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete has anchored the news a few times on Channel 5. I believe it was on the weekend. I thought he did a great job. I really like Pete and wish him the best. He always brought excitement to my morning and it wasn't just the boring traffic report. He seemed to fit in with whoever was anchoring and doing the weather. Good luck Pete!

at 2/28/2008 12:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the hell is Pete Scalia?

at 2/28/2008 12:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck Pete! You are very talented and quick on your feet. We will miss you here. You'll do great as the morning anchor in Dayton.

at 2/28/2008 12:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete will do great. It was only a matter of time. He is too talented to continue just doing the traffic. Hopefully someday we'll see him in Cincinnati again.

at 2/28/2008 12:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 9:37
It has nothing to do with the station. It's all about moving from doing traffic to anchoring.
Best wishes, Pete. We'll miss seeing you in the morning.

at 2/28/2008 1:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

pete never anchored at channel 5 but he did fill in report on a weekend morning show.

at 2/28/2008 1:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Good luck, Pete.

at 2/28/2008 1:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete also has worked as a talent on some in house corporate Productions..such as GE Card Co. and P&G.

Good Luck Pete!

at 2/28/2008 2:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats Pistol Pete! You will be missed by the Pickard Family.

It looks like we will be switching to 9.

at 2/28/2008 4:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Pete. I know you'll do well.

at 2/28/2008 4:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

He also hosted a talk show on cable TV in Northern Kentucky.

at 2/28/2008 4:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish they would have expanded his role at ch 5 in the morning. Not many reporters can make a traffic report funny and still provide good information. Good luck Pete.

at 2/28/2008 6:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

when is pete's last day?

at 2/28/2008 8:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who was better Pete Scalia on channel 5 vor Bob Herzog on channel 12

at 2/28/2008 8:41 PM Blogger Cincy RE said...

What is going to happen next at News 5? Just when the morning ship is almost stable and sailing forward, it gets hit by another wave.
How does Dryer think he is going to improve morning ratings when he can't keep the same people for more than a couple of months? I still say bring back Todd Dykes. He was a better fit with Lisa and her gang. Hawgood is a good guy, just a better fit on the weekends.

I believe channel 9 continues to lead the pack.

Good luck Pete.

at 2/28/2008 10:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scalia & Herzog; totally different personalities. Both are great guys and do well at what they do. Scalia is smoother with more experience. Good luck in Dayton, Pete.

at 2/29/2008 8:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually channel 9 is #3 according to February sweeps ratings. Channel 12 and 19 lead the pact. Channel 9 has had some changes in the morning show over the past year also.

at 2/29/2008 10:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the station should hold tryouts again for the new traffic director. It would be great to see another hip refreshing young face. I bet there are some interesting and captivating talents out there waiting to be discovered. Let's start a petition, maybe Dyer will change his mind. After all Pete was discovered through this tryout process. Please reconsider Mr. Dyer. What do you have to lose? Bring the excitement back!!!!!

at 2/29/2008 11:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scalia has said before that both him and Bob Herzog graduated from Oak Hills and are acquaintances (not sure his used the word friends). I think he said Bob was a year old. I was shocked a few weeks ago to be flipping channels at night and to see Bob and Jen dancing on Anderson Coooper's 360. I guess they have a Friday Morning Dance Party now for the traffic report and they were showing the video. Pretty funny!

at 2/29/2008 12:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope fill-in Perry Schaible gets an opportunity, I think she is great and I love her parenting tips

at 2/29/2008 3:58 PM Blogger bmurdock said...

Good luck to Pete "the Pulse." I always thought he deserved better and it looks like the folks in Dayton agree.

Honestly I haven't watched WLWT's morning news since Kristen Cornett and Suzanne Horgan left...

at 3/03/2008 2:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

they should hire Candice Terrell who used to do the traffic at chan. 9

at 3/04/2008 10:25 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 5, bring him back. We miss his upbeat humor.

at 3/04/2008 1:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who was that blonde girl, Lisa something?, Channel 9 had on their traffic this morning? She looked like a deer in headlights, and sounded terrified and inexperienced. I had to turn the channel- I could hardly stand her childish voice. Pete, please come back!

at 3/04/2008 2:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who do we watch for traffic now? Deer in headlights on ch 9 and an idiot jumping around like he's hosting a kids show on ch 12. Pete, the "Pulse", where are you when we need a good report with a clever delivery?

at 3/06/2008 8:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the morning show will CONTINUE to slip without you Pete. When will this station quit letting go of their morning talent? Looks like their "local promotions" didn't work out for November and February. You will be missed Pete, but it is time to abandon ship!

at 3/18/2008 9:42 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

April fools day would be a GREAT opportunity to introduce yourself to your new market wearing a mullet. You are the man. Have fun... somehow you can make this work... Tom Brokaw meets Jon Stewart? Rock-Star anchorman? I like the concept.

I figured Pete would be great as a local "late-night" personality - how about a 10PM Bob Braun-ish meets Letterman type program with Pete as host? Maybe an Uncle AL for the the Lodge Bar demographic?

P.S. I also miss Todd Dykes...

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