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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, March 27, 2008

So Long, Sasha

Reporter Sasha Rionda is leaving WKRC-TV on Friday, the third Channel 12 on-air person to depart in two weeks.

Rionda, 30, whose Spanish-language "Nuestro Rincon" weekend morning newscasts were canceled a year ago, is heading to Atlanta. The Mexico City native came to Channel 12 four years ago for "Nuestro Rincon," the city's first and only Spanish-language newscast.

"My husband and I are moving back to my second hometown of Atlanta, closer to our families," she says. And to be closer to CNN Espanol, where she has hosted "Detalles con Sasha," the network's monthly prime-time program about architecture, design, fashion and lifestyle trends.

While at Channel 12, she also has commuted to Atlanta monthly to tape movie features for Cinecanal, the Latin American movie channel.

Rionda moves from Mexico to Atlanta with her parents in 1997, after she finished high school. She married John Scott Randall of North Carolina two years ago.

Last week, Channel 12's Steve Hortsmeyer and reporter Richard Jordan resigned. Horstmeyer leaves Monday to become chief meteorologist at WXIX-TV (Channel 19). He'll start on the Fox 19 10 p.m. news on August 7. Jordan, who speaks English and Spanish, will report for the Fox affiliate in Miami-Fort Lauderdale. He grew up in Miami, Fla.

So what's going on at Channel 12? Why three resignations days after Newport Television acquired Channel 12 and the other Clear Channel TV stations? Or is this just a coincidence?

"Yes, it's a coincidence that they’re leaving at roughly the same time," says Elbert Tucker, news director.

Will all three be replaced?

"The first step for us will be to look at options when our new general manager arrives," Tucker says. New GM Les Vann arrives Monday, April 7.


at 3/27/2008 10:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting veeeeeerrrryyyy interesting

at 3/27/2008 11:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two reporters leave to be closer to home. A weatherman leaves for a more high-profile job. Sounds like life in a TV station - not the symptoms of a sale. It would be a lot different had they been given walking papers. These folks left for other opportunities. Can't blame them (or the sale) for that.

at 3/27/2008 11:19 AM Blogger ThisIsNOTaMajorMarket said...

The sale of a station is always accompanied by uncertainty. The first thing we usually hear is:

"We are not contemplating any changes in the excellent staff that this city has come to know and love."

This reassuring pronouncement is followed by the new management's arrival. And then -- even the confifdent spokesperson may be out of a job. So no one feels safe, and no one trusts anybody. Not surprising, therefore, that some folks will seek opportunities in advance of the changeover.

The question is not really whether there will be changes; the question is how severe and how soon. Every new manager wants to put his/her stamp on the operation, in accordance with his tastes and preferences. Put another way, the only question is whether the new management will use a scalpel or a meat ax.

The worst situation I saw (from a safe distance) was a new ownership and management coming in with immediate and sudden final checks in hand for an entire radio station staff, except the engineers (who are usually safe because they know the secrets of how the wiring works). Turned out that the station's new staff had been hired and rehearsing in a suite of hotel rooms for two weeks. A "seamless" transition, a "new start."

Every person in broadcasting knows that there is no security; not from contracts (which can be broken); or longevity, or competence, or talent, or even results. No situation is "permanent."

at 3/27/2008 12:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve leaving is probably because 19 was persistent enough to get him and the instability of wkrc did not help; Richard never click with this city, so he is a non issue and Sasha was horrible on the air, she was probably waiting for her contract to expire.

at 3/27/2008 1:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

huh. so a few on-air people who have been so-so in terms of success/opportunities leave channel 12 and it's all because of better opportunities...
a few people who have been so-so in terms of success/opportunities leave channel 5 and it's because it's the worst station since broadcasting was invented.

i wonder who could be posting all the comments on this website?
where are all the outraged and disbelieving rants about why 12 can't keep good people?

just a reminder for the one or two people who read this website who aren't in the industry...EVERYONE on here has an agenda to push...including kiesewetter.

at 3/27/2008 2:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This kind of stuff happens in every business organization everyday when new leadership takes over. But, of course in little ole Nati , nobody is capable of understanding this novel concept.

at 3/27/2008 4:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that he wasn't able to say without a doubt that the jobs will be filled should say a lot, and should worry those still at 12.

at 3/27/2008 8:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So long Sasha.... I enjoyed having some Spanish language TV here in Cincy while it lasted. Hopefully your short acting stint in Total Recall won't be your last.

at 3/27/2008 10:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least people are leaving on their own accord. Could be worse. Remember, the Bob Braun Show's band members were canned 20 minutes BEFORE the LIVE broadcast was OVER!

at 3/28/2008 7:40 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we will see more of this to come.

at 3/28/2008 9:11 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will channel 12 keep the same anchors once the new managers take over. Will the new owners be willing to pay the anchors their massive amounts of money...that is the question.

at 3/28/2008 11:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - are you ever going to post analysis of the February demos that came out last week?

at 3/28/2008 8:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all this going on..
alot of TV Personnel are getting copies of their demo's made this week...I've seen quite a few

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