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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, April 25, 2008

Steve Overbeck Out?

Don't be surprised if WKRC-AM auto expert isn't on the air 4-8 p.m. Saturday. I haven't nailed down all the details, but I hear he was dropped after last week's show. I couldn't reach Overbeck Friday afternoon, and his website still says he's on 4-8 p.m. Saturday on WKRC-AM.

He's very good and knows his stuff... and might be hard to replace. If you're listening to radio Saturday afternoon, lemme know if you hear him or not. And maybe one of the Clear Channel insiders who read this blog can fill us in.


at 4/25/2008 9:35 PM Blogger Robert Scott said...

Steve, has come and gone and then come back again in radio. From the spectator's perspective it just looked like he was a tough negotiator and some times his contract talks would result in his absence from radio for a season.

I think he is the only local car-talk guy worth listening to.

Click & Clack had great comedic talent on NPR but Steve made talk about solving your car's problems quite interesting.

Denny McKeown sometimes had absences from talk radio because of his touch approach to negotiations with his hosting radio station and he is the only gardening guy that is worth listening to, as far as I'm concerned.

If Steve ends up off the air I believe he will be back over time.

at 4/26/2008 9:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that Steve is not on the air any longer. But, his show had become nothing more than an infomercial for all of his buddies in the auto repair business and as time went on he took less and less calls. So nothing is missing with him off the air.

at 4/26/2008 9:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way I hear it happened is that Steve likes to smoke his pipe while on the air. They've told him not to, but he does anyway. Last Saturday, he fired up and the board op called Tony Bender to tattle. Tony stopped by and before the show was finished, had a showdown with Steve. Steve left.

Nice job Tony. Guess you showed him who's boss. Typical of a group that figures, "Where can he go? We own it all."

I'm sure with Darryl's excellent talent crafting abilities, we'll have a better replacement very soon.

at 4/26/2008 10:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John you take a lot of unnecessary hits for you blog entries. It seems like any comment about ch 5 or 12 will illicit nastiness directed at you. I am not one of those people; however, “the fastest 4 hours on radio” isn’t so fast that you couldn’t catch a minute or two for yourself. Unless you are far out of state on Saturday, I would think you could flip on “the double nickel” as Steve would to say, and listen for yourself, to hear if he is on.

at 4/26/2008 8:09 PM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

I only turned on the radio briefly as I was watching racing on TV..heard some 'other car repair' guy on the air.

What happened to Steve????????

Also John, do you know why the Word Vefification is so much more difficult to view? I am visually impaired and in the last 24 hrs, the letters are crowded and overlap each other and the audio does not always work...sigh.

Thanks for an update on Steve. I just listened once in a while if in the car but enjoyed his show.

at 4/26/2008 8:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

He wasn't on. I was worried it might be a health issue since he had some
problems a year or so back and missed
some shows.

If it is for another reason that is too bad. I really liked his show and
I doubt they can find anybody who can replicate what Steve did.

at 4/27/2008 12:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is stupid to have let go or cancel Steve O,the man has been on for many of years, he is very smart know what he is talking about. He is a wealth of information, for any one that has a automobile it was a great program with the exception of all the commercials and promo spot. He is a great asset to the public, free advice for simple problems and could give you reputal shops in your area. Sad to see it happen to a hell of a guy ,and hope someone else will invite him to do the same type of show.

at 4/27/2008 9:51 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am an avid listener to steve o's car talk on sat 4-8 show and i was very disappointed yesterday when steve was replaced by ted bishop?! and tony bender. all the personality was gone. it was boring and cumbersome radio. if steve left because of a salary dispute bender better say "i'll pay for that!"

at 4/27/2008 10:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve was great. He always had the answers or knew where to look. I hope he gets on to another radio station. He will be very hard to replace.

Once again shows the decline in Cincinnati Radio. Thanks Clear Channel.

at 4/27/2008 5:04 PM Anonymous Ken said...

I just sent you a comment, but after re-reading it I found some spelling errors. So please post this one with the corrections. That way if anyone finds out what from what high school I graduated they won't being saying, he sure didn't learn much -- especially since I attended one high school in Cincinnati that made the top 100 and then graduated from the other high school in Cincinnati that was in the top 100. As my son says, I wonder how many people can say that they went to two high schools ranked in the top 100? He also says Dad, you weren't that smart. He's right -- I graduated in 1956 when there were no rankings.

Please use the comment below.


You're right - no Steve

Three peolpe loose with his departure.

WKRC looses -- WKRC looses a great personality who I'm sure draws a lot of advertising dollars and has lots of followers. If his show had been on x-radio like Ron Wilson and Gary Sullivan, he would have had a gigantic following and it would have been almost impossible to talk with him.

Steve looses -- Steve looses a lot of free advertising. Although Steve was overly cautious not to steer business his way, indirectly the show did just that. The show was a great advertiser for him.

The listeners and his fans loose -- The biggest losers of all are all the many listeners that became better educated about modern automobile technology and for whom he helped solve problems. I've worked on my auto's since 1959 (as someone who liked getting his hands dirty and solving problems) and I can assure you (as you already have said), Steve knew automobiles and was very interested in sharing that information with others.

Hopefully he will return or WKRC will find someone who is just as knowledgeable and anxious to share that knowledge with others as Steve was.


at 4/27/2008 9:24 PM Anonymous Mark said...

I tuned in briefly on Saturday and he was not in the booth. I heard the host say he that Steve had done the show for a long time and that he wouldn't be back - but I didn't catch the reason why, if one was given. I'm not sure what happened, but it's too bad that he is gone. Asside from the NASCAR fill and his singing-over music on the return from breaks, his show was pretty informative and entertaining. I'd like to know what happened and see if he will get picked up somewhere else.

at 4/28/2008 12:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure enough - he was not on the air on Saturday. The staff announcer on the air simply said that he would no longer be on after 15 years, and that this past week was 'a tough week'. He made no other comment.
Steve has had a couple of major surgeries recently and has had a few times when he could not be there to do the show. I think Overbeck simply was ready to slow down.
However, due to the sudden 'no announcement of his departure' - my guess is that Clear Channel simply took the axe to him. We'll never know for sure because the last thing they do at the super corporate office in Kenwood is practice freedom of speech.

at 4/28/2008 9:10 AM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

To Anon 10:29 a.m.
Sorry, was unable to listen Saturday, so I posted item late Friday night. I'll follow up the story today.

at 4/28/2008 11:16 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Tony Bender getting programming advice from Chuck Deskins and Randall Bloomquist of WGST in Atlanta? Those 2 have managed to ruin the entire cluster Clear Channel Atlanta stations.

at 4/28/2008 12:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Derek didn't say it would be like this.

at 4/28/2008 5:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiese, just let us know where Steve surfaces, so we can follow him. It is by far the finest auto show on the air... And just in general, a blast to listen to, autos or not!

Steve's replacements will no doubt have all of the pizzazz of The Mutual Fund Show on WLW.... Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Do the folks at Clear Channel ever learn?

at 4/30/2008 8:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

In regards to the WGST comment. 550 and 700 should really do what they did recently. Fire everyone and start over. Tony Bender is a nice person, but suffers from the Clear Channel disease.

at 4/30/2008 2:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

-There's enough CC cast off talent out there to make one heck of a great radio station in this area. Imagine this:
1. John Phillips in the mornings. (6-9?) He's a great personality, a little edgy, compassionate and has an opinion.
2. Pick 'em. (9-12?) It's going to be hard to go up against McConnell, no matter who you put in that spot. Maybe a combination of Overbeck, McKeown, or others. I've heard Steve's comment on topics other than cars, he would be an enormous talent if he could just open up to the possibilities of putting the wrench down for a while.
3. 12-1. BRING BACK PAUL HARVEY (or at least Fred Thompson to fill in.) Then some market reports and analysis, remember the farm report?
4. Maybe the Angry Guys, in a day shift gig. (1- 3 or 4). Entertaining, knowledgeable, Good listeners, and capable of speaking on topics other than sports. Doesn't interfere with Tom's raising of his kids.
5. Comic relief. 3 or 4, to 6 or 7). This town misses Gary Burbank, as bad as it would miss having professional baseball yanked from underneath. Take some of the posse that Burbank assembled, and give them a shot. Those guys had an identity, now let them carry on the legacy.
6. Furman. He got canned because some "here today, fumble tomorrow" receiver got mad at him. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. In 10 years, some guy on the west side will still remember that guy that wore that jersey, but he's the only one. Furman was and still is bigger than that.
7. Second shift. 9 to midnight. I'm still working on that one, but Mr Kiesewetter, if you have a list somewhere of those cast away by CC, I'm sure we'll find somebody to pick up that spot as well. Run what you want overnight. I'm still working on this new station and line-up. Whatever happens, it will be what 700 / 550 used to be: Good Radio.
Thank you,
Citizens against Clear Channel Programming (CCCP)

at 4/30/2008 8:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve was the best thing going for automotive subject matter. I will be vastly surprised if they come up with anything remotely as good as Steve O....Steve, you will be greatly missed by this hard core automotive junky..come back soon!

at 5/02/2008 11:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will greatly miss Steve O. As a woman I greatly appreciated how he could answer your questions without "Auto Speak". I am somewhat shy about calling in to a talk show and was ready Saturday to ask Steve about some recent diagnostics on my auto. I was greatly disappointed in the explanation (none) of why he was not on and even more unsatisfied with his replacement. Hope Steve makes a comeback somewhere.

at 5/11/2008 11:41 AM Anonymous Brian said...

I had to work the last few saturdays and didn't know Steve was gone. This new guy is a idiot I have never heard so many I am not sure and I don't knows. Steve knows what he is talking about and is a great help on the radio. I hope clear channel gets there crap together and brings him back.

at 5/12/2008 12:08 PM Anonymous popsandlin said...

Goodbye Steve! You are really missed! I listened the last couple of weeks in my car and was wondering what happened. Now I know. Too bad for all of us who were (are) your fans. Hope you come back somewhere else so we can again enjoy the show. For now, we will have to find something not so boring to listen to.

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