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Television
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, May 09, 2008

Randy Michaels Running All Of Tribune

This should be fun to watch: Randy Michaels, the former Q102/WLW-AM/Jacor/Clear Channel executive has been named chief operating officer of the Tribune Company by Sam Zell, Tribune chairman and CEO.

Michaels will be responsible for all aspects of the company's publishing, broadcasting and internet divisions. He had been executive VP and CEO of the Tribune's interactive and broadcast divisions since Dec. 20, when Zell took over the company. Zell helped Michaels revive Jacor here.

I'm sure some people who remember Randy's infamous pranks question the move. They might worry that the Chicago Tribune will never be the same. But I'm not surprised by the move. This could be very good for all the Tribune divisions. One thing many people don't know about Michaels is his great love for media history, despite his snippy comments at times. (When he took WLW-AM in 1983, he said he was going to teach the grand old lady of Cincinnati broadcasting "how to dance," as I recall. Back then it was ranked like #7, despite its 50,000-watt blowtorch signal.)

His old Jacor office in Covington was lined with framed newspaper pages about WLW-AM history and Powel Crosley. You can name a city, and he'll rattle off the stations call letters, frequencies and probably the antenna height. If he has the same passion for newspaper history, the Trib will do fine. He's also a media visionary (wasn't he the one who registered internet domains for Q102 and other rival stations in the 1990s?), and should be what the company needs at this time. In the Tribune news release Michaels said: "People are saying newspapers are dead.... Despite the problems, we have world-class brands with unlimited potential."

During his years in Cincinnati, he kept all competitors on their toes. The same likely will happen in all the Tribune markets. This should be fun to watch.

Here's the AP story:
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080508/BIZ/305080066/-1/all


4 Comments:

at 5/09/2008 11:53 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WGN radio is consistenly number 1 in that market, so please Benjamin, dont tinker with it.
I wish someone would tinker with WLW and give us something like WGN in the am instead of a talker who talks to loud and fast and says huh at the end of sentences. Time to retire to the farm Jim Scott.

 
at 5/09/2008 4:34 PM Anonymous DP said...

I wonder if he knows that the "grand old lady" is slumped over in the corner while the dumbest, meanest kids in the neighborhood ransack her house.

 
at 5/12/2008 4:05 PM Anonymous MS said...

The "grand old lady" has been on life support for some time...

 
at 5/13/2008 3:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang tight. The Clear Channel sale is about to go through and hopefully WLW will go to other owners and we can get real radio back and kick Darryl Parks to the curb.

 
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