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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

Live From New York, It’s Randi Rico!


Randi Rico’s first visit to New York City will be a memorable one – she’ll do a “Today” show forecast for Al Roker, then help dunk him in a dunking booth live on NBC.

WLWT-TV’s perpetually upbeat morning meteorologist was nearly speechless Tuesday when she learned – during the “Today” broadcast –that she won an online vote to appear on the show Thursday, the first day of the November TV ratings’ sweeps. (She tells me about her Thursday morning TV schedule below.)

“I'm crazy nervous Al,” she told Roker on the show. “I'm excited. I’ve never been to New York.”

Rico topped finalists from Manhattan and Minneapolis in the show’s month-long Pink or Swim promotion raising funds for breast cancer research.

Rico told Roker to get ready to get wet. “I've got my pitching arm ready to roll, Al, because I hear I get to dunk you. So I’m ready to go,” said Rico, who played center field for the Ohio University softball team while studying broadcasting and meteorology.

Credit NBCUniversal
Al Roker

But later in the day, Rico learned that she won’t get to dunk Roker. After talking to “Today” show producers, here’s what she told me about her trip to New York in an email Wednesday morning:

“I’ve never been to NYC. I went to the Statue of Liberty in high school (from a ferry on the Jersey side) but that is it.

“My timeline is pretty tight, landing around 4 p.m. Once I get to the hotel I think I’ll have around three hours to take it all in. Even though it is “the city that never sleeps,” I’m still going to need to sleep because I’ll be on air for WLWT from inside the NBC newsroom at 4:30 a.m.! So my plan for tonight is to get some good pizza, some cupcakes, and try and get to the 9/11 site, check out the skating rink and Times Square. Rain may mess with sightseeing plans. We’ll see!

“Tomorrow I’m doing live hits for WLWT from 4:30-7 a.m. The plan is to be live on the plaza from 6-7 a.m.

“Then I head into hair and makeup (fancy) and will do Al’s forecast in the 9 a.m. hour after he gets dunked for the Pink or Swim Challenge. Viewers from around the country affected by breast cancer will be doing the actual dunking… I’ll be there to toss to “your neck of the woods” as long as he’s soggy!

Credit NBCUniversal
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford host the fourth hour (10-11 a.m.) of the "Today" show.

"I also really want to try and get a selfie with Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford & wine before I leave. I fly back again right after Thursday’s show. So I’ll be back on air Friday morning, and cheering on the Fairfield Indians Friday night.”

Rico’s husband is a coach for the Fairfield High School football team. They live in Loveland with their two young children, Austin and Quinn Rose.

Thursday’s “Today” show features include guests Sandra Bullock from the “Our Brand Is Crisis” movie (produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov), Halloween crafts with Martha Stewart, and the “Pink Power” and “Steals & Deals” segments (7-9 a.m.); Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl (“Burnt”) and a Natalie Merchant performance (9-10 a.m.); and more with Bullock and Merchant performs (10-11 a.m.).

John Kiesewetter joined the WVXU news team as a TV/Media blogger on July 1 2015, after nearly 30 years covering local and national broadcasting for The Cincinnati Enquirer. He’ll be posting news about Greater Cincinnati TV, radio and movies; updating your favorite former local TV/radio personalities or stars who grew up here; and breaking news about national TV, radio and media trends. You’ll also learn about Cincinnati’s rich broadcasting history.