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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.

Regional Premiere For ‘Earl Hamner: Storyteller’ Dec. 7

Media Heritage

The career of Earl Hamner – the former WLW writer who created “The Waltons,” and wrote “Charlotte’s Web” and more than 100 TV scripts – will be celebrated with a documentary and discussion Monday, Dec. 7, at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington.

A new 90-minute documentary, “Earl Hamner: Storyteller” will be introduced at 7:30 p.m.by actress Mary Beth McDonough, who played Erin on “The Waltons,” a CBS family drama (1972-81) based on Hamner’s childhood in rural Virginia. 

“Storyteller” director Ray Castro, producer Tim McAbee and McDonough will answer questions about the film after the screening.

The event benefits Media Heritage Inc., the local nonprofit broadcasting archives which has displays at the Voice of America Museum in West Chester. Tickets ($20-50) are available at thecarnegie.com  (click on purchase tickets) or calling the box office at 859-957-1940. A meet and greet with the producers and McDonough starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Carnegie gallery, 1028 Scott Boulevard.

Credit Media Heritage
Young Earl Hamner Jr.

Hamner, 92, a Los Angeles resident, grew up near Schuyler, Va., listening to programs on WLW-AM’s 500,000-watt signal in the 1930s. He attended Cincinnati’s College of Music, and started his career as a staff writer at WLW in 1947. Former Cincinnati Post TV critic Mary Wood told me that Hamner loved to tell stories about his colorful relatives in the Virginia mountains, which became the basis for “The Waltons” and his “Spencer’s Mountain” novel. He was presented an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Cincinnati in 2008.

His writing credits include “Falcon Crest,” eight episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” “A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion,” “A Walton Wedding,” “The Wild Thornberrys,” “Gentle Ben,” “Nanny and the Professor,” “The Homecoming,” “Heidi,” “Lassie: A New Beginning,” “Apple’s Way,” and “Wagon Train.” 

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.