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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.

Another Honor For Former TV Producer Jim Friedman

Scott Kissell
Miami University

My old friend Jim Freidman was the most creative Cincinnati TV producer I ever wrote about – and I wrote a lot about his   "Best & Worst of Cincinnati," "Celebrate Cincinnati," "The Magic of Television" and Dreambuilders specials.

So it's no surprise to me that Friedman has been honored for his creativity in his current career at Miami University, as the White Family Clinical Faculty in the Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Farmer School of Business.

He teaches innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity.

I thought fans of his TV shows might be interested in what happened to Friedman, whose success producing WCPO-TV specials led to a promotion as Scripps Howard Broadcasting director of program development (1989-93) for TV stations in Cleveland, Memphis, West Palm Beach, Kansas City and Cincinnati.

Friedman was named this year's "Outstanding Professor" by Miami’s Associated Student Government for his “creativity, enthusiasm and dedication to students inside and outside of the classroom.” Graduating seniors nominate professors who had a huge impact on their college careers.

Friedman won 64 regional Emmys, and one national Emmy, for more than 150 specials on local TV stations, plus ESPN, PBS, USA and WGN. He started teaching at Miami in 2008 while he was the writer/producer/director/chief creative officers of his Blind Squirrels Production Group (1999-2013).

As Miami University writer Carole Johnson notes in her story on the university website, Friedman has been "a teacher all his life." 

That was at the heart of all of his TV specials: He told us something we didn't know about our community, our history or ourselves.

Credit Arcadia Publishing
"Uncle Al Show" photo on the cover of Jim Friedman's "Cincinnati Television" book.

His credits include three "Tales for the Pet Lover's Heart" movies; "The Dooley Show" for kids; two "Everyday Freedom Heroes" films for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center; "Skin Complex," "Brotherly Love," "Just Passin' Through" and other movies by area minority writers for the Dreambuilder series; "P.M. Magazine," and producing and syndicating Craig Kopp'sWCPO-TV movie features in the 1990s. I also think he produced the two Gary Burbank "BBC" TV specials for Channel 9, too.

In 2007, he wrote and chose the 222 wonderful photographs for the "Cincinnati Television" bookfor Arcadia's "Images of America" series. 

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.