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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.

40th Annual WEBN-FM Fireworks A Blast


Great music, great memories.

Great fireworks. Great TV.

That, to me, sums up the return to TV of the WEBN-FM fireworks for the 40th annual last blast of summer, after the telecast took a year hiatus, as they say in the television business.

I thought WEBN-FM's soundtrack was one of the best ever. Some years the 30-minute audio tapestry featured obscure movie clips and themes, or esoteric musical selections. Not for the 40th.

WEBN-FM hit all the right notes with songs and audio clips through four decades (although millennials may disagree). I loved the tributes to the late David Bowie and Prince, with Rozzi's Famous Fireworks' wonderful rain of purple during "Purple Rain," my favorite part.

It was  great to hear voices of Robin Wood and other former WEBN DJs; Marty Brennaman calling Pete Rose's hit No. 4,192 and the last out of the 1990 World Series; Larry Flynt; the Fool's Parade; Sam Kinison; and Charlton Heston ("You're listening to WEBN – and I’m not!").

Yes, Rozzi's has been synchronizing explosions to music for years, but I thought this show was the best at blasting the booms to the WEBN broadcast from the barge and bridges.

Maybe I feel this way because of WKRC-TV's simpler-is-better fireworks philosophy. Director Todd Marrington stayed with a wide shot, from bridge to bridge, for most of the show, instead of frequently cutting to too many close-ups, as some stations have done in the past. I felt like I saw most of the whole show, instead of many pieces and fragments.

Is this the best ever WEBN fireworks on TV? I might have said that before – and probably have – but the 40th annual fireworks gave us a great retrospective soundtrack, sensationally synchronized fireworks and terrific TV pictures on Channel 12, which brought the fireworks back to TV, where they belong so everyone can see them.

And they were a blast. 

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.