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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. Contact John at

TV News Update: Still No WCPO News Director, No WKRC Chief Meteorologist


The TV ratings "sweeps" period starts Thursday Oct. 27 with still no WCPO-TV news director after eight months, and no WKRC-TV chief meteorologist to replace Tim Hedrick who died six months ago.

Why the delay? Here's what the TV bosses say, and a look at what else you need to know about local news during November sweeps:

WCPO-TV: Alex Bongiorno announced in January she was leaving in March, so why is the news director's office is still empty? General Manager Jeff Brogan says the job "is like no other in the country," with WCPO's huge online digital staff cranking out lots of newspaper-like in-depth news, entertainment stories, home tour features and editorial cartoons.

"Our search continues.  This is an extraordinary station with a rich history and a progressive future.  This news director job is like no other in the country with the broadcast and digital resources we have to cover the Tri-State," Brogan says.

"We have a lot of interest in the job but we are determined to find the right news director who understands our vision to be the leading news and information media organization in town."

Credit John Kiesewetter
Meteorologist John Gumm on WKRC-TV's late news with anchor Rob Braun.

WEATHER OR NOT: The wait continues at Channel 12 for a chief meteorologist to replace Hedrick, who died in April. The job was posted in June, and last week the station switched long-time morning weatherman John Gumm to nights and three-year staffer Erica Collura to mornings.  

"We will not be naming a chief meteorologist prior to the November sweeps. We have no timetable, but will have something to announce soon," said Jon Lawhead, Sinclair Broadcast Group manager for WKRC-TV (Channel 12), WSTR-TV and two Dayton stations.

Earlier this month, I predicted that Channel 12 would name a chief by today. I was wrong. Here's a link to my storyexplaining the station's options.

EYE ON I TEAMS: Expect to see a lot of I-Team reports. November will be the first sweeps here for new investigative reporters Craig Cheatham and Hillary Lake (at Channel 9) and Duane Pohlman (Channel 12). You also should see more reports on the Rhoden family murder and evidence from Channel 19's Jody Barr.

Credit WCPO-TV
Julie Dolan

DRONE ON: Expect to see a lot of drone video too. This will be the first sweeps since the Federal Aviation Administration issued guidelines for commercial operation of drones. Channels 5 and 9 are using drones, and Channel 19 and the Enquirer say they'll each have them soon.

PERSONNEL CHANGES: This is the last sweeps for Channel 9's Julie Dolan and Carol Williams. Newlywed Dolan moves after sweeps to Louisville,where her husband lives. Williams announced last year she will retire in January 2017.

Channel 12's Meghan Mongillo expects to start maternity leave in November.

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.