Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
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

Meet Vanessa Richardson, WLWT-TV's New Traffic Reporter

Vanessa Richardson will debut on WLWT-TV later this month.

Maybe you've heard her on the national "Bob & Tom" radio show, or seen her at NBA Indiana Pacers games in Indianapolis. Soon you'll see Vanessa Richardson on WLWT-TV's "News 5 Today."

The Terre Haute native soon will debut as Channel 5's traffic reporter, replacing Kyla Woods, who left in December.

"The history of sports, culture, arts, and everything else in Cincinnati makes me excited to delve into the community," Richardson says.

Before earning a communications degree in May from the University of Indianapolis, Richardson had assembled an impressive resumeconsisting of reporting, play-by-play, sideline reporting, editing, writing, producing, directing and hosting. She has worked as a:

--Sports, entertainment and news reporter for the Indianapolis-based "Bob & Tom Show," and filled in for vacationing news director Kristi Lee.

--In-game MC for Pacers home games and AAA Indianapolis Indians home games.

--Sports reporter covering the Indianapolis 500 and Indianapolis Colts training camp for WICR-FM in Indianapolis. And she was the afternoon drive DJ too.

--Digital producer for WTHR-TV, social media manager for WICR-FM and sports director/multimedia journalist for TV5 in Indianapolis.

--Analyst and reporter for the Great Lakes Valley Conference Sports Network, which broadcasts University of Indianapolis' Division II sports.

Richardson grew up a sports fan in Terra Haute, going to games and Indianapolis Colts training camp with her father. Can she root for the Bengals?

"Although I'm not from Cincinnati, I'm crazy about all things sports -- so I'm looking forward to seeing the Bengals, Reds, Cyclones and FC Cincinnati games," she says. "I'm always looking to meet new people and look forward to getting in touch with Cincinnati's finest."

Jeff Benscoter, WLWT news director, calls Richardson "Vanessa is a great addition to our top-rated WLWT News 5 Today morning team. We know how important it is to get our viewers to work and school on time and safely. Vanessa’s energy, enthusiasm, and work ethic will be evident immediately to our viewers."

Although "Bob & Tom" has a huge fan base here – the hosts broadcast live from Cincinnati on Opening Day, and WOFX-FM ranks fifth in the May radio ratings – Richardson "will not be working directly with Bob and Tom now," Benscoter says.

Richardson's arrival means Channel 5 has changed half its "News 5 Today" morning team this year. Co-anchor Colin Mayfield joined Lisa Cooney and meteorologist Randy Rico in January, when Mark Hayes moved to nights.

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.