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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.

Sinclair Premieres New Headline Newscast Next Year

sinclair broadcasting hq
Steve Ruark
Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.'s headquarters in Hunt Valley, Md.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns WKRC-TV and 190 other stations, will launch a national newscast early next year on its local CW or My Network affiliates and on Stirr, Sinclair's free streaming platform.

One of the nation's biggest TV station owners, Sinclair is hiring 25 new anchors, reporters, producers, editors, photographers and directors for the project.

The headline news service "initial phase" will be a 6-9 a.m. morning newscast. It will likely air here on CW Cincinnati Channel 12.2, since WKRC-TV's Good Morning Cincinnati airs 7-9 a.m. on sister station WSTR-TV (Channel 64), a My Network affiliate. Sinclair operates and/or provides services to 191 television stations in 89 markets, including Cincinnati (Channels 12, 12.2, 64) and Dayton (WKEF-TV Channel 22 and WRGT-TV Channel 45).

The headline newscast will primarily focus on "free content provided by Sinclair’s extensive network of local broadcast stations, and will also offer original content produced specifically for the program," according to the Sinclair announcement.

"Further, it will bring some of the most important national stories to audiences as well, making it one of the only platforms available that can simultaneously provide both local and national perspectives on the day’s most pressing news. ... By leveraging Sinclair's on-the-ground resources, this program will provide comprehensive coverage of important daily stories, whether it's from a local town hall or the White House."

The headline news service will not include commentaries. In December, Sinclair dropped conservative commentaries by Boris Epshteyn, a former special assistant to President Donald Trump, which were "must run" segments for Sinclair stations. 

Sinclair also was criticized for mandating that its news anchors read a news commentary about media companies pushing "their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think" in March 2018.  Anchor Rob Braun told WVXU listeners that he retired last year from Channel 12 because Sinclair's ways were "hard to swallow," and that being ordered to read the 2018 commentary "just didn't sit well" with him.

Sinclair also owns 23 regional sports networks, including Fox Sports Ohio, SportsTime Ohio and 19 other Fox regional sports networks purchased from Disney last year, plus the Tennis Channel and part of the Stadium sports network.

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.