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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.

Steve Sommers Out As WLW's Overnight 'America's Truckin' Network' Host

Courtesy WLW-AM

Steve Sommers, host of WLW-AM's overnight America's Truckin' Network show, says he was "dismissed" by owners iHeartMedia Friday morning, ending the Sommers' family 36-year tradition on Cincinnati's most powerful radio station.

Sommers, 56, announced the news on Facebook shortly before 9 a.m.

"I have been DISMISSED from I-Heart Radio… I'm sorry my friends…. 2020 is a bitch!!!  I will not have a chance to say GOOD-BYE!!! Thanks for 25 years of friendship!!"

His father, Dale "Truckin' Bozo" Sommers, started the overnight broadcast aimed at truckers throughout the Midwest in 1984. Steve started working with his dad in 1996, and took over the show in 2004.

Sommers, WLW-AM General Manager D.J. Hodge and Operations Director Scott Reinhart have not responded to requests for comments.

Sommers' made headlines in July when his WLW-AM bosses eliminated all talk about politics, the Confederate flag and the death of George Floyd from his right-leaning show after unspecified complaints.

"Suffice it to say we’re going to avoid such topics," host Sommers told listeners early the Monday morning of July 20. "There are some things we're not going to talk about anymore."

But the ban was short lived. Political talk resumed by late September. After the first presidential debate, I heard Sommers open his show on Sept. 30 talking about what a great job President Trump did that night. Later in the show, Sommers talked about Trump's concerns about absentee ballots.

Sommers' termination apparently is part of  iHeartMedia's nationwide cutbacks this week. IHeartMedia cuts include Columbus' WTVN-AM morning host Joel Riley after 26 years and his producer, and Shaun Vincent, afternoon host/music director/assistant program director at Dayton's MIX107.7

Sommers, a Colerain Township resident, has also worked for Cincinnati country music stations WUBE-FM and WBVE-FM, the old "country Beaver," and Christian WAKW-FM. He has also been heard on WFLI in Chattanooga, Tenn., and WQMT-FM in Decatur, Tenn.

I'll update this story when I get more information.

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.