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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.

'Cincinnati Edition' host Michael Monks leaving WVXU in December

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WVXU
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Michael Monks has hosted 'Cincinnati Edition' since February 2019.

Monks is leaving WVXU after three years to focus on his River City News website covering Northern Kentucky communities.

Cincinnati Edition host Michael Monks will leave WVXU-FM Dec. 17 to devote his full attention to his Northern Kentucky online news service, The River City News.

"It wasn't an easy decision to leave," Monks said in the station announcement. "While my head and voice have been in Cincinnati, my heart remained in Kentucky. I am so eager to get back there full-time because my hometown deserves more comprehensive attention.”

WVXU hired Monks, a graduate of Covington's Scott High School (1998) and Northern Kentucky University (2002) in December 2018. He took over Cincinnati Edition from interim host Dan Hurley in February 2019.

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John Kiesewetter
Michael Monks in his River City News office in Covington in December 2018, when WVXU announced his hiring.

His Cincinnati Public Radio debut was delayed so he could find a reporter-editor and possibly a business manager for his River City News site. He was never able to replace himself, so Monks continued to write and edit the news site.

Cincinnati Public Radio will conduct a national search for a new Cincinnati Edition host.

Here's the news release:

MICHAEL MONKS TO LEAVE CINCINNATI EDITION

Cincinnati Public Radio announced today that Cincinnati Edition host Michael Monks is leaving the organization for a new opportunity.

Vice President of News Maryanne Zeleznik announced to staff Tuesday morning in an email, "It is with great sadness I inform you that Michael Monks is resigning from his position as host of Cincinnati Edition."

Monks joined Cincinnati Edition in February 2019, bringing a new sensibility to the daily talk show with his easy wit, natural curiosity and journalistic integrity. There was no topic he and the show would not address, and he welcomed guests ranging from authors and fellow journalists to federal, state and local politicians and newsmakers.

"I am grateful for the opportunity that Cincinnati Public Radio provided me and will always hold dear the thousands of on-air conversations over the past three years," said Monks.

Monks said that he recognizes his great fortune in being part of a special and talented news team and media operation that welcomed him.

"Cincinnati Edition producers Selena Reder and Nick Swartsell, and technical director Josh Elstro, made every day interesting and fun as we navigated the choppy waters of a pandemic to bring the show to listeners each day,” Monks said.

Producer Selena Reder noted that Monks has been a steadfast, guiding voice for the program and it really shined through during the pandemic.

“For many months it was just the two of us booking guests on tight deadlines to get a daily program on the air," said Reder. "Cincinnati Edition has dramatically changed and grown with Michael in the host chair. Michael has brought so much energy and new ideas to the program. His greatest strength has been in his connection with the guests. No one can ask questions that get at the heart of the subject like Michael Monks.”

"I will soon join the ranks of WVXU listeners, many of whom I've gotten to know over the past few years, and for whom I am so appreciative for their kind words of encouragement, gentle and thoughtful criticism, and engaged participation in our program," said Monks. “As I prepare to hang it up at WVXU in December, I will proudly remain a sustaining member!"

During his time with Cincinnati Edition, Monks continued operating his Northern Kentucky online news service, The River City News. An upcoming opportunity involving The River City News that will require his full attention is why he submitted his resignation, effective December 17.

"It wasn't an easy decision to leave. While my head and voice have been in Cincinnati, my heart remained in Kentucky. I am so eager to get back there full-time because my hometown deserves more comprehensive attention,” said Monks.

Zeleznik said, "Michael has done an excellent job with the program. His presentation and interview skills are beyond compare, and he has built quite a following for the program. We will miss his humor, his willingness to jump in to help whenever and wherever he's been asked and, of course, his sweaters."

A national search is underway to find a new host. Those interested in applying can find more information posted soon at cinradio.org/jobs.

John Kiesewetter's reporting is independent. Cincinnati Public Radio only edits his stories for style and grammar.