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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.

Story Television Network coming to WLWT-TV subchannels in March

Courtesy Weigel Broadcasting Co.

Biography, Modern Marvels, The Men Who Built America and other nonfiction cable TV series to make broadcasting premiere on WLWT-TV's new Channel 5.4.

A new twist is coming to reality TV in late March.

Instead of dating shows, singing or dancing or survival competitions, or so-called unscripted restaurant rehab shows, the new Story Television Network lineup will feature shows which documented actual reality.

Weigel Broadcasting Co. — the Chicago company which gave us MeTV, filled with nostalgic sitcoms and drama — will give broadcast premieres for Biography, Modern Marvels, The Men Who Built America and other nonfiction cable shows.

WLWT-TV will add a third subchannel in late March to carry Story Television on Channel 5.4, says Branden Frantz, WLWT-TV president and general manager. WLWT-TV broadcasts MeTV on Channel 5.2, and Shop LC on Channel 5.3.

"At this point we plan to launch on either March 21 or March 28," Frantz says.

Chicago media reporter Roger Feder reports that Story Television will broadcast "historical and factual programming" from A&E, History Channel and other cable networks.

"Each day Story Television’s programming will focus on a particular theme, including military, technology and innovation, world events, American history, modern achievement, unexplained phenomena and biographical tributes," Feder says.

Other titles acquired for the startup include World War II in HD and Mankind: The Story of All of Us. The name Story "came directly out of the word 'history,' and Weigel will play that up in the shows' taglines," Variety says.

From 1987 to 2006, A&E's nightly Biography series profiled a wide variety of entertainers, musicians, musicians, writers, athletes and political leaders. One-hour shows aired about Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Hanks, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Ernest Hemingway, Princess Diana, Howard Hughes, Rosa Parks, John McCain, Nancy Reagan, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Jonathan Winters, Gandhi, Nostradamus, Attila the Hun and many others.

The Biography profiles were so popular on A&E from 1987 to 2006 that they were spun off onto their own Biography channel (now FYI) from 2006 to 2012. Biography hosts over the years included Peter Graves, Harry Smith and Jack Perkins.

The show returned in 2017 as periodic TV specials and miniseries about John Gotti, Vladimir Putin, Tupac Shakur, Mike Tyson, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Farrah Fawcett, Chris Farley, Jeff Dunham, Jeff Foxworthy, David Cassidy, John F. Kennedy Jr., Elizabeth Smart and wrestlers "Macho Man" Randy Savage, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Booker T, Shawn Michaels and the Ultimate Warrior.

MeTV airs M*A*S*H, The Andy Griffith Show, Leave It To Beaver, The Brady Bunch, Saved By The Bell, Monk, Matlock, Perry Mason, The Waltons, In The Heat Of The Night, The Addams Family, Hogan's Heroes, Green Acres, The Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke and other westerns.

Shop LC, which specializes in selling jewelry from a studio in Austin, Texas, was formerly known as the Jewelry Channel and the Liquidation Channel.

Weigel also owns the Decades, Movies!, Heroes & Icons and Start TV digital networks.

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.