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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.

Jerry Springer memorial Friday on Facebook, YouTube, Fountain Square big screen

Jerry Springer died April 27 at his suburban Chicago home. He was 79.
Jerry Springer died April 27 at his suburban Chicago home. He was 79.

Jerry Springer's friends and fans can watch the sold-out "Celebration of the Life of Jerry Springer" noon Friday online, on Facebook and YouTube, or on the Fountain Square big screen.

All tickets for the free memorial service were gone within 24 hours of the event announcement in May. Entrance is by ticket only.

Springer — who started his law, political, news, TV talk show, postcast and radio careers in Cincinnati — died April 27 at his suburban Chicago home after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 79.

Courtesy Jerry Springer Show
Jerry Springer Show
Jerry Springer launched his daytime talk show at WLWT-TV in 1991 while continuing to be the station's main news anchor and news commentator.

From the release:

A gathering of friends, family, and associates from Jerry Springer’s life story, including politics, journalism, broadcasting, and entertainment. Stories, memories, tributes, and laughs will be presented through both videos and live speakers, culminating in a musical performance by live singers. Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary will honor Jerry by singing three of Jerry’s favorite songs: "This Land Is Your Land," "Blowing in the Wind" and "Down By the Riverside."

The program will stream live at jerryspringer.com, the Jerry Springer Podcast YouTube channel, and the Jerry Springer Podcast Facebook page. It will also be shown live on the jumbo screen at Cincinnati’s Fountain Square.

Media access within Memorial Hall during the event is strictly limited and by invitation only.

Springer was a frequent Cincinnati visitor after leaving WLWT-TV in 1993 to devote full time to his talk show, then based in Chicago.

"Cincinnati is in my blood… wherever I go, wherever I travel, people identify me as Cincinnati," he told WLWT-TV in February.

Born Gerald Norman Springer into a Jewish family in London on Feb. 13, 1944, he was raised in New York City and earned a law degree in 1968 from Northwestern University. He joined Cincinnati's Frost & Jacobs law firm, where he had clerked in 1967.

Courtesy WLWT-TV
Norma Rashid and Jerry Springer co-anchored WLWT-TV's evening news from 1984 to 1993.

The charismatic liberal Democrat connected with Cincinnati's largely German Catholic population, which elected him to city council in 1971 and 1973. The city was very forgiving after he resigned as vice mayor in 1974 after writing a check to a prostitute and elected him back on council in 1975, 1977 and 1979. He was named mayor by fellow council members after receiving largest plurality for city council in history in 1977.

He left politics in 1982, after a failed run for Ohio governor, and joined WLWT-TV as a news commentator. He also was Channel 5's main news co-anchor 1984-93, while making his daytime talk show debut at Channel 5 in September 1991. When the show moved to Chicago in 1992, he commuted daily to Cincinnati for six months to remain Channel 5's news anchor and nightly commentator.

"I cannot think about my life or talk about my life without talking about Cincinnati and the role Channel 5 played. First of all, Channel 5 gave me my career," he said at WLWT-TV in February.

"I love this station, I owe it everything. You know, there could've been lots of reasons people turned against me. And Channel 5 said, 'Here you go … We accept you.' And to have that blessing in life, it's great."

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.