John Kiesewetter

Media Blog

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.

The Middletown, Ohio, native joined The Enquirer for a 13-week summer internship after graduating from Ohio University in 1975, and parlayed it into a nearly 40-year career as a reporter (including covering the Beverly Hills fire aftermath), editor and TV columnist. “TV Kiese” regularly traveled to Los Angeles and other cities to preview shows, interview stars and watch tapings of “ER,” “Seinfeld,” Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” and David Letterman’s “Late Show.” He’s also covered filming of George Clooney’s “The Ides of March,” Cate Blanchett’s “Carol” and Don Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead.”

Ways to Connect

Courtesy ABC

Cincinnati’s Douglas S. Cramer's fingerprints are all over TV, from Dynasty, Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat and The Brady Bunch to NBC’s Danielle Steele movies, Procter & Gamble's As The World Turns soap opera and Wonder Woman and Batman.

radio dial
Pixabay

The WNKU call letters that vanished from Tri-State airwaves in 2017 when Northern Kentucky University sold its radio stations have returned to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Courtesy WXIX-TV

Breaking news! No more new episodes for TV's top-rated Judge Judy means WXIX-TV viewers will see breaking news at 3 p.m. weekdays this fall, as Fox 19 adds another hour to its late afternoon newscasts.

Courtesy Cincinnati World Cinema

Cincinnati World Cinema will be open at 50% occupancy Saturday in Garfield Theatre downtown for two films about women in peril, Nina Wu and The Columnist.

timothee chalamet
Evan Agostini / Invision, AP

For the second time in 10 days, Film Cincinnati has announced that a feature film is shooting in Greater Cincinnati.

John Kiesewetter archives

Every year in early June, I pause to remember my old friend Ray Combs.

The former Family Feud host – the funniest person ever to come from Hamilton -- died on this day 25 years ago. He was only 40.

Tragically, it was by suicide. But I try to focus on all the fun and laughs Ray Combs gave us in his 18-year career, not the sad ending for his wife and six children.

Courtesy WCPO-TV

Thursday June 3 update: After a "gradual re-integration" in May, "the FOX19 Now news team is now back to full staffing levels in the building," says Steve Hyvonen, WXIX-TV news director.

"The last year was filled with unique challenges and adjustments.  We found new and creative ways to cover and deliver the news," he says.

WKRC-TV's meteorologists returned to the studio Tuesday, June 1, after 15 months. Chief meteorologist John Gumm did his final broadcasts from home Monday night.

Film Cincinnati

Filming started locally Thursday on Bones And All, described as "a coming-of-age horror story" about a young woman who "has the urge to kill and eat the people that love her," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The MGM studio and library – from the James Bond, Rocky and RoboCop films to The Handmaid's Tale, The Voice, Survivor and The Apprentice – have been bought by Amazon for its Prime Video service.

NBCUniversal

The CW finally becomes a seven-night network this fall, adding Saturday night shows on Oct. 2.  

The agreement with affiliates to air CW shows 8-10 p.m. Sunday through Saturday says the network will stop programming 3-4 p.m. weekdays. The CW airs the Jerry Springer Show, which ceased production in 2018, in the afternoon time slot which was previously used to air the Bill Cunningham Show nationally until Cunningham quit the show in 2016.

Courtesy WarnerMedia

Friends fans got their first look at the much anticipated Friends: The Reunion coming Thursday, May 27, to HBO Max.

Courtesy CBS

After 18 years at 8 p.m. Tuesday, CBS will move its most popular drama – Mark Harmon's NCIS – to Monday nights this fall.

CBS, which has relied for years on one-hour dramas, radically shuffles its fall lineup with new time slots or night for FBI, Bull, S.W.A.T. and SEAL Team.

Courtesy ABC

ABC turns back the clock this fall with a reboot of The Wonder Years featuring a Black family in 1960s Montgomery, Ala., and with Queens, the reunion of a fictional 1990's hip-hop group.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

In addition to covering the big stories of the day, WVXU has launched a community storytelling initiative to seek out the people, places and events that make Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky unique.

For 'Round the Corner, a WVXU reporter will spend several weeks getting to know residents, business operators and leaders in one neighborhood, suburb or a community of folks, like say, veterans.

First up: The Cincinnati neighborhood of Roselawn.

Courtesy Fox Broadcasting

Fox will add three new dramas to its fall TV lineup and, like NBC, hold most of its rookie shows until midseason.

Courtesy Just Q'in BBQ

Walnut Hills' Just Q'in BBQ – whose motto is "Faith. Love. BBQ." – is getting some national love from cable TV's Food Paradise series.

Courtesy NBCUniversal

More Dick Wolf dramas and no comedies are coming to NBC this fall.

Law & Order: For The Defense, produced by Wolf and Carol Mendelsohn (C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation) gives Wolf two full nights of programming with the renewals of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime. NBC also will add two other dramas, Ordinary Joe (10 p.m. Monday) starring James Wolk as a recent college graduate, and LaBrea (9 p.m. Tuesday), about people who fall into a huge Los Angeles sinkhole into a primeval land.  

Courtesy Meridith family

It's the final time in the Sportlight for Bill Meridith, the long-time WCIN-AM sports director. He died at his Fairfield home Wednesday, May 12, at 94.

Meridith brought some of the biggest names in sports to the airwaves of arguably Cincinnati's smallest station: Baseball icon Jackie Robinson; Hall of Famer pitcher Bob Gibson; 1978 National League MVP and Cincinnati native Dave Parker; and coaches Sam Wyche, Pete Gillen, Jim Anderson and Tony Yates, to name a few.

Courtesy Dayton247Now

And then there were two.

With the departure of reporter Walter Smith-Randolph, WKRC-TV has only two Black journalists on newscasts, anchors John Lomax and Kyle Inskeep.

Courtesy MTM Television Distribution

Weekend reports of actress Tawyn Kitaen's death identified her from her sultry videos for the rock band Whitesnake, playing Tom Hanks' girlfriend in Bachelor Party, or appearing as Jerry Seinfeld's girlfriend in a 1991 Seinfeld episode.

To me, she was late night DJ Mona Loveland on the New WKRP In Cincinnati, the syndicated revival in 1991-93.

Courtesy City of Mason

The big ones are gone. The huge trees which lined the driveway to WLW-AM's tower and transmitter were removed this week to make way for a $30 million retail and office complex along Mason's booming Tylersville Road corridor.

Restaurants, office buildings, a public storage business, car wash, daycare, bank and convenience store with gas pumps are planned around the iconic diamond-shaped radio tower and transmitter building on the 27 acres.

sinclair broadcasting hq
Steve Ruark / AP

Sinclair Broadcast Group's The National Desk will add a two-hour evening newscast on CW affiliate Channel 12.2  and 67 other stations Sept. 27.

Courtesy NBC

STEVE ALLEN: What is your name, sir?

TV AUDIENCE MEMBER: Fred Tollis, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

STEVE ALLEN: That's a rather long name. Where are you from Mr. Michigan?

CNN's Story Of Late Night promises a wonderful look at all of our favorite late-night television stars: David Letterman, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart,  Johnny Carson, Joan Rivers and others.

And it all started with my favorite TV star who's rarely mentioned on the airwaves today, Tonight show creator Steve Allen.

Courtesy ABC

Alyssa Wray didn't get her storybook ending on American Idol. The Northern Kentucky University freshman was eliminated by viewers' votes at the end of Sunday's live show, despite more rave reviews from judges.

Courtesy Jasmine Minor

Former WCPO-TV reporter Jasmine Minor sits on a stool reading powerful letters from Black reporters, photographers, producers and managers.

One is from a woman who has "nightmares about being shot every night." Another is from a weatherman who was "reporting in a white neighborhood and neighbors called the cops on me for knocking on my interviewee's door." His photographer, also a Black male, started crying, repeatedly saying, "This is how we die."

Courtesy Mark Friedman

Creators of the Rosemary Clooney Tenderly musical are bringing another Cincinnati icon to the stage: bootlegger George Remus.

Courtesy WCPO-TV

Here's why you haven't seen that 30-second "Good Morning Beautiful" promo for WCPO-TV's Good Morning Tri-State newscasts recently.

Two of the Black journalists prominently featured in the video – Jasmine Minor and Timyka Artist – have left the station.

glenn close
Chris Pizzello / AP

Ron Howard's Hillbilly Elegy didn't win any Academy Awards, but the Hollywood Reporter was quick to declare that Glenn Close "won the night" with her dance during ABC's 93rd Academy Awards Sunday.

tim hedrick
John Kiesewetter / WVXU

When I looked out at the April snow covering my magnolias Wednesday, and bending over my maple sapling like a Charlie Brown tree, the thought occurred to me: How would Tim Hedrick explain this?

julia roberts george clooney
Joel Ryan / AP

Longtime friends George Clooney and Julia Roberts will co-star in a romantic comedy, Ticket To Paradise, their fourth film together.

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