RIP: Lou Rainone, TV Director For WLWT-TV, Reds, Other Sports

Jul 27, 2016

Lou Rainone
Credit Ken Fouts

Longtime Reds fans will recognize the name Lou Rainone, producer-director of Reds games when WLWT-TV (Channel 5) was the Reds flagship station until the mid 1990s.

Rainone died last week in Colorado at age 78, after a five-year battle with Alzheimer' disease.

Services will be Aug. 13 at Epiphany United Methodist Church in Loveland.

Lou Rainone in director's chair flanked by Ron Whitaker (left) and cameraman Bill Staples (standing at right).
Credit Provided by Ken Fouts

Channel 5's Rainone, Bill Spiegel and Ken Fouts trained a generation of TV directors and producers from the late 1960s, through the Big Red Machine era (when NBC used Channel 5 staffers for the baseball "Game of the Week"), until the mid 1990s.

A Canadian citizen, Rainone came to Cincinnati in 1966 from CKLW-TV in Windsor, Ontario, to direct WLWT-TV's  6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. Later that year, Fouts was hired from Detroit to direct Reds games and other Channel 5 sports. They became lifelong friends.

When Fouts joined NBC Sports full-time in 1974, Rainone stepped down from being Channel 5 production manager to take Fouts' place in the Reds TV truck as producer-director.

Rainone also freelanced for NBC Sports as a director, and eventually went full-time freelance to direct sports for different networks and companies until retiring about 15 years ago.

Visitation will be 9:30 a.m. before the 10 a.m. services on Saturday, Aug. 13, at Epiphany United Methodist Church, 6635 Loveland-Miamiville Road, Loveland. The family suggests that memorials be made to the Alzheimer's Association