WKRC-TV announced Wednesday that it will broadcast the Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks Sept. 4, returning the last blast of summer to TV after a one-year absence.
This year is special for WEBN – the 40th annual fireworks started in 1977 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the station.
"We thought it would be a great service, not only just for ourselves, but for the community to get it back (on TV)," said Chuck Fredrick, iHeartMedia regional president and WEBN-FM general manager.
Last year WXIX-TV (Channel 19) didn't renew its TV contract with iHeartMedia, ending a 31-year Cincinnati TV tradition which had rotated among Channels 5, 9, 12 and 19.
Over the years it has grown into arguably one of the city's largest events, one of the biggest fireworks shows in the nation, and one of the highest-rated Cincinnati TV shows each year.
"We did it for many years, and we're excited to have it back again," said anchor Cammy Dierking on the 6 p.m. news Wednesday.
"It just seems like a really good fit for us, you know, because we do the Reds Opening Day and we have all the Bengal games (on CBS)," said Jon Lawhead, Channel 12 general manager.
Channel 12 will only air a one-hour fireworks show this year. In most years, local TV stations have aired a two-hour special 8-10 p.m.
Channel 12 will use seven cameras and "feature lead news anchors and reporters from Local 12," said the WEBN-FM media release from Justin Tabas, WEBN-FM integrated marketing director and promotions director.
As in the past, the TV station will air promotional stories about the fireworks. "Leading up to the event, iHeartMedia and Local 12 will go behind the scenes to show viewers what it takes to produce a large-scale pyrotechnic event," said the release.
The fireworks will air at 9:05 p.m. Sunday of Labor Day weekend. WEBN-FM (102.7) will be "'Celebrating 40 Years of Fireworks" with a Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks choreographed to a "40 years of fireworks themed soundtrack" on the radio station, WEBN-FM announced Tuesday.
Below is the WEBN-FM fireworks news release from Tuesday which didn't mention a television broadcast.
Western & Southern / WEBN Fireworks Announces
'Celebrating 40 Years of Fireworks' Theme,
Event to Close Out Summer on Sunday, September 4
Cincinnati, Ohio - July 5, 2016 – iHeartMedia Cincinnati announced today the theme Celebrating 40 Years of Fireworks for the Western & Southern / WEBN Fireworks event, the city's much anticipated end of summer party. The family friendly event will take place on Sunday, September 4, from noon-10 p.m., with a spectacular pyrotechnic display beginning at 9:05 p.m. at Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman’s Cove.
The Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks event will feature a fireworks production by Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks and will be choreographed to WEBN's 40 Years of Fireworks themed soundtrack.
As part of the event Kiss 107, Cincinnati's Hit Music Station, will provide live performances from recording artists Jacob Whitesides, Daya, Jordan Fisher and Alex Angelo, as well as performances from local music and entertainment acts at the Hubert’s Lemonade Pavilion Stage.
“The Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks has been a true gift to the region for the past four decades,” said Chuck Fredrick, Region President for iHeartMedia Cincinnati-Dayton. “Thanks to Western & Southern and our many partners, everyone will enjoy the most entertaining pyrotechnic show in the country for its monumental 40th year, on the banks of the Ohio River. One of the many impactful benefits of this family friendly event is the millions of dollars raised for local charities. We thank you for making our community truly special.”
The 10-hour party will also feature activities for all ages, interactive fun zones, and local restaurant and retailer vendor booths including: Hubert’s Lemonade Beach and Misting Tunnel; Jetpack Water Adventures Demos on the Ohio River provided by Dick’s Last Resort; the 40 Years of Fireworks Museum; a meet and greet with Seg Dennison, on-air personality for 700WLW; cooking demonstrations by Cooking With Caitlin from 55KRC in the Kroger Activity Zone; aircraft flyovers by the Cincinnati Warbirds, Tristate Warbird Museum and the Commemorative Air Force; and a live broadcast with WEBN's KiddChris Show starting at noon at the Serpentine Wall.
In addition, the 22nd annual Rubber Duck Regatta will take place at the Purple People Bridge at 3 p.m.. The regatta will raise money for the Freestore Foodbank, a local organization that supports food-insecure families and children in the Cincinnati Tri-State area.
"Western & Southern is committed to making Cincinnati even better,” said John Barrett, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western & Southern Financial Group. “The Western & Southern / WEBN Fireworks is one of those special things you get in Cincinnati that you do not get anywhere else. It is such a family-oriented tradition that goes back 40 years. Also, the fundraising associated with it helps people in need through donations to the Freestore Foodbank. Like many of our other sponsorships, including the Western & Southern Open, our sponsorship of the Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks is yet another example of our community involvement as we continue to strive to make Cincinnati a great place to live, work and truly enjoy life. Together, let us celebrate the end of summer with a big blast!"
Fans can tune in to WEBN 102.7 to listen to the 40 Years of Fireworks themed soundtrack choreographed to the Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks.