Update at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 1: This just in from Branden Frantz, WLWT-TV general manager, about Let's Talk Cincinnati, premiering 7:30 p.m. Saturday March 2 on WLWT-TV (Channel 5) with Courtis Fuller and Alexis Rogers:
"We have been discussing the right format and right time to launch this program since last second quarter. In fact, Let’s Talk Cincinnati was derived from a program we have produced since the mid-70s, Issues. Currently, Issues airs on Sunday at 4:30am and has taken on a number of different names over the years.
"This program will be a weekly half hour newsmagazine and community talk show. The mission is to be informative, by going beyond the headlines and providing a forum for frank and tough conversations with newsmakers and community leaders. The show also serves as an opportunity to examine not just the problems confronting the community, but the programs and people providing solutions to ongoing challenges.
"We will take a more contemporary approach and work to differentiate our content, instead of just becoming another newscast or extension of WLWT News 5. Our team will ask the harder questions today's viewers demand and do so in a forum that allows us to adequately devote enough time and resources to effectively produce something more unique on our market. In the end, we will provide a distinctive voice in the TriState viewers will come to rely upon. The show will be defined by good storytelling that engages and often times, entertains…
"Let's Talk Cincinnati continues a tradition at WLWT of Leading the Way and becoming the new pulse of the community. It will air on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4:30 a.m. on WLWT, and on MeTV (Channel 5.2) Sunday at 11 p.m. following the 10 p.m. news and & Matter of Fact."
Original post 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 1: Veteran news anchor Courtis Fuller promises "real people, real issues and real conversations" on Let's Talk Cincinnati, premiering 7:30 p.m. Saturday March 2 on WLWT-TV (Channel 5).
Fuller, who left TV briefly to run for mayor in 2001, and reporter Alexis Rogers will co-host the weekly public affairs show.
The voice-over on promotional Facebook videos described the show as "highlighting the people and events shaping our city." The debut stories will be about "the innovative approach to break the cycle of gun violence in Cincinnati" and "how police officers cope after a line of duty death."
Rogers appears in another promotion saying, "Let's talk about real Cincinnati. These stories are your stories."
Let's Talk Cincinnati will be a mix of new stories, studio interviews and some panel sessions.
Fuller, a Pittsburgh native, has spent most of his 30-plus TV career at Channel 5. He has received more than 300 awards for his excellence in journalism and community service, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Dreamkeeper Award.
Rogers, who grew up in the Chicago area, came here in August 2016 from KATV in Little Rock, Ark., according to her WLWT-TV bio. She had previously worked for KOMU-TV in Columbia, Mo., and for Newsy.com, where she anchored and produced videos for Time magazine, Huffington Post, AOL and others.
Fuller also will host a one-hour special Thursday, March 14 (7 p.m., Channel 5) called Project Community Where We Stand 2019, discussing employment, crime, education, poverty and health, he says. It's part of Hearst's corporate-wide Project CommUnity initiative announced in December "to facilitate deep discussions that offer broader perspective on issues that divide communities and solutions that are being offered."
Fuller's last Where We Stand special won a regional Emmy Award.