Media Beat

Chris Felix / Fitton Center

Joey Votto stares at me as I walk in the door. That's the first picture I noticed at the Reds Hall of Fame's "Road Trip" art exhibit at the Fitton Center in downtown Hamilton.

It's an amazing lineup: Bench, Rose, Morgan, Peter, Larkin, Nuxhall, Andy Warhol, Leroy Neiman, Jim Borgman, C.F. Payne, "Peanut Jim" Shelton and Schottzie.

In prints, sculptures, cartoons, sketches and photographs.

WVXU file

Dan Hurley is good at many things – except retiring. He's failed at it several times, due to his sense of civic responsibility and love for broadcasting.

Maybe this time he can finally kick back after hosting his last Cincinnati Edition talk show 1 p.m. Friday on WVXU-FM. He's been the "three-month interim host" for nearly a year. Michael Monks takes over Monday, Feb. 4, when the show resumes broadcasting five days a week.

tommy thrall
Courtesy Cincinnati Reds

Update 11:30 a.m. Thursday Jan. 31: This just in from Karen Forgus, Reds Senior Vice President of Business Operations, about Tommy Thrall's addition to the Reds Radio team:

“Tommy Thrall was added to our broadcast staff for 2019 as our 'utility' broadcaster. His duties will include hosting the Reds on Radio post-game show and producing stories and interviews for the radio pre-game show. Additionally, he will fill in on play-by-play for the games Marty is not working. We have no plans beyond 2019 at this time.”

Thrall is expected to do the postgame show starting with the Reds-Indians spring opener Saturday, Feb. 23. Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley will call the game.

Courtesy Pete Miller

"Pistol Pete" Miller and "Jimmy the Weasel" Salzarulo, who lost their radio jobs to automation in December, have returned to the airwaves on Classic Country WNKN-FM (105.9 in Middletown, Oh.) and WNKR-FM (106.7 in Dry Ridge, Ky.).

"Man, am I happy to be back on the air," says Miller, let go by Hubbard's country "Wolf" on Dec. 4 after 22-1/2 years on WUBE-FM (B-105) and its "Wolf" sister station.

Courtesy MLB Network

When you watch a biography of Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, you expect to see lots of World Series highlights available for years on DVD.

That's all part of BENCH, a terrific 90-minute MLB Network Presents film premiering 8 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 30 on the MLB Network. But the stars of the show are Bench, now 71, being a single father to sons Justin, 12, and Josh, 9, in their Florida home.

BENCH also will bring back a flood of memories for Big Red Machine fans with the sights and sounds from Riverfront Stadium, spring training, the Reds' dugout, and Bench's foray from behind the mask into the entertainment world with Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Hee Haw, David Letterman and his own TV show.

Courtesy Sundance Film Festival

Former High School Musical star Zac Efron won rave reviews for the Sundance premiere of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile  but critics weren't that impressed with the film about serial killer Ted Bundy shot mostly in Northern Kentucky a year ago.

"It’s a star vehicle that starts and ends with its star, the film around him struggling to justify its existence. Efron is wicked, the film less so," says Benjamin Lee for The Guardian, who gave the film three of five stars.

WVXU file

It's the end of an era, not the end of a career, for Howard Wilkinson.

My old pal Howard is cutting back on his work schedule at WVXU, but he'll still be writing columns and heard on the airwaves. Just not as much.

John Kiesewetter / WVXU

Johnny Bench, the charismatic and beloved Hall of Fame Reds catcher, returned to Cincinnati for the premiere of MLB Network's BENCH documentary with a comment about almost everything, as usual.

The only thing that left him nearly speechless was watching the two-hour preview with friends and fans at Great American Ball Park. BENCH premieres 8 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 30 on MLB Network.

black panther
Courtesy Disney/Marvel Studios

Robert Redford's The Old Man & The Gun and Cincinnati native Kiki Layne from If Beale Street Could Talk  were shut out by the 91st Academy Awards nominations announced Tuesday.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite and Alfonso Cuarón's Roma each had 10 nominations, leading all films.

John Kiesewetter / WVXU

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting will celebrate the 75th anniversary of West Chester Township's Bethany Station with yearlong programs highlighted by a presentation by VOA White House Bureau Chief Steve Herman on March 6.

Events include a talk by Rod Serling biographer Nicholas Parisi; a program on sound effects from the golden age of radio; a "Hamvention" by the West Chester Amateur Radio Association; and a free four-part series of programs called "The Voice of Truth in America: Celebrating 75 Years of the VOA Bethany Station" with the MidPointe Library System.

Courtesy WLWT-TV

Thursday April 4 update: Lisa Cooney anchors her final News 5 Today morning newscast on WLW-TV Friday, April 5.  

Original post Jan. 17, 2019: Forget what Lisa Cooney told me last month about how she loved the mornings, as she was celebrating her 30th anniversary at WLWT-TV.  

Marty Brennaman
John Kiesewetter / WVXU

We knew this day was coming, and it's here: Marty Brennaman announced at the annual Reds Radio Network affiliates lunch today that this will be his final season broadcasting Reds games.

At least he told us before the season, until waiting until it was over, as he had said many times.

Brennaman, who turns 77 in July, revealed his decision to retire after 46 seasons on the eve of the Reds promotional caravan through Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. The Reds 150th anniversary season will be the last we'll hear him say, "And this one belongs to the Reds."

mark ruffalo anne hathaway
AP

Parking will be restricted on Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Sycamore Streets in downtown Cincinnati Wednesday Jan. 16 to accommodate crews and equipment for filming Dry Run starring Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway.

Courtesy WLWT-TV

No better way to remember Cincinnati TV entertainer Bob Braun on the anniversary of his death than to enjoy this 1984 Bob Braun Show clip when Columbus zookeeper Jack Hanna let goats run wild through the WLWT-TV studio while singer David Cassidy looked on.  

Braun died on Jan. 15, 2001, at age 71.

With Braun's live noon show, you never knew what could happen… or who would show up. Braun hosted a live weekday noon variety show on WLWT-TV from 1967 to 1984, taking over from the legendary Ruth Lyons.

Update 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11:  Filming starts Monday for Dry Run on Hamilton's Park Avenue, the Journal-News reports.

Courtesy Andre Hyland

Comedian-director Andre Hyland is on a roll. He directed the TruTV series returning Wednesday Jan. 9, appears in two films premiering at the Sundance Film Festival later this month, and wants to shoot a feature film here.

WLWT-TV viewers will see a new meteorologist in a few weeks, and a morning breaking news anchor in a few months.

Courtesy Chris O'Brien

With WLWT-TV news anchors Sheree Paolello and Mike Dardis announcing their engagement, I asked married morning radio hosts Chris O'Brien and Janeen Coyle to provide some advice for a long, happy marriage.

In the process, I inspired their song parody, The News 5 Bunch, adapted from TV's iconic blended family, The Brady Bunch. In less than 15 hours, it was on the air.

Courtesy WLWT-TV

Being a 25-year TV veteran, Mike Dardis certainly knows about TV's revolving door. After all, he became Sheree Paolello's fourth co-anchor in three years when hired by WLWT-TV from Seattle in 2012.

But after Channel 5 offered him his second contract renewal, Dardis figured he was here to stay for a long while – and could take the risk of dating his co-anchor.

Sara Dorio / Courtesy HGTV

Sorry, it wasn't you. The winner of HGTV's remodeled Dutch Colonial Revival "Urban Oasis Giveaway" home in Oakley is Lois Anderson of Detroit.

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