WLWT-TV

WXIX-TV

Finally WXIX-TV anchor Rob Williams can sleep in again.

Williams, 46, who started co-anchoring Fox 19 mornings in 1998 with Tricia Macke, will move to the night shift and anchor with Macke starting March 14.

“Tricia and I did the pregame (newscast) before the All-Star Game last summer. We hadn’t worked together in years, and we didn’t skip a beat. It was like we had been anchoring yesterday,” Williams says.

John Kiesewetter

  Three of the most prominent African-American TV anchors – John Lomax, Courtis Fuller and John Lomax – will kick off the downtown Public Library’s “Finding a Voice and Shaping an Identity: African Americans and the Media” series for Black History Month at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Lomax, hired by WKRC-TV (Channel 12) in 1983, has been part of the “Good Morning Cincinnati” newscast since it premiered in 1990.

Fuller, WLWT-TV (Channel 5) weekend anchor, came to Channel 5 in the late 1980s. He took a break from TV to run for Cincinnati mayor after the 2001 riots – losing to former Channel 5 anchor Charlie Luken. He returned to Channel 5 in 2003.

Provided by WCPO-TV

Make it four for four. When WCPO-TV News Director Alex Bongiorno announced Tuesday she was leaving Channel 9 in early March, she'll be the fourth of the four TV newsroom bosses here to step down in eight months.

With changes at Channels 5, 12 and 19 since July, Bongiorno is the longest-tenured current local TV news director, at 2-1/2 years. She was hired in July 2013, three months after Scripps executive Jeff Brogan was named WCPO-TV general manager.

Provided by WLWT-TV

Jeff Benscoter, once a WKRC-TV executive news producer, has been named news director at WLWT-TV (Channel 5).

He comes from sister Hearst station KMBC-TV in Kansas City, where he was assistant news director for 18 months.

Provided by WLWT-TV

WLWT-TV premieres the city’s third 10 p.m. newscast on Jan. 11 by pre-empting “Hogan’s Heroes” on sister Me TV Channel 5.2.

Promos aired during the Bengals-Broncos game Monday night on Channel 5 featured news anchor Sheree Paolello, meteorologist Kevin Robinson and sports director George Vogel. That’s three-fourths of the 11 p.m. team who will do half-hour newscasts at 10 p.m., says Richard Dyer, Channel 5 president and general manager. All are Cincinnati natives.

Why not main co-anchor Mike Dardis, who came to Channel 5 from Seattle in 2012?

Tribune Broadcasting

Before we welcome 2016, let’s look back at this year in TV, movies, radio and media from A to Z.

CBS Television

Not only did David Letterman love Cincinnati’s “Paul Dixon Show,” he was a huge fan of Dixon’s sidekicks Colleen Sharp Murray and Bonnie Lou.

And I have the proof.

Going through my Letterman files recently, I found a note Dave sent me in 1998 referencing Bonnie Lou, the vocalist from WLWT-TV’s “Dixon” and “Midwestern Hayride” who died earlier this month at age 91. Lee Hay will air a one-hour tribute to Bonnie Lou at 11 p.m. Saturday in place of the weekly “Blues” show.

Connie Wernet

Bonnie Lou, the last remaining star from Ruth Lyons’ TV show and Cincinnati’s Golden Age of Live TV, died Tuesday at age 91.

The country, rockabilly and pop music singer performed for 30 years on WLW’s iconic “Midwestern Hayride,” “Boone County Jamboree,” Lyons’ “50-50 Club” and the “Paul Dixon Show,” the crazy weekday morning host who inspired young David Letterman. 

After leaving TV when Dixon died in 1974, she continued to entertain for another 30 years at fairs, festivals, pageants and concerts. Her last major public performance here was at the 2006 Tall Stacks riverboat festival.

John Kiesewetter

After 29 years at WCPO-TV – most of them as main co-anchor – Carol Williams will leave the 11 p.m. anchor desk in January.

Williams, the longest-tenured 11 p.m. female news anchor in town, will work part-time in 2016, and retire in 2017, said Alex Bongiorno, Channel 9 news director, in a note to staffers late Friday.

The departure of Williams, hired in 1986, means that three-fourths of the main anchor team will change in less than three years, following the exits of sports anchor Dennis Janson (2013) and news anchor Clyde Gray (2014).

WLWT-TV

Randi Rico’s first visit to New York City will be a memorable one – she’ll do a “Today” show forecast for Al Roker, then help dunk him in a dunking booth live on NBC.

WLWT-TV’s perpetually upbeat morning meteorologist was nearly speechless Tuesday when she learned – during the “Today” broadcast –that she won an online vote to appear on the show Thursday, the first day of the November TV ratings’ sweeps. (She tells me about her Thursday morning TV schedule below.)

“I'm crazy nervous Al,” she told Roker on the show. “I'm excited. I’ve never been to New York.”

Rico topped finalists from Manhattan and Minneapolis in the show’s month-long Pink or Swim promotion raising funds for breast cancer research.

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

TV stations which loved the web traffic for the naked Bengals locker room video would hate losing unrestricted access to players immediately after games.

WCPO-TV’s John Popovich, WLWT-TV’s George Vogel, WXIX-TV’s Joe Danneman and Bengals announcer Dan Hoard do appreciate the concerns of Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth, who doesn’t like having media in the locker room while players shower and dress. He said the NFL’s policy “is dated, it’s old, and it needs to change.”

But local sports broadcasters are wary of any limitations or changes after the NFL’s own network crew positioned a camera to show naked men in the background while interviewing Bengals for the NFL Network Sunday.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Department

The public is invited to a “community conversation” about media coverage of the July shooting death of Sam DuBose by former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing 7:30-9 p.m. Oct. 8 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s Harriet Tubman Theater.

Jerry Springer Show

Twenty-five years of the “Jerry Springer Show?” Really?

No.

Springer celebrates the start of his 25th season today (9 a.m., Channel 64). So technically, the daytime “Springer” show is only 24 years old. But that’s still an extraordinary achievement for the daytime program which started at WLWT-TV’s old Crosley Square studios at 9th and Elm Streets on Sept. 30, 1991.

On only five TV stations.

Courtesy WKRC-TV

Sheila Gray and Bob Herzog will be working longer starting Sept. 21, when WKRC-TV expands “Good Morning Cincinnati” to 7-9 a.m. on sister station WSTR-TV (Channel 64).

Gray, who jumped to WKRC-TV last year from WXIX-TV, will be competing longer with her old station. Channel 19 airs local news until 11 a.m. Channel 12’s morning show will air 4:30-9 a.m.

The expanded “Good Morning Cincinnati” premieres Sept. 21, the week most of the new fall TV prime-time series debut.

The majority of daytime changes start the week of Sept. 14, including WCPO-TV’s new 7 p.m. half-hour newscast.  See the list below.

Provided by WLWT-TV

  High school football fans will see many more Friday game highlights with the premiere of WLWT-TV’s “Blitz 5 Extra” on sister station MeTV (Channel 5.2) immediately following the 11 p.m. news.

Channel 5 is taking advantage of its deep sports team, with the addition of former WCPO-TV sports videographer-producer Mark Slaughter earlier this year and freelancer Zach Wells, the former sports anchor-reporter for Channels 12 and 19.

Instagram.com/Tana Weingartner / WVXU

If you want to see the Western & Southern/WEBN-FM Fireworks this year, you’ll have to be near the Ohio River downtown on Sept. 6.

For the first time since 1984, WEBN-FM doesn’t have a TV deal for the hugely popular "last blast of summer."

WKRC-TV remained No. 1 in all weekday newscasts in July – but Channel 12 wasn’t the station most viewers watched for Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters’ live press conference Wednesday.

More watched WCPO-TV (Channel 9) at 1 p.m., when local news viewing nearly doubled for the breaking news about the murder indictment of University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing.

Channel 12 maintained its streak of winning the weekday morning, noon, early evening and late night local news ratings in July sweeps (July 2-29), even with news director Kirk Varner stepping down July 3. At 11 p.m., Channel 12 had more viewers (8.3 rating) than the combined audience for competitors WCPO-TV (4.3) and WLWT-TV (3.9). One ratings point equals 8,762 TV homes here.

It’s just temporary, but viewers will see meteorologist Michelle Boutillette on WKRC-TV at 8 a.m. Sunday doing forecasts for the Liz Bonis-Adam Clements anchor team.

She says she’s doing some freelance fill-in work to replace Josh Knight, who left “Good Morning Cincinnati” Sunday for WJLA-TV in Washington D.C., a sister Sinclair station.

Here’s how to see the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, all the live national TV specials from Great American Ball Park, Reds features on Fox Sports Ohio, and TV appearances by Barry Larkin, Johnny Bench, Pete Rose and more baseball stars today and Tuesday.

Rose will be on “MLB Whiparound – All-Star Game at the Park” live 5-6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday on Fox Sports 1 cable from Great American Ball Park. He’ll join Joe Buck and Hall of Famer Frank Thomas on the “Fox All-Star Pregame Show” 7 p.m. Tuesday on Fox (Channel 19), before going on the field when Fox airs the “Franchise Four” and four “Greatest Living Players” during the pregame ceremony.

Here’s how to see all the baseball fun on TV:

For the first time since 1984, you might not be able to watch the WEBN-FM Riverfest fireworks on TV.

With the fireworks less than two months away, WXIX-TV (Channel 19) has ended its agreement with iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) to televise the annual “last blast of summer” and provide weather to WLW-AM (700).

“We have decided not to renew the deal,” said Debbie Bush, Channel 19 vice president and general manager. She took over the station in February from Bill Lanesey, who had obtained the fireworks and weather rights in 2010. “It didn’t make financial sense for us.”

On Thursday, WLW-AM newscasts started referring to forecasts from the “700 WLW weather center” instead of the Fox 19 Stormtracker center.

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