John Kiesewetter: Media Beat

For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more.

Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU.

Contact John at

Courtesy City of Mason

The big ones are gone. The huge trees which lined the driveway to WLW-AM's tower and transmitter were removed this week to make way for a $30-million retail and office complex along Mason's booming Tylersville Road corridor.

Restaurants, office buildings, a public storage business, car wash, daycare, bank and convenience store with gas pumps are planned around the iconic diamond-shaped radio tower and transmitter building on the 27 acres.

sinclair broadcasting hq
Steve Ruark / AP

Sinclair Broadcast Group's The National Desk will add a two-hour evening newscast on CW affiliate Channel 12.2  and 67 other stations Sept. 27.

Courtesy NBC

STEVE ALLEN: What is your name, sir?

TV AUDIENCE MEMBER: Fred Tollis, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

STEVE ALLEN: That's a rather long name. Where are you from Mr. Michigan?

CNN's Story Of Late Night promises a wonderful look at all of our favorite late-night television stars: David Letterman, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart,  Johnny Carson, Joan Rivers and others.

And it all started with my favorite TV star who's rarely mentioned on the airwaves today, Tonight show creator Steve Allen.

Courtesy ABC

Alyssa Wray didn't get her storybook ending on American Idol. The Northern Kentucky University freshman was eliminated by viewers' votes at the end of Sunday's live show, despite more rave reviews from judges.

Courtesy Jasmine Minor

Former WCPO-TV reporter Jasmine Minor sits on a stool reading powerful letters from Black reporters, photographers, producers and managers.

One is from a woman who has "nightmares about being shot every night." Another is from a weatherman who was "reporting in a white neighborhood and neighbors called the cops on me for knocking on my interviewee's door." His photographer, also a Black male, started crying, repeatedly saying, "This is how we die."

Courtesy Mark Friedman

Creators of the Rosemary Clooney Tenderly musical are bringing another Cincinnati icon to the stage: bootlegger George Remus.

Courtesy WCPO-TV

Here's why you haven't seen that 30-second "Good Morning Beautiful" promo for WCPO-TV's Good Morning Tri-State newscasts recently.

Two of the Black journalists prominently featured in the video – Jasmine Minor and Timyka Artist – have left the station.

glenn close
Chris Pizzello / AP

Ron Howard's Hillbilly Elegy didn't win any Academy Awards, but the Hollywood Reporter was quick to declare that Glenn Close "won the night" with her dance during ABC's 93rd Academy Awards Sunday.

tim hedrick
John Kiesewetter / WVXU

When I looked out at the April snow covering my magnolias Wednesday, and bending over my maple sapling like a Charlie Brown tree, the thought occurred to me: How would Tim Hedrick explain this?

julia roberts george clooney
Joel Ryan / AP

Longtime friends George Clooney and Julia Roberts will co-star in a romantic comedy, Ticket To Paradise, their fourth film together.

Eric McCandless / ABC

Northern Kentucky University freshman Alyssa Wray moved three steps closer to the American Idol crown Sunday night.

Courtesy HGTV

Jacquie Denny doesn't need to see TV ratings to know people are watching HGTV's Everything But The House featuring her Blue Ash online auction company.

"I'm starting to get recognized," says Denny, the Everything But The House co-founder who has appeared in every episode with host Lara Spencer since the March 19 premiere.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

Two weeks before the May 4 mayoral primary, WVXU begins examining Cincinnati political corruption in a series called "Trust In Local Government – WVXU's Public Integrity Project."

Eric McCandless / ABC

After her "stellar performance" Sunday night, Northern Kentucky University freshman Alyssa Wray learned Monday night she's a Top 12 finalist in ABC's American Idol competition.

John Kiesewetter

Everything you wanted to know about cicadas – but were afraid to touch – is coming to WVXU's new Brood X: The Cicada Podcast.

Courtesy HGTV

Raising money for a college fund and a trip to Singapore are the goals of two families featured on HGTV's new Everything But The House 9-10 p.m. tonight.

Courtesy WXIX-TV

The demographic ratings are in – which TV stations use to sell advertising – showing WXIX-TV winning most weekday newscasts, and WLWT-TV winning at 11 pm., during February sweeps.

Courtesy David Ashbrock

It was a daunting task: How do you take 20 minutes of silent game film, and turn it into a two-hour rebroadcast of the University of Cincinnati's 1961 NCAA basketball championship victory over defending national champs Ohio State?

John Kiesewetter

For the first time in five decades, there won't be a Brennaman in the broadcast booth for the Reds Opening Day.

Hall of Fame Reds shortstop Barry Larkin debuts as an analyst on the Reds TV team with new play-by-play announcer John Sadak, a CBS Sports Network and Westwood One radio announcer.


WVXU helps Reds fans get ready for Opening Day by repeating its production of Rod Serling's Reds baseball comedy, O'Toole From Moscow, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 31.

Written during the Cold War, Serling's O'Toole From Moscow is about confusion between Russians and the Reds which results in a Soviet Union embassy staffer playing outfield for the Cincinnati baseball club.

Courtesy Media Heritage

This 1928 Wurlitzer pipe organ can be yours for the right price.

Media Heritage, the local nonprofit broadcasting history archives, is looking for someone interested in a big, old vintage theater organ.

Aaron Conway / Everything But The House

The experts at Blue Ash-based Everything But The House evaluate rare political buttons and an art collection in two new Everything But The House episodes on HGTV 9-10 p.m. Friday, March 26.

John Kiesewetter / WVXU

The first joint WCET-TV/WPTD-TV Action Auction went so well during the pandemic last year that station officials are keeping the same format for a second year.

U.S. Defense Department

Cincinnati native Steven Spielberg is writing a screenplay which he'll direct loosely based on his childhood.

Courtesy Luskey Yellow Pages

Ninety-nine years ago today – March 23, 1922 – was the official "grand opening" for WLW-AM, when the station advertised its first regular broadcasting program schedule.

Courtesy WKRC-TV

I've written a lot of stories about TV station departures in 35 years. This one is most unusual.

John Kiesewetter

No surprise here: Fox Sports Ohio will rebrand as Bally Sports Ohio on March 31 – the day before the Reds' Opening Day telecast.

John Kiesewetter

The Greater Cincinnati Association of Black Journalists has requested a meeting with WKRC-TV management about the lack of diversity in the Local 12 newsroom.

Lacey Terrell / Netflix

Glenn Close received her eighth Academy Award nomination Monday, for best supporting actress as Mamaw Vance, the foul-mouthed, chain-smoking Middletown grandmother of Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance. She has never won an Oscar.

Director Ron Howard's Netflix film about "hillbilly" Appalachians in Middletown also was nominated for best makeup and hair styling, which contributed to Close's performance. 

suicide prevention

Postponed proms. A year of Zoom classes. High school students have been disappointed and disconnected by the coronavirus pandemic, which ruined their routines and kept them isolated from friends and teachers.

So Cincinnati Edition's Michael Monks will host a free live virtual program talking with teens and mental health experts about the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 16.