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

Mikki Schaffner / Playhouse In The Park

The show must go on! With the global pandemic keeping area stages dark, and theaters empty, the Playhouse In the Park is bringing its traditional A Christmas Carol production to Cincinnati Public Radio.

Courtesy Fox Broadcasting/Screen shot

The bowls. Huge bowls filled with chili spaghetti. The Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman was obsessed with the inaccurate depiction of Skyline Chili customers eating from bowls, not plates.

I wanted to talk about the delightful depiction of the Queen City in "The Road To Cincinnati" episode Sunday, and Selman kept talking about the pasta-filled bowls.

Courtesy Fox Broadcasting

Has Cincinnati ever looked better on national TV than on The Simpsons Sunday?

The riverfront and iconic Roebling Suspension bridge… A flying pig statue at The Banks… Skyline Chili at Clifton and Ludlow?


I’ve been making my list and checking it twice… And here it is: My annual Holiday Program Guide!

Charlie Brown, Frosty, Rudolph, Ralphie, the Grinch, Shrek, the Carpenters, Bing Crosby, Perry Como and your favorites are all in my list.

Courtesy Fox Broadcasting

Road trip! A couple of The Simpsons characters are heading to Cincinnati in an episode premiering Sunday (8 p.m. Nov. 29, Channels 19 and 45).

Courtesy NBC Sports

Fifty years ago today: Alan Richard "Al" Michaels, 26, was hired to be the radio voice of the National League Champion Cincinnati Reds on Nov. 24, 1970, and partner with analyst Joe Nuxhall.

John Kiesewetter

Middletown's old WPFB studios – abandoned since WNKU-FM's purchase almost 10 years ago – finally is being sold by Northern Kentucky University.

NKU is seeking sealed bids by 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, for the one-acre parcel with the old farmhouse where Paul F. Braden started WPFB-AM in 1947. There is no minimum bid.

Courtesy ABC

Since many of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving without large family gatherings due to COVID-19, here's my annual list of specials so you can spend time with your old TV friends.

Courtesy PBS

Charlie Brown finally wins one! The backlash forced the Apple blockheads to back down.

Courtesy Netflix

When a popular book is made into a movie, you expect the story to be condensed into the Cliff's Notes version.

Not a comic book.

That's what Ron Howard did to Hillbilly Elegy, the best-selling memoir by J.D. Vance, who grew up in Middletown, Ohio. It's my hometown, too.

Courtesy Netflix

Hillbilly Elegy, Ron Howard's $45-million adaptation of J.D. Vance's best-selling memoir about growing up in Middletown, opens Tuesday night at Xscape Theaters Northgate 14 and Cinema 10 in Middletown, called a "Midwestern backwater" town in the Variety review. 

The movie starring Glenn Close, Amy Adams, Gabrielle Basso, Haley Bennett and Bo Hopkins also will open Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the Mariemont Theatre and RJ Cinema Eastgate near Eastgate Mall.

Courtesy Steven Bognar

A Lion In The House, the 2006 award-winning documentary about five Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center patients, debuts on Nexflix Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Yellow Springs filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, who won an Emmy and Academy Award for their American Factory film earlier this year, spent nine years shooting and editing the intimate look at the five families fighting childhood cancer. It aired originally on PBS' Independent Lens in 2006.

Courtesy CBS

Answer: His first love, the Beverly Hills Supper Club, the garbage, and the heat and humidity

Question: What are five things Alex Trebek remembered about his Cincinnati summer in 1958?

I had the pleasure to interview Alex Trebek – the Jeopardy! host who died of pancreatic cancer Sunday at age 80 – several times, and we'd always end up talking about Cincinnati.

Courtesy WCPO-TV

After 36 years, it's the end of the road for WLW-AM's overnight trucking show.

Courtesy WLW-AM

Steve Sommers, host of WLW-AM's overnight America's Truckin' Network show, says he was "dismissed" by owners iHeartMedia Friday morning, ending the Sommers' family 36-year tradition on Cincinnati's most powerful radio station.

Sommers, 56, announced the news on Facebook shortly before 9 a.m.

Philip Groshong / Cincinnati Opera

With the Cincinnati Opera on an "extended intermission" due to COVID-19, WGUC-FM will rebroadcast "specially chosen" past productions on Sunday nights this month.

trevor bauer
Aaron Doster / AP

Reds fans can enjoy the best of Trevor Bauer one more time as Fox Sports Ohio repeats four of his best games Nov. 8-10.

Courtesy WBGO

Cincinnati native Steve Williams, who got his start at WEBN-FM and WAIF-FM, has been named president and CEO of WBGO-FM, NPR's flagship jazz station.

Courtesy Pete Scalia

Pete Scalia has left his TV job, but he's not giving up.

The 1991 Oak Hills High School alum, who started his broadcasting career in Cincinnati, left his Columbus morning TV anchor gig in September to launch #PSNeverGiveUp, a multimedia digital platform to inspire and entertain people by sharing uplifting "Never Give Up" stories.

Scalia, 47, is quite an inspiring story himself.

Courtesy Public Media Conntect

You might have seen the Memphis Belle at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, but you'd never seen it like this.