Cincinnati Television

“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly…”

Those words were first spoken on TV 37 years ago today after “WKRP in Cincinnati” dropped live turkeys, which hit the “ground like sacks of wet cement,” at a shopping mall parking lot in a Thanksgiving promotion gone horribly, hilariously wrong on this date in TV Kiese history, Oct. 30, 1978.

“They’re crashing to the earth right in front of our eyes!” says WKRP newsman Les Nessman  in this clip below from the most memorable episode of “WKRP” (1978-82).

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.

John Kiesewetter

On this day in TV Kiese history… Over-the-Rhine resident James Hoskins, armed with five guns and 600 rounds of ammunition, held nine WCPO-TV employees hostage inside the station at 500 Central Avenue downtown on Oct. 15, 1980.

Hoskins, 41, gained entry after approaching reporter Elaine Green and photographer John Ehrhart with a semi-automatic rifle in the parking lot about 2 a.m., as they returned from working on a story.

Once inside, he wanted to make a statement on live television. Green instead offered to videotape him. Her 14-minute interview at gunpoint (see a clip below) won a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award.

Hoskins shocked them during the interview when he confessed to murdering Melanie Finlay, 30, in their 12th Street apartment earlier that night. “I blew my girlfriend away tonight. It’s over for me… I killed her,” Hoskins said while waving the rifle.

Wikipedia

The new Comet sci-fi channel premieres here Oct. 31 on a new WSTR-TV digital signal, Channel 64.3.

Reruns of “Stargate SG-1” and “Outer Limits” will air on Comet, jointly owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the Sinclair Television Group, which operates WSTR-TV and WKRC-TV.

The 24-hour network will feature “a mix of science fiction, fantasy and adventure fan-favorite titles from MGM” including the “Poltergeist” and “Dead Like Me” TV series, according to the Comet announcement.

Provided by Zac Pitts

Reporter Zac Pitts is leaving WCPO-TV to return to Dayton’s WDTN-TV, the hometown station where he started his career as a teleprompter operator.

Pitts has been a Channel 9 daytime general assignment reporter for 18 months.

Starting Oct. 21, he will appear on Channel 2's “Living Dayton” noon-1 p.m. weekday lifestyle show with co-hosts Katie Kenney and Sallie Taylor, according to TVNewsCheck.

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.

CBS Television

On this date in TV Kiese history…

Sept. 18, 1978: “WKRP in Cincinnati” premieres on CBS with the first of a two-part episode about new program director Andy Travis (Gary Sandy) switching from boring elevator music to rock ’n’ roll.

Although never a big ratings hit, “WKRP” had a loyal audience for four seasons because of its great writing, actual rock music (selected by the actor DJs) and great cast: Howard Hesseman, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson, Richard Sanders, Tim Reid, Frank Bonner, Jan Smithers and Sandy.

Baby, if you’ve ever wondered:  Atlanta advertising executive Hugh Wilson had never been to Cincinnati before creating the show. He based the series on an  Atlanta radio station.

Bill Cunningham Show

Bill Cunningham won’t be commuting to New York City to host his “Bill Cunningham” daytime show on the CW network this fall.

No more taping long radio interviews without callers from his Manhattan TV office to air on his midday 700 WLW-AM show while in the TV studio.

Why?

Wikipedia

On this date in TV Kiese history…

Sept. 7, 1998: Former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason debuts as an ABC “Monday Night Football” analyst.

Esiason retired from the Bengals after the 1997 season and walked immediately into the “MNF” booth with Al Michaels and Dan Dierdorf, after Frank Gifford retired.

He didn’t last long - dumped after two seasons and replaced by comedian Dennis Miller and former quarterback Dan Fouts - but that didn’t hurt his broadcasting career.

The station which started the first weekday 7 p.m. local newscast here in 1979 returns to the time period with “9 On Your Side at 7PM” Sept. 14.

WCPO-TV anchor Julie Dolan and chief meteorologist Steve Raleigh will provide “fast-paced news of the day and Cincinnati’s 9 First Warning Forecast,” the station announced. The half-hour program also “will feature in-depth news stories integrating digital journalism from WCPO.com.”

It will be the only local newscast at 7 p.m. But not the first.

Provided by Clyde Gray

  A year after leaving TV news, Clyde Gray says life is “wonderful.” He’s getting more hugs and kisses from his daughter and wife, as he had hoped when he voluntarily left WCPO-TV a year ago.

And he laughs when it snows – because he doesn’t have to leave home to go to work.

Gray, 60, a TV newsman here for 33 years, is building his Blackboard Marketing public relations and marketing firm from his Symmes Township home office, and enjoying evenings with his wife and 8-year-old daughter.

ABC Entertainment

Well, that was quick. A year after joining the “Good Morning America Weekend” anchor desk, former WCPO-TV sports anchor-reporter Paula Faris was named a co-host on ABC’s “The View.” 

Faris, actress Candace Cameron Bure (the former “Full House” cast member and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant) and original co-host Joy Behar will be co-hosts on ABC’s daytime talk show for the 19th season starting Sept. 8.

Anchor Scott Schneider is leaving WXIX-TV soon… And news director Kevin Roach and investigative reporter Hagit Limor are gone from the staff, although Limor may freelance some for Channel 19.

Main co-anchor Schneider; award-winning former WCPO-TV investigative reporter Limor; and former WLWT-TV anchor-reporter Amy Wagner were hired by Roach shortly after he arrived in March 2013. He was revamping Channel 19's newsroom staff after the announced departure of anchor Ben Swann.

Now more changes are coming under WXIX-TV Vice President-General Manager Debbie Bush, hired in February to replace Bill Lanesey.

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."

Tim Geraghty, whose experience as a TV news director reaches from Florida to California, starts Monday as news director at WKRC-TV (Channel 12).

Geraghty had been senior director for news at Central Florida News 13, a 24-hour news operation covering seven counties. He left that position in January after three years, according to Rick Gevers’ weekly TV news talent newsletter.

He replaces Kirk Varner, who left the Sinclair Broadcast Group’s CBS affiliate here on July 3.

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