WLW-AM

Clyde Haehnle collection

Cincinnati’s first radio station celebrates its 94th birthday today in the midst of a fight with the federal government for WLW-AM to keep its nighttime 50,000-watt power reaching 38 states.

On this date in TV Kiese history, March 2, 1922, Cincinnati industrialist Powell Crosley Jr. started what would become known as the “Nation’s Station.” It has operated on 50,000 watts around the clock since 1943, when the government ended its 500,000-watt “super power” experiment.

But some day you no longer will be able to listen to the “Big One” and Reds games on radio while in Florida, New York, Chicago or Atlanta (as I have), if the Federal Communications Commission gets its way.

Cincinnati Reds

Play ball! Fans get their first look at the new, young Reds when Fox Sports Ohio and WLW-AM broadcast the Reds spring opener 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, from Goodyear, Ariz.

FSO will televise the second game, also against the Cleveland Indians from Goodyear, at 3 p.m. Wednesday.  FSO will carry two more spring games: Reds-Royals 1 p.m. Tuesday March 15, and Reds-Rockies 4 p.m. Friday March 25, according to the Reds broadcast schedule.

Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley will do the opener on WLW-AM, and the Wednesday game on Fox Sports WSAI-AM (1360). 

Now we know why attorney Lisa Wenzel Wells has not hosted her Saturday  WLW-AM talk show for three weeks:  She was charged with five counts of drug possession, and operating a vehicle under the influence, on Jan. 25 on I-75 north of Dayton.

Wells, 37, of West Chester Township, was arrested at 8:20 p.m. Monday Jan. 25 on I-75 near Piqua by Ohio State Highway Patrol officer Eric Dever, who was investigating a complaint of a vehicle driving recklessly, according to his report.

Provided by Jim Scott

  Jim Scott is living like a kid since retiring from radio last March: Sleeping in. Going on long hikes or rides in his Gator on his farm. Looking for arrowheads in creeks. Trying to figure out what he’s going to do the rest of his life.

That’s what he told me when I visited him recently at his Dearborn County farm to invite him to come on WVXU’s “Cincinnati Edition” talk show Wednesday, and interview him for this story and for the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Cincinnati newsletter.

We talked about everything. And you can talk to him too, when he’s a guest on WVXU’s “Cincinnati Edition” call-in show at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Scott lives with his wife Donna on a 132-acre farm across the road from Perfect North Slopes. Until last March, he had been heard since 1968 on old WSAI-AM, YES95, WINK94.1 and WLW-AM (except for year at New York’s WNBC-AM). Here’s what we talked about:

Tribune Broadcasting

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

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.

WCET-TV

Veteran broadcaster Nick Clooney was surprised Monday with an award acknowledging his efforts to preserve Greater Cincinnati radio and TV history.

Clooney, 81, was presented a special Founder’s Award from Media Heritage Inc. -- the local nonprofit broadcasting archive which has displays at the Voice of America Museum in West Chester --  during the organization’s presentation of the new “Earl Hamner Storyteller” documentary at the Covington’s Carnegie Performance Center Monday night.

When Marc Amazon leaves Friday, who will take over his 9 p.m. show on WLW-AM? Mo Egger? Rocky Boiman? Lisa Wells? Sterling? Tom Gamble? Gary Jeff Walker?

Here’s what Amazon says: “I still don't Mo my successor. It can be Rocky sorting out the candidates, and there are only so many Wells you can look down to find talent. They don't have to be perfect, but require a Sterling reputation in the community. You want someone with upside, but can't afford too much of a Gamble. The only thing I can say for certain is they wouldn't want someone who requires a Walker.”

While he enjoys fueling speculation about his successor, there’s one topic he wants to be absolutely clear about – his health a year after bladder cancer surgery. 

Premiere Networks

Bill Cunningham’s flagship station has benched his national Sunday night talk show for NFL football.

“Live On Sunday Night, It’s Bill Cunningham” airs on nearly 350 stations – but not on Cunningham’s hometown WLW-AM, his long-time employer, this fall. Both WLW-AM and his national syndicator, Premiere Networks, are owned by iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel).

“It’s a contract issue with iHeartMedia,” Cunningham says.

Wikipedia

 On this date in TV Kiese History…

Aug. 26, 1939:  The Cincinnati Reds played the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first televised Major League Baseball game seen by the few people with TV sets in the New York City area 76 years ago today.

Red Barber, who started his professional sports announcing career doing Reds radio for Crosley Broadcasting’s WLW-AM and WSAI-M, broadcast the game on NBC’s experimental TV station W2XBS.

During the game from Ebbets Field, Barber also did the first TV commercial -- for Procter & Gamble’s Ivory Soap.

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.

For the second consecutive year, a suburban Cincinnati resident will be presented the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award for broadcasting career achievement at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton.

Former Denver Broncos linebacker Tom Jackson, who has lived in Indian Hill most of his 28 years at ESPN, will receive the award August 8. Glendale resident Bob Trumpy, former NBC commentator and WLW-AM “SportsTalk” host, won the award last year for ''longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.”

Pages