Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Channel 5 completes news staff

By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Having hired 23 people — of a 71-person newsroom staff — in the past year, WLWT News Director Ken Jobe has declared: “We're done!”

        About half of the positions were vacant when Mr. Jobe was hired by WLWT last October to replace Lyn Tolan. Though the ranks were stretched thin for a while, all the openings “did give me a chance to choose my own people,” he says.

        The newest hire is Ann Marie Tiernon, 35, the Indianapolis news anchor who started Monday as Dave Wagner's co-anchor on the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. weekday news. Courtis Fuller and Lisa Cooney co-anchor at 5:30 p.m.

        Changing forecast: An agent for Jon James, Channel 5's fourth meteorologist, has been offering Mr. James' services to other stations in town. He has been without a contract for more than a year.

        Mr. James' fate depends on chief meteorologist Angelique Frame, who will take maternity leave next month. If Ms. Frame prefers a day shift after having her baby, the station will accommodate her and look for a new primary forecaster. Mr. James could get lost in the shuffle.

        Want to bet that Channel 5 managers wish their predecessors hadn't fired Dave Fraser (now at Channel 19) 18 months ago?

        Chopper wars: Channel 5's new “Sky 5” helicopter returns to service this week, but maybe not with the station's reporters or photographers.

        The unionized photographers and reporters balked at signing waivers releasing Channel 5 owner Hearst-Argyle of any liability in the case of a crash, Mr. Jobe says. It's a corporate policy with Hearst-Argyle (but not E.W. Scripps, which until Sept. 1 leased a helicopter for WCPO-TV, Channel 9).

        Photographers did not fly in Channel 5's Bell 206 D JetRanger on Labor Day when it provided pictures of the Northside train derailment. Sky 5 has three on-board cameras and a cruising speed of 120 mph.

        The 'copter was out of service most of last week so equipment could be installed, Mr. Jobe says. It returns to service this week.

        Sky 5 will provide morning and afternoon rush hour traffic video, he says.

        Enquirering Mind: This Enquirering mind wants to know: Did you hear Rob Carson's comment on the Bengals' inaugural NFL regular-season game at Paul Brown Stadium:

        “This is the second sellout for the Bengals. The first was Bob Bedinghaus,” says Mr. Carson, co-host of the WVMX-FM (94.1) Kimberly and Carson morning show.

        Say what?: Puzzled by something Dennis Miller said on Monday Night Football? Then log onto www.Britannica.com on the Internet for a translation of his remarks from Monday's telecast.

        Click on the “Annotated Dennis Miller” for the Britannica Encyclopedia's complete “guide to the Monday Night Football pundit's cultural and historical references.” The page is updated after every Monday night game.

        The Dickens: Masterpiece Theatre productions this fall include a new six-hour Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

        “Charles Dickens didn't write a musical. He wrote a serial novel of social realism, perfectly suited for television, and this is it,” says Rebecca Eaton, Masterpiece Theatre's executive producer.

        In January, Masterpiece Theatre will premiere Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

        Why doesn't Masterpiece Theatre do more contemporary scripts?

        “At Masterpiece Theatre, we consider anything contemporary that happened after the War of 1812. That is really new stuff for us,” Ms. Eaton jokes.

        Get "Real': MTV has ordered two more seasons of The Real World. The 10th season, to be filmed in New York City, will debut next June.


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