Sunday, March 21, 2004

Ch. 5's Robertson on long 'vacation'

Mixed media

By Jim Knippenberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The e-mails just keep coming: Where is Evelyn Robertson, weekend morning anchor on Channel 5? Did she get the hook or what?

Nope, says Richard Dyer, Channel 5's president and general manager. "She's on an extended vacation, and that's all I can really say. But we fully expect her back at some point. But I can't even guess when. I can say that she is still very much employed here."

When she does return, Dyer says, it will be to her old job - reporting and weekend morning anchor. "Honestly, I don't expect any change in her status at all."

No answers yet

Here's how you know the late Dick Von Hoene was a heavy hitter: Insight, the Northern Kentucky cable company, still hasn't figured out how to replace him.

Von Hoene, best known to fans as late-night horror show host "The Cool Ghoul," died Feb. 4 of an apparent heart attack. He hosted Northern Kentucky Magazine weekdays at 10 a.m. on Insight channel 6.

"The show will definitely continue," says Insight program manager Joe Zink, "but it won't be easy without him. He did 13 hours of programming per week."

For now, Insight is using staff members to fill in, but Zink is pretty sure they'll will go looking for a permanent host soon, though no final decision has been made.

"The problem is you can't really replace a guy like Dick Von Hoene," Zink said.

Guess who?

Cincinnati artist C.F. Payne is in his eighth month as the featured artist drawing the back cover of Reader's Digest - "the first time in 80-plus years they've featured the same artist every week," Payne says - and a new parlor game has begun around town: Figuring out who the heck those people are he uses in the illustration. Guess the smart thing to do is to just ask him, eh? "The March edition is just a bunch of my friends around town. Actually, they're my bakery buddies I see every morning when we sit around eating bear claws."

Like who? Well, there's Bill Foreman (sweater with K on it), the bear claw baker. Boathouse server and stand-up comedian Darin Overholser is the one in the ball cap, but most everyone thought that was former WYGY-FM broadcaster Eric "Bubba Bo" Boulanger. The lone woman is Payne's friend Susie Guggenheim, but the art department at Reader's Digest was sure it was Martha Stewart.

Oh, and that head peeking around the doorway at the right of the drawing? It's Payne himself.

Where are they now?

Speaking of Bubba Bo, an awful lot of people are wondering "where the heck is he now?" For non-country music fans, Bubba Bo is a 25-year Cincinnati broadcast veteran, most recently doing news in the morning at WYGY-FM.

"They fired me the first of the year, but I'm still under contract until April 16. I have a no-compete clause that won't let me work in local radio 'til then.

"I've been looking at some things outside radio, but it's tough when your resume says 'radio, radio, radio.' I gotta tell you, my phone's not ringing at all."

The firing, Boulanger says, was because the station was looking to alter its morning newscasts - something more female-friendly with a younger, hipper edge. "Face it, man, I'm just a big ole country boy."

Boulanger promises he'll start job-hunting more seriously in April when his no-compete expires.

Local makes good

Don't know if anyone noticed yet, but we're seeing an awful lot of Northern Kentuckian Ric Robinson on national TV lately. Seems a couple of networks have been using him as a crime analysis expert.

Robinson, a former cop and husband of Channel 19 morning co-anchor Sheila Gray, has also written a gritty little law and order tell-all called Cop: The Truth Behind the Badge (1st Books Library; $12.50). Anyway, get a load of his recent lineup:

• Fox News has used him twice in the Scott Peterson case, once for general analysis, once for opinions on wiretaps and gag orders. It used him again for the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case.

• MSNBC used him twice, once to talk about the Bush administration's plan to outlaw racial profiling, once to analyze an ACLU lawsuit.

• Court TV used him for his take on the D.C. sniper case.

• Not quite as recently, he's been used on 60 Minutes, Nightline, COPS and America's Most Wanted.

At the top

Here's another feather in WUBE-FM's country cap: Program director Tim Closson has been named one of the top 10 most influential program directors in country radio by the magazine Radio Ink. It's Closson's fifth year to be honored.

The top 10 list is determined by a vote of country program directors, consultants and record execs.


So maybe we need an early morning salute for Chris O'Brien, co-host with wife Janeen Coyle of Married with Microphones, mornings on WGRR-FM.

This month marks the 30th anniversary of his arrival in Cincinnati to work at WKRQ-FM, then known as "Stereo 102." Jerry Thomas, now morning host on WKRC-AM, was the program director.

He has a second anniversary on the way: Come April 1, as in Fool's Day, he'll celebrate 14 years with WGRR.



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