If you live in Cincinnati, you know 2007 means the end of several things no one wanted to let go of…
The Cincinnati Post: In Cincinnati, you have the Enquirer, a bastion of conservative journalism vs. City Beat, the city’s relentlessly liberal alternative weekly. In the middle lies The Post. Not as bombastic as The Enquirer nor as in-your-face as City Beat, The Post often functioned as a voice of reason. Still, an operating agreement with The Enquirer ultimately doomed the paper. Several years ago, The Enquirer earned themselves a lawsuit from Chiquita Brands over a stolen voicemail scandal. Had The Post been more independent of its crosstown rival, it might have both elevated its status as the Queen City’s paper of choice while possibly doing a more objective expose on the scandal than The Enquirer could manage. Instead, the big paper’s woes were relegated to Page 7 while fresh material about Pete Rose and the Bill Clinton’s sex life were dug up. Less than a decade later, with The Enquirer about to pull the plug on the joint-operating agreement, The Post will pack it in on December 31, 2007. Cincinnati will be poorer for it.
Joe Nuxhall: One of the very first things I latched onto moving to Cincinnati was listening to the Reds games with Marty and Joe. At the time, Sweet Lou was still managing, Marge Schott had yet to infuriate the world, and the Reds had just come off a World Series win. Nuxie was the quieter of the pair, but beloved by Cincinnatians and baseball fans everywhere. He was one of the old-timers, like Harry Caray, but more comfortable being “The Ol’ Left Hander” to Marty Brennaman’s fiery critique. You never heard Joe call Junior Griffey on the carpet for a bad play. Wasn’t his job, and wasn’t his style. It took two men to fill Nuxie’s shoes: One is named Brennaman, the other an ex-pitcher with a voice not that different from Nuxhall’s. But there will never be another Joe. Joe Nuxhall died on November 15, 2007. You could feel the heaviness in the air the morning after, even if you hadn’t heard the news yet. Joe meant that much to the city.
Gary Burbank: The man who once compared AM powerhouse WLW to fictional AM rival WKRP broadcast his last show on December 21. Many former costars, guests, and newsmen returned to the show, including some from Burbank’s original morning show on WAKY (“Whacky!”), for one last time. We heard the last Sports or Consequences (where one last contestant was blown up one last time) and the fate of Gilbert Gnarley – G-N-A-R-L-E-Y. Burbank was one of the reasons I wanted to go into standup, and is one of the reasons I still manage to listen to AM radio. But Burbank has been in the radio business for over 40 years, and a little peace and quiet in Florida is overdue. Burbank will be replaced in January, probably by some no-talent angry white guy who hates his audience.
Hey, Keyz, need a job?