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How WKRC-TV's Fireworks Telecast Will Be Different This Year

The annual Western & Southern/WEBN-FM fireworks are set for Sunday, Sept. 1.
Tana Weingartner
The annual Western & Southern/WEBN-FM fireworks are set for Sunday, Sept. 1.

Without several thousand people around to watch the Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks due to the pandemic, WKRC-TV's live telecast definitely will look different on Sunday (9 p.m., Channel 12).

With Riverfest canceled, Channel 12 announced two weeks ago the Rozzi's Famous Fireworks show will be detonated at a secret site "to comply with state and local" health orders preventing large gatherings during COVID-19.

So here's what viewers should expect, according to Jon Lawhead, Channel 12 general manager:

--Only two Channel 12 news personalities, anchors Paula Toti and Kyle Inskeep, will be seen during the one-hour telecast. In past years, TV stations would use several reporters to do feature stories and cover huge crowds on both sides of the Ohio River.

--Toti and Inskeep will broadcast from the secret location, not from the Channel 12 studio watching the video that viewers will see. They will be among the few people to see the actual fireworks.

--Channel 12 will not attempt to report any audience reaction this year.

--After the fireworks display, Toti and Inskeep will interview a Rozzi employee.

The Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks again will be synchronized to a soundtrack on WEBN-FM (102.7). The fireworks tradition started in August 1977 to celebrate WEBN's 10th anniversary.

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John Kiesewetter joined the WVXU news team as a TV/Media blogger on July 1 2015, after nearly 30 years covering local and national broadcasting for The Cincinnati Enquirer. He’ll be posting news about Greater Cincinnati TV, radio and movies; updating your favorite former local TV/radio personalities or stars who grew up here; and breaking news about national TV, radio and media trends. You’ll also learn about Cincinnati’s rich broadcasting history.