Updated: Jan 13
Channel 12 recently ran a story on Monday, January 6, of this year titled "For Sale: Cheviot sees string of small, family-owned businesses closing in last few years" (WKRC)
Channel 12 kicks off the story with anchor Paula Toti reading from a teleprompter. "After decades of serving home cooked meals, the owners of a local restaurant are putting away their aprons. That's becoming a common theme in Cheviot. We sent out Brad Underwood to see what is causing the businesses to close."
Brad Underwood, the reporter who covered the story, says in his opening monologue, "In the heart of Cheviot, a message is becoming common on the sides of buildings: for sale, space available. In the past couple of years, nearly ten small businesses or family-owned restaurants, have closed for good,"
Underwood then shows his interview with Brittany Ammer, a local Cheviot business owner. “I hate to see it go,” said Ammer. “When you see businesses closing, it means that clientele isn’t coming through anymore." Underwood then goes on to say, "Hearing one of her neighbors, Stone's Restaurant, is closing at the end of the month, doesn't sit well with her." This is the only time during his report he mentions Stone’s Restaurant by name.
“We have to ask ourselves what’s going on in the community that’s making this happen?” said Ammer.
Underwood then goes on to cite Frank's Nursery, Auctions by Maggie, a t-shirt store, and Avocado's as examples correlating with Ammer's interview. Except there's just one problem: they don't.
Frank's Nursery announced the company had filed for bankruptcy in 2004. A 16-year old vacant eyesore that was recently demolished hardly qualifies for Underwood's narrative of Cheviot businesses running for the hills.
Underwood's example of Auctions by Maggie closing its doors is equally deceptive. Yes, the business has closed, but as the Cheviot community knows, unfortunately, the closure was due to the passing of the store's owner, Maggie Beckmeyer, in early December of 2018.
What Channel 12, and the henchmen they sent here for their report to "see what's causing the businesses to close," fail to realize, is often that small and family-owned businesses closing has nothing to do with lack of clientele. What their two-minute report fails to show, with its montage of closed storefronts in Cheviot, is something to which their cameras don't have access: the personal reasons of the family, and thank God for that.
Channel 12 never "sent Brad Underwood to Cheviot" to find out any real answers. If they had, then Underwood's other examples, Cappel's, the T-shirt store, and Avocado's, would also have been contacted as to why their businesses decided to close. That didn't happen.
The fundamental reason for the Channel 12 report was because Stone's Restaurant announced, after 57 years, that they have decided to take a well-deserved retirement. This isn't mentioned one time. The best Underwood can muster up is during his interview with Daniel Thomas, owner of R&R Quality Meats. Underwood states, "Thomas knows some of the closings are due to retirement." If not for Daniel Thomas, the word "retirement" wouldn't have even made it into Underwood's report.
So here is our offer to Local 12 and Brad Underwood. Name us the ten businesses you claim have shut their doors in the past two years, and the Cheviot Gazette will donate $500 to a charity of your choice. If you fail to do this, you issue Stone's Restaurant, the City of Cheviot, and its residents an official apology for your negligent reporting. Then you give Stone's Restaurant, if they will have you, a proper farewell report on the positive impact their restaurant had on our city. You can start by mentioning the restaurant's name more than once this time. The owner's names are Chris and Stephanie Stone, in case your investigative reporting failed to uncover this.
In hopes of finding some answers for this hit piece on our city, we reached out to Channel 12 and Brad Underwood. No messages providing any answers were returned.
Let Channel 12 know how you feel about their reporting.
Channel 12 phone number: (513) 763-5500
News Director Tim Geraghty firstname.lastname@example.org
Brad Underwood email@example.com