WB out. Local programming in. WB switched affiliations in several television markets in late 1997, including in Cincinnati. Channel 25 became an independent affiliate and started discussions with UPN. Meanwhile, Channel 25 introduced "Martial Arts Theater" with Rick Flynn begun during the fall.
Martial Arts Theater became Rick Flynn Presents. To expand its audience, "Martial Arts Theater" changed to "Rick Flynn Presents" and showcased old b-movies instead of only martial arts movies.
WBQC produced and televised the 1998 Brian Pillman Wrestling Memorial. Local event programming continued as Channel 25 produced the "Findlay Market Parade" and the "1998 Brian Pillman Wrestling Memorial." The "Pillman Memorial" showcased Channel 25's ability to create live event production and post-production. In addition, the "Pillman Memorial" was the first Channel 25 production that used non-linear video production. It also marked the return of wrestling to prime time on Cincinnati television.
The Friday Night Fu was born. After "Rick Flynn Presents" ended its run in the summer of 1998, Channel 25 rebooted "Martial Arts Theater" with local filmmaker David Cornelius as host. Soon later, Channel 25 rebranded "Martial Arts Theater" to "Friday Night Fu" with David Cornelius as Cap'n Dave and the show staff called the Fu Crew. During the early seasons of the "Fu," Channel 25 shot the show live-to-tape on Tuesday evenings and aired the show Friday nights at 11:00 PM, with an occasional live show on Friday night.
Channel 25 established an online presence. OneNet Communications became an online partner and web host of WBQC.com.
The inaugural Brian Pillman Wrestling Memorial in Norwood, OH.
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