Skip Menu
Email Us!

KET to air ‘Between The Rock and the Commonwealth’

Morehead State University's Steven Middleton, instructor of mass communication and Kentucky filmmaker, will have his documentary “Between The Rock and the Commonwealth” begin airing Monday, July 3, at 9 p.m. on KET and Sunday, July 9, at 8 p.m. on KET2.

The film is simultaneously airing on WOSU Ohio Public Television in conjunction with KET and details the controversial removal of Indian Head Rock from the river in 2007 and the ensuing legal battle between Ohio and Kentucky about ownership rights.

The film was coproduced by convergent media graduate John Tanner Blevins with video assistance from John Flavell, MSU instructor of journalism, and audio engineering from Dr. John Modaff, MSU professor of speech.

First described in an architectural publication of the 1840s, Indian Head Rock originally sat in the Ohio River roughly 60 feet from the Kentucky shoreline near South Shore. Prior to being submerged in the 1920s, when dams raised the river level, the rock had been a gathering point for generations of visitors, many of whom carved their names or initials into its face.

In 2007, the rock was removed without permit by a local historian, who donated it to Portsmouth. A legal battle over the rock’s rightful place soon erupted, gaining national attention via outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS News and The New York Times. Ultimately, the rock was returned to Kentucky, where it is housed in a Greenup County storage facility.

“Indian Head Rock is a rock that for eons was a gathering spot for travelers, explorers and different cultures. The rock always seems to find a way to re-emerge every century or so to let folks know that it is still around and has not gone away,” said Middleton.


KET airdates are:

  • KET: Monday, July 3, at 9 p.m.
  • KET: Wednesday, July 5, at 2 a.m.
  • KETKY: Sunday, July 9, at 10 a.m.
  • KETKY: Sunday, July 9,  at 7 p.m.
  • KET2: Sunday, July 9, at 8 p.m.
  • KETKY: Monday, July 10, at midnight
  • KETKY: Wednesday, July 12, at 7 a.m.
  • KETKY: Wednesday, July 12, at 8 p.m.
  • KETKY: Friday, July 14, at 6 p.m.
  • KETKY: Saturday, July 15, at 11 a.m.
  • KETKY: Saturday, July 15, at 8 p.m.

Additional information is available by contacting Middleton at 606-783-9583.