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Jul 9, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Spokane’s KREM welcomes Shaw
After finishing the noncompete clause in his contract with NBC affiliate KHQ-TV, Spokane, Wash., the market’s longtime anchor Randy Shaw was back on the air May 9 on rival CBS affiliate KREM-TV. Mr. Shaw was fired last November from KHQ, where he worked for almost two decades, after a harassment claim was filed by a co-worker. But the controversial hiring of Mr. Shaw by KREM did not seem to affect viewer’s feelings toward the popular anchorman. KREM won the 6 p.m. news for the first time in recent memory and just about tied with KHQ for the 11 p.m. newscast.
At 6 p.m., KREM scored an 8 Nielsen Media Research rating and 19 share, up from last May by one share point. That newscast’s adults 25 to 54 demo went up from a 3 to a 4 as well. At 6 p.m., KHQ pulled a 7/15, with a 3 rating in the 25 to 54 demo. That’s down from an 8/18 last year, when it scored a 5 rating in the 25 to 54 demo. At 11 p.m., KREM maintained a 4/20, which is flat from last year. KHQ’s 11 p.m. news had a 4/23 this year, down from last year’s 7/31. KHQ went down to a 2 rating in its 25 to 54 demo from a 4 last year.
“To have a major anchor move in a market like that, I expected change, but not that rapidly,” said KREM General Manager Bud Brown. Mr. Brown admits KREM took a risk in hiring Mr. Shaw, but viewers seem to be responding. “In looking into the background of Randy Shaw and in my personal discussions with him, I was sure he would be an asset to the station. Whatever risk there may have been, right now with the results, we’re exceedingly happy. I think it’s a new era.”
Local Emmy show appears on Internet
Veteran Los Angeles reporter at Hal Eisner’s Web site, HalEisner.com, got a lot of buzz recently for its coverage of the Los Angeles-area Emmy awards, with colleagues logging in trying to get information on which newsrooms won awards. Mr. Eisner, who is also executive producer of the Los Angeles Emmys, streamed the entire show on the site. The local Emmy show airs in the market July 14. In an unusual move, Mr. Eisner is using his own money to fund the Web site, which is about television and radio in the state and invites colleagues to submit editorials on any topic they choose. Mr. Eisner does not see his Web site competing against the more gossipy news industry sites because his site has tools to help reporters do their jobs.
“The other Web sites don’t look for us to write articles. They talk about what’s going on at stations, about personnel,” said Mr. Eisner, who works at KCOP-TV, Los Angeles. “I’m more interested in giving broadcasters a place for them to talk about what they want to talk about.”
Some recent contributors to the site include KCBS-TV, Los Angeles, anchor Kent Schocknek, who wrote an article on how he is bothered by colleagues’ mistakes on space reporting and NASA coverage. KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, reporter Ted Garcia wrote about his experience covering the Robert Blake case live and being stationed outside the actor’s house.
Cincinnati’s WLWT a politician incubator
Staffers at NBC affiliate WLWT-TV, Cincinnati, can’t seem to stay out of politics. After more than a dozen years on the air, veteran Cincinnati anchor Courtis Fuller made his farewell WLWT newscast June 27, departing to become a mayoral candidate. He will be running against a former colleague, one-time WLWT anchor and current mayor Charlie Luken. “[Mr Fuller] felt like the city, in light of everything that has happened in the last year, needed new leadership,” said WLWT News Director Ken Jobe. “It was actually pretty spur of the moment. He had been kicking it around for a long time, but he didn’t make his decision until before the deadline.” Mr. Jobe may select Mr. Fuller’s replacement this week. When asked if anyone else from WLWT will be running for office, Mr. Jobe joked: “Actually I’m running for dog catcher.” Incidentally, Jerry Springer, who was mayor of Cincinnati, later became a WLWT anchor.
Karissa S. Wang can be reached by phone at 323-370-2430, via e-mail at kwang@crain.com or by fax at 323-653-4425.