Local Listings

Jul 23, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Keeshan moving to KGO
Kevin Keeshan, news director at ABC-owned KFSN-TV, Fresno, Calif., becomes news director at sister station KGO-TV, San Francisco, on Aug. 2. The Bay area native spent six years at KGO as managing editor and executive producer of special projects and left in 1998 for the Fresno gig.
In other ABC-owned station news, after four years, general manager Bruce Gordon resigned July 16 from WTVD-TV, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., to the surprise of some colleagues. “We expect to name someone shortly,” said an ABC spokeswoman. Speculation is that the new general manager will be hired from within the station group.
Mount Vernon High alums band together
Dick Clark and Democratic New York state Sen. Ruth Hassel-Thompson each saw a story about their mutual alma mater last month on the popular WPIX-TV, New York, investigative/advocacy segment “Help Me Howard” that catapulted them into action. WPIX reporter Howard Thompson (no relation to the senator) did a piece about how Mount Vernon High School did not have the money to buy its marching band new uniforms and instruments, but the band nonetheless won four trophies at a recent contest against other bands that were appropriately decked out. Sen. Thompson promised to raise money from her colleagues in Albany, while Mr. Clark promised $25,000 in seed money for the band and said he would also enlist the help of actor Sidney Poitier and rappers Heavy D and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.
WPIX News Director Karen Scott said the station will do a follow-up piece on the band when the school year begins. “What we tried to do is a segment that would be a little different and empower viewers and help them get through the day,” Ms. Scott said. “This is an all-American, real down-home story-a bunch of kids from a hardworking neighborhood, they just didn’t have the money for uniforms or instruments, but they still went out and tried as hard with what they had. You never know who’s watching.”
Mr. Thompson, who does the segment twice a week, began it six years ago. Nationally, viewers might remember him on the former syndicated news show “The Crusaders.” “I’ve been in the business for almost 20 years, and this is the most satisfying work I’ve ever done,” Mr. Thompson told Electronic Media. “This is
really what `Help Me Howard’ is about. If we can’t go out and remedy a situation, what we hope is people will get involved.”
End of the line for WEVV news
Lafayette, La.-based Communication Corp. ended all four of the newscasts at its CBS affiliate WEVV-TV, Evansville, Ind., leaving the newsroom’s 40 staffers without jobs. After the July 17 noon newscast aired, newsroom employees were told they had to be out of the station by 4 p.m. They received 30 days’ severance pay and company benefits. A company spokesman said the move was due to low ratings.
KABC’s good sport tees up
Weekend sports anchor/reporter Rob Fukuzaki at KABC-TV, Los Angeles, has been keeping busy, to say the least. In addition to his KABC gig, he is teeing up for his fourth annual charity golf tournament on Monday at the Coto de Caza Golf Course. It benefits the Heads Up Youth Foundation, which he founded four years ago to fund scholarships and events for inner-city kids. The golf tournament also will funnel some proceeds to baseball clinics planned by Manny Mota, the Dodgers coach and baseball’s all-time pinch hitter. Mr. Fukuzaki expects his tournament field to include former Dodgers and KABC weekend anchor Phillip Palmer.
“It’s like a mom-and-pop kind of foundation,” Mr. Fukuzaki said. “We raise, not a whole lot of money, but we raise enough to help disadvantaged inner-city kids here in L.A.” Mr. Fukuzaki also plans to stage a basketball tournament this year for inner-city kids, with division play in the large parking lot at Staples Center and the championship game inside the center.
Earlier this month, KABC re-aired footage of Mr. Fukuzaki singing the National Anthem at a Dodgers game. With his penchant for breaking into song during his sportscast-one time he even wrote and recorded a rendition “Summer Wind,” a song made famous by Frank Sinatra, for former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda’s retirement that was played on the air-a CD may be in his future.
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.