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Aug 20, 2001  •  Post A Comment

WPIX, Newsday join for mayoral debate
Tribune-owned WB affiliate WPIX-TV, New York, will produce and air a one-hour debate at 6 p.m. Aug. 28 between the Democratic candidates in New York’s mayoral election. This is the first time WPIX will produce a debate as a joint venture with the Tribune-owned newspaper Newsday. WPIX anchor Kaity Tong will moderate the debate. Asking questions of the candidates will be Ms. Tong’s co-anchor Jim Watkins, Newsday’s Assistant Managing Editor Les Payne and Brian Lehrer, a radio host on WNYC-AM, which is not a Tribune property. WPIX General Manager Betty Ellen Berlamino said the debate will be in Spanish on SAP, the second audio program, as well as closed-captioned. The debate will be repeated at 6 a.m. Sept. 1.
“We’ve been doing quite a lot with Newsday,” Ms. Berlamino said. “But this is probably the biggest single project we have taken on, because we are producing it as well as airing it. This will be one of the most visible [joint ventures with Newsday] to the public.”
In June, WPIX celebrated the one-year anniversary of its two-hour 6 a.m. morning newscast. On Sept. 17, WPIX will expand the newscast by a half-hour so that it begins at 5:30 a.m. “What we’re finding is that people are leaving earlier and earlier, and New York traffic is getting worse and worse,” Ms. Berlamino said. “Right now all our competitors are on at 5:30 a.m., and we’re missing a little bit of an edge by being on at 6 a.m., and so it’s natural for us to expand.”
PBS partners on Cold War project
PBS station KOCE-TV, Huntington Beach, Calif., which is in the Los Angeles market, and PBS station KLVX-TV, Las Vegas, will partner with the nonprofit organization the Chronicles Group to develop, broadcast and distribute “The Cold War and Beyond,” a historical two-hour documentary set to air in 2002. The documentary will focus on the Cold War era as well as the current situation of weapons, such as America’s 7,000 missiles aimed at Russia and Russia’s 6,000 missiles aimed at the United States.
WCBS beefing up its Healthwatch Team
Dr. Mike Rosen, medical reporter for NBC affiliate WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh, returns to his hometown New York in September to join WCBS-TV as chief medical reporter. Also joining him next month on the WCBS Healthwatch Team will be former NFL Giants quarterback Phil Simms. Mr. Simms will keep his NFL analyst job for CBS Sports but will also become a fitness and lifestyle correspondent for WCBS in his first foray into local television news.
KSTP to sell virtual ads in Vikings games
ABC affiliate KSTP-TV, Minneapolis, will sell virtual advertising for two Minnesota Vikings preseason football games in an agreement with Princeton Video Image, a company that does virtual advertising and imaging. The games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins will feature virtual ads from several local advertisers. “This is our third season of offering Princeton Video Image’s patented virtual advertising, which has now become a staple in our preseason inventory,” said KSTP General Sales Manager Trey Fabacher.
Three advertisers bought virtual ads on the Vikings game that aired Aug. 16 on KSTP. “They will be putting animated images in what they call the bowl region of the venue, the area of seats to the left and right of the goal posts,” said Sam McCleery, vice president of business development for PVI. He said some of the virtual signs will look like a Venetian blind, showing two different images on both sides. It’s usually shown when going to and from a commercial break, when the camera takes a wide shot of that area of the end zone, Mr. McCleery said.
“You can place advertising in places that traditional signs can’t be placed,” he said. “When teams play on the road, they can take their sponsors with them, and ads can be placed in the away stadium.” The Philadelphia Eagles are also a client of PVI, with a two-year deal in which PVI will provide virtual advertising in all Eagles preseason games, no matter what venue they play in.
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.