Local Listings

Mar 11, 2002  •  Post A Comment

News personalities on the move
Talent was hopping last week in major markets. In Los Angeles, KABC-TV’s sardonic sportscaster Bill Weir will leave the much-coveted job. He told Electronic Media he is “absolutely not” going to stay after his contract is up in September. He may leave sooner, because in a month he will shoot the pilot for a late-night USA Networks talk show produced by Broadway Video, Lorne Michaels’ company. When he came to KABC 31/2 years ago, he said, he was promised an opportunity to do a half-hour late-night show at KABC that he hoped would go national. “When I realized the promises haven’t been kept here, I’ve been counting the days for about a year now,” Mr. Weir said. “I’m a pig who wants to be a sheep dog. I’ve always been kind of a frustrated late-night host wannabe trapped in a local newscast, and very few people tune in for the drive-by shootings and stick around for the yucks. I’m hoping to find an audience that is tuning in purely for laughs.”
Mr. Weir was the one who brought those irreverent Chyrons below the talking heads on sports pieces at KABC. He has been known to make fun of talent at other networks as well as of KABC’s own Doppler 7000. He said he is campaigning for KABC brass to give weekend sports guy Rob Fukuzaki the promotion he deserves. KABC will also have an opening for a weekend male anchor. That’s because Phillip Palmer is being promoted to anchor the two-hour weekday 5 a.m. newscast. For 18 months, David Ono has anchored a grueling shift of both the 5 a.m. and the 5 p.m. newscasts. Mr. Ono will now anchor the 5 p.m. news, along with doing daily reporting and special projects. In other news in the market, former KCAL-TV anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell became a general assignment reporter at KCBS-TV last week.
On the other coast, after a year and a half at WCBS-TV, New York, anchor Angela Rae will return to CBS-owned sister station WFOR-TV, Miami. She will begin by doing special reports in April and May. “We’ll evaluate where we’ll put her,” WFOR General Manager Steve Mauldin said. Ms. Rae spent five years at WFOR, including anchoring duties, before going to WCBS. At WCBS, she was the 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. anchor. “The great thing about Angela coming back is people here are familiar with her,” Mr. Mauldin said. “She is an incredibly smart lady, and gifted.” Since Ms. Rae’s departure, WCBS reorganized its anchors, with noon anchor Cindy Hsu adding the 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. news to her duties and Dana Tyler, who anchors the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. news, adding the 11 p.m. news to her plate as of March 11. At Fox-owned WNYW-TV, 10 p.m. anchor Rosanna Scotto has signed on for three more years, while morning show “Good Day N.Y.” anchor Jim Ryan has reupped for two more years.
KSTC signs to carry Twins games
Hubbard Broadcasting-owned independent KSTC-TV, Minneapolis, will become the official local broadcast station for the Minnesota Twins for the 2002 and 2003 baseball seasons. The station will air 25 Twins games each year. The other 105 games are on cable on Fox Sports Net North. The games were formerly on Fox-owned UPN affiliate KMSP-TV. While KSTC signed a two-year contract for the games, the team might not be around that long. It is for sale and has been targeted for contraction by Major League Baseball. But KSTC General Manager Edward Piette, who also runs sister station ABC affiliate KSTP-TV, said the team’s future hasn’t been decided, since there’s a proposal to build a stadium that residents will be voting on.
NBC’s Houston affil soars in sweeps
NBC affiliate KPRC-TV, Houston, won sign-on to sign-off for February sweeps with a 5.8 Nielsen Media Research rating and 14 share, up about 27 percent in share. ABC-owned KTRK-TV was No. 2 with a 4.7/11, down 21 percent in share, and CBS affiliate KHOU-TV was No. 3 with a 4.6/11 down 21 percent in share. Fox-owned KRIV-TV came in fourth with 3.8/9, up 13 percent in share. KRIV’s sister station UPN affiliate KTXH-TV got a 3.4/8, up 14 percent in share.
Outside of KPRC, the Fox duopoly stations were the only two stations to show growth sign-on to sign-off, fueled by original shows in prime time. It was also the first sweeps book for KRIV News Director Kathy Williams, who came to the station Jan. 14 from NBC affiliate WKYC-TV, Cleveland, where she was news director. She has already begun tweaking KRIV’s newscast, increasing the story count per newscast and the pace. The KRIV 9 p.m. newscast scored a 5.2/7 for Monday through Sunday.