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Oct 28, 2002  •  Post A Comment

San Diego mainstay anchor Kimberly Hunt has taken up residence at the market’s independent station KUSI-TV, owned by McKinnon Broadcasting, after McGraw-Hill’s ABC affiliate KGTV did not renew her contract after 15 years. “It was just economics,” said Darrell Brown, KGTV’s general manager. “It’s a matter of looking at your business and you have to make cuts. It had nothing to do with her performance.” KGTV does not plan to replace Ms. Hunt. She anchored the 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts at KGTV and now co-anchors the 6 p.m. newscast at KUSI and produces a package for the 10 p.m. newscast. Snatching up the available Ms. Hunt was an easy decision, said Richard Longoria, news director for KUSI. “She’s a major talent in the market,” Mr. Longoria said. “She has a long investment here in terms of many years of reporting and anchoring here. It was something we didn’t have to think much about.” He said he expects her presence to drive ratings as viewers who watched her on KGTV may switch to KUSI.
Tribune, Walgreens team for show
Tribune Co. plans to produce a weekly half-hour program for WGN-TV and WGN Superstation that will be exclusively sponsored by Walgreens as part of a multimillion-dollar advertising deal between the two companies. Starting Nov. 16, “Walgreens Presents RxTV,” containing health and medical coverage from Tribune’s 24 stations, will air on WGN-TV and WGN Superstation. The content could range from fitness to lifestyle to seasonal topics, such as asthma and allergies, said Ron Goldberg, director of Tribune Cross Media sales. The show will be promoted on the two stations, in the Chicago Tribune and by Walgreens in circulars and in stores. While Walgreens will be the sole sponsor of the show, Tribune maintains editorial control. “It will be produced and edited by us,” Mr. Goldberg said.
New exit-polling system tested
Voter News Service, which was blamed for botched projections and for calling Florida too early on Election Night 2000, recently tested its revamped system for exit polling and vote counting and is cautiously optimistic. The service will no longer offer networks election projections until all polls in a specific state are closed. VNS is a joint project of six media outlets: ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and The Associated Press.
Candidates return to negative ads
The tone of political advertisements has returned to the pre-9/11 tenor of negativity, according to a new study by the Wisconsin Advertising Project. The report found that campaign advertisements that ran up until the first anniversary of 9/11 were more positive than in years past, but the tone has turned south since then. The study was based on an analysis of 100 media markets. The most ire was found in the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey, where only 18 percent of ads were positive compared with a national average of 62 percent. Negative ads, however, can be helpful as they often contain much more information than positive ones and can stimulate voter turnout, said Ken Goldstein, director of the Wisconsin Advertising Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an associate professor in the university’s political science department.
Syler leads off Web chat series
AssignmentEditor.com last week began hosting a weekly series of live chats with current, past and future reporters, anchors and executives in the media world. The first guest was Rene Syler, new co-host of “The Early Show” on CBS. To suggest someone with whom you would like to chat, send an e-mail to mail@assignmenteditor.com.
Aiello hired by WCBS-TV
CBS-owned WCBS-TV, New York, added Tony Aiello as its Westchester correspondent starting last week. He most recently worked for WNBC-TV, based in Westchester. WCBS also hired Kerri Lyon from NY1 as its education reporter.
If you have local listings information, please send it to Daisy Whitney at daisywhitney@qwest.net or 303-777-6864.