Station Break

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Chicago—Camille Edwards, former assistant news director at ABC-owned WPVI(TV) Philadelphia, is joining NBC-owned WMAQ-TV Chicago as news director. She succeeds Vickie Burns, who exited the station for co-owned WRC-TV Washington two weeks ago to replace Bob Long, who in turn went to co-owned KNBC-TV Los Angeles as the news chief there.

Edwards will report to Frank Whittaker, VP of news at the station. Whittaker calls Edwards a "good fit," citing "a number of years of newsroom management experience" as well as her experience in the Chicago market. She was an executive producer at WLS-TV and a producer at WBBM-TV. Edwards comes on board Oct. 13.

Nexstar has Quorum

Irving, Texas—Nexstar Broadcasting is buying Franklin, Tenn.-based Quorum Broadcasting in a stock-for-stock deal. According to Nexstar President and CEO Perry Sook, the deal only requires a short-form FCC application since both companies are already majority owned by Boston-based private equity firm Abry Partners. That's probably just as well, since the FCC is currently trying to get its long-form transfer process back in gear in light of the on-again, off-again media-ownership rules.

Irving, Tex.-based Nexstar, which has been bulking up in medium-to-small markets, will own and/or operate a total of 40 stations when it closes the deal, expected to happen in the fourth quarter. Quorum owns or operates stations in 15 markets, including joint service agreements in four of those markets and a low power UPN affiliate in Utica, N.Y.

Nexstar also says it is looking for a "window of opportunity," to go public in the fourth quarter.

WCCO-TV Taps Kiernan

Minneapolis—Jeff Kiernan was tapped as news director of WCCO-TV Minneapolis. Kiernan, who has been with WTMJ-TV Milwaukee for the past eight years, replaces Maria Reitan. Under Kiernan's eight-year tenure as news chief, WTMJ-TV's 10 p.m. newscast was one of the top in the country, ranking seventh among the 55 metered markets in the May book.

The hire is just the latest from new WCCO-TV General Manager Ed Piette, who came over to the Viacom/CBS station from crosstown KSTP-TV two months ago. Among his other picks were station manager Trey Fabacher, who he brought over from KSTP-TV, and Kiki Rosatti, who joined up from KARE-TV Minneapolis.

Rosatti's addition represents a return of the phased-out community affairs position, which is being combined with media relations in a newly-created communications director job. It also represents a homecoming for Rosatti, who worked at the station for 15 years before joining KARE-TV.

Kiernan's last day at WTMJ-TV is Friday, Oct. 3, after which he will have to "roll up my sleeves and get going," given his WCCO-TV start date of Oct. 6. He has been with that station for 15 years and in the market for 20, but he called the move a "rare opportunity that you don't want to pass up." WCCO-TV VP and GM Ed Piette said he saw Kiernan as a stabilizing influence in the newsroom. "He's a good leader and a good listener…which I think is somewhat rare in the news business."

Veteran Atlanta Anchor Dies

Paul Shields, 69, newsman at WAGA-TV Atlanta until his retirement in 1991, died Sept. 10 of respiratory failure at his home outside Atlanta. Shields had become a mental health advocate after an episode in his early career.

A weather anchor, then news anchor, then news director at WAGA-TV in the early 1960's, Shields switched to advertising and became a top salesman. But after three months, he was diagnosed with a terminal brain illness. He recovered to the surprise of his doctors. He returned to the station in 1971 and spent 20 years there.

He later told the Atlanta Journal that he had no memory of his sudden switch to sales or of that three-month period of his life. He is survived by his wife, Dale, a son and a daughter.

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