Station Break

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Dan Trigoboff is recovering from surgery and will return. In his absence, Mark Miller is writing Station Break and can be reached by e-mail at mkmiller@comcast.net. Readers and contributors may also send e-mails to dtrigoboff@reedbusiness.com.

More Hi-Def Exposure

San Francisco— Comcast launched high-definition television in the Bay Area last Tuesday, giving its customers access to HD programming from KNTV-HD (NBC), KGO-HD (ABC), KQED-HD (PBS), HBO and Showtime. The HD signals are available to more than 800,000 cable households in 64 cities throughout the Bay Area, including upgraded areas in the cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland; Marin County; and East Bay cities including Hayward and Union City.

Comcast customers who have an HDTV-ready TV set now will be able to rent a digital set-top converter that includes an HDTV tuner, for as little as $5 per month, which will allow them to view the channels shown in high-definition. Comcast HDTV customers will continue to be able to view standard analog and digital channels on their HDTV sets. Comcast's HDTV service features a wide-screen 16:9 picture, more than 2 million pixels per picture and color resolution that is twice that of analog television.

Comcast also has launched HDTV to more than 250,000 households in the greater Sacramento, Calif., area and to about 500,000 households in Southern California, including parts of Los Angeles.

News Legend Retires

Indianapolis— Last week must have seemed strange to the news staffers at LIN's WISH-TV. It was the first in 40 years without Lee Giles. Giles, who spent the last 35 of those years as the station's news director, decided in April that was long enough. "Timing is everything in our business, and this seems to be the time that's right," he says. He joined the station in 1963 as its first editorial director. As news director, he supervised a staff of some 75 persons at WISH-TV, which says it devotes more time to news daily and weekly than any other Indiana television station.

Honored in the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, Giles is also a recipient of the prestigious Radio and Television News Directors Foundation's First Amendment Service Award. Former NBC and WISH-TV news anchor Jane Pauley, who was hired by Giles, presented him with this award in March 2000.

Pauley said of Giles: "Lee has invested years in the newsroom of WISH-TV, doing daily battle in a very competitive news environment, setting a standard for personal integrity and professional excellence that few could match. Lee personifies quality and consistency, tried and tested over time. He has found a way to bridge the sometimes conflicting goals of delivering both good journalism and good ratings."

JSA In Vegas

Las Vegas— Meredith's Fox affiliate KVVU-TV last week formed a joint sales agreement with Una Vez Mas LLC that has KVVU-TV personnel selling advertising on KHDF(TV), Una Vez Mas' Azteca America affiliate there.

"This is an excellent opportunity for KVVU-TV to expand its revenue streams," says General Manager Susan Lucas. "Additionally, we can help advertisers reach the Hispanic population in Las Vegas through the popular Azteca America programming. Both KVVU and KHDF will benefit from this agreement."

Azteca America, a recent expansion by Mexican network TV Azteca, provides Spanish-speaking audiences in the United States with broadcasts of soap operas, talk shows and a variety of sports coverage from soccer to basketball to bull fighting. Azteca America also broadcasts world-news coverage from Mexico City during both a morning and an evening newscast.

Sales, News Moves at WISN-TV

Milwaukee— Hearst's WISN-TV has appointed a new head of national sales and hired a weekend co-anchor last week. Dan Joerres assumes the national sales manager post after serving as the station's new-business sales manager since 2002. He joined the station as an account executive in 1998, having previously been Capstar Broadcasting Madison Radio Group in Madison, Wis. Mike Miller is the new weekend co-anchor. He comes from cross-town rival WTMJ-TV, where he spent 13 years as morning and midday co-anchor.

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