Station Break


All news is local. Contact Dan Trigoboff at (301) 260-0923, e-mail or fax (413) 254-4133.

All the News That's Fit to Share

Miami— Viacom's Miami duopoly, WFOR-TV and WBFS-TV, has entered into a partnership with the Miami Herald
that will include news sharing across all platforms, as well as marketing and community outreach. WFOR-TV and WBFS-TV General Manager Steve Mauldin called the deal a "potent combination."

For the past several years the Herald
had a similar partnership with NBC-owned WTVJ(TV), but that station ended the relationship several weeks ago when it formed an alliance with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
—which had been in an alliance with WFOR-TV.

Under the new agreement, WFOR-TV will feature a report highlighting the newspaper's stories in three daily newscasts. The station, in return, will get space on page 4A in the newspaper for whatever it chooses, the newspaper said. In addition, there will be joint projects.

WFOR-TV meteorologist Bryan Norcross will help redesign and be featured on the Herald's weather page; reports from WFOR-TV's Dr. Sean Keniff will be featured in the Herald's health section. The Herald's Street Miami section will contribute features to WBFS-TV beginning next year.

Hammel Rises in Phoenix

Phoenix— Steve Hammel, who has been the vice president for news at WJLA-TV Washington, will become station manager at Meredith Broadcasting's KPHO-TV Phoenix effective Dec. 16.

"KPHO has made tremendous strides in this important market," said Meredith Broadcasting Group President Kevin O'Brien. "Steve is an extremely experienced journalist who will enable KPHO to become the news station of record in the Phoenix market."

Hammel, who had given notice two weeks earlier but would not identify his new position, will report to Vice President/General Manager Bob Furlong and will focus on news and promotion. Before WJLA-TV, Hammel was at KMOV(TV) St. Louis. Prior to that, Hammel was news director at WHEC-TV Rochester, N.Y.

Houston, We've Got a Problem

Houston— Reporter Lloyd Gite's wrongful-termination lawsuit against former employer KRIV(TV) Houston is guaranteed to raise eyebrows and prompt gossip. "We've gotten a look at Gite's deposition," the Houston Post
said, "and he's not shy about naming names as he recounts on-air talent sleeping with management, reporters appearing drunk on camera, anchors loudly hating each other's guts, cameramen smoking dope or drinking at work, reporters stealing company money and lesser-qualified people being promoted ahead of him."

Fox has maintained that Gite was fired over repeated inappropriate workplace conduct and violations of company policy.

KHNL Sets Clocks Back

Honolulu— The 11 o'clock news on Raycom's KHNL(TV) will actually begin at 11 o'clock beginning Dec. 30.

Hawaii stations have had a tradition of starting their newscasts five-to-seven minutes after the end of prime time programming. The practice has roots in networks' sending taped programming to the islands by boat and by plane and had allowed stations to add advertising inventory. Other stations in the market already dropped the "Hawaiian time" practice for regular "clock time," leaving NBC affiliate KHNL—already advantaged by lead-ins like ER
and Law & Order
—with an additional hold on viewers unlikely to switch to stations several minutes into their newscasts. "As the last station in the market to get into local news, we benefitted from that sampling," says KHNL GM John Fink, "but now we are ready to go head to head."

Viewers and advertisers have supported the moves, despite reductions in inventory and corresponding higher rates.

A Jersey for Chick Hearn

Legendary Los Angeles broadcaster Chick Hearn, who died in August, was honored with a jersey retired in his honor at the Staples Center. Instead of a number, Hearn's jersey bears the image of a microphone. Hearn had spent the last quarter-century calling Laker games for KCAL(TV).