Station Break


More news in Motown

Ken Jobe, newly hired news director at CBS's Detroit duopoly, will be taking over an operation slightly smaller than one he runs at Hearst-Argyle's WLWT(TV) Cincinnati. Jobe notes, though, that, even in an environment seeing more shrinkage than growth, the Detroit stations plan to grow.

WWJ(TV) had been the only CBS-owned station not to run local news but added newscasts after CBS acquired WKBD(TV) Detroit's news department in the CBS-Viacom deal. The current 11/2 hours per day on WKBD-TV might have been considerable for a station under prior Paramount management but is well below the norm for one run by CBS.

Jobe replaces Tom Bell, who had been WKBD's news director when it was a Paramount station. He takes over at the end of the month, seeing his current station through much of sweeps.

He'll be there long enough to see which of the two former WLWT-TV anchors, Courtis Fuller or incumbent Mayor Charlie Luken, will be running Cincinnati for the next four years.

Pittsburgh loses a news icon

Patti Burns, 49, who made history in the 1970s anchoring with her father, the late Bill Burns, on KDKA-TV Pittsburgh, died of lung cancer last week.

Believed to be the first father-daughter anchor team, they were called "Patti and Daddy," and she did not refrain from calling her father "Dad" on the air. But she developed her own reputation, reporting from China, from Vietnam and throughout Pittsburgh, winning numerous awards.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
likened the Pittsburgh native's local stature to royalty: "Her contentious split from Channel 2 almost five years ago was a major news story."

Burns left KDKA-TV in 1997 after being offered less money for less work at a time when she was apparently considering a run for public office. She remained in Pittsburgh, running media training and production company Burns Communications.

Burns is survived by her husband, attorney Charles Cohen; her mother; and a brother.

Univision addition

Entravision Communications last week launched KNRV-TV, a UHF station in the No. 48 market, Reno, Nev., as a Spanish-language Univision affiliate. The station had been a shopping channel.

Viola Cody, a veteran Nevada broadcast saleswoman and member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, was named general manager. Entravision already owns KNRV-FM in the market.

Political praise

Three veteran Seattle news anchors will be spotlighted at the Washington News Council's third Annual Gridiron West Dinner there Sunday night. Jean Enersen of KING-TV, Kathi Goertzen of KOMO-TV, and Susan Hutchison of KIRO-TV will be toasted by local politicos, former Mayors Norm Rice and Charles Royer and U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

Retrans extension in Fairfax

There was no settlement of differences regarding retransmission of Allbritton Communications' WJLA-TV Washington and NewsChannel 8 over Cox Cable's Fairfax, Va., MSO. As the one-month extension agreed to at the end of September expired last week, the parties agreed to another one, but there was no agreement on the contract. Still, parties said the sides have come closer in the past month—a far cry from their earlier war of words, in which each side tried to mobilize the public to its side.

But will he bend?

KRIV(TV) Houston reporter Ned Hibberd sang backup vocals for a local radio station's CD "Bend Over Bin Laden," sung to the tune of "Roll Over Beethoven." Hibberd told the Houston Press
he was talked into singing when doing a story on the recording, and has no regrets. Hibberd said he mentioned his participation in the story that he did.