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Station Break - Broadcasting & Cable

Station Break

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Dan Trigoboff is recovering from surgery and will return. In his absence, Mark Miller can be reached by e-mail at mkmiller@comcast.net

A Sweeping View

Here's a look at how news battles shaped up during May sweeps in some of the nation's largest markets.

New York— The top two spots at 5 p.m. switched places from last May, with WABC-TV's 5.7 rating/12 share just edging out WNBC(TV)'s 5.6/12. The 6 p.m. news rankings were the same as last May: WABC-TV scoring a 6.3/12, WNBC a 5.5/11, and WCBS-TV 3.0/6.

At 10 p.m., WNYW (TV) earned a 5.2/8, blowing past WPIX(TV)'s 3.1/5 and WWOR-TV's 2.9/4. At 11 p.m., WNBC was on top with a 7.6/13, followed by WABC-TV with 6.5/11 and WCBS-TV with 4.9/9. Spanish-language WXTV(TV) had a 3.1/6, trailed by WNJU(TV) with a 1.1/2.

Los Angeles— At both 5 and 6 p.m., the top finishers were KABC-TV, KNBC(TV) and KCBS-TV. At 10 p.m., KTTV(TV) topped KTLA(TV). The 11 p.m. news race went to KNBC, whose 6.7/14 was followed by KABC-TV's 5.6/12 and Spanish-language KMEX-TV's 4.0/8.

Chicago— WLS-TV was the 4:30-6:30 p.m. leader, a spot it repeated at 10 p.m. with an 11.6/18, followed by WMAQ-TV's 10.5/17 and WBBM-TV's 4.8/8.

Philadelphia— The 11 p.m. numbers showed WPVI-TV continuing in the top spot, with a 12/20, followed by WCAU(TV)'s 10.5/18 and KYW-TV's 5.7/10. WTXF-TV's 10 p.m. news was No. 1 in the period with a 5.9/8.

San Francisco-Oakland— The fight for 11 p.m. went down to the last night of the sweeps, with KNTV(TV) (5.1/12) emerging victorious over KPIX-TV (4.9/12), KGO-TV (4.8/11) and KRON-TV (2.5/6). KNTV had finished third in February. KTVU(TV) drew the most viewers to its 10 p.m. newscast, which got a 7.1/12 (the station claims it's the only Fox affiliate in a metered market to win both early-morning and late news since May of last year). The top spot at 5 p.m. went to KGO-TV (4.8/12) followed by KNTV (1.7/4) and KPIX-TV (3.0/7). And 6 p.m., again saw KGO-TV on top (5.2/11), trailed by KNTV (2.5/5) and KTVU (3.1/6). Former NBC affil KRON-TV, now independent, generated a 4.6/7 for its 9 p.m. news.

Dallas-Fort Worth— WFAA-TV grabbed the No. 1 spot at 5 p.m., with 8.7/18, and at 6 p.m., with a 8.8/16. The 10 p.m. top finisher was KXAS-TV with a 10.6/16, followed by WFAA-TV with a 9.6/15.

Detroit— WXYZ-TV and WDIV(TV) alternated top honors throughout the news day. At 5-6 p.m. it was WXYZ-TV with 9.9/20, WDIV(TV) with a 8.5/18 and WJBK(TV) trailing with a 4.0/8. Then at 6-6:30, WDIV was back on top with a 10.2/20 to WXYZ's 9.9/19 and WJBK's 3.6/7. And at 11 p.m., WDIV's 14.7/24 beat out WXYZ-TV's 10.5/17. (WJBK's 10 p.m. newscast did an 8.4/12.)

Finlayson Moves to Music City

Nashville— Andrew Finlayson, is the new news director at Meredith's WSMV-TV. Finlayson, former news director at Cox's KTVU(TV) San Francisco, left there in January, the same time Mark Shafer left WSMV-TV. The move reunites Finlayson with Meredith Broadcasting Group President Kevin O'Brien, who ran KTVU before going to Meredith. It was during Finlayson's watch that KTVU's news department received the Project for Excellence in Journalism's highest rating. Finlayson had held a variety of news positions since joining KTVU in 1989. Prior to that, he worked for KCBS-TV Los Angeles and ABC News.

News at 7 With McGinty

Washington— Gannett's WUSA(TV) will introduce a 7 p.m. news program this fall and has hired ABC News' Derek McGinty to anchor it. McGinty, currently anchor of ABC's World News Now, as well as a reporter in the network's Washington bureau, got his start in radio in D.C., including a stint at National Public Radio. Prior to going to ABC, he was a correspondent on CBS News'Public Eye With Bryant Gumbel. Says WUSA GM Ardyth Diercks, "The launch of this program addresses the lifestyle changes of viewers in our region. People are spending more time commuting, and they're getting home later."

A Load for Baer

Mary Baer (above), health and medical reporter at WJXT(TV) Jacksonville, Fla., has added anchor duties to her résumé. She replaces Deborah Gianoulis, who left the anchor slot to become the station's outreach and development manager. Baer will join the 6 p.m. team and will also anchor the 5 and 10 p.m. casts as well as continuing health reporting.

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