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Marriage Sacred to Capitol
Raleigh, N.C.— Capitol Broadcasting's WRAL-TV did not air CBS reality show Cupid, invoking the community-standards clause in its affiliate agreement and contending that the show demeans marriage. Cupid
is a relationship show from American Idol
co-creator Simon Cowell in which a young woman, aided by her friends, searches for the man of her dreams among many candidates. The couple can earn a "million-dollar dowry" if they marry and stay married for a year. The station put on a double run of The Andy Griffith Show
"Virtually every reality program deals with sex and nudity," he said. "We draw the line at marriage. We love CBS, and CBS has the right to put on anything that they want, but our feeling in our markets is that you don't demean marriage. You don't pay people to get married. You don't have other people choose who you marry, and we're not going to do that. We didn't take a poll, but, because we're there, we know the standards of our community. I'm not saying we made the right decision or the wrong decision, but we made a decision, and that's our job."
Capitol stations have objected to reality shows dealing with marriage in the past and have pulled Fox's Married by America
and Who Wants To Marry a Millionaire?.
CBS spokesman Chris Ender commented that "we're somewhat mystified by their decision and we strongly disagree.
Omaha, Neb.— KETV-TV had to go to a back-up tower when its over-1,200-foot main tower fell to the ground late on July 4. No one was at the site, the station reported, so there were no injuries, and engineers were inspecting the collapsed tower last week to determine the cause. It was the fourth tower accident in Nebraska in 14 months. A Louisiana man working on the tower of KOLN Lincoln/KGIN Grand Island, in Seward County, died instantly last month after falling from the structure. Two workers died and three more were injured in the collapse of KDUH-TV Scottsbluff, Neb.'s, nearly 2,000-foot tower in Box Butte County last September. And in April 2002, a worker was killed by falling debris when a cable snapped at a Nebraska Educational Television tower.
Anchor Exits After Arrest
Charleston, W.Va.— Longtime popular anchor Tom McGee is off the air on WCHS-TV and WVAH-TV after being arrested for drunk driving—his third such arrest in 12 years. McGee joined the stations last year after being off the air following a contract dispute with WOWK-TV Huntington.
Police reported that McGee tried to flee after driving the wrong way on a Charleston street and crashing. Sources said management at the station were disappointed but had no choice but to let him go.
Young Names News Exec
Nashville, Tenn.— Young Broadcasting has hired former TV newsman and news consultant Brian Greif as its first groupwide VP of news. Greif will be based in Nashville and report to Executive Vice President Deborah McDermott. Young said that, in addition to the group's 11 stations' overall news product and coaching, he will focus on digital news programming.
Greif is a former news director for WSVN-TV Miami and WHO-TV Des Moines, Iowa. Most recently, he was senior VP of North American Television for Frank N. Magid Associates.
Said McDermott, "We just needed some additional support as we move into looking at digital channels, extra spectrum, staying on top of our news product. Brian is there to look for opportunities for growth in news in our local markets."