Unless you've missed the promotional spots airing with great frequency on WPGH, you know the station will broadcast two hours of live coverage of the Three Rivers Regatta Saturday beginning at 8 p.m.
What's most amazing to news director Tom Burke is that no one else has devoted a special broadcast to the Regatta.
"One of the things TV stations should be doing, and no one in this town has been doing, is to provide [coverage], particularly for people who can't get down there," Burke said. "This is the 19th largest market in the country and this is the biggest civic event every year for the city."
It doesn't hurt, Burke said, that it's the dog days of August when there's not much else on TV. Especially not on Saturday night.
"Ten O'Clock News" anchors John Huck and Sheila Hyland will anchor the broadcast, titled "Regatta Thunder," with live reports from Alby Oxenreiter, Matt Morano and Lisa Beatty.
Burke said two-thirds of the broadcast will be live, including the fireworks display in the last 20 minutes. One-third will be taped reports about the fireworks, the speed boat races of the day, activities at the Carnegie Science Center and a concert performance by Blood, Sweat and Tears.
Burke credits WPGH's regional manager Stu Powell with snagging the rights for the broadcast, and acknowledges the show will be an opportunity to show off the station's news team.
"We want to continue to be a bigger player in the news arena and this is a good opportunity to let people see the people who put together the nightly newscast," Burke said.
Regatta coverage will pre-empt "Cops" at 8 p.m., which will air from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m., bumping "Mad TV" to 11:30 p.m.
Pre-season football (Denver Broncos against the San Diego Chargers playing in Sydney, Australia) moves to WCWB at 9 p.m.
TV FAN SEARCH: TV Land's previously announced "Ultimate Fan Search" has a new venue at the Regatta this Saturday. Instead of taking place on the main stage, it will be held in the Stargate Technology Village.
Registration for TV trivia experts who want to compete begins at 10 a.m., with the first match scheduled for noon. One local winner will go on to the national competition this fall in Los Angeles.
ROGERS PROFILE: Jeff Greenfield profiles Fred Rogers and his 30 years on PBS for "CNN & Time" airing at 8 p.m. Sunday and repeating at 8 p.m. Monday.
Greenfield talks to Rogers about his "old-fashioned notions about television," and Rogers explains the thinking behind "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
"The whole idea was to look at the television and present as much love as you possibly could to a person who feels he or she needs it," Rogers said in the CNN report. "We all long to be lovable and capable of loving, and whatever we can do through the Neighborhood and anything else to be in touch with that, I think that's our ministry."
RADIO NOTE: Gospel station WPGR-AM has moved up the dial to a new frequency. Formerly at 1080 AM, it's now heard on 1510, which was former sister station WXVX-AM's frequency.
The move enables WPGR to broadcast 24 hours a day. Although 1510 now broadcasts at 1500 watts, it's applied for a power increase.
WPGR carries a mix of local gospel plus the syndicated format "The Light."
Starting in September, WWNL will take over 1080, also running a Christian/gospel format.
SHARK ALERT: It's time for The Discovery Channel's annual "Shark Week," beginning Sunday and airing through Aug. 15. The highlight will be a two-hour special at the Bikini Atoll, "Live from a Shark Cage," airing at 9 p.m. Sunday.
Pittsburgh-based Home Run Pictures created several minutes of animation depicting sharks and the first atomic tests at the atoll just after World War II.
Home Run has provided animation for several past Discovery Channel specials, including trips to Titanic, a dam in China and a view inside the space shuttle.
Post-Gazette Staff Writer Adrian McCoy contributed to this report.