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TV Note: KDKA to air newscast at 10 p.m. on WNPA

Saturday, June 09, 2001

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

KDKA announced plans yesterday to launch a 10 p.m. newscast on sister station WNPA, Channel 19, Pittsburgh's UPN affiliate.

The move comes as no surprise; both stations are owned by Viacom. It's standard practice in other markets with duopolies (two stations owned by one company) that the station with a strong news division produces a newscast for the station with no news department.

Some KDKA employees, including anchors and reporters, are expected to staff the WNPA newscast, although no anchors have been named to the program. Patrice King Brown and Ken Rice, who anchor the 11 p.m. news on KDKA, are logical candidates, but their contracts could have to be renegotiated to include a 10 p.m. newscast.

No premiere date has been set for WNPA's news program, but news director Al Blinke said it will be sometime this summer.

"It will have a set of its own and its own graphics, but it will be done out of the KDKA studios," Blinke said. "We will hire some people for it, and we'll have KD people working on the UPN newscast as well."

The format and staffing of the newscast are still being discussed.

"It's a great opportunity to increase our news presence in town," Blinke said. "No matter what UPN does as far as ratings and lead-in audience, if we put on a quality newscast, people will find it."

WNPA's 35-minute newscast will compete with the one-hour "Ten O'Clock News" on Fox affiliate WPGH, Channel 53. That broadcast has established itself as a viable alternative to other late news programs, and WPGH regional manager Dick Singer said he has no fear that Channel 53's ratings will suffer.

"I think it will probably bring more news viewers to the time period," Singer said. "We have a great product, strong lead-in with Fox, and our numbers are continuing to go up, so I don't have any concern."

When WNPA launches its 10 p.m. news, Pittsburgh will have three news shows in the time slot, including a newscast on PCNC, WPXI's cable outlet.

Town hall meeting

Gospel superstar Kirk Franklin, Raven-Symone of "The Cosby Show" fame and Essence magazine executive Susan Taylor were all in Pittsburgh last month for a town hall meeting on the Carnegie Mellon University campus as part of the Pittsburgh Housing Authority's fourth annual Clean Slate. It's a three-day anti-drug program that encourages youngsters to stay in school and away from drugs.

The Housing Authority bought time to broadcast the town hall meeting, attended by close to 500 people, tomorrow at 10 a.m. on WCWB and at noon on WPGH.

(Monica Haynes, Post-Gazette Staff Writer)

The Buzz

The Buzz Poets will perform an all-acoustic show tomorrow at Club Cafe, 12th St., South Side. The first show is invitation-only but will be broadcast live on WXDX-FM (105.9), starting at 8 p.m. The second is open to the public. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets are $15. Information: 412-431-4950.

(Adrian McCoy, Post-Gazette Staff Writer)

Money talk

A new financial/investment advice show debuts on WLTJ-FM (92.9), starting tomorrow. The investment firm of Parker/Hunter will host the live call-in show. Topics will include stock market information, money management and financial planning. The show airs every other Sunday at 8:30 a.m., starting tomorrow until Sept. 30; after that, it will air weekly until Nov. 25.

(A.M.)

Thursday, June 07, 2001

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