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TV Note: Storms leave stations at reduced power

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Lightning evidently does strike more than once in the same place -- figuratively speaking, anyway.

WYEP-FM (91.3) was off the air for 48 hours over the weekend, when Friday's violent storms damaged its tower in Hazelwood.

The station, which was knocked off the air at 6:30 p.m. Friday, was told electrical power might not be restored until Wednesday. It's been running off a backup generator -- which itself ran out of fuel early Monday morning, knocking the signal out again briefly.

And yesterday, the station had to operate at reduced power for several hours because of upgrade work being done on the tower to comply with FAA rules.

Both events have affected the station's ongoing membership drive, which ends today. WYEP general manager Lee Ferraro says the drive will end as planned but will resume on Saturday and Sunday, in order to reach audiences of its weekend specialty programming who weren't able to tune in last weekend.

WRRK-FM's (96.9) transmitter is at the same tower site. The station operated on reduced power -- 100 watts, compared to its normal 45,000 -- from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon, when it installed a larger generator that brought it back to full power.

(Adrian McCoy, for the Post-Gazette)

MTV Movie Awards

The always outrageous MTV Movie Awards were taped Saturday at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium. In some of the more fun categories, best screen kiss went to "American Pie 2" guys Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott, while Paul Walker and Vin Diesel were named best on-screen team for "The Fast and the Furious."

In the more traditional categories, best actor went to "Ali's" Will Smith, best actress went to "Moulin Rouge's" Nicole Kidman and "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" was named best film. MTV will air the ceremony at 9 p.m. Thursday.


New face

WPXI-TV has hired Emilie Story as a part-time reporter. News director Pat Maday said Story most recently worked at WUHF-TV, the Fox affiliate in Rochester, N.Y.

(Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor)

Channel surfing

Showtime has renewed Pittsburgh-set gay soap "Queer as Folk" for two additional seasons of 16 episodes each. The show's second season ends June 16.


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