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TV Note: 10/5/02

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Native in CBS movie

In one scene of "Hell on Heels," Mary Kay Ash is serenaded by Allegheny Valley native Christine Vertosick.

The Carlow College graduate works as executive assistant to the CEO of the company that made the movie. Producers knew Vertosick had a singing background and cast her as a "Seminar Singer" in a short scene that shows Mary Kay Ash at an inspirational seminar in Dallas.

New to 2

KDKA has hired a second part-time medical reporter to join Dr. Maria Simbra. Dr. Paul Nemiroff, a surgeon and former medical reporter for KCBS in Los Angeles, moved to Pittsburgh to be closer to family and landed the gig at KDKA.

"Research shows health is very important to people in Pittsburgh, and who better to do it than doctors?" said KDKA news director Al Blinke.

The TV docs will most likely appear during the station's 4 and 5 p.m. newscasts. Mary Robb Jackson, who was never a full-time medical reporter but did many health stories in recent years, will do occasional health reports and general assignment reporting, Blinke said.

Nemiroff, like Simbra, will likely be costumed in a white lab coat for some of his reports.

"I like the white coat," Blinke said. "I think it says, 'Doctor.' The reality is we can give people health news nobody else can do. It's important people know they're doctors and white coat kind of signifies that. That's what people are familiar with."

Channel surfing

Pax TV has settled a dispute with DirecTV that will keep the Pax national feed on the satellite service as Channel 255. DirecTV had threatened to drop the network last month. ... "American Idol" co-host Brian Dunkleman won't return next year for the show's second season. The other co-host, Ryan Seacrest, has already signed on to host again. ... NBC will rebroadcast the premiere episode of "American Dreams" tomorrow at 7 p.m. before the series' second episode airs at 8 p.m. ... ABC has given full-season orders to "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teen-age Daughter" and "Life With Bonnie."

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