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WPXI alums Chisolm, Savitch joining WQED

Friday, January 24, 2003

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

Former WPXI 11 p.m. anchor Darieth Chisolm will return to Pittsburgh TV as a freelance contributing reporter for WQED's "On Q," which began its fourth fully-funded season this week.

Chisolm left Channel 11 in the summer of 2000 to concentrate on expanding her marketing company, Walnut Grove Sales & Associates. Her first report will likely air in early spring.

" 'On Q' will allow me to scratch the writing and reporting itch that aches for attention," Chisolm said in a station release.

Lori Savitch, an anchor at Channel 11 in the early '90s, joins "On Q" as a freelance producer based in Morgantown, W.Va.

At yesterday's board meeting, the first under the new name WQED Multimedia, different variations on the station's new logo were presented. Company executives said the cost for the new brand identity was $300,000, not including the station's on-air promotion and trade-outs.

Former state Rep. Ralph Kaiser has joined the company as director of government relations, a new position designed to wring more money for the PBS station out of state and federal coffers.

The sale or lease of WQEX was not discussed at the meeting, but afterward, WQED President George Miles said WQED is in serious discussions with three parties. Former proposed WQEX buyer Diane Sutter is not among them, Miles said, and none of the contenders is a home shopping channel or a religious broadcaster.

Board Chairman Herbert Bennett Conner said the company is in no hurry to sell WQEX.

"If the economy is bad," Conner said, "we're prepared to wait until the economy turns.

"Or the FCC changes its rules," Miles added, referring to possible upcoming changes in Federal Communication Commission rules on the number of stations a media conglomerate can own.

"We're looking at the maximum value of the asset," Conner said. "We wouldn't rule out anything. We're not under any pressure to liquefy the asset."

Rob Owen can be reached at rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2582. Post questions or comments to www.post-gazette.com/tv under TV Forum.

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