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TV Notes: 1/29/03

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

KDKA news loses weekend anchor

Two years after joining KDKA-TV, weekend anchor Gabrielle DeRose and the station have parted company.

"I wish things would have worked out; unfortunately it didn't go that way," DeRose said. "I always look for the positive, and to me that's the people at KDKA. I truly treasured working with every one of my colleagues there, and I wish them nothing but the best."

Since early February 2001, DeRose has co-anchored the weekend newscasts with Don Cannon and worked as a reporter during the week. DeRose replaced Jacque Smith, who accepted a job in Cleveland.

KDKA news director Al Blinke denied that DeRose was offered a contract that would pay her 20 percent less than what she had been making.

"It was not 20 percent," Blinke said, but he refused to elaborate. "I can't talk about that. It's a personnel thing."

DeRose would not discuss her negotiations with the station.

"I don't feel it's appropriate for me to comment about that," she said.

DeRose, hired by former KDKA news director Joe Coscia, previously worked as an anchor, reporter and producer for the CBS affiliate in Altoona. Her last day at KDKA was Monday.

Blinke said a replacement for DeRose has not been selected.

(Rob Owen and Barbara Vancheri, Post-Gazette Staff Writers)

WQED-FM turns 30

Classical WQED-FM (89.3) turns 30 this year without ever having changed its format, which is a notable feat in radio.

The station is marking the occasion with a series of audio features that will air throughout the anniversary year. They'll feature excerpts from old programs, musicians who performed in the studio and people who used to work there. Listeners will hear history milestones such as the first sign-on announcement and the first time a CD was played on the station.

WQED signed on the air on Jan. 25, 1973. At the time, there were several commercial and public stations in town playing classical music as part of their programming, but there was no full-time presence.

WQED started out broadcasting from 6 a.m. to midnight and began programming practices that continue today -- actively participating in the local classical music and arts scene, carrying Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra broadcasts, interviewing musicians and performers and recording local performances.

"The hope was that it would be a catalyst for the Pittsburgh arts scene," says WQED station manager Jim Cunningham.

Classical formats, especially on commercial stations, have fallen by the wayside in some markets.

"We've stayed the course for 30 years because there is support in the community," says operations manager/chief announcer Ted Sohier.

(Adrian McCoy, Post-Gazette Staff Writer)

Twice the fun

WQED-FM will broadcast its weekly arts program "Bayer Sunday Arts Magazine" twice a week starting the first week in March.

The program will have a name change, to "Bayer Arts Magazine," and will air at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, repeating at 4 p.m. Sundays in its original time slot.

The change to Wednesday enables "Arts Magazine" to provide more coverage of upcoming weekend arts events. The station also will be able to use some of the features throughout the week.

(A.M.)

Channel surfing

The WB will air two final episodes of the canceled superhero show "Birds of Prey" back to back from 8 to 10 p.m. on Feb. 19. ... CBS's "Star Search" concludes its first round Feb. 6, and a second edition will air at 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays beginning Feb. 19. ... CBS has sent "Presidio Med" and "Queens Supreme" packing, removing both shows from the prime-time schedule for the duration of February sweeps, which begins Thursday.

(R.O.)

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