Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on May 24, 1994 · Page 11
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 11

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 24, 1994
Page 11
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Tuesday, May 24, 1994 The Arizona Republic AH TELEVISION SHAKE-UP Irony at 10: Anchorwoman may be getting the last laugh By Bill Muller The Arizona Republic The biggest winner in Channel 10's switch to the Fox network could be Channel 5 anchorwoman Karen Cams, who may find herself back at a CBS affiliate before it's all over. ' ' ; Cams was anchorwoman for KSAZ-TV (Channel 10) before the station decided not to renew her contract in 1991. Following a bitter split, Cams landed at KPHO-TV (Channel 5), which now is first in line to grab the CBS affiliation left behind by Channel 10. "It's exciting to think about," said Cams, who anchors Channel 5's evening news at 9 p.m. "I'd sure love to see more people watch us. But if it didn't happen, I'd be just as excited coming to work tomorrow." The early favorites to join the CBS network would be the independent Channel 5 and KNXV-TV (ChannclJ5), but Channel 5 has advantages. It's a VHF station, it's' lower on the dial and its signal reaches more of the state. Graham Robertson, news director for Channel 5, said being dropped by an affiliate and rejoining the network at ;, another station in the same market, would be unique. "I've never heard of anything like that before," he said. .', Cams said being dumped by Channel 10 was the most difficult moment in her life. She discovered she was being fired 15 minutes before the evening newscast, when a newspaper reporter called for her reaction. - "In life, there's a reason for everything," she said. "I didn't know it at the time, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me." 4 Channel 10 would leave THE SHOWS CBS to go with Fox .,...,(..,... - . , Suzanne StarrThe Arizona Republic Anchorwoman Karen Cams worked for KSAZ-TV (Channel 10) until her contract was not renewed in 1991. After a bitter split, she landed a job at KPHO-TV (Channel 5). Cams said she got even with Channel 10 by winning an Emmy and three other awards the year she was fired. Cams has worked for television stations in Columbus, Ga.; -Greensboro, N.C,;. Minneapolis; and Salt Lake City. In addition to the Channel 5 newscast, she also does a magazine show and runs her own production company. CHANNEL 10, from page Al an established news department, one that's been here since 195 1." ,. , The network , shifts " would not immediately affect any of the local news staffs because the local programs are managed by the stations, not the.; networks. , : Channel 10 is one ,of 12 stations around the country controlled by New World Communications. Group Inc., that would change . their network affiliations from ABQ CBS and NBC to Fcx. New World acquired Channel 10 from Great American Communications Co. earlier this month. ; Although fewer than one-third of the more than -1 50 Fox , affiliates around the country have local news, Channel 10 officials, who were notified of the network - shift Monday morning, said the move could mean an increased emphasis on local news. "I'm good. I'm fine. I'm really pumped," said Ron Bergamo, Channel 10 general manager. "There's excitement about Fox, and all that brings to the table." - No immediate changes are in store for local viewers. However, the move eventually would lead to a major shift in audience for Channels 10 and 15. ": - Channel 10, the dominant local -' station in this season's ratings race, traditionally has attracted an -older -audience. Fox has scored well among " younger viewers. - ' - "Sales loves the demos, I can sure tell you that," one Channel 10 reporter said, referring to the younger demographics of Fox. Although local news has not been a . high priority for Fox affiliates around the country, Bergamo sees the change , as an opportunity possibly to expand ;, news coverage at Channel 10. "Fox doesn't program every hour of every day," Bergamo said. "Read - into that what you want. There is. a potential for expanded local news. We're very excited about that." - Channel 15, which is owned by the Scripps Howard Broadcasting Co., also plans to launch a half-hour local news program on July 7. The station currently has no local news operation. Hunt said the loss of Fox programming will have no effect on Channel 15's plans. He estimated the July news start-up will cost "in the millions." "This will not change the .' day-to-day focus of what we do here," ' he said. ' Helen Howard Carroll, who be-' came news producer at Channel 15 in February, said that Fox programming was only "a very small part" of the station and that it recently added to its library of syndicated programming. . "Channel 15 was around before 'Fox' Carroll said. "Some syndicated programming rates as well as Fox shows." Contributing to this article were Richard F. Casey and Angela Rabago-Mussi of The Arizona Republic. As their world:tuStatidnews staffs 'shocked,' elated By Richard F. Casey . and Angela Rabago-Mussi JThe Arizona Republic Opinions among local television-news staff members ranged from "shell-shocked" to "an opportunity, a real big opportunity" in the aftermath of Monday's report that KSAZ-TV (Channel 10) would switch to the Fox network from CBS. ' While Channel 10 employees appeared enthusiastic, their counterparts at KNXV-TV (Channel 15), many of whom were hired recently, were trying to put the best face on losing their affiliation with Fox. '' The pending realignment, in the ' words of" one Channel 10 cameraman, is the biggest m network news since ABC began broadcasting. Among-other things, it means Channel 10 would remain a local outlet -for National Football League games. No Channel 10 staff member interviewed would allow his or her name used; the official line was that all comments would come from Ron Bergamo, the station's president and general manager. The fact that Fox has less programming than the other networks could be an opportunity for' the news department, a camera operator said. "A lot of people in news are dreaming of a one-hour show" instead of the current half-hour, he said. --' Bob Bruce-and June Thomson, Channel 10's anchors, had no comment, but Bergamo said, "They're very pumped." Having a local newscast will set Channel 10 apart from most Fox stations. Fewer than one-third of the more than 150 affiliates nationwide have local news. "This is an opportunity for local news expansion," - Bergamo said. "Most of the Fox stations that carry news do it in an aggressive way. I think they're pretty excited about it." Bergamo said some staffers were concerned about losing CBS' prestige and credibility and about losing the Late Sight With David Letterman show at 10:35 p.m. as a draw for its 10 p.m. news. Their jitters did not come close to those of staffers at Channel 15. "Shell-shocked" was how Helen-Howard Carroll, Channel 15's news producer, described the feeling there. The crew of 30 reporters, photographers and managers had just started working at the station and were preparing to go on air with their first news show in the first week of July. It will be the first new newscast in 30 years in the Phoenix area, she said. "We are still going exactly as planned," she added. "About the only change is that we are not Fox news now." Carroll said the only thing that would change would be the logo on the news van and the Fox graphics. - 'The only thing Fox did was allow ' us to take chances," she said, adding that financial backing and support came from the station owners. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting owns the station. No one has talked of leaving, but Carroll said she did receive phone calls from some worried workers who had not yet arrived in Phoenix. Marc Bailey, who was named the anchorman for the program last week, said the loss of Fox affiliation would not change his plans. Bailey said he moved to Phoenix WILL GO ON, SOMEPLACE THE SHOWS, from page A 1 probably will line up a Phoenix affiliate before Fox makes its move to Chan nel 10. l: Will all of Channel 10s shows move to another station? A I No. Syndicated programming, such as the popular game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardyl, will be carried on Channel 10 until their contracts expire. But all CBS network shows, including soap operas, The CBS Evening News, and all prime-time programming, will move. Q: How will this affect Channel 10's news? Al Station officials say there will be no immediate change. Local news has not been a priority for most Fox affiliates. Fox does provide its stations with a news service, but, unlike the other major networks, it does not provide affiliates with national news shows. So will there be less news on Channel 10? Ar Actually, there may be more. Station officials are saying that because Fox generates less network programming than CBS, there will be more time for news and other locally produced programming. . -y. mR , -v 'Tr i 1 p k r , What other questions do you have about the move by Channel 10 to drop its CBS affiliation and join the Fox network? CglE afl B KjtejlS im - Call 271-5656 and press 2251. from Los Angeles because of the group working on the news team, not for the Fox network. Contributing to this article was Bill Muller of The Arizona Republic. HfeQ)h ESSENTIAL" Defied, pleated short. YOUR CHOICE ESSENTIALS ALLISON DALEY JO HOOK AND MORE Our largo selection of pure cotton shorts ore just tho item you reed for summer. 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