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Station Break

If you have a local news item, contact John Eggerton at (202) 463-3712 or e-mail him

Mass. LP Gets CBS Affil

Springfield-Holyoke, Mass.—CBS and Meredith have signed an affiliation agreement for the market, where Meredith has bought a religious low-power station, call letters WSHM pending. It plans to have the station operating by the first of next year, according to a spokesman. At that time, Comcast cable will switch from importing Meredith's CBS affiliate WFSB-TV Hartford, Conn., into the market—which has had no resident CBS affiliate—and begin carrying the LPTV. WSHM will be operated by WFSB-TV, which is headed by VP/GM Elden Hale.

Reporter's Death Investigated

New York—The New York State Health Department is investigating the death of popular WPIX(TV) sportscaster Sean Kimmerling, citing "level of care" issues. Kimmerling, who had been with the station since 1997, died Sept. 9 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center following treatment for testicular cancer. According to department spokesman Robert Kenny, the hospital has been ruled out: "We have no issue with Sloan Kettering. Our focus has shifted to other health-care providers." Kenny said the investigation will take "a couple more weeks at a minimum."

ND Upped in Wichita

Wichita, Kan.—Joan Barrett, news director at CBS affiliate KWCH-TV, has been promoted to VP/GM at the Media General station. She replaces Kathy Mohn, who has moved to co-owned WSLS-TV Roanoke, Va., as VP/GM. Barrett has been with the station for 18 months.

Acting? No, GM

Milwaukee—Mark Strachota, acting general manager since August of Journal Broadcast NBC affiliate WTMJ-TV Milwaukee, gets to drop the "acting" from his title. Strachota is a 24-year veteran of the station having come up through the sales ranks from account executive to general sales manager. He takes over as GM from Jim Prather, who left to run Journal's KTNV-TV Las Vegas.

Scranton ND Makes Madison Move

Madison, Wis.—Al Zobel, news director at Nexstar's WBRE-TV Scranton, Pa., has left to join WKOW-TV as news director, replacing Merit Ossian. Zobel's last day will be Oct. 17; he starts in Madison on Oct. 27. He will be replaced temporarily by WBRE-TV Managing Editor Paul Stueber. Zobel had been news director at both WBRE-TV and WYOU(TV), the latter operated by Nexstar through a local services agreement.

In July, Nexstar decided to install a news director at each, elevating assistant ND/5 and 6 p.m. anchor Frank Andrews, although Zobel says he had still been doing the budget for both stations. Zobel is hoping for a general manager career track. He says there have been no promises from his new employer, "but Nexstar has made it known it probably wouldn't happen here."

Rocky Mountain NHSI

Denver—Starting next month, Nielsen will begin measuring Hispanic TV viewing in Denver using the NHSI, or Nielsen Hispanic Station Index. Ratings books will be available for the four sweeps periods. Signing on for the service are KCEC-TV (Univision) and KTFD-TV (Telefutura). Denver will be the 19th market to get the NHSI. According to Nielsen, 13% of the market is Hispanic, a hair under the 13.3% of the total U.S. population that Hispanics represent according to the most recent census.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.