Station Break

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

WFTS-TV GM Dies of Lung Cancer

Tampa, Fla.—Sam Stallworth, 57, vice president and general manager for Scripps's WFTS-TV and former VP of sales for CBS-owned TV stations, died Dec. 1 at Tampa General Hospital. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer in October.

Stallworth had headed the station for three years. Before joining WFTS-TV, he was VP/GM of WSYX-TV Columbus, Ohio, and before that had served five years in the CBS station sales post. He began his career in 1973 as an account executive at WXIA-TV Atlanta, moving to director of sales for WBBM-TV Chicago. Stallworth is survived by his wife, Shelley, two daughters and a son.

They Love a Parade

Philadelphia—Back in July, Dave Davis, GM of ABC's WPVI-TV, cited the station's parade coverage in a Senate Communications Subcommittee hearing on broadcast localism. That coverage included the St. Patrick's Day parade "live for two hours, usually at the expense of preempting network programming," he told the legislators. Now that particular localism chit has passed to Viacom, whose KYW-TV (CBS) and WSPG-TV (UPN) have signed a three-year deal for exclusive coverage. It probably helps when the VP/GM's of the two stations are named Dunn (Peter) and O'Kane (Kevin). In fact, Dunn is featured in tIrish American magazine as one of its top 100 Irish business leaders (his boss, Viacom station head Dennis Swanson, is another).

The stations will co-promote the parade and share broadcast rights.

KYW-TV, which had rights to the parade from 1988 to '93, will get first crack, airing it Sunday, March 14. Preemption won't be a problem. If KYW-TV has to bump any network programming, most likely sports, it will shift to UPN.

The new deal hardly leaves WPVI-TV parade-less, however. "It has every other parade in town," said one competitor, including the Puerto Rican Day, Pulaski Day, Columbus Day and Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades. It even has a separate parade office to deal with the virtually year-round logistics.


New York—WABC-TV overtook WNBC(TV) for bragging rights in the nation's top market for the November sweeps. Sign-on to sign-off, WABC-TV logged a 4.6 rating/10 share, according to Nielsen NSI ratings, to WNBC's 4.2/10. The ABC station's victory included a sweep of the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. news races.

WABC-TV was down 2% from November 2002; WNBC-TV was down 13%. Among the top stations, gainers led decliners, however, with No. 3 WCBS-TV up 6% to a 3.8/9, WPIX(TV) up 3% to a 3.3/7, WNYW(TV) up 5% to a 2.3/5, and Spanish-language WXTV up 6% to a 1.9/4. It marks the third sweeps in a row in which WXTV has beaten one of the network affiliates, according to a station spokesman. That affiliate would be Fox-owned WWOR(TV), which did a 1.5/3, down 12% from November 2002.

WUSF-TV To Run County's Channel

Tampa, Fla.—Non-commercial WUSF-TV has found a novel source of funds to help defray the cost of its conversion to digital: the local cable operator.

The station has made a deal to operate Pasco County government's PEG channel, providing everything from engineering design and maintenance to local-program production. Funding for the channel comes from Brighthouse Communications as part of its franchise agreement with the county. WUSF-TV may be starting something of a cottage industry in government work. In April, it agreed to provide multimedia services, including creating audio and video transcripts, for the Hillsborough County Circuit Court.

Streets of Chicago

NBC's WMAQ-TV Chicago will inaugurate its new Studio 5 with a two-hour broadcast Dec. 20. The show will feature station newspeople, as well as some local and national celebrities, according to the station. If some of the anchors and reporters are working in shirtsleeves, that's because bins for a Salvation Army coat drive will be strategically placed for the collection of new or "gently used" contributions. The station plans to broadcast its morning and midday newscasts from the studio, as well as other programs and special events.

John Eggerton

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.