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Station Break

If you have a local news item, contact John Eggerton at (202) 659-3852 or e-mail him

Studio 5 Draws Crowd

Chicago—NBC's WMAQ-TV Chicago did a big number for the opening of its new ground-level studio. The two-hour special at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20, logged an 8.2 rating/20 share, with at a 9.1/21 in its first hour and a 5.1/13 in its second. That was up 34% and 96%, respectively, from the average for the kids shows normally seen in the time periods. Among the familiar Chicago faces attending the opening of Studio 5 were Rainbow/PUSH founder and President Jessie Jackson; Bruce DuMont, president of the Museum of Broadcast Communications; and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Little Rocker Can't Demand Dish

Little Rock, Ark.—The FCC has ruled that KYPX(TV) can't force EchoStar to make room for a satellite dish antenna the station wants to use to deliver its signal to the Little Rock facility the DBS provider uses for receiving local broadcast channels.

As part of its plan to offer local TV channels in the market, EchoStar agreed to accept a satellite signal from KYPX after measurements demonstrated that the station's over-the-air signal was inadequate for adding to the DBS provider's system. Broadcasters must provide a good-quality signal to DBS and cable operators in order to exercise their must-carry rights.

The satellite provider insisted it had no room for the 4- by 6-foot dish at the space it leases from Clear Channel and told the station it had to lease its own space from Clear Channel. KYPX argued that commission precedent required EchoStar to find space for the station. The FCC ruled instead that the previous case in which DirecTV was required to make room for a broadcaster involved equipment weighing only 2 pounds that could be accommodated within existing space.

NAB's Dwight Ellis To Retire

Washington—Dwight Ellis, head of NAB's Career Center and Human Resource Development, will retire in February. He oversees NAB's diversity outreach program, which hooks up college students with television and radio companies and serves as a liaison to minority and women's groups and to advocates for minority entrepreneurship in the industry.

NAB credits Ellis with helping launch scores of broadcasting careers. He also helped create the association's Career Center, a free referral service linking broadcasters to culturally diverse, qualified job applicants.

Ellis joined NAB in 1978 and was promoted to vice president in 1980. After leaving NAB, he will launch Dwight Ellis & Associates Ltd., a media and workforce-development consultancy.

KTVT Adds Newscast

Fort Worth, Texas—KTVT(TV) will initiate a 4 p.m. newscast on Jan. 5. It will be anchored by Jody Dean, formerly of KDFW-TV Dallas, and Maria Arita, whose background mixes news with TV acting stints on Dallas
and Walker, Texas Ranger
and movie roles in Jailbirds
and Universal Soldiers. The hour newscast replaces syndicated fare Who Wants To Be a Millionaire
and Hollywood Squares. Squares
is moving to 11 a.m. Millionaire
is moving off the station to air at 12:37 a.m. and 3 p.m. on co-owned UPN affiliate KTXA(TV).

New Boss for WSPA-TV

Greenville, S.C.—Media General has named Philip J. Lane VP/general manager of WSPA-TV Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson, S.C., where he was an account executive earlier in his career. He will also oversee co-owned WASV-TV there, as well as nearby WNEG-TV Toccoa, Ga. He comes from Media General's WJBF(TV) August, Ga., where he was also VP/GM. He starts Jan. 5.

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.