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Station Break

Cameraman Awarded $13 Million

Los Angeles— Phil Arno, a KTTV(TV) cameraman whose left leg was crushed in the 2000 crash of a leased helicopter, was awarded $13 million by a jury last week. Arno underwent multiple surgeries on his left leg and ankle and has been unable to return to work. He sued Purwin Co., the copter's owner; Helinet Aviation Services, its operator; and the pilot, Kris Kelley. He did not sue the station. The jury awarded Arno $3.7 million for past economic damages and $9.4 million for future damages. The defendants admitted liability for the crash.

More Than Just a Better VCR

San Jose, Calif.— TiVo has developed new audience-measurement tools that it says will give broadcasters and advertisers "the first opportunity to analyze second-by-second specific viewing patterns within television programs." At the same time, the company announced it will offer a subscription quarterly report (the TiVo Commercial Viewing Report) that uses this new measurement capability to report on viewing patterns within prime time programs.

TiVo's new service uses statistics derived from "anonymous and aggregate data" collected when TiVo DVRs make a daily phone call to the company's Broadcast Center to retrieve and download programming information. This data, TiVo says, can be culled into large samples that can be analyzed on a near real-time basis. TiVo says it can provide data on programs in any daypart, allowing clients to analyze specific viewing patterns during programs.

The TiVo Commercial Viewing Report
provides a numerical ranking of viewer retention of each show airing in prime time on major networks. It tracks specific viewing patterns during the programs and assigns a numerical score to indicate the program's ability to retain viewers. The methodology was developed with Starcom MediaVest Group.

Changing Faces in Chicago

Chicago— There have been lots of hirings in the Windy City recently. First, was the homecoming of weather anchor Andy Avalos to WMAQ-TV. Avalos did weather there from 1994 to '98 and, before that, at WLS-TV from 1984 to '94.

Over at WBBM-TV, veteran Chicago broadcaster Derrick Blakley has joined as co-anchor of the 4:30 p.m. news, with Mary Ann Childers. He will also serve as a general assignment reporter. Blakley spent 15 years at WMAQ-TV and was a CBS News correspondent from 1980 to '87, based in Chicago, London and Bonn, Germany.

WBBM-TV has also named Jon Duncanson and Sylvia Gomez, husband and wife, co-anchors for the station's weekend newscasts and will also do reporting during the week. They will begin work at the station June 30. Duncanson and Gomez gave up their respective reporting and anchoring positions in Chicago in 1998 to take a sabbatical. They returned to the business earlier this year as national correspondents for NBC News.

Anchor Moves in Philly

Philadelphia— Larry Mendte, evening news anchor at WCAU-TV has switched to KYW-TV. He won 15 regional Emmys at WCAU-TV, which he joined in 1997. Previously, he co-hosted Access Hollywood
and was an anchor and reporter at WBBM-TV Chicago. While at WBBM-TV, Mendte earned 27 Emmys.

Welcome to the Big Apple

Shon Gables, morning news anchor/general assignment reporter at WDIV-TV Detroit since 2000, starts today as co-anchor of WCBS-TV New York's morning newscast with Michael Pomeranz. Gables joined WDIV-TV from KWTV(TV) Oklahoma, City where she had been an anchor for two years. She began her career at KVSP(AM) Oklahoma City and also worked at KWCH-TV Wichita, Kan., where she was anchor of the station's public-affairs programming. WCBS-TV anchor Cindy Hsu, who has served as morning anchor since January, will remain as co-anchor of the noon news with Pomeranz, and will continue to anchor special reports.