Does the name Bob Evans mean anything to you? Probably not - unless you happened to be a classmate of his at BYU back in the 1970s. But the name - and the face and voice attached to it, for that matter - will probably become quite familiar to KUTV viewers in the near future.
Word is that Evans, who is currently working as a weekend news anchor at ABC affiliate KMBC in Kansas City, is going to be offered Randall Carlisle's job at Ch. 2, thus freeing Carlisle to accept the Minneapolis anchoring job he has already been offered.In fact, a memo to that effect was posted Monday morning at the KMBC offices, where news director Brian Bracco told a local reporter that while Evans "will be missed" and he "hates to see him go," he is excited for the 30-year-old BYU grad because the KUTV job is "a wonderful opportunity for him."
It's also a wonderful opportunity for Carlisle, who has been offered an anchoring position for more money in a bigger market which is located closer to his home and family in Ontario, Canada.
It has been understood for weeks that Carlisle and officials at the Minneapolis station had reached an agreement in their contract discussions. But KUTV officials have been hesitant to release him from his local obligations. Last week KUTV general manager Al Seethaler didn't want to talk about the Carlisle situation beyond saying that "he can't go if I don't say he can go, and so far I haven't said he can go.'
Carlisle is contracted to KUTV through next June.
Which is not to say that KUTV officials are planning on holding Carlisle hostage. More likely they were holding off until they could hire someone to fill his anchor chair. Now that a deal has apparently been struck with Evans, whom station leaders consider a "hot prospect," expect to hear word of Carlisle's eminent departure.
So what will be seeing in Evans? According to Barry Garron, television critic for the Kansas City Star, "he isn't a gift from the Walter Cronkite school of broadcast journalism. But he's competent and capable. You can count on him doing an adequate, if unremarkable, job."
Beyond that, Garron said, Evans is "a nice, decent person. Everyone around the station really seemed to like him." In fact, Bracco liked him enough to keep him on the air even after the station had decided not to renew his contract. "He wasn't what KMBC was looking for in their future," Garron said. "But they didn't want to just drop him. They kept him working until he could find another job."
Which he now seems to have done - at KUTV.
* KTVX IS ALSO LOSING a TV news veteran this week. Citing "personal reasons" for his decision, reporter Thom Dillon, at 41 one of the senior members of the Ch. 4 news staff, has announced that he will be hanging up the ol' reporters' notebook after this week.
"I've been doing TV for about 18 years now, and I'm worn out," Dillon said in a telephone interview Monday. "I haven't seen my kids enough. I haven't seen my wife enough. It's time for a change."
Dillon said he's been thinking aobut making this move for a long time, especially in light of the fact that he doesn't see many opportunities for personal advancement for himself at KTVX. So he's going to travel for a while, and then see if he can line up a job hosting a talk show somewhere.
But mostly, he said, "I'm going to dedicate myself to my family."
A noble objective, indeed. Good luck, Thom.
* QUOTE OF THE WEEK: David Letterman, talking to Tom Shales of The Washington Post about the movie deal he signed earlier this year with Disney: "I'm just dyin' to get out there and make bad movies. That's what we need: more of those six-dollar bombs."
* ON THE TUBE TONIGHT: The all-stars are getting together again - and no, I'm not talking about Eight is Enough: A Family Reunion (7 p.m., Ch. 2). I'm talking about the all-stars - Dave Winfield, Dwight Gooden, Jose Canseco, Ozzie Smith. The boys of summer. The best of the best. The guys who will be playing in tonight's Major League Baseball All-Star Game (6 p.m., Ch. 4) at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium. And it promises to be a good game. Never mind that the National Leaguers are 22-3 since 1963 in the annual midsummer affair. The American League has won one of the last two. A new trend is developing.
There's nothing new abut growing old, but the way Americans deal with the process is changing dramatically from year to year. That's why Connie Chung chose to deal with the subject in Everybody's Doing It (9 p.m., Ch. 2), an NBC News special that studies the aging process from the Baby Boomer perspective. (Let's see now - this year Chung has done news documentaries on obesity, stress in the work place and now aging. Do you ever get the feeling that maybe she uses these things do deal with her own personal neuroses?)
Other excellent options this evening include Kids Don't Tell (8 p.m., Ch. 5), a fine and sensitive TV-movie account of a documentary filmmaker who becomes obsessed with his subject matter when he starts working on a film about child sexual abuse. Michael Ontkean and JoBeth Williams are both excellent here. And Nova (8 p.m., Ch. 7) presents a rare look at the death of a star (no, not a Hollywood star - a star star. This is a science show, remember?).
Elsewhere: Nature (8 p.m., Ch. 11) explores a Central American rain forest; KOOG has The Great Houdinis (7 p.m., Ch. 30); KSTU presents Glenda Jackson's Oscar-winning performance in A Touch of Class (8 p.m., Ch. 13); and The Movie Channel will try to cool you off with a couple of Christmas movies - It Happened One Christmas (7 p.m., TMC) and A Christmas Story (9 p.m., TMC).
Looking Toward Wednesday: NBC premieres Home Free (7 p.m., Ch. 2), a new series in which Michael Warren ("Hill Street Blues") plays Dad to a group of troubled boys; PBS goes underwater to write Andrea Doria: The Final Chapter (8 p.m., Ch. 7); Alan Thicke - who else? - hosts the Sports Emmy Awards (8 p.m., Ch. 13); and Gregory Harrison reports on Modern Medical Breakthroughs (9 p.m., Ch. 2).