Terry Wood may not be the only one returning to KUTV's 6 p.m. news on Monday -- the station is considering (gasp!) making sports a regular feature of the broadcast.
A final decision is expected sometime today.KUTV has gone without sports on the early evening newscast for a number of years, while both KTVX and KSL have maintained a traditional sport presence -- something Ch. 2 news director Dan Webster says he still doesn't want.
"If we do it, it's not going to be sports as you know it," Webster said. "It's got to be different. There's not traditional sports news by 6 o'clock."
They typically coy Webster didn't have anything further to say about the proposed format for a sports segment, nor would he discuss who he might put on the air, other than to say that Dave Fox was one of the "possibilities."
We'll have to tune in Monday to see if sports is back on Ch. 2 And, if so, what this non-traditional segment will look like.
CH.2 LAYOFFS: Maybe it's just coincidence but as Terry Wood arrives, layoffs have begun at Ch. 2.
The most prominent departing is reporter Chris Vanocur, who along with five others (a producer, a photographer, a traffic reporter and two staffers in the community affairs office) has alrready been given a pink slip.
In addition, six positions already vacated will go unfilled and two staffers who plan retirement this year will not be replaced.
It's a product of a couple of things:
(1) Ad revenues for radio, TV and (sigh) newspapers have been off considerably in Utah; as well as the rest of the nation; and (2) KUTV is carrying a considerable debt, meaning the station is even more susceptible to those losses in revenue.
Although KUTV execs deny the hiring of Wood had anything to do with the layoffs, his salary alone could have paid to keep several of those positions open.
THE RATINGS GAMES: American viewers still aren't overly enthused with any of the more than 30 new shows on the networks this fall, and the baseball playoffs didn't garner too much attention, either.
The only new program in the Top 10 was "America's Funniest People," and that moronic show is still riding on the coattails of "America's Funniest Home Videos."
Other than "AFP," you have to go down a ways on the list to find another new show--or, in this case, two new shows: "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" and "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" tied for 32nd.
The shows at the top of the list are the old favorites, led by "Cheers," which is now in its ninth season.
CBS can't be happy with the way the baseball playoffs are going. The two prime time American League Championships Series games ranked 28th and 39th, while the only National League prime time game finished 41st.
Not a particularly good return on CBS' billion-dollar investment.
Aided -- or is that hurt? -- by baseball, CBS fell into third place for the first time this season. NBC won the still extremely close race with a 12.9 raating and a 22 share. ABC was second with a 12.5/21, CBS third with a 12.3/21 and Fox trailed badly with a 6.2/21. (Each rating point equals 931,000 homes and the share is the percentage of homes actually watching TV tuned into a particular network.