SOMEWHERE OVER NEVADA - Good heavens. It's press tour time already and I still haven't told you . . .
. . . about the firing of programmer Deb Anderson at KSTU. One of my favorite people in the local television industry, Deb was always a delight to talk to and a complete professional even when she didn't like what we'd written about her shows. But evidently her close ties to former KSTU general manager Vickie Street didn't sit too well with some people at the new Ch. 13, and so now she's gone, too. (If the people who own the rights to the proposed Ch. 14 are really serious about putting a new independent station on the air here they'd do well to snap up Deb and put her to work. Fast.). . . about cable rates going up. Of course, if you have cable you've already received your notice. If you don't, you're probably snickering about the poor video-aholics who now have to pay more for their teletronic fix. But what I want to know is, now that I'm paying $16.75 a month for basic cable service are they going to figure out a way to keep the cable operating when it snows? And get those horizontal lines out of KBYU? And make it so the Disney Channel doesn't just disappear from time to time? And hire some technical people who know another language besides rude?
. . . that a recent survey by the R.D. Percy Co. indicates that the average American household with remote control television zaps every three minutes and 42 seconds. Included in that sample was one household that switched stations an incredible 1,045 times in one day. (No, Anita, that wasn't us.)
. . . that former Salt Laker Jason Bateman will make his directorial debut in next Monday's edition of "The Hogan Family." In so doing he will become the youngest person to ever direct a television series episode, and the youngest person ever admitted to the Director's Guild.
. . . that KUED exceeded its December fund-raising goal by 18 percent, receiving pledges totaling $130,931 from some 2,484 viewers. $12,000 of that came in during one program, "Peter, Paul and Mary: A Holiday Concert." If you missed your chance to contribute, don't worry - they'll be back.
. . . that former San Diego Charger place-kicker Rolf Benirschke will take over for Pat Sajak as host of NBC's daytime version of "Wheel of Fortune" beginning Monday. (And you thought those pro football types weren't literate.) Meanwhile, Sajak will continue to host the syndicated version, which is seen locally at 6:30 p.m. on Ch. 4. And don't forget his new late-night talk show for CBS, which premieres Monday on KSL at 11:05 p.m.
. . . that Terri Garber (remember the wicked Ashton on "North and South"?) is joining the cast of NBC's "My Two Dads." She will play Karen Maruin, a woman who is professionally involved with both of the dads. (Any bets on how long it's going to take for one or both of them to get involved with her romantically?)
. . . that Ray McAnally, the wonderful British actor who stars Jan. 15 in "Masterpiece Theatre's" two-part "A Very British Coup," said something recently that should be tattooed on the forehead of every actor - and every reporter who covers actors. "The truth is that nobody should give a (deleted) what an actor thinks about anything," McAnally said. "In fact, the actor's greatest enemy is his ego, the part of his personality that insists on being heard. The only thing that counts is the work and the way it lives on in the minds of the audience."
. . . that "Falcon Crest" reruns have been banned in Cairo because they "undermine public morals."
. . . that NBC is dumping "Sale of the Century" and "Super Password" March 24 to make room for "Generations," their new soap opera that breaks ground because it focuses on a black family.
. . . that Jay Leno said recently that one TV company is doing a Christmas movie for atheists: "Coincidence on 34th Street."
. . . that tabloid television is being taken one step further - read "lower" - by something called "hate TV." Yep, Tom Metzger and the white-sheeted Boys of Bigotry are back with "Race and Reason," a white supremacist program that is currently airing in 55 cities on public access cable channels. (At least this time they are poisoning the airwaves from someplace other than Salt Lake.)
. . . that Jess Oppenheimer, co-creator of "I Love Lucy," died last week. He was 75.
. . . that Fox network officials are pushing to get an evening newscast on the air by the end of 1989.
. . . that the Batmobile is up for sale in a Scottsdale, Ariz., car auction. And not just the Batmobile, but the Batcyle and Bat-trailer, too. Holy fire sale!
There. The ol' Vidbit File is thinner and I feel better.
Now, let the press tour begin!