Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Search on for Rashid replacement

        WLWT has started the search to replace Norma Rashid, the veteran primary co-anchor who left the station in spring.

        “I'm going to look for the best person for the job,” says Rabun Matthews, Channel 5 general manager.

        Ideally, he'll find “somebody with ties to this market” to replace Ms. Rashid, who last anchored March 13.

        Ms. Rashid, 44, the primary co-anchor since 1983, sued the station in April, claiming she was fired without cause on March 14.

        Mr. Matthews has denied that Ms. Rashid was fired, although the former anchor had produced an April 19 letter from Mr. Matthews in which he stated her employment was terminated. He says the letter was sent in error, and that she subsequently received a letter “correcting the terminology.”

        Channel 5 will look at prospective candidates inside the station, at other stations in town, and nationally, Mr. Matthew says. Although he didn't mention any names, it's likely that Lisa Cooney, Courtis Fuller and Michelle Hopkins would be considered for the position.

        Since Mr. Matthews took over the station in August, he has hired two anchors with Ohio roots.

        Tampa anchor Dave Wagner, hired in September to replace Charlie Luken, grew up in Columbus and Dayton. Sports anchor Ken Broo, brought in from Washington, D.C., had worked for Channels 5 and 12 in the 1980s and early 1990s.

        Osmonds out: Donny & Marie, the Osmonds' talk show (10 a.m., Channel 5), has been canceled after two seasons by Columbia TriStar. Also canceled this season were talk shows hosted by Roseanne, Richard Simmons, Dr. Joy Browne and Leeza Gibbons.

        Enquirering mind: Enquirering minds want to know: What does the (N) mean after shows listed on our TV grids in the Tempo section and Sunday TV Week magazine?

        Here's the deal: The (N) designates “new” programs. TV Data, our listing service, made this change after the networks stopped labeling their reruns, previously designated with (R).

        The networks had griped that they were being treated unfairly by the listing services. They pointed out that a prime-time repeat of Friends at 8 p.m. Thursday would get the (R), but the syndicated Friends shows airing every weeknight weren't labeled as such. In fact, none of the network repeats on Nick at Nite, USA, TNT, Disney, Cartoon and other cable channels were marked as reruns.

        So TV Data has adopted the new (N) policy.

        TV Guide, however, has not bowed to network pressure. Prime-time network reruns are labeled (repeat), but prime-time reruns on Nick at Nite and other cable services are not.

        Channel 19 news: WXIX-TV's (Channel 19) use of six student reporters on Election Day and public service announcements encouraging parents to vote has been presented a “Service to Children Television Award” by the National Association of Broadcasters Educational Fund.


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