Real people, real shake-up

As expected, there will be a major reshuffling of the KYW-3 anchor desk by vice president and general manager Marcellus Alexander

Courier Times

As expected, there will be a major reshuffling of the KYW-3 anchor desk by vice president and general manager Marcellus Alexander starting Sept. 10. Dave Frankel gets discarded from the 6 p.m. newscast, replaced by Larry Kane, who joins Siani Lee. This means Frankel's days are numbered at KYW. His contract is up in March, but he is in negotiations with management for a mutual end date, which will probably come sooner than March. After a long and successful run at WPVI, things never really worked out for Frankel at 3, lasting only three-plus years.

At 11 p.m., Kane will be joined by "wild card" Denise Saunders, promoted from the weekends. Pat Ciarrocchi, who has spent 15 of her 19 years at KYW on the Dawn Patrol, gets dealt a new hand - moving from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., while continuing the noon broadcast with Ukee Washington.

That means it's no longer the Dawn Patrol for Dawn Stensland at 5 p.m., as she becomes strictly a reporter for now. A newsroom source said most of the station was in shock over the promotion of relative newcomer Saunders and demotion of the popular four-year station veteran Stensland, who is married to NBC10's Larry Mendte. Besides her high profile role at the station and in town, Stensland is highly regarded in the eyes of CBS network management, coming "this close'' to getting the co-host position that went to Jane Clayson on "The CBS Early Show.'' She also anchored the network's "CBS Saturday Morning News.''

It was inevitable that changes would be made at KYW-3 after a horrendous May ratings period, especially at 5 p.m., when it finished fourth in its time slot behind the news on 6 and 10 and "Judge Judy'' on 29.

Incoming news director Sue Schiller, who was part of the decision-making process, starts fulltime this week.

On a bright note, KYW's "Best of Philly'' special, co-hosted by Stensland and Washington, had a 5.1 rating/9 share for KYW-3 on July 30, besting "Hollywood Squares'' normal 4.6 rating. It tied for third place with "Seinfeld'' on Fox, behind "Wheel of Fortune'' on 6ABC and "Access Hollywood'' on NBC10. Each rating point represents around 26,000 households.

Breakdown in coverage

Call a penalty on Fox-Philadelphia for their coverage of the serious injury of Eagles defensive tackle Corey Simon. After Jill Chernekoff and Rich Noonan tossed the story to Bill Vargus, it didn't stop the sports department from playing their self-important "TRAINING CAMP'' stinger leading into the story.

It's obvious that Fox is proud of their fancy intro, but they could have refrained from playing it in that situation.

Drop that hammer

Watch for Fairless Hills resident Rick Foster on the Sept. 25 episode of "Philly'' on ABC this fall. The 46-year-old contractor and part-time actor fittingly plays a construction worker giving Kim Delaney's character a hard time in the new ABC drama that filmed some exteriors here last month.

Local coverage

Who needs Madison County? "The Last Covered Bridges of Pennsylvania'' highlights the beauty of Pennsylvania's covered bridges on WHYY-TV, Tuesday at 9 p.m. Unknown to many, Pennsylvania has more of these bridges than any other state in the country.


Thursday, August 23, 2001