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TV NEWS . . . AND SNIDE COMMENTARY

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News, notes and (snide) commentary . . .

- Fox, in a snit because NBC is challenging its alleged foreign ownership - thus threatening the existence of the fourth network as presently constituted - has filed petitions to try to prevent NBC from acquiring the CBS-owned station in Philadelphia. If Fox succeeds, that could cause the collapse of the deal that includes KUTV-Ch. 2 being traded to CBS.Don't hold your breath on that happening. Fox's Rupert Murdoch, caught with his pants down, is trying to divert attention from legitimate questions about how he's doing business. It may delay the Philadelphia switch - and thus the KUTV switch - but it won't prevent it.

- This past Sunday, three major-market TV stations, in Atlanta, Milwaukee and Detroit, switched from CBS to Fox. All three were deluged with calls from angry viewers wanting to know what had happened to "60 Minutes." (CBS programming is now airing on weaker stations in those cities.)

Are you listening at KSL and KUTV?

- Dan Rather is in a snit, complaining long, loud and hard to anyone who will listen about the unfairness of CBS's plan to move "48 Hours" to Thursdays opposite NBC's monster hit "ER."

If the move does kill "48 Hours," wouldn't it be tragic to have one less news magazine cluttering up the airwaves?

- NBC, once again trying to blunt the appeal of CBS's medical drama "Chicago Hope," has announced it will rerun the two-hour pilot of "ER" on Monday, Dec. 2 - the same day that "Hope" moves to Mondays.

What a bunch of snots at NBC. Hey, there's room for both shows - particularly now that they won't even be on the same night.

- Two of Barbara Walters "Most Fascinating People of 1994" - as seen on her latest fluffy special on Tuesday night - were Fox's Rupert Murdoch and ABC newswoman Diane Sawyer.

In the case of the former - are you looking for a job at Fox, Babs?

And in the case of the latter - Walters sucking up to Sawyer is television incest at its worst.

- The first week of December, CBS won the daytime ratings for the 300th week in a row.

That's longer than your local television editor has been your local television editor.

- ABC, concerned that its daytime viewers might miss out if the soaps are pre-empted by coverage of the upcoming O.J. Simpson trial, has announced it will air something called "SoapLine" - short updates on the action in "General Hospital," "All My Children" and the like.

And this can get confusing - interrupting TV soap operas for coverage of the ultimate real-life soap opera.

- Columbia TriStar and Dick Clark Productions have confirmed that they're planning to launch a daytime talk show hosted by former "Cosby" kid Tempestt Bledsoe in the fall.

Does this make Bledsoe the young Oprah Winfrey or the black Ricki Lake?

- Warner Bros. has confirmed that it's planning to launch a daytime talk show hosted by former "Wilson Phillips" member Carnie Wilson in the fall.

Does this make Wilson the young Sally Jessy Raphael or the big Ricki Lake?