Starting after the first of the year, a couple of familiar faces will be seen in a couple of different places for KSL's Eyewitness News team.

Carole Mikita will give up her 10 p.m. co-anchor duties, which will then be assumed by Ruth Todd as of Jan. 2. Mikita will continue to co-anchor the 6:30 p.m. newscast, as well as taking over the co-anchoring duties of Ch. 5's noon news currently held by Todd."This was a decision that we made that was not taken lightly," said Ray Carter, KSL's news director. "It was a difficult decision, but one that we think is an exciting new opportunity for Ruth and an exciting new opportunity for Carole."

For Mikita, it means the opportunity to spend some more time with her family.

"Carole told me that she's looking forward to actually have dinner with her husband," Carter said. "Doing the 10 o'clock news is a tough, tough grind and she's been doing it for a long time."

Mikita took over the weeknight late-news co-anchoring duties from Shelley Thomas in the fall of 1991 after several years of co-anchoring the 10 p.m. news on the weekends.

For Todd, whose career includes a stint at KUTV-Ch. 2 a few years ago, this puts her on the single most-watched newscast in Utah.

Mikita will remain a full-time KSL employee, while Todd will maintain her part-time status.

Carter said he expects a smooth transition, both in terms of the ratings and in terms of the people involved.

"Typically, when an anchor change is made it's a real heated, emotional thing. I've got to tell you, this is certainly not that," he said.

The change has been under discussion at KSL for a couple of months, and was announced to the staff Friday afternoon.

The changes do not affect the male anchors at KSL. Dick Nourse will continue at 6 and 10 p.m., Bruce Lindsay will continue at 6 and 6:30 p.m., and Steve Eager will continue at noon.

Todd's stint at 10 p.m. will be somewhat temporary. She'll be taking some time off before long - she's expecting twins in March.

(And, with twins, the birth could come earlier than expected.)

"We're already starting to plan for when that happens," Carter said. "We've got the deepest female anchor bench in the state, so we don't expect any problems there."

ADDED BONUS? Hey, the ratings for the network early morning news shows always seem to go up whenever Jane Pauley or Joan Lunden or Katie Couric had a baby.

Maybe KSL will get a bounce at 10 p.m. from Todd's bouncing babies.

FCC APPROVAL: The Federal Communications Commission has just approved NBC's purchase of the majority of KUTV-Ch. 2.

NBC is buying the 88 percent of the station that does not belong to the George Hatch family. The network will take control of the station within a month.

The FCC approval is the latest hurdle in the complicated proceedings involving Ch. 2. Now that NBC is finally in control, it can begin the process of selling the station to a CBS/Group W partnership.

That will also require FCC approval, and is tied to deals involving not just KUTV but four stations in three other cities as well.

SCHEDULE CHANGE: "The New Price is Right" is now old hat.

The only thing worse than the national ratings for the syndicated version of the show were the local ratings for KUTV-Ch. 2's broadcast of the program on weekday afternoons. "Price" has been canceled by the syndicator, and KUTV is dropping it after next week.

Beginning Jan. 3, "Hard Copy" moves to weekdays at 4 p.m., and Ch. 2 will air "Extra: The Entertainment Magazine" at 4:30 p.m. (It will also continue to air at 11:35 p.m.

VIDBITS: Chris Noth, who plays Detective Mike Logan on "Law & Order", will appear as that character in an upcoming episode of "Homicide: Life on the Streets."

What makes this rather surprising is that, while both shows air on NBC, they're produced by different companies.

- Robert Vaughn, a prime-time star in the '60s on "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," will join the cast of the daytime soap "As the World Turns" next month, playing a "high-powered attorney."

- Jay Leno, still trying to catch David Letterman in the late-night ratings, is doing a veritable blitz of prime-time cameos.

He'll do small bits as himself in a couple of NBC sitcoms - "Friends" and "Mad About You" - as well as putting in an appearance in ABC's top-rated "Home Improvement." (He'll play an auto mechanic in that one.)

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No air dates have been announced, but all three episodes are expected to be on the schedules in January.

- Speaking of "Mad About You," the star of that show has gotten himself another gig, too. Paul Reiser will host the 37th annual Grammy Awards, scheduled to air March 1 on CBS.

- NBC has ordered seven more episodes of "The Cosby Mysteries." And that displays a bit of confidence in the series, which has had less than great ratings.

NBC has also announced that two new executive producers are joining the "Mysteries" team. And that demonstrates that the network wants some changes made in the show.

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