At this point, about the only time of day that the Eyewitness News team at KSL doesn't contest is the early morning hours.
That's about to change, as Ch. 5 will launch a 6-7 a.m. newscast on Monday, Sept. 19. It will compete directly with similar newscasts on both KUTV-Ch. 2 and KTVX-Ch. 4.The early morning newscast, which will be anchored by Gretchen Carr, replaces KSL's half-hour newscast that currently airs at 8 a.m.
(It also means the end of those "Perfect Strangers" reruns that have been airing weekdays at 8:30 a.m.)
While the folks at KUTV and KTVX can't be overly thrilled about the added competition, the folks at CBS are undoubtedly pleased that KSL will begin airing "CBS This Morning" from 7-9 a.m. instead of 6-8 a.m. - it's been a bone of contention for years between CBS and its affiliates that don't air the program from 7-9 a.m.
In theory, as well as in practice, there are fewer viewers available at the earlier hour, thus lower ratings and lower ad revenues.
"The CBS Morning News" will continue to be seen at 5:30 a.m.
KSL has pre-empted or moved plenty of CBS programming - everything from "Picket Fences" to the network's Saturday morning kids shows. But sliding "CBS This Morning" to 7 a.m. will be the second time in about a month and a half that Ch. 5 will make a move that accommodates CBS, the first coming next week when KSL moves the "Late Show with David Letterman" up from 11:05 p.m. to 10:35 p.m.
OTHER KSL CHANGES: Ch. 5 has settled on an afternoon lineup, filling the gap created when "Vicki!" was canceled by its production company.
"The Susan Powter Show," a half-hour syndicated talk show hosted by the woman from all those infommercials, will be seen weekdays at 2 p.m. It will be followed by "Murphy Brown" at 2:30 p.m.
At 3 p.m., KSL will broadcast the hourlong syndicated show "Judge For Yourself," which asks a studio audience - and viewers at home - to act as the jury in legal proceedings.
These changes will also be effective Monday, Sept. 19.
On Friday, Sept. 23, KSL will begin airing the syndicated series "Lonesome Dove," which continues the adventures seen in the two CBS miniseries. "Dove" will air in place of "Picket Fences," which KSL delays until Saturdays at 11 p.m.
JUST A RUMOR: There's no truth to reports that one of KSL's Top Ten Reasons for moving the "Late Show" to 10:35 p.m. was so that your local television editor would stop whining about it in the paper.
EARLY RETIREMENT: Ellen DeGeneres, who got her own sitcom largely based on her work as a stand-up comedian, is giving up her first showbiz career.
"I've stopped stand-up," she said. "I'm not doing it anymore. I think I've retired. I'm not sure, but I don't think I'm going to do it again.
"I've been doing it for 13, 14 years and I just felt like I hit a place where that was it."
In addition to her TV show, DeGeneres has had offers to do movies. And she's working on a book.
"There's plenty to do beyond stand-up," she said. "There are a lot of people existing without stand-up."
DeGeneres' retitled sitcom, "Ellen" (it used to be "These Friends of Mine"), returns to ABC on its new night and time tonight after "Roseanne." And, prior to its fall premiere in September, the next few weeks will see a few reruns from last season and a few episodes that never made it on the air.
PREJUDICE: Margaret Cho, another stand-up comedian who just got her own sitcom on ABC, said that her touring days were a little bit strange.
The star of "All-American Girl," a Korean-American, said all was fine on stage, but not always off-stage.
"The prejudice that I encountered was mostly just from traveling around, being in these tiny towns were I'm, like, the walking, talking Chinatown," Cho said. "I'm the only Asian person for miles.
"It wasn't exactly racism. It was more like curiosity. Like, `What are you doing here. Oh my gosh, you speak English?' Not necessarily extremely negative, but not always the most pleasant situation to be in."
(The pilot of "All-American Girl," by the way, was pretty good - by far the funniest of the four new sitcoms ABC is premiering in the fall. It will be seen Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. on Ch. 4.)
QUOTABLE: In his 15 years as host of "Nightline," Ted Koppel said one guest stands out.
"I think Ross Perot was probably the most argumentative," he said. "I mean, Ross Perot is argumentative in the sense that he really doesn't come on to be interviewed. He comes on to give a speech and sort of resents the interruption of an occasional question."