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EVEN IF KUTV ISN'T TRADED, OWNERSHIP STILL MIGHT CHANGE

The folks at both KUTV-Ch. 2 and KSL-Ch. 5 are holding their breaths, awaiting the outcome of the soon-to-be-announced deal in which CBS will swap its Philadelphia station for some combination of NBC stations - one of which might be KUTV.

If that happens, in all likelihood KUTV would become the local CBS outlet, leaving KSL to either affiliate with NBC or try to work out some other deal.(Reports continue to indicate KUTV will be part of a trade.)

But even if Ch. 2 isn't traded, its ownership still might change again in the coming months.

It has been widely reported that Time-Warner is negotiating with NBC's owners, General Electric, to buy that network. But if Time-Warner does buy NBC, it might not be buying the NBC-owned stations.

Time-Warner is one of the country's largest cable systems owners, and current FCC regulations would prohibit the company from owning broadcast stations because of its cable holdings.

In which case, G.E. might hold onto the NBC stations. Or, more likely, sell them off separately.

ANOTHER REPORT: Off-the-record reports indicate that Fox may be interested in buying KSL's sister station, KIRO, in Seattle.

Through another complex set of deals, KIRO may lose its CBS affiliation. While there's no official comment from Bonneville International, which owns both KSL and KIRO, reports have been floating around in the industry that KIRO just might be for sale.

JUST ONE MORE THING: The contract that NBC signed to purchase 88 percent of KUTV did not guarantee the jobs of any of the current employees at the station - including the top management.

If the station is traded to CBS, chances are NBC won't be making an changes. (They'll leave that to the new owners.)

If NBC keeps KUTV, expect some top-level shake-ups before long.

VIDBITS: Rumor du jour: CNBC is considering Arsenio Hall as a replacement for Tom Snyder, who's leaving the cable network for the post-David Letterman slot on CBS.

Which would be rather ironic, because Letterman's move to CBS helped drive Hall's syndicated late-night talk show off the air.

- In the season premiere of "Grace Under Fire" (Tuesday, Sept. 20), Grace's much-maligned but heretofore unseen ex-husband makes an appearance, in the person of actor Geoff Pierson.

- In the season premiere of "Roseanne" (Wednesday, Sept. 21), Roseanne and Dan ask daughter Becky and son-in-law Mark to move out of their crowded house.