New Kiro Schedule Heavy On Talk Television

The new owners of KIRO-TV (Channel 7) yesterday reiterated their intention to emphasize journalism after losing CBS next month, but the station also will embrace the wacky world of talk television to fill much of its daytime schedule.

Channel 7 today is owned by A.H. Belo Corp. of Dallas after the formal signing here yesterday of the $162.5 million sales agreement with Bonneville Holding Corp. of Salt Lake City.

At a news conference, Belo broadcast-division president Ward Huey Jr. said talk shows have "synergy" with news, at least in terms of the audience they attract.

"We are pleased with the lineup we've been able to attract so far," Huey said. "Some of it starts March 13," when CBS leaves for KSTW-TV (Channel 11), "and a lot of it starts in the fall because it wasn't available" sooner.

KIRO-TV general manager Glenn Wright said that by next fall Channel 7 will be airing talk-show hosts Ricki Lake, Jenny Jones, Montel Williams, Maury Povich, Tempestt Bledsoe and Carnie Wilson.

Those programs should attract younger viewers, while CBS programs generally do not, Wright said.

Huey agreed KIRO-TV will undergo a major shift in its audience.

"There's no such thing as taking CBS off the air and replacing it with magic product that's going to have the same audience," Huey said.

As previously announced, KIRO will broadcast the new United Paramount Network Monday and Tuesday nights, including "Star Trek: Voyager." Other nights it will feature movies or syndicated drama.

Otherwise, the station intends to emphasize news, as Belo stations do in other markets. H. Martin Haag Jr., Belo's vice president of news who is credited with building the renowned newsroom at WFAA-TV in Dallas, will be in Seattle for a while to help KIRO replace network morning news and position itself as a news-oriented station.