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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1977, a worn-down gypsy cab station in Pittsburgh's Hill District
Jitney is a play in two acts by August Wilson. The eighth in his "Pittsburgh Cycle", this play is set in a worn-down gypsy cab station in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, in early autumn 1977.
Jitney was written in 1979 and first produced at the small Allegheny Repertory Theatre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1982, when Wilson was able to
take his mother to see it, traveling by jitney. That was followed by a separate production at Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota. But Jitney
then remained in Wilson's drawer while he sent a series of plays on to Broadway, until Eddie Gilbert, artistic director of the Pittsburgh Public
Theater, read the 1979 script and asked to give it a full professional production.
In response, Wilson came back to Pittsburgh in 1996 to re-write it extensively for what can only be called its second premiere, directed by Mario
n McClinton—the first Pittsburgh Cycle premiere not to be directed by Lloyd Richards. Over the next four years there were up to 20 productions
nation-wide, many with the same core cast as in Pittsburgh, such as that at the Crossroads Theatre in New Jersey in spring 1997, directed by Walter
Dallas, and in fall 1998, again directed by McClinton.
Along the way, Wilson worked further on it in spurts. Finally Jitney arrived in New York, off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre on April 25, 2000.
It closed on September 10, but only because another play was coming in, when it moved to the Union Square Theater. The successful off-Broadway run
is ironic, because Jitney is the only one of the 10 Pittsburgh Cycle plays not to appear on Broadway, presumably because Wilson's previous play had
lost money, making investors leery. Directed by Marion McClinton, the cast featured four actors who had been with it almost continuously since 1996:
Anthony Chisholm (Fielding), Paul Butler (Becker), Willis Burks (Shealy) and Stephen McKinley Henderson (Turnbo).
Jitney made up for not playing Broadway by going on to London at the National Theatre, Lyttelton Theatre, from October 16, 2001, through November 21,
2001, where it won the Olivier Award for best play of the year—London's Tony. Directed by McClinton, it featured pretty much the same New York cast.
The play has been performed often in regional theater, for example at the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., in 2001, the Denver Center for the
Performing Arts in 2002, Ford's Theatre, Washington, D.C. in 2007, and the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., in 2008.
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material
may be challenged and removed. (September 2014)
Regular cabs will not travel to the Pittsburgh Hill District of the 1970s, and so the residents turn to each other. Jitney dramatizes the lives of men
hustling to make a living as jitneys—unofficial, unlicensed taxi cab drivers. When the boss Becker's son returns from prison, violence threatens to erupt.
What makes this play remarkable is not the plot; Jitney is Wilson at his most real—the words these men use and the stories they tell form a true slice
More on Plot Many stories are told. The complications with Darnell and Rena. In the past Darnell did cheat on Rena and they have a son together named
Jesse. Rena thinks Darnell is at it again when he vanishes at hefty parts of the day and when their food money is gone. Darnell then comes clean about
how he had been trying to buy a house. First upset about this discovery she explains to Darnell how idiotic it was to surprise her with a house, but
Darnell explains due to his good intentions and how he's a changed man that sometimes Rena needs to let the past be the past. Becker and Boosters story
is one of the main plots. Becker sees his son Booster after he served time for murdering a white woman after she (the white woman) claimed that she was
raped by Booster. Becker's disappointment is evident throughout the play. Especially when Booster's legal troubles happened right around the time his
biological mother was sick and dying. After serving time he goes to his father's Jitney station and tries to make amends. This is when his father and
he argue and his father disowns him. When Becker dies at the end and the phone is ringing in the middle of the station everyone looks at Booster, he
picks up the phone and says "car service", which symbolizes that Booster fills his father's place as the boss of the Jitney station.
Note Most of August Wilson's plays always tell the battle between a father and son's rocky relationship and/or the trouble found in a romantic
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
KDKA-TV, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 25), is a CBS owned-and-operated television station located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.
The station is owned by the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of CBS Corporation, as part of a duopoly with CW station WPCW (channel 19). The two stations
share studios located at the Gateway Center in downtown Pittsburgh, KDKA-TV's transmitter located in the Perry North neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
KDKA-TV is available on cable television in the Johnstown, Altoona, and Wheeling areas, as well as several other out-of-market cable systems in
Pennsylvania, northwestern Maryland, northeastern Ohio, and North-Central West Virginia. The furthest south KDKA is carried on cable is in Beverly,
WDTV broadcast of We, the People on April 18, 1952. The guest is New York Yankees player Bill Bevens.
The station went on the air on January 11, 1949, as WDTV ("W DuMont TeleVision") on channel 3, it was owned and operated by the DuMont Television Network.
It was the 51st television station in the U.S. and the third and last DuMont-owned station to sign on the air, behind WABD (now WNYW) in New York City
and WTTG in Washington, D.C. To mark the occasion, a live television special aired that day from 8:30 to 11 p.m. ET on WDTV, which began with a one-hour
local program broadcast from Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh. The remainder of the show featured live segments from DuMont, CBS, NBC, and ABC with Arthur Godfrey,
Milton Berle, DuMont host Ted Steele, and many other celebrities.
The station also represented a milestone in the television industry, providing the first "network" that included Pittsburgh and 13 other cities from Boston
to St. Louis. WDTV was one of the last stations to receive a construction permit before the Federal Communications Commission-imposed four-year freeze
on new television station licenses.
When the release of the FCC's Sixth Report and Order ended the license freeze in 1952, DuMont was forced to give up its channel 3 allocation to alleviate
interference with nearby stations broadcasting on the frequency, notably NBC O&O WNBK (now WKYC) in Cleveland, who itself moved to the frequency to avoid
interference with stations in Columbus and Detroit. WDTV moved its facilities to channel 2 on November 23, 1952; WPSU-TV would later sign on with the
channel 3 frequency for the Johnstown/Altoona market. Shortly after moving, it was the first station in the country to broadcast 24 hours a day, seven
days a week, advertising that its 1:00-7:00 a.m. "Swing Shift Theatre" served the "200,000 workers [in their viewing area] who finish shift work at
midnight." DuMont's network of stations on coaxial cable stretched from Boston to St. Louis. These stations were linked together via AT&T's coaxial
cable feed with the sign-on of WDTV allowing the network to broadcast live programming to all the stations at the same time. Stations not yet connected
to the coaxial cable received kinescope recordings via physical delivery.
The DuMont Television Network in 1949.
Until the end of the freeze, WDTV's only competition came in the form of distant signals from stations in Johnstown, Altoona, Wheeling, West Virginia and
Youngstown, Ohio. However, Pittsburgh saw two UHF stations launch during 1953 – ABC affiliate WENS-TV (channel 16, later to become WINP-TV), and WKJF-TV
(channel 53, later to become WPGH-TV), an independent station. At the time, UHF stations could not be viewed without the aid of an expensive, set-top
converter, and the picture quality was marginal at best with one. UHF stations in the area faced an additional problem because Pittsburgh is located in a
somewhat rugged dissected plateau, and the reception of UHF stations is usually poor in such terrain. These factors played a role in the short-lived
existences of both WKJF and WENS.
Although Pittsburgh was the sixth largest market in the country (behind New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Washington-Baltimore), the
other VHF stations in town were slow to develop. This was because the major cities in the Upper Ohio Valley are so close together that they must share the
VHF band. After the FCC lifted the license freeze in 1952, it refused to grant any new commercial VHF construction permits to Pittsburgh in order to give
the smaller cities in the area a chance to get on the air. WDTV had a de facto monopoly on Pittsburgh television. Like its sister stations WABD and WTTG, it was far stronger than the DuMont network as a whole. According to network general manager Ted Bergmann, WDTV brought in $4 million a year, which was more than enough to keep the network afloat. Owning the only readily viewable station in such a large market gave DuMont considerable leverage in getting its programs cleared in large markets where it did not have an affiliate. As CBS, NBC and ABC had secondary affiliations with WDTV, this was a strong incentive to stations in large markets to clear DuMont's programs or risk losing valuable advertising in the sixth-largest market. Also, NBC affiliates from Johnstown (WJAC-TV) and Wheeling (WTRF-TV, itself now affiliated with CBS) were able to be received in Pittsburgh and a CBS affiliate from Steubenville, Ohio (WSTV-TV, now NBC affiliate WTOV-TV) was also able to be received there as well. CBS, in fact, actually attempted to purchase WSTV-TV's license before it went on the air and move its license to Pittsburgh due to the close proximity between Pittsburgh and Steubenville (At the time less than an hour apart by car; the completion of the Penn-Lincoln Parkway in 1964 reduced that time to about a half hour driving time today.), but the FCC turned CBS down. The Wheeling/Steubenville TV market, despite its very close proximity to Pittsburgh and overlapping signals, remains a separate market by FCC standards today.
WDTV aired all DuMont network shows live and "cherry-picked" the best shows from the other networks, airing them on kinescope on an every-other-week basis. WDTV's sign-on was also significant because it was now possible to feed live programs from the East to the Midwest and vice versa. In fact, its second broadcast was the activation of the coaxial cable linking New York City and Chicago. It would be another two years before the West Coast received live programming, but this was the beginning of the modern era of network television.
KDKA-TV's studio building at One Gateway Center in Pittsburgh. The station has been housed in this facility since 1956.
By 1954, DuMont was in serious financial trouble. Paramount Pictures, which owned a stake in DuMont, vetoed a merger with ABC, who had merged with Paramount's former theater division United Paramount Theaters a year before. A few years earlier, the FCC had ruled that Paramount controlled DuMont and there were still lingering questions about whether UPT had actually broken off from Paramount. Paramount did not want to risk the FCC's wrath.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Corporation had been competing with local politicians to acquire the non-commercial channel 13 license from the FCC, as no other Pittsburgh-allocated VHF station would be signing on for the foreseeable future. After launching WBZ-TV in Boston in 1948 and purchasing two other television stations, Westinghouse was growing impatient with not having a station in its own home market. Before the freeze, Westinghouse was a shoe-in for the channel 6 license that would later be given to WJAC-TV in Johnstown after that station gave up the channel 13 allocation to Pittsburgh as part of the FCC's reallocation plan. Westinghouse later offered a compromise plan to the FCC, in which the Commission would grant Westinghouse the channel 13 license; Westinghouse would then "share" the facility with the educational licensee. Finding the terms unacceptable, Pittsburgh attorney Leland Hazard called Westinghouse CEO Gwilym Price to ask him if he should give up on his fight for public television. Price said that Hazard should keep fighting for it, giving Westinghouse backing for the station that would eventually become WQED.
Westinghouse then turned its attention to WDTV, offering DuMont a then-record $9.75 million for the station in late 1954. Desperate for cash, DuMont promptly accepted Westinghouse's offer. While the sale gave DuMont a short-term cash infusion, it eliminated DuMont's leverage in getting clearances in other major markets. Within two years, the DuMont network was no more. After the sale closed in January 1955, Westinghouse changed WDTV's call letters to KDKA-TV, after Westinghouse's pioneering radio station KDKA (1020 AM). As such, it became one of the few stations east of the Mississippi River with a "K" call sign. The WDTV calls now reside on a CBS affiliate located 130 miles south of Pittsburgh in Weston, West Virginia, which is unrelated to the current KDKA-TV. That station, which signed on after KDKA-TV adopted its current callsign, adopted those calls "in honor" of KDKA-TV.
As KDKA radio had long been an affiliate of the NBC Blue Network (Westinghouse was a co-founder of RCA, NBC's then-parent company), it was expected that KDKA-TV would eventually become a primary affiliate of the NBC television network. But the network was seeking to purchase Westinghouse's Philadelphia stations, KYW radio and WPTZ (now KYW-TV). When Westinghouse balked, NBC threatened to pull its programming from WPTZ and Boston's WBZ-TV unless Westinghouse agreed to trade its Philadelphia properties for NBC's WTAM-AM-FM and WNBK in Cleveland. The decision would lead to an acrimonious relationship between Westinghouse and NBC in later years. Two years after the ownership change, channel 2 became a primary affiliate of the higher-rated CBS network instead. KDKA-TV retained secondary affiliations with NBC until WIIC-TV (channel 11, now WPXI) signed on in 1957, and ABC until WTAE-TV (channel 4) signed on in 1958. Despite the ending of its commercial VHF monopoly, KDKA-TV did welcome competitor WIIC-TV on the air. KDKA-TV became the flagship station of Westinghouse's broadcasting arm, Group W. On November 22, 1963, newscaster Bill Burns provided almost three hours of live coverage after the shooting of President John F. Kennedy.
Over the years, channel 2 pre-empted moderate amounts of CBS programming. At one point, from the early 1960s to July 1990, the station did not clear As The World Turns. At the same time, WTAJ-TV in Altoona had run the program and was viewable in the eastern part of the Pittsburgh market. Also, CBS affiliate WTRF-TV in Wheeling, West Virginia was viewable in Pittsburgh and to the west. Until 1978, the show ran on WPGH and for a few years after that, it ran on WPTT-TV (channel 22). KDKA-TV also preempted the daytime game shows and reruns from CBS at various points during the 1970s. KDKA also produced plenty of local programs such as Evening Magazine, Pittsburgh Talks, and local newscasts. The station also occasionally preempted CBS primetime programs for a syndicated movie, local news special, or sports during the years the station had broadcast rights to Pittsburgh Pirates baseball and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey. Weekend pre-emptions included a small portion of Saturday and Sunday morning cartoons, and Sunday morning religious programs. In 1993, KDKA stopped running CBS This Morning and instead ran Disney's syndicated cartoon block. Despite the pre-emptions, CBS was mostly satisfied with KDKA as it dominated its local market ratings.
In 1994, Westinghouse was looking to made a group-wide affiliation deal for its stations as part of a larger plan to transform itself into a major media conglomerate. Westinghouse negotiated with NBC and CBS for a deal. Had Westinghouse signed with NBC, KDKA-TV would affiliate itself with NBC forty years after passing up the network, with the CBS affiliation going to WPXI, who had originally intended to affiliate itself with CBS until the NBC-Westinghouse feud started as well as channel 11's own sign-on problems in the 1950s. While NBC (the highest-rated network during much of the 1990s) offered more money, CBS was interested in the programming opportunities Westinghouse offered, due to its own stagnation in programming at the time. CBS also offered a potential merger of their respective radio networks down the road (which ultimately happened), something NBC abandoned altogether in 1987. Ultimately, Westinghouse signed a long-term deal with CBS to convert the entire five-station Group W television unit to a group-wide CBS affiliation, making the Pittsburgh market one of the few major markets not to be affected by the 1994 United States broadcast TV realignment. Part of this agreement included a deal to stop preempting any CBS shows, except for extended breaking news coverage or local news events beginning in 1995. KDKA-TV continued preempting moderate amounts of programming into 1995. In the fall of 1995, channel 2 began running the entire CBS lineup in pattern, as it, and sister station KPIX-TV in San Francisco, were already affiliated with the network.
In 1995, Westinghouse acquired CBS, making KDKA-TV a CBS owned-and-operated station, after four decades as being simply a CBS affiliate. In 1997, Westinghouse became CBS Corporation, which would then merge with Viacom (which, ironically, has been Paramount's parent since 1994) in 2000, making KDKA a sister station with Pittsburgh UPN affiliate WNPA-TV (channel 19, now CW station WPCW). Five years later, Viacom became CBS Corporation and spun off a new Viacom.
In August 2007, KDKA-TV unveiled a new image campaign, entitled Your Home, with music and lyrics performed by singer-songwriter Bill Deasy. The promo features scenes of Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas, as well as three of the station's personalites. In September 2007, the station unveiled another promo featuring the Joe Grushecky song "Coming Home". Later, a third spot, "Long Way Home", was introduced, featuring the voice of Kelsey Friday.
KDKA-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate, during that night's broadcast of the Late Show with David Letterman. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 25. Before they turned off their analog signal and go to nightlight, they showed the High flight video clip, and a compilation of their Analog history. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2.
In July 2009, the station applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to operate two repeater signals: channel 31 in Morgantown, West Virginia and channel 40 in Johnstown.
On October 21, 2014, CBS and Weigel Broadcasting announced the launch of a new digital subchannel service called Decades, scheduled to launch on all CBS-owned stations in 2015, including on KDKA-TV on channel 2.2. The channel will be co-owned by CBS and Weigel (owner of CBS affiliate WDJT-TV in Milwaukee), with Weigel being responsible for distribution to non-CBS-owned stations. It will air programs from the extensive library of CBS Television Distribution, including archival footage from CBS News. Locally, the channel will compete with This TV on WTAE-DT2, Me-TV (also owned by Weigel) on WPXI-DT2, and GetTV on WPGH-DT2.
As a Westinghouse-owned station, KDKA carried the numerous syndicated talk shows produced by its parent company, including The Merv Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, and Hour Magazine.
Later, KDKA carried The Oprah Winfrey Show during its first nine nationally syndicated seasons (1986-1995), airing the show weekdays at 5 PM. In 1989, KDKA acquired the rights to The Sally Jessy Raphael Show, airing it weekdays at 9 AM and Phil Donahue weekdays at 4 PM, respectively. However, due to the poor ratings of Donahue in the Pittsburgh market, KDKA showed strong interest in new talk shows. Due to KDKA being owned by CBS, the station airs the entire network lineup in order.
Sally & Donahue moved to WTAE in 1993, and two years later, KDKA debuted a 5:00 PM newscast, at which point Oprah Winfrey also moved to WTAE, airing at 4:00 PM. In 1997, Ricki Lake moved to WPGH and The Sally Jessy Raphael Show returned to KDKA, and once again was given the 9 AM time slot, where it remained on and off until its cancellation in 2002. Sally was a success in the Pittsburgh area, even beating Montel Williams on WPXI in the 1990s. A revamped version of Pittsburgh 2day Live replaced Sally.
KDKA aired The Rosie O'Donnell Show during its entire six-year run at the 4 PM time slot. After the show ended its run in 2002, rather than airing its replacement (the short-lived The Caroline Rhea Show, which aired on WPXI), KDKA became the first station in the Pittsburgh market to air a 4 PM newscast. KDKA remains the only Pittsburgh station, and one of the few in the country (alongside fellow CBS station WOIO in Cleveland) to air a 4 PM newscast. (The 4 PM slot has been considered a graveyard slot by the networks since the 1980s, and by stations itself since the 1990s.) Today, the only talk show on KDKA is Dr. Phil, serving as a lead-in to the evening newscasts. Unlike its rivals, KDKA's evening newscast is three hours broadcasting from 4-7pm. In return, CBS Evening News airs at 7pm making one of the fewest CBS O&Os to air the evening program on a tape-delay basis.
The KDKA-TV News newscast logo as seen during its opening.Hometown High-Q (2000–present): airs Saturdays at 11 a.m. - "quiz bowl" format show with three teams composed of local high school students
#1 Cochran Sports Showdown (1998–present): airs Sundays at 11:35 p.m. – sports talk show
KD/PG Sunday Edition: airs Sundays at 8:30 a.m. - public affairs program
The Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show: airs Sundays at 6 a.m. - public affairs program
Pittsburgh Today Live: airs weekdays 9:00-10:00 a.m. - Kristine Sorensen and Jon Burnett are the hosts, with Dennis Bowman for weather; local general interest program
The Sunday Business Page: airs Sundays at 6:30 a.m. - public affairs program
Your Pittsburgh: airs on selected Mondays at 7:30 p.m. - entertainment magazine
The Children's Hospital Free-Care Fund (1954–present; airs during the holiday season) - yearly pledge drive
Hometown Holiday Lights - Series aired during KDKA's newscasts; contest between local families with Christmas displays at their residence.
McDonald's Steeler Kickoff (during the NFL season) - Sundays at 11:30 a.m. - Pittsburgh Steelers pre-game show hosted by Bob Pompeani and Edmund Nelson.
Steelers Huddle (September 19, 2009–present; airs during the NFL season) - Saturdays at 11:35 p.m. - Bob Pompeani and a rotating member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Steelers Trivia Challenge (July 16, 2005–present) - Saturdays at 11:35 p.m. - Bob Pompeani hosts a "quiz bowl" format, modeled after Hometown High-Q, with three teams composed of three Pittsburgh Steelers fans who answer team-related trivia questions. The show runs for nine weeks (mid-July to mid-September).
Xfinity Extra Point (airs during the NFL season) - Pittsburgh Steelers post-game show after CBS broadcasts, hosted by Bob Pompeani and Edmund Nelson. If CBS has a doubleheader game, the show airs on WPCW.
Evening Magazine (August 1, 1977 – October 12, 1990)
Giant Eagle High School Sports Advantage
The Jerome Bettis Show (September 12, 1998 – February 4, 2006)
The Hines Ward Show (September 2, 2006 – January 31, 2009)
Mario Lemieux Celebrity Golf Invitational
Pittsburgh 2Day (1978–January 19, 1990)
Pittsburgh Pirates baseball (1957–1994)
Pittsburgh Penguins hockey (1989–1997)
Wake Up With Larry Richert (1988–1990)
As CBS holds the broadcast contract with the NFL to show games involving AFC teams, KDKA-TV has been the official broadcaster of most Pittsburgh Steelers games since 1998, and serves as the team's flagship station. The team's preseason games that are not nationally televised are also shown on KDKA. KDKA began its relationship with the Steelers in 1962, when CBS first started the leaguewide television package. The Steelers are one of three AFC teams that predate the AFC's basis league, the American Football League, and so KDKA, and not WTAE-TV or WIIC-TV (now WPXI), carried Steelers road games (home games were blacked out locally under all circumstances until 1973, when sold-out home games began to be allowed on local television) – the AFL had television contracts with ABC, and later, NBC.
Due to the NFL rules of the time, after the AFL-NFL merger, KDKA did not broadcast any Steelers games from 1970 to 1972. Beginning in 1973, KDKA was allowed to air any Steelers games in which they hosted a team from the National Football Conference, which contained most of the old-line National Football League teams. KDKA also broadcast two Steeler championship wins, Super Bowl X in 1976 and Super Bowl XIV in 1980. Since the Steelers have sold out every home game starting in 1972, no blackouts have been required. In the meantime, from 1970 to 1997, channel 11 aired most Steelers games.
When the NFC package moved from CBS to Fox in 1994, WPGH-TV aired the Steelers games that had before aired on KDKA, leaving the senior station without Steelers games for four years. Today, and in general since 1970, the only exceptions to all the above are when the Steelers play at night. Their Monday Night Football games have always aired locally on WTAE, first when ABC had the rights, and since 2006, on ESPN. WTAE also aired simulcasts of their games aired as part of ESPN Sunday Night Football from 1987 to 2005. The NFL requires games on cable channels to be simulcast over-the-air in the markets of the participating teams (again with the home team's broadcast subject to blackout). WTAE has simulcast ESPN-aired games because ESPN is 20% owned by WTAE's owners, Hearst Corporation – their ABC stations have right of first refusal for these simulcasts. Games on TNT and NFL Network have aired on various stations in the area.
This section requires expansion with: further information on the history of KDKA-TV's news department. (August 2013)
KDKA-TV presently broadcasts 34½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with six hours on weekdays, three hours on Saturdays and 1½ hours on Sundays); KDKA also produces 27 hours of local newscasts each week for CW owned-and-operated sister station WPCW, in the form of an hour-long extension of KDKA's weekday morning newscast at 7 a.m. and a nightly 35-minute newscast at 10 p.m.
In 2001, KDKA-TV began producing a 10 p.m. newscast on WNPA (now WPCW); in 2005, it added a two-hour weekday morning newscast from 7-9 a.m. on that station (which was later reduced to one hour from 7-8 a.m.).
On June 16, 2009, KDKA-TV began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition during its noon broadcast, with the introduction of a new set and weather center. Like rival WTAE, only video from in-studio cameras is broadcast in HD while most of the content, including field reports and video footage, are in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition. On September 1, 2010, KDKA-TV debuted the standardized CBS O&O graphics and music package ("The CBS Enforcer Music Collection" by Gari Media Group).
As of February 2013, KDKA-TV is the most watched news station in the hours of noon, 4, 5, 6 and 11 p.m. However, WTAE is the most watched news program in the Pittsburgh area in the hours of 5, 6 a.m. WPXI is most watched at the 10 p.m. time slot on WPGH-TV.
Ken Rice – weeknights anchor
Stacy Smith – weekdays and weeknights; host of KD/PG Sunday Edition
Jon Delano – money and politics editor
Marty Griffin – investigative reporter ("KDKA Investigators"), also hosts show on KDKA Radio
John Shumway - reporter
Notable former on-air staff
Susan Barnett – anchor (1999–2003); last at KYW-TV in Philadelphia from 2006 to 2013
Bill Burns – anchor (1953–89); died in 1997
Patti Burns – anchor/reporter (1974–97); died in 2001
Don Cannon – anchor/reporter (1999–2008)
Rehema Ellis – began broadcast career at KDKA-TV
Donna Hanover – hosted Evening Magazine (1977–80); KDKA-TV was first her major market television experience; Hanover served as a news anchor in New York; married New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, both have since divorced
Ron Klink – weekend anchor/reporter (1977–91); was elected as a United States Representative (D-PA), but lost his bid for the U.S. Senate; now running a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.
Vic Miles – weekend anchor/reporter (1966–71); later worked at WCBS-TV in New York City (died in 2011)
Dennis Miller – contributor and guest host of Evening Magazine (got his first on air experience with KDKA)
Paul Moyer – anchor/reporter (1971; later worked at KNBC in Los Angeles)
Ron Olsen – reporter/talk show host (1976–79); later at KTLA in Los Angeles, where he was awarded a Peabody for coverage of the Rodney King beating story; reported internationally on the O.J. Simpson trial for KTLA and Sky TV
Larry Richert – anchor and weatherman (1988–2001), currently hosting morning show on sister radio station KDKA with current KDKA-TV reporter John Shumway, and since 2013 has been the announcer at Heinz Field for Pittsburgh Steelers games.
John Sanders - sports anchor, currently broadcasts games for the American Athletic Conference.
Jay Scott – anchor (1976–78); later anchor at KTTV in Los Angeles
John Steigerwald - sports anchor (1985-2007), currently hosts podcast on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review website.
Paul Steigerwald – sports reporter (1987–98), currently the play-by-play announcer for the Penguins on Root Sports Pittsburgh
Dick Stockton – sports reporter (1967–71); later play-by-play announcer for NFL on Fox
Brian Sussman – weatherman[when?]
Marie Torre – anchor/reporter (1962–77); died in 1997
AT 8 P.M. ON JAN. 10. DALLAS POLICE SPOKESMAN ED Spencer strode to the podium of the spartan 30-by-40-foot third-floor room that serves as the site of press conferences at police headquarters. Barely glancing at the horseshoe of cameras before him. Spencer cleared his throat and read the statement police had spent the past three hours preparing: "On Dec. 29. 1996. the Dallas Police Department initiated an intensive investigation into allegations of sexual assault against two members of the Dallas Cowboys and a third individual. Through the investigation process, we have determined conclusively that the allegations are not true and that a sexual assault did not take place."
Asplit-second before Spencer began. 37-year-old Marty Griffin. the KXAS Channel 5 investigative reporter who had broken the Story of the "rape." slipped into the doorway of the crowded room. Clad in an oversized varsity jacket, clutching his microphone as a kid might a toy. the normally cocksure Griffin looked small, quiet and badly shaken.
Ten days earlier, at the news conference police held to announce Erik Williams and another Cowboys player, later identified as Michael Irvin. were under investigation, a different, more familiar Griffin had been present. That Marty was the combative, self-assured Channel 5 "Public Defender." the man who had scooped other journalists in the Michael lrvin sex. drugs and murder-for-hire scandal. But this Marty, slinking through the doorway, looked as if he’d been dragged from the nearest pub. where he’d been washing down MI let of crow.
In 11 days, what might have been the biggest story of his career had crumbled. Speculation ran rampant. Had Marty set himself up, the easy mark of some hasty cops, a topless dancer and his own blinding ambition? Or did he conspire with his sources- as a lawsuit would later allege-to perpetrate a con on the Cowboys and the public? In an odd reversal of fortune, Marty would become the investigated rather than the investigator. The squalid episode needed a scapegoat-and who better than Marty Griffin?
IN BROADCAST NEWS J AMES BROOKS’ 1987MOVIE ABOUT love and declining standards in network news, the producer, played by Holly Hunter, takes a crew into the Central American jungle to film peasant rebels. Her cameraman asks one soldier to put on the new boots Uncle Sam has just delivered in lieu of badly needed weapons. "Stop," yells Hunter as the camera man n^V crouches for the shot. "Just do what you want, sir," she tells the bewildered soldier, who puts on the boots anyway.
Today, Hunter’s character wouldn’t bat an eye at such efforts to help the news along. During the past 10 years, the line between reporting the facts and staging them has blurred still more. Gone are the godfathers of truth and accuracy, Walter Cronkite and Chet Huntley, replaced by shows I ike "Inside Edition" and "Hard Copy." With their proliferation, the Darwinian struggle for ratings has become all-consuming, and the temptation to give the news alittle tweak nigh irresistible. After all, gas tanks don’t always explode on cue.
Enter Marty Griffin, a brash young reporter who had been struggling to make his mark on TV news since 1988, when he was hired at Channel 5, the perennial No. 2 station in this media market. Marty had grown up in Pittsburgh, the second of five children born to an inner-city Italian Catholic family. A self-described "wild guy" who was "always in trouble," he was picked up at 15 for car theft. Fortunately for him, the charges were dropped.
Griffin believes the experience helps him gain the trust of sources to whom rivals cannot relate. "It’s part of the reason I can talk to people whose backgrounds aren’t the greatest," he says.
Scared straight, he went on to Ohio University, where he discovered journalism. Although he searched for a news job out of college, his tapes were uniformly rejected, so he waited tables at a famous Pittsburgh steak joint. Eventually, he got a call from a Wichita Falls station that needed a weekend meteorologist. Just in time, too; Griffin says he set a customer’s jacket afire.
During his two and a half years in Wichita Falls, he became famed for his on-the-air antics, like slapping on a fedora and raincoat and belting out "Singin’ In The Rain" during a weather report. He moved to stations in Tulsa and Oklahoma City before reaching Dallas. Along the way, he switched from weather to weekend anchoring and police reporting. Channel 5 made him an investigative reporter, a specialty that suited his street-smart persona.
In the early ’90s, Griffin became one of the station’s "Public Defenders," a new breed of muckraker who delved into everything from local corruption to odometer tampering. Often, the content was paper-thin, their importance hyped by campy commercials featuring reporters in trench coats emerging from shadow.
Griffin carefully cultivated his sources. "My sources are my career. I never hurt my family, and I never burn a source."
In a market dominated by Channel 8’s conservative stable of reporters, it was hard not to notice Griffin. Dark and dapper in Armani suits, he had attitude. But his over-dramatic delivery of puffed-up facts earned him the moniker "No Facts" Griffin.
"I think he’s a well-meaning guy," says John Miller, news director for Channel 8. "But he’s naive and not the brightest fellow."
In one report, according to The Wall Street Journal, Grifrin used hidden cameras to catch operators for Dallas’ 911 system sleeping on the job. The city complained, saying they were not emergency operators but those who answer calls for dogcatchers and maintenance workers. "There’s a danger in investigative reporting when you get into a mind-frame where you disregard that which doesn’t prove your theorem," Miller says, "when you want to get someone so badly that you ignore stuff that does not fit."
The "Public Defender" team became the station’s most recognizable franchise, "They must have put incredible pressure on him to turn stories," says Miller. "Last November [during sweeps], almost everything you saw was a ’Public Defender’ report. They [Channel 5 managers] considered it a major part of their image. They devoted about half of their image promotion to it."
Grifrin shed the "NoFacts" nickname forever after Michael lrvin was caught last March in Residence Inn Room 624 with two topless dancers, illegal drugs and an array of sex toys. From the start, Griffin had the story by the throat. Not only was his reporting accurate, it was first-and being first is what counts in TV news.
The Pedini Affair is a case in point. In 1993. Dennis Pedini, a "covert surveillance expert," met Griffin, who was covering the FBI siege of the Branch Davidians in Waco. Shortly after the lrvin story broke, Pedini, who’d since done work at Valley Ranch, called Griffin. The night before.Pedini claimed, he had been on a cocaine-buying expedition with lrvin, who at the time was loudly proclaiming his innocence and maneuvering to avoid indictment.
Griffin huddled with his editors, who said they wouldn’t run with the story without videotaped proof. So, with Pedini’s help, he got it. The "Tarnished Star" series catapulted Channel 5 into first place during its sweeps week run in May.
Although the episode did much to enhance Griffin’s reputation, it also left him with an ethical black eye, thanks to his reliance on a hidden camera and his insistence the station pay Pedini $5,000. The story became a public relations nightmare for the station, which was accused of checkbook journalism. Griffin remained undaunted. "The flip side is 1 got hundreds of calls," he says. One of them was from a young woman named Nina Shahravan.
In late October, Shahravan called Channel 5, claiming to be a friend of lrvin’s. She suggested that lrvin needed help with a continuing drug problem. The desk passed the message on to Griffin, who returned Shahravan’s call.
Shahravan told Griffin she had been a topless dancer but had gotten out of the business. She said she didn’t smoke, do drugs, or drink, but nevertheless claimed she prowled the town with lrvin. Lately, Shahravan said, many things had happened to scare her. The night before, she said, lrvin had dropped acid (a claim that has never been confimed).
Griffin contacted a courthouse source, who told him that the Dallas County Probation office does not screen probationers for LSD. Then he talked to Pedini, who said he had seen Shahravan in Irvin’s company at the infamous "white house," where some Dallas Cowboys players brought women to party.
On Oct. 30. Griffin met the petite Shahravan when she agreed to visit Channel 5 to tape an interview. Shahravan told him a tale of Cowboys parties and bizarre sex. But the biggest bombshell was Shahravan’s claim that she knew about Cowboys players dealing drugs.
TO FOLLOW UP ON SHAHRAVAN’s CHARGES, IN EARLY November Griffin contacted Herbert "Kim" Sanders, a 22-year veteran Dallas police officer with whom Griffin previously had worked on stories. He invited Sanders and other members of the DEA drug task force to come to the station and view the tape of Shahravan talking about her involvement with allas Cowboys players and drugs.
"Griffin wanted to know what we thought," says another officer who watched the videotape. "A lot of the stuff she was talking about was just weird. Not illegal-just kinky. She did talk about possession. But mostly what we thought was there was no timetable and no corroborative evidence--just her word."
Agents told Griffin they believed Shahravan because her information fit with other intelligence they’d gathered over the years. Sanders said he was interested in speaking with Shahravan. Around Thanksgiving, Griffin arranged a meeting for himself, Shahravan and Sanders at DEA headquarters. There. Shahravan told officers she had been asked to pick up a "Christmas package" for a player. She told officers she had seen large quantities of drugs at a condo where she was taken by limo to pick up the package. Assuming "the package" would contain drugs, she refused to pick it up.
"She kept saying she was scared," one task force agent recalls. The agent says it was obvious she knew the players; the officers concluded that she was telling the truth. She provided a description and an address.
"You’ve got to be fairly smart to keep track of your lies," the agent says, "and she’s just not that smart." But there was no way to corroborate her story. "Mostly it was just stale-a party here two weeks ago, a party there," he says. "We have to have it within 48 hours to do anything with it."
The agents say Shahravan never asked for money. But after a while, they ended the interview. "It never got to the point where we ask why are you doing this-money or the good of mankind? And she kept saying she was scared," the agent says. "So Kim told her ’Just don’t go back around these guys anymore.’ "
News executives at Channel 5 decided not to pursue the story. Sources close to the station say higher-ups flinched at the possibility of another hidden camera investigation. Their reputations had been sullied enough by the Pedini affair. And why dedicate the station’s resources to proving what seemed to be self-evident: that some Dallas Cowboys players had serious drug problems?
Griffin was in neither a position nor a mood to argue about the executive decision. On Dec. 17, 1996, he boarded a plane for a two-week vacation, believing that any story about Nina Shahravan and the Dallas Cowboys was dead.
GRIFFIN RETURNED TO DALLAS JUST AFTER NOON ON Monday, Dec. 30. He drove home from the airport and listened to his voice mail; among the messages was one from a hysterical Shahravan. When he returned her call, Shahravan, sobbing and obviously distraught, told him she had been raped the previ-I ous night by Erik Williams and another man while Michael Irvin held a gun to her head. Williams had recorded the whole thing on videotape. She didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t tell her boyfriend because he’d forbidden her to hang out with the players; she was too scared to tell her parents. She had no one to turn to but Marty.
Griffin first called Patsy Day at Victims Outreach, a crisis center he’d once featured in a story. When Day wasn ’ t there, he phoned detective Kim Sanders, whom Griffin figured would know what to do. Sanders was out most of the afternoon. When he finally got back to headquarters sometime after 6 p.m., Sanders told Griffin to have Shahravan contact him.
Sanders believed Shahravan had been traumatized by the incident; she was unable to follow his directions on how to get from Piano to Parkland Hospital. Eventually, Sanders told her to come to DEA headquarters. He and a DEA agent drove her to police headquarters, where rape detectives conducted an in-depth interview. She was then examined at Parkland. The detectives believed her story, persuaded, in part, by Shahravan’s vaginal abrasions.
Early the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 31, DPD’s top brass held a meeting. The decision was reached to search Williams’ home. At 4:55 a.m., a Collin County judge issued the search warrant.
At 5:45 a.m., Channel 5 received a call from a Dallas police sergeant: Police were running a search of Williams’ home. The bureau roused Griffin and a camera crew, who arrived at the house around 7:30-the same time police tipped off at least one other news organization. Police seized boxes of evidence, including 33 videotapes, baby oil, four guns and the green felt from the pool table where Shahravan said she had been raped.
An hour later, Dallas police paged Griffin again: Lt. David Goelden, a supervisor in me Crimes Against Persons (CAPERS) division, had volunteered to give Marty the first interview. "They got a hold of Marty around 8:30 and said, ’We’ll give you an exclusive,’ " explains a Channel 5 source. "By the time he got down there, Channel 8 was there. But Goelden shooed them away and said, *I need to talk with Marty.’ So Marty and his cameraman go in and get the one-on-one interview with Goelden." It was a game of mutual back scratching. Griffin gave the police Shahravan, and the police gave the reporter an hour jump on his competition. The scoop allowed police to claim that they were forced to call a press conference.
At 10:30 am, a grim Marty Griffin cut in to "The Maureen O’Boyle Show" over the "Public Defenders" logo. He described the events of the morning and concluded: "At this time, police tell me, that with the evidence they have, they are preparing warrants for the arrest of Erik Williams and another Dallas Cowboy."
An hour later, Goelden held his own press conference at police headquarters. Although the police refused to release Shahravan’s name, saying she was tucked away in protective custody, they were more forthcoming with the names of the suspects. Contrary lo the DPD’s own written policy, Michael Irvin and Erik Williams were named targets of the investigation although no formal charges had been filed.
"You want a theory?" asks one of the lawyers for KX AS Channel 5. "I think the cops believed her story. And I think they got pissed because of the arrogance of these guys-the mink and the diamonds and the sunglasses and everything. They think they have them nailed and they want to the play the story up."
And there was the matter of prior behavior. In 1995, Williams had been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year old topless dancer under eerily similar circumstances, down to the body oil, the pool table and his penchant for sharing sexual escapades with his friends. A Collin County grand jury had no-billed Williams after the woman was paid a hefty out-of-court settlement in connection with her civil suit.
The initial press conference unleashed a media frenzy that had reporters nearly coming to blows. Not only were they galled at having to play catch-up with Marty, they were wondering exactly why he was so intimate with the facts of the case. Rumors were flying: Marty had tapes of the woman. Marty had footage of Cowboys snorting cocaine. Marty knew where police had hidden the woman.
During the first 10 days in January, Griffin repeatedly spoke to Shahravan at her secret hideaway and reported to viewers that she stood by her allegations and would testify in court if asked to. Griffin also reported that "sources" had told him that the police had enough evidence to arrest the men and Irvin’s voice could be heard on the videotape.
Dallas police didn’t deny Griffin’s involvement in the case, admitting the victim had made her outcry to the journalist rather than the police. "She called Marty, who she knew, and he called a DPD officer," says another DPD spokesman, Sgt. Jim Chandler. Asked why the woman waited 24 hours before reporting the crime. Chandler responded, "Ask Marty."
Hounded by his own peers, who demanded to know more about his role, Griffin behaved like many of the subjects in his own investigative pieces. He refused to answer questions, and when one reporter asked police about Marty’s relationship with Shahravan, Griffin called the question "irresponsible." The rest of the media he simply accused of professional jealousy. "I kicked your ass. I kicked your ass," he told Fox "I-Team" producer Kay Vinson. If Griffin was due a comeuppance, the pieces were all in place.
AS SOON AS THE STORY BROKE, IT BEGAN TO TAKE A dramatic twist. Irvin denied being anywhere near Williams’house on the night in question. Although credibility was, at best, suspect, his attorney, witnesses that he said supported Irvin’s innocence. More damaging still, Shahravan had alleged that both men used cocaine, but each had passed drug tests administered after the night of the alleged rape but prior to the playoff game against the Carolina Panthers.
Although news organizations initially are wary of reporting rape victims’ histories, journalists began scouring the city for information on the woman. They learned she was Iranian by birth, the daughter of a limo driver and sales clerk who live in Piano; that her first brush with the law came at 16, when she was picked up for shoplifting lingerie; that she dropped out of high school to marry; that she began to dance at second-tier topless clubs after she separated from her husband. Defense attorneys helped, providing police with the names of at least six other Cowboys who claimed they had been involved with Shahravan. The Dallas Morning News quoted her estranged husband as saying Shahravan had falsely accused him of rape. The portrait that emerged was that of a troubled young woman with a penchant for exaggeration.
The police began to publicly retreat from earlier statements; now, they said the investigation would be lengthy and that Irvin and Williams might never be questioned. Police said privately that they had found no physical evidence linking Irvin to the scene. Tests conducted on the felt from the pool table were negative.
Still, Marty Griffin stuck by his story and his source. But police began to hint that Griffin himself had played some unseemly part in the incident. Sgt. Ross Salverino, the CAPERS detective who oversaw the investigation, reportedly told defense attorneys that what disturbed him most about the case was that Marty seemed to have detailed knowledge of evidence even before CAPERS did. (Salverino denies that he made that statement,)
On Jan. 9, Collin County District Attorney, Tom O’Connell subpoenaed Marty Griffin, ordering him to turn over notes from his conversation with Shahravan on the day she made her first outcry. The next day, police brought Shahravan downtown, where Salverino and another officer confronted her with Irvin’s alibi, the absence of physical evidence, and each and every discrepancy they had discovered in her story. By the time they finished their interrogation, Shahravan had recanted.
What once seemed like the story that would make Griffin’s career now threatened to destroy it. On Jan. 10. DPD spokesman Spencer pointed an accusatory finger at Griffin, claiming police only released information about Shahravan’s charges "in response to media inquiries after a local station broke the story " The police, defense attorneys, the media were all looking for a fail guy-and Griffin topped everyone’s list.
On Jan. 14, police formally charged Shahravan with filing a false report, which was later upgraded to perjury. She now claims she was coerced by the police to recant and stands by her original allegations.
Griffin came under aggressive attack from Irvin’s defense attorneys, who suggested that Griffin himself was under investigation. Attorney West went on the morning network news circuit, making loud noises about media misbehavior and going so far as to compare Irvin to Richard Jewell, the man who came under false suspicion of pipe-bombing the Olympics. West praised police and suggested that if anyone needed to fear lawsuits it was the media.
Erik Williams, however, was not nearly as laudatory of police tactics. On Feb. 12, he sued both the city of Dallas and the DPD. claiming that "in a shocking abuse of the public trust," each had "eagerly participated in Shahravan and Griffin’s hoax." He also sued Griffin and Channel 5 in a separate lawsuit.
After the debacle, the station had asked Frank Magid Associates of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to do some focus group research. The research showed that the audience was still mad at both Griffin and the station. Strangely, it also showed that Griffin’s was one of the most recognized names in local TV news.
After Shahravan retracted her accusations, and with Channel 5 up for sale, potentially to NBC, Griffin learned he would have nothing in the February "book" and, in fact, was told to take a month-long vacation. He declined. Although he continued to go to his office, he worked on no stories for the all-important sweeps week.
At a minimum, Griffin made errors in judgment. Fueled by ambition, temperament and the pressure to turn a story, Griffin abandoned his objectivity. Only weeks before the story exploded, Griffin scoffed at journalists putting on airs, "Objectivity is a journalism class myth,"
Griffin still has three years to go on a four-year contract. Sources close to him say he is interviewing for jobs in other cities, but taking a page from the subjects of his own investigations, he refuses to confirm or deny the rumor.