WVBG CHANNELS MAKE SLOW DEBUT

Section: TV & RADIO,  Page: D4

Date: Friday, March 27, 1998

Although its launch date has been pushed back since fall, station manager Dan Viles said some WVBG channels are already on the air with a few hours of programming each day. An over-the-air broadcast station with multiple channels? Yes, that's the way some low-power stations such as WVBG operate. WVBG will show up on three different channels. The first on the air was Channel 39 (serving Saratoga Springs/Glens Falls/Hudson Falls), followed recently by Channel 49 (serving Manchester/Bennington).


The last station up and running will be the one intended for Albany/Schenectady/Troy. Channel 25 will have an antenna on the Helderberg escarpment with the antennas for most of the other full-power local stations, but it won't be in operation until May at the earliest.


``When you watch TV, you never appreciate what went into building the infrastructure,'' Viles said. ``Every day a little more falls into place.''Telethon on Channel 6


Jack Aernecke and Tom Mailey will host the 1998 Arthritis Telethon Sunday on WRGB, Ch. 6, from 1 to 6 p.m.


Reporter Melissa Merritt will host live segments from Capital Region Orthopaedic Associates. During these cut-ins viewers can call 489-2666 to speak with a specialist regarding their arthritis. The Emmy may go to . ..


Kudos to WRGB, Ch. 6, which garnered three Emmy Award nominations from the New York Chapter of the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences.


The station's ``30 Minute Meal'' feature, reported by Dan DiNicola and Rachel Ray and produced by Bill Van Alstyne, was nominated in the outstanding entertainment programming category.


Two of JoAnne Purtan's ``Capital Kids'' segments were nominated as outstanding programming for young people. One of the ``Capital Kids'' features was from December 1996, the other from September 1996 and were produced by Purtan, Ed Curley, Dave Hammons, Mike McHugh and Patrice Shannon.


WXXA, Ch. 23, also picked up a nod for ``Kids and Guns,'' a November 1996 feature produced by Wayne Perry.


The New York Emmys will be handed out April 19 in Manhattan. Another fund drive over


Local public TV and radio stations WMHT, Ch. 17, and WMHQ, Ch. 45, and WMHT-FM (89.1) concluded their concurrent fund drive Sunday, taking in $518,099 in pledges from 6,091 callers. Station representatives said it was the station's most successful March fund drive to date. Seeking teen anchors


WNYT, Ch. 13, has partnered with the College of Saint Rose to produce a 30-minute newsmagazine by teens, for teens.


Auditions for two hosts and four field reporters will be held April 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the College of Saint Rose. Kids ages 13 to 18 who are interested in trying out can call 436-8477, ext. 550. Leave a name and phone number and an audition time will be scheduled.


The ``Commit to Kids Teen Special,'' written by Saint Rose students, will begin shooting in mid-April and will air on Channel 13 in early June. The program will cover relationships, family issues, teen heroes, lifestyles and fashion. Get TV ratings help


Children's advocacy groups and members of the cable industry have prepared a booklet to help parents understand the new TV ratings.


Titled ``Tools to Use to Help You Choose,'' the booklet is free by writing the National Cable Television Association, Public Affairs Dept., 1724 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036. -- Rob Owen, TV/Radio writerTed Danson to try again


Though his last attempt to return to the small screen went belly up after one season, Ted Danson hasn't given up on television.


The former ``Cheers'' star, last seen regularly in 1996 in CBS' ill-fated ``Ink,'' has been cast in a new comedy that's vying for either a fall or mid-season berth next season on CBS.


Danson will star in ``Becker,'' a half-hour sitcom, as an outspoken doctor.


CBS has ordered 13 episodes of the series, which is being produced by Paramount, which also produced ``Cheers.'' Dave Hackel, who has worked on such shows as ``Wings'' and ``Dear John,'' is the series' executive producer. -- New York Daily News An inventive tribute


ABC's quirky comedy ``Dharma & Greg'' will pay homage to the finale of NBC's ``Seinfeld'' in a most, er, mmmm, inventive way.


In its own season finale, in May, the free-spirited newlyweds at the heart of ``Dharma & Greg,'' played by Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson, will spice up their life by having sex in as many public places as they can.


No fools they, the two decide to do the playful pranking at a time when they're least likely to get caught, which means a night when most everyone is inside caught up in some absolutely must-see TV event. You know, like . . . like . . . well, how about at 9 p.m. the night ``Seinfeld'' bids adieu.


Sounds like a plan. -- New York Daily NewsHere's a role reversal


Jeffrey Tambor, who plays toady Hank Kingsley on HBO's ``Larry Sanders Show,'' will co-star with Melanie Griffith in her new CBS fall sitcom, ``Me & George. In a real role reversal, Tambor will play the boss of press-agent Griffith. -- Knight-Ridder Visser to replace Swann


Lesley Visser has joined ABC's ``Monday Night Football'' as a sideline reporter, replacing Hall of Famer Lynn Swann. -- Knight-Ridder