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Q&A: Jan. 2

Question: With Bob Barker retiring this summer, what do you think are the chances of Tom Bergeron taking over the show? Any other host possibilities?
Lisa Bellah

Answer: Bergeron is under contract to ABC and it's unlikely the network would let him go anywhere. Not that Bergeron would want to go to Price Is Right. He has higher visibility on both Dancing with the Stars and America's Funniest Home Videos, which in retrospect was the original YouTube.

As for other possibilities, I think Chuck Woolery could do it, but he'd be a real darkhorse. If recent trends are an indication, CBS is just as likely to go with a familiar name who has little or no game show experience. That's what Howie Mandel has wrought on Deal or No Deal. Tim Allen maybe? It's not inconceivable.

Question: I'm interested in knowing what your thoughts are on the Sarah Dodd/Chief Kunkle romance. Namely the ethical issues it may present for reporters and editors at CBS11.
Margarita Martin-Hidalgo

Answer: Well, clearly she can't cover the Dallas PD. Even so, CBS11 definitely has the inside track on police department intrigue, even if Kunkle isn't likely to give his new bride too much news she can use in terms of any scandals or malfeasance. It's a touchy situation, but ethics aren't what they used to be.

CBS Corporation chairman Leslie Moonves, for example, is married to Julie Chen, still a co-host of both the network's Big Brother and The Early Show. Ratings for the latter remain weak, but so far Chen is still standing while Rene Syler was made to walk the plank.

NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell long has been married to Alan Greenspan, until recently the all-powerful chairman of the Federal Reserve. She likely knows a lot that she can't tell her bosses at NBC News. But who knows whether her husband might have pointed her in the right directions on some big stories?

What's more troubling to me than Dodd/Kunkle is CNN anchor Anderson Cooper continuing to sub for Regis Philbin on Regis & Kelly. The guy took a drubbing for segueing directly from the ABC reality series The Mole to CNN. You'd think he'd want to avoid any overt links to show biz TV during times when CNN is spending a ton of money promoting him as its fair-haired serious newsman.

NBC White House correspondent David Gregory likewise is compromising himself by regularly filling in on Today, where he seems all too eager to participate in cooking segments and various slap-happy activities. Mr. Hard-Charging Aggressor during White House press briefings should stop moonlighting as a Pillsbury Dough Boy. But he won't, because nobody seems to draw the line anymore.

Question: Is there anyone at Belo8 responsible for what the on-air talent may or may not wear? The female co-anchor on a recent 6 p.m. newscast had on what can be described as "garish." It was totally unprofessional attire for on-air talent. Does station management just not care?
Ed Weymouth

Answer: Station management cares very much. In fact station manager Mike Devlin recently decreed that all male anchors and reporters must wear ties on the air, excepting only Dale Hansen. But the longtime sports anchor said earlier in these pages that he decided to tie one on any way. In effect he's taking one for the team.

Anchors Gloria Campos and Macie Jepson have undergone several station-directed makeovers over the years. Still, Gloria occasionally shows up in very brightly colored ensembles that charitably can be termed garish.

Then again, Troy Dungan's many-splendored bow ties never have been held against him. So to each his or her own, although you can be certain that station management is both watching and taking notes. That's likewise true of Belo8's competitors. All of the stations keep a close eye on the eye appeal of their high-paid talent.