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Karen Rariden has been named assistant news director at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2. She succeeds Don DuPree who left in the fall to become the director of Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert's new television movie review show "Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies," which debuts Jan. 21.

Rariden comes to WBBM from CBS-owned KYW-Channel 3 in Philadelphia, where she was an executive producer in the news department. Her resume also includes a stint at Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9 from 1999 t0 2001. At WGN, Rariden was an executive producer of the station's morning show. WBBM news director Jeff Kiernan called Rariden a "highly-experienced newsroom leader with proven success in managing the producing and production of daily newscasts."

Rariden received an undergraduate degree and master's degree in telecommunications from Indiana University.

WBBM-Channel 2 news director Jeff Kiernan will be honored with the Communicator of the Year Award from the Marquette University J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication and the Marquette University Alumni Association in a ceremony on Saturday, Apr. 24. Kiernan earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from Marquette.

Before joining WBBM as news director in early 2009, Kiernan honed his skills at TV stations in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Boston. Kiernan credits "60 Minutes" and his dad for helping him learn the importance of listening and making him interested in a career in journalism. "It is a gift to witness everyday history," Kiernan said, adding "it is a gift to inform viewers of that history through pictures and sound."

Former news anchor Bill Kurtis is back at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 in at least a couple of capacities -- but not as a news anchor. The station said Wednesday it has picked up syndicated episodes of Kurtis' "Cold Case Files" series that originally aired on the A & E cable channel. The syndicated episodes will air Monday through Friday at 1 a.m. on WBBM, beginning Sept. 21.

Kurtis also will begin contributing a series of syndicated reports called "The Cold Case Minutes," which will debut on Sept. 22, on WBBM's flagship 10 p.m. newscast. The brief segments will be a regular feature on WBBM's late newscast. Kurtis' newscast segments reportedly will provide up-to-date information about unsolved local and national homicides and reach out to viewers for help in solving these crimes. Kurtis also will tell current stories about the work of local and national detectives who are crime detection experts.

"After more than 40 years in broadcasting, it's a wonderful feeling to come back home to WBBM-TV and bring the 'Cold Case' franchise with me," said Kurtis. "We are thrilled to have Bill contribute to our newscast much in the same way he did years ago," added WBBM News Director Jeff Kiernan.



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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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