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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Former KSL anchorman Dick Nourse will talk about his battle with cancer on KUTV

Retired KSL anchorman Dick Nourse will give local viewers an update on his latest battle with cancer on Thursday — on KUTV's 10 p.m. newscast.

In 2007, Nourse retired after 43 years as Channel 5's lead anchorman. During that time, he overcame both non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (in 1980) and prostate cancer (in 1996). He was diagnosed with throat cancer in mid-December 2012.

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"It's a very touching story," said KUTV general manager Kent Crawford. "We think viewers will be drawn to it."

According to Channel 2 anchorman Mark Koelbel, who is reporting the story, Nourse called him. The two are longtime friends, and this past November, Koelbel reported on Nourse's 16-year-old son, Dayne, who is battling Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease.

"He got a new insight into Dick when he did that story," said Jennifer Dahl, KUTV's director of news and operations. "And Dick and his wife felt comfortable calling Mark to do this story."

Thursday marks the start of the second week of the February sweeps period, when ratings are used to set local ad rates, and KUTV is making the most of its TV exclusive. Channel 2 bought full-page ads in the local newspapers that feature Koelbel and Nourse standing side-by-side and a copy proclaiming, "Dick Nourse reveals his inspirations to beat cancer."

There's no mention of Nourse's past as a KSL anchorman, but the irony is obvious to anyone who has spent much time in Utah.

"It's just supposed to make you tune in tonight at 10," said KUTV general manager Kent Crawford.

Not that KUTV appears to need a whole lot of help in the ratings. After Week 1 of the February sweeps, Channel 2 is within two-tenths of a rating point of equaling its competitors' late-night news numbers combined. KUTV is averaging a 13.3 rating; KSL a 5.3; KSTU-Channel 13 a 5.2; and KTVX-Channel 4 a 3.0.



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