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After six years, KUSI will curtail the showcasing of live local bands on its weekend news shows.

"We are primarily a news organization, not a music channel," says KUSI news director Steve Cohen. Last week, morning-show producer Cassie Kovacevich called the bands booked to appear in October to say their appearance was cancelled.

"The quality was all over the map," says Cohen. "Sometimes we could provide the best audio. Other times the bands may not be playing their best work on live TV."

Cohen admits that when breaking news forced the cancellation of a band appearance, some of the bands that got bumped became unhappy.

"We just went through Katrina. When events like that happen, we have to cover them.... We understand the passion the bands have for their music. But that passion is not necessarily shared by our viewers."

Cohen says KUSI will present bands occasionally during its Monday-through-Friday morning-news shows.

"All this says is we are not committing to have a band on every weekend, 52 weeks a year. Nobody is more committed to music than KUSI. Our own [weatherman] Dave Scott plays in his own ensemble."

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