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Published: Monday, 7/28/2003

Stachak is better after his surgery

WTVG-TV, Channel 13, chief meteorologist Stan Stachak was understandably apprehensive about undergoing surgery to correct a problem in his digestive tract.

In 1958, his father died of complications from the same procedure. He was 46.

“That was on my mind,” Stachak admitted. “But technology today is much more advanced than it was then.”

Stan Stachak: recovering Stan Stachak: recovering
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Stachak had surgery on July 14 and, pending approval from his doctor, plans to return to work a week from today. Meanwhile, the seven-inch scar on his lower abdomen serves as a constant reminder for him to take it easy.

“It's kind of hard for me to do nothing, but that's what I've been doing,” he said. “The doctor told me to expect fatigue, and that's been the case. I feel pretty good, but I am tired.”

Stachak, 54, had been dealing with the diverticulitis since last fall. He said doctors recommended surgery to remove “the diseased portion” of his colon. He said no cancer was found.

“I'm really glad I didn't wait any longer because it was getting kind of bad,” he said. “It wasn't intense pain, but every day I would get cramping.”

It's unusual for an anchor -- whether it be news, weather, or sports -- to be off the air during a ratings period, but WTVG news director Brian Trauring said this is a case where it couldn't be avoided. (Jay Berschback has been filling in for Stachak.) Nielsen's “July sweeps” began July 10 and continues through Aug. 6.

Stachak has been at the station since 1980. He said the only other time he's been absent for more than a week during a ratings period was in 1988, when he flew to South America to adopt a baby. (Andrew, who was born in Paraguay, is now a sophomore at St. Francis de Sales High School.)

He said his doctors have told him that he'll be able to resume his active lifestyle -- which includes playing racquetball three days a week and an annual skiing trip to Utah.

RECYCLING: Maybe our society isn't as litigious as some perceive it to be. Otherwise, someone would have sued WSPD-AM (1370) for impersonating a news/talk station on Tuesday morning; it aired a canned “best of” show from 6 to 9. (Can you imagine a local TV station serving up a “best of” morning news program?) Apparently, WSPD -- which has dropped to No. 6 in the morning race -- doesn't have a very deep bench of guest hosts.

NEW ROLE: Former WUPW-TV, Channel 36, reporter Megan Pringle is serving as a weekend news anchor for the two Sinclair-owned stations in Columbus. On Saturdays and Sundays, she anchors the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts on WSYX (ABC affiliate) and the 10 p.m. newscast on WTTE (Fox affiliate).

RADIO RATINGS: The results of Arbitron's spring survey, conducted from March 27 to June 18, are scheduled to arrive at local radio stations this week.

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