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Published: Friday, 3/9/2007

Dermish leaps from 13 to D.C.

Hakem Dermish has been called up to the major leagues.

Ready or not, here he comes.

Dermish, third in a three-man rotation in the sports department at WTVG-TV, Channel 13, has been hired as a sports reporter/producer at WRC-TV in Washington.

He said he also will occasionally sit in the weekend anchor chair at the NBC affiliate.

Dermish, only 25, has pulled off an unlikely hat trick.

Dermish Dermish
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Since graduating from Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky., in May of 2004, he has had three jobs in less than three years.

And Dermish will have jumped 170 TV markets, going from No. 178 (Marquette, Mich.), to No. 71 (Toledo), to No. 8 (Washington).

Making that big of a leap in TV in such a short time period is the baseball equivalent of going from Single-A West Michigan to the Detroit Tigers.

"I know there are going to be people who ask, 'Is this kid ready for a top 10 market?' I'm even asking myself that question," Dermish said. "I am not cocky, just confident. I'm going to go there and do whatever they ask, and try and prove myself.

"Washington is a much bigger market than Toledo. There will be more people watching, more pressure, and a lot more on the line. But I am confident I can do it. It's still sports."

Dermish, whose two-year contract at Channel 13 expires April 5, said he hopes to begin work in the nation's capital in mid-April.

A native of Kent, Ohio, he got his start at WLUC-TV in Marquette and then joined WTVG as a sports reporter/Sunday morning anchor in April of 2005.

However, when weekend sports anchor Katrina Hancock left the station in mid-November to take a similar job in market No. 11 with WDIV-TV, Channel 4, in Detroit, Dermish decided not to apply for the position. Channel 13 hired Joe Nugent, a news reporter from cross-town rival WTOL-TV, Channel 11, as Hancock's replacement.

Dermish said he turned down an offer to be a weekend sports anchor/reporter at WRTV-TV in Indianapolis to accept the job in Washington.

"I am shocked and still a little bit stunned," he said. "I can't believe this opportunity has been presented to me."

WRC-TV's studios have been home to several notable programs through the years - Meet the Press, the second presidential debate between candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, and George Michael's Sports Machine.

But the station's current status is unstable.

Michael signed off earlier this month after 27 years as sports director and weekend anchor following WRC's announcement of significant layoffs and staff cuts. His syndicated highlights show will air for the final time March 25.

Meanwhile, former Channel 13 and Ohio News Network intern, Steve Slivka, has been hired as a weekend sports anchor/reporter at CBS affiliate KOAM-TV in Pittsburg, Kan. He'll also do some work for their Fox sister station, KFJX-TV.

"This is what I've always wanted to do - sports," said Slivka, a graduate of St. John's Jesuit High School and Indiana University. "And this is a great place to start."

Maybe in three years, he'll hit a home run, too.



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