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The Doctors to the Rescue at Channel 7

Here's some potentially good news for the health of 7 News. Channel 7 apparently is ending the run of the afternoon audience killer, "PM/Buffalo."

The station hasn't exactly announced the end of the 4 p.m. program, but it has begun running billboards that promote a new syndicated program, "The Doctors," that will air at 4 p.m.

The new program will serve as the lead-in for 7 News at 5 p.m., a newscast that has had to create its own audience because the lead-in from "PM/Buffalo" has been so anemic.

"The Doctors" -- in which four doctors discuss the day's medical issues -- is no threat to Oprah Winfrey on Channel 4 or Ellen DeGeneres on Channel 2, which are the 4 p.m. competition. But presumably  the new Channel 7 show can't have ratings that are more unhealthy for the 5 p.m. news than "PM/Buffalo" has provided for years. But you never know. 

In other news, sources say that Channel 7 isn't planning to run newscasts at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturdays during the college football season. The move makes sense since ABC's popular college games often make it difficult for the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news programs to run at reasonable times anyway.

The same sources say the station is expected to resume the Saturday newscasts after the college season ends.

-- Alan Pergament

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