By Alan Pergament
Channel 4’s Don Postles may stay put on "The 10 O‘Clock News“ on WNLO-TV.
Likewise for Diana Fairbanks on Channel 4’s “Wake Up.”
That’s the word from Channel 4 General Manager Chris Musial.
In a telephone interview, Musial said the station is actively looking for a new anchor to replace Fairbanks on the 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscast since she left to work mornings. But he added the new hire won’t necessarily fill Fairbanks’ 10 p.m. anchor slot.
“Don is doing a great job on the 10 and (news director Joe Schlaerth) may choose to use the person hired across different time periods,” said Musial.
He wouldn’t say whether Fairbanks’ supposed tryout move to mornings is now permanent but it appears to be. “We’re really happy with the pairing of Diana and (new anchor) Jordan Williams,” said Musial. “We have some growth in the morning.”
Musial stopped short of saying the new roles for Postles and Fairbanks will be permanent.
“It is staying put for now the way it is,” said Musial.
In a week, Channel 4’s dominant 10 O’Clock News may face a stiffer challenge when Channel 2’s newscast at that time goes from little-watched WNYO to Fox affiliate WUTV. Musial doesn’t seem all that worried.
“It is a natural thing for them to do,” said Musial. “However, we have built a very loyal following and the November and February ratings books showed we continue to grow that audience. In 2000 or 2001, we identified a need that people wanted to watch news earlier and get up earlier. I always say I love the competition, and I think we’ll be fine. We do a real solid job at 10 and 11. I think we’re going to be fine.”
If they haven't been written yet, it shouldn’t be long before there will be several national TV stories about Michigan Coach John Beilein’s ties to Syracuse now that his basketball team will meet the Orange in the national semifinals on Saturday. One of Beilein’s coaching stops included LeMoyne College in Syracuse. The Western New York native also has a big fan in Syracuse that he used to pick up on the team bus on the way to games against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome when he coached at Canisius College and West Virginia. I’m sure that heartwarming story will get some mileage, too.
As a Syracuse grad, I naturally want the Orange to win Saturday. But if Syracuse loses to Beilein and Michigan it won’t seem so bad. He’s such a class act that Beilein's winning would take out some of the sting of a SU loss.
Finally, Katie and Max Bichler barely survived “The Amazing Race” again Sunday, finishing next-to-last in the competition. If they were a NCAA basketball tournament team, that would mean they would go a long way because many teams that barely survive early round games often go far. They will survive next week – “Amazing Race” has next Sunday off for a country music awards show.