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Ch.7 GM Ransom retiring, too

By Alan Pergament

For the second time in three days, a local television executive has announced that he is retiring.

Bill Ransom, who has been the president and general manager of WKBW-TV for the last 18 years, will be leaving the ABC affiliate at the end of June.

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Timing of Musial's departure is surprising

By Alan Pergament

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Channel 4 General Manager Chris Musial to interview him about the news department's fall from No.1 and his plans to take back the lead from Channel 2.

Like Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier, Musial sounded like a guy ready to fix the problems created during his lengthy reign as GM.

That's what made the timing of the news Friday that Musial is retiring from the station at the end of the month so surprising.

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Ch.4 GM Musial says he is retiring

By Alan Pergament

Channel 4 General Manager Chris Musial, who rose from intern to news director to running the station for almost 10 years in a 35-year career at the CBS affiliate, announced to the staff today that he is retiring from the station at the end of the month, according to multiple sources.

Musial, who is believed to be 55, is a widower with five children. According to staffers, he told members of his staff that he was retiring to spend more time with his family.

He could not be reached for comment after repeated telephone calls over the last few days.

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Broadcast nets well past prime here

By Alan Pergament

As the broadcast networks start introducing the new series they plan to premiere in the fall and in midseason of 2014, I'm more than a little worried about their futures.

That’s because Western New York, which has been traditionally one of the stronger markets for series carried by the Big Four of CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox, seems to be losing interest in network prime time shows at an alarming rate.

On Wednesday night, a Final 3 episode of "American Idol" didn’t even get a 5 rating on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate. "Idol" averaged four times that rating in its prime. Now even judge Randy Jackson has seen the handwriting on the wall and has announced he is leaving next season.

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WBBZ owner critical of local news; "The Office" finale expands

By Alan Pergament

If you think I am critical of local news, wait until you hear what WBBZ Owner Phil Arno thinks about the business he worked in for decades.

In a recent interview, Arno, who was a photographer at Channel 4 and Channel 7 before becoming the the No. 1 helicopter-reporter in Southern California for years before returning to his native Buffalo, said "news to a great extent is filling air time. They do certain stories that are significant and important and then they throw in fender benders and abandoned buildings burning down that really isn't news just because they have to fill time. They don't necessarily have to be interesting. They have to fill the time."

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It's a MAD, MAD, MAD World at Ch.2

By Alan Pergament

I’ve been accused of a lot of things as a critic, but I never thought I’d be accused of not believing in evolution.

I also never thought I’d write this – but I don’t believe in evolution. At least not when it pertains to certain aspects of TV news.

On Monday, Channel 2’s Maryalice Demler -– she’s called MAD for short on the station’s website (I’m not making this up) -- delivered a two-minute response to my Saturday column in which I called her commentaries obvious, unnecessary and inappropriate for reporters and anchors who are just supposed to cover news, not opine about it.

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Jeanneret to return next season

By Alan Pergament

Buffalo Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret confirmed this afternoon that he plans to return to the TV and radio booth next season.

The 70-year-old Hockey Hall of Famer added he won't know how many games he will work until the National Hockey League schedule comes out.

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Views on "Hannibal," "The Office," promos, hats and objectivity

By Alan Pergament

This is what I’m thinking: 

If Western New York is a guide, NBC's "Hannibal" has little chance of getting renewed for a second season despite its strong critical support.

Last Thursday's 10 p.m. episode of the series had a lowly 1.8 rating on Channel 2, finishing fifth in its time slot. If that is a national trend, it usually spells cancellation. "Hannibal" even lost to Channel 2's 10 p.m. news (2.8) on Fox affiliate WUTV.

It is a difficult time slot. CBS' "Elementary" was No. 1 with a 7.1 rating on Channel 4. ABC's "Scandal," which is a national hit, only had a 4.8 rating on Channel 7. That was slightly lower than Channel 4's "10 O'Clock News" (4.9) on WNLO. However, "Elementary'" attracts more old viewers while "Scandal" appeals to younger viewers who appeal more to advertisers. 

It was easy to admire the objectivity of ABC and ESPN play-by-play man Mike Breen during game six of the first-round NBA playoff series between the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. 

Breen, who also does play-by-play for the Knicks, sounded extremely excited while the Celtics were on a run that almost wiped out a 26-point Knick lead in the fourth quarter. The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony took over late in the game to help the Knicks end the series, 4 games to 2, and move into a second round series against an Indiana team that beat them in Game 1 Sunday.

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WNY newlyweds finish as bridesmaids on "Amazing Race"

By Alan Pergament

Luck ran out for Western New York newlyweds Katie and Max Bichler Sunday night, as they finished second in the final leg of the popular CBS reality show "The Amazing Race."

In a way, it was an all too familiar Buffalo ending.

After cruising to their third straight victory in the opening leg of Sunday's two-hour finale, the Bichlers fell out of first place in the second hour after Max was unable to quickly spot the phony spy who was going to exchange briefcases that contained the next clue. It wasn't easy to find him since 50 potential spies were walking around with briefcases.

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WNY newlyweds go for $1 million tonight on CBS

By Alan Pergament

Will Western New York newlyweds Katie and Max Bichler win the $1 million for finishing first on the two-hour season finale of CBS "The Amazing Race" tonight?

The program is scheduled to start at 8 tonight on Channel 4. But if you are DVRing, be advised to add an extra hour just in case CBS' telecast of another golf tournament goes long.

Katie and Max would appear to be the favorites in the Final Four after winning the last two legs and the two new cars and $20,000 that went with those victories.

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About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

@StillTalkinTV |