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Ch.4 adds some suspense by hiring new anchor

By Alan Pergament

If you think it is tough to find out the condition of the foot of Buffalo Bills star Mario Williams, try finding out what Channel 4 is planning to do with a new female anchor that it appears to have hired.

Here's what I know and how I learned it about Channel 4's new anchor.

A couple of sources told me that Channel 4 was very interested in Teresa Weakley, the main female anchor at WKBN in Youngstown, Ohio. Youngstown is the 109th market in the country, so moving to the No.51 or No.52 market here would be a major step up. Both WKBN and WIVB-TV (Channel 4) are owned by LIN Media.

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Ch.4 appears set to hire Youngstown anchor

By Alan Pergament

It looks like Channel 4 is set to hire a new female anchor from Youngstown, Ohio, though it is unclear where she will be anchoring.

Channel 4 hasn't announced the hiring of Teresa Weakley, who is the main female anchor at WKBN-TV in Youngstown.

But the Youngstown station has announced on its website that it is looking for someone to replace its departing female co-anchor. According to a source there, Weakley is leaving the LIN Media station in Ohio for the LIN station here, which is Channel 4.

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Buffalo connections to major TV events

By Alan Pergament

Names with a Buffalo connection to national TV news. After all, there is always a Buffalo connection.

Marvin Hamlisch:  The renowned composer, who was the principal pops conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 2003-2007, will be celebrated by the PBS series "American Masters" on Dec. 27 with "Marvin Hamlisch: The Way He Was."

That's a play on words about one of his hits, "The Way We Were," memorably sung by Barbra Streisand.

Babs will be one of the subjects interviewed in the salute to Hamlisch, who died almost a year ago.

I'm sure Buffalonians are wondering if his work here will get any significant mention.

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"Today," Brian Williams and "CBS This Morning" trending well here

By Alan Pergament

As I wrote Friday, the July ratings period is the least important of the four conducted annually by Nielsen.

But it does allow you to see some viewership trends.

The morning results are among the most interesting. They illustrate again how far Channel 7 is behind its two rivals two weeks before it tries to re-launch with its newly-titled newscast "Good Morning" with two new co-anchors and a larger staff.

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Ch.2 News has more things to be happy about in July

By Alan Pergament

The July ratings book is by far the least important of the four months measured annually by Nielsen, primarily because viewing patterns in the summer change when people are on vacation or enjoying the outdoors.

But that doesn't prevent the local stations from trumpeting their successes.

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Nets get baby bump from the summer of George

By Alan Pergament

I finally got a laugh this morning over all the national news coverage of the royal birth of George Alexander Louis.

Reporting on "Today" this morning, Michelle Kosinski speculated that some people believe his parents, Kate and William, were "Seinfeld" fans. Then "Today" ran a clip from that sitcom that proclaimed this "the summer of George" with Kosinski adding "as in George Costanza, Jason Alexander," before showing a photo of "Seinfeld" co-star Julia Louis- Dreyfus and emphasizing "Louis." “We assume a coincidence," concluded Kosinski of the three "Seinfeld"-related names.

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Following up on headlines on Ciotta, Bauerle, Beach, Dudzik and more

By Alan Pergament

Inquiring minds want to know:

Why doesn’t Channel 4 make it clear whether its new investigative reporter, Rose Ciotta, is going to be on camera or work behind the scenes with other investigative reporters at the station?

That’s because station officials apparently don’t know the answer.

A former Buffalo News reporter, Ciotta is telling friends that she won’t be on camera because of a potential union issue. She would be in one union if she is on camera, another union if she is off camera.

However, if the potential issue is resolved, the Pulitzer Prize winner might be able to go on camera.

Thank heaven, Channel 4's new general manager, Rene LaSpina, has a sense of humor. I called her Tuesday to apologize after an editor changed her sex in Tuesday's story in The Buffalo News and made her a man. LaSpina laughed and said something to the effect that I can change her sex as long as I don’t change her quotes. Editors save me from my own mistakes often enough to make me laugh a little about this one, too.

Here's my theory on why WBEN is switching the time slots of Sandy Beach and Tom Bauerle on  Monday. The station wants the conservative talkers to annoy a different audience. Kidding. Another more serious theory is the younger Bauerle may attract a younger afternoon audience.

Recent ratings seem to support the claim by Tim Wenger, operations manager for WBEN and all local Entercom stations,  that ratings aren't behind the switch.

Little changed from a year ago. Bauerle'sshow received a 5.9 share to a 5.4 for Beach's show with age 25-54 listeners (the so-called money demo) in the most recent ratings report this spring. However, a local radio insider tells me that middays (a time period that includes Bauerle's show) always out-perform the afternoons. The insider agrees with the theory that suggests WBEN may think Bauerle can improve the afternoon ratings.

If you are a numbers person here they are. If not, skip the next few paragraphs.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., WBEN had an 11.1 share with listeners 12 and older, up from an 11.0 a year ago. It had a 5.2 share with age 25-54 listeners during those hours, down from a 5.4 a year ago. Bauerle and Rush Limbaugh are on the station at those hours.

From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., WBEN had an 8.5 share, up from an 8.3 a year ago. It had a 5.1 in the age 25-54 demo, up considerably from a 4.0 last spring. Those are the hours that Beach and an hour of news at 6 p.m. are carried on WBEN.

From the cutting room floor: Channel 2 has officially named Kelly Dudzik the primary co-anchor alongside Scott Levin of its 5 p.m. newscast. Dudzik initially impressed and she remains a decent anchor. But she often has come off lately as a bit ditzy during her happy talk with Levin. She seems to belong to the Maryalice Demler School of Anchoring, which requires her to have an opinion or a facial expression after every story. It is a real turn-off. In announcing Dudzik's appointment to the anchor slot that was last held by Jodi Johnston, Channel 2 News Director Jeff Woodard told the staff that
Dudzik "has done a fantastic job in her short time with us already" and added "she understands and can execute our brand of watchdog journalism, has been a stellar performer on the street for our late shows, and has been comfortable from the start with Levin …  In addition to her 5 p.m. anchoring, Kelly will continue to be a nightside reporter for our late news."

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Ch.7 makes sports lineup switch; Pelley will be missed on WBEN

By Alan Pergament

This is what I’m thinking:

Channel 7 has made a late sports lineup change just in time for Buffalo Bills training camp.

Cross out Jason Gruenauer as the third sports person on staff.

Add Allen Leight.

General Manager Mike Nurse confirmed that Gruenauer wants to stay on the news side rather than join Jeff Russo and Shawn Stepner on the expanded sports team.

He added that Leight, who has filled in on sports, "expressed a desire to handle sports."

If you missed a late update in Monday’s blog about Channel 4's hiring of former Buffalo News reporter Rose Ciotta to join its investigative team, you should know it isn’t clear yet from Channel 4's release if the Pulitzer Prize winner actually will do any on-air work or just work behind-the-scenes as a researcher. She is expected to primarily team with Luke Moretti on stories. By the way, Ciotta wasn't the first former Buffalo News investigative reporter to be offered the Channel 4 job. Mike Beebe, who took a buyout from The News three years ago, turned down the job months ago.

I understand WBEN's reason for dropping the simulcast of "The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley" at 6:30 now that talk show host Tom Bauerle will add the 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. hour to the 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. shift that he gets next week when he switches time slots with Sandy Beach next week. But I'm going to miss the evening news broadcast because I was frequently in the car listening around 6:30 p.m. I was usually upset when WBEN cut off Pelley in 10-15 minutes to go to local news.

I caught the final 45 minutes of the Syfy channel's repeat of "Sharknado" last Thursday and haven't laughed so hard at a TV show in months. The highlight came when Ian Ziering was presumed dead before he blasted through a shark (that had swallowed him) with a power saw or a hedge trimmer. And then, after a brief pause, he pulled out a female who was believed dead five minutes earlier.

Nationally, the repeat of the Twitter sensation had a much bigger audience on its repeat showing that it did on opening night. But in Western New York, the second airing Thursday had a 1.0 rating, which was impressive by Syfy standards here but still below the 1.3 rating the movie recorded here on its
original airing.

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Beach, Bauerle switch at WBEN fits lifestyles

By Alan Pergament

WBEN radio is switching the time periods of talk show hosts Tom Bauerle and Sandy Beach next Monday.

Bauerle will move from his 9 a.m. to noon shift to the 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. shift.

Beach will move from his 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. shift to 9 a.m. to noon.

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Ch.4 adds award-winning investigative reporter

 

By Alan Pergament

Channel 4 ended a long search today and hired a an award-winning former Buffalo News investigative reporter to be part of its investigative team.

Rose Ciotta, a Buffalo native who left The News years ago to work for the Philadelphia Inquirer and was part of a team for that newspaper that won a Pulitzer Prize last year, joins Channel 4 as an investigative reporter on Aug. 5.

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