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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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