By Alan Pergament
I woke up early this morning just in time to see some local TV history, according to Channel 7 anyway.
It was the premiere of Channel 7's new morning program, "Good Morning."
Truth be told, I DVRed the 6 a.m. hour rather than get up early to see a premiere that was so heavily promoted during the Bills' 44-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday that one of my Twitter followers made me laugh by writing he didn’t know who Cole and Tiffany were but he hates them already.
Ah, Twitter, which can be incredibly harsh and quick to judge.
Not me. I operate under the theory that first impressions of a new season or a new show can be misleading because they should be judged over time. In other words, it is a marathon, not a sprint.
After new "Good Morning" co-hosts Tiffany Lundberg and Cole Heath were introduced, viewers were given "7 Things You Need to Know" this morning.
I expected some sort of countdown to seven, but the station didn't enumerate the things we needed to know. I think they told us a lot more than seven things in the first 10 minutes, though I'm not sure we needed to know them all.
But in the spirit of Channel 7's philosophy, here are seven things you might want to know about the passable premiere of "Good Morning," which the ABC affiliate hopes will slowly make it more competitive with the early morning programs carried by Channel 2 and Channel 4.
1. The perky "Good Morning" jingle has the potential to be instantly way more annoying than Channel 2’s "This is Home."” It seems like something out of the 1980s.
2. Lundberg appeared to be way more comfortable than Heath, who forced smiles, appeared to be much more nervous and stumbled over his words a few times. "It is time again for what we want to talk about and that is The Apple," said Heath, referring to plans to introduce a new iPhone next month. Channel 7 gave viewers choices of two dates when it will be introduced. I assume Apple knows which date was accurate.
3. The new set, with a golden backdrop of Buffalo's landmark buildings, looks really sharp and has brought Channel 7 into the 21st century. The fast-pace of the show also was a big plus.
4. New traffic reporter Desiree Wiley looked much more comfortable with the high-tech, touch screen that helped show traffic patterns than she did talking about traffic. I assume that was first-day nerves. Besides, I'm guessing some viewers were more likely to talk about her red dress than what she said about traffic anyway
5. I was somewhat surprised that "Good Morning" didn't lead with what the majority of Western New Yorkers were talking about this morning – the Bills success Sunday – especially since the game was carried on Channel 7. I can be critical of stations when they lead with the Bills over important news. But "Good Morning" led with a story about Buffalo schools that mostly rehashed the issues that have been discussed for weeks as an advance of an important noon meeting today.
6. The morning's most memorable image was Heath wearing a chicken wing hat presented to him by local wing king Drew Cerza. Heath showed he was a good sport because he looked ridiculous. Of course, that's the point of wing hats. I would hope that Channel 7 would be smart enough to keep that image out of its promos.
7. The one light moment that worked came when meteorologist Mike Randall presented the 5-foot Lundberg with a stepladder so she could see eye-to-eye with the 6-5 Heath when needed. With its fast-pace, 21st century look and expanded cast, Channel 7 took a small positive step this morning but a successful climb to relevancy may take years.
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