By Alan Pergament
I've always felt a little sad or embarrassed for present and former Channel 4 anchors Joe Arena, Victoria Hong, Diana Fairbanks and other anchors when they had to enthusiastically co-host the morning program "Winging It!" on WNLO-TV that includes paid segments.
Journalists don't generally want to do the news straight one minute and be part of a show that pitches products via sponsored segments the next.
I feared that Channel 4's newest "Wake Up!" co-anchor, Teresa Weakley, would have to wing it when she makes her debut on Sept. 3.
But she's apparently been spared that indignity.
Channel 4 General Manager Rene LaSpina reports that the new "Winging It" co-anchor when Fairbanks goes back to nights will be Lauren Hall, a senior producer on the program.
According to her bio, Hall graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University in 2010 and came to Channel 4 after working for five months at a Syracuse station.
I don't know Hall or her work that well but I'm told she is bright and camera-friendly and has appeared frequently on "Winging It!" as producer of the entertainment and lifestyle show. (You'd have to be pay me well to watch it).
I watched Monday's show (I got paid to) and saw Hall's involvement in two light reports, one at the Erie County Fair and one at a local movie house that has renovated its theaters with plush seats.
Hall has great potential and a great smile. And she'll have to smile a lot on "Winging It!" It's a requirement for the show, though I doubt any co-anchor can out-smile co-host Matt Snyder.
From an informed source -- my younger son -- the camera also doesn't do Hall justice. He was briefly filmed Monday in a food truck delivering a sandwich to Hall for a future segment set in Larkinville (which illustrates what a small world Buffalo is and also means I’ll have to watch "Winging It!" again looking for that feature).
Fairbanks also did a lot of smiling Monday, displaying an incredible amount of enthusiasm in a paid cooking segment and just about everything else she had to do.
I doubt that she'll be smiling that much when she returns to anchor the 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts in a few weeks to go back to journalism and report serious news.
I applaud the six selections to the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame announced today, but wonder why Channel 7 co-anchor Keith Radford was bypassed again. He recently celebrated his 25th anniversary at the station.
Speaking of Radford, I wonder who wrote his copy Monday night when he said Bills quarterback EJ Manuel was headed for surgery and had it Monday when any Bills fan knew he had it Sunday morning.
Reruns of "Seinfeld" remain popular, but they are aging a bit, which is why WNYO will be cutting down repeats this September.
Reruns of NBC's low-rated "Community" will run at 10:30 p.m. weekdays nightly after "Seinfeld" reruns at 10 p.m. "Seinfeld” episodes have been running back-to-back on the station.
taggedTelevision | TV news