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Demler Olympic promo is another winner; Russo signs for 3 years

By Alan Pergament

Some quick thoughts a week before Christmas:

A voice in my head suggested I get in the holiday spirit and “say something nice about Channel 2 anchor Maryalice Demler.”

So I'll give it a whirl.

The latest Channel 2 promo for the Sochi Olympics features Demler walking down a station hallway before it is revealed she is wearing skates. When Demler gets to the end of the hallway, she does a little skater's twirl.

She is quite an actress. It is an adorable, understated, well-performed promo.

Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner reports that the idea for all the clever Olympic promos came from Colleeen Nossavage, the station’s community relations and programming coordinator.

She suggested the station continue the station's weather promo theme that has the slogan, "winter is coming, we're ready, are you?"

"Then Dan Meyers and the marketing team conceived and executed the specific spots," added Toellner.

As I've written before, it is a terrific, clever campaign.

Congratulations are in order for Channel 7 Sports Director Jeff Russo.

Mike Nurse, Channel 7's general manager, reports that Russo has been renewed for three years starting on Jan.1. Russo is a solid sports anchor who would be in the class of Channel 2's Adam Benigni if he would just be more opinionated.

The worst-kept secret in television might be that Katie Couric's syndicated talk show isn't going to be renewed after its second season ends in May and she concentrates on her new job with Yahoo.

Nurse said he hasn't been approached by the syndicator about renewing the program, which has been a big ratings disappointment for Channel 7.

The local TV ratings for the season finale of "Homeland" certainly suggest that critics write too much about Showtime's Emmy-winning series and that includes me. While Sunday's season finale was the highest-rated episode ever nationally, the live rating in Western New York was a .4. That’s four-tenths of a point or about 2,600 households. Of course, many Showtime subscribers watch the Claire Danes series On Demand or on their DVRs so the rating should go over a 1. The semifinal episode had a .6 and two episodes before that had a .9 when DVR playback was added.   

I don't know if this will make Channel 2 anchor Scott Levin come back to work sooner than expected but the station's ratings at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. last week without him were higher than normal. Channel 2 averaged an 11.7 at 5 p.m. and a 14.1 at 6 p.m. for the week, dominating both time periods. Pete Gallivan filled in for Levin alongside Maryalice Demler on several of those newscasts.  Of course, the winter weather undoubtedly also had something to do with the large viewership.

Want to know how to block those offensive synopses in the channel guide for programs on the Adult tier of Time Warner Cable? TWC Cable spokesman Scott Pryzwansky explained that "information in the Guide can easily be parentally controlled with Title block, just like the channels and content themselves… Just go to Settings – Parental Control (must be turned on) - Title Block." To those who asked, you’re welcome.

Channel 4 appears to have added Anthony Congi's replacement. Elysia Rodriguez made her reporting debut on Monday. She previously worked at another LIN Media station in the Springfield/Holyoke, Mass. market.


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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.

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