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Ch.2 expands Heaney's contract for doing deeper investigations

By Alan Pergament

After further investigation, the hiring of former Fox News reporter Steve Brown isn't the only way that Channel 2 is going to increase its investigative presence.

All right, it wasn't a deep investigation, more like some of the quickies done by Channel 4 and Channel 2 occasionally.

I made one phone call.

I asked Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner to expand upon about a brief side comment about Jim Heaney of the Investigative Post that he made when announcing Brown's return to the station after almost 20 years.

"We recently upped Heaney's contract for the number of stories he'll do," elaborated Toellner. "We've upped the commitment to Investigative Post and the number of stories we'll be working on over the course of a year."

Heaney created Investigative Post after a long career as an investigative reporter at the Buffalo News. His stories have appeared locally most prominently on Channel 2, but they've also appeared on the website, in a local weekly and on radio.

"He's done an extremely good job," said Toellner of Heaney's TV work. "A lot of times investigative pieces take tens, if not thousands, of hours. It is very difficult for TV stations to do that. In partnership with Investigative Post, we're able to do deep and intensive investigations."

The hiring of Brown and the upgrading of Investigative Post's contract put Channel 2 in even better position to compete with Channel 4 on investigations.

Channel 4 has been emphasizing its investigations even more since it hired former Buffalo News and Philadelphia Inquirer investigative reporter Rose Ciotta.

Ciotta is primarily working behind-the-scenes, most notably on Channel 4's reports on "Dicey Dining." The rest of Channel 4's investigative team consists of reporters and anchors who have other demanding duties that make it difficult to do the longer projects that Heaney and Investigative Post reporter Dan Telvock can do.

Luke Moretti, the reporter on "Dicey Dining," and Al Vaughters have regular reporting duties and Channel 4's other primary investigators -- Jordan Williams and Lou Raguse -- have busy anchor duties.

Similarly, Dave McKinley, Claudine Ewing, Scott Brown and Michael Wooten -- who appear in Channel 2's promos along with Heaney as "The Investigators" -- also have regular duties.

Buffalo TV audiences Tuesday followed the national script when it came to the premieres of two new shows -- CBS' "Intelligence" and ABC's "Killer Women."

Thanks to a huge lead-in from "NCIS," the two-hour premiere of "Intelligence" with "Lost" star Josh Holloway averaged an 11.8 rating on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate. "Killer Women," produced by Sofia Vergara of "Modern Family," had a deadly 2.8 rating.

However, Holloway's show moves to 10 p.m. Monday, where "Hostages" just ended its run with less than half of the "Intelligence" rating locally.

Nationally, 'Intelligence" was a big hit and "Killer Women" a big flop.

Finally, the question of when Brown left Fox News has been troubling me so I did another investigation. OK, I made one phone call to Brown this morning. He said his last day at Fox News was March 8, 2013. There will be more about Brown and his return next week. 


Drama | New Shows | Television | TV news
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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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