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Congi lands morning job in Portland

By Alan Pergament

Former Channel 4 anchor Anthony Congi has landed a job at KPTV in Portland, Ore.

He ended his three years in Buffalo a few months ago in search of a job on the West Coast. He is from a small Northern California town near the Oregon border.

Congi wrote on his Facebook page early this week that is he joining Portland's top-rated morning newscast team. KPTV is a Fox affiliate in the 22nd TV market in the country.

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Cowell's "X Factor" wasn't much of a factor here; Alt Buffalo hires AM host

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking. Cue the music:

I can't see too many Western New Yorkers being all that broken up about the end of "The X Factor" after three seasons.

Fox announced late Friday that it wasn't going to be renewed, perhaps hoping the announcement that Simon Cowell's show was getting dumped would get lost in all the Olympic hype.

The show produced by Cowell, who also was a judge, wasn't much of a factor on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate, no matter who he brought in to host or to judge.

Continue reading "Cowell's "X Factor" wasn't much of a factor here; Alt Buffalo hires AM host" »

Beatles give Olympics "Back in the U.S.S.R." a battle locally

By Alan Pergament

While watching "The Grammys Salute to the Beatles" Sunday night, I tweeted "will be interesting to see if Beatles special on CBS causes NBC to shout HELP! when its Olympic ratings come in."

My comment was based on my Twitter followers, who seemed more interested in the Beatles celebration.

The local ratings have arrived and they were very interesting.

The Sochi games in the former U.S.S.R. averaged a 17.9 rating for four hours of coverage on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate.

The two-and a half hour Beatles special averaged a 12.1 rating on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate.

Continue reading "Beatles give Olympics "Back in the U.S.S.R." a battle locally" »

Ch.7 deal confirmed by Scripps

By Alan Pergament

It is official.

The E.W. Scripps Company announced this morning that it has agreed to buy Channel 7 and WMYD in Detroit for $110 million in cash.

The Buffalo News reported Saturday that the deal was expected to be announced today.

Continue reading "Ch.7 deal confirmed by Scripps" »

FiOS may carry CBC -- but after Olympics; Levin promotes CBC fan

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

On the first official day of the Sochi Olympics, I got a text from a friend who has Verizon's FiOS asking where he could find CBC's coverage to watch the opening ceremonies live instead of waiting several hours for NBC's coverage.

I had to tell him that FiOS doesn't carry CBLT, the CBC affiliate out of Toronto.

The absence of CBC on FiOS and DirecTV is irritating to many Olympic and National Hockey League fans with those carriers, especially since they know Time Warner Cable carries the CBC and CTV affiliates out of Toronto.

So I asked the spokesperson for FiOS if there are any plans to bring CBC into Western New York.

Here's the response from spokesman John Bonomo: "We are interested in carrying the station and working towards carriage. However, we do not have a time frame, and it will not happen until after the Olympics."

If history is a guide, it wouldn't be terribly surprising if the Buffalo Sabres went on a five-game winning streak before FiOS offers the Canadian channels.

Bonomo didn't have an answer as to what are the issues keeping CBC off of FiOS.

I suspect they are the same issues that are keeping CBC off of DirecTV. The fact is that other than Buffalo, Detroit, Seattle and a few other markets near the Canadian border, there probably hasn't been much interest in pressuring the carriers to carry CBC.

TWC subscribers also were fortunate that the CBC and CTV were carried by Adelphia before TWC took over the cable system and the status quo was kept in regards to those channels.

It is unfortunate that TWC doesn't carry the two Toronto affiliates in high definition, especially during the Olympics. But I've been told that people with antennas on their roofs or powerful indoor antennas in some areas can get the Canadian channels in HD.

I watched Friday's opening ceremony live on CBC and was impressed even though it wasn't in HD. But I must admit watching some of NBC's taped coverage in HD was a much better viewing experience.

I had to laugh at one point during the late news Friday when Channel 2 anchors Scott Levin and Maryalice Demler read messages about what viewers thought of the opening ceremonies. I'm not sure if they chose which comments to read or if they were chosen for them.

Levin read a comment from a viewer who said how much she enjoyed watching the opening ceremonies live in the morning. In other words, she was watching on CBC, which carried the opening two times before NBC carried it.

Channel 2's promos are the best in the market. But I doubt that it wanted Levin promoting NBC's competition in TWC homes here.

Levin also didn't do a very good promotional job earlier when he said that Jimmy Fallon will make his debut as the host of "The Tonight Show" after the Olympics. I'm also not sure who wrote Levin's copy but Fallon's premiere actually is Monday, Feb. 17, several days before the Olympics ends. NBC is hoping the Olympic lead-in will help the local newscasts that week and that will also help Fallon.

Speaking of Fallon, his final "Late Show" on Friday before he moves to "Tonight" included a monologue shot at Donald Trump. After noting that his fellow NBC star ("Celebrity Apprentice") said he would cut taxes 50 percent if he were elected governor of New York State, Fallon cracked that the response from New York's citizens to Trump's offer was "I would rather just pay taxes."

All the Western New York Republican talk about Trump's possible race seems to ignore something implicit in Fallon's joke -- Trump is even less popular downstate than high taxes.









Ch.7 sale could happen as early as Monday as buyer comes forward

By Alan Pergament

The long-rumored sale of Channel 7 may be completed as early as Monday as one potential buyer has come forward.

The E.W. Scripps Co. sent out a press release Friday announcing it is in talks with Granite Corp. "over the possible acquisition of two Granite TV stations."

It didn't identify which two stations, but WKBW-TV and WMYD-TV in Detroit are expected to be the stations.

This blog first reported more than two months ago that Scripps had people looking at Buffalo's ABC affiliate.

Continue reading "Ch.7 sale could happen as early as Monday as buyer comes forward" »

Leno finally gets emotional and it pays off big time

By Alan Pergament

On any other night I probably would have said "so long" to Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" around midnight, shortly after old friend Billy Crystal reminisced about things that probably were more interesting to them than the NBC audience.

But on Leno's final "Tonight Show" broadcast Thursday, I vowed to stay to the end rather than DVR the last 30 minutes.

And what a payoff.

Continue reading "Leno finally gets emotional and it pays off big time" »

Jay Leno's connections to Buffalo

 Jay Leno La Nova_01

Jay Leno visits La Nova Pizzeria before a performance July 5, 2007, at Avalon Theatre in the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. Surrounding Leno are, from left, Jim Sandro; Dante Todaro, 10; Joey Todaro, 12; Alec Friedlander, 12; and La Nova founder Joe Todaro Sr. (Photo taken by Sam Kolich)


A Harley-Davidson motorcycle donated by Jay Leno is the prize in a raffle to benefit Buffalo Police Officer Patricia Parete on March 31, 2007, at the Buffalo Convention Center. (Photo by Charles Lewis)


Leno in Buffalo:

Pergament's recent stories about Leno:

Final week of Leno 'Tonight Show' era scores locally

By Alan Pergament

The Jay Leno era of NBC's "The Tonight Show" has its finale at 11:35 tonight when the host spends most of the time with his good friend Billy Crystal.

The ratings for the final week locally have gotten a decent boost and it wouldn't be surprising if tonight's program hit a double-digit rating, a rarity for late-night shows these days.

The semi-final episode Wednesday had a 7.8 rating on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate, which is about 60 percent higher than the show averaged in January.

Continue reading "Final week of Leno 'Tonight Show' era scores locally" »

Chicken wing story mildly amusing; Kane put in great company


By Alan Pergament

Notes from the cutting room floor:

Inquiring minds want to know: What did you think of Mo Rocca's chicken wing piece on CBS' "Sunday Morning"?

I was on an airplane when it aired but DVRed the program as I often do and watched it before the Super Bowl.

It was mildly amusing. But there's no dancing around it, I was a little disappointed because it didn't match the hype and I am a big Rocca fan.

Other than Rocca's attempt to spice it up by dancing while eating a wing as Lance Diamond sang, there wasn't much meat to it.

Continue reading "Chicken wing story mildly amusing; Kane put in great company" »

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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.

@StillTalkinTV |