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A semi-serious attempt to honor BEMA winners

By Alan Pergament

For some reason, I didn't get a release over the weekend about the winners of the Third Annual Buffalo Excellence in Media Awards (BEMAs) that were presented Friday night.

That could be because I've likened the awards to both the People's Choice Awards and to youth athletics when just about everyone gets a trophy just for participating.

Or it could be because my email is just about always full and the release couldn't make it to my mail box.

In any event, I was still able to see who won via Twitter, where all the winners were congratulated or tweeting about their wins. I hear everyone had a very good time.

And I'll try to write about the BEMAs seriously without taking too many cracks, but it is really, really hard to do.

But here's my best effort.

Radio Station of the Year: WBFO. The public radio station deserves the award for combining programming with the former WNED-AM. It does the best job in radio covering news. Check that, it is the only station that really covers news. I'm not counting WBEN-AM because its talk shows are so slanted to the right it is hard to listen to the station when it tries to be balanced in its news coverage. Still, it is a little odd to give WBFO an award considering all the complaints that resulted when public broadcasting sold WNED to a Christian broadcaster.

TV Station of the Year: Channel 4. Seriously? In a year that it replaced its general manager and saw Channel 2 get even stronger, Channel 4 gets rewarded. Now that's pretty funny. It probably only won because Channel 2 -- which won the previous two years -- didn't get in its nomination in time. Channel 2's staffers apparently didn't take the BEMAs that seriously, which is one reason why Channel 4 dominated them. The only thing funnier than a Channel 4 win as TV station of the year would have been a Channel 7 victory. The low-rated ABC affiliate also was nominated, thereby ruining any credibility the BEMAs had. I was rooting for Channel 7.

TV Personaliity of the Year: Steve Vesey, Channel 4's sports director. He does a solid job reading sports but he hasn't broken any stories and doesn't seem to have developed any sources. Still, he deserves an award for working with backup Lauren Brill, who constantly tells Twitter followers what "'sources" are telling her. I'm told her claim of having "sources" cracks up local sportswriters. My sources tell me that Vesey got a much more important award Friday -- the birth of a son. All right, I admit I heard about it on Channel 4. Congratulations.

Radio Personality of the Year: WKSE's Janet Snyder. Quickly, name 10 radio personalities in town who aren't on WGR or WBEN? Five? Three?  Snyder seemes to be everywhere -- on her radio show, on Channel 2 and on commercials. So I'm fine with it.

Backpack Journalist of the Year: Channel 7's Rachel Elzufon. I'm happy for anyone at Channel 7 who gets an award. Everyone working there deserves one.

Best Use of Social Media: Channel 4's Bryan Shaw. I'm also OK with this one. I'd rather read him on Twitter or Facebook than watch his weather reports. Or any meteorologist's reports. It saves a lot of time to get the weather in 140 characters rather than in five minutes.

Rising Star: Channel 4's Lauren Hall. I endorsed this candidate. Viewers might even learn why if Channel 4 takes her off "Winging It!" and puts her on a program someone might actually willingly watch.

Pinnacle Award: Channel 4's George Richert. After being pretty much ignored for decades, this solid  reporter with one of the best voices in the media added this career achievement award to the New York State Emmy he won a few weeks ago. I guess you could say he has reached the pinnacle of his career.

Trailblazer: John Hager of Cumulus Radio. I endorsed him, too. My sources tell me he told the audience he was going to tell me that I was wrong about the BEMAs. Still, anyone who knows him probably would bet he would have rather been at a Springsteen concert Friday than the BEMAs.


Sports | 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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