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A dinosaur on Twitter deals with how media has changed

By Alan Pergament 

I am a media dinosaur even if I am on Twitter.

I bring this up because of my take on a couple of internet issues involving the Buffalo Bills last week.

The first occurred on Tuesday night, April 22, when a draft of a story about Bills Coach Doug Marrone having a cancerous mole being removed from his skin somehow was briefly put on the team's website before it was taken down.

The premature posting set Twitter on fire and eventually led to the Bills releasing a statement from Marrone that said the procedure took care of the problem and it wouldn't impact his ability to coach.

After that statement was released, you had to wonder why the Bills even planned to deal with Marrone's condition on their website. The most logical explanation is that they felt so many people were aware of it that it was bound to leak.

In the old pre-Twitter days, the media might have been able to wait for Marrone's statement to put the premature website story in perspective before leading with it on newscasts without knowing the details.

After all, Marrone or anyone else in his medical situation deserved to be able to address the issue before the story was driven by speculation.

Continue reading "A dinosaur on Twitter deals with how media has changed " »

HGTV series shot here with engaged hosts expected to air in October

By Alan Pergament

Now it can be told: 

You may recall that I reported almost a month ago that an HGTV series with obvious similarities to the popular "Rehab Addict" was going to be filmed on the West Side of Buffalo.

A spokesperson for the cable network's public relations company confirmed Monday that the show that is in production and is being filmed here this spring and summer for at least three months is titled “American Rehab.”

The spokesperson added that HGTV is currently scheduled to premiere six episodes of "American Rehab" in October 2014 and that the hosts are Jason Wilson and local housing activist Bernice Radle.

Continue reading "HGTV series shot here with engaged hosts expected to air in October" »

Coverage of Sterling story as strong as NBA play on the court

By Alan Pergament

I love the National Basketball Association.

That makes me somewhat unusual in Western New York, which has a local sports station that pretty much avoids talking about the league.

One of my proudest possessions is a Buffalo Braves cap with the team's old orange and Carolina blue colors. It constantly leads to compliments from NBA fans everywhere I go around WNY and the country.

I also admit I cried when covering the Braves exit from the NBA in a trade of teams with the owner of the Boston Celtics who ended up owning the San Diego Clippers before they became the Los Angeles Clippers.

My love of the NBA started during my childhood on Long Island in the late 1960s and early 1970s when my New York Knicks were the epitome of team basketball with a diverse group of players that included Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Dick Barnett, Bill Bradley and Dave DeBusschere.

I still love the sport as evidenced by my staying up past 1 a.m. Friday to watch the Clippers survive a game with the Golden State Warriors because of a dubious non-call on a potential game-winning shot by Stephen Curry.

I also stayed up until 1 a.m. Saturday to watch Oklahoma City survive an unusual terrible game by superstar Kevin Durant and beat the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime and tie the series at two games apiece.

Needless to say, all the terrific games that have upset my sleeping habits have taken a back seat to the racist remarks purportedly made by Clippers Owner Donald Sterling in a recording with a former girlfriend that was first obtained and carried by the website TMZ.

Continue reading "Coverage of Sterling story as strong as NBA play on the court" »

New owner may take control of Channel 7 after May sweeps

By Alan Pergament

Channel 7 General Manager Mike Nurse said this week that the Federal Communications Commission is expected to rule on the sale of the station from Granite Broadcasting to E.W. Scripps Co. in the next few weeks.

If the sale of WKBW-TV to Scripps is approved as expected, the Cincinnati-based company is expected to take control by the end of May.

Scripps announced on Feb.9 that it had a deal to purchase Channel 7 and a Detroit station owned by Granite, which is controlled by a hedge fund, for $110 million in cash.

At the time, the parties said it typically takes three or four months for FCC approval.

A ruling in the next few weeks would fall into the time frame of three to four months. It generally takes three or fourth weeks to close the sale after FCC approval, which would mean Scripps would take over after the end of the May sweeps.

Scripps officials probably would prefer taking over after the May sweeps so the results -- which haven't been favorable to the ABC affiliate for years -- won't fall under the company's watch. Channel 7 is deep in third place in local news ratings. The ratings for ABC's top-rated news programs "Good Morning America" and "World News with Diane Sawyer" are also third in this market. 

The first sweeps period of significance for Scripps would be in November, by which time it might implement some of its plans to try and restore Channel 7 to its former glory. There also is a July sweeps, but it is by far the least important to advertisers of the four periods that measure household ratings and key demographics.

Scripps isn't allowed to share its plans yet, but the company is expected to do the typical things new owners do like change the set of the newscast and take a research survey to judge the popularity of the station's on-air staff.

It is believed that Channel 7 hasn't taken such a comprehensive research survey in about 15 years.

The sale to Scripps undoubtedly is both exciting and a little scary for station staffers. It is exciting because Scripps is expected to give Channel 7 more resources to compete with Channel 2 and Channel 4.

It is scary because the research survey could have an impact on whether some people keep their jobs and remain part of the station's proposed comeback.


NFL: "We messed up" on revealing schedule early

By Alan Pergament

After further review, it wasn't the Buffalo Bills who mistakenly put the 2014 regular season schedule on their website Wednesday night about 30 minutes before it was supposed to be released.

"We messed up," said National Football League spokeman Brian McCarthy this morning. "It was a league-wide issue."

He confirmed the league put up the schedule early on the websites of several teams Wednesday, only to be pulled down shortly later before the official release time of 8 p.m.

Several media members on Twitter were quick to blame the Bills for another website error the day after the team mistakenly put up a draft of a story on its website about Coach Doug Marrone having cancer. The error led to the team issuing a statement from Marrone late Tuesday night in which he said he had a cancerous mole removed and that it wouldn't impact his coaching the team.


New wrinkles impact Bills TV schedule

By Alan Pergament

Buffalo Bills fans may have been a little confused by the 2014 TV schedule announced Wednesday night.

The Fox Sports Wisconsin report two weeks ago claiming that the Bills would play Green Bay on Monday Night Football proved to be as accurate as the predictions that Donald Trump really, really was going to run for governor.

The speculation that the Bills had a good shot at playing at Detroit on Thanksgiving turned out to be a fowl ball.

And the long-held idea that all Bills road games would be carried on CBS affiliate Channel 4, the AFC network, even ended up being wrong.

The Bills season opener at Chicago on Sept. 7 and an Oct. 5 game at Detroit both will be carried by Fox affiliate WUTV in something new this year called "crossover games."

CBS is carrying some games involving NFC teams on the road and Fox is carrying some games involving AFC games on the road.

Continue reading "New wrinkles impact Bills TV schedule " »

Bills don't get Monday Night Football game

By Alan Pergament

A website glitch by the National Football League briefly gave Buffalo Bills fans an early look at the 2014 schedule and there are no Monday Night Football games on it.

The only prime time appearance for the Bills is a Thursday night game at Miami on Nov. 13 on The NFL Network and the local broadcast channel that wins the bid to simulcast it.

The Green Bay game, which had been rumored to be on MNF, wil be played at 1 p.m. Dec 14 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

All the Bills games except the Thursday night game and two road games on the West Coast will be played at 1 p.m.

The schedule was taken off and other NFL team websites shortly after it was discovered but not before it was available for fans to see.

The Bills open the season at Chicago on Sept. 7 and return for their home opener against Miami on Sept. 14. They also have a Sept. 21 home date with San Diego.

The rumored Thanksgiving game at Detroit also didn't materialize. The Bills visit Detroit on Oct.5.

The schedule was returned to the website as originally scheduled at 8 p.m.

Fans might be confused by a new aspect of the TV schedule. Bills road games at Chicago and Detroit would be on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate, in years past. They are on Fox this season as part of a new feature called "crossover games." Fox is carrying some games featuring AFC teams on the road and CBS is carrying some games featuring NFC teams on the road.



Miller-Kane series helps keep Buffalo at top of NHL ratings

By Alan Pergament

Inquiring minds want to know: How much is Western New York rooting for Ryan Miller now that he is in goal for the St. Louis Blues in the playoffs against South Buffalo’s Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks?

The primary evidence -- television ratings -- indicates WNYers are more interested in the Blues-Blackhawks series than any other Stanley Cup first-round series.

But we're not talking huge numbers for the best market in the country for televised hockey outside of a few playoff cities.

Here's the results through Monday' night's games: According to NBC, the Buffalo market is No. 1 for cable coverage on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and CNBC with a 1.7 household rating average for first-round games blacked out in the participating teams' home markets. Thanks largely to the Miller-Kane series, that's 42 percent higher than Buffalo averaged for the same period in 2013.

Continue reading "Miller-Kane series helps keep Buffalo at top of NHL ratings" »

"Sharknado 2" update is as funny as the first movie

By Alan Pergament

Here's an update on whether the scenes filmed almost two weeks ago at Lafayette Square with extras wielding chain saws, shovels and axes were for "Sharknado 2:" The Second Coming."

A spokesperson for The Aslyum, the production company that shot the original campy success and is shooting the sequel, said Thursday that even the company doesn't know the answer yet for sure.

"It could be for Sharknado 2, it might not be," she explained from Los Angeles, where the original was set.

However, she confirmed one thing: As some of the extras in the scenes suspected, the director of the scenes shot in downtown Buffalo and at the Lockport Cave Attraction definitely was Anthony Ferrante, who directed "Sharknado" and is directing the sequel. According to a source, he was here incognito as "Carl." Ferrnate's involvement led to speculation from extras here that they were filming "Sharknado 2." In addition, Buffalo was a stand-in for New York City, where "Sharknado 2" is set.

However, the spokesperson said that Ferrante is involved in several projects for The Asylum. In addition, the company has done other programs involving sharks, including "Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octupus." (I kid you not.) And there there is the classic "Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark." (I'm not making this up.)

She added that the footage here could be what are referred to "as plates of scenes" that can be inserted into multiple movies in post-production. "They create a lbrary of stock shots," she said. 

"Sharknado 2" currently is in post-production so it won't be long before The Asylum decides if any scenes shot here will make the film that premieres July 30 on Syfy.

"I don't think they even know the answer yet," the spokesperson concluded.

End of "Parenthood" would be a crying shame

By Alan Pergament

In the age of the DVR and On Demand, NBC's "Parenthood" is one of only three series that I watch live and don't time shift.

That's why the first thing I did this morning was to see if NBC announced that the episode at 10 tonight on Channel 2 is the season finale or the series finale.

There was no news about the ratings-challenged series and that's good news.

NBC has been promoting the episode only as the "finale," which made me concerned that the story of the Bravermans was going to end after five seasons.

It would be a crying shame.

Continue reading "End of "Parenthood" would be a crying shame" »

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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 |