Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Ch.4 hires assistant news director, looking for sportscaster

By Alan Pergament 

It looks like Channel 7 isn't the only local station looking for a new sportscaster.

When I reported on Monday that Channel 7's Allen Leight created a sports opening at the station after taking a job with the Buffalo Sabres in production, I also noted that the ABC affiliate recently had one more on-air sportscaster than rival Channel 4.

Now word comes that the CBS affiliate has been looking for more than a month to add another sports anchor-reporter to the on-air staff of Steve Vesey and Lauren Brill.

Channel 4, which also lost sports producer Jay Harris to the Buffalo Bills and John Murphy’s WGR radio show a few months ago, posted a job opening in early April "for a big-league sports talent who can do it all!"

The posting goes on to say "the ideal candidate will excel in anchoring, reporting, shooting, editing, planning and writing great stories. The ability to use social media to connect with the fans, be well versed in all sports and promote the digital focus in the newsroom will be essential for success in this position.  Buffalo is a huge sports town with 2 major league teams seeking an MMJ/Reporter with a passion for sports.”  (An MMJ is a multi-media reporter.)

"A minimum of 2 years experience shooting, editing and reporting with previous on air experience required.  Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are a must."

Continue reading "Ch.4 hires assistant news director, looking for sportscaster " »

Ch.7 sportscaster joining Sabres; Kane compared to Sabres legend

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

It looks like Channel 7 sportscaster Allen Leight is betting on the Buffalo Sabres getting out of the basement before the ABC affiliate he has worked for recently.

Leight's final Channel 7 broadcast was Friday. News Director Lisa Polster confirmed that he is leaving to join the Sabres in an unspecified job. Another Channel 7 source said the job is in production.

The Sabres haven't announced his hiring, which I'm told is standard practice for staff hirings in non-visible roles. It probably means Leight won't be seen on-air in any capacity.

Leight only became part of Channel 7's sports staff when Jason Grenauer turned down the opportunity to become the third member of the station's sports team to remain a news reporter. Leight had a nice low-key style as a sports reporter and a news reporter before that.

Continue reading "Ch.7 sportscaster joining Sabres; Kane compared to Sabres legend" »

Preakness, Stanley Cup ratings strong here

By Alan Pergament

Buffalo didn't win, place or show in national ratings for NBC's coverage of the Preakness Stakes Saturday.

But it came close.

The Buffalo market finished fifth nationally with a 10.5 rating on Channel 2, one of the strongest NBC affiliates in the country for sports.

That was well ahead of the 6.3 national rating that the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown received, but well below the 16.8 rating here for the Kentucky Derby two weeks earlier when the Buffalo market was fourth nationally.

However, the decline from the Derby to the Preakness isn't unusual locally or nationally.

The good news for Channel 2 and NBC is that the back-to-back wins by California Chrome in the first two legs of the Triple Crown should drive ratings for the Belmont Stakes on June 7 when it tries to become the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

The rating for the Preakness was more than three times the local rating Saturday for NBC's coverage of the New York Rangers' 7-2 victory over Montreal in the first game of the Eastern Conference finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The game started at 1 p.m., where viewership is generally lower than it is later in the afternoon when the Preakness was carried. 

The game had a 3.3 rating on Channel 2, which was No.1 among NBC affiliates. That was slightly ahead of the 3.2 rating in New York, which is the nation's largest TV market. Of course, a ratings point in New York is worth many more viewers than one in Western New York. The Montreal market is not measured in the United States.



"Idol" with local roots in final two; Kane better than Crosby?

By Alan Pergament

Like most of the nation, Western New York interest in "American Idol" has taken a big drop this season.

But the area has a special reason to watch the finals next Tuesday -- one of the  two singers competing for the crown has WNY roots.

Jena Irene Asciutto, who just goes by Jena Irene, survived the cut in Thursday night's results show and is viewed as the favorite against Caleb Johnson when the two compete in next Tuesday's finals. Alex Preston, who looks a little like Caleb, was eliminated Thursday to set up the showdown between Jena Irene and Caleb.

Jena Irene is a 17-year-old teen-ager from suburban Detroit. Her great-grandfather lived in Buffalo and she has many cousins and other relatives still living here.

Continue reading ""Idol" with local roots in final two; Kane better than Crosby?" »

Baby news and Mother's Day leftovers

By Alan Pergament

I knew when I wrote my Mother's Day column on the Baby Boom in local television that I might have missed a baby or two.

Sure enough, I received a private Twitter message Monday from Channel 7 Sports Director Jeff Russo: "Wanted to give you the scoop. We are expecting our second child in the fall." Russo and his wife, Misha, are the parents of a three-year-old boy, Henry.

I would bet I've missed another future TV viewer, but I don't report on pregnancies unless the mothers or fathers-to-be in TV want it reported.

After interviewing four TV mothers for the story, a lot of material that had to be trimmed for space. The Mother's Day leftovers are perfect for this blog, which has unlimited space.

While watching Channel 4's Emily Guggenmos report Wednesday on the incredibly sad story about the mother charged with killing her eight-year-old son, I couldn't help but think about something Guggenmos said that had to be trimmed from Sunday's story.

"I love kids. I felt that way before I had (her daughter) Violet," said Guggenmos last week. "But now that I have to cover stories where a child is hurt or killed, it does affect me in a different kind of way now. They hurt you in a way covering those stories when before you were able to remove yourself."

Watching those stories is tough. Covering them might be tougher.


Continue reading "Baby news and Mother's Day leftovers" »

"Big Bang," "NCIS: Los Angeles" moving this fall

By Alan Pergament

The big news for local viewers coming out of this morning's CBS schedule announcement is "The Big Bang Theory" is moving to 8 p.m. Mondays at the start of the new season in September when the network carries Thursday Night Football.

"Big Bang," which has been airing on Thursdays in recent seasons, and "NCIS" have been by far the most popular prime time programs in Western New York for several seasons.

"Bang" will return to 8 p.m. Thursdays on Oct. 30, a week after CBS' portion of the Thursday Night schedule ends. Then "Two Broke Girls" takes over the 8 p.m. Monday slot. The brief Monday run of "Bang" should provide a boost to "Mom," which is produced by former WNYer Nick Bakay. "Mom" is airing at 8:30 p.m. Monday in the fall after "Bang."  

"Bang'" isn't the only popular series here on the move early this fall.

Continue reading ""Big Bang," "NCIS: Los Angeles" moving this fall " »

"Scandal," "Blacklist" headed for TV showdown in 2015

By Alan Pergament

Olivia Pope or Raymond "Red" Reddington?

That will be your choice in February of 2015 when ABC's "Scandal" with Kerry Washington as Pope and James Spader as Reddington in NBC's "The Blacklist" are scheduled to compete head-to-head at 9 p.m. Thursday.

Two days after NBC announced that it would be moving "The Blacklist" to 9 p.m. Thursdays in February, ABC announced that it is moving "Scandal" to the same time period this fall to give a new series produced by Shonda Rhimes, "How to Get Away with Murder," the 10 p.m. slot that "Scandal" has occupied. "Murder" stars Academy Award nominee Viola Davis as a law professor in a series that features another strong female character, who from clips shown to advertisers, appears to be as confident as Olivia Pope.

There aren't many very popular TV dramas these days, so it's a shame that apparently two will be competing against each other unless one of the networks blinks.

However, the moves take into account the new reality of TV these days -- that about half of the prime time viewership of series is watched by people who watch later via On Demand, DVR or some other secondary device.

In other words, whichever show loses the head-to-head battle is bound to get a high secondary viewership anyway.

That reasoning also might be behind ABC's decision to move the still very popular Rhimes series, "Grey's Anatomy," to 8 p.m. Thursday to lead into "Scandal." It can be difficult to get big audiences for 8 p.m. series, which actually play at 7 p.m. in certain areas of the country.

ABC probably believes any "Anatomy" viewing losses will be made up on secondary viewing.

ABC isn't only moving "Scandal" next season. It also is moving this year's comedy success, "The Goldbergs," to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, where it is sandwiched between the popular "The Middle" at 8 p.m. and "Modern Family" at 9 p.m.

And this year's rookie drama success, "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," is moving to 9 p.m. Tuesday, the night where ABC is premiering three of its six new fall shows.

The network is opening Tuesday night with two new comedies aimed at young adults, "Selfie," and "Manhattan Love Story." From the brief clips shown to advertisers, "Selfie," a modern-take on "My Fair Lady," looks to be the more promising one. At 10 p.m., ABC is premiering a new drama, "Forever," about a medical examiner who can't die starring Ioan Gruffudd of the "Fantastic Four." Alana DeLa Garza of "Law & Order") co-stars as a detective trying to help the medical examiner learn why he can't die.

ABC's other new fall shows are two family comedies that illustrate its commitment to diversity. "Black-ish," which stars Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne, airs at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday after "Modern Family." As described in Bill Carter's story about new Comedy Central host Larry Wilmore carried in Tuesday's Buffalo News, "Black-ish" is "about a successful African-American dad worried about his kids losing touch with their culture." Wilmore is the showrunner until he leaves to host "The Minority Report" next year when it replaces "The Colbert Report" after "The Daily Show." The other new comedy, "Cristela," stars Cristela Alonzo as a high-energy sixth-year law student and unpaid legal intern from a Mexican-American family. It airs at 8:30 p.m. Friday after Tim Allen's "Last Man Standing."

While Allen's series survived,the freshman comedy  "Trophy Wife" was among ABC's cancellations. "Resurrection," which has become a Sunday hit, joins "S.H.I.E.L.D" as a drama from the current season getting a second season.

From the clips shown to advertisers, ABC' has several interesting series that will arrive in midseason. Among them is a series from Buffalo-born screenwriter Christopher Markus and Steve McFeely, "Marvel's Agent Carter," that is set in 1946.



Life imitates art in Cooper's interview with Sterling

By Alan Pergament

While watching ousted Los Angeles Clippers Owner Donald Sterling's failed attempt at damage control during his interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper carried Monday night, I couldn't help but think of how much life imitated art.

After Sterling said some reprehensible things about the personal life of NBA legend Magic Johnson and his commitment to the African-American community, I went on Twitter and tweeted: "Alicia Florrick should have prepared Donald Sterling better for the interview with Anderson."

The tweet was meant for fans of "The Good Wife."

On Sunday night's episode, Florrick, played by Julianna Margulies, sat in horror as an old billionaire played by veteran actor Tom Skerritt, said some horrible things in a TV interview that were bound to cost him some goodwill with jurors about to be selected for a trial with millions at stake.

After the first time Skerritt's character went off script and compared his situation with that of Anne Frank, Florrick brought in a Holocaust survivor to set him straight about the offensiveness of the comment.

The billionaire eventually apologized in a second interview before he went off-script again and said something else offensive that required Florrick to go into damage control again.

The fictional billionaire's behavior was airing on TV on the same day that Cooper apparently interviewed the 80-year-old Sterling without any lawyers or public relations people around him in his first TV interview since the National Basketball Association banned him for life.

One imagines Sterling's lawyers, his public relations people and any friends he might still have after his recorded racist comments were made public a few weeks ago cringed in horror as Florrick did in "The Good Wife."

Continue reading "Life imitates art in Cooper's interview with Sterling " »

WNY is No. 2 in soccer viewership

By Alan Pergament

Western New York is known for being a big NFL and NHL town when it comes to television viewership and it recently became known for its Kentucky Derby viewership.

But who knew that this is also one of the best TV markets for high-level professional soccer? 

According to NBC, Buffalo was the No. 2 market in the country Sunday for NBC's coverage of Manchester City winning its second Premier League title in three years with a 2-0 win over West Ham United on the day 10 Premier League games were carried simultaneously on 10 different NBCUniversal TV networks.

Buffalo averaged a 1.13 rating on Sunday on Channel 2, which was second only to the 1.42 rating on the NBC affiliate in the Seattle market. The rest of the top five were Richmond, Washington, D.C. and Knoxville, Tennessee.

Continue reading "WNY is No. 2 in soccer viewership " »

Second thoughts on Trump, "Blacklist" and "Mad Men" ties to NBC schedule

By Alan Pergament

Some second thoughts on Sunday's blog after NBC's announcement of its fall schedule:

Theoretically, Donald Trump could own the Buffalo Bills before "Celebrity Apprentice" appears on the network.

NBC announced that Trump's show is returning next TV season, but it hasn't been given a summer air date and isn't on the fall schedule. That means the show, which began filming in mid-March, is likely to be a midseason replacement in 2015 after NBC's Sunday Night Football season ends. And multiple reports suggest that we could know the new owner of the Bills by then.

Speaking of football, NBC appears to be trying to take advantage of CBS' new Thursday Night Football starting this September by scheduling two new comedies, "Bad Judge," and "A to Z," from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. That's where CBS had been running comedies this season.  

NBC certainly needs a comedy hit. The only returning comedy on its fall schedule is "About a Boy," which premiered this spring. "Parks and Recreation," its only other returning comedy, isn't on the schedule until midseason and it will be history after the final 13 episodes air.

Continue reading "Second thoughts on Trump, "Blacklist" and "Mad Men" ties to NBC schedule" »

« Older Entries Newer Entries »

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 |