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Clearing up the Buffalo roots of "Idol" finalist

By Alan Pergament

I received the nicest correction I've ever gotten Thursday.

It came from an aunt of "American Idol" finalist Jena Irene Asciutto.

She wasn't correcting me as much as she was correcting a relative.

Linda Asciutto, who was born and raised in South Detroit, thanked me for "the nice article" Wednesday on her 17-year-old niece from Detroit.

However, she added she wanted to clear up some things about Jena's Buffalo roots given to me by a Western New York relative who she knew "means very well and is very proud of Jena's accomplishments."

Here's what Linda Asciutto wrote:

"Jena's grandfather (my father) was not Andrew, rather was Gandolf (named after his grandfather Gandolfo). My grandfather was indeed Andrea, who did hail from Buffalo. However, my dad (Jena's   grandfather) was born and raised in Detroit, not Buffalo, and my mother was in fact, Irene. Jena's       middle name was given in honor of my mother. In addition to many of the original Asciutto descendants in Buffalo, offspring are aplenty in the Detroit area as well.

"We appreciate our cousins and other relatives from Buffalo; think highly of our Buffalo roots and the time you took to write your article. No need to make any correction publicly; I just wanted to let you know."


Linda Asciutto

I emailed her back that it was my duty as a journalist to make the corrections.

I'm sure all the Asciuttos in Detroit and in Buffalo were rooting for Jena Irene Thursday night on the Fox results show when she learned her magical "Idol" ride will continue.

She now is one of the seven remaining finalists.

 email: [email protected]

"American Idol" finalist has roots here; "Voice" tour to hit the Falls

By Alan Pergament

When the Elite Eight finalists on Fox’s "American Idol" start singing songs from the '80s at 8 tonight, there will be several relatives in Western New York rooting for 17-year-old Jena Irene Asciutto.

 Yes, there always seems to be a Buffalo angle.

 One of those relatives, Laurie Galbo of Wheatfield, alerted me to Jena Irene's (that's what she is called on "Idol") roots.

Here's an edited portion of the email Jena's relative sent me: "Jena is 17 and from the Detroit area. Her roots are in Buffalo! Her grandfather, Andrew, was born and raised in Buffalo and moved to Michigan after military service. He met his wife, Irene, there and settled down. His brother also moved to Detroit. But the Asciutto family came from Isnello, Sicily and settled in Buffalo. The rest of the Asciutto clan is still in Buffalo!

Continue reading ""American Idol" finalist has roots here; "Voice" tour to hit the Falls" »

Syracuse hoops more popular than the Beatles replay

By Alan Pergament

If you were to read my Twitter feed Wednesday night, you might have thought that everybody in  Western New York is a fan of Syracuse University basketball.

That's largely because my followers include a number of SU graduates who work in the local media, including WGR's Jeremy White and Sal Capaccio, WNLO-TV's Lauren Hall and Channel 2's Melissa Holmes.

Needless to say I was curious to see what the local ratings were for SU's thrilling 58-56 victory over Pittsburgh that ended with an incredible 35-basket by Orange freshman sensation Tyler Ennis.

The basket kept undefeated SU No. 1 in the nation and made it to No.1 on ESPN's "SportsCenter" the next day.

And Buffalo was watching big time.

Continue reading "Syracuse hoops more popular than the Beatles replay" »

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" »

Nasty weather bumps news ratings; WNED isn't airing Seeger special

By Alan Pergament

If anyone is happy about the nasty, brutal, ridiculously cold weather this January, it has to be staffers in the local TV news departments.

Ratings are up in almost every news time period this January compared to January of 2013, illustrating the importance of weather in attracting news viewership.

Viewers are especially tuning in earlier to see if their children have to go school.

Continue reading "Nasty weather bumps news ratings; WNED isn't airing Seeger special" »

107.7 FM Alt Buffalo off to a slow start; "Idol" off to a fast one here

By Alan Pergament

Leftovers before the three-day holiday weekend:

We'll start off by Talkin' Radio for a change since my "friends" over at the Entercom group enjoy it so much when I do.

Inquiring minds want to know how the new alternative format at 107.7 FM is doing in attracting audiences after taking over the frequency from a simulcast of WBEN-AM on Sept.26.

According to the Fall book that covers early Sept.12 to Dec. 4, Entercom's 107.7 FM Alternative Buffalo or WLKK was No. 16 in the market with a 1.1 share of the audience 12 years and older.

That doesn’t sound so hot considering all the positive buzz 107.7 has received. However, the format switch occurred two weeks after the book started and the result is much better than the WBEN simulcast, which didn't get enough listeners to register a share in the previous three ratings books.

Considering its format, you would expect that 107.7 would have at least a slightly better finish in the 18-49 demographic loved by advertisers.

To put the 1.1 in perspective, the new alternative station is behind a Canadian station and three low-rated AM stations -- WECK, WWWS and WXRL.

But it generally takes some time for audiences to grow when formats are switched, especially when it happens after the book has already started.

The top five stations in the market with 12 plus listenership are WYRK-FM, WBEN-AM, WBLK-FM, WHTT-FM and WKSE-FM.

Continue reading "107.7 FM Alt Buffalo off to a slow start; "Idol" off to a fast one here " »

Wild about Harry's performance on "American Idol"

By Alan Pergament

Near the end of tonight's two-hour season premiere of "American Idol XIII," there is a recurring joke that suggests this year's  contestants know judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban very well but they couldn’t pick newcomer Harry Connick Jr. out of a lineup.

If America doesn’t know who Harry is already, they will know after the season premiere, which airs at 8 tonight on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate.

"Hatchet Harry" -- as J-Lo nicknames him near the end of the night -- steals the show.

Or to put it in "Idol" parlance, Harry makes the show his own.

Continue reading "Wild about Harry's performance on "American Idol"" »

Lockport policeman plans new low power TV channels

By Alan Pergament

A Lockport police officer who nearly died a decade ago in a shootout is behind a low power TV station that may debut as many as six channels as early as Feb.1.

Steven Ritchie was granted FCC approval to take over the license for WBXZ-TV, Channel 56, in August after purchasing it from a Syracuse owner of several low power stations for $25,000.

Ritchie said the station has been around for about 20 years and has carried home shopping and music channels before.

He has bigger plans. His goal is to carry five or six standard definitions channels by next month if weather permits the installation of the equipment needed to send them from a tower on top of the HSBC building in downtown Buffalo.

Continue reading "Lockport policeman plans new low power TV channels" »

WNED delays PBS celebration of Hamlisch until New Year's Eve

By Alan Pergament

Many local fans of Marvin Hamlisch have been waiting for the American Masters tribute to the late  principal pops conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra scheduled nationally for this Friday night.

They'll have to wait longer here to see the 90-minute celebration, "Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love."

WNED-TV, the local PBS affiliate that is known for occasionally and annoyingly playing programs at a different time than the national schedule, is delaying the Hamlisch special for four nights.

Continue reading "WNED delays PBS celebration of Hamlisch until New Year's Eve " »

NBC's "Sound of Music" scores well here

By Alan Pergament

It might have had its share of critics on the social networks, but NBC's live production of "The Sound of Music" with Carrie Underwood Thursday night sure provided a big bang in the ratings for Channel 2.

In fact, the three-hour production had a higher rating on Channel 2 than CBS' half-hour comedy "The Big Bang Theory" on Channel 4.

It also was a huge national hit, especially with the 18-49 audience that almost entirely wasn't born before the original 1965 film version premiered. 

The score here was 16.8 for "Music" on Channel 2 and 14.0 on Channel 4 for "Big Bang," which is usually the No. 1 or No.2 rated program of the week here.

Continue reading "NBC's "Sound of Music" scores well here" »

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