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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" »

Critics aside, early holiday music pays off for WJYE 96.1, Star 102.5

By Alan Pergament

Santa Claus may be coming to town on local radio a little too early for some local listeners, but it is music to the ears of local stations 96.1 FM (WJYE) and Star 102.5 FM (WTSS).

That's because "Jingle Bells" clearly helps jingle the stations' bottom lines during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.

Inquiring minds wanted to know if there was any evidence that the early holiday music helps the stations.

I know I'm not the only one who heads for the new alternative format at 107.7 FM or some other station as soon as I hear the lyrics of "Frosty the Snow Man," "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" or some other Christmas or holiday classic.

I also know that my musical taste is not everyone's taste and not everyone is protesting.  

Continue reading "Critics aside, early holiday music pays off for WJYE 96.1, Star 102.5 " »

Entercom names program director for 107.7

By Alan Pergament

Entercom Buffalo has gone down through the Thruway to hire a new program director to "chart the course" for its new alternative radio station format, 107.7 FM.

Nik Rivers, who has been the program director and midday host at WZNE, 94.1, The Zone in Rochester, will join ALtBuffalo in mid-November as program director and brand manager.

Continue reading "Entercom names program director for 107.7 " »

Rooting for "Kinky Boots" and LeBron

By Alan Pergament

If you are a regular reader, you probably know I am a big Broadway fan.

My late father turned me into one by playing show tunes on Sunday mornings.

I'm also a big basketball fan.

Which means I have a decision to make tonight when Miami meets San Antonio in game two of the NBA finals on Channel 7 at 8 tonight, the same time as the Tony Awards air on Channel 4.

I'll be rooting for LeBron James to help Miami tie the NBA series with San Antonio and Tony Parker because I want the series to last seven games.

And I'll be rooting for "Kinky Boots" to win the Tony for best musical.

Continue reading "Rooting for "Kinky Boots" and LeBron" »

The Thrill at the Edge of the Abyss

The Grammies weren't just bad on Sunday night, they were thrillingly bad. It's been years since I've been so exhilirated by a TV show so awful and in such an exemplary way. Three entirely miscellaneous thoughts on the grandeur of the Grammy awfulness.
1. Phil Spector may be suffering behind bars in the joint for murdering Lana Clarkson but his triumph over televised American popular music in the year 2010 has been total. The personal "wall of sound" he concocted out of the sounds in his head has now become a corporate battlement keeping out almost everything individually virtuosic.  Almost everything we heard was over-produced visually and sonically to the point of absurdity. Except for Pink's hilariously wackoTrapeze show, it was the ultimate in corporate music --busy, busy, busy eclecticism by armies of singers, musicians, dancers and technicians laboring to create musical brands without "authors," not even producers, songwriters or singers.
2. The show was the most useful demagogic tool I've seen in years for those of a spiritual bent. Here's why: Any Sunday school teacher or member of the clergy or even simple schoolteacher is going to run up against an insurmountable problem trying to prove the existence of the human soul. It's an abstraction infinitely useful as metaphor but utterly without concrete illustration.
Unless, that is, you watched the Grammies. Anyone watching all three and a half hours had a perfect, concrete marathon illustration of what total soullessness looks like. Ergo, the human soul would be everything that was the opposite of what we saw on Sunday night.
3. What my learned colleague Jeff Miers termed the "mashups" in the evening's musical presentation would make a terrific parlor game i.e. think of the most surreally inane numbers to be announced at future Grammy shows.
For instance: "And now Paris Hilton and Yo-Yo Ma perform 'You'll Never Walk Alone.'
"Here's Regis Philbin to sing 'Mr. Tambourine Man' with Jack DeJohnette playing tambourine."
It's a game, so help me, anyone can play. Enjoy.
--Jeff Simon 
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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 |