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Weather delays low-power channels; Fallon ratings remain strong

By Alan Pergament

Do you remember a few months ago when Lockport police officer Steven Ritchie said he planned to debut a low power TV station with as many as six channels as early as Feb.1 as long as the weather co-operated?

Well, I don't think I have to tell you that the weather didn't co-operate and that has postponed the debut of WBXZ-TV, Channel 56, by about a month.

The 51-year-old Ritchie was granted FCC approval to take over the license for WBXZ-TV, 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.

Now he says the plan is to install the equipment needed to send the channels from a tower on top of the HSBC building in downtown Buffalo by next week.

Continue reading "Weather delays low-power channels; Fallon ratings remain strong" »

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" »

Demler silent as Ch.2 boys act out; Trump may have "Apprentice" deadline

By Alan Pergament

I can't believe I am writing this, but I wish I knew what Maryalice Demler was thinking during her Channel 2 male teammates' sexist discussion of New York Yankee star Derek Jeter's dating life.

Normally I would never advocate Demler adding her two cents to any story. I've criticized her in the past for her frequent habit of commenting on news stories after they are read.

But the behavior of her male teammates at the end of the 6 p.m. newscast Thursday practically demanded some response from a 21st Century woman.

Continue reading "Demler silent as Ch.2 boys act out; Trump may have "Apprentice" deadline" »

Chicken wing story mildly amusing; Kane put in great company


By Alan Pergament

Notes from the cutting room floor:

Inquiring minds want to know: What did you think of Mo Rocca's chicken wing piece on CBS' "Sunday Morning"?

I was on an airplane when it aired but DVRed the program as I often do and watched it before the Super Bowl.

It was mildly amusing. But there's no dancing around it, I was a little disappointed because it didn't match the hype and I am a big Rocca fan.

Other than Rocca's attempt to spice it up by dancing while eating a wing as Lance Diamond sang, there wasn't much meat to it.

Continue reading "Chicken wing story mildly amusing; Kane put in great company" »

Steve Brown, Bruce Smith, Greg Kinnear, Sherlock and more

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

Here's one for the bet-you-didn't know department.

When Channel 2's new investigative reporter Steve Brown first worked at the station two decades ago, his roommate was then Channel 7 reporter Steve Boyd. They were college friends.

Boyd left the business to become a lawyer. The two have remained good friends and Boyd recently looked over Brown's new Channel 2 contract before he signed it.

You can read more about Brown's return to Channel 2 and Buffalo in Sunday's Buffalo News.

Continue reading "Steve Brown, Bruce Smith, Greg Kinnear, Sherlock and more " »

WGR dominates scoreless new rivals in local sports radio

By Alan Pergament

Western New Yorkers like to think they live in a big sports town.

After all, the Buffalo Bills get enormous TV ratings despite missing the playoffs since 1999, Buffalo gets higher national ratings for the NHL than almost all league markets and there are three sports stations on the AM dial.

The third point in that sentence deserves one of the asterisks that sports give out when records are broken under different circumstances – like more games being played now in football and baseball than in the past.

WNY may have three sports stations in town, but only one is being listened to with any regularly.

Continue reading "WGR dominates scoreless new rivals in local sports radio " »

Buffalo's Cliff Robinson in cast of next "Survivor"

By Alan Pergament

Former Riverside High, University of Connecticut and NBA All-Star Clifford Robinson is one of the castaways in the next edition of the CBS reality series "Survivor."

It is called "Survivor: Cagayan," named after a province of the Philippines.

For its 28th edition, "Survivor" reportedly has 18 castaways and a "Brains versus Beauty versus Brawn twist."

Robinson, who played in the NBA for 18 seasons, is listed as a member of the Brawn Tribe. He is now 46, with CBS listing his hometown as Newark, N.J.

That is sure to upset his fans from Buffalo.

Robinson, an All-Western New York basketball pick out of Riverside, was named to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

He played at the University of Connecticut and made 17 appearances in the playoffs during his 18-year NBA career. He scored 19,951 points, which in 2009 was good for 35th place in NBA history and also was considered a good defensive player.

Robinson's answers to questions from CBS in a brief bio given to critics indicate he might have been a fan of the series. Here is what he told CBS:

Inspiration: Muhammad Ali, because of his strong belief system and what he stood for.

Former Survivor I'm Most Like: Boston Rob, because he had a good way of getting people to trust him.

Why I'm on Survivor: The challenge of the show being so tough and the million dollars.

Why I'll ''Survive'': I know how to fish, cook, and have good athleticism.

Why I'll Be Sole Survivor: I think I would do well in challenges. I also have a good ability to make people feel comfortable with me.

David Samson, the president of the Miami Marlins, is a member of ther Brains Tribe.

The next edition of "Survivor," which still does reasonably well in the ratings considering its age, begins with a two-hour episode at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb.26. It will be carried by Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate.



Local AFC, NFC title ratings soar

By Alan Pergament

If the local ratings for the AFC and NFC title games are any indication, the Western New York audience for the 2014 Super Bowl should be at near record levels.

Denver's 26-16 victory over New England in the earlier game for the AFC title Sunday had a prelininary rating of at least 34.3 on WIVB (Channel 4), the local CBS affiliate, and it could go as high as 35.6. A year ago, Baltimore's win over New England in the later game had a 30.6 rating, which means this year's rating was at least 12 percent higher than a year ago.

The WNY rating for Denver-New England was considerably higher than the 29.5 that CBS averaged nationally in overnight markets and that rating was its second highest in 27 years for a conference title game.

Seattle's 23-17 victory over San Francisco had a 34.7 preliminary rating on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate. That is more than 20 percent higher than San Francisco's NFC title win over Atlanta in the earlier game last year.

Continue reading "Local AFC, NFC title ratings soar" »

County executive has future as TV critic; "Golden Globes" scores

By Alan Pergament

Today's blog is written in the spirit of political equal time.

I am following my Sunday report on Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw's misguided view of local TV news viewership with a report on County Executive Mark Poloncarz's prime time TV viewing habits as revealed by his Twitter account.

It is only fair since Mychajliw is a Republican and Poloncarz is a Democrat. And this blog always tries to be fair. Opinionated but fair.

I actually enjoy Poloncarz's occasional tweets about the Buffalo Sabres and prime time and local TV.

 After he's out of office, he could consider becoming a TV critic. But recent evidence suggests he shouldn't be a network TV executive.

 I was amazed that Poloncarz had time to tweet about a new broadcast network series last week considering how busy he was during The Blizzard of '14. The reviews for his on-the-job performance were very good. However, his prediction of what could become must-see TV wasn’t that good.

Continue reading "County executive has future as TV critic; "Golden Globes" scores " »

Record cold leads to unofficial record local TV news ratings

By Alan Pergament

With the snow and cold delivering a captive audience to local television stations, it isn't surprising that the ratings for Monday night's newscasts were the highest they've been in years.

At 6 p.m. Monday, Channel 4 won with a 19.3 rating to Channel 2's 16.8 rating. Channel 7 had a 9.4 rating. The collective rating of 45.5 means is a Super Bowl-like figure that means 45.5 percent of area households were tuned in to the news.

One local researcher said he couldn't recall those kind of numbers delivered in years.

Continue reading "Record cold leads to unofficial record local TV news ratings" »

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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 |