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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 " »

WUTV gets huge rating for Frisco-Green Bay game

By Alan Pergament

Looking at the rating for San Francisco's last-second, wild-card NFL playoff victory over Green Bay Sunday, you might have thought the Buffalo Bills were playing a regular season game.

Frisco's 23-20 win over the Pack in Sunday's late game had a preliminary rating of 32.4 on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate.

That was more than 30 percent higher locally than Seattle's win over Washington a year ago (24.6) in a  NFC wild card game carried by WUTV. The 32.4 rating Sunday also was in line with what several Bills games received during the 2013 regular season.

Continue reading "WUTV gets huge rating for Frisco-Green Bay game" »

Sports on the Air, abbreviated edition

By Alan Pergament

The announcers calling the University at Buffalo game with San Diego State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at 5:30 p.m. today on ESPN aren't that famous.

Unless you're a regular viewer of ESPNU's Saturday night football package, I doubt that you have heard of play-by-play man Clay Matvick, analyst Matt Stinchcomb and sideline reporter Dawn Davenport.

Matvick has been with ESPN for several years and has called regional Little League World Series games. Stinchcomb was a former No. 1 draft choice in the NFL out of Georgia and played in the league for five season. Davenport was an all-star volleyball player at Auburn.

Syracuse University basketball fans will be happy to know that their No.2 ranked Orange have four games on the WBBZ-TV schedule of Atlantic Coast Conference games that begin on the local independent station at noon Jan. 4. The station is airing an ACC Tip Off Special at noon today.

This is Syracuse's first season in the ACC. The WBBZ schedule includes SU games with Miami on Jan.4, Virginia on Jan.7, N.C. State on Feb.15 and Florida on March 9.

Notre Dame fans also should be happy as the schedule also includes games featuring the Fighting Irish against Georgia Tech on Jan.11,  Florida State on Jan.21, Wake Forest on Jan.25, Boston College on Feb.1 and North Carolina on Feb.8.

The Christmas day schedule of NBA games on ABC and ESPN sure looked a lot better in the preseason than it does now with the stumbles of the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets and the latest injuries to Los Angeles Laker star Kobe Bryant and Chcago Bulls star Derrick Rose.

ABC is carrying the Okahoma City Thunder against the Knicks at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and the Miami Heat at the Lakers at 5 p.m.

ESPN is carrying the Brooklyn Nets game with Chicago at noon. Its evening doubleheader could have the best games of the day because they at least involve four decent teams. The first game at 8 p.m. is San Antonio and Houston and the second game is between Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Finally, I hope I am wrong but I continue to fear the FCC's proposal to end the TV sports blackout rule has the potential to do more harm than good to a small market NFL team like the Buffalo Bills if the league gives in to pressure from the FCC and Congress to accept any rule change.

The big market teams don't have to worry about blackouts because they have large populations with plenty of fans willing to buy tickets.

This season, only the Bills-Miami game this Sunday will be blacked out here even though only a few of the games were legitimate sellouts in what has been a 5-9 season. I'd rather listen to John Murphy and Mark Kelso do the radio call on WGR for one game a season than end the blackouts and risk a significant drop in season ticket sales that eventually could cause the team to move.

As I've written before, the current rule seems to be working just fine and Bills fans should be careful for what they wish for concerning the blackout.







Peck is back on local TV as host of Ch.2's UB bowl game special

By Alan Pergament 

Paul Peck is returning to local television.

No, Channel 4 hasn't tried to get back its sports department credibility by bringing back the former sports backup who has become more appreciated in the almost two years since he left local television.

Peck is going to be seen on Channel 4's chief rival, Channel 2. He will be the host of the UB Football Bowl Preview Show on Channel 2 that will air at 7:30 p.m. Saturday as part of the NBC affiliate's new athletic partnership with the University at Buffalo.

It probably was UB's call since Peck also is the play-by-play voice of the football Bulls on 1270 AM.

He left Channel 4 in March of 2012 after 24 years at the CBS affiliate to take a job in the financial services industry and since then has occasionally been seen on sports-related programming on WBBZ.

Peck also is expected to be the host of the second UB football program on Channel 2 that will air after it plays San Diego State Dec. 21 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

The host of the "Bobby Hurley Show" that debuts in January on Channel 2 hasn't been announced. Peck doesn't do UB's basketball play-by-play and Channel 2 might want to use its own sports personnel on that program.

Showtime has announced that it is ending the run of David Duchovny as hedonistic, self-destructive novelist Hank Moody in "Californication" (some would call it soft porn) after 12 episodes of season seven that begin airing in April of 2014. I lost interest in Hank's behavior in about season five but I plan to catch up and be back to see how he ends up.

Speaking of adult entertainment, a reader advised me that Time Warner Cable's new channel lineup carries graphic titles in the program guide for the channels in the Adult tier that start with channel 1800. He wanted some advice on how to shield his pre-teen daughter from reading them. I'd call TWC to see if it is possible to change the settings so those titles -- which have double-entendres that may be laughable to some adults -- don't appear.

ESPN is switching pitchers on Sunday Night Baseball. The very opinionated Curt Schilling is replacing Orel Hershiser as an analyst alongside the underrated Canadian play-by-play man Dan Shulman and analyst John Kruk. Hershiser reportedly is going to work for his old team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, as a broadcaster. The Dodgers’ new regional sports network also recently added former ESPN analyst Nomar Garciaparra.

I loved Monday night's "30 for 30" installment on ESPN that told the incredible story of the 1983 national basketball championship North Carolina State team coached by the late Jim Valvano. It made me laugh, it made me think and it made me cry, which are the three things that Coach V said we should all do every day during his memorable ESPY speech more than 20 years ago when he was battling cancer.  

Speaking of "30 for 30," ESPN announced Tuesday that the documentary "The Price of Gold" about the attack on Olympic ice skater Nancy Kerrigan plotted by skater Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, with his friends, will debut at 9 p.m. Jan.16. It is directed by Buffalo native Nanette Burstein.

Ch.2's O'Neill has done weather before; "Walking Dead" is big winner here

 By Alan Pergament

Channel 2 made what you read here last week official on Wednesday – "Daybreak" feature reporter Kevin O’Neill is becoming a fill-in meteorologist.

I hadn't realized until I interviewed him this week that O'Neill actually did the noon weather at Channel 4 years ago before the CBS affiliate decided its forecasters had to be meteorologists.

You'll read more about O'Neill that you might not have known in my column in this Sunday's Buffalo News.

Continue reading "Ch.2's O'Neill has done weather before; "Walking Dead" is big winner here" »

107.7 to add on-air talent; Buffalo near top in NFL rating Sunday

 By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

Some readers of my blog wrote Thursday that they were happy to see that 107.7 FM has returned to a music format similar to The Lake, which occupied the frequency before WBEN-AM took it over two years ago.

However, Greg Ried, the general manager of Entercom Radio stations in Western New York, notes that The Lake "was not alternative." The new format is alternative. Ried said The Lake was classic rock and is still carried on 107.7 HD-2 and online at

Continue reading "107.7 to add on-air talent; Buffalo near top in NFL rating Sunday " »

WGR's Bauch leaving; Some Bills games also air on WWKB

 By Alan Pergament

WGR radio is about to lose a good part of its sense of humor.

Greg Bauch is leaving the sports station to be a copywriter for Local Edge, said Greg Ried, the general manager of all local Entercom stations including WGR.

Local Edge is a Hearst Media Services company that is best known for The Talking Phone Book.

Continue reading "WGR's Bauch leaving; Some Bills games also air on WWKB" »

Murphy ranks "stupid" mistake on Bills winning kick "near the top"

By Alan Pergament

Buffalo Bills radio play-by-play man John Murphy doesn't make many mistakes, but he admits he made a classic fumble at the end of the team's 24-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers Sunday.

After the Bills' Dan Carpenter kicked the game-winning extra point with two seconds left, Murphy said the score was tied for a few seconds before correcting himself with the aid of some co-workers in the booth.

He is a stand-up guy and owned up to the error.

Continue reading "Murphy ranks "stupid" mistake on Bills winning kick "near the top"" »

Ch.2, Ch. 7 fumble Marrone's emotional postgame interview

By Alan Pergament

If you ask me, the two 6 p.m. newscasts I watched after the Buffalo Bills' exciting 24-23 victory today over the Carolina Panthers fumbled what is bound to be one of the most-talked about post-game moments on Monday.

Anyone who left The Ralph Sunday and listened to the WGR-AM post-game show heard Bills Coach Doug Marrone's emotional start to the press conference when he sounded like he was holding back tears.

He wasn't getting emotional or crying for the same reason that quarterback EJ Manuel was moved to tears. It had little to do with the the last-second victory.

Marrone was crying because his immediate thought after the game was about the sudden death Saturday of a close friend of his from his days at Syracuse University -- Rob Edson. Edson, 45, who left Syracuse after more than 20 years to become the athletic director at Onondago Community College, died while mowing his lawn, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Continue reading "Ch.2, Ch. 7 fumble Marrone's emotional postgame interview " »

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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 |