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It’s Official! Scripps Buying Granite Stations in Buffalo and Detroit

scripps logo_304x200E.W. Scripps has announced it really is buying Buffalo ABC Affiliate WKBW from Granite Broadcasting.

The station group announced it’s buying WKBW along with Detroit MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYD for $110 million in cash.

Rumors of the Buffalo sale have been swirling since Alan Pergament of The Buffalo News reported Scripps executives had toured the Buffalo station in December.

“These stations in Detroit and Buffalo will contribute strong cash flow to our core business, expand our reach in one of our best markets, and expand our TV footprint in partnership with ABC,” Rich Boehne, Scripps chairman, president and CEO said in a statement. Read more

Scripps Talking to Granite About Buying Two Stations

scripps logo_304x200The E.W. Scripps Company has announced it’s in talks with Granite Broadcasting about the possibility buying two Granite stations.

A Scripps press release said, “No deal has been made with Granite, but Scripps will follow up with another announcement once the outcome is determined.”

In December, TVSpy reported about Scripps executives touring Granite’s Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW. At the time Buffalo Business First said “The tour, insiders say, was just that — a tour” while WKBW GM Michael Nurse told TVSpy he had no comment over rumors his station was up for sale.

WKBW News Director Leaving, Assistant Promoted as Replacement

wkbw_logo_304WKBW news director Polly Van Doren is leaving the Buffalo ABC affiliate to be the ND at Sinclair-owned WKEF-WRGT in Dayton, OH.

Van Doren confirmed with TVSpy, assistant news director Lisa Polster has been named as her replacement.

Van Doren was named news director at WKBW in August 2012. She came to the station from KOLR-KOZL in Springfield, MO, where she had been news director for 14 years.

Before coming to WKBW, Polster worked as executive producer WBFF in Baltimore, MD, and WPSD in Paducah, KY.

[The Buffalo News]

Steve Brown Returning to Buffalo Market as Investigative Reporter

stevebrown1-EditSteve Brown is coming back to Buffalo for a second stint with NBC affiliate WGRZ. This time he’ll be an investigative reporter.

“He’s really smart and he’s really tenacious and he fits our watchdog advocacy journalism perfectly,” WGRZ general manager Jim Toelllner told The Buffalo News media writer Alan Pergament.

Brown left Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW in 1998 to work for FOX News in its Chicago bureau. Before working at WKBW, he was a weekend anchor and reporter at WGRZ from 1990 until 1994. He has also worked at WTIC in Hartford, CT, and WWLP in Springfield, MA.

According to The Buffalo News, Brown left FOX News after cutbacks in its bureaus.

WKBW Won’t Comment on Rumor of Possible Sale

wkbw logoMichael Nurse, WKBW station manager, told TVSpy his company had no comment at this this time over rumors the station is up for sale.

Buffalo Business First reported the whispering over the sale of the Granite owned Buffalo ABC station grew louder after reports of a station tour by Scripps executives surfaced recently but warned, “The tour, insiders say, was just that — a tour.”

Business First quotes industry reports as saying several media groups are looking at Granite’s local stations including the Buffalo ABC affiliate. “Granite officials declined to comment,” wrote Business First.

Granite Broadcasting has eight stations in markets like Binghamton, NY, Detroit, MI, and San Francisco, CA.

WGRZ Anchor Talks About Dustup Over ‘Sweetheart’ Rob Ford Tweet

demler_fordDuring Monday’s 5:30 p.m. news, WGRZ anchor Maryalice Demler addressed criticism over a tweet she sent calling Toronto Mayor Rob Ford a “sweetheart.”

The two were at the Buffalo Bills game Sunday when Demler took a picture with Ford and tweeted it out. Demler later deleted the tweet and the picture. But like all things on the internet, they lived on elsewhere. WNYorker.com posted the picture on its facebook page.

On tonight’s 5:30 news, the anchor for the Buffalo NBC affiliate told viewers the conversation she had with Ford was cordial and polite and she tried to convey that in her tweet. “Does it mean I condone his drug use or his recent antics? Of course not,” said Demler. “In hindsight was the word sweetheart the right word to describe him? Obviously not. And I will certainly keep that in mind on my twitter feed going forward. It’s not just what you put out on social media, but how you say it as well.”

Buffalo Rising had a modified retweet of the original tweet that appeared to have been deleted from the NBC affiliate anchor’s twitter feed,

Buffalo News media critic Alan Pergament picked up on the tweet after Demler responded to Buffalo Rising, “@BuffaloRising @WGRZ Yepper. Had a nice chat. Down to earth. Loves the Queen City. Sounded sincere. I don’t judge.”

Pergament then tweeted back, “I think the only other anchor who would be photographed with Rob Ford is Ron Burgundy. But I judge.” Read more

Mary Beth Wrobel Says Goodbye to WGRZ

mary beth wrobel_304x200Meteorologist Mary Beth Wrobel is signing off from Buffalo NBC affiliate WGRZ to take a job outside the television industry.

“One week from today, I will be saying farewell to Buffalo. I am going to work in medical device sales for a company near Seattle, Washington,” she wrote on Facebook Monday. “…It’s a bittersweet move, but a step in the right direction, and I will miss WNY and all of you.”

Wrobel has worked at stations in North Carolina, St. Louis and Rochester, as well as WIVB in Buffalo. [h/t The Buffalo News]

Questions Linger Over WKBW Veteran Meteorologist’s New Schedule and Title

After 30 years with Buffalo, NY, ABC affiliate WKBW, Mike Randall will soon see his hours reduced after seeing his title change to “senior” meteorologist from its former “chief” status.

But is he being pushed out the door, as some media outlets like NewBlues, FTVLive and The Buffalo News are speculating, or is Randall simply easing into retirement after a long and successful career?

>RELATED: Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling Marks 35 Years with WGN

Mike Nurse WKBW general manager told TVSpy Randall recently signed a new long-term contract, “At the end of the day – I believe all sides are satisfied with the outcome. We built our future while preserving our past – Mike got a long term deal and he got a less demanding schedule that allows him to pursue his other theatrical ventures while still having a big presence on our new AM show (Good Morning).” Read more

Teresa Weakley Joins WIVB From WKBN

Teresa Weakley is set to join Buffalo CBS affiliate WIVB as a morning anchor, The Buffalo NewsAlan Pergament reports.

Weakley will co-anchor the morning newscast with Jordan Williams and meteorologist Todd Santos, who joins WIVB from The Weather Channel. Diana Fairbanks, who shifted to mornings in January, will return to the 5:30 and 10 p.m. newscasts, according to Pergament.

Weakley moves to Buffalo from Youngstown, Ohio, where she anchors the evening newscasts at CBS affiliate WKBN.

Meteorologist Todd Santos Set to Join WIVB

Meteorologist Todd Santos is joining Buffalo CBS affiliate WIVB, according to The Buffalo News Alan Pergament.

Santos will join the station from The Weather Channel, where he has worked as an on-camera meteorologist since 2009. He has previously worked at NBC and MSNBC, as well as WLTX in Columbia, S.C.

Santos fills the spot on the weather team that has been vacant since Amelia Segal joined WRC in Washington, D.C. It has not been officially announced which newscasts he will appear on, though Pergament speculates it could be mornings.

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