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Buffalo

WGRZ Names Michael Wooten Midday Anchor

wooten_wgrzMichael Wooten has been named Mary Friona‘s replacement on the WGRZ 11:00 a.m. news.

Last month, Friona announced she was leaving the Buffalo NBC affiliate to focus on her family. Her last day at WGRZ is Friday.

Buffalo News TV writer Alan Pergament reported Wooten will also be the station’s managing editor.

He also was “unofficially” the station’s acting public relations man for the day since he also announced on Facebook that Heather Ly will be taking his place as the anchor on the weekend editions of “Daybreak” alongside Maria Genero on weather.

Wooten started at WGRZ in 2009.

Bryan Shaw Makes Quick Exit from WIVB

shaw640_20120712145530_640_480Bryan Shaw, meteorologist for Buffalo CBS affiliate WIVB abruptly left the station, according to Buffalo News media writer Alan Pergament.

“I just wanted to let you all know that today was my last day at Ch. 4,” Shaw posted on his facebook page. “It has been a pleasure. I really have enjoyed my time here and appreciate all of you.”

Shaw started at WIVB in June 2011. Before coming to Buffalo he worked at WOWK in Huntington, WV, and WOAY in Beckley, WV.

TVSpy asked WIVB for comment, but has not heard back.

Mary Friona to Sign Off From WGRZ

mary friona wgrzMary Friona is leaving Buffalo NBC affiliate WGRZ to focus on her family, the Buffalo NewsAlan Pergament reports:

Channel 2 News Director Jeff Woodard wrote in an email sent this afternoon that the station is “working on both a short-term and long-term plan to replace” Friona. In an email sent to the staff this morning, Woodard praised Friona “as an integral part of the success of ‘Daybreak’ for the past 16 years, as her ‘As Seen on TV’ product test has been one of the most popular franchises in the market.

“We will miss her engaging personality that came out in those tests, just as we will miss the fantastic storytelling. Mary has shared incredible stories of individuals and families with powerful messages of hope and survival… Mary, we wish you much happiness as you focus your attention and strength on raising your beautiful children and taking care of your entire family.”

Diana Fairbanks Leaving WIVB

fairbanks wivbWIVB anchor Diana Fairbanks is leaving the Buffalo CBS affiliate to follow her husband to Michigan.

Alan Pergament of The Buffalo News first reported WIVB news director Joe Schlaerth told staffers about the move.

GM Rene LaSpina said Fairbanks wasn’t leaving for another station but to follow her husband who got a job in Traverse City, MI. Fairbanks was an anchor and reporter at WPBN in Traverse City before coming to Buffalo.

Fairbanks started at WIVB in January 2012 and has also worked at KRTV in Great Falls, MT.

Allen Leight Signs Off From WKBW

allen leightAllen Leight‘s last day at WKBW was Friday, The Buffalo News‘ Alan Pergament reports:

News Director Lisa Polster confirmed that he is leaving to join the [Buffalo] Sabres in an unspecified job. Another Channel 7 source said the job is in production. The Sabres haven’t announced his hiring, which I’m told is standard practice for staff hirings in non-visible roles. It probably means Leight won’t be seen on-air in any capacity.

Leight joined the ABC affiliate as a news photographer in 2008. He held a variety of roles during his time at the station, including internet content manager, multimedia journalist and sports anchor/reporter.

Pergament reports the station is planning to replace Leight on the sports team.

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.

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