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Posts Tagged ‘Alan Pergament’

Is Buffalo Sports Director Moving to News?

94dc5b05678d59cc753e3b3792ca6ad53c47b0b7According to a report by Buffalo News media critic Alan Pergament, WKBW sports director Jeff Russo may be thinking about a move to news. Russo recently anchored the 5:30 p.m. newscast at the Buffalo ABC affiliate, which may suggest the station is considering the sports-to-news shift:

Why would Russo consider the move?

It could be because there is a much better opportunity to increase one’s salary as a news anchor than as a sports anchor that is on the air for only a few minutes a newscast.

In addition, if Russo is any good at news anchoring and gains credibility, he could become the heir apparent to Keith Radford once he retires from Channel 7. It won’t happen any time soon. Radford recently signed a new deal.

Russo has been at Channel 7 for 11 years and was named sports director in December of 2007 when John Murphy went to Channel 4. If he were to switch anchor posts, the station would have an opening in the sports department.

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Is ‘Shortsighted Cost-Cutting…Destroying Morale’ at Buffalo’s WIVB?

WIVB_LogoBuffalo News television critic Alan Pergament suggests Buffalo CBS affiliate WIVB, a station known for its stability, is “cutting expenses, letting popular, behind-the-scenes staffers leave, losing young aggressive reporters and destroying morale.”

WIVB’s recent moves come as ABC affiliate WKBW has invested in new talent and revamped newscasts:

In the last two years, Channel 4’s on-air departures have included Diana Fairbanks, Amelia Segal, Anthony Congi, Bryan Shaw, part-timer Dr. Peter Ostrow and Joe Arena and soon will include Ed Drantch and Rachel Kingston.

LaSpina also let go three longtime, behind-the-scenes staffers this week, including an executive assistant who worked at Channel 4 or 38 years under nine general managers and station managers.

This isn’t to suggest that Channel 4 has become Channel 7 yet. Not by a long shot. It still has several strong veteran staffers. But it appears to be making some of the same shortsighted, cost-cutting mistakes as Channel 7’s former owner at a time it should be much more concerned about Channel 7 as a competitor.

Buffalo Station Losing Two Reporters

drantch kingston_wivbBuffalo CBS affiliate WIVB will soon see the departure of two of its reporters.

Yesterday, The Buffalo News reported Ed Drantch will be leaving the LIN-owned station next month to work at cross-town rival ABC affiliate WKBW.

Channel 7 General Manager Mike Nurse said Drantch’s Channel 4 contract had expired. He added that Channel 4 had the right to match Channel 7’s offer and declined.

Today, The News said Rachel Kingston is getting out of broadcasting to work at the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.

Kingston wrote on her facebook page., “Yes, it is true. My time at Channel 4 – and in news/broadcasting altogether – is drawing to a close.” She added, “While I am leaving journalism, I’m not leaving my native and dearly-loved Western New York.”

Drantch’s defection, along with other departures at the station led Buffalo News TV Critic Alan Pergament to speculate WIVB GM Rene LaSpina‘s belt tightening may be behind the moves. Read more

WKBW Drops Morning Anchor Team, Promises New Direction

lundberg_heath_wkbwCole Heath and Tiffany Lundberg no longer work at Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW.

Michael Nurse, WKBW VP & GM told TVSpy, “We are going a new direction in our morning program under EW Scripps ownership. We tried something different and it didn’t resonate.”

Nurse also said more detail about the station’s plans would be announced soon.

Alan Pergament, TV writer for The Buffalo News, who first reported the news, said, “The departure of the anchors isn’t a surprise since “Good Morning” has been a ratings disaster and hit rock bottom during the July sweeps.”

The two were hired last year in what then news director Polly Van Doren said was a revamp. She told TVSpy, “We have a new General Manager who feels it’s best to start fresh with our morning product.” Van Doren left WKBW for WKEF-WRGT in Dayton, OH, in January.

WIVB News Director Out

wivb_304Joe Schlaerth, news director for Buffalo CBS affiliate WIVB no longer works at the station, Buffalo News media writer Alan Pergament reports.

The News reports Peter Jacobus is the interim news director at the station.

According to his LinkedIn page, Schlaerth had been news director at WIVB since 2004.

His departure — all the sources say he was fired this morning — is no surprise considering how unpopular he has been inside the news department.

Indeed, it was more surprising that he lasted this long running the news department of the LIN station. Read more

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.

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.

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

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.

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