In a move announced this morning by President & General Manager Jim Toellner, Adam Benigni will replace John Beard as co-anchor of Daybreak beginning in January 2018. Beard is scheduled to retire at the end of the year.
Benigni, who has been with the station since 1997, served as the station’s Sports Director after Ed Kilgore’s retirement in 2013. Earlier this year, Benigni temporarily filled in at the anchor desk after Scott Levin left the station. He moved away from that temporary role in September 2017.
He becomes the third local sportscaster to move completely (or partially) to news. Jeff Russo of WKBW-TV switched over in 2015 and Andy Young of Spectrum News became a sports/news reporter in mid-2017.
In a press release from WGRZ-TV, Benigni said, “I very much enjoy the opportunity to anchor news, and I am looking forward to continuing that as part of the Daybreak team. Not many get the chance to succeed Ed Kilgore and now John Beard – two legends in broadcasting.”
Three new executive producers have joined local news teams, including two making a return to stations they had worked for in the past.
Jamie Hoskins started at WIVB-TV in august 2017 as Executive Producer of the station’s flagship morning program, “Wake Up!” Hoskins spent 3 years downstate working at News 12 and WABC-TV as a producer. Before the move the the Big Apple, Hoskins had worked at WIVB-TV for a short time as a producer. The Syracuse and SUNY Albany graduate also interned at C-SPAN and WBNG-TV in Binghamton.
In a return to WGRZ-TV, John Matey has rejoined the station as an Executive Producer. Matey is a Fredonia graduate and started as an Assignment Editor and worked his way up to Daybreak producer from 2013 to 2015. He left the station to work at WRC-TV in Washington D.C. as a platform manager and recently moved back to the area. He started with the station in mid-September.
And new to the area is Memphis native and new Executive Producer Denisha Thomas at WGRZ-TV. Thomas came to Buffalo by way of WKYC-TV in Cleveland (also a TEGNA owned station) where she was a producer. She has also worked in Memphis and in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The Mizzou alum just started at the station earlier this week.