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Buffalo Broadcasting News

Photo courtesy of Cleveland.com

Dominic Mancuso has been appointed as the new Vice President and General Manager of WIVB-TV and WNLO-TV by Nexstar Broadcasting as of this morning. The move comes as a part of Nexstar Broadcasting merging with Media General.

According to the press release, Mancuso comes to WIVB-TV with 33 years of broadcasting and sales experience. He was most recently the Vice President and General Manager of WOIO-TV and WUAB-TV in Cleveland, Ohio. Before that, Mancuso worked in Nashville, Tennessee as the General Manager of WZTV-TV, WUXP-TV, and WNAB-TV.

Mancuso has spent over half his career in Chicago, Illinois, as a Vice President of Programming and Promotions for WFLD-TV and WPWR-TV and also in various voles at WGN-TV in the sales department and later became the Station Manager.

Effective immediately, he replaces Rene LaSpina, the former General Manager, who had been at the station since June of 2013.

WBFO has launched their newest news desk that will be covered by reporter and BBA Board Member, Avery Schneider (above). The Health and Wellness Desk is the fourth content-specific news desk in the newsroom and is funded by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

Schneider interned with WBFO when it was part of the University at Buffalo in 2010 and returned in 2014 serving multiple roles including program host, reporter, and administrative assistant. He will serve as the lead reporter on this desk assignment.

His new assignment joins Eileen Buckley, Chris Caya, and Scott Sackett, all of whom covered specific areas in the Western New York community.


News broke earlier today that Entercom has entered into an agreement to merge with CBS Radio. According to AllAccess.com, the newly combined company will have  244 stations and a share in 23 of the top 25 markets across the nation. This move will make Entercome the largest pure-play radio station owner in the country. 

The current President of Entercom, David Field, will lead the merged company once the transaction is approved.

There are currently 7 stations owned by Entercom in Western New York including WGR-AM, WTSS-FM, WKSE-FM, WBEN-AM, WLKK-FM, WWKB-AM, and WWWS-AM.

In news from today, Afternoon Drive Host/Assistant Program Director/Music Director Jud Heussler (pictured above) is leaving Kiss 98.5 (WKSE-FM) after spending nearly 8 years with the station. The Fredonia graduate began at the station as an intern and took over the afternoon hosting duties in 2012. Heussler is moving south and heading to Raleigh, North Carolina to be Program Director at duoply Pulse FM 96.9 & 102.5 (WWPL-FM and WPLW-FM). His last day on the air in Buffalo will be Tuesday, January 31. He was also the recipient of the Radio Broadcaster of the Year Award in 2013 from the BEMAs, which used to be hosted by the Buffalo Broadcasters Association.


Also from the Entercom cluster, traffic reporter Allan Harris has undergone a successful kidney transplant. The news was confirmed on Twitter by WBEN-AM on Friday afternoon. Just before Thanksgiving, Harris had announced on the air that there was a kidney transplant available, however, it wasn’t a match. Tim Wenger and Randy Bushover have been filling in while Harris is out recovering. No timetable has been announced of when he will return but we wish him the best as he gets well!


WGRZ-TV’s Claudine Ewing was featured in the Buffalo News article by Alan Pergament for celebrating 25 years in broadcasting. The Buffalo State graduate started off her career at WBEN-AM and WIVB-TV before making the switch over to WGRZ-TV in 1998. Ewing reports regularly and also fills-in on the anchor desk periodically. Congratulations to Claudine on such an incredible milestone!


In news from the producing world, WKBW-TV has added John Tummino as the 11 p.m. producer. He spent two years working at WPTZ-TV, which covered the Burlington, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York markets. He also worked at WSYR-TV and News 12 New Jersey following graduation from Syracuse University.

Also, Lucas Smith, former producer at WIVB-TV, is now an Executive Producer at WINK-TV in Fort Myers, Florida. As reported previously, Smith had spent 8 years with News 4 before heading south.

As we entered 2017, it was mentioned that weather anchor Kevin O’Connell had planned on retiring in January of this year. On last night’s broadcast, he shared with viewers that he will be staying for another year and a half, making the expected retirement date around June of 2018. The 41-year veteran of the business has already been inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame and has won numerous awards for his work as a broadcaster and community icon.

Also from Tuesday night’s broadcast, O’Connell introduced meteorologist Heather Waldman, who officially started with the station on Monday. Waldman comes from AccuWeather in State College, Pennsylvania and is a Penn State alum. In the news release from WGRZ-TV, Waldman will be covering the weekend newscasts and also working behind-the-scenes three days during the week.

Photo Credit: LinkedIn

In other news, WIVB-TV producer and St. Bonaventure alum Lucas Smith has left the station. He is moving to WINK-TV, the CBS affiliate in Fort Myers, Florida. He had been with the station since 2009 and was producing the 5 p.m. newscasts during the week.

If you wanted to attend the 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony but couldn’t get a ticket, you’re in luck! You can catch the broadcast tonight (Wednesday, December 28) at 8:30pm on WBBZ-TV.

Tune in to see broadcasting legends secure their place in Buffalo broadcasting history. You’ll see speeches and video compilations of former 97 Rock morning man Larry Norton, former WIVB-TV and current WKBW-TV meteorologist Don Paul, Susan Hunt of Pie Town Productions, former WKBW-TV Head of Operations Steve Zappia, WECK-AM’s Tom (Donahue) McCray, former WKBW-TV anchor Nolan Johannes. The broadcast will also include Stephanie Aponte, the Tim Russert Medal of Merit Award winner and The Fischers from WBTA-FM for 75 years in broadcasting.

WBBZ is at Channel 67.1 over-the-air, Channel 5 or 1230 (HD) for Time Warner Cable customers, Channel 5 for FiOS customers; Channel 5 for Dish customers; Channel 67 for DirecTV viewers.

                    Photo Credit: WBEN.com

The Buffalo News reported late last week that John Zach, co-anchor of Buffalo’s Early News on WBEN-AM, is set to retire on December 30, 2016 after joining the station in 1998 and being paired with co-anchor Susan Rose since 2003. His career, that spans nearly 6 decades, started in the late 1950s when he met Danny Neaverth, who urged him to be a disc jockey. Following work in Georgia, his stops along the way included working on news teams at WKBW-AM (where he also served as news director) and WGR-AM.

Zach is one of the founding members of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, which was formed in 1996, and he was later inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

According to The Buffalo News, Brian Mazurowski will be the interim replacement until a successor is permanently named.

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Legendary broadcaster and Hall of Famer Jim Santella, known as the “Father of Progressive Rock in Buffalo,” has written a book that is available now and would make a great holiday gift! The book titled, “Classic Rock Classic Jock: The Jim Santella Story,” highlights his 45 year long career as readers get to learn more about Santella and his incredible accomplishments. His career brought him to Buffalo’s first progressive radio station, WYSL-FM and grew from there after hosting many programs in various music genres like country, jazz, and blues.

Buffalo Heritage Unlimited published the book and has it available for purchase on their website (http://www.buffaloheritage.com/shop/classic-rock-classic-jock-the-jim-santella-story/). It is also available at Talking Leaves, Record Theatre, The Buffalo Store, Premier Gourmet, Viddler’s Barnes & Noble, and wherever books are sold.

fullsizerenderCurrent Buffalo Broadcasters Association Board Member Carl Lam is now covering weather duties at WGRZ-TV on a fill-in basis with the station. He made his first appearance on Sunday’s evening broadcasts and will continue to cover when needed. Lam is a former two time intern at WGRZ-TV with the news department in 2013 and the weather team in 2014. He is also continuing his role as a fill-in traffic reporter with the NFTA appearing on Daybreak. He joins the team of Kevin O’Connell, Patrick Hammer, Maria Genero, Jennifer Stanonis, Kevin O’Neill, and Mary Beth Wrobel.

heather-waldmanAnd also, if you missed the update from August, meteorologist Heather Waldman will also be joining Storm Team 2 and splitting evening shifts with Maria Genero, when Kevin O’Connell is expected to retire. The Penn State Graduate has been working at AccuWeather in State College, Pennsylvania and is expected to arrive sometime in early 2017.

As an “In Case You Missed It” story, vwhtt-logoeteran DJ Dan Rinelli joined WHTT-FM back in October of 2016 on weekend and fill-in on-air duties. He had previously been with Townsquare Media since 2008 as Production Director and then later became the Afternoon Drive Host at Mix 96 (WMSX-FM). Rinelli left the cluster in May 2016.

quattriniAfter spending less than a year at WIVB-TV, reporter Nick Quattrini has left the station at the end of November. He joined the CBS affiliate after spending five years at WENY-TV in Elmira in March of 2016 and was assaulted while covering a story in Niagara Falls along with his photographer in October of 2016. In a Twitter message, he confirmed that he has taken a job back at WENY-TV in Elmira as the Assistant News Director and evening anchor for the 6 & 11 p.m. shows.

 

Finally, producer Sara Johnson has also left WIVB-TV. The St. Bonaventure graduate spent two years working at the CBS affiliate and previously spent time working at wivb-logoWHAM-TV in Rochester. Johnson did not reveal her future plans but is moving out of the area.

 

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Photo Courtesy of Kevin O'Connell's Facebook Page
Photo Credit: Kevin O’Connell’s Facebook Page

Chief Weather Anchor Kevin O’Connell from WGRZ-TV can add the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ (NATAS) Silver Circle award to his long list of accolades. O’Connell joined the NBC affiliate in 1993.

The Gold & Silver Circles are made up from a highly distinguished broadcast professionals who have made significant contributions to their respective market. O’Connell was one of seventeen individuals selected to receive this prestigious award and no one else in Western New York has ever claimed this honor.

The ceremony was held in New York City at the Time Warner Center last week and other notable names receiving the Gold or Silver Circle award include Pat Battle from WNBC-TV, Diana Williams from WABC-TV, and Gabe Pressman from WNBC-TV.

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