WNED-WBFO has unveiled “Focus on Education,” an education reporting initiative created to document the issues and opportunities surrounding the local educational system and engage the community. “Focus on Education” will include in-depth radio reports on WBFO,88.7FM, live event broadcasts on WNED, Channel 17 and a community engagement aspect.

WBFO senior reporter, Eileen Buckley, will be covering the “Focus on Education” initiatives. A nearly 30-year radio news veteran, Buckley was honored in 2013 with a “Pinnacle Award” from the Buffalo Broadcasters Association for 25 years of reporting excellence.

 

The “Inside Tim Russert’s Office” exhibit currently on temporary display at the Newseum in Washington, DC will soon be relocated to its permanent home at the Buffalo History Museum. The announcement was made today (February 12) by Congressman Brian Higgins and Buffalo History Museum Executive Director Melissa Brown. Luke Russert, son of the famed broadcaster, told the Buffalo News his family hopes the display will be moved to Buffalo and open to the public by this September. Tim Russert was born and raised in Buffalo. He went on to serve as a political aide to Governor Mario Cuomo and late US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan before becoming Washington bureau chief for NBC News and host of Meet the Press. Higgins said he had been working with the Russert family on this for nearly a year. The office reflects the way it looked on the day Russert died in June 2008 with papers, photos, Buffalo momentos and even as bottle of Pelligrino water. 

 

The E.W. Scripps Company has agreed to purchase WKBW, Channel 7 in Buffalo and WMYD-TV in Detroit from Granite Broadcasting for $110 million.

“We are thrilled to be joining the Scripps family and WKBW and Buffalo fit perfectly in their long successful strategy of running successful ABC stations in turnaround markets — especially along the Great Lakes (as they are already in Cleveland and Detroit),” Michael Nurse, WKBW-TV General Manager, said in a posting on Channel 7’s website. “We are grateful that Granite Broadcasting is handing off the ball to truly great broadcasters and a multifaceted media company with the commitment and resources to take WKBW to the next level.”

The Cincinnati based company said the deal will be funded with cash.

The E.W. Scripps Company  has a portfolio of television, print and digital media brands. The sale is subject to approval of the FCC.  When complete, Scripps will own 21 local television stations as well as daily newspapers in 13 markets across the United States.

 

WECK 1230AM and 102.9FM will broadcast a weekly series of live big-band concerts from the Sportsmen’s Tavern in the Black Rock section of the city. WECK owner Richard C. Greene of Culver Communications and Sportsmen’s Tavern owner Dwane Hall jointly announced that, beginning Tuesday, February 4, 2014, the station will air the “Big Band Bunch for Lunch,” featuring Joe Baudo’s 17-piece “big band orchestra,” which includes “some of Buffalo’s most-talented musicians.” The band plays every Tuesday from noon until 2:00 p.m., and WECK will broadcast the first hour of each week’s concert, from 12:00 until 1:00 p.m. The Sportsmen’s Tavern is located at 326 Amherst Street in Buffalo.
This concert series is the latest effort on the part of Culver Communications to support the local music scene. The station earlier announced that it is looking for recorded submissions from Buffalo-area artists who perform in the “Adult Standards” genre that is featured on Timeless WECK. The best of these will be played in regular rotation on the station.

 

WLKK, 107.7FM debuts Alternative Buffalo’s Local Music Show on Sunday, February 9th at 8pm. The station is inviting Western New York bands to send a high quality MP3 or WAV file of their music, along with all artist/band info (website, social media links, contact info) to localized@alternativebuffalo.com.

 

WGRZ, Channel 2 is partnering with Valu Home Centers in accepting donations to help West Seneca residents who were hit hard by recent flooding.  More than 70 homes were damaged.  The donation drive runs through Thursday, January 30th.  All 17 Value Home Centers in Western New York are accepting donated items, which will be turned over to the Winchester Community Church for distribution.

 

Here are radio ratings compiled by Nielsen Audio for Fall 2013 in the Buffalo market.  The numbers reflect the 12+ audience.  Please know the ratings for a handful of smaller stations are not publicly available because they are non-subscribers.  Number one WYRK retains its top ranking with an 11.4 share.  WBEN is number two at 8.3.  Here is the ranking of the rest of the top ten stations:  WBLK 7.1;  WHTT, 6.5; WKSE, 5.7; WGR, 5.5; WGRF, 5.1; WTSS, 4.9; WJYE, 4.8 and WEDG, 4.8.  Rounding out the Fall book are WBFO, 3.8; WBUF, 3.7; WNED-FM, 1.7; WWWS, 1.3 and WLKK, 1.1. 

 

WGRZ Channel 2 has dropped “The Healthy Zone” from its daily time slot of 11:30am.  General Manager Jim Toellner tells Buffalo News TV Critic Alan Pergament that the station will continue to air health-related material in a shorter format, both on air and digitally on its website and other online venues.  Airing this week at 11:30am is a half-hour block of WGRZ’s new weather station, Storm Team 2 WeatherNation.  Starting next week, The Doctors will begin airing a half-hour earlier.  Toellner said a decision has not yet been made on filling the 12:30pm half-hour following The Doctors.

 

WIVB’s 10:00 newscast on WNLO, Channel 23 will expand to one hour, effective Monday, January 6th.  WIVB News Director Joe Schlaerth informed the staff of the change in an email message.  The extra half-hour will replace syndicated programming that has been running in the 10:30 time slot.  Diana Fairbanks anchors the top-rated 10:00 newscast.  Schlaerth said the extra half-hour will feature local investigations and Call 4 Action and health reports, plus more national, international and sports coverage. Buffalo News TV critic Alan Pergament shares his analysis of the change at his blog, Talkin’ TV.

 

A new, low power television station will begin airing in the Buffalo market in early 2014.  WBXZ-TV, Channel 56 told its Facebook followers Friday the station will begin broadcasting on February 3rd.  An earlier posting said the station’s new transmitter and antenna should arrive soon.  The start date is contigent on the weather cooperating with the installation of the new equipment.  The station is owned by Steven Ritchie.  WBXZ will provide programming on five digital channels.  Channel 56.1 will feature classic television shows from Retro TV, which used to air in the Buffalo market.  56.2 will have the country music station, Heartland, formerly TNN.  56.3 will present the kids channel PBJ.  A shopping channel will air on 56.4.  Channel 56.5 will feature TUFF-TV, a network that targets men.  The station’s website is also promising local programming, including “coverage of local sports, news and events.”  Since it is low power, local cable providers are not required to air WBXZ.  Potential viewers will need a digital antenna to access the signal on Channel 56. 

 

WGRZ, Channel 2 is creating an all-weather station to air on its digital channel, 2.2.  Buffalo News TV critic Alan Pergament reports in his blog, Talkin’ TV, will begin airing “Storm Team 2 Weather Nation” sometime in the coming week or early January.  Recorded local weather updates from the station’s meteorologists will air every ten minutes.  Plus, channel 2.2 will re-broadcast WGRZ’s 6pm newscast at 7pm and the 11pm newscast at 12mid.  Antenna TV, which features classic TV shows, will move to channel 2.3. 

 

YNN, the 24-hour local cable news network, was rebranded Monday, December 16th as Time Warner Cable News.  The change was accompanied by new graphics and anchor set as well as new theme music.  The network’s popular “Weather on the 9’s” is now running every ten minutes at the 1’s. 

 

WGRZ, Channel 2 will air a special broadcast as part of its new partnership with UB Athletics.  Paul Peck, the radio play-by-play voice of the UB football Bulls, will host a bowl preview show on Channel 2, Saturday, December 14, at 7:30pm.  The Bulls will play San Diego State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday, December 21 at 5:30pm in a nationally-televised game on ESPN.  Peck spent 24 years at WIVB, Channel 4 before making a career switch to the financial services industry.  Peck has tweeted another interesting Buffalo connection to the Bulls’ bowl game.  San Diego State’s radio color analyst is former Bills linebacker Kirk Morrison. 

 

WNED/WBFO will host State Education Commissioner John King in a forum on Common Core educational standards this Thursday, December 12th.  WBFO Station Manager Jim Ranney will moderate the forum from the WNED studios that will feature King along with Regents Chancellor Emeritus Robert Bennett of Buffalo.  It will air live on WNED, Channel 17 and WBFO 88.7FM starting at 6pm.  All School Districts in the Erie 1 BOCES and Orleans/Niagara BOCES service regions will be allowed to send a team of three individuals.  The remaining seats will be made available to the general public via a lottery. 

 

Two Buffalo broadcasting outlets held successful fundraising events in recent days to benefit important regional causes. 

WGRZ, Channel 2 is expecting the final results will show a very successful Food 2 Families Food Drive.  It was held Friday, December 6th at various Tops Markets locations.  As of Saturday, 50,000 pounds of food had been collected for the Food Bank of Western New York.  That does not include another eight tractor trailers filled with food. 

WBEN 930AM and WTSS, 102.5FM held a two-day radiothon December 5th and 6th benefiting the SPCA Serving Erie County.  The drive raised more than $172,000.  The SPCA radiothon has raised more than $1.7 million over the past ten years. 

 

Time Warner Cable has added Aljazeera America to its cable news line-up in Western New York.  It’s airing on Channel 210 in proximity with other cable news outlets.  TWC and Aljazeera America recently reached a carriage agreement.  The newest of the cable news channels in the US is more news driven than its more established rivals, shying away from prime-time opinion shows.  It has also attracted several familiar names in broadcast journalism, such as Soledad O’Brien, formerly of CNN, former NBC news anchor John Seigenthaler and Ray Suarez, who recently left the PBS News Hour.  

 

WGRZ, Channel 2 is now the “Official Station of the UB Bulls” in a new partnership between the station and the University at Buffalo Athletics Department.

Beginning with the UB Football Bowl Preview Show on December 14, WGRZ will air 32 weekly television shows devoted to UB Athletics. The 30-minute programs will air on Saturdays at 7:30 pm on WGRZ-TV. A replay will air Sunday mornings at 6:00 am. It will run through the remainder of the basketball season and into the 2014 football campaign.

“We are very enthused to partner with the University as they continue to grow their D-1 athletic program in both size and stature,” said President & General Manager Jim Toellner. “Big time college athletics are something this community is really just beginning to experience and embrace, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

The Bobby Hurley Show will debut in January. The show will feature interviews with Coach Hurley and student-athletes as well as highlights of the UB men’s basketball team throughout the season.

Along with the above mentioned programs, WGRZ-TV will also air UB regular season football and men’s basketball games. In addition, up to ten games will be broadcast on WGRZ’s digital channel, D2 (2.2).

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