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Broadcasting

WECK-AM/FM will start broadcasting on its second FM frequency in the spring. The Federal Communications Commission granted WECK-FM the additional frequency of 100.5FM, which will cover the Buffalo Northtowns, in addition to the current 102.9FM frequency, which covers the Southtowns. The station’s 1230AM frequency covers all of the Buffalo Metro area.

According to Buddy Shula, owner of WECK-AM/FM, the frequency was granted to that station as a part of the AM Revitalization Project, an initiative from the FCC. “It will be great to have the WECK brand and all associated content on FM covering the entire metro,” Shula said.

He expects that the frequency will be in operation by mid-April.


WBFO-FM is beefing up the staff with two new hires including Nick Lippa and broadcasting veteran Sandy White.

Lippa (left), will transition to a full-time role with the station in early February, is currently hosting weekend programing on the NPR affiliate and assisting with general reporting. In his new role, he will continue to serve as news anchor, reporter, and host of “Nick’s Flix” on WNED-FM. Lippa is a former WBFO intern and is a graduate of Buffalo State College.

The station is also bringing back longtime journalist Sandy White (right) to the Buffalo broadcasting landscape as the lead reporter for the Seniors News Desk. The grant for this sponsored news desk is coming from the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York. The two-year grant will provide $20,000 per year to the initiative.

According to Current, the public media trade publication, WBFO will be expected to provide 50 on-air news reports during that time. “There are so many issues facing seniors – healthcare trends, retirement living, working during retirement, financial planning/security, transportation, exercise, nutrition, courtship, and leveraging technology,” said Brian Meyer, News Director at WBFO, in a statement. “Our coverage will cast a spotlight on senior issues in a way that will educate, engage and entertain our radio and digital audiences.”

Sandy White has worked across the country at KNBC-TV, KCOP-TV, BET and spent over 15 years at WIVB-TV and WGRZ-TV combined where she worked alongside Rich Newberg and Les Trent. In her time outside of broadcasting, she started the Mustard Seed World Consulting Group.


 Miranda Ruckdeschel and Marybeth Calabrese have both left WGRZ-TV, the NBC affiliate. Ruckdeschel was in her second stint with the station and worked with the station from 2013 to 2016. She had previously worked at then YNN Buffalo and WKBW-TV as the morning show producer.
Calabrese, who joined the station less than one year ago from WHEC-TV in Rochester, has left the station to pursue other opportunities outside of broadcasting. She is a Western New York native and is an alumna of Buffalo State College.

In a move announced by owner Buddy Shula, Joe Chille, longtime morning host and operations manager at WJYE-FM (now WMSX-FM), will host the afternoon drive on WECK-FM from 3 to 7 p.m. from Monday to Thursday. The 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee takes over for Mike Jacobs, who moves to more duties behind-the-scenes and will continue to host weekends. Chille will begin his duties on Monday, January 22. Danny Neaverth will continue hosting Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m. 

In a tweet yesterday afternoon, WGRZ-TV sports anchor and reporter Jonah Javad announced that he would be leaving the station on February 20, 2018. Javad is staying within TEGNA and will be headed off to WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas, the fifth largest television market in the country, as a sports reporter and fill-in anchor.

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The Buffalo Broadcasters Association’s Chairman Emeritus Dave Gillen left the sales team at WGRZ-TV in early September and made the switch to Townsquare Media. His new job includes being a part of the sales team at Townsquare and also is on-air weeknights from 7 p.m. to midnight on WMSX-FM (Mix 96). Gillen had been working weekend shifts since 2014 at the station, since the format switched.

WEDG-FM (103.3 The Edge) has made two personnel moves in the past month.

Evan James took over the 7 to 10 p.m. slot on weekday evenings following the departure of Josh Potter earlier this year. James is also the station’s imaging director as a part of his full-time duties, in addition to his on-air role. James previously was covering weekend duties and began with Cumulus as an intern. He attended St. Francis High School and Hilbert College.

In another hire, Zaque Evans has joined the team at 103.3 The Edge after spending nearly 4 years at Entercom in a variety of roles including Promotions Manager and as an On-Air Personality with Alternative Buffalo. He will be covering weekend and fill-in duties at the new station while he continues pursuing a graduate degree from the University at Buffalo.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Western New York will be holding their annual gala on Thursday, October 26, 2017 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens. The “Harvest of Hope” gala runs every year and supports muscular dystrophy and ALS research, which are both muscle-debilitating diseases that diminish one’s physical mobility and strength.

Weinstein will be honored at this year’s gala and has already pledged $25,000 to this year’s event in support of research leading to a cure. Weinstein was diagnosed with ALS in October of 2016 and an outpouring of support from the Buffalo was sent to Mission Viejo, California, in the form of greeting cards filled with well wishes.

He retired from the station in 1999 and was a mainstay at WKBW-TV for over 30 years as a part of the longest running television anchor team in history for 24 years alongside Tom Jolls and Rick Azar.

The Weinstein’s are challenging the community to match their support of the MDA in the Western New York area. Tickets to the event can be purchased by clicking here. 

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.