Remembering the past... looking toward the future!

WGRZ-TV

On November 30 at The Lambs Club in New York City, 11 individuals were inducted at the New York Chapter Gold and Silver Circle Ceremony from the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. WGRZ-TV’s Chief Photographer Andy DeSantis was honored with the Silver Circle Award, recognizing his commitment and contributions to the television industry for a quarter century or more.

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.

In an announcement made on Monday by General Manager Jim Toellner, longtime Executive Producer Athan Kompos has been named News Director at WGRZ-TV. Kompos was most recently Acting News Director after Kate Glover’s departure in June. The Buffalo native and Canisius graduate has been with the station since 2004 and was promoted to the Executive Producer role in 2009.

Sports anchor/reporter Tom Martin made it official yesterday and announced that he is leaving Buffalo for Kansas City. He will take over as a weekend sports anchor/reporter for KCTV-TV after two years in Buffalo. Martin came to Buffalo two years ago as WIVB-TV was revamping their entire sports department following the departures of Lauren Brill and Steve Vesey. Before Buffalo, the Mizzou grad worked at KATC-TV and KOMU-TV. He will start at the new station sometime in September.

Martin was also a four-time participant and guest speaker for the Buffalo Broadcasters Association’s Peer 2 Peer Speakers Tour. The initiative strives to connect the rising stars of the industry with students that might be interested in pursuing a career in broadcasting at local colleges and universities.

Fun fact, this is also where former WIVB-TV News Director Scott Levy went to take a new opportunity as well.

According to the Buffalo News, WKBW-TV will be launching a new news program after Labor Day titled, “The Now.” The program will be anchored by Hannah Buehler along with weather forecasts from Chief Meteorologist Aaron Mentkowski. In Alan Pergament’s article, a reporter will be added to this program too but no one has been specifically named to that role at this time. The 30-minute program will air  at 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“The Now” is a program that blends local, national, and international news with entertainment and lifestyle stories. The program will be independently produced in Buffalo and is currently hiring for a producer to fill that job. Many other stations owned by Scripps are already airing this program including stations in Phoenix, West Palm Beach, Denver, Cleveland, and Kansas City.


WGRZ-TV has added a new reporter from out west. Joshua Robinson comes from ABC/FOX duopoly KTMF-TV/KWYB-TV in Missoula, Montana, where he was a reporter covering the entire state and fill-in anchor. He is a reporter for “Daybreak” and is a graduate of Fresno State University. Fun fact too, Robinson is also a former pastry chef and worked in Las Vegas at all of Mario Batali’s restaurants on the strip.


In a producer switcheroo, WGRZ-TV hired Adrian Torres, who started in mid0June as a multimedia producer. He previously worked at KXII-TV in Sherman, Texas and also worked in radio. He is a graduate of the University of North Texas and majored in Broadcast Journalism.

Producer Dan Baran is leaving the station to take a producing job in North Carolina at TEGNA sister station, WCNC-TV. Baran has spent just over 3 years at WGRZ-TV and previously worked for 4 years at Time Warner Cable News as a news assistant/producer.


Spectrum News has filled vacancies on the producing side of the newsroom. Christine Streich has joined the station as a Senior Producer after spending 3 years at WKBW-TV as a producer. Streich has worked in public radio in New York City and graduated from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Brian Barker has been promoted to the role of Senior Producer and Dan Eye joins the staff as an Associate Producer.

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Nick Filipowski is leaving Western New York at the end of July

Sports Anchor/Reporter Nick Filipowski is getting set to leave WKBW-TV at the end of July when his contract expires after deciding not to renew his contract. This was first reported by Alan Pergament from the Buffalo News. Filipowski joined Channel 7 in August of 2014 after spending the past five years in Nebraska at KNOP-TV and in Iowa at KTIV-TV as sports anchor/reporter. He covers weekend sportscasts and also fills-in during the week. He also created the “Friday Football Frenzy” show that covered local high school football. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate has not announced any future plans of where he’s headed at this time.

After joining the station about 7 months ago, WGRZ-TV News Director Catherine (Kate) Glover is no longer with the station. In an email sent out yesterday, General Manager Jim Toellner announced Glover’s departure. The Western New York native arrived at the station after serving as News Director at KOIN-TV in Portland, Oregon for two years and was promoted from Assistant News Director. Glover had also worked for Time Warner Western Region, KNSD-TV, Fox News, CNN, and WRC-TV. Her career began in Buffalo as an Assignment Editor at WKBW-TV and also worked as a reporter/anchor at WGR-AM, when the station was on the all-news format.


The station has also replenished the producing roster by adding Marybeth Calabrese, the Western New York native and Buffalo State graduate, who joined the station after working at WHEC-TV and Time Warner Cable News in Rochester. Miranda Ruckdeschel, whose first stint at the station was from 2013 to 2016, has rejoined the station as a producer. Ruckdeschel had worked for WKBW-TV and then YNN Buffalo before joining WGRZ-TV. Dave DeLuca has been hired as a digital producer and started at the station recently. DeLuca is a Buffalo State graduate and has interned at The Buffalo News, WBFO-FM, among others.