Here are some of the highlights from the past several weeks from local broadcasting.
Here are some of the highlights from the past several weeks from local broadcasting.
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.
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.
As the May Sweeps are wrapping up, WGRZ-TV is losing 3 members of their team by the end of the month.
The most visible departure will be evening anchor Scott Levin, who joined the station in the fall of 1998. He came to Western New York and WGRZ-TV after spending a number of years in Washington and Virginia working as a reporter and anchor of all shifts. Levin will be leaving the station after the 6 p.m. newscast on May 24 and begin a new career outside of broadcasting with the West Herr Auto Group as a Finance Manager. He has won multiple Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award for his work at the desk along with many NYSBA awards for Best Newscast. Levin has shared the anchor desk with Maryalice Demler, Bazi Kanani, Carol Kaplan, Laura Steele, Jodi Johnston, and Victoria Hong, among others.
Nightside Executive Producer Matt Pitts is also leaving WGRZ-TV at the end of the month to join KeyBank as the Communications Manager for the Western New York area. He joined the station in 2007 as a producer and promoted to his current role in early 2016. Before joining WGRZ-TV, Pitts was a producer at WIVB-TV for 7 years also worked at WBEN as a reporter and news anchor. The Buffalo State College graduate serves as an adjunct professor in the Communication Department.
Producer Corinne Lettieri is also moving to another TEGNA owned station, WCNC-TV, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lettieri is a St. Bonaventure graduate and joined the station immediately after graduation and began producing the station’s morning show in 2015. Her last day will be Friday, May 26. The station has already hired producer Michelle Hale, who began at the end of March after spending a year in Syracuse at WSYR-TV.
Scott Brown from WGRZ-TV died on Friday after a battle with cancer at the age of 59.
During his time with Channel 2, he covered and investigated hundreds of stories on varying topics including, but not limited to, questions surrounding the Erie County Water Authority, the trial and eventual exoneration of Anthony Capozzi, a story about a young boy named David Ferland diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and his quest to walk without a walker, the murder of Jackie Wisniewski, his series titled “Niagara Falls: A Tale of Two Cities,” and numerous stories on Western New York Politics. He was also known for his work in the political realm including campaigns, covering the candidates, and providing Election Night coverage of incoming results. His reporting earned him dozens of honors and accolades including Edward R. Murrow Awards and New York State Emmys.
Brown had joined the station back in 1982 and then went to work for then County Executive Dennis Gorski as his spokesperson. He later returned to WGRZ-TV in the in the early 2000’s and had been with the station since. In November of 2014, Brown went on medical leave from the station and returned in June of 2015 in a part-time capacity. The WEBR-AM alum was a graduate of Buffalo State College, where he studied political science and communications, according to the article from WGRZ’s website.
Brown was also recently nominated for 4 New York State Emmy Awards, which will be awarded in the beginning of May.
There has been no word on whether funeral services will be made public for Brown.
WGRZ-TV announced yesterday that longtime evening anchor Scott Levin will be leaving the NBC affiliate on May 24, 2017 after spending nearly 20 years with the station. He joined back in the fall of 1998, when the station was picking up the lowest ratings in the market, and has been part of the turnaround for WGRZ-TV alongside Maryalice Demler at the anchor desk in recent years.
In an interview with the Buffalo News, Levin noted he wants to spend more time with family but also wants to capitalize on his interest in the business world. He will be starting with the West Herr Automotive Group in a management position. In a post on Facebook, West Herr President and CEO Scott Bieler said, “West Herr is extremely humbled and grateful that he has decided to continue his career in Buffalo with our company.”
WGRZ-TV has not announced any future plans of who may replace Levin at the anchor desk.
The interim tag is no more now that Lisa Polster has officially been named News Director at WIVB-TV by General Manager Dominic Mancuso. She had been the Interim News Director after Scott Levy left the station in August 2016.
Polster, a Western New York native and Buffalo State College graduate, started working at WKBW-TV in 2002 until 2006 with various roles like assignment editor and producer. She then returned to Western New York in June of 2009 as an executive producer and rose through the ranks to eventually become News Director in January of 2014. She left that position in June 2015 and went to cross town rival WIVB-TV as the Executive Producer of “Wake Up!” She had previously worked in Paducah and Baltimore.
Following Jon Summers’ retirement, WKBW-TV has announced the Courtney Corbetta will be taking over on a full-time basis on AM Buffalo as a multi-media journalist. Corbetta will also fill in for Pellegrino when she is on vacation.
Corbetta is originally from Lewiston and attended Niagara University where she majored in Communications with a double minor in Theatre and Dance. She had joined AM Buffalo in April 2016 as a part-time feature reporter and also picked up duties hosting “Your Home, Your Way.”
As we begin March, there have been a few changes to the staffing behind the camera.
Nate Benson from WGRZ-TV is leaving after more than 3 years with the station. Benson worked overnights as a photographer and editor and then added the title of reporter to his credits in covering breaking news. He also worked on reports for part of the “Innovate WNY’ series and investigated topics like 3D-printing, earthquake engineering, and how ice cream is developed at Perry’s. Before joining WGRZ-TV, Benson worked at WBBZ-TV as a technical director and producer and he’s a graduate of the University at Buffalo. He is leaving the broadcasting business and headed for a position with 43 North.
Producer, photographer, and photojournalist, Jim Gibbons has also left WGRZ-TV after coming to the station in 2015. He joins former News Director Jeff Woodard’s staff at the State University of New York at Fredonia as a photographer/editor in the Department of Marketing and Communications. In his time before coming to WGRZ-TV, he spent five years as photographer for Time Warner Cable News Syracuse and also worked with News 10 Now. Gibbons is a graduate of Lyndon State College.
Following the departure of photogrpaher Jim Herr, WKBW-TV has added Rob Neves as an overnight photographer. The Fredonia graduate came to the station from FOX46 Charlotte (WJZY-TV), where he served as an audio engineer. He also worked at WPTZ-TV in Plattsburgh before the stint in Charlotte. He began his position with WKBW-TV in February of 2017.