Remembering the past... looking toward the future!

Julia Batista

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Alternative Buffalo 107.7 has let go all of their on-air personalities, including program director and afternoon host Nik Rivers, morning DJ Brandi, Kennedy, Axe, and all weekend hosts. The changes came after Entercom announced a nationwide streamlining of country and alternative formats, which has resulted in eliminating more than 30 staffers. The station will be rebranded as “Alt 107.7” and will feature personalities from the Entercom’s alternative station in New York City, WNYL-FM. 

After working for the station for seven years, Rivers does not know what he will do next. His release from Alt Buffalo came six weeks after he and his wife had their first child, according to the Buffalo News. 

“Things don’t always end the way you think they will. Today, I say goodbye to Alternative Buffalo 107.7 after nearly 7 years,” Rivers said via his Facebook. “…I am looking forward to my next adventure….being a father to my amazing little girl, with my rock…my everything Meghan by my side.  I will miss you my #AltFamily.”

In the past, Rivers worked at many other radio stations as a Program Director at WZNE, WFKL, and WZMR. 

Rebecca Thornburg in a red dress standing for a photograph at WKBW-TV

Multimedia journalist Rebecca Thornburg (left) is departing from WKBW-TV (Channel 7) on September 18 after spending two years working for the television station. Thornburg came to Western New York as a participant in the Journalism Career Program through a partnership with E.W. Scripps and Syracuse University. She will be returning to her home state of Massachusetts where she will be working for Boston 25 News in an off-air role as a creative services producer and writer. 

“I have loved my time here in Buffalo and am really going to miss the people. I’m so thankful for the last 2 years telling some awesome stories and exploring all over WNY,” Thornburgsaid in an interview. “WKBW has taught me so much and really helped me grow in so many ways as a journalist. I’ve had a blast!

Graduating in 2018, Thornburg began her career at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University majoring in broadcast journalism. During her academic career, she was able to gain experience from participating in many campus media stations and internship opportunities. 

At WBFO-FM, they are welcoming Buffalo native I’Jaz Eberhardt on board as a weekend anchor. She is currently on her way to getting her MS in data and science analytics after she received her BA in journalism from SUNY Buffalo in 2019. Eberhardt received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence at graduation and participated in the Muriel Howard Honors Program and the Kenzie Scholars Program. Eberhardt is also a former participant in the Buffalo Broadcasters Association’s Student Mentoring Program. 

Eberhardt has experience as a graduate intern at SUNY Buffalo for the Marketing and Communications Department, Senior News Editor and Staff Writer of The Record, and Art and Music Reviewer at BuffaloVibe.

It’s with great sorrow that the Buffalo Broadcasters Association acknowledges the passing of Jean Hill who was a news anchor at WKBW-TV for 12 years before leaving the business. Her most recent role was vice president and senior compliance officer at M&T Bank. According to WKBW-TV, Hill died on Monday after a battle with cancer. 

A native from Newark, N.J., Hill received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia, her master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University, and MBA from SUNY Buffalo. 

Before taking her anchoring role at Buffalo, Hill worked for network affiliate television stations in Georgia and South Carolina. After working in the states, Hill switched to becoming an international correspondent for Beyond Tomorrow, which was a science magazine program. During this time, Hill was granted numerous journalistic awards.

Hill then became an anchor for WKBW and has been remembered for being on television despite her stepping down into a role in corporate communications for M&T Bank in 2001. Although this was her primary occupation, Hill wrote freelance articles and occasionally worked on special projects for Daybreak TV Productions and WNED-TV. 

After taking up her corporate role, Hill began pursuing an Executive MBA (EMBA) at the School of Management at the University of Buffalo, and later received it in 2004. This granted Hill further insight into how to better perform her job at M&T where she was communicating with state and federal regulators to provide information about the Trust Division’s operations. 

Hill also had experience in teaching as she was one of the facilitators of the Executive Communicator program at the University of Buffalo where she assisted C-suite executives understand their roles as representatives. She was also an adjunct professor who taught broadcast copywriting at Buffalo State College, feature writing at Canisius College, and journalism at The Ohio State University. 

Hill was the 2003 recipient of the Urban Financial Services Coalition Herbert W. Whiteman, Jr. National Scholarship, was a Kiplinger Fellow, and in 2018 was appointed by Governor Cuomo to serve as a representative of the news media for the Committee of Open Government. Hill was also a member of the French Alliance of Buffalo and the Buffalo Prep Board of Directors. She also served on several governing boards and committees for not-for-profit organizations and offered her services to both public and private organizations that support the Buffalo/Niagara region.

As the football season starts, WKBW-TV has prepared two new weekly shows to keep you excited and caught up with the Buffalo Bills. Announced on September 4, the first show is called ‘Leading the Charge,’ which starts airing weekly every Friday at 7:30 p.m., premiering on September 11. The second weekly show is called ‘The Point After’ which starts airing weekly every Monday at 7 p.m., premiering on September 14. Both ‘Leading the Charge’ and ‘The Point After’ will air live on WKBW-TV in the Western New York area. 

‘Leading the Charge’ is a pregame, fan-focused show that will excite you, featuring Matthew Bové and the 7 Eyewitness Sports team, who will interview players and coaching staff to give you some insight into their thoughts and plans for current and upcoming matches. Bové, Marcel Louis-Jacques, Jenna Callari, and Adam Unger will also give their score predictions during the show. Just like you, WKBW-TV knows that not being able to attend games is discouraging, so ‘Leading the Charge’ will also include meeting with fans, seeing what your setup of watching the game is like, and providing some fun facts about a player that you don’t know yet. 

“We just want to give fans a reason to be excited because I know there’s a lot of changes that are happening this year,” Bové said in an interview. “So hopefully, this show is a way for fans to connect with the team that they haven’t been able to in the past.”

On the other hand, ‘The Point After’ will be an expert driven show hosted by Bové, John Murphy from the Buffalo Bills, Joe Buscaglia from The Athletic, and Marcel Louis-Jacques from ESPN. To give you some more perspective on how the Bills are performing, this show will be more football focused. The guys will touch on the game that happened the day before, breaking down individual plays, and how the Bills stand when it comes to the next upcoming matchup. 

“The game [is what] everybody in Western New York is talking about the day after it happens on Monday. So we basically want to continue that conversation and bring a couple of different viewpoints from people who’ve been covering the team for a long time,” Bové said. 

Bové also shared his own excitement about the start of the season. 

“I think there are a lot of reasons to be excited about the Bills this year. And I think that’s one of the reasons why we really wanted to make sure there was a show. Because I think fans are craving Bills content and stories and to learn more about their team. I think most of us in western New York think they’re going to be good this year.”