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Catching up with Kanani, Igoe

Buffalonians like to keep tabs on our television news personalities even after they move to another job market. That's why from time to time we'll give you an update on some of those familiar faces with unforgettable names.

When Bazi Kanani landed at WGRZ-TV in spring 2002, she jumped from weekend anchor to 5 p.m. co-anchor within a month. Kanani lasted in Buffalo for about a year before leaving for KUSA-TV in Denver. While in Denver, Kanani's interest in African affairs – Kanani's father was born in Tanzania – led to documentaries including the Emmy Award-winning "My Africa" (2007), which chronicled family stories she discovered while visiting East Africa, and "Reaching Rwanda" (2008), which reported on recovery efforts in Colorado following the Rwanda genocide. "Reaching Rwanda" won an Associated Press award and a regional Edward R. Murrow award.

Kanani's appearance on Denver TV would lead former Orchard Park resident Tom Kocialski to send us this email: "We moved to [Centennial] Denver in 2004. We were pleased to see former Buffalo news anchor Bazi Kanani here as a weekend (and occasional weekday) evening anchor on Channel 9, KUSA."

In November 2011, after eight years with KUSA, Kanani joined ABC News. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, she now reports on Africa for ABC News TV, radio and online.

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Former WGRZ-TV consumer reporter Mike Igoe left the station in January 2009. He taught communications at Buffalo State College for three semesters, but in September 2010 Igoe moved to China to teach at United International College in Zhuhai, an English-speaking college about an hour from Hong Kong.

"I've taught at the college four semesters now," Igoe wrote in an email. "I teach primarily broadcast journalism courses, but I also teach media law. It's VERY interesting teaching that in a Communist country."

Recently, Igoe invited Christopher Gallant of Hilbert College to guest lecture. The assistant professor of digital media and communication addressed Igoe's class via Skype.

Igoe, 59, has accepted another two-year contract with the college.

Meanwhile, he has grown accustomed to eating duck, which he said is as common in China as chicken is in the United States; turkey remains a rarity. Last Thanksgiving, he celebrated at a Holiday Inn in Zhuhai.

"Before I accepted this job I did a lot of soul-searching," he wrote. "Yes, I wanted to cover China as a journalist, but teaching and living here would be a far different experience. I said to myself if I did not at least TRY, I'd always wonder, ‘What if?' for the rest of my life."

Next week, Igoe plans to return to Buffalo for a summer visit.

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Andrew Siff, the television reporter who worked at WKBW-TV from 1996 to 2001, joined WNBC-TV in New York in May 2004. In between, he worked at NY1, Time Warner Cable's 24-hour news channel.

At WNBC, Channel 4, Siff's highlights include interviews with Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards during the 2008 campaign.

A native of New York, Siff lives in the city with his wife, Dawn, according to the station website. In 2004, Siff the actor played a TV anchor on an episode of HBO's "The Sopranos."

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@Body copy rag:Bridget Blythe, former reporter, co-anchor and producer at WKBW-TV, worked at the station from August 2005 to October 2010.

She is now working at New England Cable News, a regional 24-hour cable news television network based in Boston. Blythe, a native of Saratoga County, joined NECN in January 2011. She co-anchors "The Morning Show" and "NECN Midday."

Her career began in Albany as a multimedia journalist at Capital News 9/YNN.

Blythe lives outside Boston with her fiance.

email:?jkwiatkowski@buffnews.com