The success of any new program or newscast has to be judged like a marathon and not a sprint. And I would suspect that Channel 4’s new 4 p.m. newscast will improve with time.
Acknowledging it is a work in progress, I have some observations and advice after watching the inaugural newscast Monday anchored by Orchard Park native and St. Bonaventure University graduate Christy Kern.
First off, tell Kern to slow down when speaking. Perhaps it was because her adrenaline was pumping on her debut, but she was talking very fast. There is no need to hurry up. After all, the station has an hour to tell what can be about five or 10 minutes of news.
Monday’s premiere had some breaking news but was loaded with some recycled national news from the morning, reports from CBS, soft features geared to raising children for the female audience and weather from another fast-talker, Todd Santos.
Lots of weather on a very windy day.
If Don Paul was watching all of Santos’ weather hits, I bet he was glad he retired last week.
There also were so many promos for the upcoming 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts that I felt like I was at a movie theater and had to sit through several previews before the movie began.
There was also some forced happy talk between Kern and reporter Ali Ingersoll after Ingersoll did a report on the changing way young children are learning and whether it is good for them.
After her report was finished, Ingersoll asked Kern: “What was your favorite thing? Building blocks?”
Kern said no, but added “I did like Legos.”
Viewers also learned from some happy talk between the anchor and a promotion for an upcoming report from Luke Moretti that Kern is from Orchard Park. If you didn’t know she was a native Western New Yorker, her accent would have given her away.
The accent of the newscast was on Channel 4’s young female reporters. Kern and Ingersoll are joined by former Time Warner Cable News reporter reporter Angela Christoforos, who had a little stumble reading one of her reports. She has been better than that since joining the station so perhaps it was just nerves. Reporter Dave Greber also arrived late to preview a story about how windy it was Monday on Lake Erie.
News Director Scott Levy has said the newscast is geared to women viewers. He presumably means that it is geared to women viewers who don’t plan on watching the 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. Because if you plan to watch any of those newscasts, there is no need to watch the previews at 4 p.m.
While I expect the newscast to improve with time, I’m not sure that the ratings will improve from Monday’s debut.
The first half-hour averaged a 3.0 rating and the second half hour that anticipated the start of the 5 p.m. newscast had a more impressive 5.0 for a 4.0 average for the hour. The hour newscast was in range of Channel 2’s syndicated program, “Ellen,” which had a 4.4.
That’s impressive. It is certainly more impressive than the content of the newscast.
If Channel 4 can keep up that rating and not turn off viewers of its later newscasts, it could be a strong building block. You could say the station is sort of like playing Legos by connecting its newscasts with an earlier start.
“Airborne” Eddy Dobosiewicz’s return to Channel 7 Monday for a Dyngus Day special alongside Channel 7 meteorologist Autumn Lewandowski was rather uneventful. It was loaded with features about the history of the Polish community and the event.
“Airborne”’ Eddy had a big smile throughout all the live segments, which were marred by the distracting high volume of background noise from people in the tent behind the co-anchors.
The program ended with a man getting down on his knee to propose to his startled girlfriend, with the noise so loud near them that Dobosiewicz didn’t seem to immediately realize what happened. I can't blame him. The woman said yes.
It was no surprise Monday night that Doug Flutie survived the first elimination of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Geraldo Rivera was eliminated and even he appeared to be thankful. "If I didn't get eliminated tonight I would have demanded a recount," he said.
It is a little odd that the program eliminates celebrities on the basis of their previous week’s performance and it is announced on a program after they perform again. Rivera put on a wig Monday night to dance as Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, with a clip his performance almost immediately showing up on CNN. Flutie, who finished in the bottom three on the basis of last week’s performance, was much better Monday and his score of 20 from the three judges should make it easier for him to survive next week.
“Doug Flutie is in the game,” cheered judge Carrie Ann Inaba.
Flutie isn't the only ex-Bill on the reality show circuit. Remember Willis McGahee?
He is scheduled to appear in a new E! series, “Famously Single,” that premieres at 10 p.m. June 14. According to a release, it “exposes the fascinating romantic lives of Hollywood’s most notorious daters.”
The cast includes Brandi Glanville, Pauly D, Aubrey O’Day, Josh Murray, Jessica White, Somaya Reece, Calum Best and McGahee. If you can name more than three of them, you watch too much of E!
Here’s how E! describes the series: “In the all-new series, eight celebrities going through relationship rehab live under one roof in downtown Los Angeles and explore their romantic issues together. Through fun challenges and exercises their fame is stripped away and viewer’s will witness them untangle their most private emotional experiences, ripped straight out of tabloid headlines.
“Of all the privileges that come with fame and fortune, the guarantee of finding true love is not one of them. Throughout the season the celebrities will be tasked with unique yet entertaining exercises led by relationship expert Dr. Darcy Sterling. With 20 years of experience Dr. Darcy has seen and heard it all, and she will guide the stars through this intense process in individual and group examinations of love in the limelight.
“Forced to be proactive with dating, the group finds themselves looking for love in clubs, bars, tourist hot spots and even within themselves. Something that could have never been predicted happens, feelings evolve quicker than anyone anticipated and romantic connections transpire within the house.”
McGahee is described in the release as “a former NFL player sick of tackling romance rumors. In addition to his 10 years of professional football under his belt, he has eight kids with seven different women. He shares, ‘When a relationship ends it’s normally because I have cheated in the past. The past catches up with you. Being in the NFL, women constantly make moves on you.’”
All I can say is good luck Dr. Darcy.