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WGRZ's sweeps series on teens is misleading

This is what I'm thinking:

WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) co-anchor Maryalice Demler introduced Wednesday's segment of the series "If My Parents Only Knew" by saying "this week we've asked teenagers" about issues concerning them.

Demler and co-anchor Scott Levin repeatedly said things introducing the series like "as we continue our series" and "we sit with parents and teenagers" and "our series" in their introductions.

By "we've," "our" and "we," the co-anchors didn't mean Channel 2. They meant other stations in the Tegna family of stations besides Channel 2.

There was no Buffalo component in the series this time, which may explain why no one talking was identified in a graphic.

If Channel 2's viewers only knew or were told, it would be better for everybody. There is nothing wrong with using material from other Tegna stations in the same way Channel 2 carries stories from the network it is affiliated with, NBC, but these introductions make it seem like it was Channel 2's work.

The practice is misleading at the very least.

It isn't the first time Channel 2 has done this with the periodic Tegna series "If My Parents Only Knew."

If there is a next time, ideally the station would introduce each segment by identifying it as a Tegna series that should have resonance in Buffalo.

Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner explained that the series is "what we refer to as a silver platter series from Tegna. It was created to run with little modification. The idea is for Tegna to take a universal topic and highly produce a series of pieces that would be valuable to viewers around the country.  It is not compulsory for us to air it but it so well done and it gets such great response that we promote and give prime real estate to it."

"This is all part of our goal to bring more unique, quality content to our viewers that they won’t see anywhere else," added Toellner.

That's except if you are on vacation and see the series on another Tegna station in a different TV market, as I did.


Regular readers know I get very afraid that a reality show will have a contestant from Western New York because it means I'll probably have to watch it.

But I received a new definition of horror when I learned that a former Western New Yorker, Shannon Kulpa, is one of nine contestants on the dangerous-looking Discovery Channel series, "Naked and Afraid: XL."

The third episode airs at 10 p.m. Sunday. In an interview, Kulpa told me the fourth episode is must-see.

Silver Creek graduate Shannon Kulpa in the Discovery Channel show "Naked and Afraid." (via Discovery)

I watched the first episode and immediately started itching as Kulpa and the other contestants were in the Amazon, braving tarantulas, mosquitoes, spiders, snakes and all sorts of predators.

I imagine that Channel 2's Patrick Hammer, who recently was frightened by a spider in a clip that went viral, would be even more horrified than I was watching the program.

In short, Kulpa was naked, I was afraid for her.

Don't be fooled by the title: This isn't a salacious series. The contestants are naked, but their private parts are blurred out.

Kulpa is identified as a stone mason from Ogden, Utah. But she grew up in Sheridan in the Southern Tier and graduated from Silver Creek High School, where she remembers being voted most likely to succeed in her senior class.

I'm not sure if appearing on "Naked and Afraid" is the success her classmates were expecting but she sure is getting national exposure in more ways than one.


I'm not the only one who believes the layoffs at ESPN might have a trickle-down effect. Many local sportscasters nationally aspire to join ESPN after a few years at affiliates. That avenue for sportscasters – I could see Channel 4's Tom Martin and Channel 2's Jonah Javad as eventual candidates -- may be closed for the time being and even look less appealing now that the sports network is letting strong reporters and anchors leave. I was shocked at the departure of college basketball reporter Andy Katz and NFL reporter Ed Werder. Some cable and satellite subscribers may be just as shocked to learn that they pay several dollars a month for the ESPN channels in their bills even if they don't watch them.


It's been around a year but one of my favorite advertisements is the one for Snapple set in the 19th century that has someone reading a telegraph message and declaring a prince left everyone in the room a fortune as long as they give their social security number. I laugh every time one of the "winners" in the country's first spam declares "horses for everyone."


Inquiring minds want to know: How did the Lifetime movie, "New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell," do locally in the ratings? It had about a 2.5 live local rating, which is decent by Lifetime standards and is even higher than some broadcast network programs get during the week.


Sports talker Doug Gottlieb's recent move from CBS Sports Radio to Fox Sports Radio means he is being silenced in Western New York. Sports Radio 1270 is a CBS Sports radio affiliate and carries all of its sports talk programs except Jim Rome, which is carried by ESPN 1520 locally. The only Fox program carried on 1270 is the Colin Cowherd Show, which runs opposite Rome. Gottlieb (who subbed for Cowherd Friday) has been replaced by CBS by Tiki (Barber) and (Brandon) Tierney. I prefer Gottlieb, but did enjoy hearing Barber, the former New York Giants star, support the Bills decision last week to decline the fifth-year option on injured wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

Speaking of Watkins, the Bills decision to decline the option on their former No. 1 pick that would kick in after this season may amuse drivers on the 190 North who see a billboard with a Bills player wearing No. 14. That's Watkins' number. Of course, Watkins will be a Bill this season. But the billboard choice seems a little strange considering the circumstances surrounding him now.


One of my favorite things about Twitter is its links enable me to see programs I forget to DVR and to see program excerpts before they air. CBS posts nightly links to the opening monologue of "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" hours before the 11:35 p.m. program airs. That often allows me to go to sleep at a reasonable time.





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