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A new 'adventure' sub-channel premieres; UB grad gets Super assignment

This is what I'm thinking:

Some alert readers have noted that an additional sub-channel has joined the WGRZ lineup.

The channel Quest, described as a "new multicast adventure and exploration network," has had a soft launch and will have its formal launch on Monday. Channel 2's owner, TEGNA, has a minority ownership stake.

According to Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner, viewers may need to re-scan their channels if they do not have a box for any set. Quest is on digital Channel 2.4.

According to a release, "Quest will capture the wonder, imagination and excitement of the natural and man-made world and features shows about natural history, engineering and science, as well as military history and man’s greatest achievements. The only broadly distributed factual-entertainment multicast network, Quest will show how the world really works and will not only entertain but will inform and educate viewers as well."

Wow. Sounds like its programs belong on PBS.

NBC's Liam McHugh, a University at Buffalo graduate who holds a master's degree from Syracuse University, is one of the beneficiaries of the decision to not have Bob Costas host the network's coverage of the Super Bowl Feb. 4.

McHugh, who may be most familiar to area hockey fans for his work on cable's NBC Sports Network, will host the Super Bowl with Dan Patrick.

Costas had been announced as the host months ago, with his removal sparking speculation it might have been caused by his comments about concussions and brain injuries that result from playing the sport.

However, a NBC spokesman released a statement giving another cause for the switch: "Dan and Liam have served as hosts for our NFL pregame/studio shows on Sunday nights and Thursday nights, respectively, throughout the season and will continue on Super Bowl Sunday."

Costas released a similar statement, saying Patrick and McHugh deserved the assignment.

After one week, the only way to go is up for Channel 4's newscast at 6:30 p.m. on sister station WNLO-TV (Channel 23).

Last Wednesday – the night after I wrote about the dreadful ratings for the first two days of the newscast co-anchored by Dave Greber and Christy Kern – it actually hit a 2 rating, suggesting viewers had found it.

But it was back to a 0.0 – a zero – on Thursday and a 0.4 on Friday.

For the week, it averaged a 0.6, which has to be a disappointment to Channel 4 management after the resources it has put into it.

At the start of its second week on Monday, the newscast had a slightly more encouraging 1.4 rating.

It takes time for a new program to build an audience, especially on a low-rated station like CW 23, which doesn't give the newscast a decent lead-in.

So it will be given time to grow in that time slot before Channel 4 would consider moving it, perhaps to 7 p.m.

On a brighter ratings note for Channel 4, the 36.4 rating for New England's 24-20 victory over Jacksonville in Sunday's AFC title game placed it fourth nationally among CBS affiliates. It was No. 1 among stations outside the markets of the participating teams – Boston (49.5 rating), Jacksonville (47.6) and Providence (38.5), which is within New England's territory.

Radio News: The Northtowns will be able to hear WECK much better this spring after the FCC granted the station the frequency of 100.5 FM, which will serve that part of Western New York. The station is covered in the metro area by the AM signal and in the Southtowns by 102.9 FM. Station owner Buddy Shula said the new frequency could be up and running in late spring.

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