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Callan Gray shares laughs in goodbye; Masters soars as Tiger stumbles

WIVB-TV (Channel 4) reporter-anchor Callan Gray exited laughing.

Gray was laughing at comments by meteorologist Andrew Baglini before and after a brief goodbye speech at the end of the 11 p.m. Sunday newscast in which she thanked viewers for watching on weekends and added it "has been a wonderful three years here."

Baglini first got Gray to laugh with an off-the-air remark before she said goodbye. She also laughed when Baglini gave brief heartfelt remarks on the air praising her as a journalist, friend and co-worker.

Gray, who has looked and sounded the most energetic and comfortable in the anchor chair in the last few months, didn't tell Channel 4 viewers where she was going, just saying she was "off for a new and exciting adventure."

But after the newscast, in an email message, she confirmed what had been reported here late last week.

"I have accepted a reporting job at KSTP, the ABC affiliate (in Minneapolis)," she wrote. "It has been a pleasure and a privilege to share Western New Yorkers' stories over the past three years. I will take wonderful memories with me as I leave for this exciting new adventure."

Minneapolis is the No. 15 TV market in the country. Buffalo is No. 53.

Gray departs a month after Nalina Shapiro, another high-profile female anchor, left the station. Shapiro took a job outside of TV in Dallas after her boyfriend, former WGRZ-TV sports reporter Jonah Javad, got a job there. Gray had been considered the favorite to take over Shapiro's 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. weekday anchor duties. Now Channel 4 has two anchor openings.

In another romantic twist, Gray's boyfriend, WGRZ-TV reporter Danny Spewak, is expected to leave and join her in Minneapolis after his contract expires in a few months.

TV personalities Shapiro, Javad headed for new adventure in Dallas

*****

Tiger Woods' comeback in the Masters was hardly must-see TV. He was so far back that he was hardly seen during CBS' coverage of the Saturday and Sunday rounds. But the attention he brought to the tournament certainly appeared to help local ratings. Saturday's coverage had a 6.9 rating on Channel 4, up about 40 percent from the 4.8 a year ago.

Sunday's exciting finish in which Patrick Reed won by one stroke over Rickie Fowler and two strokes over Jordan Spieth, had an 11.9 rating on Channel 4, up about 42 percent from a year ago. The final hour of competition averaged a 15.2 rating, the same rating that the premiere of "Roseanne" had locally.

It is hard to tell how much the excitement of the final round and the cold weather outside also played in the ratings gains from a year ago. But the Tiger Effect certainly was in evidence. Imagine what the rating would have been if he had been in contention on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Email: apergament@buffnews.com

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