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107.7 is a new alternative for radio listeners; ‘Blacklist’ does well

The WBEN-AM simulcast on 107.7 ended at noon Thursday after two years and the FM station is now back playing music and called itself “Buffalo’s Alternative.”

One of the station’s slogans is “your home for new music discovery.”

Even an old-timer like me recognized the first two songs – The Lumineers’ “Ho, Hey, I Belong with You” and Semisonic’s “Closing Time” (which I’m told is 15 years old).

After that, I was a little lost. But probably not as lost as some people who had gotten used to listening to WBEN on the FM channel.

Entercom Radio officials said the station was stopping the simulcast after research determined that almost all of WBEN’s audience was still listening on the AM station.

According to a release about the switch, Entercom has had success with the format – which also plays music from artists such as Mumford and Son, Muse and fun. – in other markets and research in the Buffalo market concluded listeners wanted an alternative music station.

The radio group said it is launching a national search for a program director for 107.7. The program director for an Entercom station in Portland, Mark Hamilton, was an adviser on the 107.7 launch.

‘Agents’ does well

It is only four days into the new TV season, but the networks are already proclaiming victory for new shows.

Western New York has generally gone along with national trends, though the older audience here tends to favor long-running CBS shows.

For example, WNYers predictably turned to “NCIS” (16.8) on CBS affiliate Channel 4 over ABC’s heavily promoted “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” (7.1) on Channel 7 in the battle of scripted series at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

But that is household ratings and the networks are looking for the age 18-49 demographic that turned to ABC’s “Agents” nationally. “NCIS” is more popular with older viewers.

Interestingly, “Agents” helped the funny 9 p.m. comedy “The Goldbergs” to a promising 7.5 rating on Channel 7, which was well above the routine “Trophy Wife” (5.1) which followed it. The predictable 10 p.m. lottery drama, “Lucky 7,” had a 2.4 rating on Channel 7, which was consistent with how badly it did nationally.

The anemic Tuesday Fox comedy from Seth MacFarlane, “Dads” (2.5), did poorly in its second episode. The critically acclaimed “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (3.0) with Andy Samberg that follows it didn’t do much better, but if those figures hold Fox should flip-flop them soon.

At NBC, the Emmy-winning reality show “The Voice” (10.2) and sophomore series “Chicago Fire” (8.5) had strong Wednesday showings on Channel 2 and they usually do well in key demographics as well.

In the first round of the season’s top one-on-one time slot battle, NBC’s “The Blacklist” (9.4) with James Spader of “Boston Legal” on Channel 2 decisively defeated CBS’ “Hostages” (6.1) with Dylan McDermott of “The Practice” on Channel 4 in Buffalo on Monday night, which was the first official night of the new broadcast TV season. ABC’s aging “Castle” (6.9) on Channel 7 outrated “Hostages” as well.

Nationally, “Castle” was the most-watched 10 p.m. Monday show.