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Jacquie Walker plans anchor return Monday; Russo decision coming soon

Channel 4 anchor Jacquie Walker plans to return to work on Monday, almost six weeks after she announced she was being treated for early stage breast cancer.

Walker plans to co-anchor her regular shifts in the early evening and at 11 p.m.

She told the station’s staff on Nov. 17 that she was being treated at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and expected to return to work in a few weeks.

On Tuesday, she informed the station about her plans to return to work.

In an email response to Talkin’ TV, Walker wrote: “I look forward to getting back to work in the New Year and thanking my Channel 4 coworkers and viewers for their tremendous support. I return very grateful for the excellent care I have received and will continue to receive at Roswell Park.”

In her absence, Nalina Shapiro has been the primary fill-in for Walker alongside Don Postles.

Now that the Buffalo Bills season is over, it shouldn’t be long before Channel 7’s Jeff Russo decides whether to make the switch from sports anchor to news anchor at the station. Russo, who had a tryout a few weeks ago, is expected to make the move unless there is a last-minute snag. If he does make the move, there would be an opening in the Channel 7 sports department that could be attractive to members of the local media. The last time Channel 7 had a sports opening I recommended it hire WGR's Joe Buscaglia, who covers the Bills for the station. He has seen been doing freelance work for Channel 2.

If you are thinking of dumping Time Warner Cable’s after its announced price hikes and heading to DirecTV, be advised that the satellite service reportedly also has a price hike coming to all its programming packages.

According to the national trade publication Variety, the DirecTV price hikes will be effective on Feb.5 and range from 3.5 percent to 6 percent.

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