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Beard's return, Raguse's replacement and more "Empire" news

Inquiring minds want to know: Who will replace Lou Raguse as Channel 4’s weekend anchor now that he has exited the station with his wife, reporter Emily Guggenmos?

Channel 4 News Director Scott Levy said that Nalina Shapiro and Jordan Williams will be filling in this weekend.

It has been a busy week for Shapiro, who also has been filling in for Jacquie Walker on weekday newscasts.

Levy added that the future is uncertain on weekends and the station will be going week to week before deciding who is going to permanently replace Raguse.

By the way, Channel 4’s plans to eliminate the traditional sportscast at 6 p.m. are expected to be visible on Monday. They’ve kept the sportscast during this week’s busy sports news.

Inquiring minds also want to know: Where has “Daybreak” co-anchor John Beard been for the last few weeks?

As I’ve written before, Beard gets a lot of time off under terms of his Channel 2 contract.

He will be back on Monday.

And what has he been doing since the end of the February sweeps?

“Went to LA for a while,” he texted me. “Rest of the time I spent between doing my taxes and looking in the mirror.”

Funny guy.

I couldn’t resist asking him if he liked what he saw in the mirror.

“Depends on the lighting,” cracked Beard.

In his next career, Beard should be writing for Jimmy Fallon.

Fox’s “Empire” remains red hot, with Wednesday’s action-packed, penultimate episode of the season the highest-rated program of the night in Western New York, earning a 7.3 live rating on WUTV.

It had the benefit of this season's highest-rated episode of “American Idol” as its lead-in. "Idol" had a 7.0 live rating.

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