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Scott Brown returns to Ch.2; Ch.7's morning newscast hits new low

Award-winning Channel 2 reporter Scott Brown returned to work Monday on a part-time basis after about eight months off to deal with a medical issue.

“I have been dealing with some health issues since last fall but I am feeling much better and am happy to be back at work,” said Brown.

Brown added that the station has been “very supportive of me and I appreciate that. I expect to be on the air in the near future.”

The lengthy absence of Brown from Channel 2 News has been one of the most asked questions in recent months.

It also has been unanswerable until now.

Brown is a very private person and Channel 2 has been unable to discuss the reason for his absence because of federal HIPAA Privacy Rules.

"Regardless of HIPAA, we would not comment on an employee's personal health situation," said Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner.

If Channel 7’s owner, The E.W. Scripps Company, isn’t convinced that it needs to make some changes to its weather-centric morning newscast, this might get its attention and change things: Last Friday, Time Warner Cable News had a higher rating than Channel 7 from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and it is only in about half of WNY homes. TWCN averaged a 0.9 rating, Channel 7 a 0.8. In other words, Channel 7 went from its usual third place in the market to fourth place.

Here’s more information on WBFO’s seven first-place wins in the New York State Associated Press Association's annual news awards competition on Saturday in Saratoga Springs. N.Y.

The public broadcasting station earned the top radio award – the Steve Flanders Award – that it had shared in 2014 with an Oswego station and had won twice before on its own.

WBFO’s staff also was awarded two first-place awards for its coverage of the November snowstorm.

Reporter Eileen Buckley had a big night. She, Jay Moran and John Grant won for best new series for “If Our Water Could Talk,” and Buckley won individual awards for best interview (with Paul Stookey of “Peter, Paul & Mary”) and best enterprise reporting for “Most At-Risk Teens." She also became a seven-time recipient of the Art Athens Award for general excellence of individual reporting.

The station’s staff also won first-place for best website/digital platforms.

apergament@buffnews.com

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