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Ch.7 adding new anchor; Fans of Abrams upset at his departure from WBEN

Channel 7 has hired a Rochester anchor and reporter and added a little intrigue with its announcement.

Ali Touhey, a reporter at WROC-TV in Rochester, will join Channel 7 on Jan. 4 to be a reporter and anchor.

Here’s the intrigue. General Manager Mike Nurse didn’t say exactly where Touhey will anchor. He did say it would likely be on the weekend and added that the station isn’t replacing anyone on staff.

Channel 7 noted that Touhey had been a morning anchor in Rochester, which suggests she might be coming here to anchor a new weekend morning newscast on Channel 7. The ABC affiliate is currently the only local news department not to have an early morning newscast on the weekend.

A native of Endwell, N.Y. and graduate of Geneseo State College, Touhey worked in Binghamton before coming to Rochester.

She left television news in 2011 to become the chief of staff for New York State Assemblyman Sean Hanna before returning to WROC in 2013.

Inquiring minds want to know: Why did AccuWeather meteorologist Elliot Abrams and his dry sense of humor leave WBEN-AM?

To the regret of his many fans in the area, Abrams was found to be expendable after more than two decades on the station because Channel 7 and the radio station went into a partnership that led to Channel 7 meteorologist Andy Parker filling the weather role.

The deal works for both stations. It gives Channel 7, which had a deal with another station group to provide taped weather segments, more promotion on the area’s top radio news station and a chance to do live weather segments. It gives WBEN a local weather presence. AccuWeather is located in State College, Pa.

“We made a decision to go with 7 First Alert weather to get a more comprehensive in-market approach to our weather with a proven top-echelon local personality,” said Greg Ried, vice president and general manager of all local Entercom stations. "Andy Parker has been proven to not only be a top-notch meteorologist but has built a close bond with the Western New York audience.”

Ried said it was purely “a better content decision” and didn’t save any money because the station has a barter arrangement with AccuWeather. No money is changing hands between Channel 7 and WBEN, either, according to Nurse.



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