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Lots of changes in – and on – the air

A recent job posting for a WGR sports talk show host has rekindled the speculation that Howard Simon, the sports station’s morning co-host, is trying to leave to take a job with the University at Buffalo.

However, Greg Ried, the vice president and general manager for all Entercom stations in Buffalo, had this to say about the job posting: “We are thinking of adding additional hours of local talk to both WGR and WBEN at some point in the future.”

In August, when the speculation first surfaced about Simon leaving, Ried said that Simon was under contract. The sports host has been with the station for 11 years and has had several other radio stops in the market.

According to a website that focuses on radio,, WGR program director Allan Davis said the job is for a sports opening at WGR.

His ideal candidate,” wrote the website, “would have three to five years’ sports talk experience with a deep knowledge of sports and the business behind it, plus a strong list of sports contacts, excellent writing and social media skills, and should work well on a team and be reliable and disciplined.”

That certainly sounds like the person hired would have an important role and wouldn’t come cheap.

WGR has a pretty full sports programming roster, partly due to its associations with the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills. Additionally, radio groups aren’t known to throw around money for extra hires. So it is only natural that some people in the media are speculating that Simon still may be leaving – to use Ried’s words – “at some point in the future.”

Reached via email, Simon declined comment, as he has done throughout the speculation that he might leave WGR.

According to sources, UB is looking to expand its sports-related coverage and presence and is looking for someone with Simon’s skills to do so.


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

Ali Touhey, who was a reporter and anchor at WROC-TV for several years before taking a political job, 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.

Touhey was 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, and graduate of SUNY Geneseo, Touhey worked in Binghamton before coming to Rochester.

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


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.