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Radford follows path of Hall of Famers; Bills ratings up despite team slide

This is what I’m thinking:

Ashley Rowe: Makes Channel 7 anchor debut on Jan.18 (Channel 7 photo)

Ashley Rowe (Channel 7 photo)

The coming decline in WKBW-TV anchor Keith Radford’s duties is in the tradition of what happened to such notable Hall of Famers as Irv Weinstein, Van Miller and Ed Kilgore before they retired.

Radford will continue to anchor at 6 p.m. but be replaced on the 11 p.m. newscast by Jeff Russo in a couple of weeks when Ashley Rowe makes her much-awaited anchor debut. Radford also is trading places with Russo during the 5 p.m. hour. Russo co-anchors at 5 p.m., Radford will go solo at 5:30 p.m.

Weinstein, Miller and Kilgore all dropped the 11 p.m. newscasts in anticipation of their eventually ending their long runs on TV.

It is the best way for stations to handle the transition from veteran anchors to younger ones without upsetting an audience that can be resistant to change.

Radford’s current contract runs out in November, a little after his 65th birthday.

Ali Touhey: New Channel 7 reporter-anchor (Channel 7 photo)

Ali Touhey (Channel 7 photo)

While we are on Channel 7, Ali Touhey started working at the station Monday. She is starting as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor but eventually is expected to anchor morning newscasts on weekends when Channel 7 starts producing them.

Despite a disappointing 8-8 season, the Buffalo Bills were big winners on local TV. The 16 games averaged a 40.6 rating, up about eight percent from the 37.7 average the Bills had in the 2014 season in which they finished 9-7.

In 2015, 10 games averaged more than a 40 rating, led by the 45.2 rating for the loss to New England in the second game of the season. In 2015, only three games hit a rating above a 40.

The lowest-rated game this season was a 33.5 against Washington, carried by WUTV. It ended any chance the Bills would make the playoffs. However, even if the Bills had won that game they wouldn’t have made the playoffs.

Some Buffalo Sabre fans noticed during the team’s 4-3 loss to Detroit Saturday that there were separate announce teams on the radio and TV sides. The Sabres plan to do about 10 games that way this season, which suggests they may be considering doing it for an entire season in the future.

Bob Koshinski, who has held numerous positions in the sports media over the years, has replaced Rich (“Bull”) Gaenzler as the host of the 1270 AM sports show, Monday Press Box, featuring Jerry Sullivan, Bucky Gleason and other members of the Buffalo News sports staff. Koshinski will fill that role until after the Super Bowl. Gaenzler is pretty busy now after replacing Larry Norton as the morning man at 97 Rock.

apergament@buffnews.com

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