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Ch.7 changes Sunday morning plans; New NHL All-Star game format a local hit

Five days after announcing its Sunday morning news plans starting Feb. 28, WKBW-TV is changing them.

Presumably after internal discussions and talks with ABC, it has decided against putting ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” directly against NBC’s “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd” and CBS’ “Sunday Morning.” "This Week" is staying at 10 a.m.

It also is keeping “GMA” at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

The changes mean that Channel 7’s new Sunday news programs anchored by Ali Touhey will air at 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., in between ABC’s “Good Morning America.” As a result, Channel 7’s newscast at 9 a.m. will not have any local broadcast news competition.

The Saturday plan starting Feb. 27 remains the same. Channel 7 will air local news at 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., with “Good Morning America” airing at 7 a.m.

Channel 7 General Manager Michael Nurse said the revised Sunday schedule “will allow us to more effectively counter program and offer a four-hour news and information block a little later in the morning when more people are watching television.”

Here’s an interesting sidelight to last week’s announcement that Media General, WIVB-TV's owner, is being purchased by Nexstar.

Timothy Busch, who was general sales manager at WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) from 1993-2000 and worked there and at WGR radio before that, is the executive vice president and co-chief operating officer of Nexstar.

The proposed sale to Nexstar will leave the group with 171 stations. It previously was believed to be interested in WKBW-TV before the E.W. Scripps bought it 18 months ago.

Ratings Time: The more entertaining new 3-on-3 format of the National Hockey League All-Star game was a hit with local TV hockey fans. The game had a 3.6 rating on NBCSN, a 50 percent increase from the 2.4 rating a year ago. A 3.6 rating is about half of what many Buffalo Sabres games get.

The NHL All-Star game also didn’t get half the rating here for the Pro Bowl on ESPN. It had an 8.0 rating Sunday, more than 30 percent higher than the 6.1 a year ago.

Fox’s live presentation of “Grease” had a 7.4 rating Sunday on WUTV, which is much higher than the Fox affiliate usually gets on Sunday. The only network program to beat "Grease" was “60 Minutes” with an 8.1 on Channel 4.




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