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WGRZ news director abruptly fired

Kate Glover wasn't WGRZ Channel 2's news director long enough to become a household name, but the station's general manager, Jim Toellner, decided Wednesday she was at the station long enough.

A Western New York native who was hired in September, Glover was fired Wednesday after only eight months on the job.

Toellner announced the move in a brief memo to the station in which he wrote Glover is no longer with the company. He named Athan Kompos acting news director after bypassing him – despite his having the support of some Channel 2 staffers – before Glover was hired.

Glover had a tough act to follow in former News Director Jeff Woodard, who was popular with the staff and continued the station's strong news ratings.

She made several moves that upset the staff – including dropping Michael Wooten and Kelly Dudzik from key anchor positions – and saw an exodus of key behind-the-scenes personnel that is continuing.

In case you wondered, Channel 2 anchor Scott Levin's recent departure to work in management for West Herr Automotive Group is believed to be unrelated to working with Glover.

She might have survived if the station had stronger ratings during the May sweeps.

During the 20-day rating period, Channel 2 lost its recent dominance in the 5 p.m. through 6:30 p.m. news block in household ratings to WIVB-TV (Channel 4) and barely held on to its morning victory.

Channel 2 remained No. 1 in the key age 25 to 54 demographic for local stations in all time periods. But even then, Channel 4 has cut the margin of Channel 2's victory in that demo significantly from a year ago at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Reached via email, Glover released this statement: "I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to meet and work with some fantastic people at WGRZ. Even though it did not work out as I anticipated, I wish them all the best.”

Glover is a former reporter and anchor at WGR radio and a former assignment editor at WKBW-TV. Before joining Channel 2, she had been the news director at KOIN, the CBS affiliate in Portland, Ore., for two years after being the assistant news director at the station.

Less than golden NBA ratings: Golden State's 118-113 victory over Cleveland Wednesday in the most competitive of the three NBA Finals games didn't do much to raise interest in WNY. Game 3 of the finals had the same 8.5 rating on WKBW-TV (Channel 7) that the first two games in the series dominated by the Warriors had averaged here. The Finals have had much higher national ratings.

In my review of Monday's episode of "Live with Kelly and Ryan" from Niagara Falls, Ont., I wrote that it played like an hourlong advertisement for the Canadian side of the Falls.

I wasn't wrong.

Here's what was written in an article in the St. Catharines (Ont.) Standard:  "Mayor Jim Diodati said he couldn’t have asked for a better day of promotion for Niagara Falls. He said the $1 million it took to bring the show to the city, which was paid for by the tourism industry, is a “spit in the bucket compared to the returns.”

“The return on investment is through the roof and beyond, especially this time with social media. Social media 11 years ago (when the show was last in Niagara Falls) was not what it is today. That has made it global and instantaneous"

Tuesday's second episode from Niagara Falls had a strong 4.3 rating on Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate. But it didn't win its time period. NBC's "Today" had a 4.5 rating in the hour. The first episode Monday had a 5.1 rating.

During Tuesday's episode, Howie Mandel of "America's Got Talent" told the audience that an episode of the NBC reality show was going to have an incredible performance from a deaf singer who can't hear her own voice.

Sure enough, the Tuesday night performance by Mandy Harvey was saved for the end of the program and led "AGT" judge Simon Cowell to hit the Golden Buzzer that sent her to the live finals.


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