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State of WIVB after Brecher's arrival, update on World Cup ratings in Buffalo

Nobody asked me but:

WIVB-TV has more important anchor shifts to fill than the weekend slot it just filled by hiring WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) reporter Erica Brecher.

The station still hasn't filled the weekday anchor slots formerly held by Nalina Shapiro, who left more than four months ago. In the interim, Don Postles and Jacquie Walker have added extra shifts at 5:30 and 10 p.m.

It also needs to find a new morning co-anchor after Jordan Williams leaves at the end of the July sweeps. Williams has announced on Facebook that he is becoming the assistant news director at KBMT, his hometown station in Beaumont, Texas.

Brecher was valued at Channel 2, but her former station has a deeper veteran female anchor roster than Channel 4. Channel 4 also has a few more newscasts to fill.

Brecher needed to make the move to a rival station to get a regular anchor shift. She starts at Channel 4 on Aug.1.

Marissa Perlman, who has been the primary weekend nightside anchor since Callan Gray left for a reporter's job in Minneapolis, has signed a new deal to remain a reporter, News Director Lisa Polster said. Perlman, who used to be the weekend morning anchor, also should have opportunities to be a fill-in anchor on weekdays.

I've had a little trouble with lawyers this week. First, attorney Robert Berkun tried to explain to me the difference between an endorsement and a quote in regards to praise attributed to Kevin O'Connell that had been on the law firm's website.

Berkun's explanation made me laugh since the definition of an endorsement is "an act of giving public approval or support to someone or something." In other words, a quote seems to qualify.

Then two other lawyers who I won't name emailed me after the Brecher story. One praised it, but then added "you may want to qualify and/or revisit the statement that non-competes are not enforceable in New York State. As a general rule, non-competes are enforceable in New York State and there is a dangerous misconception for a lot of employees subject to them that they are not enforceable based on things published on the internet that are either incorrect or based on the law of another state."

Another lawyer directed me to a 38-year-old case involving former sportscaster Warner Wolf.

I directed them to an article that showed non-compete clauses have been outlawed in New York State in the broadcast industry for a decade.

"Thanks for sharing," wrote the first lawyer. "I am aware of the unique, and well justified, rules for employees in the media in NY.  My concern was with the blanket statement that seemed to suggest all non-competes are unenforceable in NY, even for non-media employees."

Good point.

The law signed on Aug. 6, 2008, by then-Governor David Paterson was called the “Broadcast Employees Freedom to Work Act.” It prohibited broadcast employers from enforcing non-compete provisions against on-air and off-air employees in broadcasting.

Soccer anyone? Croatia's 2-1 victory over England in extra time Wednesday afternoon in the World Cup semifinals had a 5.3 rating on WUTV (Channel 29).

France's 1-0 win over Belgium in the other semifinal Tuesday afternoon had a 3.7 rating on WUTV. Those ratings are higher than most prime-time entertainment programs earn on the networks during the summer.

President Trump's reality show Monday night in which he announced Brett Kavanaugh was his selection to be the next Supreme Court justice led local viewers of the broadcast stations to find their clickers.

ABC's "The Bachelorette" had a 3.8 rating on WKBW-TV (Channel 7) at 8:45 p.m. The rating dropped to a 2.4 at 9 p.m. when the president started speaking. The program went back up to a 3.4 at 9:15 p.m.

Jason is fourth wheel tonight, killing local suspense on 'The Bachelorette'

Channel 4 (CBS), Channel 2 (NBC) and Channel 29 (Fox) experienced similar declines when the president started talking. Only Channel 2 recovered at 9:15 p.m.

Of course, news junkies had the option of heading over to the cable news networks. And they did.

Fox News was the top-rated station for the announcement and saw its ratings go up from a 2.9 at 8:45 p.m. to a 5.2 at 9 p.m. and to a 6.6 at 9:15 p.m. during the normal hours of Sean Hannity's pro-Trump show.

CNN saw its ratings increase from 0.9 at 8:45 p.m. to a 1.7 at 9 p.m. and dropped to a 1.1 at 9:15 p.m.

MSNBC saw its ratings decline from a 1.1 at 8:45 p.m. to a 0.3 at 9 p.m. and back up to a 1.5 at 9:15 p.m.

Nationally, Fox News also was No. 1 for the announcement.

In anticipation of Monday's episode of "The Bachelorette" in which Jason Tartick takes Becca Kufrin on a hometown date in Buffalo, I reached out to Bennett Graebner, the Buffalo native who is one of the program's showrunners.

Asked how Western New York will look, Graebner replied: "As those of us who hail from the great city of Buffalo surely know, a few minutes of television can’t possibly get across everything that the 716 epitomizes," wrote Graebner.

"However, a date that includes Delaware Park, chicken wings, HarborCenter, and a delightful Buffalo family is a good place to start. And if you look closely, you’ll see a wide variety of shots of Western New York landmarks including City Hall, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, the Peace Bridge, and of course Niagara Falls."

After watching three episodes of the new HBO series starring Amy Adams, "Sharp Objects," I have found it to be a relentlessly depressing but skilled acting and directing exercise. I'm not sure I will continue watching.

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