When you are on vacation, you start thinking about things you wish you had addressed before. Here is a brief list I compiled on a recent week off:
Why does Channel 7 start its 11 p.m. newscast a minute after its competitors?
It is odd the station gives headlines, goes to a commercial and then starts the news about a minute later. That essentially gives the competition a minute head start.
"We started airing our last news at 11:01 as part of a company-wide experiment to maximize prime inventory," explained WKBW General Manager Michael Nurse. "We have not seen any negative impact on ratings and continue to monitor."
I think it is a horrible idea and its rating impact would be tough to measure. You wonder how many people turn to Channel 2 or 4 at 11 p.m. when Channel 7 delays its newscast by a minute.
What's the chance Channel 4 or 7 will hire Kevin O'Connell?
He said in his recent Channel 2 farewell that he doesn’t plan to retire, so I’m not surprised to hear he has contacted the two stations. But I’d be surprised if they found a meaningful role for him.
Nurse, who already has two weather veterans in Don Paul and Mike Randall, said he has no weather openings. In fact, Paul has been told he is history at Channel 7 at the end of the year and has been looking for another landing spot.
It would be surprising if Channel 4 opted for O'Connell over Paul, who had a long career there. It also would be surprising if O’Connell was willing to work for either station at the salary they would likely pay or the hours they would like him to work. Of course, both stations could use weather fill-ins.
[Read more: Don Paul's contributions to The Buffalo News]
How long will it be before Channel 4 replaces Jordan Williams?
Ideally, the station would want Williams' replacement on "Wake Up!" to be in place by September when the new TV season starts. However, Channel 4 officials have told me they aren't close to naming the replacement.
Channel 4 gave Williams a nicer send-off for five years here more than a week ago than Channel 2 gave O'Connell after 25 years at the station. It showed a lengthy highlight package and station staffers went to Twitter to laud Williams for his news expertise and support of younger staffers.
I especially liked Williams' self-aware speech in which he mentioned that "I am a little bit demanding at times, a little particular." That was his reputation inside the station.
For all the praise Williams deservedly received, he was a little dull for the mornings as an anchor and Channel 4 will be better off finding a more lively replacement.
Is Jeff Slawson Channel 7's new weekend anchor?
He has been anchoring the last few weekends, which made me wonder if it was official. Nurse said Slawson isn't permanent in the position.
"Jeff is handling a beat on WNY development," wrote Nurse. "He is a great local talent with a bright future."
We can agree on that.
Why doesn't Channel 4 find a newscast Kelsey Anderson can anchor?
While watching the Orchard Park native anchor the last two weekends, it was obvious she has a clear voice and is a stronger anchor than other younger anchors at the station. So I can't answer this question.
Since Nalina Shapiro left in March, Channel 4 needs a new anchor at 5:30 and 10 p.m. weekdays. It is conducting a search. Sometimes, you can overlook someone right in front of you. Anderson is worth a long look.
Who was the weatherman attaching the numbers of Bills players to temperatures a few weekends ago?
Nurse explained that was Dave Vogan.
"Dave is our weather and web producer, but is a trained meteorologist,” he added. “He fills in as needed."
He was also needed this past Sunday, when he was markedly improved from the night he gave the temperatures in Bills numbers.
Why hasn't Channel 4 hired Nalina Shapiro's replacement yet?
As I said above, it can take a long time to find anchors. In addition, the longer Channel 4 waits to hire someone, the more money it saves in salary.
Why hasn't Channel 2 hired Jonah Javad's replacement?
See above. It actually is more surprising that Channel 2 hasn't replaced Javad, Shapiro’s fiancé, before the Bills began training camp.
There was no rush to hire Javad's replacement in the spring since the Sabres didn't make the playoffs, and the delay in hiring did save the station some money. In addition, Heather Prusak's on-air presentation has improved so much since she started that she looks more and more like a future star.