The road to local television news often used to be paved through some time working in radio.
The late Irv Weinstein, WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) reporters Claudine Ewing and Dave McKinley and WIVB-TV (Channel 4) reporter George Richert are among those in television who got their start in radio.
But it didn’t take 34 years to make the jump.
That’s what makes the decision by veteran radio reporter Eileen Buckley to move to television after 34 years in radio so unusual.
Buckley is leaving public radio station WBFO to join WKBW-TV (Channel 7) as a senior reporter on March 18. She becomes the second WBFO staffer to leave the station in the last few weeks.
Angelica Morrison began working at WIVB-TV (Channel 4) on Monday.
Channel 7 General Manager Michael Nurse said Buckley, an award-winning radio reporter, will have more freedom to work on stories that are “not necessarily under the daily turn requirement.”
“We also wanted another experienced mentor in the newsroom,” said Nurse.
Ed Reilly, the photographer turned reporter, and feature reporter Mike Randall are the most experienced reporters at the station who don’t anchor newscasts.
Channel 7’s reporting staff primarily consists of some reporters with a few years of TV experience and recent Syracuse University graduates who are part of a program by the station's owner, E.W. Scripps, to develop new reporters for the group.
“I’m very excited about working with the WKBW news team,” Buckley said in an email. “Channel 7 managers were very interested in my many years of reporting experience in the Western New York region and my storytelling ability. Through digital platforms, we are all working as content producers in radio and television. I’m looking forward to a new challenge of putting video with my stories. It is a wonderful opportunity … Like public radio, Scripps is very devoted to journalism and I’m thrilled to bring my skills to the television medium.”
Buckley has worked at 10 radio stations in Buffalo and Albany in various reporting, anchoring and behind-the-scenes managerial capacities.
She most recently has been a senior reporter at WBFO, producing and reporting in-depth features and news stories.
She has been a radio reporter at WBEN, WGR, WNED-AM, WBUF, WECK and WBFO.
Her resume includes multiple awards, notably receiving first-place honors for the prestigious Art Athens Award for General Excellence in Individual Reporting from the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association nine times at WBFO, most recently in 2018.
A spot news story on the “Bullying of Jamie Rodemeyer," earned her a first-place award from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI).
Buckley graduated from Medaille College in 1985 and was awarded the “Distinguished Alumni Award” 12 years later. Holy Angels Academy awarded her the “Distinguished Alumnae Award” in 2001.
Meanwhile, as reported here last week, former Channel 4 meteorologist Kaylee Wendt confirmed on social media on Monday that she is joining Spectrum News.
Channel 4 reporter Marissa Perlman also confirmed that she has exited Channel 4 without saying where she is headed. She is believed to be going to a bigger market in California.
Channel 4 reporter Angela Christoforos recently confirmed in an email that she has left Channel 4.
Reporter Rachele Mongiovi is expected to join the Channel 4 exodus by the end of the month.