Some updates on two stories from last week:
First up, an update on the new WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) program “Most Buffalo.”
It didn’t have any online tryout episodes last week after all.
However, Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner has confirmed the details in last week’s story about the 4 p.m. show that will compete with WIVB-TV’s 4 p.m. successful newscast starting Wednesday.
Toellner confirmed the news program will be hosted by Kate Welshofer and Maria Genero.
“Our goal is that ‘Most Buffalo’ will not look or feel like any other news show we produce or the market has seen,” wrote Toellner in an email. “It will serve up a new and innovative news format to our viewers and social community. We hope it attracts loyal, occasional and even new, local news viewers.”
“We are dedicated to creating an innovative news program that gives viewers everything they need while surprising them with things they may not expect,” wrote Welshofer. “The region has experienced such a renewed sense of energy and vitality and ‘Most Buffalo’ is in a unique position to, truly, make the most of it. Personally, this is a wonderfully exciting challenge and I am really looking forward to connecting with our audience in a whole new way."
The success of the program would seem to ride on whether viewers embrace Welshofer in larger doses than she has been seen in her roles as an anchor and a comic feature reporter since arriving at Channel 2 more than a year ago after 20 years in cable news in Rochester and Albany.
Toellner seems confident that the pairing of Welshofer and Genero, who are Western New York natives, will work.
“Since she returned over a year ago, viewers have passionately embraced the special talents and unique perspectives that Kate has brought to our shows and digital products,” wrote Toellner. “Maria, well what more needs to be said. Buffalo has loved her charm and distinctive forecasts for decades! The strategy here is expanding our marke- leading local news reach but with something unique, relevant and additive to our viewers lives.”
He said the program won’t have sponsored content or segments like those that appear on Channel 2’s “WNY Living” and Channel 7’s “AM Buffalo.” But he said the station ”will sell advertiser billboards around weather and different features like all newscasts do but all content is generated or cultivated by our news staff.”
Welshofer and Genero are expected to be joined by other Channel 2 staffers and “Most Buffalo” is expected to evolve as the weeks go by.
The move to local programming is somewhat of a risk.
The popular daytime talk show “Ellen” has been giving the station a decent news lead-in for the 5 p.m. news. “Ellen” is now moving to 3 p.m., with the former occupant in the time slot, “Dr. Phil,” moving to 2 p.m.
Channel 2’s strategy may be taking into account that Ellen DeGeneres’ syndication deal expires in 16 months and there is no guarantee that she will continue beyond that.
And if DeGeneres does continue, her new deal could mean she will get more time off, which means there will be more reruns that get lower ratings.
Now on to an update of Friday’s visit by "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor to his hometown.
Glor charmed a Buffalo Club audience Friday with a speech about journalism values and with his sense of humor during a question-and-answer period in which his role was likened to that of James Bond (he loved that) and he was asked if he loses sleep over Brexit (he does not).
“These are chaotic times,” said Glor in his speech delivered at separate appearances at the Buffalo Club and the Tonawanda Library. “In politics. In journalism. On ice for the Sabres.”
The Sabres line got a big laugh.
Acknowledging that the way people get their news has changed because of technology, Glor added how information is gathered and reported has not.
“Our broadcast evolves, but standards don’t,” he added. “Whether it’s a ridiculously busy news day or a frustratingly slow one, we seek information, and the right way to report it. Our specialty is not opinion. It’s facts and context and storytelling. The hallmarks of great journalism. Always have been. Always will be.
“There’s a reassuring, calming simplicity in that. We compile lots of information, from all over the world, and then work to clear through the clutter. No matter what city, state or country it comes from. Information, facts, on-the-ground accounts. That’s what matters. Talking to people. Getting it direct. We investigate and examine. You may not like the report that emerges, but I believe most reasonable people respect it. We are not in the business of advocating for agendas other than the truth, and what’s fair.”
Glor got another big laugh when he explained why he decided to change from a pre-dentistry major at Syracuse University to become a journalism major.
“I took my first chemistry course and said, ‘NO. WAY,' ” said Glor to laughter.
He got his start in TV at a Syracuse station, worked six years there and four years in Boston before landing at CBS, where he has now been for 12 years.
“It’s been a wild, daunting, nonstop, unforgettable ride,” said Glor. “I say thanks every day for it. No day is the same. It’s a blessing.”
Then Glor gave some Buffalove.
“Of course, none of it would have happened without Buffalo. This is where I grew up; it shaped me, will always define me. My kids have not been raised here, but they have Buffalo blood. That’s what my wife calls it.
“What is Buffalo blood? On one level, it means when (his son) Jack goes sledding in 15-degree weather he wants to go in a T-shirt and shorts. We add layers, he keeps shedding. But, seriously, on a larger level, Buffalo blood, I think, is a unique blend of blue-collar strength and persistence. It’s a chip on the shoulder – a good one. An underdog mentality that never lets you get too comfortable. It lets you push back against the bully, but never become one.
“Buffalo blood serves people well in this business in particular. You constantly have to ask questions, push, wonder. If you are not open to changing, adjusting and resetting, it doesn’t work. You start a story not because you know what it’s going to look like in the end. You start a story because you don’t …”
“Of course, I always want to put a spotlight on Buffalo. Where you come from and who you spend time with is everything. We are trying to tell your story, and America’s. We are trying to reveal the nation to friends and neighbors, and itself, every night. It’s a long road with bumps and detours and unexpected diversions, but then long stretches of open road and sun. Keep pushing. Keep fighting. That’s what we try to do every night.”
While he was here, Glor put the spotlight on the Buffalo singing policemen, Michael Norwood Jr. and Mo Badger, who appeared last week on “Ellen.” Glor said the interview he did with them may appear on the newscast as early as this week.