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Channel 7's new sports reporter has WNY ties; Discovery documentary has WNY angle

The newest member of the WKBW-TV (Channel 7) team is a recent Syracuse University graduate with Western New York ties.

Adam Unger, who graduated from the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications with a bachelor’s in broadcast and digital journalism and a double minor in sports management and Jewish Studies, is filling the Channel 7 roster of sports director Joe Buscaglia.

Buscaglia is leaving the station in late August to work for the Athletic, but he will continue to provide coverage of the Buffalo Bills for the station.

Matt Bove is replacing Buscaglia as sports director on a staff that will include weekend anchor and reporter Jenna Callari and Unger.

According to Channel 7 General Manager Michael Nurse, Unger’s mother and her family are from the Western New York area. Unger, who was born in New Jersey, grew up in Erie, Pa.

Unger is expected to do some sports anchoring, possibly as early as this week. He also is expected to get some time anchoring in July, when Bove will be on his honeymoon and Buscaglia will be covering Bills training camp.

Unger is coming to Channel 7 directly after his graduation to be a sports multimedia journalist (MMJ), which used to be unusual in a market that in the past had required some seasoning in the minor leagues at smaller stations.

He has experience working for ACC Network Extra, interning at Sports Spectrum Ohio and with a Syracuse team in a collegiate baseball league. He was named 2019 Sports Reporter of the Year in 2019 at Newhouse and was active working at the university’s student TV station, Citrus TV.

His hiring is in addition to the four recent Syracuse graduates who were hired by Channel 7 as part of the Journalism Career Program between E.W. Scripps, Channel 7’s owner and the Newhouse School. The program allows Syracuse graduates to work at a Scripps station for a year to get experience as broadcast journalists.

“Adam really stood out from the other candidates to be a great addition to our sports department,” said Nurse in a release. “We continue to be incredibly impressed by the quality of the graduates from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, as evidenced by our Journalism Career Program (JCP) program and now the hiring of Adam.”

“Having the chance to cover the competitive landscape of the Buffalo sports teams is a tremendous opportunity,” said Unger in the same release. “My mother spent time here in WNY as a child and she passed on the love for the area and the passion for the teams and I hope to continue that passion.”

The Discovery Channel has confirmed that an investigation by Frank Parlato, a Buffalo real estate developer and weekly newspaper owner, will be the focus of a documentary, “The Lost Women of NXIUM,” that will air on its Investigation Discovery channel.

Parlato was instrumental in exposing the Albany-based self-help group that many feel is a cult.

A spokesperson for Discovery said the two-hour special had just been greenlit, so there are not many details, but added Parlato’s investigation will be a focus of the special.

Parlato is facing federal charges over his real estate dealings in Niagara Falls.

An Investigation Discovery release stated that the special will premiere in December and was announced “on the heels of the conviction of Keith Raniere for racketeering, sex trafficking and other crimes.”

Here is more from the release: “With layers still unraveling, this urgent and timely special explores what happened to four women who were members of NXIVM who either vanished or died in mysterious circumstances. Mixed in with the official accounts of suicide or illness are contested evidence, allegations of tainted police reports, and after years of investigation, one investigator believes, murder. THE LOST WOMEN OF NXIVM takes viewers deep inside the active investigation to explore what really happened to Kristin Snyder, Gina Hutchinson and other women of NXIVM. Tracking down past members, informants and eyewitnesses, many going on the record for the first time, this two-hour special takes us into new parts of the NXIVM universe and reveals a story far bigger and darker than ever suspected. With unique access to Frank Parlato and his more than 10-year investigation into NXIVM, layered with special testimony from a core of former members speaking on the record for the first time, this special explores how each of the four women have connections to the origins of NXIVM, taking viewers deeper into Keith Raniere’s cult than ever before.

“As the cryptic and chilling details behind NXIVM continue to surface, each revelation is more astonishing than the last,” says Henry Schleiff, group president of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America. “The time has finally arrived for Keith Raniere to be brought to justice, and we at Investigation Discovery think it is also time to help amplify the stories of these women who will not be forgotten.”

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