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Commentary

At Channel 2, Ewing recovering from surgery and Demler changes mind on coronavirus

Alan Pergament

Notes from the cutting room floor, with some new information added:

Inquiring minds want to know: Where is WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) weekend anchor Claudine Ewing?

She hasn’t been anchoring the weekend news or been on the air since March 8.

Ewing is off for several weeks, recovering from major foot surgery. Main anchors Scott Levin and Maryalice Demler worked last weekend’s newscasts on separate nights.

The importance of the news during the coronavirus pandemic made it a good time for Channel 2 to showcase its primary anchors. But I’m told Ewing would have anchored if she had been able to work.

Speaking of Demler, I was surprised to hear her admit to co-anchor Michael Wooten on the station's more relaxed and informative 5:30 p.m. Monday newscast that she was “one of the early deniers” of the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic and originally thought it was much ado about nothing. She added she was “so terribly wrong.”

Demler’s admittance that she was an early denier made you think she had been watching too much Fox News. Her network newscast, the “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” and the ABC and CBS national newscasts, have always taken the outbreak seriously.

Local and network news ratings surge. Prime-time network viewing here? Not so much

With all sports on hold, it would seem that there is little reason for Channel 2 to rush its search to replace sports-anchor-reporter Heather Prusak, who is joining WIVB-TV (Channel 4) next month.

After all, WKBW-TV (Channel 7) is using sports reporter-anchor Jenna Callari as a news reporter because sports has been shut down locally and nationwide. Smart move.

Callari posted a video on Twitter several days ago saying she hates doing news. However, she is doing a good job as a news reporter. Perhaps the video was supposed to be humorous.

But back to Channel 2 sports. I’m hearing that Kevin Sylvester, a former pregame and intermission host on MSG for Buffalo Sabres games, is under consideration for Prusak’s job if he wants full-time work. Sylvester has multiple media roles.

He already is working at Channel 2 as the host of the Saturday morning program “WNY Living.” Sylvester took over that role last fall from Janet Snyder, who has been broadcasting her morning radio program on WKSE-FM from her fiance’s home in New England for a few weeks each month since December.

Sports isn’t the only area where adjustments can be made because of the pandemic. I would think Channel 2’s “Daybreak” could cut out the traffic reports since so few people are on their way to work or school in the morning these days. I can't envision there being any traffic jams now.

email: apergament@buffnews.com

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