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WGRZ hires new sports reporter-anchor; Catalon, Lofton work Bills-Browns Sunday

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Lindsey Moppert

Lindsey Moppert, a May 2022 graduate of Temple’s college of media and communication with a degree in journalism, started at WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) this week.

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The newest sports reporter-anchor at WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) sports team graduated from Temple University only six months ago.

Lindsey Moppert, a May 2022 graduate of Temple’s college of media and communication with a degree in journalism, started at the station this week.

During college, she covered several Temple teams and was a sideline reporter for the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Temple, Drexel University and Lafayette College.

She joins a sports staff of veteran sports director Adam Benigni and anchor-reporter Julianne Pelusi.

It is unusual for someone to be given such a visible on-air role so quickly after college graduation, but not unprecedented.

WKBW-TV (Channel 7) hired former sports anchor-reporter Adam Unger right out of Syracuse University.

On the other hand, Pelusi arrived two years ago after being a sports weekend anchor-reporter at the NBC/Fox affiliate in Steubenville-Wheeling for close to six years,

Channel 2 General Manager Mark Manders explained what distinguished Moppert to be hired without any full-time local TV news experience in another market.

“What stood out about Lindsey, was her natural multi-platform approach to storytelling,” Manders wrote in an email. “Her comfort across all platforms was impressive and she will be a great addition to our already strong sports department.”

Moppert announced her hiring on Twitter with a photo of her in a Buffalo Bills shirt with this message: “Sporting my Bills & Sabres BLUE because I’m headed up to Buffalo! So excited to be WGRZ’s newest anchor and reporter.”

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It makes one wonder about what they teach at Temple’s journalism school.

However, wearing clothing of teams that sports reporters and anchors are about to cover seems to be the way they announce their new jobs these days.

Former Channel 2 sports anchor-reporter Ashley Holder announced her hiring in 2020 by wearing a Bills shirt on social media.

That led Mayor Byron Brown to welcome Holder on Twitter and write: “Glad to see you’re already rooting for the @BuffaloBills, #Go Bills!”

As I wrote back then, no sports anchor or reporter in Buffalo should be rooting for the teams they cover.

Moppert is essentially replacing Holder, who left in August after two years “to be closer to family” in Charlotte, N.C.

Brian Chojnacki, who exited recently after announcing on social networks that he wasn’t renewing his contract, was hired in November of 2021 as a temporary replacement for Holder when she was on maternity leave. He stayed on for several months after she returned.

In a social media post, Moppert wrote that she covered Temple’s teams as an anchor-reporter for OwlSports Update, a student-run weekly live sports show since her freshman year, and in her junior year joined another Temple student-run weekly live news show.

“I research, write, shoot and edit all of my packages,” she wrote.

She added she interned with 97.3 ESPN, The Sports Fan Base Network and Phl17 Morning News.

Andrew Catalon, the play-by-play announcer on Bills preseason games, will work alongside former Bills great James Lofton on Sunday’s game with Cleveland carried on local CBS affiliate WIVB-TV (Channel 4).

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TV Critic

Alan Pergament has had a variety of roles at The News since 1970, including as a news and sports reporter. He has been the TV columnist since 1982, with more than year off for good behavior. He is a member of the national Television Critics Association.

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