WGRZ-TV

WGRZ-TV

Infobox_Broadcast
call_letters = WGRZ-TV
city =
station_
station_slogan = 2 On Your Side
station_branding = Channel 2 (general)
Channel 2 News (newscasts)
analog = 2 (VHF)
digital = 33 (UHF)
other_chs =
affiliations = NBC
NBC Weather Plus (DT2)
network =
founded =
airdate = August 14, 1954
location = Buffalo, New York
callsign_meaning = WGR (radio station)
Z=2
former_callsigns = WGR-TV (1954–1983)
former_channel_numbers =
owner = Gannett Company, Inc.
licensee = Multimedia Entertainment, Inc.
sister_stations =
former_affiliations = Primary:
NBC (1954–1956)
ABC (1956–1958)
Secondary:
DuMont (1954–1955) [http://www.ellwanger.tv/collect/tvg/eds/old/lo.html]
effective_radiated_power = 93.3 kW (analog)
480 kW (digital)
HAAT = 310.6 m (analog)
295.1 m (digital)
class =
facility_id = 64547
coordinates = coord|42|43|6.6|N|78|33|47.2|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.wgrz.com/ www.wgrz.com]

WGRZ-TV is the NBC affiliate in Buffalo, New York. Its studio is located at 259 Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo, while its transmitter is located at 11526 Warner Hill Road in South Wales, New York. The station is currently owned by Gannett Company, Inc., publisher of the national newspaper "USA Today", and owner of numerous television stations.

The station's newscasts are called "Channel 2 News"; prior to 1998, it was "2 News" and previously "NewsCenter 2". Until July 2005, its partner station for the area was WPXJ-TV (Pax 51).

It is one of four local Buffalo TV stations seen in Canada on the Star Choice satellite service. It is also seen throughout Toronto and much of Southern Ontario on Rogers and Cogeco cable systems.

Rich Kellman (news anchor) and Ed Kilgore (sports) have been staples of "Newscenter 2" since the 1970s. Barry Lillis, the station's weatherman for almost twenty years, left WGRZ in the mid-1990s and is now a priest with the Orthodox-Catholic Church of America.

WGRZ currently offers NBC Weather Plus on its digital signal called "StormTeam 2 WeatherPlus"

History

The station premiered in 1954 as WGR-TV, owned by the WGR Corporation along with WGR-AM 550. It was an NBC affiliate sharing the Barton Street studios of UHF outlet WBUF/Channel 17. In 1955, WBUF, which was silent at the time, was sold to NBC. In January of 1956, WGR became an ABC affiliate after NBC moved its programming to WBUF. WGR switched back to NBC in September of 1958 after NBC shut down the money-bleeding WBUF, although WGR continued to carry a secondary affiliation with ABC for another two months until WKBW-TV/Channel 7 signed on in November of that year. The station also carried programming from the now-defunct DuMont Television Network [http://www.ellwanger.tv/collect/tvg/eds/old/lo.html] .

In 1959, WGR launched an FM radio station, WGR-FM 96.9 (now WGRF). Over the years, WGR Corporation bought several other radio and television stations across the country, including WNEP-TV in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, WHAM-TV in Rochester (the call letters of which Transcontinent would change to WROC-TV) and WDAF-AM/FM/TV in Kansas City, and eventually became known as Transcontinent Broadcasting. Transcontinent merged with Taft Broadcasting in 1964.

In 1983, WGR's callsign changed to WGRZ after it was sold by Taft Broadcasting to General Cinema Corporation, which operated the Coral Television division. Taft gave Coral WGRZ, while in exchange, Taft got Miami's WCIX. (Taft held on to WGR-AM/FM until 1987, when they were sold to Rich Communications. The AM station is now owned by Entercom Communications, while its former FM sister is now owned by Citadel Broadcasting.)

In the years following the 1983 exchange deal, WGRZ changed hands several times. General Cinema exited the broadcasting business by selling Coral Television to WGRZ Acquisition Corp., a partnership between SJL Broadcast Management, TA Associates and Smith Broadcasting, for $56 million in 1986. Native Buffalonian and current Newport Television CEO Sandy DiPasquale also held an ownership stake in WGRZ at this time. Two years later, Tak Communications purchased WGRZ from the SJL-led group for $100 million in 1988. Less than four years later, Tak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1991, and a group of creditors seized the company's assets in 1994. Argyle Television Holdings II, a broadcasting holding company formed by a group of managers who had recently left Argyle I after that company sold all of its stations to New World Communications, purchased the station (and then-sister KITV in Honolulu, Hawaii) from Tak's creditors for $91 million (on WGRZ's end) in 1995. Argyle II closed on WGRZ in April of that year, followed by KITV two months later.

Gannett acquired WGRZ and WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan from Argyle II in a 1996 swap deal (with KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and WLWT in Cincinnati, Ohio going from Gannett to Argyle II). The deal closed in January 1997, seven months prior to Argyle II's merger with the broadcasting unit of the Hearst Corporation to form Hearst-Argyle Television.

In 2000, WGRZ took over the live broadcast rights of the state lottery from its long-time home on WKBW-TV when that station's contract with the lottery ran out.

WGRZ's return to respectability in the ratings began in 2001. In the May ratings "sweeps," the 11pm newscast finished in first place over long time news leaders WKBW-TV and WIVB-TV. It was WGRZ's first ratings win in decades.

In 2006, WGRZ began producing a 10pm newscast for local WB49 (now My TV Buffalo) affiliate WNYO, known as "2 On Your Side at 10" (formally known as "2 News on 49 - 10 at 10", which originally featured 10 minutes of news and the rest dedicated to sports).

WGRZ's newscasts, which have performed a strong second in recent years to rival WIVB, has begun to challenge WIVB's dominance in news ratings, specifically in the 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. newscasts according to Nielsen's May 2007 sweeps data. By July 2007, WGRZ's morning show, "Daybreak", was soundly beating WIVB's morning show in the ratings, likely due to the fact that WGRZ picked up former WIVB reporter Kevin O'Neill, formerly known as "The Why Guy." Channel 2's 11 p.m. newscasts have also returned to the #1 position, and are among the highest-rated in the entire United States. Both WGRZ and WIVB are among the highest rated local stations in the country and the two stations are fiercely competitive.

According to the "Baseball Hall of Shame" book series by Joe and Al Zullo, WGR-TV did not complete the telecast of the game between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 26, 1981. The station went to an Army training film as scheduled at 5 p.m. that afternoon. As a result, local baseball fans missed Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan's record fifth no-hitter.

Logo

In the 1960s, the station used a cartoon elf as part of their logo. In 1983, the "futuristic" logo consisted of two lines, making an outline of the number two. In 1988, the station's logo consisted of simply a large number "2" in a common Avant Garde font, with a yellow triangle over blue added in the early 1990s. In the mid-1990s, the logo changed to a blue-on-red box with the bottom reading "WGRZ-TV Buffalo". The NBC logo is placed to the left of the numeral "2"; however, "NBC" is not mentioned in the station's on-air brand (which is simply "Channel 2").

Historic slogans

*"Your 24 Hour News Station" (early 1990s)
*"NBC in Western New York" (used on station identification)
*"It Takes 2" (1995–1999)
*"On Your Side" (1999 to present)

News reporters and journalists

News Anchors

*Jodi Johnston, co-anchor of Daybreak and Channel 2 News First at 5
*Pete Gallivan, co-anchor of Daybreak and Noon
*Scott Levin, co-anchor of Channel 2 News First at 5, 6, 10, and 11
*Mary Alice Demler, co-anchor of Channel 2 News at 5:30, 6, 10, and 11
*Erika Brason, anchor of Saturday Morning Daybreak
*Marissa Bailey, anchor of Daybreak Sunday
*Ron Plants, anchor of Channel 2 News at 6 and 11 Weekend

ports

*Ed Kilgore, sports director and sports anchor of Channel 2 News at 6, and 11 and co-host of Western New York Sports Zone
*Adam Bengini, sports anchor of Channel 2 at 6 and 11 Weekend and co-host of Western New York Sports Zone
*Matt Pearl, sports reporter and fill-in anchor
*Stu Boyer, sports reporter and fill-in anchor

Weather

*Kevin O'Connell, chief weather anchor of Channel 2 News at 5, 5:30, 6, 10 and 11
*Chesley McNeil, meteorologist of Daybreak and Noon
*Andy Parker, meteorologist and co-anchor of Saturday and Sunday Morning Daybreak and Channel 2 News at 6 and 11 Weekend
*Autumn Lewandowski, full time weather anchor, Saturday night's 6 & 11 and on a fill-in basis (Confirmed by Channel 2)

Reporters

*Rich Kellman, joined in 1972, denoted as the senior correspondent, now working part time
*Mike Igoe, joined in 1989 as the Money Matters Reporter
*Lynne Dixon, joined in 1997
*Mary Friona, joined in 1998, As Seen On TV reporter
*Claudine Ewing, joined in 1999 after leaving News Radio 930-WBEN
*Scott Brown, joined in 2002, former politician
*Liz Vetrano, joined in 2005, now Traffic Tracker 2 Reporter, arrived from ICTV
*Josh Boose, joined in 2006
*Heather Ly, joined in 2006, Daybreak Reporter, from News 10 Now
*Kevin O'Neill, joined in 2006 from WIVB, "The Why Guy"
*Theresa Fulcher- DeLuca, joined in 2005, News Producer
*Kristin Donnelly, joined in 2007 from WTVH in Syracuse
*Thea Tio, joined in 2007 from KXTV in Sacramento, CA
*Addie Bradshaw, joined in 2007 from WLTX in Columbia, SC
*Dave McKinley, joined in 2008 from WROC-TV in Rochester
*Larry "The Web Guy", Movie Reviews

Past personalities

*Douglas Bell, anchor, left 1999
*Susan Banks, anchor, came from WKBW-TV in 1980s, returned to WKBW in 1990
*Tracy Carloss, left in 2000, went to WEWS-TV in Cleveland, OH
*Nick Clooney, briefly anchored at the station in 1994
*Keith Eichner, part-time meteorologist, left in 2007 to rival WIVB-TV
*Harold Fisher, left 1998
*Wes Goforth, now at WCTI-TV in New Bern, NC
*Victoria Hong, anchor, left to go to WIVB, 2002
*Ron Hunter, anchor (1972–1974), left for Chicago. Hunter is allegedly one of the inspirations for . [http://www.staffannouncer.com/buffaloanchorman.htm (Cichon)]
*Carol Kaplan, left in 2006
*Barry Lillis, left early 1990s
*Jim Lytle, part-time meteorologist, left in 2007
*Stefan Mychajliw, left in 2007, now the media spokesperson for the Buffalo Public School system
*Danny Neaverth, host of "Nearly Noon with Dan Neaverth", retired.
*Aaron Saykin, left in 2006, now at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, PA
*Laura Steele, left in 2006 (Anchor of First at Five)
*Jessica Weinstein, left in 2007
*Julie Wolfe, left in 2005, went to Atlanta
*Robin Young, left in 2007, learning to become a lawyer

Other local shows

*"It's Academic" - local quiz show set for launch in April 2008, hosted by Kevin O'Neill.
*"2 Your Home" - housing show about renovation of homes throughout Western New York, formerly known as "DIY Western New York"
*"Western New York Living" - a show about living in Western New York hosted by WKSE Morning Anchor and former host of "Your Today in WNY" Janet Snyder, Maria Genero Left in the end of September 2008
*"Your Today in WNY" - "Your Today in WNY" was a short-lived local TV and Internet show hosted by Kevin O'Neill, Chesley McNeil, and WKSE morning show personality Janet Snyder which aired from September 20, 2007 until February 15, 2008. Intended to capitalize on The Today Show's expansion to four hours, "Your Today in WNY" aired at 11 a.m., immediately after "Today" and featured extended news stories, local features and interactive chat in a format similar to the old AM Buffalo style of the 1990s. Its replacement, "2 On Your Side at Noon," is a standard 30 minute news show that will incorporate some features from "Your Today in WNY." (WGRZ is the last of the "big three" Buffalo television stations to adopt a thirty-minute noon newscast; the others have had one since the late 1980s.)
*"Bowling for Dollars" - An abbreviated revival of the classic 1970s bowling show is hosted by sports director Ed Kilgore, who also hosted the original. It aired daily during "Your Today in WNY" and its future is uncertain at this time.

Syndicated programs

WGRZ currently airs "Rachael Ray", "The Bonnie Hunt Show", "Dr. Phil", "The Insider", and "Entertainment Tonight" on weekdays. "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" was seen on WGRZ from 2007 to 2008, but after that show suspended production, WGRZ dropped the show. Weekend syndicated programs include "Whacked Out Sports".

External links

* [http://www.wgrz.com/ Official website]
*TVQ|WGRZ
*BIA|WGRZ|TV|TV


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