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Ch.4′s Vague Programming Plans

Nicholas Jerry Jonas Miller (Nick Jonass), Lon...

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This is what I’m thinking.

* Chris Musial, the general manager of WIVB-Channel 4 and WNLO-Channel 23, threw out a minor surprise during some brief taped comments to viewers that aired over the weekend and today. Musial was addressing the deal the channels’ owner made with DISH network to get the channels back on the satellite provider.

Musial dropped in a vague line about there being “new programming opportunities.” That  raised more questions than answers.

I’ve been hearing that either WIVB or WNLO will soon premiere a Buffalo-themed show that will be the answer to Channel 2’s “WNY Living” and Channel 7′s “AM Buffalo.”

In other words, it probably will be new “paid” programming opportunities.

The rest of Musial’s speech seemed to be designed to counteract the negativity surrounding the recent battles that LIN Media, the stations’ owners, has had with providers like DISH.

The fights over money are getting more than a little tiresome.

* After a few weekends of giving the appearance of a college TV station, Channel 4 inserted Joe Arena into weekend anchor duties.

You have to sympathize with Arena, whose work schedule may make it difficult for him to get any consistent sleep habits. Some days he anchors at 5 a.m. and at 5:30 p.m. That’s tough enough on your sleep habits without adding occasional weekend duties.

Of course, Arena isn’t alone in this market with the 5 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. schedule. Channel 2’s Jodi Johnston has done it for years.

I turned on Ch.4’s “Wake Up” this morning and half expected to see Arena again. But Melissa Holmes joined Victoria Hong.

* Not surprisingly, CBS and ESPN basketball analysts had widely different takes on Selection Sunday about how well the selection committee did in selecting bubble teams for the NCAA tournament.

CBS, which is one of the four networks carrying March Madness, took the reasonable approach about the omission of Colorado and Virginia Tech and the inclusion of VCU, Clemson, Alabama-Birmingham and Georgia.

Analysts Seth Davis, Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley (yes, Charles Barkley), Clark Kellogg and play-by-play man Jim Nantz discussed the controversial choices calmly and seemed to generally support the committee.

ESPN analysts Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale were outraged.

Bilas said the selections “didn’t pass the laugh test” and added that he wondered  if some of the committee members making the selections knew that the basketball was round.

Of course, ESPN doesn’t carry the tournament so it can let the venom fly.

* By the way, you may be wondering where Tru TV, one of the three cable channels carrying some tournament games, is located on your cable or satellite provider. I had to check. It is on Ch.74 on my Time Warner system. It isn’t carried in high definition channel on TWC, which is surprising since the truth is just about every cable channel is in HD these days.

* Speaking of truth, there was so much basketball and hockey on over the weekend that I needed a sports break and used it to catch excerpts of the absolutely wonderful PBS special about the 25th anniversary of the musical “Les Miserables” from London.

WNED-TV is using it as a fund-raiser this month and is repeating it a few times. The next prime time airing that I see on the schedule is at 7 p.m. Friday. If you set your DVR, make sure you have enough space for the full four hours. The last hour featuring original Colm Wilkinson and the three other guys playing Jean Valjean is incredibly moving.

The first time I saw this special I didn’t watch the final hour because I thought the show was over after the first ending. Don’t make the same mistake that I did.

By the way, the London production features Nick Jonas (see above) of the Jonas brothers as the romantic Marius. And he is incredibly expressive and impressive. It will be a shocker to everybody who just thought the Jonas Brothers was just another boy band. Nick isn’t new to Les Miz. He played street urchin Gavroche on Broadway several years ago.

pergament@msn.com

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5 responses to "Ch.4′s Vague Programming Plans"

  1. Pergy's friend says:

    2 words for Mr. Musial: fashion advisor

  2. Paul says:

    I work at a local charity and we used to go on AM Buffalo all the time. Always got a pretty good response. Now – like WNY Living – everybody has to pay or be underwritten to get on. When companies have sponsored us to get on I can’t say that I see the same results or response from the public. Wonder how many people are still watching.

  3. Chris says:

    Hey Alan—if you’re on a lo-def channel on TWC, press the select button on your remote and one of the options will be its hi-def twin if there is one. I’m at work, so can’t test it on tru-tv.

  4. Chris says:

    TWC in Buffalo does not offer TruTV in HD but other providers do. A search of “trutv hd” in google reveals that many providers in other parts of the country are adding it just in time for the NCAA games. Is Buffalo?

    Way to research a story, Alan! Maybe next time go beyond pressing buttons on your remote.

    • Chris says:

      FTR, those 2 posts from “Chris” are from different people, and I, the 2:22 one, do not endorse the tone of the 2:32 post.

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