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WBBZ Shift Leads to Channel 2 Changes

''I Love Lucy

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Today’s arrival of WBBZ – the station formerly known as WNGS – is causing a minor programming shakeup at Channel 2.
Talk show host Bill O’ Loughlin signed a Channel 2 contract Friday that allows the NBC affiliate to carry  “The Bill O’Loughlin Show” from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays starting on Sept. 6, the day after Labor Day.
The six-week O’Loughlin experiment at 11:30 p.m. Sundays proved to be a success during the July sweeps, averaging a healthy 3.2 rating and getting about 20,000 viewers.
The move to noon weekdays spells the end of Lunch Time with the Classics, which was going to lose “Cheers” and “I Love Lucy” to WBBZ.
Lunch Time only averaged about a 1.3 rating during the July sweeps, which shouldn’t be too difficult for O’Loughlin to achieve.
Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner said that WBBZ’s move to a lineup almost exclusively of classic old TV series eliminated the “uniqueness” of airing classic TV shows at lunch time.
In addition, Toellner said RTN, which carries old TV series on one of Channel 2’s digital channels, will be dropped on Sept. 16. Once again, he cited the lack of “uniqueness” because of WBBZ’s programming as a reason for dropping RTN, which never got cable carriage.
In other words, in with the old at WBBZ (Channel 67), out with the old at WGRZ (Channel 2).

Toellner said there is no plan to replace RTN with other programming on the digital channel. He added that the increased spectrum available after RTN is dropped will help make the programming on its other digital channel, Universal Sports, look much sharper.
By the way, you may have read Sunday that WNGS used to carry religious programming. It was briefly owned by a company that carries religious programming, Daystar, but the station was dark when it was sold to present owner Phil Arno. Before Daystar owned it, WNGS carried old TV shows.
* In case you missed it, David Milch’s next series for HBO, “Luck,” is set to premiere in January. That’s the series set in the horse racing world that Milch knows so well. The cast includes Dustin Hoffman.

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1 response to "WBBZ Shift Leads to Channel 2 Changes"

  1. Tom says:

    Channel 2 could add a new StormTeam 2 channel again on cable. The only reason that it was pulled was because NBC WeatherPlus became part of the Weather Channel a few years ago. Considering they have the capabilities to do this, it is something they could look at in the future.

    Also, Buffalo is still the largest market in the country without any station having a HD newscast. If Channel 2 can do that soon, that will further boost their climbing ratings.

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