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Ch.4′s New Anchor is Community-Minded


Diana Fairbanks

Like a good reporter, Diana Fairbanks did a little up-close and personal research before deciding to join Channel 4 to anchor its 5:30 p.m. weekday newscast and the 10 p.m. weekday newscast on sister station WNLO-TV.

As she walked through the Channel 4 newsroom during one of her recruiting visits to the station late last fall, she noticed something about the station personnel.

“It didn’t take very much to see they had some really strong veterans and a lot of young people,” said Fairbanks in a telephone interview. “They seemed to be missing people in the middle. I asked about it and was told that’s why they wanted to bring me in.”

Fairbanks is expected to make her on-air debut within the next week or so after the station does some promotion and its new high definition set is ready for the February sweeps.

She arrives after working at two stations in Traverse City, Mich., for more than 11 years. She worked her way up from morning anchor to evening anchor. Judging by a goodbye piece done by her co-anchor and subsequent Facebook comments, Fairbanks became an extremely popular, community-minded anchor.

And she plans to follow the same script in Buffalo.

“It is real important if you report on the community that you care about it,” said Fairbanks. “It is  important to find why the people love where they are living.”

She can’t love where she is living now. She’s in an Buffalo apartment while her husband stays in Michigan and tries to sell their house. The couple has a daughter.

According to the farewell piece by her Michigan co-anchor, Fairbanks didn’t expect to stay in Traverse City for as long as she did. But she said an anchor promotion, the birth of the couple’s child and her husband’s job in public relations for a ski resort made re-signing new deals the right thing to do.

“It (Traverse City) is a great community, which is one of the reasons it was so easy to stay there,” said Fairbanks.

She started talking to Channel 4 in the fall and finally signed with the station right around Christmas. She is aware that Channel 4 has cut its staff in recent years, but said it is an industry trend and added the same thing happened in Michigan and it wasn’t done as well.

“Hopefully, the industry is on the upswing,” said Fairbanks.

After months of negativity, Channel 4 is  hoping Fairbanks will help put the station on the upswing as well.

I owe Syracuse University basketball legend Carmelo Anthony an apology. Earlier today, I asked what was he thinking when he agreed to appear in an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” that seems to be inspired by the ongoing Bernie Fine scandal at SU?

According to a NBC release, the New York Knick star and Miami Heat star Chris Bosh appear in next Wednesday’s 10 p.m. episode. Here’s the summary of the episode as provided by NBC: “When a well-respected basketball coach (guest star Dan Lauria) is accused of sexual abuse, Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariskia Hargitay) and Odafin Tutuola (Ice-T) are joined by a new detective Nick Amara (Danny Pino) to uncover the truth about a star player’s (guest star Mehcad Brook) past. Special appearance by Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh.”

“As Coach Ray Masters (Lauria) is inducted to the Metro Basketball Hall of Fame by former students Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, an ex-player accuses the coach of sexually abusing him as a child. Detective Nick Amaro (Pino) transfers into the SVU squad and is thrown on to the case. The detectives interview former players but no one admits to abuse, forcing Benson (Hargitay) and Fin (Ice-T) to dig deeper into Coach Ray’s most successful player, basketball star Prince Miller (Brooks) and his manager/cousin (guest star Heavy D.) Also starring: Kelli Giddish (Detective Amanda Rollins) and Dann Florek (Captain Donald Cragen.)”

As an astute reader noted today, the episode actually is a repeat that first aired on Sept. 28, weeks before the Fine scandal broke. That’s an eerie coincidence.  You wonder how Anthony feels now about being associated with an episode with obvious similarities to the scandal involving Fine, who used to be his assistant coach at SU. I bet this is one repeat that gets a decent-sized audience.

It is always nice to start the morning with some front-page humor, intentional or not. On Wednesday, the front page of the Buffalo News had this classic preview headline of a story in the sports section: “Hometown Boy: Patrick Kane says he hopes his Blackhawks beat the Sabres tonight.”

As Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers would say on “Saturday Night Live”: “Seriously? Did someone really write that?”

Let’s hope Kane hoped Chicago would win. If Kane hoped the team he grew up rooting for beat the team he plays for professionally, then NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman would have had to consider suspending him for the season. And “Law & Order” would have had to have an episode ready about a hockey star charged with throwing a game. Kane’s Blackhawks won, 6-2.




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2 responses to "Ch.4′s New Anchor is Community-Minded"

  1. Jon Dare says:


    The SVU episode with Carmelo Anthony is a repeat. It first aired on September 28 of last year, about a month before the Fine scandal broke.


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