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Ch. 4′s Raguse Is Weekend Upgrade

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 14:Producer Matthew Wein...

Jessica Pare with "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner

This is what I’m thinking:

Channel 4’s new weekend anchor Lou Raguse had a low-key introduction because of disruptions to the news schedule caused by CBS’ coverage of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Saturday and Sunday.

His newscasts on the two nights were either delayed or sent over to Channel 4’s sister station, WNLO-TV.

I caught him a few times and here are my first impressions. He’s an upgrade from young Nalina Shapiro. Raguse is a decent news reader with a pleasant voice. He looks and sounds like a generic news anchor from anywhere in the States.

He also looks a little like Channel 7 meteorologist Aaron Mentkowski on a bad hair day and has a delivery that is a little like that of Channel 4 anchor Don Postles.

Amusingly, the first time I saw Raguse Channel 4 ran a graphic that said he was Shapiro. It turned out she was the reporter on the first story on his newscast.

Also amusingly, he introduced Channel 4’s new reporter, Emily Guggenmos, Sunday without mentioning that she is his wife. After her very professional report was done, Raguse thanked her for the report like anchors often do for no reason.

OK, I now can mention the “Mad Men” scene that aired Sunday night that I expect to be the topic at water coolers this morning.  It was the sexy scene in which Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) new wife, Megan (Jessica Pare, a Canadian), sang a French song to her hubby at a party celebrating his 40th birthday. Don is a very lucky man even if he doesn’t realize it and is unlikely to continue to appreciate it. By the way, the “Mad Men” premiere had a 2.1 rating locally. That isn’t much, but many viewers watch it later via On Demand or on DVRs. And most of the people attending “Mad Men” parties aren’t counted. The series gets viewers that advertisers love. The ones that makes a lot of money. The Buffalo rating was lower than the 2.5 national rating, which made the season five premiere the most-watched episode of the series ever.

Speaking of 1960s sexism, I was shocked to read a Buffalo News sports column by Bucky Gleason that started by focusing on Notre Dame basketball star Skylar Diggins’ “obvious” beauty and suggested “she doesn’t look the part” of a star. 

Even though Gleason used a Diggins’ quote that might have validated his point ( I say “might” because I’m not sure what she meant), I was shocked that the column didn’t elicit condemnation from readers who might have thought that kind of sexism ended decades ago. On Sunday night, there were no comments on it. Some editor should have saved Gleason from writing something that a sportswriter might say in a bar about a star athlete but leave out of a column. I mean do sportswriters focus on the looks of Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez or any other good-looking male athlete? Don’t think so. They might mention looks in one line, but they won’t lead with it or focus on it. It was the kind of column that an editor might ask the writer to rewrite or reconsider. I would bet that News editor Margaret Sullivan and sports editor Lisa Wilson didn’t see it before it ran on a weekend.

Speaking of women’s basketball, the ESPN 2 announcers Pam Ward and Rebecca Lobo were gentle on St. Bonaventure during its 79-35 loss to top-seeded Notre Dame Sunday afternoon.  It was a painful and embarrassing to watch the end of a terrific season and the announcers didn’t pile on. The loss wasn’t unexpected since the Bonnies were out of their league playing a Division I powerhouse. Near the end of the game, one of the announcers praised Bona guard Jessica Jenkins as “one of the outstanding three-point shooters in women’s basketball history.”  The announcers also talked about the “humongous” bus rides the Bona women had during the season because “Olean, New York is kind of out there.” Kind of?

Ratings Time: Syracuse’s 77-70 loss to Ohio State Saturday in the Elite Eight game of the men’s tournament had a 6.9 rating on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate. The Bona women’s 44-point loss had a 2.5 local rating on ESPN 2 Sunday afternoon, which was considerably lower than the 4.0 the team had for a Sweet 16 win over Marist. Of course, the game was over so quickly that it was hard to keep many viewers interested.

Channel 7 producer Lea DiCenso has left the station after 14 years, the last 10 or so as producer of “AM Buffalo.” The program has become increasingly devoted to segments featuring paid advertisers. DiCenso, who previously worked at WNED-TV, declined comment about her departure.  

It was nice to see the legendary anchor trio of Irv Weinstein, Rick Azar and Tom Jolls have so much fun reminiscing on Channel 7’s Variety Club Telethon Sunday afternoon. At one point, Irv mentioned he is about to become 82-years-old. I hate to end this blog focusing on looks, but I hope I look as good as Irv looks at that age if I live that long.


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3 responses to "Ch. 4′s Raguse Is Weekend Upgrade"

  1. Rob says:

    Some notes while wondering what happened to Nolan Johannes…

    The debut of Lou Raguse was a dead-on review on your part. He also reminded me of the anchors from the Time Warner local news channel as well. Time will tell but he did a good job this weekend.

    Alan, you would know better than me, but it seems that every column that Bucky Gleason writes he has to try to inject sarcasm and a David Letterman attempt at humor. His piece on the St Bona woman was no exception. It devalues his writings so I don’t know why he continues to do it. I know his mentor, the great Jim Kelley, would write his columns on wit first, some sarcasm second, but Jim never used the worn-out clichéd sayings that went away with the stone age. Every time I read a Gleason article or column I keep going back to the Lloyd Bentsen line from the 1988 VP debate: “ I knew Jim Kelley and you Mr. Gleason are no Jim Kelley.”

    The highlight of the Telethon was the Irv, Rick and Tom reunion. With the continual diminished value of broadcast news you will never see a trio like them ever again. They all looked great and they are missed on the air by many.

  2. Doug says:

    I think he reason he thanked her for the report was for common decency and politeness.

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