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Lauer, Seacrest Engage in False Suspense

This is what I’m thinking:

Host of American Idol, and numerous other radi...

Ryan Seacrest: Joining NBC's Olympic Team

It was kind of strange to see NBC’s Matt Lauer interview Ryan Seacrest Wednesday on “Today” about the rumors that Seacrest might eventually replace him.

It was all in good fun, but Lauer knew he was dishing out some false suspense because he already agreed to stay as “Today” host. Lauer made the announcement that he agreed to a new multi-year deal official on Friday’s show.

To his credit, Seacrest played along humorously Wednesday before saying his new deal with NBC’s parent company includes working on the London Olympics this fall. It is unclear what role Seacrest will have in prime time coverage but it has been widely reported he will be co-host with Bob Costas. That would surprise me. It also would be unnecessary since Costas has gone solo as NBC’s prime time Olympic host for 20 years. In other words, since before Seacrest became “American Idol” host. Costas already has been announced as the primary host this summer. Maybe he could take a few nights off to allow Seacrest to host. Or Seacrest could do prime time interviews. Seacrest also told Lauer he intends to stay with “American Idol.”

Speaking of “Idol,” I spoke too soon about its resurgence in Western New York. Thursday’s results show dipped to a 6.7 rating on WUTV, which is less than half of what “Big Bang Theory” got on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate.

I turned on “60 Minutes” expecting to see its celebration of the life of Mike Wallace after the broadcasting legend died Sunday. Instead, Morley Safer told viewers that next week’s show would be dedicated to Wallace and his legacy. You might have thought the show would have had a filmed obituary prepared since Wallace was 93. But the wait does give the show time to do it right even if just about everything about Wallace probably will have been said and written by next Sunday. 

NBC’s confusing “Awake” is putting local viewers to sleep. Thurday’s episode had a 2.7 rating but at least it kept its meager audience for the last 45 minutes. The premiere of ABC’s preposterous “Scandal” averaged a 6.2 rating and lost 25 percent of its audience in the last half hour. Not a good sign.

It looks like NBC is trying to make Savannah Guthrie a star. She was a substitute anchor on the NBC Nightly News last week and it wouldn’t be surprising if her role on “Today” expanded soon and she eventually replaced Ann Curry as co-host. It would be a smart move.

It was surprising to a picture of the four players on the All-WNY boys’ and girls’ basketball teams on the front page of the Buffalo News and the sports section without one minority face. I didn’t initially see the two African-American stars on the first team boys’ squad who appeared on the back page of the sports section until someone told me about it. I’m sure I’m not alone. The lack of diversity on the front page was insensitive and eye-opening.

Now that the Buffalo Sabres have been eliminated from the playoffs, it wouldn’t be surprising if Channel 4 sportscaster Paul Peck would be free to go before the end of April.

Speaking of the Sabres exit, I turned to the MSG post-game show after the loss in Philadelphia eliminated them from the playoffs and instead saw a New York Knicks’ post-game show. Presumably, the Sabres announcers had to catch a plane. But it would have been nice to hear more analysis of a season gone wrong on elimination night.

Inquiring minds want to know: Will another local radio station pick up New York Yankees games after WECK dropped them? One radio expert told me it might be hard to find one because it is too difficult to make money off of the games. WGR would appear to be the most likely choice. But it plans to start a new evening show about the Buffalo Bills that is hosted by John Murphy. So that leaves WKBW-AM as the only possibility that I see.

Who knew that Albuquerque, New Mexico was a hotbed of former Western New Yorkers? It is one of the cities that WBBZ-TV plans to celebrate Buffalo Night in America in late July. By the way, add a political talk show to the local programs the station is considering producing.

Did you catch the shot that “Mad Men” took at Mitt Romney’s dad, George, a week ago? Betty’s second husband, Henry, called the elder Romney (the governor of Michigan in the 1960s) ”a clown” in a telephone conversation and hung up. It was a gratuitous line, but that’s one way for “Mad Men” to get attention. It became a political topic of discussion this week by TV clowns (pundits).


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4 responses to "Lauer, Seacrest Engage in False Suspense"

  1. Mark Scott says:

    WWKB is not a possibility for Yankees games. The station does play-by-play of the Buffalo Bisons. They couldn’t do both without horrible scheduling conflicts.

    Granted, the Yankees have a loyal following in Western New York. But fans here can already see games on the YES cable network. And if you’re a devoted fan who doesn’t have access to a TV, there are smart phone options that will deliver the games to you. You don’t need radio like you did 30 years ago to follow the Yankees.

    Even though the Yankees are one of several major league baseball teams that I follow, I can honestly say never listened to even one game during the four years WECK ran its broadcasts. On the other hand, I do tune in KB from time to time to hear the Bisons, even though they’re minor league. The Bisons are our team. I kind of like sitting out on my patio on a summer Sunday afternoon with the Bisons game on in the background.

    You’re correct in your analysis, Alan, that there is no room on WGR for the Yankees. Once Bills training camp opens in late July, the presence of the Yankees would play havoc on the WGR schedule.

    So, the bottom line is I don’t see any Buffalo station picking up the Yankees.

    • Gman says:

      The Yankees wouldn’t lower themselves to be on WGR. They’re blatant Yankee haters at that station.

    • Bob says:

      All MLB games are also on SiriusXM.

    • It’s also not like they can’t get it on terrestrial radio, either– the Yankees flagship is WCBS, which has a skywave pattern easily picked up here in WNY at night (when most Yankees games are on). I know, I’ve done it numerous times. So the need for a local station to pick up what they already can get on their AM radio is redundant.

      Besides, this allows WBBZ to market itself as Western New York’s exclusive home of the Yankees…

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