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Autumn Leaves Ch.2 Weather Team; Stanonis Hired


This is what I’m thinking:

Autumn Lewandowski is out, Jen Stanonis is in at Channel 2.

Autumn: Leaves in Late Spring

Channel 2 News Director Jeff Woodard confirmed the weekend weather switch this morning after being asked about industry rumors. 

Lewandowski’s last weather forecast as a Channel 2 part-timer was Sunday night. Stanonis, who used to be a full-timer at Channel 7 doing weather and news reports before going back to college to get a second degree, will make her Channel 2 debut as a part-timer on the weather team this weekend.

It is unclear why Lewandowski was let go but sources say she was never a favorite of the station’s management team.

“She’s moving on for other opportunities,” said Woodard. Of the hiring of Stanonis as a part-timer, Woodard said: “We’re excited to have a veteran that knows the Buffalo market and the weather patterns here.”

Some first impressions of Steve Vesey, Channel 4’s new sports anchor, after watching him for parts of two weekends. Overall, the impressions are very favorable. He is a step up from several recent Channel 4 hires, primarily because he had years of seasoning in the Elmira market that has been a Channel 4 farm league for years.

He tried too hard to write clever intros or parting comments after stories on opening weekend, with a batting average of about .250. He settled down a little in week two.

On the positive side, Vesey is an enthusiastic fast-talker while showing rapid highlights and seems to know his stuff on a variety of sports. However, he shouldn’t immediately try to pass himself off as a Buffalo Bills or Buffalo Sabres expert since he just arrived from Elmira.

It is unclear if Vesey was hired to replace weekend sports anchor Paul Peck’s or Sports Director John Murphy after he leaves. He appears to have the skills to be the sports director if that’s how Channel 4 decides to go.

Now that former Channel 2 reporter and talk show host Stefan Mychajliw has accepted the Republican, Conservative and Independence party endorsements to run for the office of Erie County comptroller, he had to go from Channel 2’s noon debate program, “Two Sides with Kristy Mazurek.” His last day was Thursday. David J. Shenk, the Democrat who is the current comptroller, could have demanded equal time if Mychajliw had stayed on the air.

According to the Buffalo News, Shenk is going to be challenged for the Democratic nomination by businessman George F. Hasiotis. I don’t know whether he has the skills needed to be comptroller, but Mychajliw’s communication skills and name recognition certainly will be advantages in the race. However, he also has some significant negatives because of his roles representing former Buffalo Schools Superintendent James Williams and former Erie County Executive Chris Collins.

Mazurek is expected to work with different guest hosts daily in Mychajliw’s absence. 

Inquiring minds want to know: What happened to Buffalo News sportswriter Rodney McKissic after his month suspension for plagiarism ended and the newspaper decided to go with Tim Graham and Jay Skurski as Bills writers to assist Mark Gaughan? For now, McKissic remains at the paper in a behind-the-scenes role. He lost his job covering the Bills in addition to his suspension.



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17 responses to "Autumn Leaves Ch.2 Weather Team; Stanonis Hired"

  1. Rob says:

    Some notes while wondering what happend to Ron Hunter..

    Regarding Stefan Mychajliw; he may have name recognition but at what cost? You mentioned his other jobs but he was also the spokesman for the Niagara County SPCA at that’s not exactly the side you want to be on. In addition, he had a failed website (realamherst.com) where he stiffed some vendors and how well would he get along with the inner circle within Erie County Gov’t when he obnoxiously went after everyone during the “red/green budget” debacle. Owning a car with a lot of miles on it is hardly a pre-requisite to be a Controller. If that’s the case, I should run since I had an Explorer I drove for 8 yrs. and put 187,000 miles on it…

    It would be nice to know more details about Rodney McKissic and his apparent demotion. It’s funny that a newspaper has clammed up about all of this and, not knowing the facts, have come down hard on a good guy in Rodney.

  2. Mike Randall says:

    I have 230 THOUSAND miles on my car! SERIOUSLY….what do you think I could run for?

  3. gary says:

    I was never a fan of Autumn Lewandowski, but I felt sorry for her when her farewell was cut short. Could it have been deliberate ?

    • Tom W. says:

      If memory serves me right, Ch 2′s master control is not done in-house on the weekends. That could be why the farewell was cut short.

  4. Tina says:

    Not happy Autumn is leaving and being replaced with the boring, lackluster Jen. She needs to pick up the tempo and energy in her delivery or I may just have to watch her instead of taking my sleeping pill.

  5. Tom W. says:

    I’d take Autumn over Jennifer Stanonis. Stanonis can do the weather, but she needs to improve with her delivery. This makes me wonder if Wrobel was in consideration for the weekend spot.

  6. Stanonis doesn’t even have a meteorology degree. That leaves Wrobel (a part-timer) and Parker as the only meteorologists on the five-man weather staff. Now, I’ve never been a fan of Lewandowski but they could’ve done far better than Stanonis.

    I also notice channel 7 is still using reporter Mike Spong as their weekend weather guy, having never replaced Stanonis when she left. Will they ever hire a replacement?

    I’m still available, by the way…

  7. Dave says:

    Who needs a meteorology degree to do weather? Can’t you just watch the weather channell for a few minutes and just regurgitate their info?

  8. Tina says:

    I don’t understand why Mary Beth Wrobel didn’t get the weekend gig. She is actually a meteorologist and other than her unkempt look she is rather friendly and upbeat in her delivery and seems to know what she is doing.
    I’m annoyed, does anyone care? Probably not. I just hope Channel 2 doesn’t start making the same mistakes they did at Channel 4 and lose sight of what the viewer wants in order to save money.

    • Tom W. says:

      If it were me, I would have put Mary Beth Wrobel on weekends to go head to head with Mike Cejka.

      But since Stanonis has been hired (who I have never seen do severe weather coverage), 2 would be smart to keep Wrobel and utilize her as an expert, similar to the Weather Channel where she can go more in depth with weather events happening. That could be good for ratings if it were to happen.

      • Tina says:

        I think that sounds like a good idea and the change just might work in Channel 4′s favor since Mike is quite good in my opinion. Jen might not bring enough to the table to make much of a difference as far as ratings are concerned..not for me anyway.

  9. Chris Keaton says:

    Autumn Lewandowski is a meteorologist, born and bred in Buffalo. Jen Stanonis is not a meterologist and from the west coast.. “not being a favorite” is a really crappy reason to take away a livelihood.

    Jeff Woodard is clearly being a mouthpiece for the company, and not a very good one at that.

    One can only hope another local will pick up Autumn. WGRZ has made some really disappointing decisions lately.

  10. Joe Hogan says:

    Autumn will be sorely missed and viewership will decline. I will now go back to channel 4! A smarter move would have been to fire Jeff Woodard. Best wishes Autumn!!! You are the best!!!

  11. amy says:

    i like the change. Autumn would always stumble looking for the next thing to say. sorry but she was not news material in front of a camera, didnt seem to be a natural speaker and you have to be when you are on TV live.

  12. Gil says:

    Autumn was a breath of fresh air , sorry to see her go
    Hope one of the other stations pick her up.

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