It was easy to think of County Executive Mark Poloncarz’s recent critique of the media Wednesday while watching Channel 2’s 11 p.m. newscast.
Near the top of the newscast, co-anchors Maryalice Demler and Scott Levin introduced a story, “Erin’s Legacy,” in which the parents of a young girl recently killed in a car accident on Maple Road talked about her life, the support they have received from the community and their plans to honor her.
It is a very sad story. And Channel 2’s initial handling of it was a sad commentary that highlighted all of Poloncarz’s recent criticism of the mistakes on TV news.
First, Levin said the accident occurred “a little more than a month ago.” Then he changed it to about a year ago.
After one of the anchors noted that the parents of 13-year-old Erin Suszynski were speaking for the first time, the station put up a frozen image of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. (I am tempted to say the words “frozen” and “image” are redundant in the case of Romney, but I don’t want to be accused of being a liberal again.)
Levin then noted the station was having “obvious difficulties” and then said “we’re told we have it. We have it? We don’t have it.”
I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that it was pretty hard to suppress laughter at Channel 2’s mishandling of the very serious story.
Several minutes later, the station carried the heartwarming story by reporter Sarah Hopkins, who noted that the accident occurred a month ago. In other words, Levin was originally right before he corrected himself and mistakenly said it happened a year ago.
Romney also eventually appeared in a clip in which he was booed by a NAACP audience for advocating the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act, which he calls Obamacare.
Levin added that despite being booed by the audience some analysts felt “Romney’s appearance in and of itself makes a difference.”
Huh? What did that mean? Please explain.
It was a night that Channel 2 deserved to be booed as well.
In nine days, WBBZ’s “Buffalo Night in America” will air on the independent station from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Jim Brinson, the former Empire Sports Network anchor, and former Channel 4 anchor Mylous Hairston will co-host the July 21st celebration, which is expected to include streaming video from 15 cities in the country with strong Buffalo contingents. Legendary radio personalities Danny Neaverth and Joey Reynolds also will be involved in the broadcast.
Down the road, the station plans a couple of sports shows. At 7 p.m. Mondays during the Buffalo Bills season WBBZ will carry a 30-minute live studio program tied to the National Football League team’s game the night before. At 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, station executive and former Channel 7 sports anchor Bob Koshinski will host a 30-minute sports talk show that will include a weekly guest.
Speaking of sports, the National League’s 8-0 win over the American League in the All-Star game had a weak 4.5 rating on Channel 29, the local Fox affiliate, down from a 4.6 a year ago. That means 4.5 percent of area households were tuned in. To put that in perspective, New York Yankee games on WBBZ average about a 3 rating.
The Pacific Coast League’s 3-0 win over the International League in the Triple A All-Star game Wednesday at Coca-Cola Field had a .4 rating (that’s four-tenths of a ratings point) on cable’s MLB Network. In other words, more WNYers were at the sold-out ball park than watched on TV at home.