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Arena Off Ch. 4′s Noon; Brill Still Struggling

This is what I’m thinking

It sure looks like Channel 4 has made its decision to let “Wake Up” co-anchor Joe Arena go to a new job in Pittsburgh shortly rather than match the offer he received.

Arena was taken off the noon news this week. Nalina Shapiro anchored the noon news on Monday. That is about as close to an announcement from the station that Arena is leaving than we are bound to get for awhile. The station wouldn’t take that newscast away from Arena if it planned on keeping him. The question now is how long Channel 4 will keep Arena around before allowing him to leave.

Joe Arena: Looks Like a Goner

The Buffalo Bills sure gave their fans a lot of false hope Sunday in their 52-28 loss to the New England Patriots. The game averaged a season-high rating of 37, peaking with a 41.7 right around the time the Bills had a 21-7 lead. That means 41.7 percent of WNY homes were tuned in just before Tom Brady led the Pats to their huge comeback win.

OK, I might have been wrong when I suggested a while ago that Channel 4’s struggling weekend sports anchor Lauren Brill had some potential. On Sunday’s 6 p.m. newscast, she even got the score of the Bills game wrong. The rout was bad enough, but Brill tacked on six more Pat points and had the Bills losing 58-28. She would be wise to slow down while delivering highlights of Bills games because she also mangles a lot of words by going too fast.

I’ve seen the first three episodes of “The Good Wife” and can report that they involve interesting cases as the firm struggles for survival. I could do without Kalinda’s (Archie Panjabi) unusual sexual games with her estranged husband. Be warned: That story line – which seems to be an attempt to make the series look more like cable – continues for a few more episodes. By the way, the return of ABC’s “Revenge” hurt the  ratings of “The Good Wife” locally and nationally. “Revenge” had a 9.3 rating here on Channel 7, “The Good Wife” an 8.4. I expect “The Good Wife” to eventually take over and win the time slot.

The highest-rated Sunday non-sports program was “60 Minutes” (11.0) which featured Lesley Stahl’s extended interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger about his affairs before and after marrying Maria Shriver. Stahl was properly combative at times, noting that Shriver had given up her TV career for Schwarzenegger, who is now selling his autobiography. Schwarzenegger’s stunning egomaniacal performance is more worthy of being critiqued by a psychologist than a TV critic. Bill O’Reilly, hawking his own book about John F. Kennedy,  played amateur psychologist this morning on “Today,” telling Savannah Guthrie: “He’s crazy by the way (pause) for doing this.” Presumably, O’Reilly was referring to doing the Stahl interview and writing the book, not having the affairs.

I have this reaction to the announcement that Seth MacFarlane of “Family Guy” fame is going to host the Oscars on Feb. 24: Didn’t the people running the Oscars learn their lesson about trying to get the youth vote after the disaster in which Anne Hathaway and James Franco co-hosted? MacFarlane is a funny guy and a strong performer, as recently seen when he hosted “Saturday Night Live” a few weeks ago. But portions of his animated shows on Fox are awfully crude and taseteless. In other words, he couldn’t be further in style than Bob Hope, Johnny Carson or Billy Crystal. That’s why I can’t wait to see if he can pull off being respectful and tasteless at the same time.

Inquiring minds want to know: Are the local ratings for Katie Couric’s new talk show improving on Channel 7? Not consistently that’s for sure. Friday’s program had a 1.3 rating, which wasn’t good news for Eyewitness News at 5, which needs a stronger lead-in.


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13 responses to "Arena Off Ch. 4′s Noon; Brill Still Struggling"

  1. Tina says:

    Is this the norm for news stations? This is exactly what is wrong with Chanel 4 right now. The only consistency is Jackie and Don but other than that they could care less about their reporters/anchors. It doesn’t even matter how long they have been there (Mylous, Lisa, Joe)they will discard you if they think they can save a penny. Well, how is that working for you? The proof is in the ratings.

    • Steve says:

      There you go again with your opinion which is not backed by any knowledge in the “business”. Who said they discared Mylous and Lisa? Last I knew they both quit and basically retired. You comment about saving a penny is ridiculous!

        • Tina says:

          Do you even know what the word “opinion” means at all? It is a personal belief and it doesn’t require any great knowledge but instead a judgment that one makes on their own. Everyone has an opinion, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. For you to be so intolerant of someone else’s s point of view or opinion really shows your inability to relate to anyone who thinks differently than you do.

          Like i said before, get over yourself. You aren’t that special or else you and your broadcasting abilities wouldn’t have the time to be here. I would think you would be somewhere else making it big right now but no, you are here trying to argue with me all the while calling me “stupid” because you don’t like my opinions. This is a blog, where we come to voice how we feel. If you can’t take it maybe you shouldn’t be here.

      • P says:

        Does Steve work for Channel 4? Maybe he’s actually Musial masquerading as Steve.

        • Tina says:

          LOL ..I am beginning to think you’re right about this. Why would he be attacking me otherwise?

          • Steve says:

            Maybe because your “opinions’ have no foundation. There’s a good start.

          • Tina says:

            Steve is a big baby. Don’t agree with him and he will whine and whine..time to grow up and quit calling people “stupid” just because you don’t agree with them. You are a bully AND OPINIONS do not need a specific foundation. They are individual in nature, and every individual sees things differently but obviously you are too thick to figure this out so I am done trying to explain it to you.

  2. Joe says:

    Tina you are so right. Just wait till Don, Jackie and Don Paul retire. Channel 4′s kiddie corp. just is not ready for a market this size.

  3. trapper says:

    I usually just read this blog for quality opinions and info about TV, and of course to also enjoy the always entertaining (and often wise) comments.

    But I feel compelled to reply to the use of this one term that Alan coined, and which now seems to have become a disparaging catchphrase for some of the on-air talent at Channel 4. Namely…

    “Kiddie Corps”.

    Okay, it’s a cute phrase. But, what beyond the cuteness, does it mean, or imply? Yes, they have some young people working at their station. But somehow this fact has come to be equated with a lack of talent.

    They are young, so they are no good? None of them are any good? If that is anyone’s contention, it is, flat-out, absurd.

    I can give 4 examples…


    All four would qualify for Alan’s “Kiddie Corp”. But all four just happen to be good at their jobs, too. And often very good. Kingston and Drantch are consistently very good in their reporting. Good clear voices, no mistakes in delivery, and never rattled. Shapiro, if anyone has noticed, is back anchoring the 5AM, and doing a very good job. She had problems when she first got here but she has become almost perfect now. She never should have been replaced by Guggenmos. I think Emily is fine, by the way. But near the end of her last run, she was god awful. She got worse, not better. Tons of mistakes. They brought Nalina back, and she should stay there. And Segal is, and always has been, solid.

    So, there you have it. Four of the “Kiddie Corps”. Are they young? Yep. Are they perfect? Nope. But they are ALL pretty damn good. Don’t believe me? Watch, and prove me wrong. Show me where they are bad, just because they are young.

    By the way, I have no preference for Channel 4 over the other stations in town. I watch at least one news broadcast of each station everyday. I could have many comments about the talent at 2 & 7, as well. But this post is about the “Kiddie Corps” thing. And I’m also an old-timer, like Alan. Been in WNY for decades, so I have no side to take in any youth versus age argument.

    There is but one criterion: Competence. Old/Young. Black/White. Female/Male. Who cares?

    Are they any good? That is ALL that should matter. And most of the “Kiddie Corps” is just that.

    I welcome anyone here to defy my judgement.

    P.S. I do, however, agree about Brill. She is off to a shaky start. She needs to slooooooow down. And, to show that I’m not just about defending the youngsters at all costs, I just happen to think that Diana Fairbanks is, without any doubt, THE best on-air talent at Channel 4. Period. They should never let her get away.

  4. Tina says:

    Nalina has gotten a lot better and I wasn’t real sure about Diana at first but I really like her now. She does talk a bit fast but other than that she is pretty damn good and has a nice bubbly personality.

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