Benigni re­mains at WGRZ, will co-an­chor ‘Day­break’

The Buffalo News - - CITY&REGION - By Alan Perga­ment NEWS TV CRITIC

The mys­tery sur­round­ing where WGRZ-TV’s (Chan­nel 2) Adam Benigni was go­ing to land was solved Thurs­day when the sta­tion an­nounced he will be­come the co-an­chor of the morn­ing pro­gram “Day­break” along­side Melissa Holmes af­ter John Beard ex­its at the end of the year.

Un­til tak­ing his “Day­break” seat in Jan­uary, Benigni will work on orig­i­nal sto­ries and serve as a fill-in an­chor, Chan­nel 2 Gen­eral Man­ager Jim Toell­ner said.

Benigni’s con­tract had ex­pired and he had been off for sev­eral weeks con­sid­er­ing his next move af­ter Scott Levin re­turned to the NBC af­fil­i­ate as the sta­tion’s pri­mary male coan­chor.

Benigni, who had been the sta­tion’s sports di­rec­tor and has been at the sta­tion for 20 years, seemed in line to be­come Chan­nel 2’s pri­mary male co-an­chor be­fore Levin’s re­turn af­ter three months work­ing for the West Herr Au­to­mo­tive Group.

Benigni at­tracted a fol­low­ing as news an­chor to the point that some Chan­nel 2 view­ers felt he de­served the Adam Benigni

Benigni

walk­ing through,” Wil­liams said. “There are more break-ins on St. Marys. On both streets, we look out for each other.”

Dar­wish, 39, isn’t new to the slaugh­ter­house busi­ness. The Is­raeli Arab has been in the United States for al­most 14 years, first in New York City and then in Westch­ester County be­fore com­ing to Buf­falo five years ago. He is orig­i­nally from Jerusalem, and his fam­ily has a farm in Is­rael with “a lot of an­i­mals.” So he’s fa­mil­iar with slaugh­ter­house prac­tices, he said.

Still, there’s no guar­an­tee that he will suc­ceed with his goal, at least not in Buf­falo. The city used to have an abun­dance of stock­yards and slaugh­ter­houses, par­tic­u­larly when the East Side was a bustling area, but they all closed years ago. Past ef­forts to open new ones met fierce re­sis­tance from neigh­bor­hood and an­i­mal rights ac­tivists – in­clud­ing two pro­pos­als for halal slaugh­ter­houses, on Wil­liam Street eight years ago and on Broad­way two years ago.

For cus­tomers who want to pur­chase fresh meat from a slaugh­ter­house, the near­est al­ter­na­tive right now is in Lack­awanna, Dar­wish stated in his ap­pli­ca­tion to the Zon­ing Board of Ap­peals.

“They are all very happy to have this type of busi­ness so close to home,” he stated. “We are plan­ning to have af­ford­able fresh food.”

The ap­pli­ca­tion will be con­sid­ered when the Zon­ing Board of Ap­peals meets next Wed­nes­day. Mem­bers of the block club said they plan to be there.

Mark Mul­ville/Buf­falo News

Shut­tered for­mer Dairy Queen at 822 Walden Ave. in Buf­falo, near Cheek­towaga border, is the fo­cus as neigh­bors op­pose a busi­ness­man’s plan for res­tau­rant and slaugh­ter­house.

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