WGRZ mov­ing ‘Ellen’ in fa­vor of lo­cal show

The Buffalo News - - WEATHER - By Alan Perga­ment

WGRZ-TV (Chan­nel 2) is pre­par­ing to go head-to-head with WIVB-TV (Chan­nel 4) in the 4 p.m. news com­pe­ti­tion.

That bit of me­dia news first came to light Mon­day when Chan­nel 2 started run­ning a crawl dur­ing the 4 p.m. pro­gram “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that featured the charm­ing Buf­falo singing Police Of­fi­cers Michael Nor­wood Jr. and Mo Badger.

The crawl noted that start­ing next Wed­nes­day, “Ellen” will be mov­ing to 3 p.m. weekdays and the for­mer 3 p.m. oc­cu­pant, “Dr. Phil,” will move to 2 p.m. in place of “Dateline” re­runs.

A check of Chan­nel 2’s sched­ule on its web­site showed that a pro­gram called “Most Buf­falo” will be­gin air­ing at 4 p.m. next Wed­nes­day.

Chan­nel 2 Gen­eral Man­ager Jim Toell­ner de­clined to com­ment. Ac­cord­ing to sources, the pro­gram may be a show­case for Kate Welshofer, who has had a va­ri­ety of roles at Chan­nel 2 since join­ing the sta­tion a lit­tle over a year ago.

A St. Bon­aven­ture Univer­sity grad­u­ate, she came to Chan­nel 2 af­ter 10 years at a ca­ble news chan­nel in Rochester and hav­ing her own YouTube chan­nel to show­case her hu­mor.

Since join­ing Chan­nel 2, Welshofer has been a sub­sti­tute an­chor and has done comic fea­ture ma­te­rial. She is ex­pected to be joined in “Most Buf­falo” by weath­er­caster Maria Gen­ero.

The pro­gram, which may de­but on­line this week be­fore air­ing on Chan­nel 2, is ex­pected to be more fun than the typ­i­cal news­cast, sources said.

The move away from “Ellen” does come with some risks. The talk show has pro­vided Chan­nel 2 with a strong lead-in for its 5 p.m. news.

How­ever, Chan­nel 4’s news at 4 p.m. an­chored by Christy Kern is do­ing very well as that sta­tion’s lead-in. Dur­ing the re­cent Fe­bru­ary sweeps, Chan­nel 4 won the time slot in house­holds, 4.9 to 4.3.

How­ever, “Ellen” was a big win­ner in the key 18 to 49 and 25 to 54 de­mo­graph­ics. But “Ellen” of­ten goes into re­peats, which tend to have lower ratings. And hour­long lo­cal pro­duc­tions have much more com­mer­cial time for sta­tions to sell than they are al­lowed to sell dur­ing syn­di­cated pro­grams.

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