It looks like Channel 4 is going to have to play another round of musical chairs shortly.
According to sources, reporter-anchor Jericka Duncan is leaving the CBS affiliate to take a job at KYW-TV in Philadelphia, a CBS owned-and-operated station in the No.4 market in the country. Her last day at Channel 4 is scheduled to be in mid-August.
In recent station moves, Duncan was named to replace Michele McClintick as the anchor of Weekend Wake Up after McClintick moved to nights. At most, Duncan’s move to the weekends will last about a month before she leaves for the City of Brotherly Love.
Duncan has been impressive in reporting, anchor and even sports roles since joining Channel 4 three years ago from WETM in Elmira.
* Mylous Hairston, the Channel 4 anchor who is president of the local chapter of the union that represents anchors and reporters at the station, said last week it’s a surprise that local stations are hiring 20something reporters straight out of college.
He notes that Buffalo used to be a market that required on-air personnel to work three-to-five years in a small market (like Duncan did) in Elmira or Erie, Pa.
“Buffalo has become a starting market as opposed to a mid-market,” said Hairston. “It’s a sign of the times. The company is looking to hire the least experienced.”
It wouldn’t be so bad if veteran reporters and anchors could mentor the new hires. But that’s become increasingly difficult to do since the veterans have so much more to do now that they don’t have the time to mentor.
The young reporters at Channel 4 get a respectable salary when hired. The minimum reporting salary at the station is $34,000, said Hairston.
* This morning, Steve Carell told Meredith Vieira on “Today” that he wants his departure from NBC’s “The Office” next May to be “a little subdued” and “not an enormous send-off.”
Not likely. NBC undoubtedly will milk it for everything it can. Carell’s departure from one of the network's few popular series after one more season puts more pressure on one of its new fall shows to become a hit.
Can the show survive the loss of paper company boss Michael Scott, the lead character played by Carell?
That’s a tough question. A big name star would help, but what big star would want to deal with the comparisons to Carell? The reaction to Carell's replacment surely won’t be subdued.