With only a few days until the end of the July sweeps period, the big question over at news leader Channel 4 and sister station CW23 is whether 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. anchor Lia Lando will stay aboard.
Lando was thought to be a temporary fill-in for Lisa Flynn after Flynn left the station to concentrate on raising her 7-year-old son Thomas.
There had been some speculation that Lando was just going to anchor during the July sweeps, which are the least important of the four month-long ratings periods in the year. After all, Lando lives in Rochester and has two young children so it wouldn’t be that easy to do the job permanently.
But when asked about Lando’s status Friday, Channel 4 News Director Joe Schlaerth said “she’s absolutely a candidate” for the full-time position and has told him she is willing to take the job.
As far as the Rochester complication, Schlaerth noted that reporter Tricia Cruz also lives there.
He added “there is no solid date” for filling the job, but expected the decision to be made before the new fall TV season.
Schlaerth said the position was just posted and advertised and Lando is “certainly not the only candidate.” “We’re getting interest from around the country,” he said.
Asked if Lando was the favorite, Schlaerth said “I wouldn’t want to categorize anyone as the favorite.”
One name that continues to be the subject of speculation is Emily Smith, a former WBEN radio reporter who now is an anchor of “Up to the Minute” on CBS. However, one of the big unknowns is whether Smith would be willing to leave a network job to return to anchor in her hometown.
Of course, we all know how long it can take Channel 4 to fill a position. The station has been looking to replace former sports reporter and anchor Robin Adams for several months.
This past weekend, news anchor Mylous Hairston also anchored the sports report. But with the Buffalo Bills training camp about to open, the University at Buffalo football team only a few weeks away from practicing and the Sabres camp not too far behind, the need for a third sports person is obvious. After all, Channel 4 sports director John Murphy is the voice of the Bills and anchor-reporter Paul Peck is the voice of the UB Bulls.
“The plan is to hire a third sports person,” said Schlaerth. Again.
* Did you catch Sunday night's episode of VH-1's "The T.O. Show" in which Terrell Owens walked the runway of a fashion show in New York City with a hideous wig on his head? Who says he isn't a good sport. The wig proved that bald is beautiful.
This past week, Owens also showed off his basketball skills in Spike TV's "Pros vs. Joes." One of his basketball teammates was quarterback Donovan McNabb, a Syracuse football legend who also played some hoops for the Orange. McNabb and Owens didn't exactly see eye to eye as Super Bowl teammates with the Philadelphia Eagles. But obviously they have repaired their relationship to some point or they wouldn't have been on the same reality show.
Owens still has skills as a wide receiver. So it's clear that his reputation as a potential troublemaker has slowed his return back to a NFL team even though he was a model citizen with the Bills last season and had a decent year considering the Bills' deficiencies at QB.