An expanded weekend edition of “Wake Up!” debuted this month on WIVB-TV Channel 4, with two hours of news, from 7 to 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The show is anchored by Nalina Shapiro and meteorologist Bryan Shaw. Master gardener Sally Cunningham joins the telecast on Sundays. The first hour of the program is rebroadcast both days at noon on WNLO-TV Channel 23.
Channel 4 previously offered news programming from 7 to 8 a.m. Saturday, and 8 to 9 a.m. Sunday.
The change was a response to viewer interest in more news coverage, according to Joseph D. Schlaerth, station news director, who said, “Our viewers asked for more news and ‘4-Warn’ weather coverage on the weekend.”
Shapiro is no stranger to morning broadcasts. She moved from weekend to weekday morning anchor in March 2012, when the station hired anchor/reporter Lou Raguse and reporter Emily Guggenmos. Last month, Shapiro was knocked from the weekday morning co-anchor slot by Diana Fairbanks, who is now paired with new-hire Jordan Williams.
Channel 4 is the second station to expand its weekend news programming. Last September, WGRZ-TV Channel 2 added 30 minutes of news to its Saturday morning lineup.
Channel 2 will welcome reporter/anchor Kelly Dudzik to the station March 4. Dudzik currently works as reporter/anchor for KLRT-TV in Little Rock, Ark. Prior to that, she worked at KFBB-TV in Great Falls, Mont., from 2004 to 2007, said Channel 2 news director Jeff Woodard. From 2002 to 2004, Dudzik was a producer at WXIX-TV in Cincinnati. She started her career as a producer at WBRE-TV in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa., from 2001 to 2002.
Dudzik is a graduate of Syracuse University.
She will serve as reporter and fill-in anchor, according to General Manager Jim Toellner.
Toellner also said WGRZ is adding the show “Late Night in the Buff,” starring Buffalo comic Rob Lederman, on Sundays at 11:35 p.m. The half-hour show debuts Feb. 17, and will feature local comedy performers.
You can thank a frustrated scholar for the return of “It’s Academic” to local television. It is on Saturday’s at 10:30 a.m. on Channel 2.
It is the latest version of the classic high school quiz show once seen on Channel 4 and hosted by Van Miller. The weekly tournament of knowledge was launched by Channel 4’s General Manager Les Arries in the late 1960s.
Channel 2 GM Toellner said he has wanted to bring the show back since his experience as an alternate scholar for Niagara Wheatfield High School.
Toellner never made it on the show, although he attended many of the tapings as an alternate, he said.
Teams of students from area schools compete by answering scholarly questions posed by quiz master Kevin O’Neil. The program is produced at D’Youville College by Full Circle Programming.
The next taping – at 7 p.m. Monday – of WBBZ-TV’s “Secrets From Beyond” is a sellout, said John DiSciullo, executive director of production and promotion. The show will air at 9 p.m. Feb. 18.
The show stars local psychic medium Karyn Reece and master hypnotist Robert Saviola. “So far, audience response has been positive,” said DiSciullo, adding that station executives are taking a wait-and-see approach before scheduling future episodes.