Bounced In Buffalo: Scripps Shuffle At WKBW


Two key members of the sales department, along with the GM, have been dismissed from the E.W. Scripps Co.-owned ABC affiliate serving Western New York and the Ontario cities of Toronto, Hamilton and St. Catharines.

Scripps declined to comment to local media inquiring about the nature of the trio’s respective exits.

According to The Buffalo News, Michael Nurse — GM of WKBW-7 in Buffalo since 2013 — is no longer with the station.

Additionally, GSM Steve Cuccia and LSM Erin Colvin-Collins are no longer with WKBW.

Nurse rose to the top role as WKBW GM in 2013 under previous owner Granite Broadcasting; Scripps completed its purchase of WKBW in June 2014. It paid $110 million for the station and for WMYD- 20 (myTV) in Detroit.

In a statement to the newspaper, Scripps confirmed the exits of Nurse, Cuccia and Colvin-Collins, but noted, “we can’t comment on the personnel issue.”

Scripps Sr. Director of Revenue Strategy Michael Barbetta will serve as WKBW’s interim station manager, the Buffalo News said.

WKBW was once owned by Capital Cities and a ratings leader in Western New York and much of Southern Ontario. With its March 1985 acquisition of ABC, it had to divest WKBW.

This sent WKBW to Queen City Broadcasting, and then to Granite in 1995. Under a fiscally challenged Granite, WKBW’s news ratings faced numerous challenges. As a result, WKBW fell behind Nexstar Media Group‘s WIVB-4, a CBS affiliate presently dark on DirecTV, AT&T TV NOW and U-Verse lineups in the Buffalo DMA; and TEGNA-owned NBC affiliate WGRZ-2.

Under Scripps, numerous enhancements have been made, including the hiring of Ashley Rowe as a key anchor.

Nevertheless, WKBW remains behind the CBS and NBC stations.