Buffalo’s WNED changes management responsibilities, prompting layoff

WNED in Buffalo, N.Y., is tweaking its management of programming, resulting in one layoff. Gabe DiMaio, who programmed classical WNED-FM, confirmed to Current Thursday that his position was eliminated. He previously served as assistant program director at WBFO-FM, the broadcaster’s NPR News station, as well as producer and local host for All Things Considered. He’s also secretary for the board of the Public Radio Programming Directors Association. Ron Santora, WNED’s v.p. of broadcasting, is adding radio programming to his portfolio.

Five New York pubcasters team up for CPB-backed regional newsroom

Five public media stations in New York will create a regional newsroom with a $375,000 grant from CPB, announced today. The two-year backing will support Upstate Insight, which CPB called “an innovative model for covering news across a large geographic area.” Principal partners are WXXI, Rochester; WSKG, Binghamton; WRVO, Oswego; and WMHT, Troy. WBFO in Buffalo is an associate partner. In the announcement, CPB said the stations “will develop news data capability and adopt content sharing and communications systems to support connectivity between organizations.”

CPR, WBEZ, WUOT, WBGO lead 2013 PRNDI winners for pubradio news

Presented by NPR’s Scott Simon in Cleveland June 22, Public Radio News Directors Inc. honored the best local public radio news in 16 categories based on the size of stations’ newsroom staff. In addition, PRNDI recognized stations for standout news reporting edited by a national producer; these awards were presented in several categories without consideration of newsroom size. Top winners among this year’s contenders were Colorado Public Radio, Chicago’s WBEZ, WUOT of Knoxville, Tenn., and WBGO in Newark, N.J., which each received four first-place awards in their divisions. Miami’s WLRN and WBFO in Buffalo, N.Y., both topped three categories. CPR, WBEZ, and WLRN competed amongst stations with the largest newsrooms: Division A, for newsrooms staffed by five or more full-time journalists.

Two news competitors in deficit, so one buys the other in Buffalo

Talks exploring a union between two major public broadcasters in western New York state will culminate with the $4 million sale of Buffalo’s WBFO-FM, the dominant NPR News station in the region. WNED, a public TV and radio operation with a weaker AM signal for news, in addition to an FM for classical music, will buy the news station from the State University of New York’s University at Buffalo, retaining its call letters and news format. With the stronger FM news signal, WNED plans to enhance WBFO’s appeal to Canadian audiences, who comprise 68 percent of member contributors to WNED-TV, according to Don Boswell, president. Broadcasting on WBFO’s 50,000-watt signal on 88.7 MHz “gives us the totality of what we need to grow into the Canadian marketplace,” Boswell said. WNED, which has a $23 million endowment from the sale of its second TV channel in 2000, plans to finance the purchase with a loan, he said.