By Alan Pergament
I've been on record before predicting that Channel 7's Desiree Wiley eventually will become a TV star and move to a bigger market.
But she isn't one now and it's a disservice to her and the audience to have her anchor the noon newscast so quickly.
But there she was anchoring at noon Monday morning when meteorologist Mike Randall, doing the weather outside, saw Wiley's mother in the crowd at the Erie County Fair and asked her to grade her daughter's performance.
Mom gave her a 8.5 out of 10, which qualified as a tough grade coming from a parent.
Wiley immediately stumbled reading copy as she apparently had trouble with the teleprompter or her script.
I'd give this year’s first runner-up in the Miss New York State competition a 5 out of 10. And that’s being generous, taking her inexperience into account and the fact that she was thrown into the role because Channel 7 needs someone there temporarily while it searches for a new morning anchor team.
Wiley has a pleasing personality and a great camera presence but she doesn’t have a commanding voice and looked like she was getting on the job training.
I expect her to get much better. But she just isn't ready for this role a few years out of Buffalo State College.
In the old days of local television when Buffalo was a bigger market, Wiley would have had to perfect her style in Elmira or some other small market. These days, local TV hires anchors and reporters right out of college and hope they mature reasonably fast in front of our eyes.
It isn't easy, but Channel 4's Nalina Shapiro has showed recently that improvement can happen. I'd bet it will happen with Wiley as well.
Wiley isn't the only one I saw anchor for the first time recently.
Channel 4’s Elysia Rodriguez, who arrived at the CBS affiliate several months ago, anchored a few weekend newscasts and appeared very comfortable doing so. I’d give her a grade of 8.5 and imagine she’d get an even higher grade from her relatives. She came here from a smaller market, Springfield, Mass., which no doubt helped her become comfortable behind the anchor desk.
Channel 2's experiment with "Secrets of the Unknown with Karyn Reece" continues to be a late-night hit. Last Sunday’s third installment had a 4.0 rating, which is better than most prime time programs on broadcast television get in the summer locally.