WGRZ anchor Maryalice Demler and Buffalo News television critic Alan Pergament are at odds over the on-air commentary segments Demler delivers on the Buffalo NBC affiliate.
Demler, who co-anchors WGRZ’s evening newscasts, did a commentary segment on Jason Collins being the first openly gay NBA player last week. In a blog post, Pergament called Demler’s commentary “obvious and unnecessary,” saying the anchor should “stick to reading and reporting the news and stay away from commentaries that don’t say much.”
In her commentary this week, Demler delivered a lengthy response to Pergament’s criticism, saying the segments are the sign of an evolved newsroom. “What you see before you is a 21st century news anchor,” Demler said. “My job — like our newsroom — has evolved over the past 30 years.” Watch:
In a column published Wednesday, Pergament called Demler’s response a “unnecessary, inappropriate, hilarious waste of news time,” saying he hasn’t “laughed out loud so much about local TV news since watching ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.'”
Demler’s latest commentary was an astonishing display of ego and self-importance, even by the standard of news anchors. I was almost waiting for her to claim that she was a woman who invented the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower instead of Burgundy.[…] Someone at Channel 2 should have told Demler to tone down the ego, accept some criticism and move on. But I thank her for responding and proving my point all over again.