“I’m really excited,” said Smallwood, who is the first African-American to regularly anchor a weekday newscast in nearly twenty years in the market. “And I’m humbled to not only represent the African-American community, but all communities as well.”
Over the years, station general managers have privately stated that the longevity of anchors here and the difficulty of keeping many talented minority candidates from going to bigger markets are additional factors resulting in the lack of African-Americans in weekday anchor positions. They added that while the city has a significant minority community, the on-air staff composition roughly represents the much smaller percentage of minorities in the entire Western New York area.
“Recruiting minority talent to Buffalo is a difficult task in general,” said Channel 7 General Manager Mike Nurse. “There needs to be a commitment to develop and grow talent as we are doing with Desiree Wiley and Cierra Johnson. … I believe that limited resources impaired Granite’s ability to develop talent in a similar fashion.”