The local TV news market has seen its share of musical chairs over the decades, with broadcasters often hopping from one channel across the dial to a different station. (And sometimes back to a former stomping ground, as Matt Mulcahy can attest.) Perhaps taking a cue from the long-ago career moves of Bud Hedinger, the always-smiling meteorologist Chris Brandolino departed the local airwaves when he left WSTM- Channel 3 in December 2007 for a position with the Australian government’s Bureau of Meteorology’s Special Service Unit Branch. Then just two years later he got out from Down Under and moved back to town—but relocated to WSYR-Channel 9 starting in January 2010 as the dawn patrol weatherguy, while also landing a co-hosting gig on the daily morning gabfest Bridge Street. Hmmmm, could a Bowling for Dollars reboot be in Brandolino’s long-range forecast?
Meanwhile, Channel 9 has continued to flesh out its staff with recruitments of news veterans from rival outlets. WSYR was quick to grab ex-anchor Keith Kobland, who became collateral damage following the March 2009 implosion of WTVH-Channel 5’s news department. Kobland has since been doing plenty of front-line reportage on major stories such as the recent Southern Tier floods.
A more recent hiring coup involves Tammy Palmer, best known until last spring for her personable duties as longtime weekend anchor for Time Warner Cable’s Your News Now (YNN) channel. Palmer resurfaced in midsummer at WSYR as an on-the-go, on-camera newshound, adept at handling puff pieces (and it doesn’t get more light-newsy than a segment on Auburn’s Genesee Beer sign) as well as breaking-news events like ticks at Green Lakes State Park and Nine Mile Island strikers. YNN’s loss is Channel 9’s gain, although we still miss Palmer’s amusing repartee with kid movie critic Lights-Camera-Jackson—and he probably misses her, too.