Buffalo Stations Chuck Ethics out the Window


John Murphy was the Sports Director at WKBW for years. He left the station and crossed the street to WIVB as the Sports Director.

Then Murphy quit WIVB to work for the Buffalo Bills.

Yet, there he was on WKBW the other night filing a report for the station. What was the report on?

The BUFFALO BILLS! Can you say conflict of interest?

StillTakinTV.com says that after the end of the 6 p.m. sports report Thursday featuring a story on the Buffalo Bills participation in the NFL Scouting Combine, WKBW Anchor Keith Radford turned to co-anchor Joanna Pasceri and said: “It’s good to see Johnny again.”

“Glad he’s covering that for us,” responded Pasceri.

it wasn’t the first time that Murphy has appeared on local TV since leaving WIVB to host an informative and positive nightly WGR radio show focusing on the Bills and adding multiple duties to his previous role as the radio voice of the National Football League team.

WIVB used Murphy last season to provide analysis after Bills games.

However, it still is a little startling to see local TV stations use someone to cover a team that he works for full-time. It should be noted that Channel 7 carries Bills preseason games and calls itself the Bills station.

Murphy, who left WKBW for WIVB in a contract dispute, worked for both TV stations while he was paid by local radio stations as the voice of the Bills. That arrangement, which isn’t unique in TV markets, usually means sports anchors avoid critical treatment of teams they cover.

But now that Murphy is a full-time Bills worker you might think a TV station would think better of having “Johnny” do reports on the team.

In today’s media world, stations are always looking for ways to save money. That’s especially true of Channel 7, which has the lowest staff in town. It means lines about what is acceptable are constantly being blurred.

I suppose some people could say “it is only sports,” covering the Combine isn’t exactly a controversial topic, and TV sports anchors and reporters these days are rarely critical anyway.

But if “Johnny” isn’t benched by Channel 7 in favor of someone who doesn’t work for the Bills, at the very least he should be identified as a full-time Bills worker before every one of his reports.