Gannett Sports Anchor Needs to Go...NOW!

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FTVLive told you that WGRZ (Buffalo) longtime Sports Anchor Ed Kilgore was leaving the station at the end of the May book.

He is leaving to go work for Terry Pegula, who owns the NHL's Buffalo Sabres. 

There was some question about Kilgore staying on at the station while covering the team that his new boss owns. The Gannett station said at the time that "Kilgore’s new job wouldn’t involve the Sabres and added that meant he could continue to be objective covering the team."

Well it looks like there has already been a bit of a conflict with Kilgore and his new boss that more than blurred the line.

The Buffalo News says that on Saturday, Kilgore was the host of a press conference for the HarborCenter project that featured Buffalo Sabres Owner Terry Pegula.

Word is that sportswriters and reporters were floored Saturday at the sight of Kilgore introducing Pegula and all the dignitaries at the press conference.

The press conference came only three days after Kilgore announced he was leaving the station on May 24 to work for Pegula’s East Management company.

At the very least, the double duty had the appearance of a  conflict of interest.

The right thing to do would have been to treat Kilgore the same way the station treated former reporter Pete Gallivan when he announced he was going to work for Gov. Cuomo. The station showed Gallivan the door that day and gave him an on-air goodbye. He understood that journalistically he had to go because any story he could be assigned could involve a governor’s policy.  

Even if WGRZ didn’t feel compelled to have Kilgore leave immediately, Saturday’s performance was a game-changer. Kilgore appears to be already working for Pegula. If Kilgore had stayed in the background for a month before working for Pegula, the issue might not have been front and center. But by hosting Saturday’s press conference, Kilgore, and by extension WGRZ, were throwing the conflict in viewers’ faces.

WGRZ really doesn’t see the conflict of interest of having Kilgore covering a team owned by his boss? Really? Then its reporters should turn in their Red Coats immediately.

 WGRZ could defend KiIgore by saying he criticized the Sabres last week after his new job was announced, saying it was a bad team with a great owner. But even that statement could be taken as a thank you for getting his new job.

More on the story from the Buffalo News