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Changes to WGR a big step in the right direction

Monday and Tuesday were big days for Buffalo's sports radio station, WGR550 AM.

On Monday, it was announced that the Buffalo Sabres and Entercom, the company that owns WGR, have agreed on a deal that will see a two-hour daily show from 10am-12pm titled "Sabres Hockey Hotline". The show will replace the oft-criticized Colin Cowherd, or as it was called by someone, "The LeBron Show."

The show starts June 18th and will be hosted by Kevin Sylvester. It will emanate from a studio being constructed in the Sabres Store at First Niagara Center.

The programming news wasn't done yet as on Tuesday it was announced that John Murphy will be returning to the airwaves with "The John Murphy Show" weeknights from 7-9pm starting July 26th.

In total, WGR has added four hours of daily local programming. A move that I have long been wanting and clamoring for. To see it finally come to fruition makes this member of the media a happy camper.

I understand what having nationally syndicated shows does for a station, but to have five consecutive hours of your daily programming dedicated to non-local talent is too much. By filling in the 10-12 slot with local talent, it leaves just one syndicated show - The Jim Rome Show from 12-3pm.

Now I know that WGR broadcasts ESPN radio overnight, but that isn't considered "prime radio time" and isn't being used for this piece. I just figured I'd get that out of the way so I don't get people bringing that up to me.

I feel that having a solitary syndicated show is more than enough. Hell, if it were up to me I'd fill that slot with more local talent. Now, those who know me know that I'm a big fan of the work that Joe Buscaglia and Sal Capaccio do for the station.

Their on-air chemistry is good based on what I've heard when they're on the air together and just being around them, and I feel that it may be time to give them a run with a daily show. Even it's just a test run where they take Rome off the station for a brief time to see how it works.

If reviews are good, keep them. If not, then at least you tried.

I know quite a few people in this area have a problem with a few of the on-air talent of WGR, but I can say that I'm not one of them, anymore. I won't lie, I used to have the preconception that all of the On-Air staff were stuck up and thought they were better than everyone. That was then.

The fact is, that after meeting most of them, I no longer feel that way. They are all good people who love sports just as much the fans of the area do. Their opinions may not be popular with plenty of people, but they are doing what they are paid to do: talk about sports and give opinions.

For me, getting more of that content on the airwaves is a crucial step in making Buffalo sports radio a bigger factor. If you present a station that has unique content and diverse characters if you will, then people will take notice more.

Having the same exact shows on the air that 99% of the country has isn't expanding your station, it's limiting it. With the recent moves that WGR has made I have to say bravo. You made this listener very happy, and I expect nothing but great things from the station in the future.

Don't let me down.


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