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Murphy Scores in Ad Game; BEMA Finalists Named

By Alan Pergament

This is what I’m thinking:

I’ve always written that Buffalo Bills play-by-play man John Murphy has one of the best voices in broadcasting so I’m not terribly surprised that he has gone Steve Tasker’s route and become an advertising spokesman.

I can't recall how many ads Murphy (if any) has done in the past, except for the Bills, but his recent ads for NOCO on radio and TV almost seem to be as ubiquitous lately as Tasker’s car ads.

He became free to do more advertising work after leaving Channel 4 to become a full-time employee of the Bills. TV stations don’t generally let their on-air talent to voice commercials or become spokesman, though Murphy’s predecessor and play-by-play mentor, Van Miller, was an exception.

I’m not sure how seriously to take the 2nd Annual Buffalo Excellence in Media Awards (BEMA) because the broadcasters getting them can nominate themselves and some do. In any event, the Buffalo Broadcasters Association announced the 2013 finalists this morning for the awards that will be given out in ceremonies April 26 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens. The finalists were chosen by a group of industry professionals that include several with Western New York ties.

Diana Fairbanks: Should Win

The list of finalists in some categories may have some viewers and listeners shaking their heads. In the,  radio personality of the year category, the finalists are Patrick Freeman, Clay Moden, Tom Puckett and Jud Heussler. If I have to tell you what stations they are on, then they can’t be that big of a personality or made much of an impact.

In the TV personality of the year category, the finalists are Ch.4’s Diana Fairbanks, Ch.2’s Michael Wooten, Channel 7’s Ginger Geoffery and YNN’s Katie Morse.

Here are the finalists in some other categories: Backpack Journalist of the Year: Channel 7’s Rachel Elzufon, Ch.4’s Ed Drantch, Ch.2’s James Herr and YNN’s Meg Rossman. Rising Star: Drantch, Elzufon, Ch.4’s Brittni Smallwood and Ch.4’s Steve Vesey. Best Use of Social Media: WGR’s Joe Buscaglia, 102.5’s Rob Lucas, Ch.4’s Bryan Shaw and WGR’s Jeremy White.

Trailblazer of the Year: Phil Arno (WBBZ-TV owner), Maryalice Demler (Channel 2 anchor), Janet Snyder (Kiss 98.5 morning personality) and Jackie Albarella of Albarella Media.

All right, I’ll tell you who the finalists in the radio personality category work for: Freeman (WUFO), Moden (WYRK), Puckett (WBEN) and Heussler (WKSE).

I’m not going to wait until April 26 to declare my winners in some categories: Fairbanks as TV personality of the year, Vesey as Rising Star and Arno as Trailblazer. I have no idea who should win the radio personality of the year because Puckett is the only one who I listen to regularly. And he is a news anchor, which doesn’t allow him to be much of a personality.

If you’re a big college hoop fan like I am, you probably were asking Sunday night, “where the heck is TruTV?’” to find the assessment of entertaining analyst Charles Barkley after the NCAA tournament field was announced. It is on Ch. 74 and HD Channel 859 on Time Warner Cable in the city. When I found it, I also discovered that Shaquille O’Neal has a show on Tru. Who knew? By the way, Syracuse’s game with Montana at 10 p.m. Thursday is being carried on Tru. And two play-in games tonight are on Tru. 

Speaking of Syracuse, CBS analysts Seth Davis and Doug Gottlieb disagreed Sunday on its chances to advance past Montana. Davis had Syracuse losing, Gottlieb had them winning. They have great jobs – they don’t have to be right to keep them.

Buffalo Sabre fans continue to be gluttons for punishment.The Sabres’ 5-3 loss to Washington Sunday night had an 8.3 rating and was the highest-rated program locally in prime time. The walking dead Sabres even beat AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” which was the only program close Sunday with an 8.0 rating.

To those who have asked (both of you) my next column in the printed version of The News will appear on Saturday. All right, I admit more than two of you asked. The plan is to write one column a week for the newspaper and blog frequently.  


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About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

@StillTalkinTV |