It looks like Channel 4 sports director John Murphy will be leaving the station to join the Buffalo Bills in some capacity after the May sweeps are over, sources have told stilltalkintv.
Murphy isn’t talking and for a good reason. Stilltalkintv reported last week that he was considering leaving the station, which is something station management would prefer he not confirm at this time.
According to sources, Murphy was convinced to stay on through the May ratings periods (which sets advertising rates) by Channel 4 General Manager Chris Musial and will join the Bills full-time around June 1.
Murphy already is the radio voice of the Bills. As stated here on March 22, more and more National Football League teams are hiring their play-by-play men to work in other public relations, communications and marketing capacities. It is unclear what Murphy – who joined Channel 4 four years ago after leaving Channel 7 — would do with the Bills.
But according to sources in the advertising industry, Murphy is expected to host a nightly talk show on WGR radio (the new home of the Bills) from Monday through Friday that will be focused on the National Football League team. Before entering TV, Murphy did a highly-respected sports talk show on WBEN-AM. Of course, there would be some conflicts with Buffalo Sabres games starting in October. But WGR’s owner also owns WBEN and a few other stations in town and could move Murphy’s show to one of those stations if there are conflicts with the station’s Sabres coverage.
Unless he changes his mind or is convinced to stay a little longer, Murphy’s departure from Channel 4 will be a month after backup sportscaster Paul Peck leaves Channel 4 to work in the financial services industry. Peck, who will remain the voice of University at Buffalo football, said he was asked to stay on for a month to report on the Buffalo Sabres’ potential start in the National Hockey League playoffs and the NFL draft. He accepted.
According to sources, Murphy and Peck have become increasingly frustrated by the way sports coverage has been treated at the station and being asked to take pay cuts.
Note to Buffalo News: Please credit stilltalkintv if (or when) you rewrite this report.