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Ch.4 Should Bench Connors During Trial


Here’s the media ethics question of the day: If a news organization explains a conflict of interest does that make it acceptable?

Benigni, Kilgore: Ch.2 Still Believes in Sports Coverage

Channel 4 is using its legal consultant, Terrence Connors, as its expert on the manslaughter trial of Dr. James Corasanti.

Before Connors talks, the station has a reporter explain that Connors is the lawyer for the family of Alexandria “Alix” Rice in the civil case against Dr. Corasanti in the death of the teenage skateboarder who was struck and killed by a car he was driving last summer.

I’m not a legal expert, but one might reasonably think that the criminal case that Connors is analyzing will impact what happens in the civil case. Even if it doesn’t, Channel 4 should find another lawyer to be its daily expert in this case. His on-air participation is clearly a conflict of interest.

It shouldn’t be hard to find someone else. After all, Channel 2 has been able to find several lawyers to dissect the case including Dennis Vacco, Thomas Eoannou and Paul Cambria.

Channel 2 stubbornly continues to air stories on its 10 o’clock news on WNYO-TV in a Top 10 list given in backwards order. It is a stupid practice that looks even more ridiculous during the Corasanti trial. It is hard to understand why any viewer would want to wait 8-10 minutes to see the trial coverage when it is bound to be the No. 1 or No.2 most important story of the day on many nights.

In a sense, Channel 4 backup sportscaster Paul Peck got to give two goodbyes. Thanks to the Buffalo Bills, he got to say his first thank you on Friday night, two nights ahead of his final broadcast before he starts his new career in the financial industry. The Bills gave him a send-off Friday, presenting him with a uniform with his name and No. 4 on its. Channel 4 aired video of it, which led to Sports Director John Murphy praising Peck and giving him some time to express his feelings. It was a classy move by the Bills. 

Then at the end of the sports segment of the 11 p.m. Sunday newscast, Peck gave a classy personal one-minute goodbye that ended with him saying “even though I didn’t grow up here, Buffalo is my hometown.” Nice touch.

Peck was a bit of a Pollyanna before that, telling viewers (who may know that Sports Director John Murphy will soon follow him out the door), “trust me, you are in good hands.”

It would be easier to trust that remark if Channel 4 shared its plans about who is going to replace Peck and when he or she will start. It will be interesting to see how long it takes Channel 4 to replace Peck. Until it does, the station’s anchors may have to fill in for him unless Murphy works seven-day weeks during the May sweeps.

A reader told me how much he enjoyed a question that ESPN analyst Jon Gruden asked Chris Berman Saturday after Berman went on to say several glowing things about the Buffalo Bills, their free agent signings and their draft choices. “You from Buffalo?” asked Gruden. Berman’s response was a little muffled but he essentially said the city loves him. No argument here.

I woke up Saturday morning in time to hear WGR’s Mike Schopp question why the Bills gave up a seventh round draft choice to move ahead of a team that selected a punter. What Schopp failed to realize is that the team the Bills moved ahead of might not have drafted the punter if the receiver the Bills picked, T.J. Graham, had been available. In the same sense, Bills fans don’t know if the team would have picked Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly if he still had been on the board before they picked Stephon Gilmore.

Ch.2 is smartly trying to capitalize on the dismantling of Channel 4’s sports staff by running promos featuring its larger staff of Adam Benigni, Ed Kilgore, Ben Hayes and Stu Boyar and telling viewers how much it values “full-blown” sports coverage on multiple platforms. Channel 2 had twice as many on-air sports staffers as Channel 4 and Channel 7 had before Peck left Channel 4. 

Finallythis question from NBC’s Pierre McGuire to former Sabre Danny Briere after he scored the winning overtime goal for Philadelphia against New Jersey Sunday had to cause Sabre fans to wince: “What is it about you and the playoffs?”

According to Peck Sunday night, Briere has scored 106 points in 104 playoff games in his career. 


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1 response to "Ch.4 Should Bench Connors During Trial"

  1. GMan says:

    Schopp will never admit he is wrong. He’s the most arrogant local radio host I’ve listened to. It’s a wonder he’s still on the air. Wish WGR would send Him packing , so he could impress another market.

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