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Happy Kilgore Celebration Was Missing Something

The on-air celebration of Sports Director Ed Kilgore’s 40th anniversary at Channel 2 Thursday was a happy occasion full of laughs, a cake delivered by his good friend John Beard and a joking warning to Adam Benigni not to take the honored guest’s seat just yet at 6 p.m.

Kilgore deserves congratulations because staying at one station for 40 years – especially considering all the ownership changes at Channel 2 over the years – is an incredible accomplishment and a testament to his nice-guy qualities. There is unlikely to be any sportscaster in this market or any market working for 40 years at the same station again.

Ed Kilgore: 40 Years at Ch.2

Ed Kilgore: 40 Years at Ch.2

But as Channel 2 listed Kilgore’s accomplishments I also couldn’t help but be a little sad for him.Here was the short list as read by anchor Scott Levin and put up on a Channel 2 graphic: 1. 40 Years With 2 on Your Side 2. Carried Olympic Torch in 1996 3. Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro 4. Author

And that was it. No mention of any journalism achievements. For instance, like breaking stories or doing something memorable that got him into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

If you watched the Channel 2 celebration you would have concluded that Kilgore’s greatest achievement was survival. Or as Beard said: “Nobody can ever say my buddy doesn’t know how to hold a job.”

The highlights of Kilgore also emphasized the silly things that have happened to him and by him over the years. He was shown asking someone for advice on how to open a story, asking someone the name of a horse before he was a harness racing jockey and telling an audience that he didn’t have anything to say.

There also was a clip in which it was tough to tell if former Buffalo Sabres General Manager and Coach Scotty Bowman was joking or angry when he said he was willing to “trade Kilgore and an announcer to be named later to someplace for future considerations.”

I’m all for having fun on anniversaries such as this one. And I’ve never been Kilgore’s biggest fan. But he deserved some recognition for his work covering Buffalo sports rather than just his playful moments being a good sport.

With the start of the New Year, Channel 2 has a new sports wrinkle. Its sports reports are now sponsored by a car company. Kilgore and Benigni deliver sports news from the Toyota Sports Desk. The practice is being done by networks and affiliates across the country. Channel 2 is the first station to do it locally.

Of course, sports is the toy department and has different advertising rules than news. So don’t expect to see Channel 2’s News delivered from the Honda News Desk. I hope.


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6 responses to "Happy Kilgore Celebration Was Missing Something"

  1. Steve says:

    Alan…relax. Let them honor him when or if he retires. Anniversaries are meant to be fun. When was the last time you went to a 40 year reunion, anniversary or birthday where they didn’t poke some fun at things that the person or people did? Retirement or death is the best time for all the achievement talk. If it wasn’t, when do you start honoring people nowadays with all the movement? 5, 10, 20…? Or maybe if they can make it a year in this crazy business!

    • alanp says:

      I wasn’t saying they shouldn’t have fun. They did and I was glad to see it. The point is they listed his achievements. And the ones they picked didn’t amount to much.

  2. Rob says:

    The fact that he lasted 40 years for s station that was almost always mired in 3rd place in the ratings should get SOME recognition! Yes, I agree Ed is about as deep as a puddle but he obviously clicks with viewers since he held onto his position for all the years. He’s non-abrasive, like some sports broadcaster, and does have that “good guy” mentality. Like Obama; “the guy you want to have a beer with.”

  3. Sean says:

    Ed has mailed it in for the past 15 years. He was a decent sportscaster but hasnt seem to care to be current or informed in longtime.

  4. chuckp says:

    Ed is the last of the old guard but I think he should ride off into the sunset like Van Miller and Rick Azar did. Ed also seems to have some kind of issue speaking these days….he sounds slurred or slushy many times. I agree with the Toyota Sports Desk….maybe that’s a national Gannett thing that Ch. 2 was forced to adopt? Only way to tell would be to watch another Gannett station’s newscast.

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