Niagara Gazette


March 17, 2008

SPORTS ON TV: Lockport's Murphy on the air again at Ch. 4

The voice of the Bills is now the face of Channel 4 sports.

John Murphy resumed his sports broadcasting career Monday, debuting on WIVB-TV’s evening newscasts. He will also serve as the station’s sports director.

Murphy, a Lockport native, had been off the air for nearly six months after a contract dispute ended his 18-year tenure at WKBW-TV.

“I’m excited to get back to work,” Murphy said after emceeing the Coaches vs. Cancer NCAA Tip Off at HSBC Arena on Monday.

Murphy said he couldn’t comment on the details of his separation with Ch. 7. He reportedly had to honor a non-compete clause before joining a rival station.

Having worked Buffalo Bills radio broadcasts since 1994, including the past four seasons as the play-by-play announcer, Murphy said he was committed to staying in Western New York.

“I had a chance to step back and take a look at things,” Murphy said. “Nothing appealed to me as much as being a sportscaster.”

As a CBS affiliate, Ch. 4 carries most afternoon Bills games. Sportscaster Paul Peck serves as a sideline reporter for the Bills Radio Network.

Murphy replaces Dennis Williams, whose contract was allowed to expired last month. Williams was the station’s lead anchor and sports director since 1998, when longtime Bills play-by-play man Van Miller retired.

Williams currently hosts an evening talk radio show on WGR 550 AM.

Murphy began his broadcasting career at WBEN 930 AM radio, which occupies the same building as Ch. 4. He has worked as a commentator for the Niagara Purple Eagles, Buffalo Bulls, Buffalo Bisons and Canisius Golden Griffins. He joined Ch. 7 in 1989.

“I hope I’m invigorated,” he said. “This is a very exciting time of year. The Sabres are making a push for the playoffs, the Bills are preparing for the draft, it’s March Madness.”

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