Buffalo Sabres Coach Lindy Ruff has dropped his weekly radio show rather than move it from WBEN-AM to WGR-AM when the formats at the two stations change on Monday.
Ruff, who has been working without a contract, told station General Manager Greg Ried this week that he would not move over to WGR on principle. "I don't agree with what's going on there," said Ruff in a telephone interview. "The negativity they have toward Buffalo sports."
Ruff didn't name him, but it is clear that he didn't want to be associated with the station that carries Chuck Dickerson. Dickerson frequently blasts everyone associated with the Sabres, from the owner on down and ridicules some executives with pet nicknames and songs like "Send in the Clowns."
While Ruff's decision certainly is understandable, there are those who would say that he might be better off going on WGR with another host to counter all the negativity there.
"I don't agree with that," said Ruff.
It appears that Sabres winger Rob Ray, who also has a WBEN talk show, will make the move over to WGR. Ray appears once a week with evening man Chris "The Bulldog" Parker, who is moving to mornings on WGR on Monday.
Unlike Ruff, Ray has a signed contract. He told Sabre spokesman Mike Gilbert earlier in the week that he would rather not do his show on the evenings with someone he doesn't know and would prefer to talk with Parker in the mornings. Ried said that may be the station's plan anyway. "I expect Ray to be on WGR," said Ried, who added that the station has signed national hockey experts Al Morganti and Barry Melrose to contracts.
Reid said that another popular WBEN program, Monday Night Quarterback with Buffalo News Sports Editor Larry Felser, won't be moving to WGR until the next football season, if then.
If you want to hear sports talk concerning the Super Bowl, you'll have to call WGR on Monday.
Ried confirmed that WWKB-AM will be dropping its One-on-One national sports talk format on Monday and begin carrying a simulcast of music station WKSE-FM until the new owners at Entercom Communications decide what to do with the station.
That means the end of "In the Men's Room" in the morning, as well as talk shows hosted by Tony Kornheiser, Peter Brown, Papa Joe Chevallier. Jim Rome's midday show on KB is the only survivor, moving to WGR on Monday.
Ried said that One-on-One Sports was the victim of low ratings and Entercom's desire to avoid having a national program competing with WGR's new sports format.