By Alan Pergament
Channel 2 has reversed itself and decided that sports anchor Ed Kilgore will end his more than 40-year run on the NBC affiliate with a final appearance on Wednesday's 6 p.m. newscast.
Last week, the station announced it planned to allow Kilgore to anchor until May 24 after he accepted a job in a company owned by Buffalo Sabres Owner Terry Pegula that it said wouldn’t involve the Sabres.
In a brief written statement this morning, Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner said the station’s plans changed after Kilgore was the host of Saturday’s HarborCenter news conference.
“The event became as much a Sabres event as it was a downtown development event,” wrote Toellner. “WGRZ management was unaware of Ed’s prominent role there prior. After a long career of unblemished integrity we initially felt a few weeks with Ed on the air and separated from the Sabres could work. Although we have complete faith in Ed’s objectivity we see from Saturday events that perceptions might not go that way for all.“
Toellner added that Kilgore will be paid through May 24 but will no longer work at Channel 2 after Wednesday.
“We thank and salute Ed Kilgore for his long and impressive career and contributions and congratulate him on his new endeavors,” continued Toellner. “His commitment and enthusiasm was constant and will be missed.”
Toellner said the 6 p.m. Wednesday newscast will celebrate Kilgore’s more than 40 years at Channel 2 “and hear his thoughts and remembrances about reporting on local sports for some of the greatest fans in the country.”