Jay Moran

Morning Edition Host

Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.

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While the history of the Buffalo Bills is well-documented, the complex story of the driving force behind the team is less known. The producers of "Ralph," which airs tonight at 8 on WNED-TV,  explore the unique background and understated business savvy of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., the man who purchased the franchise in 1959 for $25,000. His leadership not only kept the team alive in an economically-depressed area, it also successfully built a franchise that would eventually sell for $1.4 billion.


For many Bills fans, the team's rivalry with the Miami Dolphins exists only in ancient history. While the teams battled four times in the playoffs in 1990's, their collective postseason fortunes have faded in recent years. The fire could return this Sunday at New Era Field. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, the Bills need to beat the Dolphins in order to stay in the playoff race.


The Buffalo Niagara International Airport scored a victory when Frontier Airlines decided to provide service there. According to Jim Fink of Business First, the discount air carrier was also being pursued by airports in Rochester and Syracuse. Fink says Frontier will fill an area need when it begins flying from Buffalo to Denver.


An inch or two of new snow could impact Buffalo and the surrounding area today. That modest snow total, however, could make for treacherous driving conditions as strong winds whip up blowing snow later today. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Northern Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Genesee Counties. Additionally, a lake effect snow warning is in place for Southern Erie, Wyoming, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties.


The weather earned the headlines for Sunday's game at New Era Field. The Buffalo Bills kept their playoff hopes alive with a 13-7 overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts, but most observers are still talking about the heavy snow that fell throughout the game. A Wall Street Journal reporter called the contest "delightfully ugly." Most Bills fans would agree, analyst Matt Sabua points out, provided their team wins.

Jay Moran/WBFO

While residents of Orchard Park, Lackawanna and Elma dig out of the snow piles left by Sunday's weather, some other locales should keep their shovels and plows at the ready in the coming days. A new weather system follows the lake effect snow that impacted Sunday's Bills game where snow totals near New Era Field approached a foot-and-a-half. A winter storm watch has been issued from tonight through Wednesday afternoon.


The Buffalo Bills find themselves in a familiar spot as the 2017 season winds down. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, the Bills remain in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs. Of course, that "hunt" has come up empty for the Bills, who haven't appeared in a postseason game in almost 18 years. The bottom line, Sabuda says, the Bills have a small chance at the playoffs if they beat the Colts Sunday; almost no shot, if they lose.


Eileen Buckley

The Friday morning commute around Buffalo was complicated by lake effect snow drifting into the city. Tony Ansuini of the National Weather Service expects two to four inches of snow to fall before 10 a.m. A winter weather advisory has been issued for Northern Erie and Genesee counties.


In modifying its forecast, the National Weather Service is now predicting significant lake effect snow for later this afternoon and tonight.  Buffalo, along with parts of Northern Erie and Genesee counties, will be under a winter weather advisory from 4 pm until 1 am Thursday. A lake effect snow warning begins tonight for areas south of the city.


Early Monday morning, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for much of the area. According to meteorologist John Hitchcock, the watch runs from late Tuesday through late Thursday. Throughout that duration, lake effect snow bands will move throughout the area, leaving solid snow piles from Buffalo to Western New York's ski country.


The New England Patriots dominated the Buffalo Bills in a 23-3 victory Sunday at New Era Field. The performance, however, was tainted by Rob Gronkowski's illegal hit on Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White. Analyst Matt Sabuda called the play "one of the worst cheap shots I've seen in years" and believes Gronkowski deserves a suspension.


The New England Patriots have made themselves at home in Orchard Park in recent years. Analyst Matt Sabuda cites a laundry list  of startling statistics highlighting the Patriots dominance at the home stadium of the Buffalo Bills.  Sabuda points out that Bill Belichick has 15 wins in Orchard Park as the Patriots coach. None of the Bills full-season head coaches of this century--Gregg Williams, Mike Mularkey, Dick Jauron, Chan Gailey, Doug Marrone and Rex Ryan--had as many wins at New Era Field.


Buffalo Rising

It came with a price tag approaching $1 million. A 6,000 square-foot mansion on Summer Street was purchased and will be rented through Airbnb. DeChantell and Jessica Marinelli of Buffalo Rising say the investment is more proof of the continued growth and potential of the Buffalo tourism industry.


Oddsmakers listed the Buffalo Bills as 10-point underdogs heading into Sunday's game against the Chiefs in Kansas City.  The 16-10 victory not only proved many experts wrong, it also renewed hope the Bills could end their record-setting playoff drought. Analyst Matt Sabuda advises cautious optimism, pointing out the Bills' record of 6-5 is a mark they've now reached four times over the last ten years.


Holiday Valley opens today

Nov 24, 2017
Holiday Valley

The region's skiers have reasons to be thankful this weekend: Holiday Valley has opened five slopes and two lifts today.

Reeling from three straight losses and a disastrous quarterback change, the Buffalo Bills will try to keep their fading playoff hopes alive on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Analyst Matt Sabuda is consoling hopeful fans against putting too much on the line. "My best advice is to not expect a lot." On the bright side, the Chiefs are also flailing after starting the season with five straight wins.


The history of the Buffalo Bills is scattered with poor seasons. Twice, in 1968 and 1971, the Bills managed to win just one game, but those teams did not sink as low as what fans have seen in recent weeks. According to analyst Matt Sabuda, before yesterday, the Bills had never surrendered 47 or more points in consecutive weeks.  A tough schedule only adds to a gloomy forecast for the rest of the season.


Buffalo Bills officials say rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman gives them their best chance to beat the Chargers on Sunday and revive their fading playoff hopes. Analyst Matt Sabuda, however, sees a longer view. The decision to bench starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor is more about sifting through personnel to find the building blocks for a team that could eventually contend for a championship. The success of that chosen path remains to be seen.  

Punks Against Putin Facebook page

From cooks to bartenders to local musical acts, dozens of volunteers have teamed to present Saturday's Punks Against Putin. Proceeds from the day-long music festival at the Ukrainian-American Civic Center will cover the cost of shipping medical supplies to Ukraine.


Few losses in the 45 seasons of Buffalo Bills football at New Era Field were more lopsided than Sunday's 47-10 drubbing administered by the New Orleans Saints. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, the loss doesn't end the Bills hopes for the playoffs, but their inability to compete should serve as a stark reminder that the organization is a long way from fielding a true championship contender.


The New Orleans Saints visit New Era Field Sunday as the NFL’s hottest team. They have won six straight games, beating their opponents by an  average of two touchdowns. Analyst Matt Sabuda believes the Bills defense—ranked fourth in the NFL in points allowed—face a stern test against quarterback Drew Brees. A future Hall-of-Famer, Brees is rated third among quarterbacks this season.

Election 2017 offered another display of Erie County's counterintuitive voting habits. Despite a larger base of Democratic registrants, three county races went to Republicans. Those victories, however, were offset by the defeat of a GOP incumbent in the county legislature, giving Democrats majority control as of January 1. "Anything can happen here," said Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy during his weekly conversation on WBFO's Morning Edition. "That's why it's so interesting to watch."


As it distributes millions of state dollars to its winners, the 43North business competition has drawn attention to Buffalo from startup companies from around the world. While that notoriety possesses debatable value, the competition has not been as successful at finding companies willing to stay in Buffalo on a long-term basis. In her review of contest winners, Charlotte Keith of Investigative Post finds that out-of-town winners often leave after staying here for the mandatory one-year term.


The New York Jets' drubbing of the Buffalo Bills 34-21 in front of a national audience served as a reminder of the narrow separation of supposed playoff contenders and NFL cellar-dwellers.  The Jets took advantage of poor offensive line play, says analyst Matt Sabuda. Without significant improvement, the weakness is likely to be exploited by future opponents.


A payment of $50,000 to an unidentified woman by Sam Hoyt, the former head of the state regional economic developmental agency, to secure a confidentiality agreement is sparking controversy. In his weekly conversation with WBFO, Bob McCarthy reviews his reporting on the matter. The timeline raises questions of whether high-level state officials were aware of the situation; and, if so, why did they not act upon it earlier?


Business First has released its CORE Strength issue, the fifth straight year the far-reaching findings have been published. "It's the value of all the construction projects that are in the pipeline for the eight Western New York counties this year," explained Jim Fink of Business First during his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass. By his calculations, the projects represent $20.6 billion in regional investment, an increase of seven percent over 2016.


Coming away from Sunday's victory at New Era Field, the numbers are all positive for the Buffalo Bills. Their 5-2 record is their best after seven games since 2011. Their 4-0 record at home is the best since 1995, when Jim Kelly was still the quarterback. Beyond that, analyst Matt Sabuda points out that the convincing, 33-14, victory came against a Raiders' team "who many thought would contend for a Super Bowl this year."


To this point, the 4-2 Buffalo Bills are exceeding pre-season expectations, many of which predicted a year heavy on losing to setup for a better position in the 2018 NFL draft. The good feelings will halt Sunday, however, with a home loss to the underachieving Oakland Raiders. Analyst Matt Sabuda believes the Raiders present numerous challenges, notably All-Pro Khalil Mack who created problems for Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor when the teams met in Oakland last season.


The heavy presence of political signs littered about Hamburg, Amherst and Lancaster reveal hotly-contested races for key positions in those towns. It's a different story in Buffalo as Primary Day essentially determined which Democrats would hold key city offices. According to Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy, those trends may boost Republicans to victory in three countywide races.


When it comes to hiring minority teachers, several local school districts are struggling. In Buffalo, where the majority of the students are African-American or Hispanic, the majority of teachers are white. On WBFO's Press Pass, Jay Rey of the Buffalo News points out the problem is more acute in some suburbs. One district has just one African-American teacher and a student body that is nearly one-third minority.


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