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Morning Edition host Jay Moran's very interesting sideline

For listeners of WBFO’s FM signal, the voice of Morning Edition host Jay Moran is still relatively new to you.  But even long time listeners of AM 970 might not be aware of how Jay spends 40-plus evenings a year. 

Tuesday night, the Buffalo Sabres play their final home game of the season at First Niagara Center.  And if you plan on attending, you might just recognize Jay’s voice.  He moonlights as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres.  He’s been doing so since the Fall of 2005.

“I was doing the public address at one of the NCAA tournament games.  And Rich Wall, who was the Sabres game presentation coordinator here, heard me and thought I sounded good inside the building.  He said we’re going to use you next year,” Moran said.  “I showed up for first game after the lock out, and I’ve been here ever since.”

Back in the old days at Memorial Auditorium, the Sabres’ legendary P-A announcer, Hall of Famer, Milt Ellis was stationed at ice level and worked alone in calling out the goals and penalties.  But Jay Moran is part of a team working out of a Press Box booth.  Jenifer Dunford holds the title of Director of Game Presentation for the Sabres.  Besides Jay, Dunford directs cameramen, the scoreboard operators and even the team’s popular mascot, Sabretooth.

Dunford is responsible for maintaining a high energy level, especially during stoppages of play.  She says Buffalo is an educated hockey city, so there’s really no need for Jay Moran to be a cheerleader, like some of the P-A announcers heard in other NHL cities

“Jay is essentially our host,” Dunford said.  “He gives our fans information about promotions.  He sets the tone from the time the team hits the ice.”

For fan Barbara Maloney of Buffalo, the game day presentation is much appreciated.

“It is exciting.  I can’t imagine how they do all of this,” Maloney said.  “I think everyone really enjoys it, especially the loud music.”

Yeah, the music is loud.  But that’s the norm today at football stadiums and hockey arenas across the nation.  The music is all on computer and is just a quick mouse click away for operator Phil Mercado, the man who also presses a big red button for the loud horn when a goal is score.

For Jay Moran, his sideline makes for a very long day.  He goes on the air with Morning Edition at 5 in the morning.  And depending on the length of the Sabres game, Jay doesn’t leave the arena until 10:00 or later.  But he says he’s grateful to have the opportunity to do both.

“This is a great job here,” Moran said.  “The opportunity is here now, and I want to do it.  And the opportunity to do Morning Edition on a great station is here now, too.  So, just do it.”