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Year In Review: On The WBEN Liveline

(WBEN) Weather, education, politics, gun laws and some high profile court cases dominated the news in 2013. And our selection of livelines in 2013 reflect that. 

Since Jan. 1  2013, we have brought you over 1, 200 livelines on Buffalo's Early News, and a survey of who they were offers a snapshot of the year in review.
Hear more :
Liveline Derby 2013
The official rankings don't include our regularly scheduled contributors: Dave Levinthal of the Center For Responsive Politics  (56 appearances), CBS Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger  (52),  The SPCA's Gina Browning (44), and the Buffalo Bills Broadcast team of John Murphy and Mark Kelso ( on before and after each Bills game for a total of 31 appearances)  nor MSG Sabres Analyst Mike Robitaille (23)

Here's our  annual  Top Ten

#9 (tie) -- NYS Regents Chancellor Emeritus Bob Bennett, CBS News Reporter CBS's Steve Futterman  & Financial Guy Glenn Wiggle.   (with 10 appearances each).   While both Wiggle and Futterman weighed in on a range of topics, Bennett was on air to discuss education in general, and either the common core learning standards or the dysfunction of the Buffalo School system

#6(tie) -  Political commentator Carl Calabrese,  Cong. Brian Higgins & Steve Manson, WNY Hockey magazine.  (Each on air 11 times) In a year of change, fan frustration and even more change at the Buffalo Sabres, Manson often helped us sort it all out. And as Congress struggled with the debt ceiling, plans to repeal Obamacare, and political rancor, Democrat Higgins made himself available more than any other local elected official.  Calabrese, a Republican,  offered a frequent counterbalance. 

#5- CBS's Sabina Castelfranco in Rome  (12 times) in a year when the resignation of Pope Benedict the XVI was followed by the election of Pope Francis.

#3- Buffalo School Board member and political operative Carl Paladino & Prof. Bob Thompson, of Syracuse Unviersity's Blier Center for the Study of TV & Pop Culture (13 time)
While Thompson has been written of nationally for his versatile ability to discuss a range of issue, Paladino's outspokenness on the state's gun control issue, and his push for reform at the Buffalo School Board drove him toward the top.

#2- SUNY Buffalo State's Prof. Bruce Bryski.  In a year when Washington dominated the headlines, Bryski provided able analysis on 14 different occasions.

#1- Attorney Paul Cambria.  A repeat first place finisher on our annual list, Paul was with us more than any other contributor, commenting on a range of court cases, including  Ariel Castro's kidnapping of several women in Cleveland, the murder trial of Anthony Taglianetti in Chautauqua County, and various other issues
While many others appeared on our air only once this past year, there were several who fell just short of the top ten list above.

They are Cong. Chris Collins,  Canisius Prof. Kevin Hardwick & AP Sports Reporter John Wawrow, each on 9 times in 2013

Meteorologist Bob Hamilton was on the liveline 8 times in 2013, more than any other of the national Weather Service's forecasters to come on with little notice and explain the latest weather changes.  Taken as a group, the various meteorologists of the National Weather Service were on air 40 times this past year.

Seven appearances: SCOPE's Steven Alstadt, WNY Health Care Assoc Pres. John Bartimole, Iraq Vet and political commentator David Bellavia, Commentator Michael Caputo, Financial Guy Mike Lomas, Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore, and reporter Greg Saber in Cleveland, most often on the Ariel Castro kidnapping case

6 appearances: Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein,  Kirk Apfel, John Hitchcock and Dave Thomas all of the National Weather Service,

5 appearances:  Consumer Electronics guru Jim Barry, former District Attorney Frank Clark, Film Commissioner Tim Clark, our own Dave Debo,  CBS's Military Analyst Mike Lyons, Golf Pro Jeff Mietus
Sabres Analyst Andrew Peters, financial advisor Karl Riner, and SCOPE's anti gun control activist Harold "Budd Schroeder

4 appearances: CBS's Howard Arenstein (various DC Topics)  & Vicky Barker (Royal Birth) , Drew Cerza (Clarence Schools)  The WBEE Morning Team, Erie Co. Sheriff's Sgt. Daniel Dytchwoskyj, Retail analyst Burt Flickinger, Sabres spokesman Mike Gilbert, Canadian commentator Peter Gross,  Niagara U. Prof. Ed Hutton
NYS Ed. Commissioner John King, CBS's Peter King & Jim Krasula, NYS School Bds assoc exec Dir Tim Kremer, Ken Lovett of the NY Daily News,  Steve McMartin, Medaille Homeland Security Program,
Msgr. Martin Moleski (Changing Popes), Boston reporter Drew Mullholland on the Tsarnaev Brothers and the Marathon bombings, Kirk Apfel, National Weather Service, Tom Parsons, BestFares magazine, NYS Thruway's Tom Pericak, Gun instructor Miguel Rivera , WBEN's Cinema Bob Stilson, Erie Co. STOP DWI Coord. John Sullivan, former NYS Atty. Gen. Dennis Vacco & Albany reporter Jimmy Vielkind

3 Appearances CNET's Bridget Carey.  St. Bona. Pres. Sister Margaret Carney (Pope), employment expert John Challenger, Politico's Kevin Cirilli, Assy. David DiPietro, NFIB's Mike Durant, CBS Pollster Sara Dutton
Buffalo Zoo President Donna Fernandes,'s Edgar Dworski,  Msgr. Bill Gallagher (more Poep analysis), Kathy Grannis, National Retail Fed., Siena Pollster Steve Greenberg, Realtor George Hamberger, WGR's Paul Hamilton, Erie Co. Sheriff Tim Howard  WBEN's Chris Johnson, Dr. Elad Levy MD
CBS Military Analyst Jeff McCausland, CBS's Larry Miller, Emergency Services Comm. Dan Neaverth Jr., Weather Channel expert Tom Niziol, Psychologist Dr. John Northman, the Weather Service's Tom Paone & Jeff Wood, National Wx Service, Supt Don Ogilvie of  BOCES,  James Sampson, Buffalo School Bd., WGR's
Howard Simon, Former Buffalo Bill Steve Tasker, TEA NY Activist Rus Thompson,  and Atty. Jim Tresmond (gun laws)

2 appearances: George Arthur, CBS's Barry Bagnato, Atty. Steve Cellino, WBEN's Tom Bauerle & Sandy Beach, The Bisons' Brad Bisbing, Sabres Pres. Ted Black, Atty. Steve Boyd,  Quinnipiac Pollster Peter Brown , Entercom's Dave Cohen in New Orleans, commentator Alan Colmes, WIVB's Anthony Congi, former journalism dean Lee Coppolla, Assy. Jane Corwin, Developer Mark Croce, CBS's Lee Frank (Denver), activist
Kevin Gaughan, CBS's Jeff Gilbert (Detroit), Politico's Katie Glueck (DC) Sen. Mark Grisanti, Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn, Kissing Bridge's Mark Halter, US Atty. Bill Hochul, Native American columnist and commentator John Kane, WGR's Brian Koziol, Dr. Kumar Shicha MD, Chau.Co. EMS Coord. Julius Leone, terrorism analyst
Michael Liwicki, Star 102.5 's Rob Lucas. Amherst councilman Mark Manna, Williamsville School Supt. Scott Martzloff, former Buffalo mayor Anthony Masiello, Nora McGuire of Ind. Health,  Tony Ansuini &
Bill Hibbert, National Weather Service , OP PD Chief Mark Pacholec, BBB's Peggy Penders, parent advocate
Sam Radford, NYS Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, Mary Roberts, MartinHouse Rest. Corp., Mayoral Candidate
Sergio Rodriguez, YWCA's Kathleen Romanowski, Mark Rosenkar, Former NTSB Chair, Assy. Sean Ryan
Richard Seyfang, Barbara Seals Nevegold, Buffalo School Bd., CBS's August Skamenca, G Scott Thomas, Business First,  Clarence parent Lisa Thrun, Elections Comm. Dennis Ward, WBEN's Tim Wenger & Erie Co. Dem Party Chair Jeremy Zellner


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