“If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.” This old saying could not ring more true for WKBW Buffalo’s Joe Buscaglia. As a TV reporter and radio commentator, he gets to apply his skills to the best of his ability. As the beat writer for the Buffalo Bills, he gets to live out his dream every day. I recently had the opportunity to interview Mr. Buscaglia, and I took away essential insight from a journalist I look up to.
Joe Buscaglia was born in Buffalo, New York, and went to local St. Francis High School. Growing up, he quickly realized his love for sports and his love for announcing. He would organize his hundreds of baseball cards by team and then take them out and play and announce pretend games with a paper baseball. He played basketball and soccer throughout his childhood, and basketball remains his favorite sport today. He currently helps coach the freshmen boys basketball team at St. Francis.
Buscaglia’s passion would not be fully actualized until college. After graduating high school in 2004, he went to Florida State University for two years. However, he realized he wanted to go back home to Buffalo to attend Buffalo State University. At Buffalo State, he met one of the most influential people in his life: Professor Tom McKray. Mr. McKray realized his passion and wanted to do whatever he could to make him a successful journalist and commentator. He got Buscaglia involved in the newspaper, radio, and television at Buffalo St. so he could get well-needed experience in the field. He would commentate many basketball games and would report on all the sport teams through articles and podcasts.
Buscaglia got even better experience when he was chosen to an internship with WGR Buffalo Sports Radio 550. Producer Andy Roth saw that same passion and ambition that McKray saw in the young man. After graduating from Buffalo State with a Media Production Bachelor’s Degree in 2008, Joe was quickly hired by Roth to write a column and comment on the Bills on the radio. He eventually became the lead beat reporter for the Buffalo Bills, and this has been an incredible experience for him. Interacting with the players is always fun, and so is interacting with fans that are as crazed about the Bills as he is.
After seven gratifying years working for WGR, Buscaglia moved on to ABC’s Chanel 7 news last year. He is still the lead beat writer for the Bills, and he has frequent live appearances on TV. While TV and radio has its perks, Buscaglia says writing still has his heart. He said you can communicate a message much better on a well thought out article than on a one minute bit on the TV or radio. However, he did say radio teaches you how to be clear and conversational while having to constantly ad-lib.
When asked what advice he has for all aspiring journalists such as myself, Buscaglia replied, “The number one piece of advice I have is to never get complacent. Always take the opportunity of an internship. If you don’t have a blog, start one right now to get people talking about and critiquing your writing.” Improving on your writing and realizing your strengths are key to becoming the best journalist you can be. Of course, he said it is also important to have connections in the industry to help continue further your career.
As a diehard Buffalo Bills fan, this experience was especially rewarding and informative for me. It would be my dream to somehow be involved with the Bills or another sports team, and Joe Buscaglia’s advice is essential to all people like me. Reporting on sports, especially football, is a dream for many, and Joe lives this out every day. In his own words: “I don’t really have a job, I talk about football. It is all about having fun and I want to do this for the rest of my life.”