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Friday, September 4, 2015

East Niagara Post is proud to announce it will broadcast Lockport Express home games for the 2015-2016 season. The digital news organization is branching out into audio to broadcast the games with the help of its partner the Lockport Express and Cornerstone CFCU Arena.

East Niagara Post is branching out into audio broadcasts
with the addition of live Lockport Express game broadcasts
for the 2015-2016 season. 
The live broadcasts will be accessible directly from, as well as the Live365 app for Android, iOS, and Kindle, iTunes, SONOS, Roku, WDTV, Grace Digital Wireless Radio, Tangent, TiVo, and more. The games will also be available for later on-demand listening via podcast.

In order to accomplish the feat, Howard Balaban, former reporter for the Medina Journal-Register and Lockport Union-Sun & Journal will be joining East Niagara Post as a contributor. Balaban, a Syracuse University graduate, said he is looking forward to finally putting his broadcast training to use.

"My degree was in broadcast journalism, but so far my career has been on the print side of things," he said.

RELATED: ENP welcomes Howard Balaban to the team

But despite all of the print experience, Balaban said he has always wanted an on-air gig.

"I've got several friends in the business across the country both on-air and behind the scenes," he said. "I know that who I know says nothing about how good or bad I may be, but it does say that the training we all went through was top-notch. As for calling a hockey game, most announcers I've met agree it is among the toughest to do because there is always something happening, unlike in baseball or football where there are many more starts and stops."

He added, "It's been quite a while since I did any type of game broadcast, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone more excited than I am for the season to start and the mic to be on."

Balaban will be joined on-air by one-of-three color commentators: Craig Bacon, George N. Root III, or Scott Leffler. The trio will rotate duties for the team's home games.

Root and Bacon have extensive experience covering the Lockport Express, working together to create a weekly YouTube video during hockey season, "Catching Up with the Lockport Express." The pair were present at nearly every Express home game in the 2014-2015 season. Bacon even took a road trip with the team.

Leffler, meanwhile, brings seven years of broadcast radio experience to the mix, having worked as a talk show host and production director at WLVL AM 1340 in Lockport, as well as a talk show host for WECK AM 1230 in Cheektowaga. Additionally, Leffler has previously created an online radio station, All WNY Radio, which features a 24/7 stream of music and talk shows exclusively from Western New York. While Leffler no longer manages All WNY Radio, the station remains in continuous operation.

Lockport Express Head Coach and GM Frank Vecchio said he's looking forward to the broadcasts, noting it will only add to the team's strong following in the Lockport area.

Likewise, Express owner Steve Bueme, said he's excited about the new addition to the Express/ENP partnership.

East Niagara Post co-owners Leffler and Heather Grimmer had discussed the possibility of live broadcasts for the team's inaugural season but ruled it out as there were rumors that local TV station LCTV was going to broadcast the games.

"We didn't want to step on any toes," Leffler said.

But when the 2015-2016 season approached and neither LCTV nor WLVL had stepped up to broadcast the games, team ENP stepped in.

While the games will be broadcast free of charge, East Niagara Post is currently looking for local businesses who wish to be sponsors. With game sponsorship as low as $20, it's actually even possible for an individual or family to sponsor a game. Sponsorship for the entire regular season is $350. Other sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, email

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