I would have to say that Buffalo is one unique place when it comes to broadcast history. House hold names like Sandy Beach and Dan Neaverth are no doubt worthy of being Hall of Famers anywhere they would go. It always impressed me that they chose Buffalo as the place they chose/choose to call home.What makes our market so special is that these talents have more than talent, they have personality. I had a chance to attend the 2011 Hall Of Fame Induction on Thursday night at the WNED studios in Buffalo.

Let me start by saying that I was in the presence of greatness.There were names that I recognized and some that I didn't. Regardless of if I was alive to remember these names on air or not, I was simply starstruck at the PIONEERS of Buffalo broadcasting in attendance.John Beard (Channel 2) and Heidi Raphael (Greater Media VP of Corp. Comm.) handled the hosting duties as 8 fantastic men and women were honored or inducted into the HOF. It would take me all night to write something about each one. That being said, let me just say that as a professional in ANY industry, you can only hope to have the respect of your peers. That is what this night was about. These people represent the past, present and future of an industry that has changed tremendously in it's 80 plus years in Buffalo.

Real People

As I said before, the men and women that make up Buffalo Radio and Television for the most part are real.Yes, they have "status" and yes many have fame. That is just a side effect of the job. Guys like Kevin O'Connel, Don Paul , Joe Chile and a guy I idol, Ramblin Lou are as real ON AIR as they are in person. You don't see that in the many other places. One guy that I wish I had a chance to know was Bob Koop (featured video).  His delivery and style impress me every time I watch. He passed away years ago but to this day remains one of the best in Buffalo. In my opinion he commanded a news desk and was a regular guy delivering news to regular people.

A Few Highlights

I would have to say that my favorite memories from this event will be hearing Jacquie Walker (Ch 4) and Vic Baker (producer at Ch 4) speak. Vic's acceptance speech was not only moving it was inspirational. After watching and hearing his speech, one word came to mind. Class. Here is a guy who has seen and done it all and basically credited his success to working with a team he clearly appreciates. Jacquie Walker exemplifies what is means to be a JOURNALIST. She is one of those people that could make it in any big city in America and we are lucky to have her in Western new York.

Shane "Brother Shane" Gibson

What can I say? I met a REAL radio guy. Shane is one of the true Broadcast Pioneers to have worked in Buffalo. If you were to look up the defintion of Radio Disc Jockey, it would be about Shane. I was too young to remember him ON AIR, but just hearing the stories and meeting him at this event, this guy was and IS cool as they get. A real treat to meet him!

Many thanks to the Buffalo Broadcaster Association for allowing putting on such a great event. I expected tonight to be a night filled with ego and stuffiness and "big heads" and there may be those types around broadcasting today. However, the men and women that were inducted tonight were inducted because they understood that they were doing work FOR the audience. They never put themselves above the audience. We are so lucky here in Buffalo to have this brand of Broadcast excellence. I once heard that people love watching and listening to their friends.I can honestly say that I would be happy to have any of the 8 people honored tonight as a friend!

The 2011 Honorees and Inductees

  • Jim McLaughlin
  • Lauren Adams
  • Vic Baker
  • Jacquie Walker
  • WUFO Radio
  • Dick Biondi
  • Don Angelo aka Del Manning
  • Shane "Brother Shane" Gibson

Bob Koop circa 1988