The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is a federally recognized, state chartered charity. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation serving Philadelphia since 1962.

Frank Stone
Newsletter Editor

PERSON OF THE YEAR!
HALL OF FAME HONOREES!


Cardinal John Foley
Broadcast Pioneers Luncheon
Bala Golf Club, Philadelphia
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
(Photo by Broadcast Pioneers' President Jerry Klein)

Our 2011 Person of the Year is His Eminence, Cardinal John P. Foley, a member of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia and a native to this area.

When the Roman Catholic Church needed to tell the world that the cardinals had chosen a new pope, they relied on the traditional plume of white smoke. For more sophisticated communications efforts over the past 20 years, the Vatican turned to Cardinal John Foley. It was he who told the world that Pope Benedict was elected. He began his broadcasting career as a teenager as a WJMJ Radio announcer. He was co-producer and co-host of the Philadelphia Catholic Hour on WFIL Radio. He co-produced 20 television episodes of "The Making of a Priest," for Group W.

In 1984, he was named by Pope John Paul II as President of the Pontifical Commission. It's the office responsible for all the Vatican’s print and electronic communications and ministries. He held that post for more than 20 years, and was responsible for the Today Show's week-long broadcast from the Vatican. He also was commentator for NBC broadcasts of the Christmas Midnight Mass from the Vatican for 25 years. In 2007, Foley was elevated to Cardinal.

The inductees for our "Hall of Fame" for 2011 (in alphabetical order):

Cherie Bank, former WCAU-TV medical reporter & TV host
Dann Cuellar, reporter for 6ABC, WPVI-TV's ACTION NEWS
Howard Eskin, WIP sports talk host & sportscaster on NBC 10
Steve Highsmith, WPHL's Community Rel. Dir//Mummers host
Wally Kennedy, KYW Newsradio anchor/former TV/radio talk host
Tim Lake, anchor of 4 pm, 6 pm & 11 pm news on NBC 10, WCAU
Steve Levy, former anchor/reporter/sportscaster at Channels 3, 6 & 10
Andy Musser, Phillies/Eagles/Sixers sportscaster for 25 years!
Barry Reisman, Philly's Jewish-American radio host since 1965
Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3's medical specialist/reporter and TV Host

We will also be inducting 15 people posthumously into our Hall of Fame. All posthumous honorees will be honored in one short video that evening. They are:

Larry Brown, former WPEN Radio air personality/TV pitchman
Dick Covington, former KYW Newsradio anchor/ID announcer
Jack Creamer, "The Handyman Show" host on WIP & Channel 3
Tommy DeNoble, Bandstand regular & TV host/singer/engineer
Bob Dome, former broadcast advertising executive extraordinaire
Randy Kraft, former TV news anchor and actor on "General Hospital"
Jack Lamar, all round Philadelphia area broadcaster & announcer
Don Lancer, former KYW Newsradio anchor known as "The Dean"
Norman Leebron, producer, sales manager and all-round broadcast guy
Helen Lipkin, former 30s/40s WDAS kids show host & WPTZ personality
Mac McGuire, DJ and singer on WPEN, WIP, KYW and WCAU Radio
Tom Moorehead, former WFIL-TV sports director and TV personality
Roy Neal, former WIBG announcer, WPTZ personality & NBC newsman
Charlie O'Donnell, Bandstand announcer, movie host/network announcer
Joel A. Spivak, former WCAU Philadelphia TV & radio air personality

Tickets go on sale September 1st. Prices are $80 for the member (each member can buy ONLY one ticket at the member price) and $95 for everyone else (including spouses, friends and guests). The event will once again take place at the City Avenue Hilton, 4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia. The date is Friday, November 18th. Reception is at 6 pm with dinner being served at 7 pm. Doors open at 5:45 pm. Cash Bar all night long. Valet parking is $10. Event lot parking is $5. Make plans to be there! TICKETS GO ON SALE SEPTEMBER FIRST!

Visit Our Website Often - http://www.broadcastpioneers.com

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY!

(Left to right) Helen Lipkin and unidentified male
WPTZ, Channel 3, Philadelphia
circa 1948

ADVERTISE IN OUR 2011-2012 MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY:

There's not much time left if you wish to advertise in our new Membership Directory, which will be mailed to members in the fall. Our membership is at a record high, so advertising in our membership directory makes more sense than ever before. The cost per ad has NOT increased but the number of members is more than double what it was five years ago. We're giving you a chance to reach more people for the same cost. Ads start at $175 and help defray the cost of publishing the directory. Call us at (856) 365-5600 or e-mail us at pioneers@broadcastpioneers.com.

BOARD MEETING:

For our board members, next board meeting is on September 21st. Note all board meetings will now start 15 minutes earlier than the previous time. NEW TIME: 10 am.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL TIME:

Ten weeks ago, you should have received your membership renewal form. Current membership expired at the end of June (unless you've already renewed). Memberships of those who joined in the last few months will expire in 2012. However, you still should have received a form; f you haven't already done so, please correct any contact information, if necessary. This information will be used to create our new membership directory that will be issued this fall. Because of the nature of this business, we do not maintain any type of membership list online. This is for your own personal security.

Remember that Broadcast Pioneers is a mainly dues-supported non-profit organization that is federally recognized and state chartered. We have charitable status for federal income purposes. For those of you who wish to do so, there is a place on your renewal form to make an extra contribution to this organization. If you can do so and want to help out, an extra contribution would be appreciated. It will help keep Broadcast Pioneers strong. Check with your tax advisor, because membership dues and donations may be deductible on your federal income tax.

Send in your renewal now if you haven't already done so. Why? Your membership expired about 5 weeks ago. Please take a minute and mail it back today. Broadcast Pioneers thanks you for your continued support.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY!

(Left to right) Joel A. Spivak, his mother and brother Steve

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS:

Full Members:

Philip Scott Ward, a television director, retired this year from KYW-TV, where he worked for the last 36 years. Before that, he was a director for WFIL-TV/WPVI-TV from 1968 to 1976. Previously, he worked at WSAZ in Huntington and WSPZ Radio in Spencer, both in West Virginia. Ward started in this business a half century ago in the fine year of 1961.

William Cawley started in the business in 1964. He has worked at WCAU-TV, where he was a stage manager, central control supervisor, associate director, graphic coordinator, technician, news department editor, news control supervisor and photographer. He has also been with KYW-TV as a program film cutter and and as part of the studio crew.

Edward Nicholas Phillips started in the business in 1976. He's worked in our area at WDEL, WCOJ, WJBR-FM & WCHE Radio, all while attending Temple University. Since then, he's been at WGAC & WBIA, both in Augusta, Georgia, and then at KFLT in Tucson, Arizona, where he was the station manager. He now does English language voiceover work for Arrows Productions in Beirut, Lebanon.

Dave Yost is one of our younger members. He started in the business just14 years ago. He's the national and local sales manager for WPHL-TV, Channel 17, based here in the City of Brotherly Love. Dave previously worked for Viacom/CBS as a National Account Executive. Before that, he was an assistant buyer/buyer, planner and commercial supervisor at Harmelin Media located in Bala Cynwyd.

Kenn Venit has been in the industry for 45 years. He's the President of Kenn Venit & Associates, where he does broadcast and cable consulting/coaching. Previously, he was VP for Primo Newservice with similar duties. He has also worked at WTNH-TV & WNHC Radio in New Haven/Hartford. In Philly, he was the Assistant Assignment Editor & Investigative Unit Producer for the WFIL stations.

Joe Ball is a new member. When we asked him when he started in the business, he said, "pre-biblical." Since 1956, he has been the president of the American Advertising Services, a full service ad agency. He is also the president and publisher of the "Advertising/Communications Times, a leading regional business newspaper. From 1963 on, Joe has been the president of Eastern Show Productions Management.

Jonathan Aiken has been in the biz since 1976. He's director of video services for the American National Red Cross in Washington, DC, where he's been for six years. Previously, he was with CNN, RKO (later United Stations/Unistar) Radio Networks and the AP Radio Network. Aiken worked in this area at WBUD and WTTM in the late seventies. He also worked in Pittsburgh, Buffalo and elsewhere.

Catherine Brown is an Emmy award-winner who started in broadcasting 36 years ago. She's Content Producer/Platform Manager (News writer/producer) at NBC 10. She's been there since 1983. Brown was previously Executive Producer at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids. Before that, she was in radio at WKAR in Lansing, Michigan, where she was a newscaster/producer. Since 2003, she has been the president of the AFTRA Philadelphia Local.

We are thrilled to have these new members. They've helped to bring our total membership up to 437 (an all-time record). We hope to see as many of you as possible at the September luncheon.

DIGITAL ARCHIVAL PROJECT NEWS:

Title Graphic
The Road from Paradise
WPVI-TV
September 5, 1985

 

Title Graphic
The Road from Paradise
WPVI-TV
September 5, 1985

Tug McGraw had a feature on "Action News" called "You Gotta Believe." Here we present one of those features, fresh from our video archive. Our transfer comes direct from a WPVI-TV 3/4" video tape. However, it is a generation down. Why? Well, this 3/4" recording consisted of all Tug McGraw reports. Since it has Jim Gardner at the head of the report, it is a safe assumption that it is from an aircheck which was then transferred to this storage tape. In this report, Tug visits the Philadelphia Zoo.

Watch in Real Video!
Watch in Windows Media!

We have two clips from WIP Radio in 1972. The first one is a composite of Broadcast Pioneers member Nat Wright on the air. We have put together several different items as one piece of audio.

Listen in Real Audio!
Listen in Windows Media!

Next we have from that same Nat Wright evening (or morning) show, the 2:30 am news done by Broadcast Pioneers member Jerry DelColliano.

Listen in Real Audio!
Listen in Windows Media!

Finally, from Wednesday, January 19, 1966, we have a WCAU Radio broadcast called "Press Conference" with host George Lord. That day, George spoke with US Senator Joe Clark.

Listen in Real Audio!
Listen in Windows Media!

Remember, History is ONLY What Gets Saved!
(If there were no portraits of George Washington, how would we know what he looked like?)

IN TOUCH WITH OUR MEMBERS:

(Left to right) Carol Holmes, Collen Patton (partially hidden), Dean Tyler, Joe Niagara, Doris Day
Bunny Deck (partially hidden), Al Holmes, Gloria Hess, Evelyn Niagara and Ted Hess
Carmel, California
July 1986

We heard from member Charlie Mills, who has a facebook page all about WPEN when it was the "Station of the Stars." We were concerned that, when trying to view the page, we were prompted to log in to continue. However, if you click the other box, which says something like "cancel," you can then continue to browse through Charlie's pages without logging in! The above photo comes from 1986 WPEN Listeners' Club Newsletter. Click here to read an article that Broadcast Pioneers member Joe Niagara wrote about Doris Day. He gives you all the details on the above photo. By the way, did you know that Joe Niagara used his given name, Joe Nigro, on his first radio gig? It's true.

Several of our members were at WHYY during the middle of last month. They were attending the press party for the new Arcadia Publishing book called "Philadelphia Radio" by Alan Boris. It's loaded with photos of radio personalities and broadcast facilities in our city. Gerry Wilkinson, our Chairman of the Board, wrote the preface to the book. And speaking of books, member Larry Kane's new novel, "Death by Deadline" is now available in paperback. It had been previously available only in the Kindle version. Local sportscaster Steve Bucci is co-author of a new book about former Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton, "Drinking Coffee with a Fork." Another member has also written a book: Jerry Blavat's autobiography, "You Only Rock Once," is available now in hardback and Kindle versions.

We heard from member Roger Hendler, who may live in Georgia but is always in touch with us. He says:

I was interested in the mention about the WKBS-TV 10 o'clock news. The original team was John Galbraith, News Anchor; Joe Earley, Weather; and Stu Nahan, Sports.

John Galbraith and I had several conversations when I was young and a Temple student. Joe Earley was a wonderful person, as you know. I enjoyed talking about the "old days" with him at BP luncheons.

I still have the late Stu Nahan's business card, giving me the authority to pick up film at the Philadelphia International Airport. I had Stu several times as a guest on my old show "Coach's Corner" on WHWH in Princeton, NJ. He was a great guy. Dan Baker spoke to him on several occasions when Stu was in town broadcasting Dodgers games.

Another member heard from was Dan Lerner who used to own KISS, 100.3, here in the Philly market. He was up at his summer home in Maine, where he's enjoying the beautiful New England summer. As many of you may recall, a little while ago, Dan gave a hundred grand to the University of Pennsylvania to benefit deserving Penn students. Lots of you guys may not be aware that Lerner was a Penn music major and then earned his Master's degree in Communications from the then brand new Annenberg School of Communications in West Philly. He was in the second Penn graduating class from the school which celebrated their 50th reunion earlier this year.

We found out that member Michael Tearson also sings (and not just in the shower). He has an album coming out this month entitled"Stuff That Works." He also has some singing gigs lined up. On August 17th, he'll be performing as the finale of the season's free concerts in Haddon Heights, NJ. It's the Sundown Concert Series. If you miss that, catch him in Delaware on September 1st for the World Cafe Live in Wilmington. It will be available through CDBaby and iTunes.

We heard from member Phyllis Ariano-McGinnis, who tells us that she authored an article in the June 2011 issue of "The Phoenix" about her bouts with cancer. She says:

I did have an article published recently in a quasi-medical type magazine titled "Hope Springs Eternal," which is an account of my three bouts with cancer dating back to 1973. If you ever know anyone who could use some encouragement and/or inspiration to fight the battle, I would be happy to forward it....

Reading about "pioneers" from the sixties and seventies makes me feel I should be among the "pre-pioneers" along with a few remaining others (i.e.Gene Crane, Bob Jawer etc). I regret missing the Grady tribute. I knew Joe when he was doing the Grady and Hurst show at WPEN (the first time around). I was exec. secretary to Bill Caskey, the Vice-President under Bill Sylk of Sun Ray Drugs (WPEN's owner at that time). ...Joe Grady was one fine person and a privilege to know. ... What memories your newsletter brings back for me.

(Left to right) Members Connie Roussin Spann and Ed Hurst
A Telethon originating out of WPVI-TV
circa 1973

We heard from member Dave Roberts, who tells us that his son, David Boreanaz, started shooting the 7th season of his hit TV show "Bones" on Wednesday, July 20th. The series returns to the Fox network (Fox 29 here in Philly) on Thursday, November 3rd at 9 pm.

Board Member Michael Nise was delighted a couple weeks ago when WPHL-TV, Channel 17 dug back into Mike's archives and aired four different Dancin' On Air broadcasts. 2011 is the 30th anniversary of the program. The show aired for more than 6 years on the station. April of this year celebrated that 25th anniversary of Dance Party USA, which was aired over the USA Network for six years. Part of that time, both shows were on the air. Nise has donated 70 original one-inch masters of the shows. Keep in mind that the two shows combined account for 3,000 broadcasts, so we are sure more are on the way.

Bunny Gibson is a rather new member of our organization. She lives out on the West Coast and was a regular dancer on "American Bandstand" for several years during the Dick Clark era. Well, she just let us know that she has a role in an upcoming motion picture. She says:

American Bandstand's Bunny Gibson was just cast as "Lola" in the comedy film, "Lola's Love Shack."  She will be playing a hot tempered "Madam" who runs the local pleasure palace with an iron fist.  Migrant Filmworks is producing this independent film in Los Angeles.  Shooting begins this month.

Member RJ, also known as Ron Joseph has his own channel on Ustream. Watch here! When we tuned in, we found Monday at Midnight! It was from 1973 and featured a Bandstand Union with "Pop Singer," Tony Mammarella and more. The announcer on the show was a very young Pat Delsi.

We saw a recent story on 6ABC and CBS 3 about board member and 2007 Person of the Year Kal Rudman. For 18 years, he has helped to fund a two-week extensive and intensive summer program for high school music students at the University of the Arts. The students selected come from the Delaware Valley and across the country. Many of the students have gone on to become highly recognized in the entertainment industry. Kal has put over one half million dollars into the program for scholarships and tuition grants. We spoke with Kal about the program and he told us:

With the economy, music departments have been curtailed or eliminated, which makes the need that much more poignant.... It fills a vacuum and takes care of needs that are so important with young talented people.

On Tuesday, July 12th, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs visited businesses on the Wildwood boardwalk in an effort to “ensure a safe & fair marketplace” as part of their “Safe Summer 2011” initiative. One of the visited locations was Mariner’s Arcade on Morey’s Pier, where board member and vice-president Frank Stone works as lead banker. On the spot, Frank was named the arcade’s spokesperson by management, who was aware of his involvement with Broadcast Pioneers. Stone held a stand-up press conference with CBS 3, 6ABC, Fox 29, NBC 10 and KYW Newsradio, as well as individual interviews. He was glad to note the arcade had no violations.

Congratulations to member Joanne Harmelin, CEO of Harmelin Media, for the effort put forth by her employees participating in the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia’s 10th Anniversary Celebration of CLEAN UP and GET DOWN. They volunteered at a recreation center, painted benches, cleaned up trash and made rain barrels. Nice going, folks!

We received a very moving testimony about Pat Merbreier (Mrs. Noah) from member Valerie Morrison in tribute to her daughter Helen, who died in an auto accident several years ago, caused by a DUI driver. Space limits printing the entire piece, however we feel the essence of the tribute to be this:

We never realized and totally underestimated the importance of how the shows (Philadelphia children’s television) played a very important and very much overlooked role in the development of our children. It has always been my belief, and I proclaim to you…the rapid escalation of behavior issues with some of our youth today, began when shows like Captain Noah and his Magical Ark, went off the air....

Broadcast Pioneers member Bill Vargus and his wifeSue Serio own their own production company entitled"HIT Commercials." HIT stands for Highly Intricate Technology. His first gig is for Weathers Motors (located in the Lima/Media area), a commercial airing during Phillies games. Vargus was the director on the spot.

ON THE HEALTH FRONT:

Broadcast Pioneers member John Brown is recovering from back surgery last June and has been doing traffic from a home studio. He now tells us he’s back in the studio. John said, “I'm recovering from nerve damage which may take another year, but I'm getting around on a walker and my left leg is getting stronger every day." Hope to see you soon, John!

Did you know...

(Left to right) Ed McMahon and Chris Keegan
"The Big Top"
Circa - 1951

Originally both Candy Carnival and the Big Top originated from the Camden site (Convention Hall, sometimes referred to as "the Armory"), which was destroyed by fire in June of 1953. Then both programs moved to the station's studios on City Line Avenue on a temporary basis. "Candy Carnival" worked out okay so the show remained there. However, "The Big Top" was just too large (sometimes there were over 350 people involved including the audience). After just a couple broadcasts, it moved to the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory. It remained there until the program went off the air.

Since The Big Top was sponsored by an ice cream company, Sealtest, everyone got ice cream for free. There were also balloons for many of the lucky visitors. This show aired Saturday from 12 noon until 1 pm on CBS-TV, originating from WCAU-TV. It was first broadcast on July 1, 1950 with the last airing in September of 1957. During that time, the program featured over 2,100 acts.

Old newspapers from that era show in their TV listing section that "The Big Top" was originally an early evening broadcast. By the way, Joseph L. Tinney was Vice-President of the WCAU stations and was Assistant General Manager. Jack Sterling was the ringmaster and Bob Russell was the barker for Sealtest (the sponsor). Regulars included local WCAU announcer Ed McMahon (his first national exposure) as a clown and also featured strongman Dan Lurie (Sealtest Dan, the Muscle Man) and bandleader Joe Basile. The program also spotlighted 6'9 Bill Hart as a very huge clown. WCAU-TV President Charlie Vanda was the producer of the program.

On Saturday, November 25, 1950, Jack Sterling was on WCBS Radio in New York from 5 am to 8 am. (The Big Top was broadcast live from WCAU-TV, Philadelphia at 6:30 pm that same day.) The story goes that WCAU-TV wanted local personality Ed McMahon (head clown on Big Top) to be the ringmaster. However, CBS, which owned WCBS Radio, had a very popular morning disc jockey. His name was Jack Sterling and he took over the hosting duties from Arthur Godfrey in the forties. In order to get Sterling to sign a new contract, they promised him some TV work. However, as time went on, they had no show for him. So the deal with WCAU-TV was that they could produce the show at the WCAU facilities, but they needed to have Jack Sterling host the circus program. That's how Jack got the gig.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY!

(Left to right) Gunnar Back and Jimmy Durante
WFIL-TV
circa 1966

THANK YOU:

As we do every month, we want to thank Broadcast Pioneers member Johnny B. Hall for his monthly cash donation to our DAP, Digital Archival Project. However, Johnny has hit a home run! When we opened up his July contribution, imagine our surprise when we noticed that Johnny had increased his contribution by 50%. Thanks, Johnny! Our Digital Archival Project keeps on moving along.

Our Chairman of the Board, Gerry Wilkinson, has donated over 1,000 audio reel-to-reel tapes to the Broadcast Pioneers. All of these have been digitized. It's really a mixed bag of recordings. There's commercials, Broadcast Pioneers president Jerry Klein being a country DJ on WRCP, newscasts and other items too numerous to mention. Some of these items have been on our website for quite awhile, but now we own the actual, original tapes. The recordings mostly date from the 60s and the early 70s. Thanks, Gerry.

Catherine Brown, who is a brand new member, included an extra contribution when she sent in her first year's dues. To this, we say, a BIG thank you! Also, our thanks go to Dave Coskey, who included extra contribution when he sent back his membership renewal.

We want to thank those who have sent a donation during the last month to our scholarship fund in the memory of Patricia Merbreier (Mrs. Noah). They are Dorie Lenz, Lew and Janet Klein, Frank and Barbara Stone, Joseph and Patricia Armon, Karen Gale Strauss, Marilyn Phister, Mrs. Joyce M. Haas (wife of the late Broadcast Pioneers President/Chairman of the Board Harry Haas), Paul Moock, Carlin Merbreier, John Quintiliani/Tri-County Bowhunters Association, William and Nancy Giles, Margaret McConnell, Michael & Sallie Bleshman, Louis and Clarice Aricson, Jean Krohn, KZ Enterprises, LLC (doing business as Gladwyne Pharmacy), Samantha Nathan and Gerry and Michele Wilkinson. It is appreciated. We all miss Mrs. Noah!

If you forgot to make an extra contribution (cash or memorabilia) and would like to do so now, it's never too late. We would be thrilled to hear from you at: PO Box 2886, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY!

A contest on the CBS-TV show "Candy Carnival"
It originated out of WCAU-TV and was hosted by Gene Crane
1952

IN TOUCH WITH THE INDUSTRY:

Some local daily programming changes over at NBC 10 will begin on September 12th. NBC 10 News Today will start a half-hour earlier, now beginning at 4:30 am (instead of 5 am). "The 10 Show" gets cut to a half-hour (11:30 pm to 12 noon) with the 11 am slot going to the new NBC 10 News at 11 am. Going into the12 noon time period will be two episodes of "Family Feud" with Steve Harvey.

Also at NBC 10, Delaware Valley native Lou Dubois returns to Philadelphia as the Social Media Editor and Strategist. Speaking of this newly created position, Chris Blackman, VP of News at the station says:

To say we believe strongly in social media is an understatement. It allows us to connect with our viewers like never before. NBC 10’s future is firmly intertwined with social media, and our intention is to seize every opportunity it presents with Lou leading the way.

In mid-July, CBS 3's Chris May was one of several reporters who sat down with President Obama in the map room at the White House. Each one was granted a one-on-one interview. It was recorded at 2 pm with excerpts aired during the 5 pm, 6 pm and 11 pm newscasts. While not commonplace, it is not unheard of for sitting presidents to be interviewed by local reporters. You can watch the interview here. It's in two parts.

Steve Schwaid has returned to Philadelphia as News Director and Vice-President of Fox 29. Previously in this market, he was Vice-President of News for NBC 10 before being bumped upstairs to head up News and Programming (as Senior Vice-President) for the NBC O&Os. He was there for 5 years and then went to Atlanta where he was News Director for WGCL and VP of Digital Content for the Meredith Group.

Beasley's WJBR (FM 99.5) has a new General Manager. Dan Sultzbach has been the station's General Sales Manager for the last few years. He also has worked in the Philly market, including WXTU. He replaces Jane Bartsch, who died during June after a lengthy illness. By the way, Beasley reported increased profits and growth in the Philly and Miami markets.

Jamie Apody, WPVI-TV sports anchor, married Paul Coleman on Saturday, July 9th. The couple met last year while they were out with their individual friends attending a birthday party. The groom is native to this area while the bride relocated here from the west coast for her sports gig on Action News. See 40 photos of the wedding! Congrats to the couple.

Former WPVI meteorologist Erica Grow has joined Channel 8, WTNH in New Haven. She will be doing the weekend weathercasts beginning in mid-September. She had been here in Philadelphia for several years. Previously, Erica also worked in Harrisburg.

Can you find the oldies on the radio? Now being defined as a “generational sound,” the music from the 50’s and 60’s is harder to locate. Lou Costello, a frequent attendee at Broadcast Pioneer luncheons, has a show on WVLT-FM, Cruisin' 92.1 in Vineland. He said, “they have a good music mix from the 1950’s through the ‘70’s.” When WOGL shifted from the oldies to a more modern format, it meant less competition for WVLT and other stations trying to hold on to a niche market. The consensus is that at some point in time the oldies are going away simply because of attrition. Literally, the audience is dying! Member Jerry Blavat is convinced all it takes is for people to hear the music and they’ll be hooked. Is rock n’ roll here to stay? Only time will tell. By the way, anyone ever notice that the "Yon Teens" that the Geator speaks so passionately about are now called the "Beyond Teens."

Former Eagles player Hugh Douglas has done sports on air here in Philly at Fox 29 (WTXF-TV), CBS 3 (KYW-TV) and Philly' Comcast SportsNet plus a radio shift for WIP Radio. Well, he's now at ESPN as a sports analysis and announcer. He started the new gig this past Monday.

South Jersey radio station WTKU-FM, 98.3, is preparing to launch a new line-up as a “greatest hits” station, according to Longport Media President (and Broadcast Pioneers member) Dave Coskey. Former KYW-TV3 personality (and Broadcast Pioneer member) Tom Lamaine will host a monthly show, “Lamaine’s Memory Lane,” from 7 to 9 pm on the first Sunday of each month starting September 4th. He'll feature music from the 50s, 60s and 70s. We spoke with Tom who spent several years hosting “Lamaine’s Memories,” on WIP. He was contacted by Dave Coskey, who told him to do exactly what he did before. Tom told us:

If radio is going to succeed in today’s world, the formats he (Dave Coskey) has chosen are winners. I’m excited that somebody is making an effort to make radio strong again. The key is live and local! This is going to be entertainment the way it should be…and this is probably the only thing that could bring me back and I’m happy about it.

Broadcast Pioneer Jerry Blavat will host a show five nights a week from 7 to 9 on the same station. We spoke with Jerry about the new “gig” and he told us:

I love working with Dave Coskey, because he’s one of the most knowledgeable guys in radio. He gets it - that radio serves the community. Coskey is from the old school and he’s going to make it exciting…he’s going to make radio what it used to be.”

Musikfest in Bethlehem, the nation’s largest free, non-gated music festival, begins its annual 10-day event today with live music on 13 different stages! 6abc is the official media sponsor of the event’s feature stage. Action News fans can visit the 6abc booth in the Volksplatz area. You can meet the Action News team, enjoy craft activities with your kids, and even record your own AccYouweather forecast for posting on the Channel 6 website.

Lehigh Valley's Katie Fehlinger, who has been doing weekends at WCBS-TV, joins CBS 3 (KYW-TV) next month. The meteorologist comes home to take over morning duties. Kate Bilo moves to the 5 and 6 pm news with Chief Meteorologist Kathy Orr focusing on the 10 pm and 11 pm newscasts. Orr says:

It’s been exciting, challenging and rewarding, but with two school age children who are growing up fast I am trying to seek a balance in my life. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to continue contributing to the success of CBS 3 and The CW Philly and still be able to spend more time with my family.

ON THE SCENE:

(left to right) Frank Stone with CBS 3's Kathy Orr
2011

On the Scene caught up with Kathy Orr for her first of the summer season broadcast of "Orr at the Shore" in Wildwood, New Jersey. Kathy told us:

It's wonderful coming to the shore. I grew up in up-state New York and my parents would drive to Cape May every year, and then we would come to the Wildwood boardwalk. We still have an annual reunion in Cape May. This is our ninth year for Orr at the Shore and it's just a great way to ley everybody know what's going on and what kind of summer they can have.

Kathy Orr is an Emmy award winning meteorologist who arrived in Philadelphia in 1998 as the first female meteorologist in the Philadelphia television market. Her forecasting and reporting have earned her seven Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards for "Best Weathercaster." Orr earned a B.S. in Meteorology from the State University of New York at Oswego and a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and Marketing from Syracuse University.

JULY EVENT REVIEW :

NBC 10, WCAU-TV
City Avenue and Monument Road, Bala Cynwyd, PA
October 26, 2010
Photo by Broadcast Pioneers Chairman Gerry Wilkinson

While the temperature outside was 100 degrees, it was nice and cool in the NBC 10 facilities. Our summer event included a tour of the station and the opportunity to be in the audience for the hour-long "The 10 Show." The program records at 10 am and is broadcast an hour later. That particular broadcast was also available on Comcast's "On Demand" service and rebroadcast at 5 pm on Non-Stop, NBC 10 sub-channel 10.2.

Everyone got free gifts (courtesy of the guests on the 10 Show). One of them was valued at $40. So if you missed out on this one, you really did miss something.

A FINAL THOUGHT....

Radio was and is an incredible medium. It allows free play of the imagination, including the way in which we put those early shows together. Working live in the studio, we actors would emote. An electric organ made exciting noises, much like those in use at basketball and hockey matches of the 1990s.... I fell in love with the medium. I HAD to get into it.

Roy Neal
"The Roy Neal Story"
unpublished manuscript
2002
available exclusively on our website

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Photo Editor & Archival Historian - Gerry Wilkinson

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