West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUGUST 11, 2013

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

TOM RESLER, WEST VIRGINIA BROADCASTERS HALL OF FAME CHAIRMAN

PHONE: (304) 389-5585

EMAIL: tmres@aol.com

NINE PEOPLE TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE WEST VIRGINIA BROADCASTERS HALL OF FAME FOR 2013

Huntington, WV — Nine people associated with broadcasting throughout the state will be inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasters Hall of Fame on Oct. 12, 2013. The invitation-only ceremony will be conducted at the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington. The first group was inducted in 2006.

Following are this year's nine inductees:

Ralph Allen (Allenbaugh) — Allen began his career in radio at WWNR in Beckley while still in high school. During college, he worked at radio stations in Charleston, earning a degree from the University of Charleston. He has been program director, operations manager and general manager of several group operators of radio stations. In 1973, while working at WKYG Radio in Parkersburg, he was inducted into the Mister Deejay USA Hall of Fame in Nashville. He later went back to graduate school to become a psychologist. Today, he is president of Ralph Allen Media, providing a variety of media production services from Parkersburg.

Charles Bailey, EdD — Dr. Bailey has been at the helm of WMUL-FM as faculty manager since 1985. During the past 27 years, WMUL's student broadcasters have more than 1,000 awards. Dr. Bailey has received the Lifetime Achievement Award (2007) from the West Virginia AP Broadcasters Association and The John Marshall Award for Extraordinary Service to West Virginia Higher Education (2000). He is a Radio-TV production and management professor at Marshall University's W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Shirley "Kitty" Bocock —Bocock has worked in radio sales and management for 54 years. She started as an account executive at WNXT Radio in Portsmouth, OH, and was the only woman in radio sales in the region in 1956. She has worked as sales manager and general manager at radio stations in Huntington, Binghamton, NY, Buffalo, NY, and Hilton Head, SC. She retired but moved back into sales and promotions at the six Kindred Communications stations in Huntington.

Tom Hicks — Hicks began his career in radio while still in high school at WBRW in Welch. For nearly five decades, he worked at radio stations in Welch, Narrows, VA, Princeton, Beckley and Mount Hope. His duties ranged from disc jockey to sports play-by-play announcer, sales, and general manager. Hicks died in 1991.

Jack Kane — Currently Jack Kane is co-anchor of the morning and noon newscasts at WOWK-TV, Charleston. He has been with WOWK since 1999, after spending 19 years as a reporter and anchor at WCHS-TV. He has covered four presidential visits, six gubernatorial inaugurations and has interviewed many notables from the entertainment world. He also has worked at stations in Ohio, including Cleveland, and spent two years in production at NBC Radio in New York.

Kay Murray — Host of WAJR's Morgantown-AM program, heard each day from 9-10 a.m. for over 34 years, Murray first began as a receptionist at West Virginia Radio Corporation. She also has served as Hoppy Kercheval's producer for Metronews Talkline since it began in 1992. She has made appearances for WAJR and helped produce more than 8,000 Morgantown radio talk shows in her 35-year broadcast career. Murray has done years of charity work for the station and the community.

Frank Stowers — Stowers' first job in radio was after World War II as an announcer at WHIS Radio, Bluefield. A graduate of Duke University, he later worked in Human Resources with Union Carbide in Charleston from 1956 until his retirement in 1985. He was one of Carbide's media relations contacts and did narrations for company film and TV productions. After retirement, he has spent the past 27 years doing what he loves to do — work at West Virginia Public Radio as a staff announcer.

Emil Varney — As a news cinematographer and videographer, Varney covered just about every major news story in the state during his 39-year career. He worked for WSAZ-TV from 1958 through 1979, where he received awards for best news film story for 1964 and '65. From 1979 until his retirement in 1997, he was a news videographer for WOWK-TV.

George Woody — The Mason County native began as a staff engineer at WSAZ-TV, Huntington, WV, in 1949, as one of the station's pioneers. He was involved with the installation of the transmitter, two studio complexes and maintained the microwave system that allowed WSAZ to have a two-city newscast. In 1965, he worked for the Illinois superintendent of public instruction and later moved to Duluth, MN, where he built two television stations and an FM radio station. He retired in 1992.

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Twelve To Be Inducted Into West Virginia
Broadcasting Hall Of Fame In October

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 14, 2012

HUNTINGTON, WV — Twelve radio and television broadcasters will be inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame. The seventh annual induction ceremony is at The Museum of Radio and Technology, 1640 Florence, Ave., Huntington, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 from 5 to 7 p.m. Attendance at the event is by invitation only.

Tom Resler, committee chairman, says the hall of fame represents the rich legacy West Virginia has in the broadcasting industry. “These inductees have created a diversity of programming at radio and TV stations across the state. This year’s class represents West Virginians who have played a part in the lives of viewers and listeners in the region and other areas of the country,” he said.

A portion of the museum was renovated to house the hall of fame with support from the Foundation for the Tri-State community and the Cabell County Commission. Founded in 1991, the museum features hundreds of radio and TV exhibits and maintains a library of broadcasting history. The museum is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1-4 p.m.

This year’s inductees into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame are:

Willis Cook —Early TV photographer for WSAZ-TV, who was instrumental in upgrading from still slides to action film and later color film. (Deceased)

Jo Corey — Former operations manager at WCHS-TV. She began her career in bookkeeping at WCHS Radio and TV. She has worked at TV stations in Columbus and Dayton, OH, and Ft. Myers, FL. She returned to WCHS-TV in 1981. Although retired, she coordinates the station’s Jefferson Awards program.

Mark Davis —News director and anchor at WTRF-TV, Wheeling. Before that he was a news reporter at WVVA Radio. He received numerous awards during his broadcasting career, including a regional Emmy (1996-7). (Deceased)

Steve Mazure — Retired after 34 years with WTRF-TV, Wheeling, as news reporter and anchor. Host of Jamboree USA on WWVA Radio, Wheeling. Also worked at WTCS and WMMN, both in Fairmont.

J. B. Miller — Started his career in radio in 1977, in his teens on weekends at WGNT Radio in Huntington. Three years later, he was promoted to full-time and later became host of “Miller in the Morning.” He has worked at tri-state stations WKEE, WAMX, WTCR and WMGA Radio, in addition to radio stations in Cincinnati and Grand Rapids, MI.

George Parnicza — Engineer at WSAZ Radio and TV for 17 years. Chief engineer for WMUL (WPBY)-TV, Huntington, as it went on the air, then WVAH-TV when it went on the air.

Jim Reader — News director at WCHS-TV, reporter/anchor at WSAZ-TV, reporter at WEWS-TV in Cleveland, reporter at WOWK-TV.

Garry Ritchie — Anchor, news director and station manager at WEWS-TV, Cleveland; assistant general manager, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati; vice president and general manager at WOWK-TV. Former president of Diversified Communications. Began his career at WTIP Radio in Charleston.

Loray Robinson — “Midday Loray” at WVAQ Radio in Morgantown and WWLW in Clarksburg. (Deceased) Vernon Stanfill Worked at WVKY, Louisa, KY, and was instrumental in starting WFGH Radio at Ft. Gay and then Tolsia High School. He was a broadcasting teacher at the time of his death in 2009.

Debra Thomas — Former reporter/anchor for WSAZ-TV and became the first full-time female news anchor in West Virginia. Later worked at KMGH-TV in Denver and is now retired.

Rich Wachtel — Founder, owner and president of WRNR Radio, Martinsburg. Was honored earlier this year with the Mel Burka Distinguished Broadcaster Award from the West Virginia Broadcasters Association.

For more information, contact Tom Resler, (304) 389-5585 or tmres@aol.com.


Mr. Cartoon, Miss Marilyn Back in Spotlight

This article appeared in the Charleston Daily Mail on Aug. 4, 2006.

by CHERYL CASWELL

Before there was Barney, Big Bird or the Wiggles, a generation of area children flocked to their televisions to watch Mr. Cartoon and Romper Room's Miss Marilyn.

They are included on a list that reads like a "who's who" in local broadcasting -- 61 television and radio personalities who will be the first inductees into a Broadcasting Hall of Fame. It will be located at the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington.

"We have all this wonderful equipment in the museum, and we thought it would be good if we could show some of the people who worked with it, and who worked behind the scenes," said Tom Resler, chairman of the committee to develop the hall of fame.

Not all of those being honored in a Sept. 16 ceremony at the museum are well known outside the broadcasting community. Many are founders or owners of the first local stations. Others are engineers or others who never appeared on camera, or on the air.

"We sent out inquiries for possible inductees, and we came up with quite a few names," Resler said. "The first list is like a catch-up process to get as many as we can. We'll add more next year, and then maybe two or three a year."

A plaque will be engraved with the names of those being honored, and displays will be added with their pictures and biographies.

"We've done a lot of research to find these people, or their family members, and contacted them," said Resler, a technician for Sodaro's Electric for the past 45 years who also gives tours of the museum in his free time.

"A lot of them are deceased," he said. "And for some, we haven't been able to find any family. But most of the ones we have will either attend the ceremony or have a family representative who will."

Jule Huffman, who was the well-known Mr. Cartoon and weatherman on WSAZ for decades, will attend the ceremony next month.

"I'm remembered for that, and for singing," he said. "I directed, too. I announced. And if they needed the floor swept, I did that."

Huffman attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, hoping for a career as a classical singer. But he realized the limitations of the field, and gravitated toward the novelty and excitement of television in its early days.

"I went from one station to another, doing anything I could," Huffman said. "I caught on at WCPO (Cincinnati) and did eight jobs a day, all live. And it was fun. Then I worked in Ashland, Ky., and at WSAZ for 41 years."

Marilyn Fletcher said she can't walk through Charleston without someone remembering her face from the days when she hosted the popular children's show "Romper Room" on WCHS-TV.

"That was the first thing I did in broadcasting," Fletcher said. "I did that for two and a half years and it went off the air. Then they brought it back and I did it again.

Fletcher went on to become women's director at WSAZ. She did a 9 a.m. interview show and was a talk show hostess. She is now retired and living in Sun City, S.C., where she is still active in broadcasting and has helped develop local cable channels.

Of the hall of fame, she said, "It's a nice idea, especially for honoring the ones who actually started the stations. When I heard the list, I knew a lot of those names."

Bos Johnson, whose name is synonymous with broadcasting in West Virginia, also is being inducted into the hall of fame.

Johnson has taught broadcasting to many students at Marshall University and was at WSAZ for nearly 25 years as news director and anchor.

"West Virginia, a small state by any measure, has had a remarkable impact on broadcasting in news, sports and entertainment and I was privileged to know a lot of those great folks," he said.

"Being inducted into the hall of fame is an honor and I'm grateful for it," added Johnson, who got his start at WKOY radio in Bluefield. "And it has stirred a lot of memories."

Johnson said that one of his fondest memories is sharing a broadcast booth at a Clarksburg football game in the 1950s with Jim Thacker, Jack Fleming and Jay Randolph -- all legendary broadcasters. Thacker went on to broadcast ACC basketball games. Fleming was the "Voice of the Mountaineers" for more than 40 years. Randolph, the son of Sen. Jennings Randolph, was an NBC broadcaster for pro football games.

Shirley Love is known in his Fayette County community for his work in television and radio, and he will be among those inducted into the hall of fame.

Love was a deejay in 1954 with a popular WOAY radio show called "Juke Box Review" from 3 to 5 p.m. daily. When the Oak Hill company added a television station shortly after that, Love emceed a program called "West Virginia Bandstand."

He said, "It was the era when rock and roll came into existence. I played Elvis, and he was controversial. The bandstand show was a spin- off of ‘American Bandstand' and we had local high school kids come dance in the studio for an hour."

Early on, Love's job was to run the boom mike and crank the teleprompter for the show "Friday Night Barndance." When the commercial announcer quit suddenly, he stepped in to read the lines, live, and ended up with the job.

Over the years, Love anchored the WOAY news, hosted a popular Saturday night wrestling show, made commercials and sold advertising. He figures he announced more than 1,100 local football and baseball games.

"I retired in 1997, but I still do some games," he said. "I do the play-by-play, and the sheriff does the color."

Charles Ryan, owner of a public relations firm that bears his name, was a fixture on local television for years. He is also one of the inductees.

"I started in my hometown of Keyser, on WKYR radio," Ryan said. "I was 17 and they had a contest for a teenage deejay and I won. Then, I hung around the studio until they hired me.

"Having a 5,000-watt radio station at your command does great things to your confidence," he said. Ryan went on to work full time at radio stations in Morgantown while attending West Virginia University.

He came to Charleston in 1962 to work for WSAZ and was later news director at WCHS.

"Some great talent has evolved in broadcasting in this state," Ryan said. "And I've been privileged to know them."

Joe Farris II will attend the hall of fame celebration to represent his late father, Joe Farris, who is known for his 40-year career as a radio personality in Charleston.

Farris said his father would have been thrilled to be part of the honorees.

"He started as a teenager before World War II," Farris said. "He did a lot of Morris Harvey games and high school sports for WCHS and WGKV. He started as a disc jockey and went into sales and management, but he always kept his finger in sports.

"He loved his radio career and the people in it," Farris said. "Ernie Saunders, Al Sahley, John Dickensheets -- the old guard of guys who were in the business."

The ceremony will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at the museum, 1640 Florence Avenue in Huntington.


Inductees to the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame

  • Charles Ryan, WSAZ, WCHS and public relations
  • Bos Johnson, WSAZ, Marshall University professor
  • Chuck Woolery, game show host
  • Bob Denver, actor
  • Dagmar, actor
  • Don Knotts, actor
  • Herbert Morrison, WMMN, WVU professor/Heindenberg disaster
  • Grandpa Jones, WWVA, WMMN/"Hee-Haw"
  • Gene Morehouse, WWNR/former voice of the Thundering Herd
  • Jack Fleming, WAJR/former voice of the Mountaineers
  • Shott Family, WHIS/Bluefield broadcasting
  • Noah Adams, National Public Radio
  • Jim Thacker, WSAZ/various networks - sportscaster
  • Ed Rabel, CBS news, University of Charleston professor
  • Peter Marshall, game show host
  • Soupy Sales, comedian
  • Jule Huffman, WSAZ/Mr. Cartoon
  • Marilyn Fletcher, Romper Room/WV Broadcasters Association executive director
  • Bill Kelley, WCHS, WSAZ photographer/videographer
  • Bill Stewart, WSAZ, ABC newscaster-correspondent
  • Bob Bowen, WSAZ sportscaster
  • Bill Richards, WCHS weathercaster
  • Col. J. H. Long, owner, WSAZ
  • Dean Sturm, WSAZ Saturday Night Jamboree
  • D.J. Schroeder, WSAZ weathercaster
  • Farmer Bill Click, WSAZ Farm Report
  • Harry Brawley, WCHS, WV Public Broadcasting System
  • Howard Chernoff, WCHS, first president of WVBA
  • Jane Martin, WKAZ radio, WCHS-TV
  • Jay Randolph, former voice of the Mountaineers/network sports
  • John P. Clay, engineer WSAZ
  • Katie Doonan, WTAP, WCHS, WHTN, WSAZ - Katie's Kitchen
  • Leo MacCourtney, WOWK general manager
  • Neil Boggs, WSAZ, NBC newscaster/correspondent
  • Nick Basso, WSAZ newscaster
  • Shirley Love, WOAY-TV personality
  • George Andrick, WSAZ general manager
  • Al Sahley, WHMS/WKAZ disc jockey/personality
  • Bill and Martha Becker, WVOW owners
  • Bud Burka, WTIP sales manager/personality
  • Cap, Andy and Flip, WWVA, WCHS musicians/personalities
  • Capt. John Kennedy, founder-West Va. Network
  • Connie B. Gay, WTCR, founding president Country Music Association
  • Dale Miller, WAJR/WVAQ, WV Broadcasting Corp. president
  • Ernie Saunders, WCHS sportscaster
  • George Smith, WWVA, founder WWVA Jamboree
  • Gus Zaharis, WTIP owner
  • Hugh McPherson, WCHS/WV PBS talk show host
  • Jane Hobson, WSAZ personality
  • Joe Farris, WGKV, WCHS newscaster/news director
  • John Strobel, founder-WWVA
  • Mel Burka, WTIP general manager
  • Nick Fantasia Sr., WTCS owner
  • Noel Richardson, engineer, WV Radio Corp.
  • Paul Howard, WCAW, WCHS programming and management
  • Pete Stenger, WSAZ morning personality
  • Ross Felton, WWVA general manager
  • Shirley Annand, WTIP personality
  • Sleepy Jeffers, WTIP, Kanawha Valley Jamboree musician/personality
  • Tony Gonzalez, WWNR general manager
  • Walter Fredericks, founder of WCHS


Huntington Museum of Radio and Technology Announces
Second Class of Inductees into
The West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Little Jimmy Dickens of the Grand Ole Opry will attend the event

Contact: Tom Resler at tmres@aol.com or at (304)-389-5585

Thirty two radio and television pioneers are to become members of The West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the second annual induction ceremony on Saturday, November 3, 2007 from 5:00 till 7:00 p.m. The ceremony takes place at The Museum of Radio and Technology located at 1640 Florence Avenue in Huntington. Little Jimmy Dickens is one of many personalities that will attend the event. Attendance to the event is by invitation only.

Tom Resler, committee chairman says the hall of fame truly represents the great legacy West Virginia has in the broadcasting industry. “These inductees have created a rich diversity of programming at radio and TV stations across the state. This year’s class of 32 and last year’s class of 61 inductees represent West Virginians who have been an important part of the lives of viewers and listeners in the region and even across the country.”

A portion of the museum was renovated to house the hall of fame with support from the Foundation for the Tri-State Community and the Cabell County Commission. The museum, founded in 1991, features hundreds of radio and TV exhibits and maintains a library of broadcasting history. The museum is open Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. till 4:00 p.m. The members of the second class of inductees into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame are:

Robert M “Bob” Bower WTIP-Charleston sportscaster, program director
Harry G. Bright WETZ-New Martinsville mainstay performer
Glen Chase Founder, WSAZ radio
Charlie Cooper WKAZ-Charleston’s DJ Super Duper Charlie Cooper
Charles B. “Budd” Dailey WSAZ-TV-Huntington weathercaster
Randy Damron WQBE-Charleston personality
George Diab Notable at WTRF-Wheeling; GM at WCHS-Charleston
Little Jimmy Dickens Raleigh County boy on WJLS-Beckley, who became
Grand Ole Opry star
Robert Harvit WBTH, WXCC-FM-Williamson owner
Ira W. Southern Southern Communications founder/owner
Dorothy “Dotty” Johnson Marshall professor & WOWK-TV-Huntington show host
Pete Johnson Owner of WCAW-Charleston, and consulting engineer
for stations nationwide
Carroll King Kessell Engineer, WSAZ-Huntington radio
Ken Kurtz Charleston News Director, WSAZ-TV
George Lewis Steamboat Bill and original Mr. Cartoon on WSAZ-TV-Huntington
K. Robert “Bob” Orr CBS News correspondent who started at WTRF-Wheeling
Jack O’Shea DJ on WKEE-Huntington
Don Ray Long time and current GM of WSAZ-TV
Dick Reid Hosted Lucky 8 Ranch and much more on on WCHS-TV-Charleston
Lawrence H. “Bud” Rogers Second GM of WSAZ-TV-Huntington
Jim Schneider WKEE-Huntington and WTCR-Ashland DJ known as “Flying Dutchman”
David Selby WVU grad and actor who played Quenton Collins’ Ghost
on “Dark Shadows”
Bob Smith News Anchor-WOWK-TV-Huntington & WSAZ-TV-Huntington
Joe L. Smith, Jr Built WJLS, WKWK and WKNA, Pioneered TV with WKNA-TV
Berton “Bert” Sonis GM of WTIP-Charleston
Buddy Starcher Country music performer hosted “Buddy Starcher Show”
on WCHS-TV-Charleston
Bob Thomas, Sr. Engineer who built and owned WOAY & WOAY-TV-Oak Hill
Charles Robert “Bob” Turley WKAZ-Charleston DJ
C. Gregory Van Camp Founded and managed WWVU-Morgantown
Morton J. “Mort” Victorson Sales manager at WTIP-Charleston
Phil Vogel Long time radio voice, WWNR-Beckley and WGKV-Charleston
Gareth F. “Garry” Vorhees Program manager, WTRF-Wheeling


Local Notables Named to West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame

This article appeared in the Register-Herald on Oct. 2, 2008.

By Mannix Porterfield

Bob Brunner’s defining, and perhaps most taxing, moment as a journalist came when a dam collapsed at the head of Buffalo Creek hollow in a remote pocket of Logan County, unleashing a tidal wave of water.

Once the water receded, in its wake were a known 125 dead, 500 homes had been ripped apart and some 4,000 suddenly found themselves homeless.

Brunner recalled that horrific chapter in West Virginia history Thursday as he prepared to join a number of colleagues across southern counties for induction into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Among others destined for induction in an Oct. 25 ceremony are Fred Persinger, once the “voice of the Flying Eagles” in football and basketball, former WJLS radio station owner Bill O’Brien, country legend Tom T. Hall and the Nick Rahall family.

Twenty-five new faces will be enshrined in the ceremony at the West Virginia Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington.

“These inductees have created a rich diversity of programming at radio and TV stations across the state,” committee chairman Tom Resler said.

“This year’s class of 25 and last year’s class of 32 inductees, along with the initial class of 61, represent West Virginians who have been an important part of the lives of viewers and listeners in the region and even across the country.”

Among the honorees are Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and four members of his family — his father, Nick Joe, and uncles Farris, Deem and Sam. The family created radio station WWNR in Beckley and expanded to own and operate radio and television stations nationwide.

“West Virginia’s broadcasters will always be an important voice in my life,” Rahall said from his Capitol office.

“Three generations of Rahalls in broadcasting spell a lot of work and passion for an industry that serves the public, our communities and local business as well. It has been a long but happy path since those first steps my grandfather took, starting his new life here in West Virginia.”

Rahall said he is proud of his family and humbled by the hall of fame honor, and saluted his fellow inductees for their “considerable achievement.”

Now news director for WOAY-TV in Oak Hill, Brunner said no other news event in his long and storied broadcasting career, which began under the tutelage of Boz Johnson at WSAZ, affected him as much as the Feb. 26, 1972, disintegration of a coal slurry impoundment that spawned the killer flood in Logan County.

“And it was because of the frustration,” Brunner recalled.

“Television is a visual media. Unless you had been up that hollow in Logan County before that dam broke, you couldn’t really show people how bad this was. We took pictures and you’re kind of looking at a mud flap. There were hundreds of homes up there. There were people but you couldn’t see it. That was one story I don’t think the media did a real good job of following up on.”

Brunner launched his career in 1968 and has been in on a number of major news stories in a 40-year run, among them the Marshall airplane disaster in 1970, the two trials of former Gov. Arch Moore, the Willow Island collapse and a follow-up on the Silver Bridge disaster.

Over that span, Brunner also covered numerous political campaigns, among them the first showdown between Moore and Jay Rockefeller, who lost his first time out but eventually won two terms as governor before reaching the U.S. Senate.

Politics opened a career door to him for three years, serving as an executive aide to former Gov. Gaston Caperton.

Brunner also has been managing editor at WCHS-TV in Charleston, from 1993-1996, and was news director for the CBS station in Montgomery, Ala., and executive editor for the CBS affiliate in Knoxville, Tenn.

Brunner came out of brief retirement in 2005 to become WOAY’s news director.

Persinger, a Beckley native who graduated from the former Trap Hill High School, handled Flying Eagle football and basketball games for 27 years at both WWNR and WTNJ in Mount Hope.

“I guess when it comes right down to it, I probably miss every Friday night going with the Flying Eagles to do their games,” said Persinger, now with radio station WKAZ based in Charleston.

Working with Metro-News, which boasts 59 member stations across the state, Persinger has earned a new moniker with the network, “the voice of high school sports in West Virginia.”

“I have a high school football program called ‘Game Night’ every Friday night on 40 radio stations,” he said.

“And I still do the post-game show for the Mountaineers. I do all kinds of things still for the state tournament — basketball, football, Super Six. That kind of keeps me busy. I’m in Morgantown every weekend now in the football season.”

Persinger can be heard on company-owned stations that specialize in popular music of the 1960s in both Charleston and Summersville.

“What a tremendous honor,” he said of his impending induction, coming on the heels of last July’s honor as this year’s Mel Burka Distinguished Broadcaster award.

“Honestly, the crew I’m going in with really makes me feel good. Probably one of my better friends in this industry was John McKinney, who passed away. He was with the Mountaineers so long. That makes it really special. And Bill O’Brien and I have been friends a long time.”

O’Brien broke in as a summer fill-in announcer at WJLS in 1967, working under the tutelage of Gene Morehouse, who died in the Marshall plane crash.

After two summer stints, O’Brien was hired full-time in 1969 and has been at WJLS ever since, ultimately purchasing it with his wife in 2002, then selling it four years later. O’Brien remains there as a consultant and still does Woodrow Wilson football and basketball games.

In his first summer job, O’Brien recalled the “incredible experience” of working with Morehouse, whom he had listened to handling Beckley athletic contests as a youngster.

“He wasn’t one to give advice unless asked,” he remembered.

“Here was this legend, doing Little League baseball games. He treated the Little League games as if they were World Series Game Seven. Just everything was top of the line with him.”

O’Brien said he felt “thrilled” to become part of this year’s crop of inductees.

“It’s just an incredible honor to be up there with all of those legends,” he added.

Hall once worked as a disc jockey for WRON radio station in Ronceverte and at WVRC in Spencer before his career spiraled upward as a singer and teller of tales, penning such hits as “The Year Clayton Delaney Died” and “A Week in a County Jail.”

Others to be inducted include:

Janet Coleman Evans, general manager of WBTH/WXCC, Williamson; Conchata Ferrell, a Charleston actress and comedienne with a number of roles, including “Two and a Half Men”; Robert “Bob” Brown, longtime owner of WCLG, Morgantown; Lewis Ross Dobbins, country-western DJ in Weston, Clarksburg and Buckhannon; Woody O’Hara, who teamed with the late Jack Fleming at West Virginia University on football and basketball games; Daniel “Zag” Pennel, WELD radio in Fisher;

Marshall Rosene, first general manager of WSAZ-TV in Huntington; Sam and Mary Sidote, co-owners of WELC radio; Ned Skaff, a radio and television announcer at WCHS in Charleston; Earl J. Ward Jr., a 40-year news photographer at WCHS-TV and WSAZ-TV;

Monte Scott “Yogi” Yoder, personality at WEPM and WKMZ in Martinsburg, eventually becoming general manager at both; Thomas “Tom” Garten, management at WPAR radio in Parkersburg and WCHS radio; Joe Johns, WSAZ-TV reporter who became NBC Capitol Hill correspondent, now CNN Washington correspondent; Toufie Kassab, sales executive and general manager in a career that included WGNT, WAMX-FM, WKEE, WRVC radio in the Huntington area; Frank Lee, disc jockey 48 years and finally general manager of WMMN in Fairmont;

Ted McKay, WTIP and WKNA radio show host in Charleston in the 1940s and 1950s, also hosted “Goofus Orchestra” on old WKNA-TV; Paul Miles, general manager of WCAW radio in Charleston; and Jackie Oblinger, who opened her career at WHIS radio in Bluefield, then WHIS-TV, and hosted popular women’s shows on WCHS-TV in Charleston.


West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame Announces the
2010 Class of Inductees

August 22, 2010

The West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame will induct 13 new members in a ceremony at the Museum of Radio & Technology on Saturday, October 2, 2010 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Attendance to the event is by invitation only. The Museum, which is located at 1640 Florence Ave in Huntington, opened the Hall of Fame in 2006 with the help of funding from The Foundation for the Tri-State Community and the Cabell County Commission.

Tom Resler and Garry Ritchie, museum members, brought together a committee in 2006 that has worked together each year to select inductees from the numerous nominations that are submitted for consideration. Tom Resler, committee chairman, says “the selection committee works hard to include members from all areas of the state from the big market areas to the small local station. The class of 13 for this year along with the previous years’ inductees represent West Virginians who have been an important part of the lives of viewers and listeners in the region and even across the country.

The museum, founded in 1991, features hundreds of radio and TV exhibits and maintains a library of broadcasting history. The museum is open Saturdays from 10:00 A.M. till 4:00 P.M. and Sundays from 1:00 P.M. till 4:00 P.M.

The members of the fifth class of inductees into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame are:

Frank Annand - He was a big name performer in the Charleston/Huntington market on WTIP, WTIO, WCHS, WCHS-TV and WSAZ-TV from the 1950’s through the 1980’s. He covered news in the field, anchored the news, reported weather, hosted talk shows, voiced commercials, produced programs and even announced Big Time Wrestling. He was trained as an actor and was very active in Kanawha Players.

Robert “Bob” Bolyard - He was called "Bobby B" as a teen idol disc jockey on WVVW Radio in Grafton, WV just after graduating from high school in 1956. Three years later he was anchoring news and sports on WJPB-TV, Weston/Clarksburg, and doing news reports. His career grew into management as national sales manager of WHSV-TV, Harrisonburg, VA and vice president of WCTI-TV New Bern, NC. (See also this article.)

Don Cook - Don worked for WCHS radio and was the voice of the Marshall Thundering Herd. He was also an original co-host of Metro-News Talkline. He loved minor league baseball & did play by play for Charleston minor league teams. He was PA announcer for The WV Power Baseball Club.

John Dickensheets - He was a force in broadcasting for more than 40 years, doing everything from staff announcing to running both WCHS and WQBE AM as general manager. He brought "Sports Talk" to WV radio and did excellent play-by-play of Charleston's professional baseball teams, University of Charleston, WV State and many high schools.

C. Leslie “Les” Golliday - Les built WEPM in Martinsburg, WV in 1946. He personally plowed copper into the ground under the tower to boost the signal. Later he built WEPM-FM. He became a civic leader in Martinsburg and served a term as Mayor. He also built WCLG in Morgantown in 1954 and was an early experimenter in FM stereo.

Fred Griffith - He worked in his dad's Charleston restaurant until WTIP hired him in the 1950’s and he was a smash success as news director, commercial writer, performer & classical music show host. He moved to Cleveland's WDOK radio, then to that market's WVIZ-TV, and to WEWS (TV) as news director and host of the incredibly successful local TV show The Morning Exchange, then WKYC-TV’s Good Company. He has reported from around the world including both the North and South Poles and is a writer of cookbooks along with wife Linda.

Larry Groce - This singer/song writer, a Texas native, moved to WV and since 1986 has hosted the Mountain Stage weekly radio program on National Public Radio. The show, which has garnered national acclaim, is recorded by WV Public Radio. His best-known song, “Junk Food Junkie” made the top ten in 1976.

Darrell Hudnall (AKA Darrell Daniels) - He was news director for Bristol broadcasting and its five Charleston area stations, including WQBE AM/FM and news talk 950. He served as Charleston bureau chief for WSAZ-TV; news director of WROV in Roanoke, VA; and news anchor & reporter for WAKR and WSAV in Akron, OH. In his early years he was news director for WCHS radio, Charleston.

Edwin “Ned” Martin, Jr. - Ned was the voice of the Boston Red Sox for 32 years but he spent early years of his career in Charleston, WV on WCHS-TV and doing play by play of the Charleston Senators AAA baseball team on radio. With the Red Sox he broadcast the 1975 World Series on NBC Radio and TV. He also called four American League Championship Series on CBS Radio from 1976 to 1979.

Frank “Karroll” Mazza - He was heard across America in the 1980's on 50,000 watt clear channel station WWVA, Wheeling, WV. As host of Jamboree in the Hills he appeared on stage before tens of thousands of country music fans. He also performed on other radio stations in four states & was WDTV-TV news anchor in Weston/Clarksburg WV.

Roger O’Neil - He moved to WV in 1967 as a news reporter for WSAZ-TV in Huntington. He covered the Marshall University football team plane crash and other major stories. He also was at WAVE-TV, Louisville, KY; KPRC-TV, Houston, TX; and WMAQ-TV, Chicago, IL. He moved to the NBC network as news correspondent in 1979 and was named NBC News Denver bureau chief in 1983. He has cut back his reporting but still does occasional pieces for the network.

Stan Sweet - This White Sulphur Springs native hosted a show on WSAZ-TV in the early 1950’s. He went to Hollywood and appeared in a movie, acted on network TV, and did Kellogg and Old Gold ads. He became the world champ quick-draw pistol shooter & had a touring show. He closed his storied career at WSLS-TV, Roanoke, VA & WVVA-TV, Bluefield WV as weatherman, retiring in 2007.

Mike Tussey (AKA Mike Todd) - As Mike Todd he was the program director who converted WTCR (Ashland, KY/Huntington, WV) to the innovative “Nashville Sound” in the late 1960’s and was the top rated DJ in morning drive time. Later he was a play-by-play sports announcer, doing the Huntington Cubs minor league baseball games on WTCR and calling high school football and basketball on WRVC in Huntington. Since 2006 has been broadcasting the basketball games of Northern Kentucky University with this season being heard on WRQT 1160 AM.


Museum of Radio and Technology Announces
Fourth Class of Inductees into W. Va. Broadcasting Hall of Fame

August 31, 2009

Release Immediately

Contact: Tom Resler at tmres@aol.com or at (304)-389-5585

Fourteen radio and television pioneers are to become members of The West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the third annual induction ceremony on Saturday, September 26, 2009 from 5:00 till 7:00 p.m. The ceremony takes place at The Museum of Radio and Technology located at 1640 Florence Avenue in Huntington. Attendance to the event is by invitation only.

Tom Resler, committee chairman says the hall of fame truly represents the great legacy West Virginia has in the broadcasting industry. “These inductees have created a rich diversity of programming at radio and TV stations across the state. This year’s class of 14 along with the previous years inductees represent West Virginians who have been an important part of the lives of viewers and listeners in the region and even across the country.”

The members of the fourth class of inductees into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame are:

Gilbert "Gil" Brooks - A Pioneer in Radio & TV 1st News Anchor in Charleston

Ray Brooks - WHIS-TV -Circle 6 Ranch- Snoop & Scoop Show 19yrs, First cameraman WHIS-TV.Production manager 40 Yr career

George "Mickey" Curry - From switchboard operator to studio floor person, director, producer and program director

Calvin "Randy Jay" Dailey - Owned WFGM, Fairmont, & stations in Parkersburg, Ravenswood

Doug "The Dougger" Hoffman - Radio legend. WKWK, Wheeling; WXIL, Parkersburg; WFGM; Fairmont, WETZ New Martinsville.

Wallace Horn - started "Friendly Neighbor show" in 1967 broadcasts on WVOW - continues today

Richard "Dick" Hustead - WEBC '58-'61, Ohio River B'casting '58-'65, WWHY station owner '65-'78, Charleston WKLC '77-'79, Clarksburg WBOY '52-58, Sta Mgr WOBG '87-'89, Created "The Sky Castle at the Star Diner"

George M. Hutchinson - Huntington broadcaster began as staff announcer at WSAZ, was also program director and chief announcer at WCMI, Ashland KY, and program director of WHTN, Huntington.

Dave McClain - Born Dave Pool, he was DJ & Pgm Dir when WTCR was twice named CMA Station of the Year

Bob Miller - WKEE and WGNT DJ won BILLBOARD MAGAZINE's Air Personality of the Year, moved to Portland, OR and still stars there

Rod O'Dell - WWNR radio Beckley 1960 - 85 DJ, sales, General Manager - also WJLS, WVJO

Bert Shimp - WSAZ radio DJ & pgm dir also did TV later. Very active Huntington community leader

Jim Slade - He has broadcast his space chronicles on ABC-TV and Radio, CNN, NBC Radio, Mutual, the Westinghouse Broadcasting system and the Voice of America. CNN reporter

Eddie Walters - Highly respected and talented engineer at WHEZ radio in Huntington and WTCR, Ashland, KY


Museum of Radio and Technology Announces
Sixth Class of Inductees into
The West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Andy Ridenour and Bob Arron among Inductees

November 1, 2011

Nine radio and television pioneers are to become members of The West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the sixth annual induction ceremony on Saturday, November 19, 2011 from 5:00 till 7:00 p.m. The ceremony takes place at The Museum of Radio and Technology located at 1640 Florence Avenue in Huntington WV.

Tom Resler, committee chairman says the hall of fame truly represents the great legacy West Virginia has in the broadcasting industry. “These inductees have created a rich diversity of programming at radio and TV stations across the state. This year’s class of 9 along with the previous years inductees represent West Virginians who have been an important part of the lives of viewers and listeners in the region and even across the country.”

A portion of the museum was renovated to house the hall of fame with support from the Foundation for the Tri-State Community and the Cabell County Commission. The museum, founded in 1991, features hundreds of radio and TV exhibits and maintains a library of broadcasting history. The museum is open Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. till 4:00 p.m. The members of the sixth class of inductees into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame are:

Bob Aaron. August 2010 marked 29th year for this Clarksburg, WV native at WCHS-TV8. He reported news in many large markets across the country before settling back in WV. AP named an award for him - The Bob Aaron Membership Cooperation Award. He is still on the air.

Sean Callebs. A 1983 Marshall University graduate and former news correspondent for CNN based in NewOrleans. Earlier was a reporter and anchor for WSAZ-TV, Huntington in the 1980s. Now works for the US government in Afghanistan.

Claude Jones. An amazing career for this broadcaster. He did it all – engineer/announcer/performer/sales manager/general manager/station owner and station builder. In WV he was chief engineer at WRON Ronceverte; then built, owned, managed WSLW, White Sulphur Springs. Later built, owned, managed WKCJ in Greenbrier County. Served as Lewisburg council member and on many charity boards.

Norman Knight. At age 20 he was said to have been the youngest General Manager in the country while at WAJR, Morgantown. Then hired as executive at Mutual Broadcasting System. Managed WNYW-TV, New York and, later WNAC-TV, AM and FM in Boston. Turned down offers to be President of NBC, CBS and ABC. Then built, owned and ran 20+ stations in the Knight Quality Stations Group. His charitable foundation now builds hospitals, helps families of fallen police and firefighters.

Tom Murphy. Sam Poland and Tom Murphy were the popular early morning team of "Sam 'N Denzil" on WCHS radio in Charleston. Murphy was also active directing local theater and musical groups. With a real love of opera and knowledge of foreign languages, Murphy was a total opposite with his 'hillbilly' character on the air. Murphy died in 1986, having left the station some years earlier to work with the WV Department of Natural Resources, where he did a weekly television program for cable broadcast.

Sam Poland. Sam Poland was the "Sam" of the "Sam 'N Denzil Show." He was a Navy hero who lost a leg during a torpedo attack on his ship during World War II, but to radio listeners he was a great entertainer on WCHS and WTIP in Charleston in the '50's and '60's

Andy Ridenour. WV Public Radio's Executive producer of the highly acclaimed and much awarded "Mountain Stage" program, carried nationally on PBS-TV. Was also formerly news director & public affairs director for WV Public Radio. Prior to that he reported news and hosted programs for WCIR in Beckley, WLOH in Princeton and other stations around the nation.

Shawkey Saba. This self-taught artist was one of the first TV artists in America and was the creative brains behindmuch of the "look" at WSAZ-TV, Huntington. He created the station's graphic image for 40 years.

Jack Williams. Jack Williams was WSAZ-TV's Promotions Manager in the '50's and 60's who later became Executive Secretary of the West Virginia Broadcasters Association.

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