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The idea for the project came about in the mid-1960s, as Walter Dunn and Bill McKibben talked one day about what happened to the reels of news film after they were used. Typically, the film was disposed of after each day’s newscasts. The two men decided that it would be useful to save the film at the end of the day. The project began to pick up momentum several decades later. By the late 1990s Channels 2 and 4 said they no longer had space to store the film. It was transferred to Canisius College through the efforts of Terry Fischer.
The Buffalo Broadcasters Association was created in 1995. The group formed after Al Anscombe brought in a scrapbook from when he was a manager and owner at Channel 7 and WKBW Radio to a group luncheon with Don Angelo, Herb Fleming, Jack Sharpe, Steve Mitchell, and Danny McBride. The BBA took physical possession of the film from Channels 2 and 4 in 1998.
In the early 2000s it was moved several more times due to a chronic lack of storage space. The film finally came to rest in a Buffalo warehouse provided by Richard Taylor in 2004. The Archive Task Force, a group within the BBA, was formed in this same year. The group is small but its members are assisted by outside volunteers who have an interest in the project.