Remembering the past... looking toward the future!

On Friday, June 15, WBEN-AM’s Sandy Beach will celebrate 50 years of broadcasting in Western New York. To celebrate this milestone, the station will be honoring the broadcasting legend by bringing in special guests during The Sandy Beach Show from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Guests for the program include Joey Reynolds, Stan Roberts, and Danny Neaverth, who will all be in-studio. If you’d like to congratulate Beach on this impressive milestone, you can call 716-803-0930 during the program!

His career in Buffalo radio started at WKBW-AM in 1968 and joined WBEN-AM in 2003. He hosted the afternoon drive for 10 years before morning to the mid-morning slot in 2013. Beach’s career has also brought him to Hartford, Dallas, San Francisco, and Milwaukee in an on-air capacity. According to the NYSBA, Beach is a three time nominee for Billboard Magazine Personality of the Year. Beach is a 2003 inductee into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame and earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a DJ in 2013. Additionally, Beach was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association in October 2017.

The third annual Student Mentoring Program has selected the following three students to participate in the program after a rigorous application and review process. The students have a customized team of 6 mentors to meet with and discuss their career progress, goals, and what they need to do to improve.

Rochester native Cordell Cumming is a senior at SUNY Brockport studying journalism and broadcasting with a concentration in media production. He graduated with his Associate’s Degree from Monroe Community College in 2015.

Cumming is currently an intern with Spectrum News Rochester and WROC-TV. Along with his internships, he serves as the Sports Director at the college television station, Talon Television.

Before joining the television station in 2017, Cumming was a sports reporter at the campus radio station 89.1 The Point. He also worked at the college online news publication, “The Brockport Beat.” Cumming was the features reporter for a section of the publication called “Cordell’s Corner.”

Cumming aspires to be a sports reporter in the future.

Allison Staebell is a senior at the University at Buffalo majoring in Media Study and pursuing the journalism certificate with a minor in political science.

The lifelong Buffalo native attended Williamsville South High School. She currently works for Spectrum News as a News Assistant and interns at WIVB-TV.

Previously, Staebell interned at Spectrum News in the news department. She also currently serves as Senior Multimedia Editor for The Spectrum, the independent student publication of the University at Buffalo, and Technical Director for UB’s Student Association.

Staebell aspires to become a producer in the future and has an interest in videojournalism.

Monica Manney is Buffalo native and student at The State University of New York at Fredonia.  

At Fredonia, Manney is a junior studying journalism and sociology. She is also involved in campus activities as the communication chair for a women’s empowerment club, communication chair for a natural hair club, and many other boards to ensure diversity and students’ success on campus. Her personal mission is to amplify the voice of silenced groups and bring truth to her community through avid research and persistent questioning.

As an aspiring news anchor, Manney is building her resume with experiences that will increase her versatility and make her a strong competitor in the field of broadcast journalism. In her spare time, she is an ardent reader and a novice runner on her way to her first marathon!

Four new faces will be joining WKBW-TV in June as a part of the Journalism Career Program (JCP) with E.W. Scripps and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications. This marks the third year of the program that has been a starting point for college graduates in Western New York.

James Groh, Nicole DeMentri, Rebecca Thornburg, and Sean Robson will be joining the ABC affiliate starting in June and all four will be Multimedia Journalists.

New JCP ParticipantsGroh (top left), originally from California, is currently a Multimedia Journalist and Sports Reporter with CitrusTV, the station’s television station. In the past, Groh has worked with Spectrum News Central New York as a photographer and worker as a reporter/writer for several local publications in Chico and San Francisco, California.

Hailing from New Jersey, DeMentri (bottom right) will also be one of the station’s newest MMJs. She has previously interned at Bloomberg News, NBC News, WSTM-TM, and MSNBC, and also worked abroad as an intern with The Week in London. DeMentri’s most recent role with CitrusTV is as anchor/multimedia journalist.

Boston native Rebecca Thornburg (top right) currently is a producer and reporter for NCC News and works in sports as a producer with Orange Television Network. Her previous experience includes stops at FOX Sports and WEEI-FM in Boston.

Robson (bottom left) will travel right down the Thruway from his hometown of Rochester to Buffalo. Robson is currently working with NCC News and as a reporter with WAER-FM. He has previously interned at WHAM-TV and WHEC-TV in Rochester.

The current class of JCP participants will complete their tenure at WKBW-TV in June including Brittany Muller, Chris DiMaria, Fatima Bangura, and Jeff Slawson.

New WECK-AM/FM LogoYou can now catch WECK-FM/AM on a third frequency in Western New York. The second FM frequency better serves the Buffalo Northtowns at 100.5 FM along with the station’s original frequencies of 1230 AM and 102.9 FM. With the acquisition of this frequency, WECK now fully covers the Western New York market on the FM and AM side of the dial.

In a press release from that station, President and Owner Buddy Shula said, “Adding FM coverage for rapidly growing parts of our Metro is important to WECK’s overall growth strategy – and to the service to our
communities.” The station features broadcast veterans hosting programming all day including Joe Chille, Steve Cichon, Gail Ann Huber, Tom Donahue, Jon Summers, Harv Moore, and Danny Neaverth.

John Murphy and Steve Tasker for their new show
Photo Credit:

Longtime broadcaster Steve Tasker officially joined John Murphy on Monday, April 23 for “One Bills Live.” The program features the Voice of the Bills John Murphy and Tasker and will air regularly from 12 to 3 p.m. on WGR-AM and MSG Networks.

Tasker, who is also known for his work as an analyst and reporter for CBS Sports, takes over for Donald Jones (Murphy’s former co-host) after he decided to leave the program earlier this year. The program will cover the latest Bills news from One Bills Drive and from around the league with guests from near and far.

In addition to his new role, he will continue to work with CBS Sports as a sideline reporter during the football season, according to Alan Pergament from the Buffalo News. Tasker is now entering his 21st season with CBS Sports.

Those wired to sports will remember Tasker as a star on special teams for the Buffalo Bills for 12 seasons (from 1986 to 1997) and appeared in the Pro Bowl seven times and was First-Team All-Pro on five occasions.

Callan Gray, from WIVB-TV, bid farewell to viewers in Western New York earlier this month. You can see her goodbye in the tweet below.

The former weekend anchor/reporter has moved to KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is Market 15 in the country. She will be a reporter for the ABC affiliate. Gray’s three-year stint in Buffalo came after she worked at WCYB-TV/WEMT-TV in Tri-Cities, Tennessee as a reporter and anchor. while at Syracuse University, she was also the local host at WAER-FM of All Things Considered, NPR’s flagship program.

She is a graduate of Syracuse University where she earned degrees in Journalism and Earth Science.

Two Ithaca College graduates have started at WIVB-TV within the past few weeks.

Kelsey Anderson joined the station in March 2018 as a multi-media journalist. The Western New York native spent over four years in Boise, Idaho, at KBOI-TV as an anchor and reporter. Before leaving the station, Anderson was the station’s morning anchor alongside Bryan Levin. While out west, she earned awards from the Idaho State Broadcasters Association and the Idaho Press Club for her reporting. Anderson previously interned at WKBW-TV and WENY-TV in Elmira, New York.

WIVB-TV wasted no time in finding a replacement for Shannon Shepherd, who left the station to join Fox Sports San Diego. Jenna Harner joins the CBS affiliate as a sports reporter/anchor from WENY-TV in Elmira, New York, where she most recently served as Sports Director. She made her on-air debut this past weekend, just in time for the NFL Draft, baseball in Western New York, and the Bandits season. She is originally from Connecticut and interned at WFSB-TV and Fox CT before her stint in Elmira.

Earlier this month, four Buffalo Broadcasters Association board members presented at the Broadcast Education Association’s National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The panel consisted of Chairman Heidi Raphael, Annemarie Franczyk, Mike Igoe, and moderator Carl Lam. The panel presented on building educational outreach programs with connections from local media and how educators across the country can bring this model to their classrooms.

The programs mentioned in the presentation are run locally by the Buffalo Broadcasters Association. The Student Mentoring Program is now in its third year and will feature a new group of students to be announced later this week. Also, the Peer 2 Peer Speakers Tour was shared as a model of connecting broadcasters with students in candid conversations with industry professionals who can relate to what students are learning in the classroom.

The national conference was host to over 1,200 attendees and spanned 4 days at the Westgate Hotel and Convention Center.