Since arriving on local televisions in 1977, Susan Banks has proven herself able
to not only bring us the news in a dignified and authoritative manner, but also
able to hold her own with the quick-witted minds of Irv Weinstein and Keith
Radford on the anchor desk.Susan has always brought the perfect balance of
dignity, warmth, and camaraderie to the anchor’s chair; a balancing act that
becomes more difficult as the line between news and entertainment blurs. She
spent 20 years in two stints at WKBW-TV, from 1977-81, and from 1990-2006, with
stops in Boston, WGRZ-TV, and Houston in between.
2007 Buffalo Bob Smith Award
Be it along side Frank Gifford, Bob Trumpy, or former Buffalo Bill Steve
Tasker, sports fans nationwide immediately recognize the voice that has been
synonymous with NFL football since the mid-60’s… that of Don Criqui.
But growing up in Kenmore, the now
nationally famous sportscaster first learned something about the games he’d soon
be bringing to millions by listening to local play-by-play on WGR, WBEN, and
WKBW, especially Bill Mazer calling Canisius College Basketball. As the 2007
winner of the Buffalo Bob Smith Award, Criqui emulates one of the city’s great
ambassadors by making the city proud he’s one of us.
Named after one of Buffalo’s most famous sons, the Buffalo Bob Smith Award
is given to broadcasters with local roots who made his or her mark away from the
Niagara Frontier, but is still a Buffalonian at heart.
||MIKE MOMBREA SR.
2007 Behind The Scenes Award
Thirty two years a cameraman for Channel 4, it was through Mike’s viewfinder
that Western New York witnessed the Attica Prison uprising, the installation of
Pope John Paul II, and somewhere north of one million feet of news film
capturing the day to day happenings of Western New York. He was a true pioneer,
one of the original TV photojournalists, taking to the streets in the mid-50’s
with a wind-up black-and-white camera and no trail to follow as to how news was
supposed to be shot. Mike is the recipient of the 2007 Behind the Scenes Award.
The Behind the Scenes Award celebrates the many people who make any
broadcast possible, but don’t usually get the credit: The directors, producers,
photographers, writers, engineers and office staff.
Born not far from the spotlight as the son of the City Comptroller of
Buffalo, Kevin first stepped into the glow while still in high school as a
Rock’n Roll DJ at WYSL Radio in the mid-60s. From there, Kevin grabbed his
records and headed for the Channel 4 weather desk, where he gave us Weather
with a Beat, as well as Disco Step-By-Step. Los Angeles beckoned in
the early 80’s, and though stationed on the left coast, Kevin could still be
seen here daily as the host of the NBC network game show GO! After
returning to Buffalo at WIVB-TV’s News Desk, Kevin has weathered the last 14
years as WGRZ-TV’s Top Weather Anchor.
2007 Goodyear Award
Thirty years of sales and management excellence gives Ron Rice the
credentials for the 2007 George Goodyear Award. After 5 years of pounding
the pavement in sales for WBEN Radio, he became Sales Manager, a position from
which he was able to up the stations—and his own—involvement in the community.
But by his own admission, Ron’s career was highlighted by 18 years at WHTT. By
1994, Rice had captained Oldies 104 to America’s top rated Oldies station… by
beating out more than 700 other such spots along the dial.
The Goodyear Award
is named in honor of George Goodyear, the Buffalo philanthropist who co-founded
WGR-TV, and is awarded each year to those in Broadcasting’s front office who
have made a career of advancing the ideals of the Buffalo Broadcasters.
2007 Golden Age Award
In today’s world of broadcasting, rarely does one individual shift from sports
to news to music, let alone at one station, let alone on one shift. But
that’s exactly what “Rife” did working for WBEN-AM/FM/TV from 1951-1978. He was
a University of Michigan All-American end, and played a year with the Detroit
Lions before landing at WBEN. From Bills Broadcasts, to ski reports, to 17 years
worth of “Breakfast At —“ programs live from various local restaurants, to being
the Night Owl’s friend on the WBEN-AM All Night Show, for 27 years, Rife did it
all. Our Golden Age Award Winner Dick Rifenburg passed away in 1994.
The Golden Age Award is reserved for the pioneers in the truest sense
of the word: those who did it first, the people who had no pattern to follow.
These broadcasters blazed the trail, and set an example for future generations
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