In baseball, the utility man is known for his ability to play a number of positions on the diamond. If there were ever a utility man in Buffalo broadcasting, it was Mike Roszman. He did just about everything at WGR Radio, where he spent much of his career until his tragic death in the 1993 crash of the WGR traffic helicopter.
Here are some of the titles and roles Roszman held in his 20-plus years at WGR vice president of operations, program director, engineer, producer, disc jockey, news anchor, talk show host and traffic reporter. Roszman joined WGR AM 550 in 1970 as a disc jockey. He briefly left in 1973 for a radio station in North Carolina but soon returned to WGR. Roszman survived ownership changes and format changes at WGR and its then FM frequency 96.9 (now 97 Rock). He was often heard as the voice of WGR-TV, Channel 2 (now WGRZ).
In 1991, Roszman became WGR’s traffic reporter. Each morning and afternoon, he would board a helicopter and deliver information about traffic tie-ups and accidents as part of WGR’s all news and talk format of the 1990s. On a cold and dreary January day, Roszman was delivering reports during the afternoon when the station lost contact with him. Roszman and his pilot, Herm Kuhn, were killed when their helicopter plunged into the Niagara River.
His colleagues remember Roszman for his dry sense and humor and good nature. He was a mentor to interns and young staff members who were eager to learn the business.
Roszman graduated in 1962 from Marietta (Ohio) College. After learning the broadcasting trade at the Elkins Radio and Television Institute in Atlanta, Roszman began his broadcast career in at WDLR in Delaware, sweeping the floors while waiting for his shot at becoming a disc jockey.
Roszman enjoyed carpentry and bowling and was pursuing his pilot’s license at the time of his death. He managed a Little League team in the Town of Evans. Roszman was survived by his wife, Rebecca, three children — John, Janis and Jennifer and several grandchildren.