It is with great sadness that the Buffalo Broadcasters Association acknowledges the passing of George Hamberger, one of Buffalo’s most recognized radio personalities who went on to become a highly successful real estate broker.
Hamberger began his radio career 1969, recruited as one of the first staff members of Progressive Rock WYSL-FM 103.3, and later made the transition to Top 40 WYSL-AM where his popularity grew. He returned to the FM band in 1972 as the morning personality at Taft Broadcasting’s Top 40 WGRQ-FM. Buffalo album rock radio legacy Jim Santella worked with Hamberger at WYSL-FM and recalls him as “a natural talent who could do any format.” Hamberger proved this to be true, as he enjoyed successful tenures at Top 40 powerhouse WKBW 1520, where he did afternoon drive; Adult Contemporary format WBEN 930 and Toronto’s Top 40 CFTR 680.
Returning to Buffalo radio in 1983 as the morning personality on WGR 550, George Hamberger entertained listeners with his topical humor, awareness of all-things-Buffalo and his occasional daring-but-never-rude double entendre. During his second tour of duty at WGR in the early 90s, one of the commercials on his show featured Hiney Wine. The commercial’s tag line was “You’ll Love Our Hiney.” Delivered in an off-the-cuff manner, it always made listeners smile if not laugh out loud.
Dale Wettlaufer served as Hamberger’s morning show producer from 1989 through 1991. “George was the same person on the air as off; affable, intelligent, gracious,” recalling that Hamberger also worked as a WGR account executive, Wettlaufer praised Hamberger as “having the invaluable gift of listening to his clients, thereby helping them accomplish their goals, which led to a successful career in radio sales and in commercial real estate.”
While working as a commercial properties realtor for Hunt Real Estate, Hamberger from 1998 through 2001 also did a Saturday morning show on WHTT Oldies 104, wherein his wry humorous bits always closed with the station’s promotional voice intoning, “Hamberger’s on a roll!”
Al Wallack, a member of the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame, also worked with Hamberger at Progressive Rock WYSL-FM 103.3 during the early days of their careers and summarized the sentiment of many who worked with Hamberger, “George was one of the good guys on and off the air. When George did well, I always felt good about it. And he always did well.”