Remembering the past... looking toward the future!

WBEN-AM

Legendary broadcaster Sandy Beach will be inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame in October as part of the 2017 class. Beach currently hosts his morning program on WBEN-AM during the week from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and is a staple of Buffalo broadcasting having been in the market for 35 years.

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 also a member of the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame and was inducted in 2003. Additionally, he earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a DJ in 2013.


Anchor and reporter Brittni Smallwood has left WIVB-TV, the CBS affiliate, after 5 years at the station. Smallwood was named the 8 a.m. anchor of the station’s flagship morning program, “Wake Up!” in 2015 and took over co-anchoring duties after Teresa Weakley left the station in 2016. After nearly a year of filling-in for Weakley, Smallwood returned to her 8 a.m. spot after Melanie Orlins was hired. The timing of her departure works out because she is expected to give birth to her first child in a couple weeks.

Smallwood came to Buffalo after working at WETM-TV in Elmira and is a graduate of Syracuse and Saint Francis University. She has also been a mentor for the Buffalo Broadcasters Association’s Student Mentoring Program for the past two years where she met 1-on-1 with a student that is interested in a career in broadcasting.


WKBW-TV launched a new news program on Tuesday titled, “The Now.” The program is anchored by Hannah Buehler along with weather forecasts from Chief Meteorologist Aaron Mentkowski.  The 30-minute program will air at 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. “The Now” is a program that blends local, national, and international news with entertainment and lifestyle stories and features an entirely digital set superimposed on a green screen.

Two WNY stations are teaming up for the only live and local pregame show for the Buffalo Bills. WIVB-TV and WROC-TV have launched Buffalo Kickoff Live. The program will feature WIVB’s Josh Reed and Nick Filipowski, WGR-AM and Sideline Reporter Sal Capaccio, WROC’s Thad Brown, and Scott Pitoniak. You can catch the program on Sunday mornings at 11:30 a.m. on WIVB-TV and at 7 p.m. on November 2, before the Thursday night game.

Heading the Class of 2017 is the Voice of the Nashville Predators Pete Weber, WKBW-TV meteorologist Mike Randall, 97 Rock’s Carl Russo, Townsquare Media Associate Commercial Producer Jim Pastrick, WLV -AM Station Owner Dick Greene and radio newsman the late Ray Marks.

In addition to the induction ceremony, the BBA will present the Tim Russert Medal of Merit to Noah Maciejewski, a student at Fredonia.

The Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame Dinner is Thursday, September 28th with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. and the program starting at 7:00 p.m. in the studios of WNED-TV. WIVB-TV Anchor Jacquie Walker and WGRZ-TV anchor John Beard will be the MCs. Penny Wolfgang and Steve Monaco are this year’s event chairs.

“The Class of 2017 inductees have an interesting cross-section of broadcasting,” said Steve Reszka, president of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association. “We are honored to recognize and welcome them into the Hall of Fame.”

In news from today, Afternoon Drive Host/Assistant Program Director/Music Director Jud Heussler (pictured above) is leaving Kiss 98.5 (WKSE-FM) after spending nearly 8 years with the station. The Fredonia graduate began at the station as an intern and took over the afternoon hosting duties in 2012. Heussler is moving south and heading to Raleigh, North Carolina to be Program Director at duoply Pulse FM 96.9 & 102.5 (WWPL-FM and WPLW-FM). His last day on the air in Buffalo will be Tuesday, January 31. He was also the recipient of the Radio Broadcaster of the Year Award in 2013 from the BEMAs, which used to be hosted by the Buffalo Broadcasters Association.


Also from the Entercom cluster, traffic reporter Allan Harris has undergone a successful kidney transplant. The news was confirmed on Twitter by WBEN-AM on Friday afternoon. Just before Thanksgiving, Harris had announced on the air that there was a kidney transplant available, however, it wasn’t a match. Tim Wenger and Randy Bushover have been filling in while Harris is out recovering. No timetable has been announced of when he will return but we wish him the best as he gets well!


WGRZ-TV’s Claudine Ewing was featured in the Buffalo News article by Alan Pergament for celebrating 25 years in broadcasting. The Buffalo State graduate started off her career at WBEN-AM and WIVB-TV before making the switch over to WGRZ-TV in 1998. Ewing reports regularly and also fills-in on the anchor desk periodically. Congratulations to Claudine on such an incredible milestone!


In news from the producing world, WKBW-TV has added John Tummino as the 11 p.m. producer. He spent two years working at WPTZ-TV, which covered the Burlington, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York markets. He also worked at WSYR-TV and News 12 New Jersey following graduation from Syracuse University.

Also, Lucas Smith, former producer at WIVB-TV, is now an Executive Producer at WINK-TV in Fort Myers, Florida. As reported previously, Smith had spent 8 years with News 4 before heading south.