WBEN

Larry Levite, a 2003 Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame Inductee, died on Wednesday after a short illness, according a press release from Buffalo Spree. He was 77 years old.

He spent over five decades working in the media industry in Western New York when he entered the business in the sales arena. He rose through the ranks to become a general manager and eventually the owner of WBEN-AM/FM, a station that he bought in 1978 and sold in 1994. According to the press release, Levite was credited with taking the station to a number #1 rated station in the Buffalo market. During his career in radio, he also worked at WEBR-AM/FM, WPHD, and WYSL.

Levite then bought Buffalo Spree in 1998 and brought the publication from a quarterly magazine and made it to a monthly publication that is found all over Western New York. He served as publisher and CEO for the company and publication.

A special tribute section is currently being worked on for Levite and will appear in the June edition of Buffalo Spree. You can read about Levite on Buffalo Spree’s website by clicking here.

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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.

                    Photo Credit: WBEN.com

The Buffalo News reported late last week that John Zach, co-anchor of Buffalo’s Early News on WBEN-AM, is set to retire on December 30, 2016 after joining the station in 1998 and being paired with co-anchor Susan Rose since 2003. His career, that spans nearly 6 decades, started in the late 1950s when he met Danny Neaverth, who urged him to be a disc jockey. Following work in Georgia, his stops along the way included working on news teams at WKBW-AM (where he also served as news director) and WGR-AM.

Zach is one of the founding members of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, which was formed in 1996, and he was later inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

According to The Buffalo News, Brian Mazurowski will be the interim replacement until a successor is permanently named.

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allan-harrisSince we posted about the story, there’s been an update to Allan Harris’ road to getting a healthy kidney. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Harris received a call that he would be receiving a kidney transplant. However, after several tests, the kidney was not healthy enough and Harris remains at the top of the waiting list.

According to the article from WBEN, Harris had been undergoing dialysis while also working a split shift to keep listeners updated on the latest road conditions. Harris, who also worked in Rochester in television and radio, came back to Buffalo in 2007 and has been with the station covering traffic duties during the week and Sunday morning news duties.

We’ve got Allan in our thoughts and he’ll return to the airwaves on Monday, December 5th.