Buffalo Bob Smith Award
The Buffalo Bob Smith Award recipient is Tom Langmyer, who has spent more than 40 years in the broadcasting industry in a career working in a broad range of roles – leading legendary stations in major markets, serving in corporate positions, and consulting.
His interest in media began as a child. At just 8 years of age, he visited the studios of WBEN-AM/FM/TV and decided right then that broadcasting would be his life’s work. On his 14th birthday, his parents took him to the Federal Building in downtown Buffalo to test for his FCC Third-Class license. Within just a few weeks, he was heard on the air on a radio station in Linesville, PA, the town where his grandmother lived.
During his time at Sweet Home High School in Amherst, he interned at WKBW Radio in engineering and worked at WBEN/WBEN-FM in programming. During his college years, he worked simultaneously at WGR, WJYE, WIVB and WJJL. He also served as General Manager of WSAJ AM/FM at his Alma Mater, Grove City College, at WEDA in Grove City, Pennsylvania, and at radio stations in Youngstown, Ohio.
After college, he continued at WGR for several years, becoming the station’s airborne traffic reporter, while also working in program management. Known as “Captain Tom,” Langmyer is remembered for an emergency landing on Buffalo’s Delaware Park Golf Course in 1985. After that event, he obtained his pilot’s license, so he could fly the plane, too.
During his time at WGR in Buffalo, Langmyer, also worked on air on weekends at WTAE in Pittsburgh, sometimes flying himself between the two cities.
In 1986, he left Buffalo for Syracuse, where he served as Operations Director of WSYR and WYYY for six years.
Langmyer joined CBS in Saint Louis in 1992 as Program Director of KMOX – and was later promoted to Vice President & General Manager, maintaining the station’s number one status during his entire 13-year run. He also served as National Vice President of News/Talk Programming for CBS Radio. His broadcasting and management experience also consists of consulting both music and news/talk/sports radio stations across the country, including New York’s WNEW and for professional sports teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In 2005, he joined Tribune Company as Vice President & General Manager of the legendary WGN Radio in Chicago, a position he held for eight years. His accomplishments included bringing the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks to WGN and overseeing sales, setting a record in revenue achievement as Chicago’s top-billing station. He also co-produced a televised food segment, Sky Dives, for Tribune’s national cable brand, WGN/America.
He is currently Vice President of News/Talk/Sports for E.W. Scripps Radio Division – and he serves as Vice President & General Manager of WTMJ-AM and WKTI-FM in Milwaukee. He is also President of Great Lakes Media Group, LLC (media consulting, executive coaching, acquisitions and publishing).
During his career, Langmyer has been honored for his work in broadcasting and in the community, including the NAB’s Radio Wayne Award as General Manager of the Year, R&R’s News/Talk/Sports General Manager of the Year, The Good Samaritan Award from the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, multiple Radio Ink awards for America’s Top General Managers, Corporate Programming Executives, Top Programmers, and he received an Alumni Achievement Award from Grove City College.
A history author and Great Lakes enthusiast, Langmyer’s book, Lake Erie: History and Views, published in 2010, was written to educate readers on the history of Lake Erie and the surrounding region.
The Buffalo Bob Smith Award is given to an individual who is either a native of Western New York, or worked in this market, but made their mark on the national stage.