1st Quarter President’s Report

Happy 20th Anniversary, BBA!

Two decades ago, the Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers came together with the vision of establishing an organization dedicated to preserving Western New York’s rich broadcasting history as well as paving the way for future broadcasters for years to come.

As a result of their commitment, the Buffalo Broadcasters Association was born and continues to play an important role in continuing their mission today.

We are very excited to celebrate this special anniversary year with a variety of entertaining and interesting events that recognize and underscore the incredible contributions Western New York broadcasters have made to our community and to the industry on a local and national level.

I encourage you to get involved and be a part of it! From volunteering on committees to attending events, there are many opportunities available to choose from that will connect you to members of the radio and television industry.

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime at  [email protected] Thank you for your continued support!

With much appreciation and gratitude,


Heidi Raphael
Buffalo Broadcasters Association


NEW: A Conversation with Western New York Native and Celebrated Actor William Fichtner

The Buffalo Broadcasters Association, in conjunction with the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission and The Buffalo History Museum, is pleased present Behind the Screen! The new pilot program will discuss personal “show biz” stories and actor William Fichtner’s journey from growing up in Cheektowaga, NY, to becoming a respected and distinctively recognized actor in film, theater, and television.

The in-depth interview will be prepared and hosted by Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News arts & books editor and film critic. The audience will be invited to ask Mr. Fichtner questions.

Date: Sunday, March 6th, 2016


2:30 p.m.: Auditorium doors open
3:00 p.m.: Program (Reception immediately following)

$30 General
$15 Museum and BBA Members

Tickets on sale online at www.buffalohistory.org.

General seating is limited to first-come, first served. Advance RSVP required.
For more information: (716) 873-9644 / [email protected]


New: Join us at the BBA’s Roaring 20th Anniversary Celebration!

You are invited to attend the BBA’s Roaring 20th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, April 8th, at the historic Twentieth Century Club of Buffalo at 595 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. We will be recognizing all of the outstanding radio and television stations in the market for the many contributions they have made to the Western New York broadcasting industry. There will be delicious food stations set up throughout the evening as well as a cash bar. All guests will receive chips to participate in gaming at 10 charity casino tables located throughout the event. Roaring 20’s costumes are optional!

Special thanks to our event co-chairs, Katie Morse and Steve Marth, as well as committee members Heidi Raphael, Steve Reszka, Herb Flemming, Carl Lam, Avery Schneider and Dave Gillen.

Come out and reconnect with old friends and make new ones!

Time: 6-10 p.m.

(Don’t miss the special presentation to take place at 7:30 p.m. honoring the radio and television stations in our community!)

Cost: $50 Members/$60 Nonmembers

To purchase tickets, go to CLICK HERE.

Don’t miss this fun and historic celebration!


Welcome to Our New Board Members!

We are very pleased to welcome our new BBA Board members and congratulate our returning team!

Annemarie Franczyk is a print journalist with 33 years of experience in local and national publications. Her favorite position was covering health care for 19 years for Business First of Buffalo, a publication of the American City Business Journal chain. She has advanced degrees in health policy and teaches full time in the Communication Department at SUNY Buffalo State and continues a freelance career in print reporting.

Steven Monaco serves as the media relations director at Mercy Flight Western New York, an independent, not-for-profit provider of emergency air-medical transport and supporting services. In his role, he is responsible for overseeing the public relations and marketing efforts of the 35-year-old nonprofit organization. In addition, Monaco is the owner and president of Shelly’s Florist, a family-owned business located in Williamsville, New York.

An avid philanthropist, Monaco supports a variety of organizations in the community, including Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, the Buffalo History Museum, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Buffalo Broadcasters Association and the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. The Cheektowaga, New York, resident attended the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Buddy Shula began his radio career in Buffalo back in 1983, when he was a Lancaster High School intern at WPHD-FM. At 16 years old, his mentors, JP, along with the legendary radio duo of Taylor and Moore, put him on air. He went on to do stints at WZIR-FM, WRXT-FM and WBTA-FM. Buddy was eventually hired for a full-time, on-air position at WYRK-FM in 1986, where he became a part of the station’s on-air team that saw the resurgence and dominance of country music.

The radio veteran spent a decade at WYRK-FM, before moving to locally owned WNUC-FM to become the afternoon drive personality. In 1999, Buddy was recruited by Sinclair Broadcasting CEO Barry Drake to do sales, on-air, and production at Q102.5. Since then, Buddy has remained at Entercom Buffalo as the host and creator of WBEN-AM’s “Buffalo Means Business,” a show heard on Saturday evenings at 6 p.m., which spotlights local business. However, his main role at the company is being one of the company’s top revenue-producing marketing managers in the nation.

He has been recognized several times by Radio Ink magazine, a leading national industry publication and has received numerous top awards from Entercom.

Buddy sees his future as being a radio station and ad agency owner. He also owns a real estate company called Radio One Properties, LLC, with holdings in Buffalo and Key West, Florida.

Returning to the board for another term are Ed Buttacio, Paul Chiaravalotti, Pat Feldballe, Terry Fisher, Mike Igoe, Stephen Marth, Katie Morse, Rich Newberg, Cathy Oddo, Jim Safee, Nancy Sanders, Avery Schneider, Don Yearke and Student Board Member Carl Lam.

Current board members include Ed Buttacio, Paul Chiaravalotti, Pat Feldballe, Terry Fisher, Annmarie Franczyk, Mike Igoe, Stephen Marth, Steven Monaco, Katie Morse, Rich Newberg, Cathy Oddo, Jim Safee, Nancy Sanders, Avery Schneider, Buddy Schula, Don Yearke and Student Board Member Carl Lam.

Your 2016 BBA Board Executive Team consists of:

  • Dave Gillen / Chairman
  • Heidi Raphael / President
  • Steve Reszka / Vice President
  • Herb Flemming / Secretary Treasurer

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to the BBA!


NEW: BBA Student Mentoring Program Provides Valuable Insight to Future Broadcasters

We are pleased to unveil the mentees of the Buffalo Broadcasters  Association’s Inaugural Mentoring Program:

  • Gregory Garrett / Erie Community College
  • Jackie Roberts / St. Bonaventure University
  • Joseph Stojek / Erie Community College
  • Lindsay Adymy / Erie County College
  • Kweimeiley Nartey / Buffalo State College
  • Kayla Szykowny / Buffalo State College

The students who successfully complete the program will be recognized at the 2016 Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame event on Thursday, September 29th at the WNED-TV Studios.

Special thanks to the incredible industry professionals who have generously donated their time to speak to all the students, including: Carl Lam, Avery Schneider, Nancy Sanders, Jacquie Walker, Eileen Buckley, Heather Ly, Steve Marth, Brian Meyer, Howie Greene, Mary Lynn Ryan, Annemarie Franczyk,Katie Morse, Lee Coppola, Tom Calderone, Brittni Smallwood, Erica Brecher, Jud Heussler, Laura Daniels, Aaron Mentkowski and Jennifer Stanonis.


2016 BBA Hall of Fame Update!

The Hall of Fame ballot will be sent to BBA members over the next several weeks. You must be a BBA member to vote. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, September 29th, at WNED-TV.  The theme of this year’s event will celebrate our 20th anniversary! Stay tuned for more details!


BBA Social Media Update

Carl Lam continues to do an outstanding job serving as the official BBA Social Media Director. Please be sure to send him any news you or your stations may have that you’d like shared with the BBA membership at [email protected].


The BBA Website Is Getting a Brand-New Look!

The BBA website will soon have a brand-new look. Our goal is to provide a more “user friendly experience” for everyone who checks it out. Special thanks to Board Member Avery Schneider for overseeing the project with the help of our outstanding web developer, Jeff Surdej.


NEW: Ties to Buffalo Event to Benefit the Family Help Center!

The Family Help Center’s first-ever Ties to Buffalo event will take place on Thursday, June 16th, at the Twentieth Century Club on Delaware  Avenue in Buffalo. Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, as well as bid on fabulous men’s ties in the silent and live auction leading up to Father’s Day. While there, check out special autographed ties from local celebrities, including the Buffalo Sabres! The Family Help Center is a great friend to the BBA and is home to the BBA Archive Resource Center. We will be sending out an evite with complete details leading up to the event. Special thanks to BBA Board Members Steve Monaco and Buddy Shula for their help!


BBA Archive Collection Update: Volunteers Needed

We are currently looking for volunteers to help us with our archive collection at the BBA Resource Center located at the Family Help Center. Please contact Herb Flemming if you would like to help us preserve Western New York’s rich broadcasting history. 


NEW: Ramblin’ Lou Schriver Tribute Event

The BBA will be supporting the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in presenting a special musical tribute to legendary broadcaster and musician Ramblin’ Lou Schriver. We will keep you posted on details for this event as they become available. The 2001 BBA Hall of Fame inductee played an important role in the history of the Western New York radio and country music scenes.

Renew Your Membership Today!

If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to renew your membership or join today at www.buffalobroadcasters.com! You’ll receive the new 20th commemorative anniversary calendar and receive discounts on a variety of events throughout the year.

2016 at a Glance: Mark Your Calendar!

  • Sunday, March 6: The BBA Presents Behind the Screen with nationally acclaimed actor William Fichtner at the Buffalo History Museum
  • Friday, April 8: BBA Roaring 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Twentieth Century Club of Buffalo (TCCB)
  • Thursday, June 9: 2nd Annual BBA Advertiser Roundtable Breakfast at the TCCB
  • Tuesday, July 19: BBA Media Night Out at Acqua
  • Thursday, September 29: BBA 20th Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at WNED-TV
  • Friday, November 11: BBA 2nd Annual BBA LOL Comedy Night at Rob’s Comedy Playhouse
  • Tuesday, December 13: BBA Annual Holiday Luncheon at Chef’s Restaurant

(Note: Events may be added or changed throughout the year)

Recent Market News

Provided by BBA Board Member Carl Lam

Rich Newberg retired from his role as Senior Correspondent at WIVB-TV on December 31, 2015. He joined the station in 1978 as a weekend anchor and eventually became the station’s lead weekday anchor. In 1999, he was named Senior Correspondent. Newberg has won numerous accolades, including New York Emmy Awards, Edward R. Murrow Awards and New York State Associated Press Awards, to name a few. He was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2006 and continues to serve as an active board member. In retirement, Newberg plans to pursue his love of making documentaries.

In early December 2015, Joanna Pasceri left WKBW-TV after 22 years with the station. She had spent the last nine years as the station’s lead female evening anchor. Pasceri, who came from Elmira, began as a producer in 1993 and rose through the ranks as a reporter, working the morning show before becoming the station’s female evening anchor following the retirement of Susan Banks. In February 2016, she quickly landed a new position as the Public Information Officer for the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

WIVB-TV chief meteorologist Don Paul has announced his plans to retire in March of 2016. Paul has been in the Buffalo market since 1984 and has spent most of his career at WIVB-TV. His final broadcast will be March 23, 2016, and Todd Santos will take over the role of chief meteorologist following Paul’s retirement.

WKBW-TV welcomed a new face to the anchor desk from across the border in January. Ashley Rowe came to Buffalo after her most recent stint of working for CTV News in Toronto. She assumed the duties of anchoring the 5 & 11 p.m. newscasts with Jeff Russo and the 6 p.m. newscast with Keith Radford.

Tiffany Bentley, better known as “Bentley” on local airwaves, left Alternative Buffalo to take a position at 103.3 The Edge. The former morning show host will have the new role of hosting the afternoon drive from 3 to 7 p.m. and will serve as the station’s Music Director. She fills the vacancy created by Rich “Bull” Gaenzler, who took the morning show position at 97 Rock in early December.

Longtime WIVB-TV reporter George Richert will be leaving the station after the February sweeps to become the Director of Communications for the Catholic Diocese. He has been with WIVB-TV for 17 years and previously worked for WGR-AM/FM and WBEN-AM.

Ali Touhey joined WKBW in January as an anchor/reporter for the station. Touhey most recently worked down the Thruway in Rochester at WROC-TV as a reporter.

WIVB-TV hired meteorologist and Brockport graduate Kaylee Wendt, the former part-timer for WKBW-TV and WHAM-TV in Rochester. She will begin with the station in March as the weekend morning meteorologist and work as a reporter during the week.

WKBW-TV had announced plans to debut a weekend morning newscast that would begin at the end of February; however, those plans have been put on hold. The original plan included Ali Touhey at the anchor desk and Kaylee Wendt on weather duty with the broadcasts airing 6-7 a.m. and 8-9 a.m. on Saturday and the Sunday broadcast airing 7-8 a.m. and 9-10 a.m. Following Wendt’s departure from the station, WKBW-TV is searching for a meteorologist. General Manager Michael Nurse said that the launch will take place in the spring.

Heidi Raphael, President of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Corporate Communication with Greater Media, Inc. Previously, Raphael had been Vice President of Corporate Communication, a position she had held since 2008.

Program Director Dave Universal was relieved of his duties from WMSX-FM in early February 2016. Universal joined the station in July 2014 and tweaked the brand of the station during his tenure. No replacement has been named at this time.

WIVB-TV is tentatively scheduled to be under new ownership since Nexstar has acquired Media General for $4.6 billion. If approved, this would be WIVB-TV’s second ownership change since Media General acquired LIN Media.

Buffalo broadcasting veteran and producer/reporter Cheryl Hagen left WBFO-FM in early February to take a position with NITTEC. She had been with the station on a part-time basis since May 2014 and in a full-time role since September 2014.

WBTA-FM celebrated their 75th anniversary in early February after signing on in 1941. The station is locally owned by Dan and Debbie Fischer, the owners of HPL Communications, who purchased the station in 2004.

WIVB-TV will have an active month in March when they welcome four new staffers to their news operations, along with a new newscast. St. Bonaventure graduate and Western New York native Christy Kern will be the anchor for the 4 p.m. newscast that debuts at the end of March. Kern comes from WBBH-TV in Florida, where she was a weekend morning anchor and reporter.
Angela Christoforos, who will join from Time Warner Cable News Buffalo, will serve as a general assignment reporter for the 4 p.m. broadcast in addition to other shows. The station has also hired Rachele Mongiovi from WTAP-TV and Nick Quattrini from WENY-TV in Elmira.

WGRZ-TV meteorologist Patrick Hammer returned to his weekend duties at the beginning of January 2016 following two months away.

WNED-TV hired Kathryn Larsen to be the next Director of Broadcasting. Larsen comes to Buffalo from Rhode Island PBS after 14 years. She began her new position in late January 2016.

AM Buffalo from WKBW-TV added a new part-time feature reporter. Courtney Corbetta, a Niagara University graduate, can be seen weekdays on 10 a.m. on WKBW-TV.

Josh Potter is now officially hosting weekday evenings from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. on 103.3 The Edge. The move comes after Sara O’Brien had been filling in on an interim basis following the departure of Rich “Bull” Gaenzler.

WIVB-TV producer Bridget Schaefer left the station in February 2016 to take a position as a Public Relations and Communications Associate for 19 Ideas. She had been producing “Wake Up!” and worked on the program “Winging It! Buffalo Style” before its cancellation.

Producer and floor director Ashleigh Taylor parted ways with WKBW-TV in January 2016 to take a position with WTHR-TV in Indianapolis. She joined the station in August 2014.

You may notice a new face on WGRZ-TV’s newscasts. Director and producer Sarah Nelsen has been reporting on health-related stories that can be seen on Daybreak.

Brittni Smallwood, anchor and reporter for WIVB-TV, was awarded the 2016 NFJC Community Leader Award for Media from the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York in late January.

Master control operator Dave Stotz has retired from WGRZ-TV. He had been with the station for 26 years and served in other capacities within the station as well.

Dave Thompson is now a part-time photographer for WKBW-TV. Thompson also works for WBEN-AM in a part-time news role.

The New York Emmy Award nominations were announced in early February 2016. Buffalo Broadcasters Association Board Member Katie Morse of WKBW-TV was nominated for her story “Honoring a Lost Friend through Art” in the “Feature News Report: Serious” category. WIVB-TV morning anchor Jordan Williams was nominated in the “Environmental” category for his “Nuclear Neighbor” story. Retired Senior Correspondent Rich Newberg of WIVB-TV was nominated for his story titled “Reaching Out to Buffalo’s Homeless.” WGRZ-TV’s Jonah Javad was nominated for his story “Angel on Ice.” And lastly, WIVB-TV was nominated for three news broadcasts: the “November Storm” newscast in medium-sized markets; “Prison Break: Friendship Search” spot news coverage; and the “Break Out” news special.

WBLK  has announced the addition of PREMIERE NETWORKS syndicated STEVE HARVEY MORNING SHOW to the lineup. The show will begin on TUESDAY, MARCH 1st and air M-F from 6-10a replacing Tom Joyner.

Cumulus Local Sales Manager Rose Porter exits to become an Account Executive at WIVB/WNLO.

Please send your news to [email protected] and we’ll share it on the Buffalo Broadcasters Association Facebook page and website.


Thank you for your support of the BBA!

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