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2nd Quarter President’s Report

The BBA’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Continues!

It’s been an incredible 2nd Quarter at the Buffalo Broadcasters Association! Our big Roaring 20th Anniversary Celebration was a huge success. Thanks to all of you who attended the event!

We have much to be proud of as an organization that has dedicated itself to preserving Western New York’s rich broadcasting history as a result of the vision of the original Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers 20 years ago. We plan to continue to blaze new trails for years to come.

Your BBA Board has been very busy planning more events to take place throughout the remainder of 2016, including the upcoming Advertiser Roundtable Breakfast in June, the annual Media Night Out at AcQua in July, and the 2016 Hall of Fame in September.

There are many ways to get involved with the organization. From volunteering at the BBA Resource Center to serving on one of our many committees, there is something for everyone!

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

BBA’s Roaring 20th Anniversary Celebration Hailed a Big Success!

The BBA’s Roaring 20th Anniversary Celebration was a big success! Special thanks to everyone who came out to support the event, which took place on Friday, April 8, at the historic Twentieth Century Club of Buffalo at 595 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.

Many of our guests showed up in roaring ’20s-themed costumes! Guests received chips to participate in gaming at 10 charity casino tables located throughout the event. It was a packed house!

We were honored to recognize the outstanding radio and television stations in the market for the many contributions they have made to the Western New York broadcasting industry as well as our incredible Hall of Fame inductees who were in attendance that evening.

Special thanks to Katie Morse and Steve Marth, who served as event co-chairs, and to committee members Heidi Raphael, Steve Reszka, Herb Flemming, Carl Lam, Avery Schneider, and Dave Gillen for their hard work and dedication in making it possible.

2016 BBA Community Cares Initiative Benefits Cantalician Center

BBA Board Member Jim Safee recently produced an outstanding PSA on behalf of the BBA’s 2016 Community Cares initiative. The public service announcement highlighted the important work provided by the Cantalician Center in Western New York.

Located on George Urban Boulevard in Cheektowaga, the organization provides person-centered compassionate services that promote independence and offer meaningful opportunities to individuals with disabilities.

The PSAs were unveiled during the Cantalician Center’s Annual Gala that took place on May 5 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens on Transit Road in Depew, NY.
Jim has also done an outstanding job working closely with the Family Help Center on behalf of the BBA in developing a special video presentation for them to use for training purposes.

BBA Student Mentoring Program Provides Valuable Insight to Future Broadcasters

The Buffalo Broadcaster Association’s inaugural Mentoring Program continues to blaze trails filled with wonderful potential opportunities for our mentees. The response by the Western New York broadcasting community has been incredible in providing value insight to the selected students for the program.

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

Special thanks to the incredible industry professionals who have generously donated their time to speak to the mentees, 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 Peer 2 Peer Speakers Tour Offers Broadcasting Career Advice to Area High School and College Students

The BBA Peer 2 Peer Speakers Tour program was created in an effort to promote the benefits of broadcasting as an exciting career path to students attending local high schools, colleges, and universities.

Special recognition goes to the hard work and dedication of BBA Board Member Carl Lam, who began planning for the program during the summer of 2015. The first leg of the on-site speaking engagements ran from October to December2015. A series of follow-up school visits recently took place from March to April.

Special thanks to Jennifer Stanonis (WGRZ-TV), Jud Heussler (WKSE-FM), Ed Drantch (WKBW-TV), Katie Morse (WKBW-TV), Heather Ly (WGRZ-TV), Matt Bove (WKBW-TV), Erica Brecher (WGRZ-TV), Laura Daniels (WMSX-FM), Steve Marth (TWC Buffalo), Nate Benson (WGRZ-TV), Joe Buscaglia (WKBW-TV), Katie Alexander (WIVB-TV), Carl Lam (WGRZ-TV/WNED-FM), Dan Baran (WGRZ-TV), Cierra Johnson (WKBW-TV), Tom Martin (WIVB-TV), Lauren Hall (WIVB-TV), Ryan Whalen (TWC Buffalo), Avery Schneider (WBFO-FM), Danny Spewak (WGRZ-TV), Brandi Whytas (WLKK-FM), Jeff Wick (WKBW-TV), and Andrew Baglini (WIVB-TV).

We look forward to continuing the program in the fall!

2nd Annual BBA Advertiser Roundtable Set for June 9!

We are pleased to present the 2nd Annual Buffalo Broadcasters Association’s Advertising Roundtable Breakfast! The event will take place on Thursday, June 9, 8:30-10am, at the Twentieth Century Club of Buffalo.

Moderator: Bill Saurer, president/CEO of Principle Broadcasting/Universal Media Access and CEO of Million Dollar Media

Featured panelists will include:
– Gloria Boron-Pembleton/Media Director/Gelia-Media, Inc.
– Jennifer Fortune/Media Director/Eric Mower + Associates
– Dan Mecca/President/Abbey Mecca & Company
– Zachary Schneider/CEO and Partner/15 Fingers

Cost: $10pp/BBA Members   $20 pp/Non-members

RSVP deadline is June 1, 2016.

A continental breakfast will be served.

Please register at

Join us for the Annual BBA Media Night Out at AcQua!

Media Night Out 2016

Mark your calendar for the 2016 BBA Annual Media Night Out! This year’s event will take place from 5:30-8:30pm at AcQua, located on the water at 2192 Niagara Street in Buffalo. Take in the great waterfront views while enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvresand music as you see old friends and make new ones! It’s one of our most popular events of the year!

Cost: Complimentary/BBA Members $5/Non-members
Please RSVP to  [email protected]

BBA Social Media Update

We recently reached our goal of 1,000 friends on our Facebook page, a new all-time high for the organization!

Please be sure to send Carl Lam any news you or your stations may have that you would like shared with the BBA membership at [email protected].

We Need YOUR Help!

BBA Archive Collection Update: Volunteers Needed

Would you like to make a difference and help us preserve Western New York’s incredible broadcasting history? We are currently looking for volunteers to help us with our massive archive collection at the BBA Resource Center located at the Family Help Center.

Please contact Herb Flemming to find out how you can help us preserve our rich television and radio history.

Renew Your Membership Today!

If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to renew your membership or join today! 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!

– Thursday, June 9: 2nd Annual BBA Advertiser Roundtable Breakfast at the Twentieth Century Club of Buffalo
– Tuesday, July 21: BBA Media Night Out at AcQua
– August- Cocktails and Conversation-A Book Signing with BBA Hall of Fame inductee & TV legend Phil Beuth (stay tuned for details!)

Phil Beuth

– 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)

Join the BBA Today! CLICK HERE

Industry News

Provided by BBA Board Member Carl Lam

Four local stations were nominated for New York State Associated Press Association Awards. WGRZ-TV picked up 9 nominations, Time Warner Cable News Buffalo received 2, WIVB-TV accrued 5, and WBFO-FM with 12. The award ceremony will take place in June.
WGRZ-TV and Time Warner Cable News Buffalo won Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the RTDNA. WGRZ-TV came home with 3 and Time Warner Cable News Buffalo got the nod for 1.
WBFO-FM reporters Eileen Buckley and Michael Mroziak won awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association.
WBBZ-TV was honored with two awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association for their programs, “Beat the Champ” and “The Healthy Zone Game Show.”

Medaille College held their annual Media Awards Ceremony on March 22 and honored the following broadcasters: Nancy Sanders from WIVB-TV, Stu Boyar from WGRZ-TV, Jon Scott from Time Warner Cable News Buffalo, Cierra Johnson from WKBW-TV, Angela Christoforos from WIVB-TV, Nalina Shapiro from WIVB-TV, and Yasmin Young from WBLK-FM.

Alternative Buffalo welcomed Emily Wild to the airwaves in March. Wild, a University at Buffalo graduate, came from Rochester where she was working at WPXY-FM. She currently serves as the morning drive host and the station’s music director.

WIVB-TV debuted their new 4pm newscast at the end of March with new anchor and St. Bonaventure graduate Christy Kern. Her return to Buffalo comes after she spent a few years working in Florida.

Townsquare Media Buffalo welcomed two new managers to the organization. Bob Richards, a Western New York native, is now the Operations Manager for the cluster. Richards came from Atlanta and also worked in Colorado Springs and Denver. He worked at 97 Rock during the late ’80s and early ’90s.  Robby Bowen joins as the Market Manager for the cluster and comes from Dallas where he was the General Sales Manager for CBS Radio.

Longtime photographer Arnie Posner from WKBW-TV retired in early May after 37 years with the station.

WBFO-FM has announced a new initiative that has added two members to the news team. The Great Lakes Regional Journalism Collaboration is made up of reporter Angelica Morrison and managing editor Dave Rosenthal. Morrison worked with the Lockport Union Sun & Journal and the NBC affiliate in Utica. Rosenthal comes to Buffalo after spending 28 years with The Baltimore Sun.

Kevin Sylvester ended his run as host of the Sabres Hockey Hotline in early April, which was heard regularly on WGR-AM. He is now covering golf for PGA Tour Radio/Entertainment and for

After nearly a two-year stint, Kris O’Donnell is no longer with WIVB-TV. O’Donnell was serving as Assistant News Director and was hired by former News Director Joe Schlaerth before his departure.

WKBW’s 7 First Alert Weather team has been named “Most Accurate in Western New York” by WeatheRate, an independent team of meteorologists analyzing forecast data for a year.

Traffic and feature reporter Lauren Hall is leaving WIVB-TV to take a position with Pegula Sports & Entertainment as an off-field/off-ice multimedia journalist. She will leave at the end of the May Sweeps period.

Buffalo State College graduate Tom Calderone is now with Spotify as the Global Head of Content Partnerships. He previously served as the President of VH1.

Time Warner Cable News Buffalo hired Mike Arena as the new Niagara Falls Bureau Reporter in mid-March. He replaces Angela Christoforos, who left to take a position at WIVB-TV.

WGR-AM hired Buffalo native Austyn Galmarini as an anchor and producer in early 2016. Before joining Entercom, she had worked at Cumulus at 97 Rock and WHLD-AM.

Jon Sherman left his position as producer of the Tom Bauerle Show at WBEN-AM. He took another job outside of broadcasting, but still works part time for the promotions department at Entercom.

Sara Ali is now the News Director at WLVL-AM, which is based in Niagara County. She is the former editor of Karibu News, a WBFO-FM intern, and has freelanced for The Public. She took over for Eric DuVall after he left the station.
Brian Meyer was promoted to Senior Director of News and Public Affairs at WBFO-FM in mid-March.

Jennifer “Jazzy T” Williams is hitting the Buffalo airwaves again on WKSE-FM. She is currently hosting the Sunday night block from 7pm to 12am. She had previously been with WBLK-FM and was a contestant on the nationally televised program “America’s Next Weatherman.”

Veteran broadcaster Marian Hetherly has returned to WBFO-FM to be the morning producer/host/reporter. This marks Hetherly’s second go-around at the station. She replaces Cheryl Hagen who left in February.

Former broadcaster Doug Smith, who appeared as “The Cheap Gourmet,” has moved away from Buffalo to be closer to family. Smith was on the air at WIVB-TV during the late ’80s and became a well-known figure in the area.

Sean LaRose resigned from WIVB/WNLO as General Sales Manager. He has taken a position with Time Warner Cable Rochester.

Dom Nardo, formerly the Director of Marketing and Promotion at WIVB/WNLO, has left the station to join WXIX-TV in Cincinnati.

Roger Christian of WTSS-FM celebrated 40 years on the air in March. Christian has been at the same position on the radio dial for his entire career!

WKBW-TV has hired Bradley Gelber as a part-time assignment editor. The Emerson College graduate also works for WBBZ-TV and writes for Buffalo Wins.

After 40 years, floor director Bob Cleaver has retired from WGRZ-TV.
Rachel Elzufon parted ways with WKBW-TV to spend more time with her family at the end of April. She has taken a part-time position with the Red Cross as a volunteer coordinator.

Jackie Albarella recently won a 2016 Telly Award for her documentary “Restoration of the Hotel Lafayette.”

WIVB-TV grew the sports team by hiring Shannon Shepherd from WSYR-TV. Shepherd was the Buffalo Broadcasters Association 2012 Tim Russert Medal of Merit Award winner.

Dave Universal, the former program director for WMSX-FM, is now a Northeast Region Account Director for Nielsen.

Reporter Desiree Wiley is planning to leave WKBW-TV in July when her contract expires. She is expected to head to a larger market.

Dan Rinelli resigned from his position at WMSX-FM (Mix 96). He served as the afternoon drive DJ and was the former production director. Rinelli had been with Townsquare Media since 2008.

WKBW-TV has hired Thuy Lan Nguyen and Elizabeth Lewin. Nguyen will start on June 6 and comes from Bakersfield, CA. Lewin, a former freelancer with the station, returns on June 13.

Keith Kelly traded his morning shift for afternoon traffic duties. Kelly had been teamed up with Laura Daniels for the past two years. He can now be heard on WMSX-FM, WYRK-FM, and WBLK-FM on weekday afternoons.

Virginia Butler, the midday anchor at Time Warner Cable News Buffalo, is leaving to work for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Butler has been with the company since 1991 and moved to Buffalo to anchor newscasts here in 2011. Her last day is June 10.

In a move across town, David Morales joins WKBW-TV as an overnight photographer. He had spent a number of years with WIVB-TV as a photographer.

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