2001 Inductee

If television is a cool medium, Dave Thomas is the perfect fit. His low-key pleasantness and soothing voice having seduced viewers in two fiercely competitive markets throughout an eclectic career that spans an astounding 47 years. The Buffalo native drew his first broadcast paycheck at Syracuse radio stations while awaiting graduation from Syracuse University. Drafted into the Army, he served as news director for the Caribbean Forces Radio-TV Network out of Panama and performed air work on Armed Forces Radio out of New York. But it wasn’t until 1961, when he joined WKBW-TV (Channel 7), that Thomas picked up a real head of steam. Before long, it was Dave Thomas the weatherman, Dave Thomas creating and hosting kids’ favorite “Rocketship 7” each weekday morning, and Dave Thomas triggering Buffalo’s liveliest TV talk show (with Liz Dribben and Nolan Johannes) on “Dialing for Dollars.” In 1978 Thomas left for Philadelphia’s WPVI-TV, where he took the reins of “A.M. Philadelphia” and brought it to No. 1 and then became the most popular weathercaster in that city’s history. Twenty-three years later, Dave still anchors the weather three times nightly, hosts local specials throughout the year and has gained widespread acclaim for his annual stint as Philly host of the Jerry Lewis-Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. Near the end of the year 2000, Thomas was selected as the first “Person of the Year” by the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers.

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