In 1950, a boy from Salamanca, New York received a transistor radio for his 10th birthday which planted the seed of his dream to someday work in the field of broadcasting. Only five years later, this ambitious 15-year old set out to fulfill his dream! He started to “hang out” at WGGO Radio in Salamanca, sweeping floors and learning the sound board, and eventually the owner gave this young man with a beautiful, deep voice a chance to “try his hand” at a live broadcast. Thus began his 32-year odyssey which fulfilled his boyhood dream!
Early in his career, Jerry was also a radio broadcaster at WMNS Radio in Olean, NY and a reporter for the Buffalo Courier-Express, and while at college in Syracuse, NY worked as a reporter at a local TV station. His first “big break” was to become an 11pm news producer at WBBM-TV in Chicago and later a producer at KMOV-TV in St. Louis where he met and married his wife of 25 years, Sally, and became step-father to Stephanie and Mandy.
In 1983, Jerry became the 11pm Executive Producer at WUSA-TV in Washington, DC. and also became a father for the first time to daughter, Lindsay. Another highlight of his time in Washington was becoming the recipient of an Emmy award for his investigative report titled “EDB–The Hidden Hazzard,” which uncovered the use of the toxic chemical ethylene dibromide as a crop fumigant leading to tainted foods consumed in the U.S. As a result of this investigative report, the EPA banned the use of this hazardous chemical.
In 1987, Jerry returned to his hometown area of Buffalo to become News Director at WKBW-TV where he worked with Buffalo’s iconic trio of Irv Weinstein, Rick Azar and Tom Jolls; where he was able to hire away from Salt Lake City Buffalo’s own Keith Radcliffe and where he was able to work with and make the friendship of many of Buffalo’s talented news professionals.
In 1993, Jerry became News Director at WGRZ-TV and became a father for the second time, to his daughter, Savannah. While at WGRZ, Jerry met and became best of friends with Barry Lillis, another Buffalo icon, who would later become his partner in a new ministry venture called “The Falls Wedding Chapel” of Niagara Falls, NY. The wedding chapel, now in its 21st year of operation and still run by Sally with weddings performed by Barry, has married more than 10,000 couples who have come to Niagara Falls from all parts of the world to celebrate their love. Sally’s wedding chapel has been featured many times over the years (i.e. Valentine’s Day and Marriage Equality) whenever Buffalo’s TV news departments need a “love” story.
In September of 2007, Jerry passed after a valiant fight with cancer. He was well-loved by his family and friends, and the world lost a loving, generous, funny, creative, talented and all-around amazing person!