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Broadcast Pioneers; the Official Historians of Philadelphia Radio & Television!

Former WFIL, Famous 56 Boss Jock
Dan Donovan Has Passed Away!

Reports have it that the Legendary Dan Donovan (Blaine Harvey) passed away early Sunday morning, August 31st, after suffering from a massive heart attack.

Dan Barreiro at KFAN in Minneapolis was the first to report the story. We e-mailed him for more info and he sent this by return e-mail:

My contact was one of Dan's best friends, a radio guy now the Twins (Basbeball) Public Address Announcer, Adam Abrams who was in direct touch with the family.

We talked directly to Adam who confirmed with us that he got the information directly from Donovan's family. He told us funeral details will be coming shortly.

We confirmed this information via telephone conversations with the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting (who supplied us with his photo) and KQQL-FM (Kool 108) where Dan was employed recently. Both reported to us that he did, indeed, pass away.

Donovan worked at WFIL Radio as a Boss Jock for ten years before heading to the mid-west and Minneapolis. Dan was born in Philly and began his radio career at WGET in Gettysburg where he grew up. Then he worked in York, Pennsylvania and WSBA. He studied journalism at the Pennsylvania State University and then went to Providence, Rhode Island where he worked at WICE.

From there, it was just a short hop, skip and a jump to Boston and WMEX. Then on to WCBM in Baltimore. Then back to the city of his birth, Philadelphia where he got fame as one of WFIL's Boss Jocks. He stayed there for a decade.

Then he went to the Twin Cities and KS 95 FM in 1979. In 1991, he moved cross town to KOOL 108 where he did afternoon drive. City Page of Minneapolis named him in 2006, the Twin Cities Best FM Radio Personality. In 2007, he celebrated with everyone a half century of broadcasting experience.

Broadcast Pioneers CEO Gerry Wilkinson said:

It was sort of a special time here in Philadelphia when WFIL, Famous 56 was at its peak. The Boss Jocks ruled the airwaves. They were truly Philadelphia radio royalty. They strolled the marketplace like a colossus. Member George Michael always said that he was the king, but in reality, they all were.

Dan Donovan was no exception. He was a king in the Philly market. He referred to himself as "Dangerous Dan Donovan" and he was. He stole the ratings that would otherwise would have gone to another station. He was a genuine talent in a market that had many. Dan Donovan, truly a Delaware Valley Radio Monarch, that's his legacy.

Joel Denver, who also worked at WFIL, Famous 56 as a Boss Jock said:

Dan was one of the most talented on-air personalities I've ever worked with. His timing was impeccable. He could deliver amazing sets and content while on-air, yet off the mic, he was on the shy side, and really preferred that no one hang out and shoot the breeze in his studio. He worked best in the control room alone. Totally a different man on the air. Rest in peace, Dan. Your energy and passion will be missed.

Member Jay Meyers, former PD of the station when it was oldies, told us by e-mail:

It was actually 30 years ago last week that he did his last morning show on 'FIL and returned to Minneapolis after only seven months, and that led to the Joey Reynolds show, which was Joey's return to full time radio after a thirteen year absence.

Dan later worked in my region when I had Minny while at Clear Channel. He originally left Philly after almost ten years in 1979 and spent all but those seven months since in Minneapolis. Real name Blaine Harvey and about the shyest person who ever worked for me as a big time personality jock.

He was as different once the mic was on as any human being could possibly be. He was a real good guy too, although the last ten years of his life he was very sad and lived alone. His wife was tragically killed in a car accident in the Twin Cities about then years ago.

One antecdote, Dan loved to drink but he was also very responsible So Wednesday night was his night out, his wife would drop him at his favorite watering hole about 8 pm and pick him up at closing. That's when friends would go out with Dan. Did it all his years in Minneapolis. During the time I had the market, I'd join him about twice a year and we'd talk the good old days of radio and WFIL.

Member Bob Hamilton (one of the Bobby Mitchell guys on Famous 56 and no relation to Bob Mitchell on WIBG) sent us this e-mail:

Not many of us left. Dan was very much to himself until he opened the mic and marvelous things came rushing into a talk up.  He was a superb individual who loved what he did.  A true pro to say the least.  I spent personal & professional time with Dan.  A true gentlemen!


Another "Third Wednesday" Luncheon
The Beatles & Their Influence!

Wednesday, September 17th

(Right side of photo - standing: Members Bill Wright, Sr. & Hy Lit
Seated are the Beatles
September 1964

Hit After Hit! Smash After Smash! Blockbuster After Blockbuster! Here's another "monster" lunch where the "stars" don't wait to come out at night. They're here at lunchtime! It's all happening on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. Make plans to be there.

It was a half-century ago when the Beatles performed at Convention Hall which was part of the old Civic Center. The date was Wednesday, September 2, 1964. The concert was sponsored by WIBBAGE, Radio 99 and was broadcast live by them. Broadcast Pioneers Hy Lit and Bill Wright was there on behalf of the station.

The station ran a contest during the month before the concert. Several people were selected to meet with the Beatles. One was them was then 11 years old. Her name is Karen Cinelli. She'll be with us and will say a few words. Also making introductory remarks will be Broadcast Pioneers member Tim Kastner, Digital Media Manager from the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Right side of photo with white hair band is Karen Cinelli
The Beatles Concert
September 1964

It's all about the "Fab Four." The Beatles were in Philadelphia for a WIBG concert fifty years ago this September. That's our topic: The Beatles and their influence, both in music and our culture.

Our MC for the afternoon is Bob Charger, host of "Brunch with the Beatles" heard every Sunday morning on WOGL, 98.1 from 10 am to 12 noon. (Bob also does 7 to 12 midnight daily on WOGL).

Our panel will include (in alphabetical order):

Frank X. Feller, former WIBG Good Guy & Program Director at WYSP
Ryan Fleur, Executive Vice-President of the Philadelphia Orchestra
Charlie Gracie, super star rock and roll artist, just back from Europe
T. Morgan, veteran rock air personality, currently heard on WMGK
Michael Tearson, iconic rock broadcaster, former WMMR Music Director
Bill Wright, Sr., legendary WIBG and WPEN air personality extraordinaire

Plus, live on the telephone from Arkansas, Broadcast Pioneers member Larry Kane, author of three books about the Beatles. Larry also was the only broadcast journalist to travel with the Beatles during their 1964 and 1965 American tours.

RESERVE NOW! (856) 365-5600!

Third from the left is Karen Cinelli (with white hair band)
Seated are the Beatles
September 1964

Meet and Greet at 12 noon with munchies. Luncheon is at 12:30 pm. Lunch includes a wonderful, fresh salad plus yummy dessert and a complete, full three-course meal. Cash Bar all afternoon. Don't forget the date. It's Wednesday, September 17th.

This all takes place at the beautiful and historic Bala Golf Club, 2200 Belmont Avenue (across the street from the state police) in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia. Only minutes away from Channels 6, 10 and 17 and the radio stations in Bala Cynwyd. Call now for reservations. (856) 365-5600! Don't miss this one!

Plenty of FREE parking. Our luncheons are open to all our members, their guests and any person in the industry or associated fields, whether active or retired. You do NOT have to be a member to attend.

The cost is only a donation of $28 (or more) per person! In order to speed up check-in at the luncheon, it would help if you had exact change or your check already written. Checks can be made payable to the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia.

If you would like to add a few dollars extra, we would appreciate it. It would help us with all the important work we are doing. Thanks!


Our "Person of the Year &
Hall of Fame Inductees for 2014!

Our Annual Banquet!
Friday, November 21, 2014!

(Left to right) Chairman of the Board Jerry Klein
Broadcast Pioneers "Person of the Year" for 2014, Pat Delsi
Broadcast Pioneers CEO Gerrry Wilkinson
The CBS Broadcast Center
1555 Hamilton Street, Philadelphia
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Our Honorees!

Our "Person of the Year" for 2014 is Pat Delsi

In 1953, Pat Delsi began a long-lasting broadcast career at a little station in Vineland, NJ. A year later, Delsi joined WCAM in his hometown of Camden and stayed until 1980. A popular Delaware Valley air personality since the fifties, Delsi has work at one time or another as an announcer, newsman, sportscaster or disc jockey for almost every station in the Philadelphia market, including WRCV Radio and KYW Radio. In fact, in June 1965, Pat did the first newscast on KYW Radio when it returned to Philadelphia, two months before the all-news format was introduced.

Delsi has introduced over a million songs on the air and, as a newscaster, has reported over 150,000 five-minute newscasts in the Delaware Valley. This legendary radio broadcaster has also devoted himself to a life of public service and has served on many boards and committees. Pat has served as this organization's president and then chairman of the board. He has been on our board of directors for over two decades.

Our Living Hall of Fame Inductees for 2014 are:

John DeBella, longtime Philadelphia morning drive host on WMGK-FM, 102.9
George Finkel, Emmy winning director of Super Bowl & Olympics coverage
Ralph (Bud) Galow, engineer for decades at WRCV and KYW Radio
Dom Giordano, morning talk show host on WPHT, 1210 Talk Radio on AM
Bill Henley, meteorologist at WCAU-TV (NBC 10) for more than 2 decades
David Henry, WPVI-TV news street reporter for almost three decades
Blaise Howard, Vice President and General Manager of More FM, 101.1
Agnes Nixon, creator of modern soap operas All My Children & One Life to Live
Connie Roussin (Spann), legendary TV host of many TV shows on Channel 6
Susan Schiller, Vice President and News Director, CBS 3 & CW Philly 57
Sue Serio, veteran meteorologist and morning Weather Anchor for Fox 29
Fred Walters, legendary executive editor at KYW Newsradio & more

Our Posthumous Hall of Fame Inductees for 2014 are:

Stella Alberts, famed producer of the Al Alberts Showcase on WPVI-TV
Marian Anderson, one of America's best contraltos in the entire 20th century
Walter Beaulieu, engineer extraordinaire for WFIL-TV/WPVI for 4 decades
Ralph Collier, iconic interviewer at WFLN, WCAU, WRTI-FM and WBUX
Warren Kraetzer, former president of WHYY-TV, WUHY-TV and Radio
John Leitch, Chief Engineer at WCAU Radio & WCAU-TV for decades
Bob Mitchell, popular DJ on WIBG during their heyday plus WDAS & WCAM
Fred Sherman, legendary business news commentator for KYW Newsradio
Joe Tamburro (Butterball), VP of Programming & PD for WDAS AM & FM
Ron Tindiglia, developer of the WFIL-TV/WPVI format of "Action News"
Joe Zawislak, iconic horror movie host on Dr. Shock, WPHL-TV, Channel 17

Tickets on Sale NOW!


Prices are $88 for members (each member can buy ONLY one ticket at the member price) and $98 for everyone else (including spouses, friends and guests). The event will once again take place at the Hilton City Avenue, 4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia. The date is Friday, November 21st. The reception is at 5:45 pm and dinner is served at 7 pm. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Cash bar all night long. Valet parking is $10. Event lot parking is $5. Make plans to be there! A major portion of the ticket price may be deductible on your federal income tax. Ask your tax advisor for details! Tickets must be purchased in advance. Absolutely no tickets available at the door.


If you are a member and you haven't paid your dues,

We mailed out membership renewals to all our members in mid-May. If you joined in the past couple of months, you may receive a form, but you are not required to pay any dues at this time. We sent the form so we could verify that all the info we have is still correct. The next membership directory will be printed before you know it.

Kindly return your form and check (if a balance is due) at your earliest convenience. Please also note that on the form is an important little box that you can check if you would like to make an extra contribution. If you can afford it and wish to do so, any amount will be greatly appreciated.

Help Us Save Our History!
Our DAP, Digital Archival Project!

The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia since our beginning in 1962 has maintained archival material of broadcast related items for our market. In February of 2009, we started our DAP, Digital Archival Project.

Since its inception, we have digitized over 4,000 local TV broadcasts, 10,000 local radio broadcasts and have digitized 23,000 photos and other documents. While the seems like a lot, in reality, it's only a very small portion (below 00.000001%) of what has been broadcast.

We are looking for donated materials. If you have or know of anyone willing to contribute any broadcast memorabilia, please contact us at 856-365-5600 or e-mail the Broadcast Pioneers at This would include photos, scans, audio, video and articles. This material may also be used on our website.

Don't have any of the above material but still wish to help out? We can use your cash! This has become an expensive project for us. We are a state-chartered, federally recognized charity with a 501(c)(3) status. Any contribution may be tax deductible on your federal income taxes. Check with your tax advisor.

Broadcast Pioneers is
on Facebook!

Yes, we are now on Facebook. "Like us" at! Visit us often!


Join Our E-Mail Alert Mailing Lists

Broadcast Pioneers has four different e-mail alert mailing lists. Each one reaches a different category of people.

For our membership list, you MUST be a member of Broadcast Pioneers. Our monthly electronic newsletter comes via e-mail. Also, other announcements. If you are a member and not receiving your e-mails, please contact us by calling (856) 365-5600 or email us at:

If you are not a member of Broadcast Pioneers but wish to be notified with news, upcoming Broadcast Pioneers events, luncheons and our annual banquet, you should sign up to our general public list. Click on the box below to sign up.

If you are currently an undergraduate student attending a college or university in the Delaware Valley, or a college student whose home residence is in the Delaware Valley, you qualify. Signing up for this list is for STUDENTS only. You'll receive information about our scholarships, our symposiums (at area TV stations) and our career nights (at area college campuses). Plus, you may be selected to attend a Broadcast Pioneers luncheon or our annual banquet at no cost to you. Click on the box below to sign up.

If you are currently a professor, instructor or a member of any university staff in our area, you qualify for this list. You will be notified on our students scholarship program, upcoming symposiums (at area TV Stations) and our career nights (at area college campuses). Plus, we may ask you to recommend students to attend a Broadcast Pioneers luncheon or our annual banquet at no cost to the student, you or your school. Click on the box below to sign up.

We do not sell or distribute these lists to anyone. You are signing up just to get information and there is no obligation on your part. SIGN UP TODAY!

NOTICE: If your e-mail address bounces back, we have to delete you from the e-mail list. If this happens, you will have to sign up again. Also, if you forward our e-mail to someone else and they elect to unsubscribe to our list, they are unsubscribing for you, not themselves.

Visit the Broadcast Pioneers
YouTube Channel

You'll love our brand new Broadcast Pioneers YouTube Channel. More and more of our videos will be added to this channel in the future, so keep checking back. You can visit us on our YouTube channel at: or just click on the link below!

Broadcast Pioneers YouTube Channel!

Our Mystery Photo for September 2014

Click on the photo for more information!


Check out Our Photos, History, Bios, Audio and Video Areas
Click on the links below to go to those sections!

 Our Photo Section - to 1960  Our Photo Section - from 1961
 Our Video Section  Our Audio Section
 Broadcast History Section  Our Biography Section
 Our Hall of Fame  Our Persons of the Year
 March 2013 Career Night  Our 2013 Banquet
 Our Bylaws  Our Officers and Board
 Oct. 2013 Symposium Scholarship Information
 Our Screensaver Oral History Projects
 Join Broadcast Pioneers  Calendar of Events
 Who Are We?  Our Newsletter
 Our Presidents Our Chairmen of the Board
 Our Facebook Page Our YouTube Channel

There's a nice, huge story on the Time Magazine website about Philadelphia Television in the Fifties. It mentions our website and draws from our material. Author Richard Corliss refers to this site as "invaluable...a trove of early TV memories for Delaware Valley nostalgiaholics."

Our encoding of audio and video has been upgraded for clearer, sharper and less choppy video with better sounding audio. We are using the latest technology and this may require you to download (it's free) the latest version of the Real Player and/or the latest version of the Windows Media Player. Items previously on our website will still work with older versions. All items will play on the most current. Once you download the latest free player, you still may be required to download older codes for everything to work. Some of our older files of our audio and video rolls. That is, it goes from one files directly into the next segment. This is done for faster loading.

Unless you state otherwise, all e-mail messages, photos and other material sent to us become the property of "The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia" and you have given us implied permission to use all or part of your message on our website including the use of your name & to store the correspondence in our archive. All items sent to us via U.S. Mail, other carriers or electronically, become property of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. With such submission and donation, you also transfer any legal rights (including reproduction rights) you may have (if any) to said material. This includes photos, articles, audio, video and all other items including but not limited to the usage of your name.

None of the material contained on this website may be reproduced elsewhere without the express permission of "The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia." Where material is owned by others who have given us permission to use their property, you must also gain their approval and authority before use. None of our material falls under "Fair Use" provisions of copyright laws. The material published on this website is like any other published work and subject to the same copyright protection.

We do NOT make or sell copies of any material in our archives. We just do not have the staff to do this. Hardly any local show is available for home use anywhere.

This website is protected under U.S. Copyright (2014)
by The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. All Rights Reserved.

The e-mail address of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is

Server space for this site provided through the generosity of
Broadcast Pioneers Life Member Jerry Klein and public relations firm,
Anne Klein Communications Group