The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is a federally recognized, state chartered charity. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation serving Philadelphia since 1962.

Frank Stone
Newsletter Editor

April Luncheon
Bala Golf Club
April 15, 2009

Reception at 12 noon
Lunch at 12:30 pm
Ratecard: $25 per person
Reservations Required
(856) 365-5600

On Wednesday, April 15th, the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia will have a very special luncheon. It's a “Tribute to Frank Ford.” A longtime member of Broadcast Pioneers, we lost Frank early in March. This is sure to be a wonderful luncheon in his memory. It all takes place at the beautiful Bala Golf Club, 2200 Belmont Avenue in Philadelphia! Just minutes away from Channel 6 and Channel 10 and the radio stations in Bala Cynwyd.

Our very special guest speaker will be Lynne Abraham, Frank’s wife and District Attorney of Philadelphia. She will be telling stories about her husband as we celebrate his life! Our MC for the afternoon will be Broadcast Pioneers member Larry Kane, the Dean of Philadelphia News Anchoring. Sharing their thoughts with us will be:

Dom Giordano, current WPHT talk show host and long time friend
Lew Klein, former co-owner of Gateway TV & Executive Producer of Bandstand
Sid Mark, long-time broadcast legend and colleague at WWDB-FM

Plus joining us live on the telephone from Florida will be Frank’s long-time friend and former business partner at the Valley Forge Music Fair, Shelly Gross, a former President of Broadcast Pioneers. And we'll be awarding 12 Broadcast Pioneers' scholarships of $1,000 each to area college students. Four are being underwritten by Broadcast Pioneers Vice-President Kal Rudman in honor of Frank Ford. Once again, member Esther Kurtz has donated a scholarship in the memory of her late husband, David Kurtz, founder of B-101.

(Left to right) Carol Channing and Frank Ford
WPEN Radio
circa 1967


(Left to right) Frank Ford & Danny Thomas
The Frank Ford Show set at WPEN Radio

Meet and greet (networking) starts at 12 noon with a full-course lunch including salad, coffee or tea and dessert being served at 12:30 pm. There's also a crudité and cheese table. Cash bar available! The cost is only $25 per person and is open to all our members, any person in the industry or associated fields; both people now active and retirees. You do NOT have to be a member to attend. Make your reservations now by calling (856) 365-5600. It's going to be a great turn out. Be there and say hi to old friends (and make some new ones).

It's Wednesday, April 15th at the beautiful Bala Golf Club, 2200 Belmont Avenue in Philadelphia! Just minutes away from Channel 6 and Channel 10 and the radio stations in Bala Cynwyd. Tons of free parking. Get Driving Directions!

Visit Our Website Often -


There will be three meetings of this committee this year. They will be at 10:15 am, just before the April and May luncheons. Plus, the last will be held on Friday, June 19th at 1:30 pm at B-101. The April 15th meeting is purely "organizational" and is for committee members only. Call for your luncheon reservations and let us know if you’ll be attending the committee meeting. Next Board of Directors meeting will be June 17th.


On Wednesday March 18th, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia saluted NBC 10. It was a prestigious gathering of talented panelists, including: Tracy Davidson, NBC 10 anchor of “All That and More;” Bill Henley, Meteorologist and co-host of the “10” show; Dave Parker, NBC 10’s Assistant News Director; Jamie Simmons, NBC 10’s Digital Assets Manager and Lori Wilson, co-host of the “10”show and news contributor.

The panel spoke about the many changes to local news in the digital age and how quickly news can be gathered and reported. Broadcast Pioneers member Bill Baldini was the moderator. Plus, Les Waas told us about the Golden Years of Radio with audio excerpts from our archives. It was a great event and very well received by all those who attended.


Beasley Reece, CBS 3’s Sports Director and lead sports anchor. He's a three-time Emmy Award winner and earned 12 Associated Press Awards. He was drafted by the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys in 1976 and the next year moved to the New York Giants.

Trudi Brown is Executive Producer of television at WHYY. She started at WHYY-TV in 1993 as Senior Producer. Under her direction, her productions have won 25 Emmys. Prior to TV12, she was a journalist and documentary producer for WCAU-TV.

Bob Schmidt worked at UPI's Washington Bureau from 1965 to 1972. He was managing editor and anchor for AM and PM Newsbeat on WCAU Radio from 1972 to 1975. He then went to NBC News as radio anchor and then he was a radio correspondent for ABC Radio.

Lou DiCrescenzo, is currently with WBCB (Merrill Reese's station) and has been in the business since 1965. He worked for several radio stations including WNEW, WOR, WROV, WWJZ, WAAT and as Projection Engineer for National Amusements in Voorhees.

Welcome to the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. We hope to see you at a luncheon soon!

Did you know...

(Left to right) Marv Stephens and
an unidentified actor
"Action in the Afternoon"


Two unidentified actors
"Action in the Afternoon"
on the backlot of WCAU-TV

Television has had many Western shows. However, there was only one completely live Western telecast and that was "Action in the Afternoon," broadcast over the CBS Television Network and originating out of WCAU-TV, Channel 10 in Philadelphia. It was the first and the only one to be completely live.

When the rain poured in Philadelphia, it was pouring on "Action in the Afternoon." When the Quaker City saw a blizzard, it snowed on the TV show.

Bill Bode, one of the directors on the show said:

One day when the AD crew was moving the stagecoach, after the horses had been returned to the stable, the heavy coach “got away” from the ADs and rolled down into the WCAU-TV parking lot, directly into (Production Manager) Frank Fisher’s car. You can imagine the reaction he got when he called his insurance agent to report that his car had been hit by a stagecoach.

We have two complete shows in our archives. You can watch excerpts, if you like!

Watch excerpts of Show #1

Watch Excerpts of Show #2


We regret to note the passing of Broadcast Pioneers member William J. Gravino, known to his listeners as Bill Marshall. He passed away on Thursday, March 19th at his home with his wife of 32 years, Cathy at his side. Besides being Operations Manager of WTMR Radio for fifteen years, Bill was also Program Director of WVLT in Vineland and worked at WAMS in Delaware. For 20 years, he also ran (and owned) Action Mobile DJs Service.


As mentioned last month, our May meeting/luncheon will be a WIBG Reunion. Broadcast Pioneers Board member Bill Wright Sr., tells us, the WIBBAGE “Good Guy” Panel is all lined up and ready to go for May 20th. A Featured guest will be Roy Schwartz who was WIBG Program Director during the Golden Years! We’re all looking forward to the reunion and the memories!

Broadcast Pioneers Treasurer Pat Delsi is going strong. During the March luncheon, he spoke with this Editor about his upcoming trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the first round of the “Big Dance” of the NCAA, calling the action for Drexel University's Women’s Basketball. In his 56th year of broadcasting, Pat is like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going and going and going!

Attending the March luncheon was Jackie Strauss from the Big Talker 1210. Jackie is the “Neighborhood Correspondent” for the “Remember When” nostalgia call-in talk show airing on Saturday nights from 10 pm to midnight. Jackie tells us, “she works along with three of the nicest guys in radio.” Steve Ross, Jimmy Murray and Steve Friedman. Listeners are encouraged to call in with memories of wonderful times gone by. We’ll be sure to tune in and share the memories! Thanks Jackie!


Also at the March luncheon was Elaine Freeman of Precise Communications. She was sharing information about Hope Afloat USA, a dragon boat team for breast cancer survivors that practices on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Each 40-foot long dragon boat carries 20 paddlers, a drummer who sits on the bow and a steersperson. The ancient sport has become popular among breast cancer survivors. They’re looking for paddlers and for families to attend a “Family Fun Day” on May 30th on Philadelphia's Boathouse Row. For information check out: Good luck Elaine!


Jane Norman (Pixanne) has been doing international radio interviews in Los Angeles, promoting her CD “With Love,” which has been airing on hundreds of stations nationwide.

Both of her newest CD’s, “A Perfect Christmas” and “ With Love,” received rave reviews from Program Directors across the country.

She used to be a green uniformed "Pixanne" on Channel 10 and in national syndication. She’s now flown from the magic forest to bring her musical magic to new fans and listeners everywhere.

Keep on flying high Jane!

Broadcast Pioneers member Bobbie Shaffner heard about the Frank Ford Tribute in April and wanted to share a story. On a cold, snowy Christmas night when Frank was broadcasting over WPEN from the Hunt Room of The Bellevue Stratford Hotel, he put her on the air with a string band captain, Hy Seflin. As the program progressed the song she and her husband had written, “Philadelphia (Philly, I Love You)” was given its first public airing. Subsequently, they joined ASCP and became recognized songwriters. It all started with Frank Ford! Thanks for sharing Bobbie!

Our Nominating Committee, chaired by Dorie Lenz, has selected our slate of officers for 2009-2010: Bill Webber, Chairman of the Board; Gerry Wilkinson, President; Jerry Klein, Kal Rudman and Frank Stone, Vice-Presidents; Carol Leebron, Secretary and Pat Delsi, Treasurer. Board of Director nominees are: Diego Castellanos, Dave Abramson, Dave Custis, Lydia DeGuio, Cissie Hurst, Shirley Morris, Alan Tripp, Sally Berlin, Dick Kearney, Carter Merbreier, Mike Nise, Barry Reisman, John Roberts, Mike Brooks, Herb Clarke, Loretta Bove Crowell, Sheree Goldflies, Paul Gluck, Dorie Lenz, Joe Pellegrino, Les Waas and Bill Wright, Sr.


Just at press time, our scholarship committee selected the winners of this year's scholarships. They are:

Adam Bradshaw, a sophomore from Rowan University
Shari-Gay Chrishna DaCosta, a sophomore from Temple University
Gillian Davis, a junior from Cabrini College
Charles Murphy, a sophomore from Drexel University
Rebecca Petner, a junior from LaSalle University
Patrick Rosenbaum, a sophomore from Temple University
Thomas Rossi, a junior from LaSalle University
Paul Russo, a sophomore from Rowan University
Danielle Sacco, a junior from Temple University
Monica Sellecchia, a junior from Temple University
Nicole Stefano, a junior from Rowan University
Heather West, a junior from Villanova University

A final thought...

Speaking of her late husband whose real name was Ed Felbin:

“Some called him Frank. Some called him Ed and some combined the two and addressed him as Fred”

Lynne Abraham
District Attorney of Philadelphia
March 6, 2009

We need your stories! Send items for the newsletter. E-mail us at: We need your stories!

© 2009, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
All Rights Reserved

The e-mail address of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is
For luncheon reservations call (856) 365-5600 or e-mail us at: