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

September Luncheon
The Bala Golf Club
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Reception at 12 noon
Lunch at 12:30 pm
Ratecard: $25 per person

(856) 365-5600

Jim O'Brien Remembered:
Three Decades Later

(left to right) Jim O'Brien & Melissa Levy (daughter of Steve Levy)
Jim O'Brien's Living Room
May 1973

All this season (September to June), we will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary!

We start off our new season on Wednesday, September 21st, with a remembrance of one of Philly's most lovable and fun guys, Jim O'Brien. Take a stroll down memory lane as we look at the life of one of this town's broadcast legends. Our MC for this afternoon will be member Steve Levy.

Scheduled to speak are:

Tom Burton, formerly of the WFIL Radio, Famous 56 Prize Patrol
Marc Howard. former co-anchor with Jim O'Brien on Action News
Lisa Thomas-Laury, anchor and reporter for "Action News' on 6ABC
Carter Merbreier, that rascally ol' Captain himself, Captain Noah
Art Moore, Program VP for WABC-TV/producer of "Regis & Kelly"
Scott Palmer, PR Director for the Phils and former sports guy at WPVI
Glenn Schwartz, NBC 10 Chief Meteorologist & O'Brien Intern
Don Tollefson, former O'Brien co-worker at Action News, WPVI-TV

Plus, live on the telephone will be one of Jim's co-hosts from "Dialing for Dollars," member Connie Roussin Spann.

(left to right) Steve and Harriet Levy, Sue and Jim O'Brien
The Brooks Family ranch of Sue O'Brien's parents
Tulia, Texas
June 1972

It all takes place on Wednesday, September 21st, at the beautiful and historic Bala Golf Club, 2200 Belmont Avenue (across the street from the State Police) in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia. It's only minutes away from Channels 6 & 10 and the radio stations in Bala Cynwyd. Plenty of free parking! Valet parking is also available!

Meet and greet (networking) starts at 12 noon with a full three-course lunch being served at 12:30 pm. Lunch includes entree, salad, roll or bread, coffee or tea and dessert. There's also a crudité table. Cash bar all afternoon! The cost is only $25 per person (seventh year with no price increase) and is open to all our members or any person in the industry or associated fields. 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 hello to old friends (and make some new ones).

About the photos:

In photo #1, Jim is making "bunny ears" behind Melissa's head. Steve says that maybe that's why his daughter has such a good sense of humor. O'Brien was Melissa Levy's godfather. And why was this photo taken? "No reason," says Steve. "Just clowning around."

In photo #2, the two couples were on vacation. Tulia is in the Texas panhandle in the northern most part of the state. Earlier in the trip, all four visited Jim's parents, who lived just outside of Houston.

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Cardinal John Foley
Broadcast Pioneers Luncheon
Bala Golf Club, Philadelphia
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
(Photo by Broadcast Pioneers' President Jerry Klein)

Our 2011 Person of the Year is His Eminence Cardinal John P. Foley, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia member and a native to this area.

When the Roman Catholic Church needed to tell the world that the cardinals had chosen a new pope, they relied on the traditional plume of white smoke. For more sophisticated communications efforts over the past 20 years, the Vatican turned to Cardinal John Foley. It was he who told the world that Pope Benedict was elected. He began his broadcasting career as a teenager as a WJMJ Radio announcer. He was co-producer and co-host of the Philadelphia Catholic Hour on WFIL Radio. He co-produced 20 television episodes of "The Making of a Priest," for Group W.

In 1984, he was named by Pope John Paul II as President of the Pontifical Commission. It's the office responsible for all the Vatican’s print and electronic communications and ministries. He held that post for more than 20 years and was responsible for the Today Show's week-long broadcast from the Vatican. He also was commentator for NBC broadcasts of the Christmas Midnight Mass from the Vatican for 25 years. In 2007, Foley was elevated to Cardinal.

The inductees for our "Hall of Fame" for 2011 (in alphabetical order):

Cherie Bank, former WCAU-TV medical reporter & TV host
Dann Cuellar, reporter for 6ABC, WPVI-TV's ACTION NEWS
Howard Eskin, WIP sports talk host & sportscaster on NBC 10
Steve Highsmith, PHL 17 & NBC 10 host and political reporter
Wally Kennedy, KYW Newsradio anchor/former TV/radio talk host
Tim Lake, anchor of 4 pm, 6 pm & 11 pm news on NBC 10, WCAU
Steve Levy, former anchor/reporter/sportscaster at Channels 3, 6 & 10
Andy Musser, Phillies/Eagles/Sixers sportscaster for 25 years!
Barry Reisman, Philly's Jewish-American radio host since 1965
Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3's medical specialist/reporter and TV Host

We will also be inducting 15 people posthumously into our Hall of Fame. All posthumous honorees will be honored in one short video that evening. They are:

Larry Brown, former WPEN Radio air personality/TV pitchman
Dick Covington, former KYW Newsradio anchor/ID announcer
Jack Creamer, "The Handyman Show" host on WIP & Channel 3
Tommy DeNoble, Bandstand regular & TV host/singer/engineer
Bob Dome, former broadcast advertising executive extraordinaire
Randy Kraft, former TV news anchor and actor on "General Hospital"
Jack Lamar, all round Philadelphia area broadcaster & announcer
Don Lancer, former KYW Newsradio anchor known as "The Dean"
Norman Leebron, producer, sales manager and all-round broadcast guy
Helen Lipkin, former 30s/40s WDAS kids show host & WPTZ personality
Mac McGuire, DJ and singer on WPEN, WIP, KYW and WCAU Radio
Tom Moorehead, former WFIL-TV sports director and TV personality
Roy Neal, former WIBG announcer, WPTZ personality & NBC newsman
Charlie O'Donnell, Bandstand announcer, movie host/network announcer
Joel A. Spivak, former WCAU Philadelphia TV & radio air personality

Tickets are now on sale. Prices are $80 for the member (each member can buy ONLY one ticket at the member price) and $95 for everyone else (including spouses, friends and guests). The event will once again take place at the City Avenue Hilton, 4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia. The date is Friday, November 18th. Reception is at 6 pm with dinner being served at 7 pm. Doors open at 5:45 pm. Cash Bar all night long. Valet parking is $10. Event lot parking is $5. Make plans to be there! Just click here for our reservation form. Just print, fill in and mail. Don't forget to include your check.


Important notice to all members of our board. The next board meeting will be at 10 am on Wednesday, September 21st, just before our luncheon. Note the new start time: 10 am.


Jon Hitchcock is the president and general manager of CBS 3 and The CW Philly 57 since April of 2009. Previously, he was vice president and general manager of LIN Television Connecticut duopoly, WTNH-TV and WCTX-TV, for seven years. He is the past Chairman of the Connecticut Broadcast Association and served on the board for NATAS in New England.

Angela Rogers has been in the business for 16 years. She's the 6 pm and 11 pm newscast director at WPVI-TV since 2006. Before that, from 1995 to 2005, she was with KJRH-TV, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is her hometown. There, she worked as a TD, director, photographer, and editor. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Mass Communications from the University of Tulsa.

Denise Nakano has been involved in broadcasting for 15 years. She is currently an anchor/reporter at NBC 10, where she has worked since July of 2003. Before that, she was with KCPQ-TV in Seattle, WTVH in Syracuse, and KHSL in Chico, California. Denise is a native of LA and earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Communications from the University of the Pacific.

We are thrilled to have these new members. They've helped to bring our total membership up to 441 (an all-time record). We hope to see as many of you as possible at the September luncheon.


Larry Kane
Action News
Thursday, July 29, 1976


Jim O'Brien
Action News
Thursday, July 29, 1976

Here is part of an early evening Action Newscast from Thursday, July 29, 1976. Broadcast Pioneers member Larry Kane is the anchor, with Jim O'Brien on weather and Broadcast Pioneers member Joe Pellegrino on sports. On this broadcast, Don Tollefson did a news story report on the "Action Cam." It was not a sports story.

Our transfer comes direct from a WPVI-TV 3/4" video tape. However, it is a generation down. Why? Well, this 3/4" recording consisted of various reports. This was taken from an aircheck and then dubbed onto the final 3/4" tape. The copy we have did have some problems. While all the other cuts on the tape were fine, this particular one had low contrast and was dark. With today's digital technology, we can lighten the video and restore it to what it should have been. However, the recording is not as sharp and clear as we would prefer. In our opinion, the Real Video version is slightly clearer and cleaner.

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King George VI, the head of the British Empire, died on Wednesday, February 6, 1952 at Sandringham House in Norfolk, England, the country estate of the Royal family. The king was found dead by one of the staff at 2:30 am, Philadelphia time. The official announcement was made 3 hours and 15 minutes later by a spokesman at the estate. Shortly thereafter, the home service of the BBC Radio announced the news to the British nation and then closed down operations. The king suffered a coronary thrombosis, a fatal blood clot to the heart, shortly after falling asleep. He also had lung cancer. He was 56. Princess Elizabeth (who automatically became Queen) was at the royal hunting lodge in Kenya when she got the news.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed the British nation the next evening at 9 pm (British time). It was 4 pm here in Philadelphia. While the speech was carried live in the United States, many stations reaired the address later that evening when people returned home from work. WIP Radio in Philadelphia was one such station. That night, Thursday, February 7, 1952, the station rebroadcast Churchill's address. Afterwards, there was a ten-minute wrap-up by WIP. This was a local wrap-up and NOT part of the original Mutual Broadcasting System's original feed. WIP was a Mutual radio affiliate at that time.

We have the complete broadcast in our archive. We present to you the local wrap-up after Churchill's address. This would have been on Thursday evening, February 7, 1952. As of now, we have not yet been able to identify the announcer.

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In mid-August, we received a phone call from Pat Neal down in North Carolina. She's the widow of Roy Neal, a local Philadelphia broadcaster who later spent three decades with NBC News. Roy will be inducted into our Hall of Fame this November at our annual banquet. Pat said how wonderful it was that we were recognizing Roy for his work here in our area. As many of you know, Roy donated photos and three chapters of a book to Broadcast Pioneers. He was certainly a believer in our archival project. Pat promised to check in their treasure trove of a basement to see what else can be sent to us to help preserve the history of this market.

On Thursday, September 8th, at the Hilton on City Avenue, member Dom Giordano will be presented with the Ben Hecht Award for Outstanding Journalism. The Award is being presented by The Zionist Organization of America, Greater Philadelphia District, an organization that believes in keeping Israel strong.

Member Harvey Sheldon has reminded us that his new Internet radio station HARVEYSHELDONPHILLYRADIO.COM is in the memory of Art Raymond. Harvey e-mailed:

Every night on WPEN radio, from 9 pm 'til 11 pm, Art Raymond (known as Pancho) was playing mambo & Cha-cha-cha records. Everyone was invited to come to the 22nd and Walnut, downtown Philly. Every night, Monday through Saturday, the studio was packed with dancers. If you were not there, you might walk in your neighborhood and hear all of the radios tuned to Pancho, The Man in the Black Sombrero.

The record stores could not stock enough of the 45’s of the music of Tito Puente, Perez Prado, Tito Rodriguez, Pupi Compo, Noro Morales and many others that were played by Pancho. Just across the street, there was a club. The Harvey Sheldon Jazz All Stars were there playing jazz and mambo music. I also performed mambo music on the college circuit and on Sunday nights at dances in Jewish temples.

"Take Your Shot at Cancer, " a charity golf tournament in Woodstown, NJ, takes place on Sunday, October 2nd. The tournament benefits Breast Cancer Vaccine Research through member Uschi Keszler's organization, "Pennies in Action." They're also having a dinner/concert by "The Dovells." For info call (856) 769-8333.

How many of our members remember when radio actually became a reality 90 years ago? Well, maybe only one.  Edna Whittington Cathcart will be 103 this month and her memory is still quite keen.  Edna was 12 years old when KDKA went on the air. KDKA was and still is the sister station of KYW Radio. Member Michael Muderick spoke with Edna recently.  She was alert and sharp and had some interesting stories about her career in broadcasting. She'd be happy to receive birthday greetings and letters from Broadcast Pioneers members. You can contact her at:

Waverly Heights Retirement Community
1400 Waverly Road
Gladwyne, PA 19035

Kudos to member Pat Ciarrocchi, who traveled to Denver a couple of weeks ago to record a one on one sit down interview with Archbishop Charles Chaput. Chaput will be installed as Philadelphia's archbishop on Thursday. Pat said,"There were no limits on what I could ask and no questions went unanswered." The first part aired last Thursday and the rest aired over Labor Day weekend.

Member Kenny Jeremiah says that he'll be appearing along with Bittersweet on Wednesday, September 21st, from 6:30 pm to 10 pm at the Mirabella Cafe in Cherry Hill. Member Charlie Gracie tells us that he has an upcoming tour of the United Kingdom (known to many of you as "England") scheduled for this fall. Beginning this Sunday, he'll have his own weekly radio program on WLVT, Cruisin' 92.1, from 3 to 4 pm.

Congratulations to John Brown, who on September 1 st celebrated 32 years of traffic reporting. Two years in Chicago and the rest (30) in Philly. John says; “I remember having black hair when I started in 1979!” Way to go, John. You still look and sound great!


Carolyn Wean, 68, was KYW-TV's first female news director from 1978 to 1980. At that time, she returned to Pittsburgh (where she spent most of her broadcasting years), to Channel 3's sister station KDKA-TV as vice-president and general manager. She later became production chief at the Steel City's public television station WQED-TV, home of "Mister Roger's Neighborhood." She passed away in mid-August after a lengthy illness.

Jerome "Jerry" Shestack, 88, husband of member Marciarose, passed away during the middle of last month. He was the former president of the American Bar Association and appointed ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights by President Carter. He was a decorated US Naval Officer in the Pacific Theater during WWII. He also was a speech writer for Ed Muskie, Hubert Humphrey and Sargent Shiver. The couple met when Jerry was at Harvard and Marciarose was a freshman at Emerson College. Watch this ten minute video about his life.

Dorothy Brunson, 72, died last month from ovarian cancer. She was the first African-American women to own a radio station (WEBB in Baltimore) and later a TV station (WGTW, Channel 48 here in Philadelphia). She was born in Georgia and grew up in New York's Harlem. She was also co-founder of Howard Sanders Advertising, the first African-American advertising agency on Madison Avenue. In 1986, she was granted the license for the vacant Channel 48 here in the Quaker City. Shortly after coming to Philly, she told The Baltimore Sun why was wanted a television outlet:

We all have a bit of fantasy in projecting where we want to be. Going into television at almost 50, that's crazy, I'm secure, I'm safe. Why take on another $10 million worth of debt? Because I'm a dreamer. The great fantasy. The impossible, the impractical. Not to be caught up in the boredom trail. The ultimate challenge is to be the great entrepreneur. The great businesswoman. I want to be a great businesswoman. It's a dream.

Rick Buckley, Jr., 74, died recently after suffering a brain embolism while on his boat in Long Island Sound. When Buckley Broadcasting purchased WIBG from Storer Broadcasting in 1969, Buckley left his position as President of Buckley Broadcasting of California (a division of the parent company) and came to Philly to run WIBG. He became president of the parent company during September 1972 when his father, Richard D. Buckley, Sr. passed away. There will be a memorial service this Thursday morning in Greenwich, CT.

Joey Vento, 71, owner of Geno's Steaks in South Philly, died at the end of last month from a heart attack. Joe became a local celebrity for his out spoken opinions on immigration and health care. He was frequently appearing as a guest on local radio and TV. He also did his own radio commercials. The business was started 45 years ago by Joey's dad who started with $6, two boxes of steaks and some hot dogs. The shop got its name from a local boy who wrote his own name on the back part of the building.


Board Member Bill Wright, Sr., famed WIBBAGE Good Guy, suffered a foot injury while exiting a Paratransit vehicle last month. He received nine stitches in his little toe. While he had to take it easy for a few weeks, a full recovery is expected and we all hope to see him at our September luncheon.

Gerry Wilkinson, our chairman of the board, continues to suffer from a hearing (inner ear) disorder. Gerry has been having hearing problems for several years but over the summer the loss got worse, sometimes to the point where the audio was so distorted that he couldn't tell what was being said. Sometimes it makes it hard to hold a conversation in person or on the telephone. Doctors are still trying to figure out what's going on.

Board member Emeritus Herb Clarke is suffering from Alzheimer's and has been moved into an assisted living care center. His wife, Barbara, tells us that Herb has good days and not so good ones. Anyone wishing to send Herb a card or greetings can do so by writing at his home address listed in our membership directory. About ten days ago, member Bill Baldini and his wife, Joan, visited the Clarkes. Bill told us:

Herb has seemed to improve somewhat from the last time we saw him. We all should include Herb in our prayers, and let's not forget Barbara either. They're such good people.

We heard from Board member Ed Hurst who, for awhile, thought that he might need surgery for partially blocked arteries. Turns out that his doc said that it's not necessary. Ed, by the way, told us that he went to a 62 and 2/3 year school reunion. He said that they were afraid to wait any longer. If they ever have a 75 year reunion, we trust that Ed will be there.


(Left to right) Broadcast Pioneers member Tom Moran with Joe Hayes
Picture taken from Jersey City, NJ
Sunday, October 8, 2000

Of the above photo, Tom Moran says:

Joe and I met at the start of our sophomore year at St. Aloysius High School in Jersey City exactly 62 years ago this month. We have been friends ever since. As a matter of ironic fact, several of us from the "Class of '52" got together yesterday (August 24th) in Spring Lake on the North Jersey Shore to 'do lunch' and just hang out. Any time I'm visiting my old home town, JC, I try to get a photo or two of Lower Manhattan with the WTC in the frame. My latest 'visit' shows one of the new WTC under construction. Most photos taken from Exchange Place in Jersey City.

We have several hours of KYW Newsradio coverage from Tuesday, September 11, 2001, in our audio archive. It begins at 4:25 pm and the station is broadcasting a live conversation between Anchor Elaine Keno and Mideast Bureau Chief Jay Bushinsky from Jerusalem. The clip is about 5 minutes long.

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Three and a half months ago, you should have received your membership renewal form. Current membership expired at the end of June (unless you've already renewed). Memberships of those who joined in the last few months will expire in 2012. However, you still should have received a form. If you haven't already done so, please correct any contact information. This information will be used to create our new membership directory. Because of the nature of this business, we do not maintain any type of membership list online. This is for your own personal security.

Remember that Broadcast Pioneers is a mainly dues-supported non-profit organization that is federally recognized and state chartered. We have charitable status for federal income purposes. For those of you who wish to do so, there is a place on your renewal form to make an extra contribution to this organization. If you can do so and want to help out, an extra contribution would be appreciated. It will help keep Broadcast Pioneers strong. Check with your tax advisor, because membership dues and donations may be deductible on your federal income tax.

Send in your renewal now if you haven't already done so. Why? Your membership expired about 9 weeks ago. Please take a minute and mail it back today. Broadcast Pioneers thanks you for your continued support.


There's not much time left (a little less than a week) if you wish to advertise in our new Membership Directory, which will be mailed to members in the fall. It's our special 50th anniversary issue! Our membership is at a record high, so advertising in our membership directory makes more sense than ever before. The cost per ad has NOT increased but the number of members is more than double what it was five years ago. We're giving you a chance to reach more people for the same cost. Ads start at $175 and help defray the cost of publishing the directory. Call us at (856) 365-5600 or e-mail us at


Time to start thinking about whether you wish to purchase an ad in the banquet booklet for our November 18th Person of the Year/Hall of Fame Dinner. The cost per ad has NOT increased in the last five years. Last year, we had 376 people attending the banquet. We're giving you a chance to reach more people for the same cost. Ads start at $175 and profits help fund all the activities of our organization. Call us at (856) 365-5600 or e-mail us at Consider running a congratulatory ad for one or all of our honorees. Thanks for your support. You keep Broadcast Pioneers strong!

Did you know...

Connie Parkinson & unidentified male actor
W3XE (now KYW-TV)
Thursday, May 2, 1940

Buried in our archives we found a xerox of a hand-written personal history of someone's adventures with W3XE and WPTZ. The document had no identifying information on it but was dated October 16 & 17, 1982. Whoever it was worked there from 1939 or so until at least 1950 and was their chief set designer.

Roy Neal e-mailed us about a decade ago:

I remember him. I think his name was Smith...Art Smith, I believe. He designed "Open House" and all other sets we used. I saw him once in Hollywood, after he left Philadelphia. Very talented guy.

We are not sure where this document came from or how we got it. However, it is believed to be part of the "memories" file that was used as a basis for the 50th anniversary of Channel 3, which was done in December of 1982 by KYW-TV.

We now know that Smith's first name was William. William Craig Smith passed away in August of 1986 at the age of 67. Smith was nominated twice for Emmy Awards because of his work in television. He was also nominated for an Oscar in 1982 for his efforts in Victor-Victoria. He studied under Clyde Schuyler and Alexander Wyckoff here in Philadelphia. He was born in 1918 and went to art school after high school.

Here's part of what the paper said:

I began working for W3XE either in 1939 when I graduated from art school or early in 1940. My interest was actually in set, that is to say scenery, design but the real need was for cameramen and my time was spent both building and painting sets and operating one of the two studio cameras. I was not used to operate the remote camera since I had no real knowledge of baseball or football and was too slight in build to handle the enormous cameras on field tripods which were inherently top-heavy and difficult to handle. These field cameras had only sports sights consisting of a wire frame at the front and a peep-sight at the back. The cameraman had no control over focus which was adjusted from the control truck (or temporary control room).

In the studio it seems to me the two cameras, both of them hand built in the Philco lab, did not match. One was obviously older and used a single lens. The "view finder" consisted of a hole cut in the back of the camera housing through which one viewed the image as it appeared on the target of the iconoscope via an ordinary pocket mirror glued inside the front of the housing! The silver spattered mica of the target was basically gray so that the observed image was very dim. It was also upside down and was seen that way by the cameraman! Control room instructions had to be quickly transmitted by the operator - down for up, up for down, etc. The other camera was much newer and had an optical view finder involving 2 lenses, one for the picture tube....

Both cameras were huge by today's standards. The cables to control had been hand fabricated and stuffed sausage-like into canvas sleeves. The final assembly was about 2 and ½ inches in diameter and extraordinarily clumsy. When it was found that the canvas covers caused objectionable swishing sounds when pulled across the floor, they were recovered with velour or cotton velvet. We did not see electronic view finders until after the war and the studio bought two of the newest RCA orthicon cameras. I remember the engineers being too impatient to await delivery from Camden, going across the bridge in a station wagon to carry those instruments like new born babies up to the top floor of the Architects Building on Locust Street.

Scene from "Last Year's Nest"
(Left to right) Leonard Valenta and unidentified person
WPTZ, Channel 3

To go back to the roof top studio at the factory.... As you might expect the heat when all these lamps were on defied description. The studio at one point bought the cameraman pith helmets but they got in the way of what crude view finders there were and were finally abandoned. Performers frequently passed out on camera. I remember one group of nurses from one of the hospitals who did a program of Christmas carols during the season. As they sang, they started to slide out of the bottom of the picture and were slid along the floor into the "shady" end of the studio until they came to. The effect on our audience of 300 or 400 must have been fairly startling.

Obviously these pictures had all the charm of a portrait taken in one of those dime store booths. Aside from the shell-shocked appearances of the performers forced to endure the heat and searing brilliance of the lights, they managed to look more or less normal on the air thanks to one of the most bizarre systems of make-up. As it was explained to me, the camera's tubes were very sensitive to infra-red radiation and without special steps taken the whole veinous structure of the face and other flesh tended to show through as if the skin had been stripped away. Joe Noble made up a batch of make-up in shades of gray. He concocted this disgusting mess out of cold cream, zinc oxide and (I presume) lamp black. It managed to black out the radiation but the prettiest of women under all the battleship grey turned into strange aliens and plain people were so grotesque as to bring children to tears and strong men to near hysteria.


Shortly after the war broke out, I believe; the studio shut down due to the fact that our frivolous activities were interfering with the testing of certain secret devices downstairs in the factory. Nobody ever said so but most of us knew it was radar. In the time before the operation was reduced to showing film from facilities at the transmitter at Wyndmoor, Pa, it seems our on the air time from Tioga & "C" was severely curtailed partly to save the iconoscopes which were in short supply having been, I think, built right there. At night I remember these tubes were gingerly removed from the cameras, stored in specially plush lined boxes and locked in a safe!

The war was finally over and if I'm not mistaken, all of us who had been overseas came back more or less whole. Old gear came out of storage and work began to convert existing facilities atop of the Architects Building into a TV Studio, formerly the headquarters for the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. We had game shows, cooking shows (one opened with the announcer saying "Ben Butler has pigs' feet" which panicked the populace) quiz shows, puppet shows, ballets, plays, short operas, tricky titles - the works.

By the time I joined W3XE, Philco had been experimenting with mechanical and electronic TV for about six years, so I know little about those very early years. I recall them telling me that Philo Farnsworth had worked with them in the beginning and had later gone on his own. When I got there, the chief administrative job was held by someone called (I think) Nick Alexander. I don't think he saw the future in television and within a year he was gone to form a Dydee-Wash. And that's the truth. Under him was Warren Wright, the man who hired me originally and who stayed.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Warren Wright was the creator and voice of "Willie the Worm" on WCAU-TV for years. Willie was built out of a few dollars' worth of automobile parts purchased from Pep Boys, but that's an entirely different story!


The next Broadcast Pioneers Symposium for area college students will be on Saturday, October 29th from 9 am to 12 noon at the facilities of NBC 10. More details will be appearing on our website shortly.



More than a half-century ago, Larry Brown (who was a member of Broadcast Pioneers) was doing commercials. Here's one for a plastic slipcover company. It was one of those days when nothing seemed to go right.

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Here's an early Saturday evening newscast on KYW Radio, broadcast over both AM & FM. Remember that there was a KYW-FM at that time. The clip dates from Saturday, January 5, 1952. The announcer has not yet been unidentified. A few people seem to think it's Hugh Walton. Can anyone help? E-mail us.


Broadcast Pioneers member Ed Harvey worked at WCAU Radio for over two decades. While he is best known for his telephone-talk show, "The Talk of Philadelphia" that aired daily on the station from 1 pm to 4 pm, he also worked at the station as a disc jockey and a Master of Ceremonies. Near Christmas time in 1953, Ed Harvey was hosting a WCAU Radio show called "Block Party." This program had no similarities to the Hy Lit "Block Party" show on WCAU-TV a few years later.

It was an interesting show that featured audience participation, professional singing and corny jokes told by Ed Harvey. The music director for the show was Bernie Lowe, who later went on to found "Cameo-Parkway" Records. The audio in this presentation is excellent. We mastered it off of the original WCAU Radio tape. The same one that aired in 1953. While some of the shows were broadcast live, this was was recorded in advance of the air date. This is a slightly abridged version of the program but it gives us the idea of what the show was like. The date is Monday, December 14, 1953.

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Remember, History is ONLY What Gets Saved!
(If there were no portraits of George Washington, how would we know what he looked like?)


Member Howard Eskin has hung up the headphones and turned off the mike on his daily drive-time show on WIP 610-AM. He has signed a contract extension with WIP and the station has announced that they will have him contribute as a reporter on various shows, including the Eagles game-day coverage. Eskin said, “This new contract provides me with the ideal schedule for the future with the ability to remain part of the the WIP team for years to come.” His 25th anniversary with WIP was August 29th.

Broadcast Pioneers member Phyllis Ariano-McGinnis has checked in to tell us she is working on assembling memorabilia, materials and a bio for our archives. Phyllis had a long and varied career in the broadcasting industry, beginning in programming in the mid-forties at WIP and then moving to WPTZ (Philco, Westinghouse, NBC) and back to Westinghouse in New York. Phyllis told us:“I might have been more active (in the organization) when I retired and married if health issues had not plagued me, but I have kept up with some of your doings, while keeping busy…” Good to hear from you Phyllis. We look forward to receiving the archive material. Last month we mentioned that Phyllis recently wrote a brief description of her encounters with various serious cancers beginning in 1973. A copy can be obtained from Phyllis. Her email address is in the Membership Directory.

Broadcast Pioneers members Henry and Bobbie Shaffner donated a pair of Van Johnson’s trademark red socks for auction at the Jane Pickens Theatre in Newport, Rhode Island, for the town’s celebration of the late actor’s 95th Birthday. The Shaffners acquired the socks and other prized Van Johnson memorabilia at an estate sale last year at the Penny Lane Auction House in Boonton, New Jersey. The socks were purchased by a Van Johnson fan for the minimum bid of $200 and were donated to the theatre for display.

Member Valerie Morrison is proud to be back with WWDB where she previously woroked 30 years. She left WHAT as a result of a changing format. Valerie can be heard at 860 AM, 12:30 to 1 pm every Monday. Valerie says; “I'm glad to be home again!” Member Pearl Polto can be heard on the same station just before Valerie's show. Catch Pearl from 12 noon to 12:30 pm every Monday.

Broadcast Pioneers member Jane (Pixanne) Norman will be starring in a special concert, “An Evening of Love,” on Wednesday, October 5th at the Merion Tribute House, sponsored by the Hospice and Home Care Foundation. Our favorite pixie will be singing selections from Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Rogers and Hart. Special guest performer will be jazz singer, Paul Jost. Jane was happy to accept the invitation to perform because hospital and home care are so dear to her heart. She experienced their unique caring and expertise when her husband (Broadcast Pioneer member, Frank Beazley) was so ill last year. Jane said; “The hospice nurses are truly angels and I would do anything to spread the word about their loving and skilled work.” Jane can also be seen on Channel 10’s “ Morning 10” show on September 8th and “Remember When,” 1210 AM on September 10th as well as Corky Warren’s “Time Machine.” Jane will also be seen on Channel 10’s “Out of the Vault” program, which will air multiple times. Clearly our favorite pixie is still full of energy!

Michael Anderson, public relations/marketing director for The Reading Public Museum and Broadcast Pioneers member, sent us a release about a Photographic Exhibition of Hollywood Directors premiering at the museum beginning Saturday, September 17, 2011, and running through Sunday January 22, 2012. The exhibition is titled “Andrew Orth: Directing Hollywood.” The exhibition showcases Orth’s talent at making his subjects feel comfortable in front of the lens. It features prominent Hollywood directors, including Steven Zaillian, Darren Aronofsky and John Dahl, and offers a glimpse into the personalities of some of the most powerful voices in Hollywood today.

Next month is the annual Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Awards at Temple University hosted by member Amy Caples, assistant professor of Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media at Temple. The event is named after member Lew Klein, our 13th President and Chairman of the Board. The 2011 Excellence in the Media Honoree is Charles Osgood. This year's Alumni Hall of Fame inductees are Jane Brodsky Altschuler, Leslie Esdaile Banks, Bill Conlin, Clifford Schwartz and our very own board member Kal Rudman.

The student president of our "Future Broadcast Pioneers" for the 2011-2012 year is David Grzbowski, a junior at LaSalle University. He's the host and producer of SportsTalk Philadelphia on LaSalle TV 56, which can be seen on Philadelphia area Comcast. He's also the sports director of WEXP Radio, LaSalle's carrier current station. Part of David's responsibility is to help us mentor area communications college students at our symposiums, career nights and at our luncheons and banquet. Welcome aboard, David. Watch one of David's shows, in which he interviews member Vince Papale.

Watch Part One
Watch Part Two
Watch Part Three


As we do every month, we want to thank Broadcast Pioneers member Johnny B. Hall for his monthly cash donation to our DAP, Digital Archival Project. However, Johnny has hit a home run! When we opened up his July contribution, imagine our surprise when we noticed that Johnny had increased his contribution by 50%. August's contribution was the same amount. Thanks, Johnny! Our Digital Archival Project keeps on moving along.

Special thanks to Liz Matt and David S. Dubin for their contributions for the scholarship fund in memory of Mrs. Noah. Plus, of course, our thanks to all who have contributed previously and were mentioned in previous newsletters.

We want to say a special thank you to member Linda Munich the generous contribution she included with her dues. It is appreciated and helps us to continue to do all our activities. Thank you, Linda.

Also, many thanks to new member Angela Rogers, a director at 6ABC, WPVI-TV, for the generous contribution she made when she joined. We thank her so much. It will really help keep everything going. Thanks, Angela.

If you forgot to make an extra contribution (cash or memorabilia) and would like to do so now, it's never too late. We would be thrilled to hear from you at: PO Box 2886, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.


Beginning Friday at 3 pm, WIP Sports Radio started simulcasting on WYSP, 94.1, ending a long run of classic rock. The new logo on top of their press release said: 94 WIP, Sports Radio. Also, the station has a new lineup. Angelo Cataldi and the morning team start the broadcast day with the Mike and Ike Show from 10 am to 1 pm with member Michael Barkann and former Eagle All Pro. Ike Reese. Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow move to 1 pm to 6 pm followed by Rob Ellis. Big Daddy Graham handles overnights. Member Marc Rayfield, who is vice president and general manager of WIP, said:

WIP has a 25-year track record of being the premier sports station in Philadelphia and the move to FM is part of a natural evolution we’ve seen successfully work in several major cities across the nation. We’ve always been a great sports talk radio station – now we’ll be located on a much busier corner in a larger neighborhood. One of the best years in Philadelphia sports has just become better.

Listen to the end of WYSP!

Of course, when we think of WYSP, there's a couple of important names that comes immediately to mind. One is Howard Stern, who called in on WYSP on their last day of broadcasting as a rocker.

Listen to Howard Stern's call!

Another name we will remember belongs to member Ed Sciaky. We thought you might enjoy the following picture from our photo archive. It was taken on Ed & Judy's wedding day.

(Left to right) Broadcast Pioneers members Ed & Judy Sciaky
Temple Beth Tovim, 59th and Drexel , Philadelphia
Sunday, June 15, 1969

Listen to member Annie Haslam, former lead singer of "Renaissance," being interviewed by Ed Sciaky on Sunday evening, December 9, 1990 on WYSP Radio. During the interview, Ed played a song by Annie. We have put one second of dead air where the music was so that you continue to hear the entire interview (or at least all that we have).

Listen with Real Audio!
Listen with Windows Media!

NBC 10 and social networking service foursquare announced in mid-August a new and unique partnership that incorporates local news into the popular check-in application, giving viewers the ability to track news and information as it unfolds in their community throughout the day. The collaboration makes NBC 10 one of the first local television stations in the country to integrate news content into the foursquare platform. Chris Blackman, VP of news for NBC 10, said:

Local news is truly driven by location and the act of checking-in further connects our audience to the news we deliver each day.... Our foursquare partnership enables us to engage viewers across the Delaware Valley with real-time news updates on the most talked about and important local stories and to enhance the feedback and perspective we get from them. We expect it will be an effective complement to our already aggressive efforts to deliver our viewers the most compelling local news and information in the market.

NBC 10 has a deal with Raycom Sports/The ACC Network to air all 13 regular season football games of the Atlantic Coast Conference on NBC Philadelphia Non-Stop. It's Channel 10.2 over the air, Channel 248 on Comcast Systems and Channel 460 on Verizon. The first broadcast was this past Saturday Games was at 12:30 pm. On Saturday, September 10th, it's Rutgers at North Carolina. Member Dennis Bianchi, president and general manager of NBC 10, said:

The schools of the Atlantic Coast Conference have a history of great rivalries. We’re thrilled to be able to offer this exciting sports programming season to local college football fans.

CBS 3 and the CW Philly 57 teamed up against Hurricane Irene. Personnel from the American Red Cross staffed phones on the Friday before of the storm. They provided information on disaster and emergency preparedness and hurricane safety checklists to help families, property owners and businesses plan for the hurricane. The station's president and general manager, Jon Hitchcock (a member of the Broadcast Pioneers), said:

We are committed to working side-by-side with our viewers to help them pinpoint their vulnerabilities in the wake of this storm and what measures they should take in order to help reduce its effects as it makes landfall.

Member Joanne Calabria tells us that the recent hurricane caused the rescheduling of the annual contestant search for "This Price is Right" to this past Friday. It was at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Two contestants were selected from each market and each will fly to Los Angeles and attend a recording of the show. The TV show has been running for the last 55 years.

The WRNB format moved from 107.9 on FM to 100.3. Currently, WPHI, "The Beat" is heard there. WPHI and WRNB are both owned by the Radio One Group. Elroy Smith, WRNB's Operations Manager, said:

The move to 100.3 will expand the coverage area of the station and allow WRNB to have an even greater impact in Philadelphia.

For the second time in 2011, Wired 96.5 gets a new program director. This time it's Dan Hunt. Kannon, the current PD, returns to his previous position of Assistant Program Director and does afternoon drive. Hunt was previously PD in Providence, RI at WWKX. Hunt started his new job this morning.

Congratulations to WCFA-LP, 101.5FM, in Cape May, New Jersey, which is celebrating its five year anniversary. WCFA has an 83 watt signal designed to be heard in a 10 mile circle around Wildwood Crest’s water tower. The station is non-profit, all volunteer-staffed and resides in closet-sized space at the Center for Community Arts. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day featuring jazz, “Songs you can Remember,” an Irish hour, Latin music and even a cooking show.

Kudos to the area TV stations that provided people of the Delaware Valley with wall-to-wall coverage of the East Coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene. We saw a lot of the coverage and have added more than a dozen hours into our video archive. We must say that everyone did a wonderful job. We noticed that regular programming on Channel 3 was pre-empted and was televised on Channel 57. Channel 6's regular programming aired over Channel 6.2 (on Comcast on either 245 or 246). Channel 10 spent a fair amount of time simulcasting coverage on both Channel 10 and Channel 10.2 During our viewing, we found interesting this fact. Member Glenn Schwartz' explained why you shouldn't wade out into water during or after the hurricane: one cubic yard of water weighs almost a couple thousand pounds (a ton). A ton of water (or anything) hitting you at even a low speed (if you were three feet deep) would be enough to knock you over and that's not safe. The entire radio and TV industry did a remarkable job. Thanks.

How Hurricane Irene affected our members:

Ed Hurst, Margate

“I was invited to (member) Don Hurley’s home in Egg Harbor Township. Spent two lovely days. Was mostly worried about my awning, but it survived. Took me two and a half hours to get back in because of all the road closings! Bottom line, no damage whatsoever. We were very blessed.”

Dean Tyler, Brigantine

“I said it would be nothing, but my wife works at Borgotta and when they announced closing, we decided whatever they did, we would do. Brigantine declared an evacuation so we took off for Roxborough to my wife’s aunt’s home. We had some minor damage to a deck, but overall it looked like nothing happened. We’re on a very vulnerable corner between the ocean and the inlet. We were very fortunate and survived very well.”

Dave Coskey, Avalon

I sent my wife north for a couple of days and stayed with the stations, (Longport Media) We simulcast for 54 hours on five stations. (WOND; KOOL 98.3; WMGM 103.7; WILD 102.7; WBSS 1490.) The only live coverage in South Jersey.” Dave was on air with WMGM-NBC 40’s chief meteorologist Dan Skeldon swapping shifts and coordinating continued coverage of the storm. “It was an unprecedented step in broadcasting,” said Dave.

Maura McKinney-Mastro, Wildwood

“We heeded the evacuation. Taped all the windows, put everything up high and didn’t take a chance. We headed to North Jersey. It was really crazy, all the rivers were cresting and rising…we didn’t believe what was happening. We made sure all of our students (summer renters) were safe. And, when we came back, all we had were leaves in the street.” Maura can be seen and heard at the North Wildwood Irish Festival Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24 on the main stage from 6:30 to 8:30pm.

Dick Sheeran, Atlantic City

“We had a trip planned to Chicago, so we were out of town when it all happened. One of our daughters lives in May’s Landing, and they had more problems than we did. My storm memory will be when one of our neighbors saw us leaving and hollered, 'Chicken!' Okay, I was a chicken and left for Chicago before it hit!”

Frank Stone, West Wildwood

“We got out of Dodge and headed to the big city for two days. It was a tough decision to leave but the right one. The normal two hour drive took over four hours. We frequently called the house phone because every time the message line picked up we knew we still had power. We had well over 18” of water around the house. Some minor damage to the flower and vegetable gardens and water in the crawl spaces, but overall we dodged a major bullet.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: Our July 2011 Newsletter ran WCAU-TV video of Hurricane Agnes (with John Facenda, Herb Clarke and Judd Hambrick) from June of 1972. For those who missed it or for anyone who would like to see it again, here it is.

Watch in Real Video!
Watch in Windows Media!


(left to right) Frank Stone with Neil Borowski

Broadcast Pioneers was on the scene with Neil Borowski, Executive Editor of the Atlantic City Press during a community information meeting. The forum was part of an effort by The Press to get input and feedback from readers about issues that are important to them. Borowski was previously with the Philadelphia Inquirer. He told us:

We're the communities newspaper...sometimes we feel we can be out of touch, so we're here listening to the people, learning what they want to see and how we can do better, as well as gaining some new stories. I covered the business of broadcast media while at The Inquirer and know Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia well.

(left to right) Broadcast Pioneers members Dan Baker and Frank Stone

On the Scene also caught up with a popular Broadcast Pioneer “doing his thing” at Chickie’s and Pete’s in Egg Harbor, New Jersey. Member Dan Baker (Phillies PA announcer) was hosting his “Summer Nights at the Ballpark.” He does the announcing just like at the ball park and try’s to re-create the experience. Dan told us:

I have forty years with the Phillies as PA announcer and twenty-six years with the Philadelphia Eagles. I love doing it…I’m very lucky. I see the Phillies winning 100 games this year and going to the World Series and winning it! I’m proud to be a member of Broadcast Pioneers. My friend and colleague Pat Delsi got me involved.


In college, I was involved with a TV program called "Debate" at 12 noon on Sundays (on Channel 3). It came right on after "Bertie the Bunyip." I've met many people who remember Bertie but I haven't met one person who remembers "Debate."

Cardinal John P. Foley
Broadcast Pioneers Luncheon
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

As I begin my fourth year as Editor of our newsletter, I welcome your input, ideas, and suggestions about our format, content, etc. Without your stories and your willingness to share, there would not be a newsletter. So keep the stories coming! No story is too big or too small to be included. We need to hear from you! Thanks for your continued support.

Please contact us by e-mail at Contact us today and we’ll include your story in the next newsletter!

Photo Editor & Archival Historian - Gerry Wilkinson

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