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

October Luncheon
Bala Golf Club
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

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

On Wednesday, October 21st, The Broadcast Pioneers will present an exciting luncheon with our own live version of “The Steel Pier Show” with Broadcast Pioneers member Ed Hurst as your host. This is all about Rock & Roll. The luncheon will feature Ed talking with them about their appearances on his well-known television program. On the big show are: Danny & the Juniors, Billy Harner, Kenny Jeremiah (of the Soul Survivors) Billy Carlucci (of “Billy and the Essentials”) and Nicky DeMatteo. It's gonna be a ton of fun.

Plus, we'll include our very own special tribute to the late Jim Nettleton, a member of the Broadcast Pioneers. He was one of the original Boss Jocks on Famous 56 and a legendary broadcaster. Live on the phone will be Broadcast Pioneers member and former Boss Jock George Michael.

Take a trip down memory lane, back to the earlier days of rock and roll and the electric moments it generated across the country while capturing the hearts and minds of teenagers everywhere. The happening place is the beautiful Bala Golf Club, 2200 Belmont Avenue in Philadelphia! It's just minutes away from Channels 6, 10 and 17 and the radio stations in Bala Cynwyd. WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOUR FACE IN THE PLACE!

Plus, we'll have a Hula-Hoop contest. Practice now and be prepared to enter. The top four winners will win, what else, a Hula Hoop. Be there to cheer on the contestants!

Meet and greet (networking) starts at 12 Noon with a full three-course meal including salad, coffee or tea and dessert being served at 12:30 pm. There’s also a crudité and cheese table. The cost is still 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 reservation now by calling (856) 365-5600.

It’s going to be another great turnout. Be there and say hi to old friends (and make some new ones). Plenty of free parking. Get Driving Directions! You don’t want to miss this one, so get your face in the place, dust off those blue suede shoes, the poodle skirts and hop on in for all the fun and excitement! We’ll be proud to see you in the crowd!

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FOR BOARD MEMBERS: There will be a Board of Directors meeting before the luncheon beginning at 10:15 am. Please call and make your luncheon reservation and confirm your attendance at the meeting. Board meetings are scheduled for October, February and June.


On Wednesday, September 16th, we presented our first luncheon of the new season. We talked about the Philadelphia Eagles, past and present. We had an outstanding panel that included: Bill Baldini, former NBC 10, WCAU-TV newsman and total Philly sports fan; Tom Lamaine, former KYW-TV sports anchor and play-by-play announcer; Al Meltzer, sports director/anchor and Play-by-play on Channels 3, 6, 10, and 17; Jim Murray, former General Manager of Philadelphia Eagles Football Team; Vince Papale, former Eagle, sportscaster & inspiration for the movie, “Invincible” and Bill Vargus, former sports anchor at WTXF-TV, Fox 29 here in Philadelphia. Our moderator was Joe Pellegrino, former WPVI Sports Director & WCAU-TV Sports Anchor.

Plus live on the telephone was Broadcast Pioneers member Merrill Reese, the voice of the Philadelphia Eagles. Shortly before our panel discussion, there was an Eagles press briefing with the coaches. Merrill reported what happened at the meeting including all the details about Donovan McNabb’s condition and how soon we could expect him back on the playing field. Also, former KYW News Anchor Don Lancer said a few words about his long-time friend and co-worker Fred Sherman, who passed away last month. If you missed this luncheon, you fumbled the ball. Don’t miss October’s songfest.


“It was fun hanging out with a bunch of older guys…everybody had great stories.” Member Bill Vargas

“The panel was great! Everybody had something significant to contribute…I miss seeing a lot of these guys on the tube. Hell, I miss seeing me on the tube.” Member Joe Pellegrino

“I liked the diversity of the different eras. All of their perspectives were wonderful.” Member Sue Serio, Weathercaster for Fox 29.

“It's an honor to be here…every time is a great experience…this is great…good stuff!” Member Vince Papale

"There’s more love in this room than you’ll find anywhere else. For me it was one of the better times I’ve had since I retired.” Member Big Al Meltzer


On Friday, November 20th 2009, Broadcast Pioneers will host our annual Person of the Year/Hall of Fame Banquet. Early indications are this year is going to be a blockbuster SELLOUT! Be sure to make your reservations NOW by sending in the reservation form and your payment. This is an event you don't want to miss. The banquet is a consistent memory maker, bringing together broadcast legends then, now and future! If you want to be part of this history making event, be there! It all happens at the Bala Golf Club, 2200 Belmont Ave. Philadelphia, Pa. Social and “get to know you” at 6 pm; dinner at 7 pm.

Our "Person of the Year" for 2009 is:

Bill Wright, Sr.
July 21, 2009
Photo by Broadcast Pioneers Board Member Bob Kravitz

Bill Wright, Sr., former WIBBAGE "Good Guy" & WPEN jock

Our 8 inductees into our "Hall of Fame" will be:

Elliot Abrams, Accu-Weather's Senior VP, mornings on KYW Newsradio
Joanne Calabria, VP of Public Affairs for CBS 3 and the CW Philly 57
Renee Chenault-Fattah, co-anchor of the NBC 10 News at 11 o'clock
Mort Crim, former "Eyewitness News" TV Anchor on KYW-TV, Channel 3
Gene London, former Philadelphia TV Children's Celebrity and Host
Al Meltzer, sports director/anchor and play-by-play on Channels 3, 6, 10 & 17
Irv Ross, Channel 6's very first Director of Engineering, there for 50 years
Lisa Thomas-Laury, 6ABC "Action News" Co-Anchor and Reporter

We will also be inducting 12 persons into our "Hall of Fame" posthumously. They are:

Joey Bishop, nationally known comedian from South Philly
Jay Cook, former Program Director & Boss Jock at WFIL, Famous 56
Hugh Gannon, former sportscaster for WCAU (Radio & TV) and Prism
Powers Gouraud, the ol' nightowl, who ruled the airwaves in the 30s & 40s
Florence Hanford, Philly's pioneering TV chef who started in 1947
Wally Kinnan, the Weather Man, the city's well loved meteorologist
Siani Lee, former news anchor on WCAU, NBC 10 and CBS3 (KYW-TV)
Tony Mammarella, the producer for ABC-TV's "American Bandstand"
Jack McKinney, the telephone talk show host on both TV and radio
Jack Pyle, air personality extraordinaire for Philadelphia broadcasting
George Thomas, former announcer for the WCAU broadcast stations
Long John Wade, the pleasing voice of WFIL, Famous 56 and WIBG Radio

Broadcast Pioneers member Florence Hanford (center)
WPTZ, Channel 3
circa 1954

Tickets are on sale now. The reservation card is available here. Members can buy a ticket for themselves at $70. Spouses, friends and everyone else pay $90. This fundraiser benefits our scholarship program. In April of this year, we awarded to area communications students $12,000 in scholarships. Members should have already received an invitation and reservation card in the mail during the week of September 21st. If you didn't, use the reservation card link above.


The 2009 Person of the Year/Hall of Fame Banquet program book is the ideal media for your memorable ad. Join our prominent group of advertisers and promote your organization, agenda, corporate message, logo and value, to a select, impressive one-of-a-kind group of decision makers! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to create awareness in your own backyard! Full page ads are just $250. Half page ads are bargain priced at $175. Copy deadline is Friday, October 23, 2009. Forward copy and details to: Vice-President Frank Stone at Don't wait! Time is running out!

Did you know...

WDEL-TV Station Identification
March 1949

WDEL-TV, Wilmington signed on the air as Channel 7. The original plan was to be broadcasting by June 1948 with the television station; sister outlet to WDEL (AM). When WDEL-TV was supposed to come on the air in 1948, they were licensed for 500 watts of audio and 1,000 of video. By the next year, records show that the audio was now 5,000 watts (this 1949 entry was probably a typo). In 1950, records document that the audio was again 500 watts. Channel 7 broadcast from Shipley Road on the outskirts of Wilmington, but still inside Delaware's border.

Early WDEL-TV promotional material said:

In the heart of Wilmington, there is a statue of Caesar Rodney, the Delaware Colonial patriot who had faith in the future and served the people well. WDEL-TV, in the same spirit, has established the first television station in Delaware, using a silhouette of Caesar Rodney's statue as its station identification.

WDEL-TV is the only TV station located in this prosperous trade area. A fast-growing audience appreciates WDEL-TV's clearer picture, good local programming, and NBC, DuMont and other network shows. Consider the importance of including this rich market in your TV sales planning.

It was Caesar Rodney, who, in 1776, after a furious night-long ride on horseback, arrived in Philadelphia just in time to cast the deciding vote for the Colonies' independence.

Steinman Broadcasting, owner of the WDEL stations, also owned WGAL-TV in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It too came on the air in March of 1949 with exactly the same power as WDEL-TV. However, WGAL-TV was licensed on Channel 4. It would move to Channel 8 at the same time WDEL-TV moved to Channel 12. Until 1951, Channel 12 was one of four channels reserved for the City of Philadelphia. Channel 7 was for Wilmington.

In March of 1955, Paul F. Harron (owner of WIBG in Philadelphia) purchased the TV outlet from Steinman for a reported 3.7 million dollars. Harron renamed the station after himself with the call letters, WPFH. Shortly thereafter, NBC dropped Channel 12's NBC affiliation and WPFH had to run as an independent station. Almost to the day, two years later (in March of 1957), Harron sold Channel 12 to Storer Broadcasting for 5.6 million dollars and threw in WIBG to sweeten the deal. As it turned out, WIBG would become the real money maker.

For awhile, Harron continued to lease transmitter and studio space from Steinman. Harron had plans to move the studio to 2809 Baynard Boulevard in downtown Wilmington but the station was sold before the move was complete. Storer, then operated Channel 12 as WVUE from the Baynard address and a secondary facility out of Suburban station in Center City Philly. Storer planned to erect a broadcast tower in Roxborough (unclear whether it was for WIBG or WVUE or both) but never did so.

Storer thought that the only road to wisdom was to sign Channel 12 off the air and turn the license back into the FCC. They believed that it was impossible for an independent station to be a success in and around the nation's fourth largest market.

WHYY-TV signed on as Channel 35 in Philadelphia during 1957 and quickly applied for the Channel 12 frequency in 1959. WHYY-TV moved to Channel 12 in 1963 (Wilmington) with Channel 35 becoming WUHY-TV (Philadelphia), owned by the same licensee.

Years later, WHYY would follow Storer by turning back the broadcast license to Channel 35 to the FCC. Little did they know that Channel 35 would become WYBE, also a public television station who would fight WHYY for a share of the public TV market.

As WHYY-TV, Channel 12's transmitter was in Glassboro, New Jersey and is now in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia, while still licensed to Wilmington. It is the only known TV frequency to have its transmitter in three separate states while keeping its city of license in the same locality.


We’ve heard from Bill Bode via email that he has been diagnosed with Waldenstrom’s Hypermacroglobulinemia, a form of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It is sometimes called “the Orphan Disease” because only 1500 people are diagnosed each year worldwide, ergo no grant money, no research on causes or cures. Bode was one of the directors of "Action in the Afternoon." We’ll be thinking of you, Bill!


Just at press time, we received word that Broadcast Pioneers member Jim Nettleton passed away on Sunday, October 4th. Funeral information will be posted on our website when it becomes available. Our Rock & Roll luncheon on Wednesday, October 21st will include a tribute to this great broadcaster.

On September 12th, Broadcast Pioneers member Fred Sherrrrrrman passed away. He had done the business reports on KYW Newsradio for a quarter of a century. Most of that time, he worked with Don Lancer, who was (at that time) a news anchor for KYW Newsradio. Don came to our September 16th luncheon and said a few words about his friend, Fred Sherman.

(left to right) Steve Friedman, Jim Murray, Jackie Strauss and Steve Ross
The Remember When Team
WPHT Radio

Steve Friedman, aka Mr. Movie passed away last month. Steve had been fighting kidney failure for the last five years. He was treated with dialysis and was awaiting a transplant. He was part of the "Remember When" show heard Saturday nights on WPHT and was previously on WWDB. His favorite film was "Forbidden Planet" made in 1956. Friedman saw the film 178 times. He was the Philadelphia area reference for motion pictures.


(left to right) Gary Papa and Kal Rudman

Special thanks to Board Member and Vice President, Kal Rudman who has generously agreed to underwrite two $1,000 Broadcast Pioneers scholarships for this coming year. Kal, embodies the mission of Broadcast Pioneers and thanks for his support. Two students will be the better for his commitment! Kal has been doing this for several years and has been a member of our organization for two decades. Thank you Kal!

At the recent NAB Radio Convention in Philadelphia, one of our local stations won two top national awards. A past Broadcast Pioneers President and Person of the Year, Jerry Lee, owner of B-101 took home two prestigious awards. WBEB, B-101 was selected as the Major Market Station of the Year and the AC Station of the Year. Congratulations to Jerry and his team!

La Salle University presented Brother Gerry Molyneaux, a Broadcast Pioneers member for over a decade, with its annual “Faculty Distinguished Service Award in Recognition of Enduring Commitment to the Mission and Students of La Salle University.” Congratulations Brother Gerry. Well deserved!

The Philadelphia Speaker Series at the Kimmel Center has named Broadcast Pioneers member Wally Kennedy as this season’s host. Among the speakers are former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, actress Mia Farrow, former First Lady Laura Bush and New York Times Columnist and commentator David Brooks. Wally will also continue anchoring at KYW Newsradio and co-hosting Suzanne Roberts' television program on the Comcast Network. What an honor, Wally!

Broadcast Pioneers member Sam Lit is doing a live broadcast every Wednesday from 5 to 10 pm on It all takes place at Finnigans Wake Legendary Pub, 3rd & Spring Garden Streets. Philadelphia. Incredible food. It's an evening filled with tall drinks, no cover and a lot of fun. Free Parking is available.

Grady & Hurst TV Set
(Left to right - back row) Sod Vaccaro, Dave Mahoney, Bob Eberly, Al Alberts and Lou Silvestri
(Left to right - front row) Joe Grady, Patti Page, Mrs. Jack Pleis and Ed Hurst
circa 1952

By the way, Sam has been donating his talents to the Broadcast Pioneers by doing recorded oral history interviews with some of our members. The latest one, recorded last month, features Broadcast Pioneers member Al Alberts.

Listen with Real Audio!

Listen with Windows Media!

Sam has said that he has so much fun doing these interviews, he has promised to do some more. Thank you, Sam for a job well done.


Vince Papale worked with Channel 10 from 1976 to 1979 and with WFIL Radio from 1980-83. He played professional football with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1976 through 1978, playing in 41 of 44 regular season games. He is the subject of the Disney movie "Invincible," that starred Mark Wahlberg. In 2001, he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and has fully recovered. Currently he is Regional Director of Marketing and Senior Account Executive for Sallie Mae.

Peter DeFeo worked with Grady & Hurst, Bob Horn and Bandstand. Peter is a recognized SAG actor, appearing in over 10 popular films, as well as producer, writer and director. Peter is owner and innovator of IAS (International Artist Studio) involved in bringing movie production back to Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley utilizing the historic aspects of our region and the vast resources of the east coast.

Brad Seecof is proud owner of Meta Media Studios located in Ivyland, PA. Brad is well-known as a producer of television commercials, music videos, web broadcasts, documentaries and other broadcast related material. A graduate of the Temple University School of Communication and Theater, Brad Seecoff worked during his college days in Public Broadcasting in while out on the west coast in California.

Louis Beccaria is President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation and holds a Ph.d degree. He has nine years experience in local area public access cable television as a talk show host, plus additional excellent credentials in Coatesville, Pennsylvania on WCOJ Radio (which serves all of Chester County) as radio talk show host.

Dan Baker is Coordinator of Broadcast Relations for Drexel University. Dan started in the business in 1967, and calls play-by-play for Men’s basketball. He was Executive Secretary of the Philadelphia Big 5 from 1981 to 1996. Dan is also the public address voice of the Philadelphia Eagles Football Team since 1985 and the Philadelphia Phillies Baseball Team for the last four decades.

Gary Hendler is President and proud owner of Suburban Real Estate. Gary worked for the Universal Record Company in Philadelphia from 1968 to 1980. He was one of the top record promoters in the world and based right here in the Delaware Valley. Later, Gary served as Business Manager from 2004 to 2007 for Broadcast Pioneers member Hy Lit, one of the true legends of this market.

Monica Avery started in the business during 1965 as a production assistant at KYW Newsradio after her college years at Temple University. She was Associate Editor of Gazette Leader Publications, an anchor on WOND radio in Pleasantville, New Jersey (serving Atlantic City and the shore points) and WILM in Wilmington. Currently, Monica is a television producer for CBS 3, KYW-TV where she has been for the last decade.

Ed Kasuba worked in the late sixties for WSDM-FM in the windy city of Chicago, and WNDU-TV, AM, and FM in South Bend, Indiana. Ed is probably best known here in the Delaware Valley for his outstanding work for KYW Newsradio from 1975 to 2008. That's a third of a century. Currently, he is the Director of Corporate Communications for the Delaware River Port Authority.

A hearty WELCOME to each of our new members. We hope to see you at upcoming Broadcast Pioneers luncheons! By the way, that sets an all-time high in membership, now at 345. Each month, we keep on breaking the old records.


(Left to right) Pixanne, Gene London & Jay North

Singer/TV personality Jane Norman (Pixanne) has just released a “single,” "Gone Too Soon," originally recorded by Michael Jackson. Jane’s version of this wonderful song is being played on radio stations nationwide. Philadelphia’s favorite pixie just keeps flying and singing. Bravo, Jane!

Broadcast Pioneers Board member, Vice President and Newsletter Editor Frank Stone is pleased to announce his engagement to Barbara Farley of Cheltenham, PA. Barbara has worked in the medical records department of Fox Chase Cancer Center for 26 years and plans to retire. The couple will be married at St. Ann’s Church in Wildwood, New Jersey, June 2010, and will reside in West Wildwood. Editor's note: Barb is a big Broadcast Pioneers fan. She attended the June 2009 luncheon and is planning to be there for the Person of the Year/Hall of Fame banquet. She's looking forward to meeting everyone!

Polish Television Center (PTC, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia) interviewed Broadcast Pioneers member Frank Stone (announcer and part-time lead banker at Morey’s Piers/Mariners Landing Arcade) about working during the summer months with Polish college students. He said; “The students were fantastic! Have never been involved with such an enthusiastic, dedicated, hard-working group as these folks!” Sounds like a fun summer!

Members Steve Ross & Jim Murray host "Remember When" Saturday evenings on WPHT Radio. Last Saturday, they announced on their program that the show will now be heard an hour later. New time is 11 pm to 1 am and starts on Saturday, October 10th.

Member Bob Pantano has moved his WOGL "Saturday Night Dance Party" to a new location. It's now at the Adelphia, 1796 Clements Bridge in Deptford, New Jersey. The program airs on both WOGL and WTTH at the shore. The broadcast is now 32 years old.

Broadcast Pioneers member Corky Warren has been named Program Director of WSNJ, 1240 radio in South Jersey. He’s also the new “Morning Man” with a show called “Coffee with Corky” from 6 am 'til 8:45 am, weekdays. The program is also televised on QBC-TV, Channel 2 on the local cable outlet and can also be heard via the Internet, Good luck Corky!


This is the event that college students wait for all year! Once again, it's time for our annual Broadcast Pioneers Symposium. Area college students will see first hand a major market television station and will listen to advice from their staff. This year, our 8th annual event will again be held at the studios of CBS 3/The CW Philly 57. The date is Saturday morning, October 24, 2009. If you know of a college student who would like to attend, please let them know. Space is still available. Get the details!

A final thought...

“The only Maybelline I knew was the name of a cow!”

Chuck Berry

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