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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2009
The National Radio Hall of Fame today announced its 2009 roster of 16 nominees and launched its public online voting process at www.radiohof.org
"The nomination of worthy radio professionals and programs from across America who represent various formats combined with public input into the selection process will result in a wide consensus on eventual inductees," said Bruce DuMont, Chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame Steering Committee in announcing the nominations.
The 2009 National Radio Hall of Fame categories and nominees are:
LOCAL OR REGIONAL – PIONEER
- Gary Burbank – the former Billy Purser began his radio career in the mid 1960s but took the name Gary Burbank as a tribute to radio and TV legend Gary Owens and his famous "Laugh-In" introduction. Burbank then dominated Cincinnati radio on WLW-AM until late in 2007.
- Art Laboe – the Los Angeles disc jockey, songwriter, record producer and radio station owner, was the first disc jockey to play rock and roll on the radio on the West Coast during the 50s. His "Killer Oldies" show can now be heard on various West Coast stations.
- Van Miller – the longtime play-by-play announcer of the Buffalo Bills who called games from 1960–1971 and 1977–2003. Miller holds the record for NFL announcers with the same team.
- Ed Walker – the Washington, DC legend whose program "Ed’s Play it Again, Ed" aired on WMAL and garnered one of the largest audiences in DC radio history. Walker currently hosts the nostalgia show "The Big Broadcast" on WAMU airing radio programs from the 30s, 40s and 50s.
NATIONAL – PIONEER
- Dr. Demento – the program created by Barret Hansen in 1970 that developed a cult following with its trend setting collection of novelty songs and comedy skits.
- Dick Orkin – the award-winning voice actor known for his humorous commercials and the man who created the comedy serial "Chickenman", which satirized the TV show "Batman."
- Suspense - the CBS program was "Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills" for over 20 years. The devotion to suspense over horror allowed the show to go in directions that no other show could go.
- WLS Barn Dance – the program debuted on April 19, 1924 on powerhouse WLS/Chicago’s first day on air and became an instant hit, introducing country music to the masses with a heavy dose of down-home comedy.
LOCAL OR REGIONAL – ACTIVE
- Terri Hemmert – a disc jockey known for her encyclopedic knowledge of music and especially the Beatles, the civically-active Hemmert made Chicago radio history in 1981 when she became the first female morning drive personality on WXRT-FM.
- Tom Moffatt – a Michigan native, Moffatt first gained notoriety in Hawaii at KGU-AM 760 and later as part of the popular "poi boys" crew of DJs at KPOI-AM 1040. A Hawaiian radio institution, he is now heard Saturdays on 107.9/Honolulu.
- Neil Rogers – a solid ratings king and outspoken talk show host in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market for over 30 years, the caustically pointed "Uncle Neil" recently departed his long-time home at 560 WQAM.
- Wendy Williams – a sassy talk show host for more than 20 years, Williams got the radio bug while in college and after stops at WVIS/St.Croix and WOL/Washington DC she landed in New York City, where the media spotlight and massive ratings followed.
NATIONAL – ACTIVE
- Neal Boortz - the opinionated host of the Atlanta-based "Neal Boortz Show," which airs throughout the United States on affiliates of the Jones Radio Network.
- Bob Brinker – the knowledgeable host of "MoneyTalk" on Citadel Media Networks for over 20 years, Brinker shares investment advice and analysis with his audience.
- Joey Reynolds – the legendary host of the nightly "Joey Reynolds Show" is heard nationally on the WOR Radio network, and was one of radio’s original "Top 40" superstars during the 1960’s.
- This American Life – the critically acclaimed weekly exploration of the off beat and obvious aspects of life in America is hosted by the curious and inventive Ira Glass, and shared nationally via Public Radio International.
The National Radio Hall of Fame online balloting is now in progress and will end at midnight on August 1st. Votenet, a highly respected online vote tabulating firm, will supervise the balloting and final results will be ratified by the Steering Committee of the NRHOF in early August.
Voting is free and open to the public; however an online registration will be required.
The NRHOF previously announced its posthumous inductees for 2009, who are:
Jose Miguel Agrelot – the first Hispanic ever inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, Agrelot was the most dominant media personality in Puerto Rico until his death in 2004. Known as "The Puerto Rican Bob Hope", Agrelot developed hundreds of different characters during his radio career, including his best known "Don Cholito." He started the longest running program in Puerto Rican radio history "Su Tu Alegre Despertar" which aired for over 50 years.
Harry Kalas – a Philadelphia radio icon who began his career in 1961 calling minor league games while he was in the U.S. Army stationed in Hawaii. Kalas made his major league debut in 1965 calling games for the Houston Astros before being hired as the "voice of the Philadelphia Phillies" in 1971. Kalas, who was also the voice of NFL Films, was nicknamed "Harry the K." Kalas won the hearts of Phillies fans and lived to see his team win the World Series, but collapsed and died on April 13, 2009.
Studs Terkel – the legendary host of his own program on WFMT/Chicago from 1958 to 1998. Terkel was known for his unique interviewing style, which showcased his personal curiosity for the common man as well as the politicians and celebrities who passed his way. An internationally acclaimed personality and best selling author, Terkel was also an inspirational figure and mentor to a younger generation of journalists and literary figures until his death at age 96 on October 31, 2008.
The National Radio Hall of Fame inductions will take place during a live national radio broadcast from Chicago on Saturday, November 7. Premiere Radio Networks will produce and distribute the one-hour broadcast at 10 p.m. EST.
For more information on the National Radio Hall of Fame and to read about and hear all past inductees, please visit www.radiohof.org.
Gina Loizzo MBC, 312-822-0512
The Kineo Group, 312-588-3379