Retired radio and television announcer John F. "Jack" Mahl, who was known for his booming voice and his trademark sign-off, "That's all from Mahl," died Sunday (May 18, 2003) in Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 76.
He was a City of Tonawanda native and a 1944 graduate of Tonawanda High School. During the post-World War II occupation of Germany, he served as a communications sergeant with the Army's 78th Infantry Division in Bremen, where he worked as a special-events news announcer for Armed Forces Radio.
His local radio announcing career began in 1946 at WHLD in Niagara Falls, where he worked as a staff announcer and news editor. He then worked as news editor and announced for WKBW radio in Buffalo from 1950 to 1953, hosting a late-night music program called "Spotlight Serenade."
In the meantime, he received a bachelor's degree from the University of Buffalo in 1952.
From 1953 to 1968, he was staff announcer and television personality for WGR radio and TV. During that time, he was known as the "Atlantic Weatherman." Dressed as an Atlantic gas station attendant, he would end every segment with a salute as he said: "That's all from Mahl."
He was the midday news anchor at WEBR from 1976 to 1981 and then news director and afternoon news anchor at WBUF, where he acted as announcer for the "Mark Russell Comedy Special," which was televised nationally five times a year.
Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers honored Mahl's broadcasting service in 1997. In 2000, he was inducted into the Western New York Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Mahl ended his 55-year broadcasting career in 2001 when he retired from WNED-AM.
A former resident of North Tonawanda, the Town of Tonawanda and Williamsville, he was a former member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, City of Tonawanda, and a current member of First Trinity Lutheran Church, Town of Tonawanda.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, the former Barbara L. Strachan; a daughter, Lisa B. Blackley of Ashland, Ohio; four sons, John F. III of Greensburg, Pa., Dr. Thomas C. of Williamsville, Robert D. of Buffalo and Daniel J. of Cheektowaga; and seven grandchildren.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in First Trinity Lutheran Church, 1570 Niagara Falls Blvd., Town of Tonawanda. Private burial will be in Elmlawn Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.