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Broadcasters Hall announces '11 class

Cosmic Cowboy Shane Gibson will be joining WIVB-TV Channel 4 news anchor Jacquie Walker and the late radio newsman Jim McLaughlin in the 2011 Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, it was announced Wednesday.

Walker, who will mark her 28th year at Channel 4 on Oct. 3, anchors evening newscasts at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11. She won two national Edward R. Murrow awards for coverage of the crash of Continental Flight 3407. Her tenure is a milestone for women in local television anchoring.

"There is no other woman who has been able to stay an anchor at a same station for that long," Walker said. "It's a difficult and demanding business.

"When I began here after working in Rochester for four years, we had a 6 and 11 o'clock newscast," she added. "Now, I have two Facebook pages and a Twitter account, so viewers are constantly interacting with us. That has changed the way we deliver news, and in some ways, it isn't necessarily better because instant news is not complete news."

Also joining the Class of 2011 will be Channel 4 news producer Vic Baker, former WGRZ-TV Channel 2 sales manager Don Angelo and former WKBW-AM 1520 DJ Dick Biondi.

WUFO-AM 1080, Western New York's first radio station programming to the African-American community, also will be celebrated for 50 years of broadcasting.

"Shane Brother Shane" Gibson launched his radio career in Buffalo after finishing second in the "Great American Talent Hunt" on WKBW in 1973. Several months later he started at the radio station, working nights. He moved in 1974 to WYSL-AM 1400, and served two stints as program director at WGR-AM 550 before leaving for good in 1989. Gibson joined the Professional Golf Association in 2002, and now is a golf instructor in Richmond, Va.

McLaughlin, an Army veteran, worked in Buffalo as the news director of WYSL in the late 1960s before starting at WKBW, where he worked from 1970 to 1978. During the Attica prison riots of 1971, he provided coverage from inside the prison.

In 1979 while working on WBEN-AM 930's "Newsday," McLaughlin won the New York State Associated Press Award for best radio news program. He retired for health reasons in 1987 and died in November 1993 at age 59.

Through 50 years of radio, Biondi worked for at least 15 stations in several markets, starting in the early '50s at WCBA-AM 1350 in Corning.

Known by many as the "Wild Italian," Biondi had a legendary temper. He lasted at WKBW for two years -- 1958 and 1959 -- before he was fired.

Channel 4 news producer Vic Baker started his career in 1969 at the former WBUZ-AM 1570 in Fredonia. He later became the news director and assistant general manager at WCVF-FM 88.9 in Fredonia.

Baker was hired at Channel 4 as a full-time reporter in 1975 and became a producer in 1976. He left in 1979 for WKBW-TV Channel 7; 14 months later, he returned to Channel 4.

Angelo, called the pillar of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, had a 44-year career in broadcasting, including positions in news, programming, production, sales, management and ownership at eight radio stations and four television stations in four Northeast markets.

He joined the Gannett Corp. in 1997 as local sales manager at WGRZ-TV, and finished his career in management, retiring in 2007.

Ceremonies honoring the inductees will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 inside the studios of WNED-TV, 140 Lower Terrace.

email: jkwiatkowski@buffnews.com

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