Meteorologist Don Paul, who completes a local TV hat trick when he joins Channel 7 in September, leads the 2016 class of The Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame announced Tuesday.
Paul, who left Channel 4 in March after 29 years and also worked at Channel 2 for three years, is joined by Larry Norton, who has stayed retired after leaving in December as the morning man at 97 Rock and had a 40-year radio career.
The class also includes:
Tom McCray, who has been known as Tom Donahue in a long radio career but used his real name as a Buffalo State College communications professor.
Like Paul, McCray hasn’t fully embraced retirement. McCray, whose voice is heard on several commercials, returned to Buffalo State last year to teach a couple of courses.
The release announcing the Hall noted that McCray is receiving the "Behind-the Scenes” award and “is being honored, not only for his lengthy, award-winning career in broadcasting, but especially his unique role working with several generations of students hoping to gain a foothold in the industry.”
McCray, who as Donahue has been the morning host on WECK since 2008, has taught many people who have gone on to successful broadcasting careers including Channel 2 reporters Claudine Ewing and Dave McKinley, WBEN morning anchor Susan Rose, sports talk hosts Howard Simon and Chris (The “Bulldog”) Parker, and former VH-1 President Tom Calderone.
Susan Hunt, the former co-host of “PM Magazine,” who has since worked on many cable and network reality television shows and also worked in local radio and still appears in local commercials.
A pioneer in women’s sports broadcasting, she has several “firsts” on her resume for women in the field. They include being the creator and host of the first women’s sports program, "LPGA Magazine," on ESPN.
Years earlier, she was hired by Channel 2 as a reporter and anchor during Buffalo Sabres telecasts when the station owned the broadcasting rights.
Steve Zappia, a former producer and director at WKBW-TV during its glory years, who is being inducted in the Al Anscombe Broadcast Management Category.
He was involved with Channel 7 from the start of the station, helping to make the old Churchill Tabernacle Building on Main Street become the original home of WKBW-TV, During a 33-year career at Channel 7, Zappia rose from cameraman to head of operations and was part of the team that created the popular program “Rocketship 7.”
However, he was perhaps best known inside the industry for producing the Variety Club telethon from 1961 until his 1996 retirement.
The late Nolan Johannes, a former Channel 7 news anchor who was the popular co-host of “Dialing for Dollars” in the 1960s and 1970s before leaving Channel 7 in 1982 to have a long and successful career at a Scranton, Pa. TV station. He died in September of 2015 at the age of 81.
The six new members of the Hall will be inducted at a Sept. 29 dinner in the WNED-TV studios.
At that time, WBTA Radio in Batavia will be honored for its 75th anniversary and Canisius College journalism student Stephanie Aponte will be presented the Tim Russert Medal of Merit.
In a release, Buffalo Broadcasters Association President Heidi Raphael said: “The Class of 2016 inductees represents so many different aspects of broadcasting. We are honored to recognize and welcome them into the Hall of Fame.”
If you are interested in attending the Sept. 29 ceremonies, tickets are $50 for Buffalo Broadcasters Association Members and $70 for nonmembers and are available at www.buffalobroadcasters.com