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Tom Jolls 'surprised and honored' to enter state Broadcasters Hall of Fame

It has been a “salubrious” summer for legendary WKBW-TV weatherman Tom Jolls.

Jolls, who was part of the famous Channel 7 trio with news anchor Irv Weinstein and sportscaster Rick Azar that dominated local news ratings in Western New York for generations, learned that he is finally is entering the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

“I was very surprised and honored,” said Jolls in a telephone interview. “I kind of forgot about the organization. It’s been 20 years since I retired, and I felt I had probably fallen into the cracks.”

Jolls, who also was known as Commander Tom on a popular children’s television show in Buffalo, began his career in 1951 in radio at WUSJ in Lockport.

He is joined in the 2019 class by New York city sports talk radio host and NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, New York City anchor Diana Williams and Syracuse radio co-hosts Ted Long and Amy Robbins.

The Class of 2019 will be inducted at the Broadcast Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon in New York City on Oct. 17.

Jolls said his wife, Janice, and his six children and their spouses will be there.

The iconic trio at WKBW Channel 7 of Irv Weinstein, Rick Azar and Tom Jolls. (News file photo)

“I’m very excited, very lucky and very happy,” said Jolls, whose "Weather Outside" segment on Eyewitness News included his weather word of the day, none more well-known than "salubrious."

He joins a list of legendary New York State Hall of Famers with Buffalo ties that includes Sandy Beach, Phil Beuth, Frank Crocker, George Lorenz, Van Miller, Chris Musial, Dan Neaverth, Bill Ransom, Marie Rice and Irv Weinstein.

Weinstein was inducted in 2006.

Who is missing? Azar.

After all, it was Irv, Rick and Tom.

He belongs in the company of his teammates but has yet to be honored.


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