Albany, NY -- Oct 6, 2009 -- Six of the state's most distinguished broadcasting legends will be inducted into the New York State Broadcasters (NYSBA) Hall of Fame on Nov. 12, 2009, at The Paley Center for Media, 25 W. 52nd St. in New York City.
Immortalized at this year's reception, which is slated to start at 5 p.m., will be: celebrated CBS News Sunday Morning anchor Charles Osgood, legendary CBS radio personality Harry Harrison, longtime WIVB News 4 reporter Marie Rice, Rochester morning radio fixture "Brother Wease," Syracuse TV/radio personality Rick Gary, and respected WGY radio host Don Weeks.
Rick Gary (Syracuse): Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, Gary is one of Upstate New York's most recognized and beloved broadcasting figures and has more than four decades of reporting and anchoring experience. After cutting his teeth at WBKY, the University of Kentucky's radio station, he furthered his skills at 11 radio stations in four states. Today, Gary broadcasts daily on Syracuse's Sunny 102.1 fm, which is also heard simultaneously on Utica's Mix 102.5 fm. In addition to his lengthy tenure on the radio dial, Gary spent 23 years in front of the camera at News Channel 9 (WSYR) in Syracuse, where he handled the weather for many years, served as a superb features reporter, and had a very long run as anchor host of the award-winning Bridge Street morning variety talk show.
Harry Harrison (NYC): Harrison is one of the most popular American radio personalities of the past 50 years. Born and raised in Chicago, he got his start in radio at the age of 14 after being confined to his bed for a year with rheumatic fever. As a result, radio became his best friend. After brief stints at WBEZ and WCFL in the Windy City, Harrison became program director at WPEO, Peoria, IL, where he hosted the morning show as the "Morning Mayor of Peoria." After five years at WPEO -- and helping the station rise to the top of the ratings heap -- Harrison moved to the Big Apple, where he spent 44 years with WMCA, WABC and WCBS, until his retirement in 2005. He is remembered for not only balancing the young sound of Top 40 radio with adult charisma, but also for a number of phrases, including "Every brand new day should be opened like a precious gift" and "Stay well, stay happy, stay right here."
Charles Osgood (NYC): Since 1994, Osgood has been anchor of CBS News "Sunday Morning", where he has earned numerous Peabody and EMMY Awards for his work. He was called one of the last great broadcast writers by his predecessor on "Sunday Morning", the late Charles Kuralt. A native New Yorker, Osgood also anchors and writes "The Osgood File", his daily news commentary broadcast on the CBS Radio Network, which can be heard four times each weekday morning drive time on radio stations nationwide. Each three minute Osgood File focuses on a single story ranging from a breaking development of national importance to a whimsical human-interest vignette. Some of these he does in rhyme, which is why he is known as CBS's Poet in Residence.
Marie Rice (Buffalo): During her 27 years at WIVB-TV News 4 in Buffalo, NY, Rice is remembered most for her stories that gave a voice to the voiceless. With her authoritative, classy and street savvy reporting style, the Ohio native reported on stories that intimately touched the lives of Western New Yorkers, including papal and presidential visits and the infamous environmental disaster at Love Canal in Niagara Falls. "In an industry once largely dominated by men, Rice was among the first to break the barriers that got in the way of women seeking careers in broadcasting," said WIVB President and General Manager Christopher A. Musial. "She rose to the top of her profession by being a rock of integrity -- a solid, steady and trustworthy observer of events large and small."
"Brother Wease" (aka Alan Levin, Rochester): A morning radio fixture and Rochester institution for more than two decades, Levin launched his on-air career as a morning music show host in 1985 on Rochester's WCMF (96.5) using the name "Brother Wease." The show, called "The Brother Wease Morning Circus", was highly rated in the Rochester market. In January 2008, Levin moved across town to WFXF with a new supporting cast and changed his show's name to "The Wease Show." Since switching stations, the show has developed a loyal and adoring following. Its success can be attributed largely to Levin's support of cultural events and recreational activities in the city, as well as his openness and willingness to share details about his life, including his three tours of duty in Vietnam, three marriages and six children, with his listeners.
Don Weeks (Albany): As host of the "Don Weeks And The WGY Morning News" for almost three decades, Weeks is one of the Capital Region's most well-known and respected radio personalities. His unique sense of humor, interviewing skills and "guy next door" persona have endeared him to generations of WGY listeners and developed a loyal and devoted following for the show, which has been tapped for numerous accolades. "Don is one of the most talented, trusted and versatile performers I've ever heard," said WGY Director of News and Programming Chuck Custer. "Don has been a TV weatherman, a Top 40 disc jockey, an ad executive and now handles everything from serious interviews to comedy. There's nothing he can't do."
For more information about NYSBA's 5th annual Hall of Fame visit www.nysbroadcasters.org.