(Buffalo, NY) – WNED-TV will present the broadcast premiere of DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL: Great Moments in Local Broadcasting Mon., Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. (The 90-minute special will be rebroadcast Sat., Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.)
This nostalgic, upbeat program was produced by WNED in cooperation with the Buffalo Broadcasters Association. It follows Buffalo’s top radio stations and three major commercial television stations from the 1950s through the early 1980s, looking back at popular local programming and media personalities.
Narrated and co-produced by long-time WNED-AM 970 News host Al Wallack, the program covers the growth and change of radio as well as television news, sports, weather and children’s programs.
“This is a must-see program if you lived in Buffalo in the late 1950s through the 1980s,” says Dave "DG" Gillen, president of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association and director of new business development at WIVB/WNLO. “It’s a wonderfully produced documentary that will wow you with great memories!”
Great moments are brought to life through current and archival clips and interviews with 23 of the top names in Buffalo broadcasting history, including:
- News: Irv Weinstein, Rich Kellman, Susan Banks, Sheila Murphy, Mike Igoe, Rich Newberg
- Sports: Rick Azar, Van Miller, Ed Kilgore, John Murphy
- Weather: Barry Lillis, Kevin O’Connell, Tom Jolls
- Children’s/Local Programming: Dave Thomas, Doris Jones, Mike Randall
- Radio: Dan Neaverth, Jim Santella, Joey Reynolds, Stan Roberts
- Plus Lee Coppola, Dean of Communications, Saint Bonaventure University; historians Marty Biniasz and Steve Cichon.
These contributors also share their own media influences and memories of their peers and mentors.
“Only WNED could tell all of their stories,” says co-producer Lynne Bader Gregory, who describes the special as “a very entertaining and memorable look back.”
The program also recalls how Buffalo’s pioneering talents distinguished themselves and influenced the national media landscape — from the conception of Top 40 radio to exclusive news coverage of the 1971 Attica prison uprising.
While working on the project, Bader Gregory was impressed to learn about several national “firsts” that occurred in Buffalo. “A lot of stardom was born here,” she said.
Through WNED-TV, ThinkBright and Well TV, Classical 94.5/WNED-FM and WNED-AM 970 The Information Station, the member-supported WNED Buffalo/Toronto provides high quality programming and services that enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate Western New York and Southern Ontario communities. Additional information about WNED can be found at www.wned.org.
[Photos available upon request.]
Watch Clips on YouTube
Remember Rocketship 7? Commander Tom? Irv Weinstein and the rest of the Eyewitness News team? Relive the memories.
One powerhouse radio station pioneered TOP 40 in Buffalo and imprinted its distinctive voice on a generation. Relive the glory days of WKBW radio.
Remember when “Irv, Rick and Tom” ruled the evening news? Take a look back at the winning style and synergy of the Eyewitness News team.
A generation ago, superheroes and the “space age” spurred children’s television icons. Relive memorable moments with Rocketship 7 and Commander Tom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4trNDW_5-8