A prestigious sports anchor for almost 40 years and NYS Emmy winner, Ed Kilgore
continues to take on the role as Sports Director for WGRZ-TV in Buffalo.
Holding several roles as a sports anchor, host, and photographer, Ed has watched
and played sports all across the country.
and raised in Oregon, Ed attended high school in Macon, Missouri, and continued
his education at the University of Missouri on a partial baseball scholarship.
He graduated with a Journalism Degree in 1969, and decided to combine both his
love for sports and journalism by becoming a sports anchor. Kilgore landed his
first job in 1970 as an anchor/photographer for WOAI-TV (NBC) in San Antonio,
Texas. He became the weekend sports anchor/ photographer for KTRK-TV (ABC) in
Houston in 1972, and in 1973 he decided to move to Buffalo to work for WGRZ-TV.
Kilgore has hosted several showsin his career, such as the Lou Saban Show in
1973, the Chuck Knox Show in 1979 and 1980, and the Jim Kelly Show from 1987 to
1997. He, also, became the intermission host for Sabres television on WGRZ-TV in
1978 to 1998, which led him to win his first NYS Emmy for the Buffalo Market in
1993 for “Best Sports Reporting.” Kilgore is very involved with the community,
serving spots on the Sabres Hall of Fame Selection Committee, Buffalo Sports
Hall of Fame Advisory Committee, and Bills Wall of Fame committee. Ed is honored
in the Kids Escaping Drugs Hall of Fame.
currently resides in Orchard Park with his wife, Debra. He has a daughter,
Shannon, who is following in his footsteps as a University of Missouri
Journalism 2009 graduate and now a student at the University of the Arts
London. In Ed’s spare time, he likes to golf, run, hike, and travel. His
interests include both music and cosmology.
A man who was known as “the master of the one-liners,” according to companion
Lynda Sawkes. His career lasted over four decades, Frank Benny was a very
popular radio and TV personality with a well-known on screen presence and
born in Chicago, started out his successful career at KISN in Oregon in 1963,
then came to WGR Radio for 19 year during which WGR won Billboard magazine's
radio station of the year award in 1977.
Benny’s popularity on radio led to an offer to become the weatherman for WGR-TV
Channel 2 at both 6p.m. and 11p.m., and he hosted “Bowling for Dollars” five
nights a week, along with doing telethons and a movie matinee. He did the
morning show for WYRK in 1985 and worked for WBEN from 1986 to 1989. He used his
wit on WENG, in Sarasota, FL, in 2004, where he co-hosted “The Morning Magazine”
with Scott Holcomb, and “it could be total gibberish, but his delivery was so
great, listeners would buy it” according to Dave McClure, his WENG boss. It was
then, when the professional broadcaster became the news director at WENG.
Benny’s traveling experience and the fact that he lived all across the United
States gave him a lot to talk about at the small radio station. Benny gave
callers all kinds of advice, whether it was a few simple words of knowledge or
advice about golf, one of his passions.
died, at age 67, on May 9, 2005, in Englewood, FL, from complications of
pneumonia. Sawkes stated, “He would have liked to be remembered with a
microphone in one hand and a golf club in the other.”
They say people notice when Les Trent is in town; whether the Inside Edition
correspondent is reporting top stories around the country on national television
or the fact that he is visiting his kids right in Buffalo.
Trent got an early start on his journalism career out of Seneca College in
Toronto. Before he knew it, he was no longer selling advertising and was writing
an entertainment column, but he began his broadcast career in Buffalo radio in
1981, starting as a DJ at WACJ-FM, followed by WUWU-FM and WBLK-FM. He started
his work in 1984 Buffalo television as an Associate Producer at WIVB , then
proceeded to weekends at WGRZ-TV, where he and Beverly Armstrong were the first
African American anchor team in Buffalo. Les Trent fulfilled his dream of
working among personalities, such as Irv Weinstein and Tom Jolls.
Trent covered stories like the Oakland Hills firestorm, earthquakes, and gay
rights movements in San Francisco at TV station KPIX after 1990. He covered top
stories of the OJ Simpson trial, Tonya Harding and the Olympics, and Princess
Di’s funeral while working for King World. He left tabloid show “American
Journal” in 1998 to work for the entertainment show, “Extra”, for two years.
Trent returned to King World’s Inside Edition after 2000 to cover more
top-breaking news stories like the 9-1-1 attacks to the Cannes Film Festival to
Hurricane Katrina, in which he was part of the first camera crew to get inside
the nursing home in New Orleans where 34 people died. Les Trent has truly done
it all, from interviews with President Clinton, searching for chess champion
Bobby Fischer in Iceland, and working for tabloid TV, covering Michael Jackson’s
legal problems and celebrity Britney Spears.
Trent has “never had a boring day on the job.” For over 14 years when Les Trent
was not working, the proud father traveled from his home in Newark, NJ, to
Buffalo to visit his kids.
“Think for a moment what your life would be like without
public radio,” reflected the Founding President of Developing Radio Partners, in
which Siemering dedicatedly brings information internationally to some of the
poorest countries in the world, Africa and Asia.
Siemering began his radio career after graduating the University of Wisconsin,
Madison, and becoming a teacher in Madison. Years later as General Manager of
WBFO, based at the University at Buffalo on Main Street, he let residents
originate 25 hours a week of programming. Siemering’s belief that radio should
be led by the people developed into “This is Radio”, WBFO’s magazine show. In
1970, Siemering moved to Washington, DC, becoming the first program director of
National Public Radio. Throughout his career, he has taken on Vice
President/Management roles for KCCM in MN, the Minnesota Public Radio, and WHYY
Inc., in PA.
in 1995 when Siemering began his overseas and international work with radio,
working in South Africa, for the Knight International Press Fellowship, and
became the recipient of a 5-year award for accomplishments of originality in
public radio, the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. His travels as a Program
Manager for the Open Society Institute include the international countries
Mozambique, Moldova, Macedonia, Ukraine, and Mongolia.
Siemering has been the recipient for several awards for his numerous radio
accomplishments, such as the Edward R. Murrow Award and Lifetime Achievement
Award, and received honorary degrees of Doctor of Law from Arcadia University
and Doctor of Humane Letters from UB.
interest in journalism dates back to the fifth grade at Buffalo Public School
#56 when he was named managing editor of the class newspaper. A year later, he
founded his own neighborhood newspaper. The Elmwood Courier survived for nearly
three years and distributed several thousand copies over that period.
young teenager, Meyer also became a correspondent for weekly newspapers operated
by Rocket Publications founder David Gallagher.
became involved in the newspaper at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, serving
as editor of The Student Prints in his junior and senior years. When he was
accepted at Marquette University’s College of Journalism, the challenging job
market spurred Meyer to diversify his interests. While still pursuing his
studies in print journalism, he became involved in the campus radio station. He
was named news director in his sophomore year, and became the station’s general
manager in his final two years at Marquette.
Meyer never took a single radio or television course, he realized that he loved
the immediacy of broadcasting. He was offered his full-time job while he was
still a senior at Marquette. Meyer became public affairs director of WBCS radio
in Milwaukee, hosting several weekly programs, anchoring newscasts and reporting
on crime, government and school district issues.
than a year after he graduated from college, WBEN Radio News Director called
Meyer and offered a reporting job in Buffalo. Meyer had served as a WBEN intern
a few years earlier. Meyer returned to Buffalo in 1982, serving as a street
continued to report on WBEN for more than 15 years, serving as managing editor
in his final decade at the station. Meyer covered a wide range of local issues,
including the reign of feisty Mayor Jimmy Griffin, hundreds of prominent court
cases and economic development. He covered four presidential conventions, a
presidential inauguration, the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in Florida, and the
return of Terry Anderson to the United States. He also spent nearly a month in
Los Angeles covering the first O.J. Simpson trial.
left WBEN in late 1997 to become a business reporter at The Buffalo News. A few
years later, he became the newspaper’s city government reporter.
award-winning journalist has taught communications courses at several colleges
since the late 1980s. He currently teaches courses at Buffalo State College and
founder and president of Western New York Wares Inc., a publishing company that
has produced more than 60 books that focus on various aspects of the
Buffalo-Niagara region. He has authored or co-authored six of these books,
including “The World According to Griffin.”
is a treasurer of the Greater Buffalo Chapter of the Society of Professional
Journalists’ College Scholarship Fund.
A Buffalonian right from the start, Mary Brady joined the staff at WEBR as a
switchboard operator after graduating from college in 1946. She always loved
music and began to work with the record librarian on a part time basis, but when
that librarian left the station in 1947, the job was offered to Mary. “In those
days,” Mary recounts, “we would pull half-hour segments of music by artists like
Guy Lombardo or Sammy Kaye. We also had a subscription service and took
afternoon shows from the Mutual Network.”
1950’s, the station’s morning host started adding time, temperature, and news
items and within a relative few years, the half hour segments and network
service were gone. They were replaced by disc jockeys and more music-centered
programming. Bob Wells used his afternoon show to develop the Hi-Teen Club,
where area teens could dance to Rock ‘n’ Roll records or live music. The
Hi-Teen show was the model for Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.
promoters, like Jack Reilly and Frankie Nestro, stopped by the station on a
weekly basis to talk about music and occasionally bring a star to the station.
music taste and programming changed, Mary had to track down the new music and
make it available. Music went from the relatively short “Sing Along with Mitch”
era to the longer-lived easy listening “Sound of the City” years to
contemporary, and then rock. Music was always changing, but it was always in
good hands with Mary.
career spanned the end of the fabled Golden Age of Radio through the transition
to easy listening and contemporary. She often had to develop her own cataloging
systems, and when a harried production director would run into the library to
ask for a specific piece of music or “something that sounds like” something
else, she could point, name an album, and say “blue jacket, second side, on the
3rd shelf in that cabinet”, and be right.
Western New York Public Broadcasting purchased the signal, news and talk took
the place of the contemporary format and Mary, who had always programmed the
music on the 94.5-FM side in addition to WEBR-AM, began helping Peter Goldsmith
develop an entirely new library for WNED-FM’s
she retired in 1999, Mary continues to volunteer, answering phones during
membership drives on WNED AM & FM.
“My mother's older sister bought a radio in the early 1930's. The world to which
we were introduced was amazing. It certainly had some influence on my career
choice” noted Margaret She graduated from D'Youville College in August of 1945
and applied for a job in radio at the Courier -Express -owned radio station,
WEBR, retiring from the same station, now owned by the Western New York
Broadcasting Association, in December of 1990.
started out as the "Extra Girl" which meant working wherever needed in
Promotion, Programming, Music Library, Copy etc. Eventually, Maggie was assigned
to Promotion. There she worked as “chaperone” on the popular Hi-Teen Show, a
program broadcast from the Dellwood Ball Room at Main and Utica, where area
teenagers danced to the current records of the day. Bob Wells was the well-known
host. Dick Clark modeled his national TV program after it. Rock and roll spelled
its demise. Eventually, she worked in Traffic and then, became secretary to
General Manager, Cy King, followed by Bill Doerr and finally, David Leopold.
used to say that I went with the building when it was sold once, and then once
again” Maggie recalled. The first sale was to Bill McKibben. There she worked
for Larry Grogran in the Commercial Department. The second time, it was sold to
Western New Public Broadcasting Association. When WNED-AM and WNED-FM came on
the air, Maggie went back working for the General Manager, Bill Devine, followed
by Bob Goldfarb and Dick Daly. “The introduction of the computer made it easier
to handle traffic, continuity and even the on-air Book Reviews which I did” she
recalls. After retirement in 1990, she continued to assist WNED with Fund
Drives and the Auction.
“The Courier Express had insisted that the radio airwaves belonged to the
citizens of the United States, and we were permitted to make a living as
broadcasters through licensing. We should always be aware of our debt to them
and do our best to serve them responsibly” she noted.
2010 Tim Russert Medal of Merit Award Recipient
The Buffalo Broadcasters Association is honoring Amanda
Ciavarri as its 2010 Tim Russert Medal of Merit Award winner, in which she will
received a $1000 scholarship from Time Warner Cable and the Broadcasters
Association. As a graduate of Jandoli School of Journalism, Ciavarri has been
one of the brightest students in years in the broadcast concentration, and she
shined as an intern with WROC-TV Newsroom, where she was selected as last year’s
New York State Broadcasters intern. She was, also, selected for the Bob Koop
Award, which honors an outstanding student journalist in the broadcast program.
Amanda is an excellent reporter, anchor, producer, and creative videographer,
and her some of her achievements can be seen in her work for SBU-TV’s weekly
The BBA created this award in 2008 in memory of Buffalo’s own Tim Russert
who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003. The award-open to juniors,
seniors, and recent graduates of Western New York’s colleges and
universities-was created to inspire young people who might follow in Russert’s
footsteps, pursuing his passions of broadcasting and journalism.
The Buffalo Broadcasters Association is also celebrating a Golden
year WNED-FM is being recognized for its 50 years of broadcasting in Western New
Buffalo’s classical music radio station 94.5 and home of radio show “A Prairie
Home Companion”, was launched in 1960. It was formerly under the name WEBR-FM,
but was later changed to WBCE, then WREZ in the 1970s. The Western New York
Public Broadcasting Association bought the station in 1975 and called it WEBR-AM,
but only a couple of years later, it was renamed WNED-FM and began to offer
classical music. It is the only station to broadcast classical music 24 hours a
day in the Buffalo and Toronto areas, and it, also, simulcasts classical music
in Jamestown, NY, on WNJA.
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