Buffalo Broadcasting History
Hall of Fame
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1920 Nov. 2 KDKA, America's first commercial radio station, signs on
1922 Mar. 25 Buffalo's first radio station license is granted, WWT
1922 May 22 Buffalo's longest operating radio station, WGR-AM, signs on
1922 Sept. 15 License to broadcast granted to WMAK (now WBEN)
1922 Oct. 2 WWT, discontinues broadcasts
1924 Oct. 14 WEBR-AM (now WNED-AM signs on from studios located in the Howell Electric Company
1924 Dec. 31 WJTN-AM. Jamestown, signs on
1925 Nov. 9 Seneca Vocational High School signs on WJBP-AM
1926 Jan. 25 Seneca Vocational High School station WJBP changes call letters to WSVS
1926 Feb. 23 Federal Radio Commission is created by Congress
1926 Oct. 1 Clinton Churchill applies of radio station license (WAY-AM). Churchill randomly receives WKBW call sign.
1926 Oct. 20 WKBW-AM signs on with Inaugural broadcast
1927 Apr. 7 First practical demonstration of television between Washington and NYC
1927 Sept. 9 NBC Network is formed by parent RCA
1927 Sept. 18 William S. Paley forms to CBS Radio Network
1928 Mar. 11 WKBW changes dial position from 1380 to 1470 am
1928 Sept. 11 WMAK in conjunction with WGR, Schenectady conducts first television demonstration in Buffalo.
1930 Jan. 23 The Buffalo Evening News is granted radio station WRDA. Station never went on air
1930 June 26 WMAK changes call letters to WBEN
1930 Sept. 8 WBEN officially signs on; Buffalo Evening News owners
1930 Nov. 3 First broadcast of the Father Justin Rosary Hour, now the oldest Polish language radio program in America.
1931 May 24 WGR's Stoopnagle & Budd move popular Buffalo show to NYC
1934 Feb. 10 Ralph Hubbell conducts his first sports interview with wrestler San Cordovano
1934 Mar. 18 W8HX, WBEN's ultra short wave station becomes first 5-meter station to air a regular schedule.
1934 June 4 The first test broadcast of an FM signal is sent out from the Empire State Building in NYC
1934 July 11 Federal Communications Commission is formed
1934 Dec. 11 WHDL-AM, Olean signs on
1936 July 15 WEBR-AM is sold to the Buffalo Evening News. Begins affiliation with NBC Blue Network
1938 Oct. 31 Mercury Theater of the Air broadcasts the 'War of the Worlds"
1940 Oct. 22 Stan Jasinski broadcasts his first Polish radio program in Buffalo.
1941 May 19 WHLD-AM signs on from studios in the Hotel Niagara
1941 Feb. 6 WBTA-AM, Batavia, signs on
1941 Mar. 29 WKBW shifts frequency to 1520, WEBR to 1340, WBEN to 930 and WBNY/WSVS to 1400 AM.
1941 Sept. 6 WBEN dedicates new transmitting facility on Grand Island
1941 Oct. 10 WKBW dedicates a new 50K transmitter on Big Tree Road.
1942 July 23 WEBR-AM is sold to the Buffalo Courier-Express
1943 Mar. 1 After a 12-year stint at WGR, Clint Buehlman joins WBEN-AM. He would remain at WBEN until 1977
1943 Aug. 1 The Mother Goose Show with Mary Lawton premiers on WGR-AM
1944 Apr. 19 WEBR becomes affiliated with the Mutual Broadcasting System
1946 Jan 19 First broadcast of "Hi-Teen" with host Bob Wells on WEBR
1946 Apr. 27 Billy Keaton teams up with wife Reggie on WGR
1946 Nov. 11 WBEN-FM signs on at 106.5 FM
1947 Jan. 1 WHLD-FM signs on. Changed to WZIR in 1980, WRXY in 1984 and WKSE in 1985.
1947 Feb. 22 WBEN's first public demonstration of television at the Masten Street Armory
1947 Sept. 21 WWOL-AM, Lackawanna, signs on.
1947 Oct. 4 WWSE-FM (WJTN-FM), Jamestown signs on.
1947 Dec. 18 The Courier-Express files FCC application for VHF Channel 7.
1947 Dec. 21 WJJL-AM, Niagara Falls, signs on
1947 Dec. 27 The "Howdy Doody Show" with Buffalo Bob Smith debuts to NBC; runs for 13 historic years.
1948 Jan. 26 WKSN-AM, Jamestown signs on
1948 Mar. 3 WEBR-AM switches to 970 on the dial. Transmitter is moved to Cloverbank Road, Hamburg
1948 May 1 CBS links NY and LA with coaxial cable. CBS Television Network is born
1948 May 8 WUSJ-AM (Now WLVL-AM) sings on
1948 May 13 Buffalo's first scheduled live telecast; Consecration of Rev. Laurison Scaife on WBEN-TV
1948 May 14 WBEN-TV (now WIVB-TV) begins regular program service. Becomes 25th TV station in the U.S.
1948 Sept. 12 WBEN-TV present first live broadcast from Niagara Falls.
1949 Feb. 1 WHDL-FM (WPIG-FM) Olean, signs on
1949 Feb. 2 Chuck Healy joins WBEN-AM
1949 Dec. 24 WDOE-AM, Dunkirk, signs on.
1950 Jan 17 "Meet the Millers" begins 20-year run on WBEN-TV
1950 Oct. 25 WKBW moves studios from 13th floor of the Rand Building to a new "Radio Center" at 1430 Main Street.
1951 May 22 Dick Rifenburg joins WBEN
1951 Oct. 15 "I Love Lucy" starting Jamestown native Lucille Ball premiers on WBEN-TV
1952 Jan. 14 Jack Ogilvie joins WBEN-Radio
1952 July 26 After a freeze on TV applications, The Courier Express reapplies for VHF Ch. 7
1953 July 28 Niagara Frontier Amusement Corp. files application for Channel 2
1953 Sept. 29 WBES-TV (Channel 56) signs on
1953 Dec. 19 WBES-TV folds due to lack of income
1954 Mar. 13 First Network Color TV test on WBEN-TV
1954 Apr. 7 Construction permit granted to Niagara Frontier Amusement Corporation to build Ch. 2.
1954 Aug. 14 WGR-TV (WGRZ-TV) signs on.
1954 Oct. 3 WWOL-FM signs on (now WHTT-FM)
1954 Dec. 6 WBEN-TV's Santa Claus Show is the first telecast of a live color program in Buffalo.
1955 Mar. 21 Van Miller begins at WBEN-AM
1955 July 3 Guy King (Tom Clay) conducts famous "billboard" stunt in Shelton Square on WWOL-AM
1955 Sept. 12 George "Hound Dog" Lorenz joins WKBW-AM.
1955 Sept. 21 NBC purchases WBUF-TV (Channel 17)
1955 Dec. 23 NBC takes control of WBUF-TV, Channel 17
1956 Jan. 9 WBUF-TV, Channel 17, returns to the as an NBC-owned station. WBUF is NBC's first UHF station
1956 June 1 Rick Azar joins WBUF-TV (Channel 17) as weatherman and sports announcer
1956 Aug 16 WNIA-AM, Cheektowaga, signs on; changed call letters to WECK in 1980.
1956 Oct. 11 BC's Dave Garroway broadcasts live from WBUF-TV studios at 2007 Elmwood Ave.
1957 Feb 19 George "Hound Dog" Lorenz hosts the "Big Show of Stars" at Memorial Auditorium
1957 Apr. 1 George "Hound Dog" Lorenz brings Elvis to Memorial Auditorium for a sold out show
1957 May 20 WMNS-AM, Olean, signs on.
1957 May 27 CHUM-AM, Toronto, launches Top 40 Format
1957 June 19 WGGO-AM, Salamanca, signs on
1957 Nov. 29 Lou Douglas begins 30 year tenure at WBEN-AM.
1958 Feb. 24 Jim Fagan joins WINE as the "Mark Hall" voice.
1958 Mar. 3 Daffy Dan Neaverth (WBNY) and Jack Kelly (WUSJ) join WKBW
1958 July 1 "Night Patrol" with Jack Sharpe and Dan McBride debuts on WEBR/AM
1958 July 4 WKBW-AM makes historic format change to Top 40
1958 Aug. 14 WKBW Program Director Dick Lawrence hires Irv Weinstein
1958 Sept. 30 WBUF-TV (Channel 17) goes dark. Owner NBC cities lack of public interest in UHF band.
1958 Nov. 30 WKBW-TV signs on.
1959 Jan. 1 WBFO-FM, owned by the University of Buffalo, signs on
1959 Mar. 30 WNED-TV, Channel 17, begins public broadcasting in Western New York
1959 Apr. 29 Buffalo's first trafficopter takes to the air on WEBR-AM with reporter Jack Sharpe
1959 Aug. 17 WBUF-TV (Channel 17) signs on.
1959 Sept. 14 WGR-FM signs on (now WGRF-FM)
1960 June 6 WEBR-FM (WNED-FM) signs on
1961 Nov. 26 "Pic-A-Polka" premiers on WGR-TV
1962 Sept. 10 "Rocketship 7" makes debut at 7a.m. on WKBW-TV
1962 Nov. 14 WADV-FM signs on at 106.5 FM
1963 Feb. 16 WDCX-FM signs on
1963 Mar. 2 Ultravision Broadcasting Co, headed by Stan Jasinski, files FCC application for UHF Channel 29 (WUTV)
1964 May 1 FCC requires all new television sets must receive UHF band
1964 Sept. 7 'Dialing for Dollars" premiers at 9 a.m. on WKBW-TV
1964 Dec. 12 George Lorenz sings on WBLK-FM
1965 Feb. 1 WHUG-FM, Jamestown signs on
1965 May 10 Tom Jolls joins WKBW-TV
1965 Dec. 20 "The Commander Tom Show" debuts on WKBW-TV
1966 Jan. 16 WBEN-AM/FM/TV moves into former NBC studios at 2077 Elmwood Ave.
1966 Jan. 8 Fred Klestine appointed Chief Announcer of WBNY-FM
1966 Feb. 15 Courier Cable, WNY's first community antenna television outlet, begins service
1966 Mar. 10 Jeff Kaye's first show on WKBW
1966 Nov. 11 WNB-FM (now WJYE-FM) signs on.
1967 Apr. 1 WKBW jocks travel to Hartford, Conn. Switch with WPOP staff during April Fools Day joke.
1967 Apr. 22 Jim McLaughlin joins WYSL-AM as news director; would join WKBW in 1970.
1968 June 15 Sandy Beach joins WKBW Radio
1968 Oct. 31 Broadcast of the WKBW-AM version of the "War of the Worlds."
1968 Nov. 2 Vandals put WUFO, 1080AM off the air by cutting main guy wires to tower causing collapse.
1969 Jan. 6 WYSL-FM adds a progressive format from 7p-5a with Jim Santella and George Hamburger
1970 Jan. 10 One year after its switch to a progressive rock format, WYSL-FM changes its call letters to WPHD
1970 Nov. 1 Ramblin' Lou Schriver purchase WMMJ-AM from Stan Jasinski. Call letters changed to WXRL.
1970 Nov. 2 News anchor Chuck Lampkin joins WBEN-TV
1970 Nov. 26 NABET strike at WGR-AM/FM/TV begins on Thanksgiving Day.
1970 Dec. 21 WUTV-TV, Channel 29, signs on
1971 June 10 WGR-AM moves to 464 Franklin Ave.
1971 July 26 After 7 long months, NABET ends strike against WGR-AM/FM/TV
1972 Apr. 24 Jim Santella walks off the air at WPHD-FM after 5,000 album record library is cut to only 500
1972 May 28 George "Hound Dog" Lorenz passes away at the age of 52
1973 Jan. 1 WGR-FM goes on the air with the Top 40 "Super Q" format as WGRQ
1973 Jan. 29 Alan Costanini joins WBEN-TV
1973 Feb. 27 Jackson Armstrong's last show on WKBW.
1973 Sept. 3 Al Wallack, host of the long running "Jazz in the Nighttime" series, joins WEBR-AM
1973 Sept. 25 WKBW ends personality format; Replaced by music oriented "KB 15, The Great American Music Machine"
1974 Nov. 28 Kevin O'Connell joins WBEN-TV
1974 May 6 Jeff Kaye leaves WKBW to become afternoon man at WBEN
1975 Feb. 10 WGRQ dumps is Top 40 format and becomes Q-FM-97
1975 Apr. 13 WSBU-FM, licensed to St. Bonaventure University, signs on.
1977 Apr. 15 John Beard joins WBEN-TV
1977 Apr. 18 Public radio WNED-FM signs on with classical format
1977 June 29 Buffalo Evening News sells WBEN-TV for $25.5 million.
1977 July 29 Clint Buehlman's last show on WBEN-AM
1977 Nov. 1 WBEN-TV officially changes to WIVB after change of ownership
1977 Nov. 9 WBTF-FM, Batavia, signs on.
1978 Oct. 9 WKBW moves from 1430 Main St. to 695 Delaware Ave.
1978 Nov. 1 WMXO-FM, Olean, signs on
1978 Dec. 18 WBEN Trafficopter takes off for the first time with Dave May
1979 Dec. 3 Carol Crissey joins WIVB-TV
1980 July 4 WHLD-FM transforms into album rock format WZIR, Wizard 98+.
1981 Mar. 19 WGRQ's Larry Norton begins "radiothon" to break Guinness World Record for consecutive hours on air
1981 Apr. 8 After a record-breaking 484 hours, WGRQ's Larry Norton enters the Guinness Book of World Records for consecutive hours on air.
1981 Aug. 24 Bob Koop joins Carol Jasen behind the WIVB-TM news desk for the first time
1983 May 1 Taft Broadcasting sells WGR-TV to General Cinema Corp. Station call letters are changed to WGRZ.
1983 Oct. 3 Jacquie Walker joins WIVB-TV Channel 4
1985 Jan. 5 97 Rock goes off the air at 10AM, replaced by "Light" WGR-FM (WRLT). Entire staff fired.
1986 Jan. 3 After changing ownership, WKBW call letters are rearranged to WWKB
1986 June 1 WUWU, 107.7 becomes "The Bear," WBYR-FM Tony Magoo, J.P. and Tom Tiberi are among the first jocks
1986 Apr. 20 WSPQ-AM, Springville, signs on
1986 Nov. 15 WWKB host Weekend Reunion
1987 May 12 Tom Shannon joins WGR-AM as morning man
1987 May 13 Western New York Public Broadcasting signs on WNEQ-TV, channel 23
1987 Sept. 2 WNYB-TV (Changed to WNYO in 1996) Channel 49, signs on.
1988 June 21 Danny Neaverth joins WHTT-FM
1988 Sept. 20 Back & Rockin'. After a 3 year hiatus, Rich Communications brings back "97 Rock" format
1988 Oct. 15 WQRT-FM, Salamanca, signs on
1989 Sept. 23 WPHD fires morning team 'Taylor & Moore" and becomes WUFX-FM "The Fox"
1990 Nov. 14 WKRP's Les Nesman visits the 97 Rock "Turkey Drop" at the Thruway Mall.
1993 Jan. 11 WGR's Mike Rozeman and Pilot Herman Kuhn die after station trafficopter crashes in the Niagara River
1993 Nov. 16 Western New York Public Broadcasting dedicates new facilities at Horizon Plaza
1994 July 11 WUBJ-FM, Jamestown begins simulcast of WBFO, Buffalo operated by the University of Buffalo
1996 Oct. 30 WNYO-TV (WNYB) Channel 49 signs on as WB affiliate
1997 Apr. 4 WSJZ-FM becomes Alice @ 92.9 (WLCE-FM)
1997 Aug. 25 Sandy Beach returns to Buffalo via WBEN-AM
1997 Oct. 6 Tom Shannon returns to Buffalo via WHTT-FM
1998 June 5 After a 43-year stint at WBEN-AM/TV (WIVB), Van Miller retires from the sports anchor desk
1998 July 30 Buffalo Bob Smith passes away at age 80
1998 Aug. 1 WEDG-FM (103.3) morning personalities Shread and Reagan ride a Seadoo from Buffalo to Cleveland
1998 Nov. 8 Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets: First football games to be broadcast in high-definition television (HDTV)
1998 Nov. 20 After the 6P.M. newscast, Irv Weinstein announces that he will retire after 34 years at Ch. 7
1998 Dec. 31 Topping Tonight's Eyewitness News - Irv Weinstein retires from WKBW-TV after 34 years.
1999 June 23 WLCE-FM, "Alice @ 92.9" changes formats and becomes B 92.9, Dancin' Oldies (WBUF-FM)
1999 June 25 Lucky Pierre, Shane and Perry Allen among those in attendance at WHTT's Rock Radio Reunion.
1999 June 30 A "salubrious" career. Tom Jolls retires after 34 years on WKBW-TV.
1999 Aug. 15 101.7 FM WXOX (WBTF) becomes Catholic Radio WLOF. (Lady of Fatima)
1999 Sept. 13 WBEN morning shows moves to faster pace "Buffalo's Early News" format
1999 Sept. 25 At 12:01 a.m., WIVB-TV management locks out 31 NABET employees over a contract dispute.
1999 Sept. 30 Fire at WJJL-FM transmitter knocks station off the air
1999 Oct. 29 Mercury Communications sells WGRF, WEDG & WHTT to Citadel Communications.
1999 Dec. 3 John Otto's last show on WGR-AM
1999 Dec. 6 WGR-AM's John Otto passes away at the age of 70.
1999 Dec. 14 WBEN buries "End of the Century" time capsule in Niagara Square; to be opened in 2100.
1999 Dec. 15 Entercom Communications takes control of Sinclair Radio stations in Buffalo.
1999 Dec. 17 Fire destroys WJJL studios at 1224 Main St, Niagara Falls. Station relocates to West Seneca
2000 Jan 9 Jim Santella ends 31 years of commercial radio with last broadcast of Radiation Theater on 97 Rock
2000 Jan. 19 WGR's Tom Bauerle asked First Lady Hillary Clinton if she ever snorted cocaine
2000 Jan. 28 WGR-AM ends local news and information programming in anticipation of 24-hour sports format
2000 Jan. 31 WGR-AM becomes SportsRadio 55. Tom Bauerle teams with WBEN's Chris Parker as morning team
2000 Feb. 15 WGRZ's Rich Kellman is suspended after refusing to edit comments made about Buffalo Police Commissioner
2000 Feb. 28 Clay Moden joins the WYRK Breakfast Club
2000 Mar. 5 Ed Little ends a 62-year career in radio as he turns out the lights at WBEN's 2077 Elmwood Ave. Studios
2000 Mar. 6 WBEN's first day of broadcasting at 500 Corporate Parkway, Amherst
2000 Mar. 18 Meteorologist Aaron Mentlowski makes debuts at WKBW-TV
2000 Apr. 1 Buffalo becomes an electronically metered Nielsen market
2000 Apr. 13 Longtime Ch. 2 employee Joe Lentini dies at age 75
2000 Apr. 18 Original KB Top40 Jock (1958) Russ "The Moose" Syracuse passes away at age 70
2000 Apr. 25 Adelphia Communications announces purchase of WNUC-FM from John Casciani
2000 May 26 Stan Roberts end morning air shift at WECK-AM
2000 May 30 Jerry Reo becomes morning man at WECK-AM
2000 June 4 The Last Polka: After 60 years on the air, Stan Jasinski signs off for the last time
2000 June 5 WWKB switches to business/talk programming
2000 June 9 WHTT's Radio Reunion Weekend features Jeff Kaye, Don Berns, Jack Armstrong and Sandy Beach
2000 June 12 Jodi Johnson debuts on WGRZ-TV
2000 June 22 WLVL-AM, Lockport, drops talk format; replaced by good music
2000 June 23 Rick Pfeiffer leaves for Dallas after 18 years at WIVB
2000 July 13 Jim Pastrick named Program Director of WHTT
2000 July 18 Entercom Buffalo holds Grand Opening Gala for New Broadcast Center in Amherst
2000 Aug. 18 Kevin Keenan ends 17 year career at WBEN-AM
2000 Aug. 19 Sinclair Broadcast Group announces purchase of WNYO-TV from Grant Television.
2000 Aug. 29 WJJL-AM, Niagara Falls, studios demolished.
2000 Sept. 14 Buffalo's pioneer sportscaster Ralph Hubbell dies at age 90.
2000 Oct. 2 Inaugural broadcast of Adelphia owned 107.7 WNSA-FM, formerly WNUC.
2000 Oct. 3 Chuck Gurney ends 11 years a meteorologist at WIVB.
2000 Oct. 30 Former WUFO DJ Frankie Crocker passes away at age 63
2000 Nov. 8 WIVB parent company agrees to purchase WNEQ, Ch. 23 from Western New York Public Broadcasting.
2000 Nov. 17 WKBW-TV Meteorologist Andy Parker and report Stefan Mychajliw fired for "moonlighting."
2000 Dec. 29 Jack Mahl retires after 55 years in broadcasting; last job at WNED-AM
2001 Jan. 19 WGRZ airs Buffalo's first 10 o'clock news on WPXJ-Batavia Ch. 51
2001 Jan. 29 WNLO, Ch. 23 begins 10 o'clock news with Lisa Flynn
2001 Feb. 23 Disco is dead; Dancing Oldies, WBUF-FM changes to rock format.
2001 Feb. 26 Howard Stern enters Buffalo market for a second time; this time on WBUF-FM
2001 Apr. 23 Maria Genero returns to Buffalo via WKBW-TV
2001 May 17 Hall of Fame Broadcaster Ed Little passes away at age 77
2001 July 28 Jim Rome Tour Stop (WGR-AM) attracts over 19,000 to Dunn Tire Park
2001 Aug. 6 WBEN morning man Bill Lacy let go after 17 years
2001 Aug. 17 Kathleen Leighton's last day on WKBW-TV
2002 Mar. 27 Danny Neaverth's last day on WHTT-FM
2002 Mar. 28 Art Wander retires from WNSA-FM
2002 Apr. 2 Bill Lacy's joins Oldies 104, WHTT-FM
2002 May 15 Surrounded by controversy, John Rigas relinquishes control of Adelphia Communications
2002 June 28 After 22 years, Carol Jasen retires from WIVB-TV
2002 July 24 Cable pioneer, Adelphia founder and WNSA-FM owner John Rigas arrested for fiscal misdoings
2002 Aug. 29 Mark Leitner's last day on WBEN-AM.
2002 Sept. 2 WKBW-TV begins 4PM "WNY Live" Newscast.
2003 Jan. 27 Rock and Roll returns of WWKB with Danny Neaverth in morning slot
2003 Apr. 11 WECK's Jerry Reo retires after 38 years in radio
2003 Apr. 30 After a two year run, WGRZ pulls the plug on 10 o'clock newscast on WPXJ-TV

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