Beach has made a career of straddling the line of the conservative tastes of Buffalo, and has never let office or city hall politics get in the way of a good show. It's that desire for great radio, no matter the cost, that has allowed Sandy to be a Buffalo radio fixture for 35 years with only a few interruptions. Sandy came to WKBW from Hartford in 1968. Within 6 years, according to a 1972 interview, 2002 BBP Hall of Famer Jeff Kaye said that Sandy had "worked every shift on KB except morning drive, and improved the ratings in each part." His quick wit and infectious laugh have been a part of Western New York ever since at KB, WNYS, Majic 102, and now afternoon drive on WBEN (2003). A native of Lunenberg, Massachusetts (hence his long time sign off, "Good Night Lunenberg... Wherever you are"), Sandy's made his impact for over a third of a century in Buffalo radio as a jock, in programming, and now in as a talker, and always as a wise-guy friend just a dial twist away.
Her appeal as a newscaster and personality is on many different levels. She's smart, beautiful, authoritative, street savvy and genuine. Carol Jasen had a legendary 23 year career in Buffalo, joining WIVB in 1979 when she became the first female anchor at Channel 4. She was first paired up with John Beard, while also reporting for the 11 o'clock news. After John headed to Los Angeles, Carol and the late Bob Koop were the team to watch on News 4. Carol anchored the news at noon, 5, 6, and 11, with the likes of Beard, Koop, Rich Newberg, Kevin O'Connell and Don Postles until she "retired" to Arizona in 2003. Carol Crissey came to Buffalo from Harrisburg, PA where she was an anchor/weathercaster at WHP-TV but it would be Western New York that would welcome her as part of the family. "Buffalo formed me. Buffalo gave me a home. Buffalo made me feel welcome, and Buffalo really has formed my values, my philosophies, and I'm too late to change now. So this is what you get... I am a Buffalonian, and I carry it in my heart always," Jasen said.
Larry Levite spent the 1970's moving up and down Buffalo's radio dial breathing new life (and ratings!) into stations like WYSL, WPHD, and WEBR. When, in 1978, federal regulations forced the Buffalo Evening News to sell off its radio and television stations, Levite formed Algonquin Broadcasting to fill the void, and purchased WBEN AM/FM. Larry continued the tradition of the News stations by bringing in top quality talent in all facets of broadcasting, and did so through the deregulation of the broadcasting industry, until selling the stations in the mid 90s.
Buffalo Bob Smith Award
South Buffalo native Tim Russert is considered by many as the most influential television journalists in America. The current host of Meet the Press (2003) and NBC's Senior Vice President/Washington Bureau Chief observed firsthand the inner workings of government as counselor in the New York Governor's office in Albany from 1983-1984, and a special counsel in the United States Senate from 1977-1982. Russert joined NBC News in 1984. In April 1985, he supervised the live broadcasts of NBC News' "Today" program from Rome, negotiating and arranging an appearance by Pope John Paul II, a first for American television. In 1986 and 1987, Russert led NBC News' weeklong broadcasts from South America, Australia and China. In 1990, he oversaw production of the prime-time news special "A Day in the Life of President Bush" and in 1993, "A Day in the Life of President Clinton." Russert first appeared on-air for NBC News in 1990, and he took over the helm of "Meet the Press" in December the next year. Under this tenure, "Meet the Press" became the most watched Sunday morning interview program in America. As one of the nation's leading political analysts, this Canisius High School graduate has been the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees. With success that spans the globe, Russert takes much joy in his Buffalo roots and has never once forgotten about the hometown.
Golden Age of Broadcasting Award
Harry Webb came to Buffalo from Schenectady as a classic music announcer on the new WBEN-FM in 1948. At the same time, the Evening News was starting a television station. Webb soon became one of the pioneer staff members of Channel 4, when the broadcast days began at 12 noon from studios atop the Statler Hotel in Downtown Buffalo. In those early days, Webb join other WBEN-TV staff members including Ed Dinsmore, Ward Fenton and Jack Ogilvie in providing the news to an audience of several hundred. By the time Webb retired from newscasting in 1972, he had seen and been a part of the change of television from an avant garde indulgence of a few wealthy families to the modern global apparatus and definitive of disseminator information it is today. Webb recently passed away in 2001.
Behind the Scenes Award
It takes more than just a pretty face or golden voice to put on a radio or television program, and with the Behind the Scenes Award, the BBP celebrates the folks who are the guts of any broadcast: The directors, producers, photographers, writers, engineers. All the often nameless, faceless people on "the other side of the glass." For nearly thirty years, Tom Whalen was the man playing the records and turning the dials for Clint Beuhlman on WBEN Radio. Whalen served in the Army Air Corps during World War II on the communications staff, and joined WBEN in 1947. Soon after, he grew into Clint Buehlman's right hand man, and remained there until Clint's retirement in 1977. Part of the reason Buehlman's show sounded like he was talking to each person individually, is because he was talking to Tom about the weather, Tom's kids... Your AM-MC said often that Tom "was the nicest man he knew," and it came across in Clint's warm chats with Tom. Whalen retired in 1983 leaving a 36 year legacy as one of radio's nice guys, making one of Buffalo's greatest radio personalities comfortable, and thereby making you comfortable every morning.