Class of ’17

Local Broadcasters Hall of Fame honors next class

By Jim Bucher

One of the cool things about growing up here with one of the few color televisions on the block was the fact that my boys and me enjoyed a slew of network shows and, of course, a wide variety of local offerings. Back then, area TV stations produced a ton—and you had to physically go to the TV and change the channel. How old am I again?

Who knew I’d take a broadcasting career path and end up with a 30-year, mediocre career on local TV.

When that part of my life wound down in 2013, it was a distinct honor to enter the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

The hall honors broadcasters every two years with an induction ceremony and wonderful dinner.

So, here we are in 2017, with an all-new class entering the hallowed hall.

“This was a tough year, as we had the highest number of nominees ever! We had 21, including five holdovers from 2015,” says Retha Phillips, a founding member and current board member. “The broadcast board was impressed with everyone, their bio, history, contribution to community service, and their awards of excellence in the industry.”

Wait, how did I get in again?

Here are the six broadcasting inductees:

Christopher Geisen – A popular co-host of the No. 1 rated Kerrigan & Christopher Morning Show on WTUE radio from 1988 to 1999.

Joe Smith – The longtime host of Clubhouse 22 on WKEF-TV from 1970 to 1979 and vice president of production from 1980 to 1986. (Can we write in Duffy the Dog?)

John King – He and Terry Dorsey hosted the popular King & Dorsey Show on WING radio in the 1980s. Presently, he is the senior vice president/market manager at Alpha Media USA in Dayton, Ohio.

Natasha Williams – Presently an anchor and reporter at WKEF-TV, Natasha has a long history in the broadcasting industry dating back to 1990 as well as a long career at WHIO.

Jeff Stevens – Currently serves as senior vice president of programming at iHeartMedia/Dayton, program director at WMMX, and morning show co-host of the Jeff, Gina and Dave Show.

James (Jim) Otte – He is the reporter/producer of the WHIO I-team at WHIO-TV and the host of WHIO Reports, a weekly public affairs program. His tenure with the station dates to 1988.

Some inductees are broadcasting pioneers, and one a Community Service Award honoree for 2017. Now, “These are people who were on the cutting edge of live television,” Retha says. “It was their talent that brought local television to the forefront and made people want to stay home and watch the news and live local entertainment.”

Dick Bieser – Beginning his broadcasting career in 1952, in his hometown of Centralia, Illinois. Dick worked at WHIO-TV from 1965 to 1993.

Ed Hamlyn – He was the former news director at WDTN television. He was born in Hamilton, Ohio, in 1917. By the way, happy 100th birthday, Ed!

Joe Rockhold – He hosted one of the first live entertainment television shows in the Dayton area on WHIO-TV and created the popular character Uncle Orrie—one of the shows we watched as kids.

Jack Jacobson – A man of many characters, and a regular on the Uncle Orrie Show, Jacobson created many popular characters, including Nosey the Clown.

Finally, this year’s Community Service award will be given to… drum roll, please:

Judge Alice O. McCollum – The first woman to serve on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Probate Division and recipient of this year’s Community Service Award.

The 11 will be honored with a ceremony at the University of Dayton Marriott on Thursday, Sept. 21.

One of the six main inductees is my good friend, Jeff Stevens at MIX 107.7. He’s been getting up very early for quite some time now, entertaining us with music and pop culture facts, plus traffic and weather together on the 10s. He should get an award for that.

“To think [back] when beginning my career in high school, making announcements on the PA, later pretending to be Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman in front of the TV with the volume turned down, and now [to] becoming a member of the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame is surreal,” Jeff says. “I am truly humbled.”

There you have it, the newest members of the hall. Now, maybe they’ll move my picture at the Convention Center down and away from the men’s room. Adding more members has its advantages.

Cheers, and happy TV viewing.

Buch

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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