Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
Staff Review by Patricia Covley:
For those of us of a certain age, Irv, Rick and Tom (especially Irv) WERE the news. Irv! tells the story of Buffalo’s long-standing Channel 7 “Eyewitness News” Team. The book opens with a brief description of the team, followed by the stories of what brought each team member to Channel 7. Bet you didn’t know that when he was eighteen, Irv took a train across the country from his native Rochester to Hollywood, hoping to break into the movies! We can’t imagine Irv doing anything but delivering the news, but he delivered mail and was even a paint salesman at Sears. He had a circuitous journey to Channel 7.
Rick Azar (born Ricardo Carballada) worked in the insurance industry in Hartford when he got out of college, but he too had the acting bug. He tried to break into Broadway and eventually caught on with a touring company in Chicago. After the tour was over, Azar intended to continue acting, but after taking a temporary job at a Niagara Falls radio station he fell in love with a local woman. He made the decision to give up acting.
Tom Jolls’ first announcing job was in high school when he would make the announcements over the loudspeaker. He never wanted to be anything but a broadcaster. He broke into early television and was then an announcer for local radio stations.
From 1964 until Azar’s retirement in 1989, Irv, Rick and Tom were an amazing team. They took the third-ranked local station (and there was a HUGE gap between second and third) and rode it to the top. Irv! tells the story of their journeys to television news and of the unique relationship the three of them shared. This book is a fun vehicle for reminiscence for those of us who grew up watching “Eyewitness News.”
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