If there was ever a formidable time for broadcasting in Buffalo, it was between the years 1920 and 1970. This time period predated video games, and the internet, which brought us Amazon Echo, Spotify, social media, and selfies. It was a time when there were fewer technological choices to captivate our attention. Therefore, radio and television broadcasters commanded a lot more attention from the masses. According to author Steve Cichon, a 27-year veteran of Buffalo media, these broadcast personalities helped to make Buffalo what it is today – the place and the people.
Buffalonians who are familiar with the earlier era of broadcast media are aware of the impact that it had on this city. Nowadays, it’s easy to find weather reports in multiple outlets, but back then, when it snowed, the first thing people would do was flip on the radio or the TV – it’s how we got our information. These news broadcasters not only told us what we needed to know, they also became reliable friends, who we looked forward to hearing from day after day.
Did you ever think about Buffalo as the birthplace of radio? Probably not. But this city should be recognized, along with Pittsburgh, for its pioneering broadcasts.
“KDKA Pittsburgh is generally recognized as the world’s first radio station and its broadcast of the results of the 1920 Presidential Election is regarded as the birthday of radio. With the 100th anniversary of radio about to be celebrated, Cichon’s research shows that Buffalo had a similar broadcast that night and it was better received— literally and figuratively— than the vaunted ‘first’ broadcast.” – Steve Cichon
Now, Cichon has published a new book that tells this fascinating story, and countless others. This sentimental journey allows us to relive fond memories with our favorite broadcast personalities, including:
- Clint Buehlman and Danny Neaverth
- Uncle Mike Mearian and Rocketship 7
- The Lone Ranger & KB’s War of the Worlds
- Meet the Millers and Dialing for Dollars
- John Corbett & Chuck Healy and Irv, Rick & Tom
- The Hound and John Otto
The 432-page in-depth book, featuring over 600 photos, tells the story of the first 50 years of local radio and television. Altogether, that’s 100 years of storytelling, recounted by a media authority that understands the history of the business, and how it seamlessly integrated with life in Buffalo.
Available for purchase at buffalostories.com, a socially distant book signing is planned for Saturday, September 16, from 1pm-4pm outside of the JAM Parkside Cafe, 301 Parkside Avenue across from The Buffalo Zoo.
Sales of the book benefit The Buffalo Stories Film Conservation Initiative, which funds the storage, maintenance, digitization, and interpretation of thousands of hours of discarded Buffalo film and video from the 1960s-1990s.
Lead image: The book’s covers by themselves are a study of the century of broadcasting in Buffalo, with another 269 images, showing some of our favorite stars in action.