2011 Buffalo Broadcast Hall of Fame Gala

September 23, 2011 Updated Sep 23, 2011 at 6:45 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By By Kendra Eaglin

September 23, 2011 Updated Sep 23, 2011 at 6:45 AM EDT

Buffalo, NY

Six people became a part of Buffalo Broadcasting history at the 15th Annual Hall of Fame Awards gala held inside the WNED studios Thursday night.

"There is so much rich history in Buffalo, in broadcasting. People that started here have gone on to such great careers both here, nationally, internationally and it's such a privilege to be in a room with so much talent," said Heidi Raphael, a board member with the Buffalo Broadcasters Association.

The late radio news director and former WKBW personality Jim McLaughlin shared his talent with listeners and viewers across western New York earning him a pioneer award which his daughter and brother accepted on his behalf.

The first African-American radio station in western New York, WUFO says it would not have been able to receive its Hall of Fame award without its loyal listening audience.

"People of Buffalo have been incredibly supportive and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts," said Ron Davenport, President of WUFO.

As part of the awards ceremony the crowd got a chance to see the Buffalo Broadcasters Association's labor of love, digitizing dusty newscast tapes from as far back as the 1960's.

The tapes show pivotal points in history filled with unexpected and expected newsmakers. It is this work the Association wants to capture, showcase, and learn from for the next generation of broadcast professionals.

"We hope to be able to get a museum at some point in time to be able to not only display the old artifacts that we have from broadcasting but also to highlight all of the folks that came into the Hall of Fame over the past 15 years," said Dave Gillen, President of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association.

Also as part of the ceremony the Association announced a new award program called the "Buffalo Excellence in Media Awards" (BEMA ) which is geared toward professional broadcasters who are making an early mark in their careers. That ceremony will take place April 13, 2012.