Irv Weinstein, the patriarch of 7 Eyewitness News who turned WKBW into a broadcasting powerhouse over a career that spanned 34 years and four decades, lost his battle with ALS this morning in Costa Mesa, California. He was 87 years-old.
Irwin Weinstein, or Irv as Western New York affectionately knew him, was born on April 29, 1930 in Rochester.
He began his broadcasting career as a fresh-faced high schooler, working at WHAM Radio in his hometown. With his distinctive voice and delivery, Irv was often used as an actor on local programs. His journey would take him to Iowa and West Virginia, before finally bringing him home to Buffalo and WKBW.
In 1958, the same year Elvis Presley entered the U.S. Army, Irv was hired by WKBW-Radio as a newscaster and news-director. Six years later, we welcomed him into our homes on black and white television screens, as Irv signed-on as news director and anchorman here at WKBW-TV.
Known for his rapid-fire delivery and famous alliteration ((pistol packing punks, for example)), Irv helped transform the local television market, taking the number 3 station, all the way to number one, forever cementing his status as a Buffalo broadcasting legend in the process.
Irv signed-off for a final time on December 31, 1998, a day proclaimed “Irv Weinstein Day in Erie County.” His retirement took him away from the snow to the sunny shores of southern California.
Irv was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998, and the New York State Broadcasters Association in 2006.
The beloved Buffalo Broadcaster was diagnosed with amyotropic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
He lost his battle Tuesday afternoon surrounded by his loving wife Elaine by his side. He is also survived by his daughters Beth and Rachel and his son Marc.
A remembrance service will be held Thursday in Costa Mesa, California. Irv's family is asking anyone wishing to make a donation in his memory to donate to the ALS Association.