The National Radio Hall of Fame has announced its class of 2008. Here is the full text of the announcement.
Art Bell — Showing an early interest in radio, Art Bell became a licensed amateur radio operator at the age of 13. In 1989, he was offered a five hour time slot in the middle of the night by KDWN/Las Vegas. The original format was a political talk show, but Bell switched the focus to paranormal-themed topics in the mid 1990s. At its peak, “Coast to Coast AM” was syndicated on over 500 stations and enjoyed an audience of 15 million. While Bell has reduced his schedule, he still occasionally hosts the weekend edition.
Jess Cain (deceased) — Long-time morning talk-show host on WHDH/Boston, Jess Cain began as an actor and appeared in more than 20 plays before and during his radio career. The “morning man,” who died in February 2008, was the first voice many New Englanders heard each day for 34 years. Cain was beloved for finding humor in everyday moments with his song parodies, quick wit, and impressions.
Howie Carr — An outspoken, conservative commentator, Carr has been on the air for almost two decades in the Northeast United States. First heard on WHDH/Boston, “The Howie Carr Show” now originates from WRKO/Boston and is syndicated across New England and parts of New York every weekday. Carr is also an award-winning columnist for the Boston Herald and a best-selling author.
Bob Collins (deceased) — Collins was a top-rated and much-loved morning show host from 1986 until his death in 2000 on WGN/Chicago. Known to his fans as “Uncle Bobby,” his show featured conversation, music and Collins’ folksy charm. The native of Florida had a regular afternoon show when he was only 14 years old and spent time at stations in Milwaukee, Los Angeles, San Diego and Miami before finding a home at WGN.
Michael “Mickey” Luckoff — The President and General Manager of one of America’s most successful radio stations, KGO-AM /San Francisco, he is one of the industry’s most respected managers. He also oversees the operations of KSFO-AM/San Francisco.
Charlie Tuna — Charlie Tuna has been on the radio for over 40 years. After getting his start at KOMA/Oklahoma City and brief stints at KLEO/Wichita and WMEX/Boston, he took a job at KHJ/Los Angeles in 1967. He has been an LA fixture ever since. Tuna was one of the original DJ’s at the legendary KROQ and can still be heard on KRTH/Los Angeles every weekend. He also had a 25-year run (1971-1996) on Armed Forces Radio, doing approximately 6,000 shows.
Dick Whittinghill (deceased) — Whittinghill began his career as a movie and television actor, as well as a recording artist who once sang with Tommy Dorsey’s big band. From 1950 to 1979, he established himself as one of the most popular morning disc jockeys in Southern California at KMPC/Los Angeles. His creativity and brash personality earned him millions of loyal fans, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Whittinghill died in 2001.
“Focus on the Family” — The “Focus on the Family” ministry was founded in the mid-1970s by Dr. James Dobson, a psychologist, lecturer, and author. Following a television appearance in 1978, Dobson recorded his first radio program calling for a return to conservative, Christian values. The internationally syndicated show has been on the air ever since and is heard on over 4,000 stations worldwide.