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N.Y. Broadcasters Announce 2012 HOF Class

Wallace, Berman, Hamburg and Shannon lead group

Scott Shannon

The New York State Broadcasters Association, founded in 1955, has announced six inductees into their Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place in New York City Nov. 1.

Entering the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2012 will be:

Mike Wallace, CBS; Len Berman, sportscaster; Joan Hamburg, WOR(AM); Scott Shannon, nationally syndicated radio show host; Jackie Robinson, WSTM(TV) and Rich Funke, TV and radio.

Mike Wallace, TV personality and well-known 60 Minutes correspondent needs little introduction. He began his career in broadcast journalism at several Michigan radio stations after graduation from the University of Michigan. He began in television in the 1950s and became the host of the nationally-distributed “The Mike Wallace Interview.” Wallace became a full-time correspondent with CBS in the 1960s and co-editor of “60 Minutes” in 1968. Wallace won 21 Emmy Awards throughout his career before he passed away on April 7, 2012.

Len Berman is an eight-time Emmy Award-winning TV sportscaster who covered Super Bowls, World Series and Olympic Games during his 40-year career in broadcasting. He worked for a number of major stations, including WBZ(TV), Boston, 1973–1978, WNBC(TV), 1982–2009, WCBS(TV), 1979–1982.

He is a six-time winner of New York Sportscaster of the Year. He is also an author, with his newest children’s book, “The Greatest Moments in Sports,” debuting on the New York Times best-seller list.

For 20 years, Scott Shannon has co-hosted the “Scott & Todd in the Morning Show” with co-host Todd Pettengill on WPLJ(FM) in New York City. In addition to being the program director at WPLJ, he also runs the “The True Oldies Channel,” a nationally-syndicated radio network heard on 60 broadcast stations.

Shannon’s first job, at age 17, was in Mobile, Ala. He moved on in typical radio vagabond on to Memphis, Tenn., Nashville, Tenn., Atlanta, Washington and Tampa, Fla. where he was an early popularizer of the “Morning Zoo”–type program. He starred at New York’s WHTZ(FM) and worked in Los Angeles for Pirate Radio. He moved back to New York, where he joined WPLJ in 1991.

Shannon has received numerous radio awards, including Billboard Magazine’s Air Personality of the Year in 1988, 1993, 1994 and 1995. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Washington D.C., the Museum of Broadcast Communications Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago and most recently, the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.

Joan Hamburg

Joan Hamburg is sometimes called New York Radio’s “First Lady.” She has been a personality on WOR(AM) since the early 1970s. The Long Island native began her radio career broadcasting consumer segments on the long-running “Rambling with Gambling” morning show.

Hamburg eventually earned her own show, covering topics including the day’s news, food, restaurants, as well as celebrity and newsmaker interviews. Highlights from her show are combined to create a two-hour nationally syndicated weekend show.

Hamburg is known for broadcasting from locations in the community, including Sardi’s, the Hamptons, Canyon Ranch and the Villages in Florida. With her daughter Liz, Hamburg is part of the first mother-daughter radio team in the country.

Retiring this year after 38 years, Rich Funke’s career encompassed both news and sports. Working for WHAM(AM) in Rochester, he was the first reporter on the scene at the Attica Prison riots. He was the first news director at WAXC(AM) in Rochester.

Moving to television, he was sports director for WHEC(TV) in Rochester in 1974. Funke returned to news in 1993, anchoring 5 p.m. newscast in 1993. Funke served two terms as the president of the Rochester Press-Radio Club. He won an Emmy Award while working for WTVJ(TV) in Miami for his series on violence in sports. He is a four-time winner of the Rochester Press-Radio Club’s Sportscaster of the Year award and has been honored five times by the New York State Broadcasters Association.

Jackie Robinson grew up in North Syracuse and stayed in her hometown. She joined WSYR(TV)’s news staff in 1978 as a general assignment reporter upon her graduation from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. In less than seven years, she became the station’s first African-American female anchor.

She has held many positions, including anchor, news producer, host of a local community program, weekend assignment editor and weather reporter.