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VAB Recognizes Broadcasters at Hall of Fame Banquet

Radio, TV personnel honored in Burlington

Louie Manno and Dan Dubonnet, Recent Vermont Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame Inductees Photo by Jay Austin

The Vermont Association of Broadcasters says a “record” crowd attended its Dec.7 Hall of Fame Banquet at the Hilton Burlington, in Burlington, Vt. Radio personality Louie Manno and Hall Communications Vice President and General Manager Dan Dubonnet were inducted at a ceremony that evening.

Manno, a disc jockey and talk show host in the Burlington market, was introduced by radio partner Jim Condon, who read a comment from Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who recalled having to pull his car over because he was laughing so hard at a parody of himself called “Pat-Man.”

Dubonnet was introduced into the Hall of Fame by his daughter, Kate Dubenetsky, a third-generation employee of Hall Communications. He was named general manager of WJOY(AM) and WQCR(FM) in 1989 and, under his leadership, the group added WKOL(FM), WBTZ(FM) and WIZN(FM). He has also served multiple terms as VAB president.

Also at the banquet, Jeff Shapiro, owner of Great Eastern Radio, was given the VAB Broadcaster of the Year award. In 2012, he purchased five Vermont radio stations from Nassau Broadcasting in a bankruptcy proceeding, and he has since helped those stations prosper, as a proponent of local broadcasting and community involvement.

Distinguished Service Awards were presented to Ross Sneyd of Plainfield, Vt., and Brian Collamore of Rutland, Vt.

Sneyd was a panelist on VPT’s “Vermont This Week” for more than 20 years and served as a news reporter and news director for Vermont Public Radio for six years before leaving broadcast journalism to join National Life in Montpelier earlier this year.

Collamore has been in the Rutland market for more than 40 years, starting as a disc jockey at WHWB(AM/FM). He joined WSYB(AM) in 1974 and has been on the air since, at WSYB, WZRT(FM) and WDVT(FM). He has co-hosted the “Proctor Gas Morning Show” daily since 1995. His sales career began in 1978, and he was named Catamount’s general sales manager in 2006.

Jenny Day, news reporter at FOX44/ABC22, was presented with the Alan Noyes Community Service Award. In 2012, Day took to the airwaves with stories about cancer, including her own. Her story triggered a station-wide campaign with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness about cancer prevention and early detection.

Judy Anderson of WJEN(FM) in Rutland also won a Community Service Award. Anderson, who lost her husband to cancer in 2011, was co-chair for publicity for the annual Relay for Life of Rutland County. This year’s event raised $200,000, according to a release.

The VAB’s third Community Service Award was presented to Roland Lajoie of Morrisville’s WLVB(FM). In 2000, Lajoie was approached by Chris Potter to start a campaign to collect frozen turkeys for needy families. The first year, 250 turkeys were collected, then Potter died of cancer. Last year, the WLVB Chris’ Challenge Turkey Drive collected 1,344 turkeys and $2,000 cash for five local food shelf operators.