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Vermont Association of Broadcasters Announces 2016 HOF Class

Broadcasters honored for contributions in and out of the station

Dean Slack

Vermont Association of Broadcasters has announced its 2016 Hall of Fame inductees. Induction will take place Dec. 3 at the Hilton Burlington.

The honorees are Dean Slack, the late Burlington radio personality and manager; WPTZ(TV) meteorologist Tom Messner; and WCAX(TV) weather anchor Sharon Meyer. Rod Hill has been named 2016 Broadcaster of the Year. Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to WCAX senior news photographer Bob Davis and radio personality/salesperson Bob Sherman. WFFF(TV)/WVNY(TV) is the 2016 winner of the Alan Noyes Community Service Award for their efforts to beautify Little River State Park in Waterbury.

Slack joined WCAX(AM) radio (now WVMT) in 1950 and went to WJOY(AM) in 1954, when he was considered the market’s top disc jockey. WVMT hired him as sales manager and announcer in 1965. He covered the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble for the station. He later became general manager of WVNY(TV) and WVNY(FM) radio (now WEZF), but moved out of state in 1974 after buying stations in New Hampshire and New York. He passed away in Corning, N.Y., in 2014.

Messner joined WPTZ in 1990 and he has spent hundreds of hours visiting local classrooms to talk about meteorology. His forecasts have been seen on the “Today” show, MSNBC and The Weather Channel.

Meyer became the lead forecaster and director of the WCAX weather department in 1990, when she took over for Stuart Hall. She is regularly featured on NESN Red Sox broadcasts.

Rod Hill

Hill is the co-host of WOKO(FM)’s “Morning Roundup” and is the PD for WKOL(FM). He is also responsible for day-to-day engineering duties and IT work for all five Hall stations in the region. He has helped lead fundraising campaigns for Camp Ta-Kum-Ta and the Vermont Children’s Hospital.

Davis has been covering news for WCAX for more than 30 years, and is considered one of the best at his craft. He’s received Edward R. Morrow awards, a Peabody award and a Dupont award, for coverage ranging from “presidential campaigns to cats stuck in trees — and almost everything in between.”

Sherman has also won many awards during his career. He was a manager, announcer and salesperson at WTSL(AM) from 1978 until 1985, when he joined the staff at WVMT(AM). He returned to WTSL and its sister stations in 1990, and is currently a senior account executive for Great Eastern Radio. His passion for radio also prompted him to return to his alma mater to teach communications to the next generation of broadcasters. In 1987 he was given the Distinguished Alumni Award from Lyndon State College.

On June 17, more than 30 WFFF(TV)/WVNY(TV) employees helped to garden, trimming trees for emergency vehicle access along the main road and chop, split and stack firewood, totaling 151 volunteer hours. Leading up to the event, the station aired a week of stories that encouraged viewers to volunteer.

Tickets to the banquet are $30 each and are available by visiting the VAB website.

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