HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Nine new members will be enshrined in the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame this weekend at the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington.
“It’s something our board doesn’t look at lightly,” said Hall of Fame Board Chairman Tom Resler. “We search statewide for nominees that have really served the state and some gone on to serve the whole country in their broadcast ability.”
More than 160 noted broadcasters already make up the hall of fame which was created in 2006. Some are nationally known with broadcasting ties to West Virginia in the early days of their career like Soupy Sales who got his start in Huntington.
Resler says the nomination isn’t limited to those on the air. Engineers, station managers, and even one career radio salesperson is included in this year’s class.
“We look at the longevity and the work they have attained,” said Resler.
This years class of inductees includes:
RALPH ALLEN (Allenbaugh) — Began his career at WWNR in Beckley, while in high school. Has worked as program dir., operations mgr. and general mgr. of several radio groups. Was inducted into the Mister Deejay USA Hall of Fame while working in Parkersburg. Today, president of Ralph Allen Media.
DR. CHARLES G. BAILEY — Dr. Bailey has been at the helm of WMUL-FM as faculty mgr. since 1985. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the WV AP Broadcasters and The John Marshall Award for Extraordinary Service to WV Higher Education. He is a radio-TV production and management professor at Marshall University.
SHIRLEY “KITTY” BOCOCK — She started as the only female account executive at WNXT Radio, Portsmouth, OH, in 1956. She has worked as sales mgr. and general mgr. at radio stations in Buffalo, NY, and Hilton Head, SC. She retired but moved back into sales and promotions at Kindred Communications in Huntington.
TOM HICKS — Began his career in radio while still in high school at WBRW in Welch. For nearly five decades, his duties ranged from disc jockey to play-by-play, sales and general mgr. at stations in southern WV and VA. Hicks died in 1991.
JACK KANE — Currently co-anchor of the morning and noon newscasts on WOWK-TV. He has been with WOWK since 1999, after spending 19 years as a reporter and anchor at WCHS-TV. He also has worked at radio stations in OH, including Cleveland, and spent two years in production at NBC Radio in New York.
KAY MURRAY — Host of WAJR’s Morgantown-AM program. She also has served as producer for MetroNews Talkline since it began in 1992. She has performed charity work for the station and the community during her 35-year broadcast career.
FRANK STOWERS — Began his radio career at WHIS, Bluefield. Worked for Union Carbide in HR/communications from 1956 until retirement in 1985. Since then, he has been a staff announcer at WV Public Radio.
EMIL VARNEY — Has covered major news stories in the state during his 39-year career as a news cinematographer and videographer. Worked for WSAZ-TV, 1958-79, receiving awards for his work. From 1979 until his retirement in 1997, he was a news videographer for WOWK-TV.
GEORGE WOODY — Began as staff engineer at WSAZ-TV in 1949. He was involved with the installation of the transmitter and two studio complexes. In 1965, he worked in Illinois and later moved to Duluth, MN, where he was engineer for the building of two TV stations and an FM radio station