Former Upstate New York radio and TV manager James J. Delmonico died Saturday (1/21), just five days shy of his 92nd birthday. He had retired from broadcasting in 1987.
Delmonico actually began his career on the manufacturing side of General Electric, rising to oversee its labor contracts, including its broadcast and cable operations. He was transferred to Schenectady in 1968, where he was named Vice President of both GE Broadcasting and GE Cablevision Corporation. In 1974 he was named Vice President and General Manager of WGY-AM, WGMF-FM and WRGB-TV, Schenectady, NY, serving the Albany-Schenectady market.
During his career Delmonico was a director and chairman of the New York State Broadcasters Association. He was awarded the association’s Delaney Cuneen Award in 1991 for his significant and lasting contributions to the broadcasting industry. He was the national president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America (then known as the Broadcast Pioneers). He was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2005.
“Legend has it that when Jim Delmonico took over, the Pioneers organization was $19,000 in the red. He built it up by improving the quality of the board and by broadening and extending its outreach,” said fellow NY broadcaster William O’Shaughnessy.
“Jim was a tireless leader for the organization, inspiring the appointment of many notables to the board of directors with new focus, determination, and purpose. Jim was known for challenging his fellow board members to be supportive both financially and by encouraging others to do so. Under his chairmanship, Jim brought new strengths to the organization in those early and important bedrock years. He will be missed,” said Broadcasters Foundation Chairman Phil Lombardo.
A calling hour will be 9:30-10:30 am Tuesday, January 24, at Blessed Sacrament Church in Syracuse, with a funeral Mass to follow at 10:30 am In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Hospice of CNY, 990 Seventh North St., Liverpool NY 13088 or Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County Imagination Library, online or by check to Community Foundation, 431 E. Fayette St., Syracuse, NY 13202.