Film critic and entertainment reporter Dan DiNicola, political and business leader Percy Sutton, FM radio pioneer Scott Muni, veteran radio broadcaster Jim Roselle, and television news broadcaster Don Alhart comprise the 2010 Hall of Fame announced today by the New York State Broadcasters Association (NYSBA). (Pictured L-R below)
The nominees, who will be inducted during the Tony Malara Awards Dinner at the NYSBA’s 48th Executive Conference slated for Monday, June 28th at 7:30 p.m. at the picturesque Sagamore Resort Hotel in Bolton Landing, NY, join 41 previous Hall of Fame inductees.
“This year’s inductees represent some of the most respected names in the broadcasting business,” said NYSBA President Joseph A. Reilly. “It’s a great honor to welcome these outstanding individuals into the Hall of Fame at our summer conference in Lake George.”
The following is a brief bio on each nominee:
DAN DiNICOLA (Deceased) — Dan DiNicola, originally from Pittsfield, Mass., is best-known for interviewing celebrities and reviewing movies. A gifted writer with a love of literature, DiNicola began his professional life as a high school teacher and later joined Schenectady’s The Daily Gazette as a columnist, a role he continued until his death in March at age 68. In 1978, he joined WRGB where he became one of the Capital Region’s best-known television personalities. His career at WRGB not only included celebrity interviews and movie reviews, but also reporting and cooking segments. DiNicola collaborated on “30-Minute Meal” segments with Rachel Ray, and is credited for helping launch her career.
PERCY SUTTON (Deceased) — Percy Sutton, born in San Antonio, Texas, completed law school and fought in the Korean War before working on a number of political campaigns for himself and others, and eventually won a Democratic State Assembly seat in New York. He began investing in media companies in the early 1970s and, with a team of investors, bought the group Inner City Broadcasting, which grew to own more than 15 newspapers as well as cable franchises. In 1981, Sutton purchased the famous Harlem theater, The Apollo, at a bankruptcy sale. He led a multi-million dollar renovation, which included a television studio used to produce the TV program, “It’s Showtime at the Apollo.” The Apollo reopened in 1985 and a not-for-profit foundation took it over in 1992. Sutton died in December at age 89.
SCOTT MUNI (Deceased) — Scott Muni began his broadcasting career in the United States Marine Corps in 1950, when he read “Dear John” letters over Radio Guam. After leaving the military and working as a disc jockey in Ohio and Illinois, Muni joined WMCA in New York City, where he would spend nearly 50 years as a radio personality. In 1966 Muni joined WOR-FM as one of the pioneers of freeform-based, progressive rock radio. The format didn’t take hold until 1967, when Muni joined legendary WNEW-FM, where spent the next 31 years. Muni, known by millions as “Scottso” or “The Professor,” was instantly recognizable because of his low, gravelly voice. He was friendly with many of the musicians whom he played, including the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Page and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. It wasn’t uncommon for some of the biggest names in rock to join Muni in studio for an interview or a game of poker. Muni died in 2004 at age 74.
JIM ROSELLE (WJTN 1240 AM in Jamestown) — Jim Roselle graduated from Jamestown High School in 1944 and attended St. Lawrence College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and did play-by-play for the college’s football, basketball and baseball teams. After two short radio stints he joined WJTN in 1953 as a part-time sportscaster and never left, beginning a career that has now entered its seventh decade. Roselle later became the host of the station’s morning show, and greets listeners each day by saying, “Good morning hometown Jamestown and neighbors! Join me in a cup of happiness!” — a reference to his morning coffee. Aside from his common-man appeal, Roselle is most known for his interviews, which are on-air conversations more than question-and-answer sessions because of the extensive research Roselle does in advance. He has interviewed a number of high-profile individuals, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jane Goodall and Rocky Marciano. Roselle currently hosts the Jim Roselle Show each weekday morning from 9 a.m. to noon.
DON ALHART (WHAM-TV Ch. 13 in Rochester) — Don Alhart began his broadcasting career in 1962 as a summer relief engineer at WROC-TV in Rochester. He worked there the following two summers before joining WORK-TV (now WHAM-TV) as a reporter in 1965. Upon receiving his BS degree from Ithaca College in 1966, Alhart stayed with the station and continues to work as anchor of the 6 o’clock news and co-anchor of the 11 o’clock broadcast with Ginny Ryan. Aside from the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award, which he has won for both Writing and Best Newscast, Alhart has received a number of other honors including the VFW Award of Merit, the Humanitarian Award from the Rochester Police Rosewood Club, the MassMedia Communicator Award from SUNY-Brockport, and the Ithaca College Alumni Award.
For more information on NYSBA’s 48th Annual Executive Conference, call (518) 456-8888, or go to www.nysbroadcasters.org.