NEW YORK — Last Tuesday, Mike Francesa was making headlines across the Sports world by announcing that he’s leaving the afternoon slot at Entercom‘s WFAN-AM & FM in New York — again — come December.
On Friday night, Francesa made headlines again — this time as the Master of Ceremonies for the 31st annual Radio Hall of Fame ceremony.
As RBR+TVBR first reported on August 4, 2019 Radio Hall of Fame inductees honored at a Gotham Hall event included:
- Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, WKTU-FM in New York and Weekly Top 30 Countdown host. The nationally syndicated program is distributed by Premiere Networks. WKTU is an iHeart Rhythmic AC station.
- Harry Harrison, a legendary on-air morning personality who held positions at Top 40 WMCA-AM 570 and WABC-AM 770 in New York before joining WCBS-FM 101.1.
- Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter, The Kevin & Bean Show, KROQ-FM in Los Angeles, an Entercom station
- Joe Madison, Joe Madison, The Black Eagle, SiriusXM Urban View
- Jim Rome, The Jim Rome Show, CBS Sports Radio
- Ryan Seacrest, KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, On Air with Ryan Seacrest and American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest. The nationally syndicated programs are distributed by by Premiere Networks. KIIS is an iHeart radio station.
- John Tesh, Intelligence for your Life, nationally syndicated by Compass Media Networks
- Dr. Ruth Westheimer, The Dr. Ruth Show on NBC Radio and host of Sexually Speaking on the former WYNY-FM 97.1 in New York
Special guests and fellow RHOF inductees Jim Bohannon, Jim Kerr and Kid Kelly were in attendance, with Bohannon serving as announcer of the event.
Rome was first to receive his honor. He acknowledged that his best work is ahead of him and that he has “deep, deep gratitude” for the industry. “I’ve always had people around me who are better than me … who told me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear,” Rome told the crowd.
Next up was Joe Madison, who movingly thanked Sherry Madison, his wife and executive producer. He told a story about when he dies and goes to heaven, “I will ask God, is Sherry here [or will she be]? Because if she’s not, it certainly can’t be heaven.”
Actor Christian Slater then introduced Hamilton via video and commented, “This man was a huge influence on me. Thank you for being a part of my life.” Hamilton, who found success at both Z100 in New York and at KIIS-FM in Los Angeles during the 1980s, thanked all the other inductees before dedicating the honor “to my love of my life, my incredible wife Marina.”
For two generations of New York radio listeners, “morning mayor” Harry Harrison entertained breakfast audiences at WMCA-AM 570, WABC-AM 770 and WCBS-FM 101.1 across a storied career. He said, “I always loved radio … to be a part of it is very exciting. I appreciate this.” He received a standing ovation.
Kevin and “Bean” shared sentimental remarks on the heels of Bean’s last day on air at KROQ, which was Thursday (11/7). Kevin said, “I’m here because Bean chose me as his partner. He would’ve been here with whoever his partner was and I’m happy it was me.”
Bean added, “I could’ve been on the radio with anyone but there wouldn’t be magic. The universe brought us together. We were so darn lucky that happened.”
Connie Selleca then introduced her husband, John Tesh. She generously thanked all their radio partners and talked about being in a family business. Tesh shared that he was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 but stated he’s cancer free because of his “faith in divine healing.” He went on to express his gratitude for his family and for the honor of being in the Radio Hall of Fame.
Dr. Ruth talked about radio being the best medium, “even better than TV.” And while “it’s nice to have become a celebrity, I see it as passing on correct information about human sexuality,” she said.
Jimmy Fallon was there, and he entertained attendees with his comedic and heartfelt introduction of his friend Ryan Seacrest.
After much laughter, Seacrest said, “We truly do it [radio] because it’s in our blood. We do it because it’s something we can’t live without. I never imagined this room, these legends, this career.”
— With reports from Amir Forester