Nine Individuals to Be Inducted Into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame at Induction and Awards Luncheon, Thursday, September 28, at Quincy Marriott Hotel
Hall of Fame to Honor: 7News’ Byron Barnett, Channel 38 General Manager (retired) Dan Berkery, KISS 108 Radio Personality and Co-Host of TV’s “Dining Playbook” Billy Costa, Western Mass News TV Anchor Dave Madsen, Founder and Chairman of Cramer Tom Martin, WBZ Radio “NightSide” host Dan Rea, Boston Red Sox TV Analyst Jerry Remy, Former Chairman and CEO of Greater Media, Inc. Peter Smyth, and WBZ Radio News Anchor (retired) Diane Stern
Nine distinguished individuals will be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame at its 11th annual Induction and Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 28 at the Boston Marriott Hotel in Quincy.
Slated for induction are (alphabetically) 7NEWS’ Byron Barnett, retired Channel 38 General Manager Dan Berkery, KISS 108 radio personality and host of TV’s “Dining Playbook” Billy Costa, Western Mass News TV Anchor Dave Madsen, Cramer Productions Founder and Chairman Tom Martin, WBZ Radio “NightSide” host Dan Rea, Boston Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy, Former Chairman and CEO of Greater Media, Inc. Peter Smyth, and recently retired WBZ Radio News Anchor Diane Stern. Martin will receive the Hall of Fame’s “Pioneer Award,” which is presented to individuals or organizations for their pioneering contribution to broadcasting.
Hall of Fame President Peter Brown, Principal of Peter Brown Communications, called this year’s inductees “an extraordinary group of broadcasters with impressive credentials. Each person stands alone for his or her outstanding contributions, and together they represent some of the very best in the radio and television industry across the state.” Former long-time WBZ Radio host Jordan Rich, a Hall of Fame Board member, will emcee the luncheon. Tickets for the luncheon are $75 each and may be purchased via the Hall of Fame’s website, www.massbroadcastersHOF.org.
The Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame honors the industry’s most noteworthy members from Massachusetts, commemorates their achievements and contributions to broadcasting, and preserves their work for future generations. The Hall of Fame conducts a nomination and selection process in March and April of each year to induct individuals who have made major contributions to Massachusetts broadcasting and broadcasting in general. A permanent Hall of Fame exhibit with plaques representing all past inductees is on display opposite the Akillian Gallery on the Canton campus of Massasoit Community College.
Following are brief biographical sketches of the 2017 Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductees…
Byron Barnett, host of the long running WHDH-TV public affairs show Urban Update, joined Boston’s 7NEWS in 1983. From crime stories to human interest features to political campaigns, Barnett has covered an incredibly wide range of major stories of local, national and international interest. Among the blockbuster stories Barnett has covered are: the 1984 riots in Lawrence, the release of American hostages from a hijacked TWA flight in Lebanon in 1985, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster that killed New Hampshire school teacher Christa McAuliffe and six other astronauts in 1986, the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, and the death penalty trial of bomber Timothy McVeigh. He has also covered every Presidential campaign since Reagan vs Mondale in 1984, including the historic campaigns of the nation’s first African-American President Barack Obama and the nation’s first female major party Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. An Emmy Award-winner, Barnett has won many other awards including a Sigma Delta Chi Award, the National Association of Black Journalists’ Region One Journalist of The Year Award, YMCA Black Achievers Award, and several community service awards.
Dan Berkery was General Manager of Boston’s WSBK-TV, Channel 38, from 1981 to 1994. He also was a significant player in revolutionizing the Boston sports media landscape as the co-founder of the New England Sports Network (NESN),the first regional sports network launch in the industry. During Berkery’s tenure at TV38, the station was the home for the Boston Red Sox, The Boston Bruins, and later the Boston Celtics, airing more than 150 live sporting events a year. Berkery launched many successful careers, including in 1985, hiring a young broadcaster out of Syracuse University, Sean McDonough, as the Bruins between-period host. McDonough later went on to a three-decade-plus sports broadcasting career and, among other achievements, was the youngest person to ever call a baseball World Series game. As General Manager of a major-market, independent television station, Berkery was a visionary and well respected by almost every national program syndicator, purchasing such shows as Seinfeld, Cheers, M*A*S*H, Family Ties, and many others. Berkery may be best known locally as the host of “Ask the Manager,” where he engaged energetically and candidly with viewers on the behind-the-scenes business of commercial television.
Billy Costa is a television Emmy Award-winner and popular radio personality with KISS 108-FM in Boston. He serves as co-host of The Matty in the Morning Show and hosts the KISS Top 30 Countdown. He is also the host of High School Quiz Show on WGBH-TV. He and co-host Jenny Johnson currently star on Dining Playbook, a 30-minute show on the New England Sports Network (NESN) that combines two of New England’s favorite pastimes … food and sports. Dining Playbook is a fan’s playbook to the New England dining and lifestyle scene. Costa previously created and hosted TV Diner on NECN and has been a part of food television for 20 years. Costa’s pro bono work for local charities is exceptional. He regularly supports The Genesis Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Landmark School, North Shore Cancer Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Angel Flight, the Walker School, and South Shore Hospital.
The year 2017 marks Dave Madsen‘s 47th year in broadcasting and 25th anniversary with Western Mass News, broadcast on CBS 3, ABC40, and FOX 6 in Springfield. Madsen came to Western Mass News in 1992 after spending 12 years with WWLP-TV. He began his broadcasting career in 1970 with WMAS in Springfield. Later that year he began a nine-year association with WHMP Radio in Northampton. Madsen serves as anchor of Western Mass News’ 5, 5:30, 6, 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts. He was born and raised in Southampton, attending schools there and Easthampton High School. He attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where he majored in Communications studies. From 2000 to 2014, he was an adjunct professor at UMass, developing and teaching a television news reporting course in the Journalism department. Madsen is very active in the community as a longtime member of the Jimmy Fund Council of Western Massachusetts, having served as its president and current vice president. He also chaired Western Massachusetts’ most successful golf tournament, the Jimmy Fund – Jeffrey Vinick Classic, and has served as that tournament’s emcee since 1987. He emcees a number of other charity golf tournaments, including Brightside, and the Dawn to Dusk Golf Marathon. He’s involved with Baystate Health’s Rays of Hope Walk, serving as emcee for a number of its events. In 2011, Madsen was inducted into the New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science’s Silver Circle for his accomplishments in broadcasting and his work in the community. He’s won a wide array of community service awards, and TV viewers have honored him with the Valley Advocate’s “Best of Valley” award for nine straight years and 12 out of the last 13 years. Madsen was also voted the Favorite Local TV Personality in the Springfield Republican‘s “Reader’s Raves” poll for four consecutive years.
A Boston College and USA Olympics Team hockey star, Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame 2017 Pioneer Award-winner Tom Martin spent five years as a CPA at Arthur Anderson and was subsequently hired by Cramer Electronics in 1966 as a corporate controller, later shifting gears to become national sales manager in the multi-national company. When in 1979 the company was acquired by Arrow Electronics, Tom took out a loan to purchase the firm’s budding audio/video equipment sales division and, retaining the Cramer name, called the new venture, beginning in 1982, Cramer Productions. He noticed that many companies were still using slides and overheads when they could be taking advantage of then-new video production technology. Now, Cramer operates out of a 70,000 square foot former warehouse in Norwood, MA, modified to be a state-of-the-art studio for their brand experience agency. Powered by their team of 150 people, Cramer produces meetings and events, experiential marketing, and video for global brands. Martin considers it an essential part of Cramer’s mission to contribute to nonprofit and charitable causes. Over the years, Cramer’s team has helped organizations such as Mother Caroline Academy & Education Center, The Francis Ouimet Society, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, and Catholic Charities, to name a few. Over the years, Martin helped Cramer earn a reputation for producing great sports programs, including the critically acclaimed Boston Red Sox: 100 Years of Baseball History, the Emmy Award-winning documentary, Story of Golf, The Banner Years (a Boston Garden retrospective), Home Run Heroes (a tribute to legendary Red Sox players), Ray Bourque: The First 20 Years, and a 50-year retrospective of New England’s famous Beanpot HockeyTournament.
Dan Rea, a veteran Boston television journalist, is the host of NightSide on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 every weeknight from 8 pm to midnight. In November of 2010, Rea was honored with the prestigious Yankee Quill Award by the Academy of New England Journalists and the New England Society of Newspaper Editors. This distinguished award is considered to be the highest individual honor awarded by fellow journalists in New England. NightSide focuses on a wide variety of issues, political, economic and social. Rea is a native Bostonian, educated at the Boston Latin School, Boston State College and Boston University School of Law. Rea spent 31 years as an on-air television reporter at WBZ Radio’s sister television station, WBZ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Boston. He considers his most important work in television a 15-year crusade that helped gain freedom for Joe Salvati, a Boston man wrongfully convicted for a 1965 murder. Rea exposed corruption within the Boston office of the FBI, whose agents conspired with a disgraced federal informant to wrongfully, intentionally, and maliciously convict Salvati and three other innocent men. The men and their families were awarded more than $101 million by Federal District Court Judge Nancy Gertner on July 26, 2007, a day during which Rea concluded his career at WBZ-TV with a series of day-long on-air reports. Rea has been awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees from UMass Boston, Endicott College and the Massachusetts School of Law.
Jerry Remy has been the New England Sports Network (NESN) Boston Red Sox color analyst since 1988, when he was first teamed with veteran play-by-play announcer Ned Martin. For 15 years, Remy worked with play-by-play announcer, Don Orsillo, and since the beginning of this season with Dave O’Brien. Voted “Massachusetts Favorite TV Announcer” by Sports Illustrated in 2004, Remy has been honored with four Emmy Awards and was named the “Massachusetts Sportscaster of the Year” by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 2004. Remy is a former Major League second baseman. In 1971, he was drafted in the eighth round by the California Angels. He played three seasons for the Angels starting in 1975 before being traded to the Red Sox. He played second base for the Sox from 1978 to 1985. A knee injury forced his retirement during spring training of 1986. Remy had his best year in 1978 when he batted .278, scored 87 runs, stole 30 bases and was selected to the American League All Star Team. He finished his career with a .275 average, 208 stolen bases and a .981 fielding percentage. Small traditions followed by Remy include always greeting Spanish-speaking viewers with “Buenas noches, amigos” or another appropriate greeting upon the announcement of the SAP simulcast, and by bringing a doll of Wally the Green Monster (the Sox’ mascot) and his white Adirondack chair to the announcer’s booth of every ballpark the Red Sox visit. Remy loves to regale viewers with tales of his frequent vacations in Aruba and is affectionately known as the “RemDawg.”
Peter Smyth is recognized as a visionary and thought leader in the radio broadcasting industry. He most recently served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Greater Media, Inc., one of the nation’s leading broadcasting companies. In this role, Smyth oversaw the operational efforts of 21 AM and FM radio stations in Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Philadelphia and New Jersey; a group of weekly newspapers in central New Jersey; and several telecommunications towers throughout the United States. Over the past three decades, Smyth served in a variety of capacities within Greater Media, including General Manager of WMJX-FM in Boston, Vice President of the Radio Group, and Chief Operating Officer of Greater Media, Inc. He began his career in broadcasting in 1977 as an account executive with WROR-FM in Boston and was quickly promoted to General Sales Manager, a position he held for the next five years. In 1983, RKO General, the parent company of WOR, recruited him to serve as general sales manager of its New York stations, where he directed the company’s sales operations until his departure in 1986 to work at Greater Media. Smyth helped to revolutionize the broadcasting industry by advocating for and adopting new technologies such as HD Radio and internet streaming, and by developing and incorporating innovative content to improve media communications and meet the emerging demands of the industry and its advertisers. He was named a “Giant of American Broadcasting” by the Library of American Broadcasting in 2014. Radio Ink Magazine, a leading broadcast industry publication, in 2005 and 2011, selected Smyth as “America’s Best Broadcaster.” In addition, he has been recognized as one of Radio Ink’s “40 Most Powerful People in Radio,” ranking among the top ten. In 2007, the publication named him “Radio Executive of the Year.” An active philanthropist, Smyth currently serves on the Board of Directors of New England Baptist Hospital and the One Hundred Club of Massachusetts, an organization dedicated to enhancing the welfare and safety of the families of public safety officers and firefighters. He is a past member of the Board of Trustees of Emerson College and the United Way of Massachusetts. Additionally, he is a member of the Advisory Board for US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. In 2007, he received the “Humanitarian of the Year” Award from the Hundred Club of Massachusetts and the Golden Mike Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America for exemplary service in the radio Industry.
Diane Stern anchored the news at WBZ NewsRadio from 1983 to 2016. During her more than three decades there, Stern brought listeners the news of some of the region’s most historic stories. From Presidential elections and the New Hampshire primaries, to the Gulf Wars, to the 9-11 attacks, the capture of James “Whitey” Bulger, and the Boston Marathon bombings—Stern was one of New England’s “go-to” journalists when people needed straightforward, unbiased reporting. Stern also specialized in covering stories involving the vast changes in the medical world. She focused on the research and development of new treatments for diseases as well as new technologies that made the jobs of healthcare providers easier. Recently, Stern won the 2017 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast. Prior to joining WBZ News Radio, she worked as a morning anchor at WEEI Radio in Boston from 1978 to 1983, WITS and WMEX Radio in Boston from 1976 to 1978, and WMLO Radio in Danvers, Massachusetts from 1975 to 1976. Stern has also been honored with several Associated Press awards for her work in radio, was a finalist in the New York Radio Festival Awards and won for Best Newscaster in the March of Dimes Achievement in Radio Awards of 2000. One of the highlights of her career was covering the New England Blizzard of 1978 for WMEX Radio when the broadcasts were conducted by phone in candlelit studios. Stern also conducted a live interview with President Clinton in 1995. Stern is a Board of Trustees member of and an ESL tutor at the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden; she has volunteered for My Brother’s Table in Lynn; and she emcees events for charitable groups including The Arthritis Foundation, the Preeclampsia Foundation, the Salem Literary Festival (Salem Lit Fest), and the Alzheimer’s Association, MA/NH Chapter.