Victoria Block, Ernie Boch, Sara Edwards, Listo Fisher, Ray Hershel, Karen Holmes Ward, Lana Jones, Harvey Leonard, Russell Morash, and Maxanne Sartori To Be Inducted Into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame
Ernie Boch Will be Honored Posthumously With the Organization’s “Pioneer Award” at Hall of Fame’s Induction and Awards Luncheon, Thursday, September 20, 2018
Ten major figures in radio and television will be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame at its annual Induction and Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel. Alphabetically by last name, they are: former longtime WHDH-TV, 7NEWS journalist Victoria Block, legendary advertiser in the automotive industry Ernie Boch who will be honored posthumously with the organization’s special Pioneer Award, three-time Emmy award-winner and former co-host of Evening Magazine Sara Edwards, retired Boston radio news veteran Listo Fisher, the “dean” of Western Massachusetts television journalism Ray Hershel, WCVB-TV Director of Public Affairs and Community Services and host/executive producer of CityLine Karen Holmes Ward, the late WBZ Radio news reporter/anchor Lana Jones, WCVB-TV’s Chief Meteorologist Harvey Leonard, This Old House Executive Producer/Director Russell Morash, and one of the early WBCN Radio deejays Maxanne Sartori.
Hall of Fame President Peter Brown commented, “The Board members of the Hall of Fame are very pleased to welcome such a passionate and gifted group to our 2018 Inductee Class. The selection process is such a challenging one each year, because of the depth and breadth of the talented professionals who are nominated. This year’s group stands out for its leadership, innovation, inspiration and dedication. Each new member of the Hall of Fame, in her or his own way, has touched generations of audiences across our Commonwealth, keeping them informed and entertained. We are honored to recognize them for their outstanding achievements in broadcasting.”
Victoria Block, a member of the WHDH-TV, 7NEWS staff for more than two decades and a two-time Emmy Award-winner, was a general assignment reporter who covered topics ranging from education to crime to politics. Block’s reporting took her to Detroit to cover the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding story, to Israel to cover the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, to L.A. for the OJ trial, to New York City for 9/11, and to Rome when Cardinal Law resigned at the height of the sexual abuse scandal. Before jumping into TV, Block worked in radio for eight years. She was a general assignment reporter and anchor at WHDH Radio, Boston. She has also worked as a reporter and anchor at WJAR-AM Radio and WEAN-AM Radio, in Providence.
The late Ernie Boch was, as the Boston Herald once described him, “the windshield-smashing, price-slashing, llama-pasturing sultan of Bay State auto sales.” His groundbreaking TV commercials hit the airwaves in 1964. From jumping out of trunks and smashing windshields to “Come on Down,” Ernie Boch led the way for the self-promoting owner/operator. Ernie worked until his passing in 2003. Today, his legacy lives on. Mr. Boch will be honored with the Hall of Fame’s “Pioneer Award,” which is presented to individuals or organizations who fundamentally contributed to broadcasting.
Three-time Emmy Award-winner Sara Edwards is best-known locally for her work with Barry Nolan as co-host of Evening Magazine on WBZ-TV, Channel 4, from 1981-1990. She then joined cross-town WHDH-TV, Channel 7, as an entertainment reporter from 1991-2003. While based there she also served as a film critic and entertainment reporter for NBC News serving that network’s affiliates across the United States. The last four years of her career in Boston reunited her with Barry Nolan on the Comcast Network entertainment show “Backstage with Barry Nolan.”
Listo Fisher is an award-winning newscaster who has worked as a host, anchor, and announcer at WCRB, WRKO, WHDH and WBZ, all Boston radio stations, as well as at stations in Ohio, Indiana, New York and Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ray Hershel is the dean of Western Massachusetts television journalists. He’s been a broadcast journalist at the same station in Springfield for the last 50 years and just retired as a full-time TV reporter for Western Mass News, WGGB abc40, CBS 3, & Fox 6 in Springfield, on April 27, 2018.
Karen Holmes Ward is the Director of Public Affairs and Community Service for WCVB Channel 5 in Boston, as well as host and executive producer of CityLine, WCVB’s award-winning weekly magazine program which addresses the accomplishments, concerns and issues facing people of color living in Boston and its suburbs. Karen has a 40-year career in broadcasting including early stints as a writer at WEEI News Radio, News Director at WILD-Radio and reporter at WGBH-TV.
The late Lana Jones was a long-time reporter for WBZ NewsRadio 1030 in Boston and was part of WBZ’s award-winning coverage of the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal. She passed away suddenly earlier this year. After jobs as a radio announcer in Toledo and in her small Ohio hometown, Ms. Jones worked as a radio announcer in Worcester and elsewhere in Boston, and then made her mark at WBZ, where, the Boston Globe said, “her smooth, confident voice delivered a broad spectrum of breaking news for almost 30 years.”
Harvey Leonard is WCVB-TV’s chief meteorologist and forecasts for NewsCenter 5’s early evening and late newscasts, as well as for the station’s website. Leonard served as chief meteorologist for WHDH-TV from May 1977 to April 2002 and has worked as a meteorologist in New England for more than 40 years. He also served as chief meteorologist at WPRI-TV in Providence, RI.
Russell Morash has been called the father of “how-to” and “know-how” television. As the founder of This Old House in 1979, he introduced the premier home improvement television series to America. Today he still serves as executive producer and director of The New Yankee Workshop, now in its 18th season. Prior to tackling home renovation, in 1963 Russ teamed up with a budding cookbook author with an unmistakable accent and a marvelous sense of humor to create The French Chef with Julia Child. For the next 30 years Russ and Julia created a number of cooking classics for television, which continue to represent the gold standard of that genre. In 1975, Russ teamed with Jim Crockett to begin Crockett’s Victory Garden, later The Victory Garden, a televised gardening adventure which continued for 30 years until Russ hung up his trowel in 2003. The WGBH program continues to be seen on PBS.
Maxanne Sartori was hired for the afternoon shift as a WBCN Radio deejay on Friday the 13th of November, 1970, and by the time she left the station, on April Fool’s Day 1977, she had become what the Music Museum of New England called, “WBCN’s most powerful and distinctive personality.” Maxanne championed Boston artists like The J. Geils Band, The Cars and Billy Squier, and Aerosmith. The Museum’s dedication to her continues, “Maxanne will always be remembered for her association with a young Bruce Springsteen, who dropped in on the afternoon show with a truncated version of the E Street Band for a pair of famously bootlegged and beloved unplugged performances in January ’73 and April ’74. Indeed, the unique and hilarious performance of ‘Rosalita’ from the latter visit is easily one of the most memorable nine-minutes in WBCN’s entire history.”
The public is invited to attend the Hall of Fame induction event, and tickets at $90 each are available for purchase now by visiting the Hall of Fame website at: massbroadcastershof.org/buy-tickets.
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