Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ronn Owens nominated to National Radio Hall of Fame


I should slam people more often. I took a jab at KGO-AM (810) morning host Ronn Owens, and a day later, he gets nominated to the Hall of Fame! It's like if you want to buy a successful stock, just buy the one I sell. That always works.

Here's the press release, and make sure to vote for Ronn. It won't make his head any bigger; nothing could so that.

But he really deserves the recognition for doing great radio for so long.

Also, if you see the post below about losing friends lately, it makes me realize, we have to pay tribute to people while they are still here.

PS: thanks to Gene Burns for doing a show based on my SF Weekly column today. Radio fans will want to tune into KGO's archives, at to hear today's 7 p.m. hour, where listeners cast their votes for who should take Bernie Ward's show.



Three major local personalities from Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles have been selected for induction into America’s only National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHOF).

Jess Cain

Long-time morning talk-show host on WHDH/Boston, Jess Cain began as an actor and appeared in more than 20 plays before and during his radio career. The “morning man”, who passed away in February 2008, was the first voice many New Englanders heard for 34 years. Cain was beloved for finding humor in everyday moments with his song parodies, quick wit, and impressions.

Bob Collins

Collins was a top-rated and much-loved morning show host on WGN/Chicago from 1986 until his death in 2000. Known to his fans as “Uncle Bobby”, his show featured conversation, music and Collins’ folksy charm. The native of Florida had a regular afternoon show when he was only 14 years old and spent time at stations in Milwaukee, Los Angeles, San Diego and Miami before finding a home at WGN.

Dick Whittinghill

Whittinghill began his career as a movie and television actor, as well as a recording artist who once sang with Tommy Dorsey’s big band. From 1950 to 1979, he established himself as the most popular morning disc jockey in Southern California at KMPC/Los Angeles. His creativity and brash personality earned him millions of loyal fans, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a statue in the Hollywood Wax Museum. Whittinghill died in 2001.

“These three great broadcasters are gone but they should never be forgotten by the millions who invited them into their homes and hearts,” said Bruce DuMont, Radio Hall of Fame Chairman.

The three posthumous inductions will take place during a live national radio broadcast from The Renaissance Chicago Hotel on Saturday, November 8. Westwood One will produce and distribute the one-hour broadcast at 10 p.m. EST.

The National Radio Hall of Fame also announced its 2008 nominees in four other categories who must now participate in a national online balloting process. The 2008 nominees for induction into the NRHOF are:


* Bob Costas, the host of his own syndicated radio show Costas on the Radio, a weekly two-hour interview show distributed on Premiere Radio Networks and heard on over 160 stations and XM Satellite Radio.
* “Focus on the Family”, was founded in the mid-1970s by Dr. James Dobson, a psychologist, lecturer, and author; internationally syndicated and is heard on over 4,000 stations worldwide.
* Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a no nonsense cultural commentator since 1974, her show is distributed by her own production company to more than 270 stations and can also be heard on XM Satellite Radio.
* Howard Stern, outspoken personality who has changed radio’s landscape, he has established himself as one of the most popular and controversial radio hosts of all time and can be heard on Sirius Satellite Radio.


* Art Bell, longtime host of the paranormal -themed radio program Coast to Coast AM distributed by Premiere Radio Networks.
* Ralph Emery, a country music icon, Emery began his career as the late-night disc jockey on country music’s flagship WSM/Nashville.
* “Gang Busters”, law enforcement reality series created by Phillips Lord and hosted by Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf that aired on NBC, ABC, CBS and Mutual.
* Barry Farber, known for his Southern drawl, intensity, and conservative views, he began his on-air career in New York in 1960 and later a national host on ABC.


* Howie Carr, outspoken, conservative commentator, he has been on the air for almost two decades in the Northeast U.S., currently on WRKO/Boston.
* Steve Dahl, a fixture on Chicago radio since 1979 he redefined the medium of talk radio as one of the first “Shock Jocks”, currently on WJMK/Chicago.
* Bob Grant, dubbed as the inventor of controversial radio, he has been on the air for over 40 years, currently on WABC/New York.
* Ronn Owens, versatile host on KGO/San Francisco since 1975, he covers discussions ranging from local issues, international issues, politics and pop culture.


* Gary Burbank, born Billy Purser, he began his radio career in the mid 1960s, he took the name Gary Burbank as a tribute to radio and TV legend Gary Owens and his famous Laugh-In introduction formerly heard on WLW/Cincinnati until the end of ‘07.
* Harry Kalas, made his major league debut in 1965 calling games for the Houston Astros before being hired as “the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies” in 1971.
* Charlie Tuna, over 40 years in radio, one of the original DJ’s at the legendary KROQ and most recently hosted “Charlie Tuna in the Morning” on KBIG until 2007.
* Jim Zabel, broadcasting on WHO/Des Moines for 62 years, he has served as “the voice of the Iowa Hawkeye’s football and basketball” teams.

The national online balloting will begin on May 1st and be monitored by Votenet, a highly respected online vote tabulating firm. Voting ends at midnight on July 15th, after which results will be tabulated and ratified by the Steering Committee of the NRHOF.

Voting is free and open to the public as well as major radio industry leaders. However an online registration will be required. Please visit to learn more.

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