Jeanneret, Coppola Headline Broadcasting Hall of Fame
Buffalo, NY (WBEN)- The Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame Class of 2012 has been announced:
Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret is the longesttenured
broadcaster in hockey. He joined the Sabres broadcast team in
1971-72 and has been doing games ever since.
Jeanneret’s career officially began in 1963, when he filled in for the
regular announcer at a Niagara Falls Flyers (Junior A) game. He went on to
become the color analyst for one season before moving to the play-by-play
position in 1965.
Jeanneret joined the legendary Ted Darling as an analyst for Sabres
games broadcast on WGR Radio at the start of the team’s second season in
October 1971. When Darling was needed for TV broadcasts, Jeanneret took
over the radio play-by-play duties and eventually assumed the responsibilities
on a full-time basis through the 1994-95 season. Starting in 1995-96,
Jeanneret became the television play-by-play announcer and began simulcasts
on TV and radio in the early 2000s. After taking a few games off each season
in recent years, Jeanneret will be doing play-by-play for all Sabres games
during the upcoming 2012-13 season.
Jeanneret’s memorable calls and player nicknames have become forever
linked with Sabres history for generations of fans. He proclaimed “May Day,May Day, May Day” when Sabres player Brad May scored the winning goal in overtime of a playoff game against the Boston Bruins in 1993. Then there is “Top shelf, where Momma hides the
cookies!” He called the Sabres’ two Stanley Cup finals in 1975 and 1999.
Besides working for the Sabres, Jeanneret spent several years in the 1980s as morning host
on Niagara Falls, Ontario radio station CJRN-AM.
Besides this honor from the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, Jeanneret will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame later this year. In 2011, Jeanneret was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres
Hall of Fame.
Fellow staffers, his professors and listeners knew Tom Calderone was a rising star during his
time at Buffalo State’s WBNY in the early 1980s. He used his WBNY experience as a launching
pad to a prestigious career that has taken him to the very top of cable TV’s VH1. Calderone has
served as VH1 president since 2008 and is this year’s recipient of the Buffalo Broadcasters
Association’s Al Anscombe Award.
Calderone was named one of the top 50 most influential executives shaping the future of
media by Mediaweek in 2007. As president, he is responsible for the overall strategy and
management of VH1. He previously served as executive vice president and general manager.
Calderone serves as chairman of the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, which has donated $45
million worth of new music instruments to music education programs in public schools.
Calderone first joined the MTV Networks, parent company of VH1, in 1998 as senior vice
president of music and talent programming at MTV. He created new music initiatives and managed
artist relations and communication with the music industry. Calderone oversaw the development of
such breakthrough music franchises as “Spankin’ New Music” and “MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups.” He
also worked on the production of top-rated television events including the MTV Video Music
Awards and MTV Movie Awards and such successful franchises as “Unplugged.”
In Buffalo, Calderone is best remembered for his time at WBNY. As program director, he
put in place the alternative/progressive format that still stands today. Calderone maintains close ties
with Buffalo State, helping with internships for students. He frequently visits campus to talk with
students and alumni groups. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate of human letters from his
The Anscombe Award is named in honor of Al Anscombe, the “triple threat” broadcaster,
who owned more than 40 radio, television and cable systems in his lifetime. Al played an integral
role putting WKBW-TV on the air. He also built the first cable television systems in Western New
York. The Anscombe Award is given each year to those in broadcasting’s front office who have
made a career of advancing the ideals of the Buffalo Broadcasters.
This year’s recipient of the Buffalo Bob Smith Award is not a familiar face. But MaryLynn
Ryan is being recognized for her stellar career behind-the-scenes in TV news, the last 17 years with
the nation’s first cable news network, CNN.
Ryan is currently bureau chief of the Southeast region for CNN/US and director of CNN’s
Weather Unit. She oversees the network’s editorial coverage in the Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans
and Dallas bureaus as well as the weather team. Ryan is based at CNN’s world headquarters in
Ryan has served as bureau chief of CNN’s Southeast region since 2004. She has overseen
CNN’s coverage of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, the Fort Hood and Virginia Tech mass shootings
and Hurricane Katrina – coverage that has won Peabody and other awards. Previously, Ryan served
as managing editor of CNN/US. She joined the network as a producer in 1995.
Ryan’s career began in Buffalo. She worked in all three of the local TV news departments.
Ryan helped launch 5pm newscasts on WKBW, Channel 7 and WIVB, Channel 4. She began her
career in 1983, working as an overnight producer at WGRZ, Channel 2.
Ryan has covered many of the groundbreaking stories of our time. In addition to the ones
mentioned above, she has worked on coverage of the Columbia space shuttle tragedy, the war in
Iraq, the 1996 Olympic Games and the Olympic Park bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing and the
OJ Simpson murder trial.
Named after one of Buffalo’s most famous sons, the Buffalo Bob Smith Award is given to
broadcasters with local roots who made his or her mark away from the Niagara Frontier, but is still a
Buffalonian at heart.
Of all the honorees this year, Lee Coppola has had the most varied career. He was a
newspaper reporter, a TV investigative reporter, an assistant US attorney and dean of the journalism
school where his storied career began.
Coppola was part of a talented class of journalism graduates from St. Bonaventure University
in 1964. Following two-and-a-half years of military service, Coppola was hired by the Buffalo
News. His articles on organized crime and the Witness Protection Program were the inspiration for
the movie Hide in Plain Sight, starring actor James Caan.
Coppola left the newspaper after 16 years to pursue a career as a TV journalist. In 1983, he
was hired as the “Troubleshooter” for WKBW, Channel 7’s Eyewitness News and later served as an
investigative reporter for WIVB, Channel 4’s News 4. As a television reporter, he won prestigious
national awards such as the George Polk and awards from the Investigative Reporters and Editors
and the National Press Club.
Coppola received his law degree from the University at Buffalo’s School of Law in 1983.
He eventually left TV news in 1991 and became an assistant US attorney in Buffalo, where he spent
five years prosecuting drug dealers.
For decades when news was breaking in Buffalo, Bill Cantwell was there with his camera.
Whether it was a raging fire, a tragic car wreck or a news conference with Mayor Frank Sedita,
Cantwell documented it – first on film and later on videotape – to become one of Buffalo’s most
Cantwell was born in England and was educated by Jesuits at the same school that Alfred
Hitchcock attended. His first job was with the Ministry of Information in Central London during
World War II where he was a darkroom assistant. When the war ended, Cantwell worked as a
photographer on Fleet Street. In 1948, he moved to Australia, where he spent the next five years as a
During a visit to the United States in 1959, Cantwell joined an audio-visual production
company that had a number of local broadcast contracts. One of them was for a wrestling show
hosted by WBEN-TV’s Chuck Healy. Another provided news film to WKBW, Channel 7. Given a
budget of $5,000, Cantwell purchased studio cameras and created a functioning lab and editing
facilities at Channel 7.
In 1965, Cantwell joined WBEN-TV, now WIVB. He was honored by the Buffalo Police
Department and the US Coast Guard for his work in the early 1960s. In 1982, Cantwell won the best
photography award from UPI. For the most part, photojournalists operated in relative anonymity
behind the scenes. But viewers of Channel 4 got to know the name of “Billy” Cantwell and his
famous “Weather Cam” late in his career. Cantwell retired in December 1988.
In baseball, the utility man is known for his ability to play a number of positions on the
diamond. If there were ever a utility man in Buffalo broadcasting, it was Mike Roszman. He did
just about everything at WGR Radio, where he spent much of his career until his tragic death in the
1993 crash of the WGR traffic helicopter.
Here are some of the titles and roles Roszman held in his 20-plus years at WGR – vice
president of operations, program director, engineer, producer, disc jockey, news anchor, talk show
host and traffic reporter. Roszman joined WGR AM 550 in 1970 as a disc jockey. He briefly left in
1973 for a radio station in North Carolina but soon returned to WGR. Roszman survived ownership
changes and format changes at WGR and its then FM frequency 96.9 (now 97 Rock). He was often
heard as the voice of WGR-TV, Channel 2 (now WGRZ).
In 1991, Roszman became WGR’s traffic reporter. Each morning and afternoon, he would
board a helicopter and deliver information about traffic tie-ups and accidents as part of WGR’s all
news and talk format of the 1990s. On a cold and dreary January day, Roszman was delivering
reports during the afternoon when the station lost contact with him. Roszman and his pilot, Herm
Kuhn, were killed when their helicopter plunged into the Niagara River.