This piece was published in Forever Young magazine
Born in Kenmore, Wolf Blitzer graduated from Kenmore West High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from SUNY Buffalo and a master of arts degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. Blitzer began his career in 1972 with the Reuters News Agency in Tel Aviv.
Shortly thereafter, he became a Washington, D.C. correspondent for The Jerusalem Post. Blitzer joined CNN in 1990 and served as CNN’s senior White House correspondent covering President Bill Clinton from his election in November 1992 until 1999.
Wolf Blitzer is the anchor of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” an afternoon news program that combines traditional reporting methods with the newest innovative online resources. Blitzer has won numerous awards, including the 2004 Journalist Pillar of Justice Award from the Respect for Law Alliance and the 2003 Daniel Pearl Award from the Chicago Press Veterans Association. He was among the team awarded the Edward R. Murrow Award for CNN’s coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. In November 2002, the American Veteran Awards honored him with the prestigious Ernie Pyle Journalism Award for excellence in military reporting, and, in February 2000, he received the Anti-Defamation League’s Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize. Blitzer won an Emmy Award for his 1996 coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing.
For a wide-eyed 1951 graduate of Mercyhurst College, learning the inner workings of the phenomenon called television was like gaining the code to the secrets of the universe. Ann Deckop jumped at a chance for a summer job at the only television station in her hometown, WBEN-TV.
All she hoped for was to meet some of the on-air radio legends from her childhood, who had leaped to television. She never imagined that she would spend all of her working life at Channel Four as the “right-hand woman’ to the station’s top executives, first in Sales and then with C. Robert Thompson. Ann became assistant to Thompson’s successor, Leslie G. Arries, Jr. as he guided Channel 4 through the turbulent final decades of the Twentieth Century.
She worked with Arries on his many community outreach programs and National Association of Broadcasters projects. Ann Deckop’s career thrived through fifty-five years of phenomenal change in broadcasting. Currently Public Service Director, she oversees Channel Four’s public affairs programming and serves as station liaison to the Call For Action unit. She says she has “enjoyed the friendships, the fun, and the excitement of being in the middle of everything going on in our community. When people ask, ‘Where do you work; what do you do?’ it is with a great deal of pride that I reply, at Channel Four.”
Rich Newberg is the Senior Correspondent for News 4 Buffalo, WIVB-TV. He joined the CBS affiliate in 1978 as Weekend Anchorman, later becoming a main anchor for the 5 and 11p.m. Newscasts. Rich was named Senior Correspondent in 1999, reporting on the big stories of the day and heading the Documentary Unit at News 4. Newberg has won nine New York Emmy Awards for his television specials, including the fight against terrorism, the challenges facing psychiatric outpatients, and developmentally disabled.
“Our documentaries generally deal with the human struggle for dignity,” says Rich. Newberg’s many state, regional and national awards include the Edward R. Murrow, CINE Golden Eagle, Telly Hugo, Gabriel, New York Festivals World Medal, AP and UPI. Throughout his thirty-seven years as a broadcast journalist, Rich has sought to bring the camera and microphone to people who generally don’t have a voice in society. He started his career as TV News Troubleshooter.
Rich worked at ABC affiliates in Syracuse and Rochester, and the NBC owned and operated station in Chicago. Rich received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Arts from Ithaca College, and a Master of Arts degree in News and Public Affairs from Michigan State University. M.S.U. honored Rich last year with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
Norman Schrutt retired September 20, 1996 as President of Owned Radio Stations for Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. Schrutt’s corporate responsibilities included supervision of the company’s stations in Chicago, Washington, Dallas, Atlanta and Minneapolis. He also consulted the company’s radio interest in the Scandinavian Broadcast System, which owns ten stations throughout Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
Schrutt joined Capital Cities in 1963 at its Buffalo (WKBW) facility as an Account Executive. In 1971 he was made local sales manager and general sales manager in 1974. He was named general manager in 1977. In 1980 he was tapped to manage the company’s two Los Angeles radio stations and the next year was transferred to Atlanta to manage the new purchase of WKHX AM/FM.
In 1987 he was named to his past position as a result of restructuring following the acquisition of the American Broadcasting Companies by Capital Cities, Inc.
Schrutt is a past “Gabriel” and “Clio” award winner signifying national recognition for station public service campaigns. Additionally, the Atlanta stations were recipients of the 1995 “Joseph P. Dougherty Award” for outstanding public service among all Capital Cities/ABC stations. He has served on the boards of the Country Music Association, Atlanta Better Business Bureau, Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Association of Broadcasters, Atlanta Radio Association and the All Radio Negotiating Committee.
On January 2, 1997 he formed a new company, Schurutt & Katz, Inc., representing broadcast talent. The company represents over 20 radio personalities across the country.
With a career in broadcasting that began in 1963 and continued until his death in 2004, Clip Smith embodied what makes up so many media personalities: an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a curiosity that leads to a diverse and interesting life.
Clip not only had a career in radio and television where he was an anchor/reporter/talk show host, he also was a newspaper columnist (Union-Sun & Journal) and teacher, having taught at Medaille College and in the Lockport school systems.
As a member of the Lockport Federation of Musicians, Clip was willing to play his tuba wherever and whenever the opportunity arose. Not just a Sunday player, Clip earned a music scholarship to SUNY Buffalo and was a member of their Marching Band. Later he became a concert soloist playing the trombone, euphonium, tuba and string base. I
n recognition of Clip’s broadcasting excellence he was awarded the Elliott Steward Award in 1970 for “Outstanding Contribution to Broadcast News in New York State”. Politics was Clip’s other main interest. He was active in the Lockport Republican Party and served on the Lockport School Board.
In 2005, the City of Lockport Republican Committee posthumously named him “Republican of the Year” in recognition of outstanding leadership and service. No one who ever heard Clip on the air will forget his puns, “Clips Quips”, as he fondly called them. An example? How about: “Do all policemen have an arresting personality?”
Irv Weinstein remembers Clip this way: “Clip had a crazy mind, a photographic memory and all kinds of eclectic interests.” All of which make for an interesting life.
Ed Tucholka was known variously as Uncle Ed, “Tuch”, First Voice of the Niagara Frontier and Ed Tucholka. As a young boy he played radio broadcaster and started as a boy chorister. His first job was at a local department store (“Sattler’s – 998 Broadway”) announcing bargains of the day, paging mothers of lost children and generally keeping things moving without benefit of a script.
Ed’s deep rich baritone voice landed him a DJ job in the late 1930s at WEBR radio. After the war started, he did a piece called the “Noon Day Review,” highlighting a local GI every day. Tucholka would detail where the local serviceman was and how he was contributing to the war effort. In the late 1940sand early 1950s he morphed into “Uncle Ed” of Uncle Ed’s Children’s Hour at WEBR.
Tucholka moved to the WBEN stations in 1958 and oversaw their FM station’s operations along with a variety of other responsibilities through the sixties. He interviewed many celebs, but was never in awe of any of them. He taught radio broadcasting through Junior Achievement and the YMCA.
Tucholka continued to work part time at WHLD and retired in September 1995 at 80, still the picture of dignity and elegance he always presented. He passed away in January, 1996.