By Steve Cichon
Excerpt from 100 Years of Buffalo Broadcasting
As already mentioned, his first radio job was reading poetry over the brand new WBNY, where he also became the station’s sportscaster in 1936.
Ralph Hubbell started as WGR’s sports director and moved on to WBEN in 1948, becoming “The Dean of Buffalo Sportscasters” along the way, “displaying a quick wit, warm personality and mastery of language.”
In 1948, he was Buffalo’s first TV sports anchor, although the term hadn’t been invented yet. He was in the booth for the first few seasons of Bills football. Youngster Van Miller was on the play-by-play, but Buffalo’s good sports fans loved the steady observations of Hubb during the games.
When Hubbell retired after 58 years in Buffalo broadcasting in 1989, Buffalo News Sports Editor Larry Felser, a legend in his own right who grew up listening to Hubbell, remarked “those familiar vocal cords… always seemed to have been freshly dipped in motor oil.”
Typically, each 15-minute segment of Clint Buehlman’s daily broadcast was sponsored by a single business. In the earliest days, as outlined in this ad, “Your AM-MC” would not only talk conversationally about that sponsor and its services and products, but also sit at the piano and sing songs about sponsors, weather, news and just about anything else.
By the time Buehlman was forced into retirement at age 65 in 1977, his days of sitting at the piano were long gone — replaced by adult contemporary music that could be heard all over the AM dial in that era. But between records, Buehly still would mix weather, things you needed to know and a few words from his sponsor, just like he had for the previous four decades.
This page is an excerpt from 100 Years of Buffalo Broadcasting by Steve Cichon
The full text of the book is now online.
The original 436-page book is available along with Steve’s other books online at The Buffalo Stories Bookstore and from fine booksellers around Western New York.
©2020, 2021 Buffalo Stories LLC, staffannouncer.com, and Steve Cichon