Broadcast Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon – 2019 Inductees Speak to Capacity Crowd

The Class of 2019 was formally inducted into the NYSBA Hall of Fame last week at a formal luncheon in New York City.  NYSBA President David Donovan, began the proceedings by recognizing the long term partnership with the New York Army National Guard. Attending the luncheon were a number of NYSBA Hall of Fame Members, the NYSBA Board of Directors and several members of the NAB Board of Directors.

NAB President Senator Gordon Smith congratulated FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly on being selected as the New Yorker of the Year.  He recognized our new Hall of Fame inductees, “Boomer” Esiason, Diana Williams, Tom Jolls, Ted Long and Amy Robbins.  In addition, Senator Smith recognized the partnership between NAB and NYSBA in growing the NAB Show New York.

Ed Levine, CEO of Galaxy Media and Chairman of the NYSBA Hall of Fame Committee served as emcee for the luncheon.  Ed has taken a leading role in creating the NYSBA Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame is located at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.  Our Hall of Fame can be accessed by on the web HERE.

“Boomer” Esiason recapped his life in broadcasting and thanked all those who helped him along the way. The legendary NFL quarterback has anchored WFAN’s morning show for 12 years. He is currently the co-host of “Boomer and Gio.” He served as a color commentator for ABC Monday Night Football.  He was Westwood One’s lead analyst for its football broadcasts for eighteen years and set an industry record for broadcasting 19 consecutive Super Bowls.  In addition to his work on WFAN, he currently serves as an in-studio analyst for The NFL Today on CBS television. Importantly, the Long Island Native has given back to New York.  He heads the Boomer Esiason Foundation which has raised over 200 million dollars for Cystic Fibrosis Research for over 27 years.

Diana Williams recalled many of the key news events that shaped her career.  She thanked many of the co-anchors that she worked with throughout here outstanding career.   Diana has covered important stories ranging from the troubles in Northern Ireland to illegal immigrant crossings along the Mexican border. She reported from Haiti on the one year anniversary of the earthquake that ravaged the island nation. Noted for her calm, professional manner during a crisis, she anchored coverage on September 11th during the critical early hours following the attack on the World Trade Center.

Ted Long and Amy Robbins, brought an enthusiasm that demonstrated why “Ted and Amy in the Morning” is the number one rated radio program in Syracuse.  Their heartfelt thank you to their co-workers and to Syracuse exemplified their commitment to their community.  They are an institution in Syracuse and Central New York. They have been recognized for eighteen years by the Syracuse News Times Readers Poll as Best Local Radio DJs. Ted and Amy host numerous charity functions annually and donate much of their time to area schools and non-profit organizations. They have received numerous awards for their charitable work.

The “Commander” Tom Jolls gave a heartfelt acceptance speech.  He reminded those attending of the importance of local television. He embodied what local television was all about.  Tom was the cornerstone of children’s television in Buffalo.  He created the show later became the “Commander Tom Show” and the Commander was born.  Commander Tom is one of the fondest memories of any child that grew up during the 60’s and 70’s in Western New York.  He continued the character for 26 years with his puppets.  While he never became a meteorologist, the “Commander” was the person to watch to see what the weather was outside in Western New York.  Always willing to help the community, Tom promoted backyard carnivals for Muscular Dystrophy.  Over the years his efforts resulted in significant contributions to the charity.

In all, the capacity crowd saw the best in our profession. On behalf of the NYSBA Board of Directors and the Hall of Fame Committee, congratulations to all of our honorees!  You are the gold standard for all of the young executives that are just beginning their careers. It is an honor to have you in the NYSBA Hall of Fame.


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