November 23, 2019

The 54th Annual Broadcast Pioneer’s Hall of Fame Dinner

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On November 22, 2019, the 54th annual induction of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia took place at the Hilton Hotel on City Avenue in Philadelphia. It was a night of laughter and holding back the tears.

I had the pleasure to be Co-MC for the predinner interviews and, as such, talked to several of the honorees prior to the induction. Of course, they were all excited for the night’s activities. It is very much like going to the Oscar or Emmy Awards. Those who I interviewed told me that they had friends and relatives attending that came from all over the country to witness their induction.

The completely sold out dinner was very interesting. Many who were inducted were well known to those reading this. Others were people who worked behind the scenes (Like Steve Sacks and Leigh Pullekines) and don’t ordinarily get much attention or praise. It was especially gratifying to see the latter be honored.

The night was filled with acceptance speeches that ranged from very emotional to very funny. While everyone did a great job of keeping the audience focused on their story, some stood out.

It was very inspirational to hear what Patty Jackson and Jim Murray had to say. Patty’s long career in radio was interrupted by a stroke. That stroke would have stopped many because among other things it left her blind. But it didn’t stop Patty. She was able to eventually make a comeback and is still on the air today on WDAS-FM. She is known for giving generously of her time to many worthy causes and stressed to the assembled the need for everyone to do so.

Jim Murray has accomplished more in his lifetime than four other people combined. His story showed he is a lot more than a co-host of a radio show. Jim worked his way up in the Philadelphia Eagles management to become the team’s General Manager. Once he became GM, he did more than care about the team on the field. It was Murray who set up the Eagles charities and he was the founder of the Ronald McDonald House. The charity, that started right here in Philadelphia, is now worldwide with countless homes and volunteers. Like Patty, Jim stressed the importance of giving back to the community. No one is prouder of Philadelphia than Jim.

Mike Jerrick, who is always a joy to watch on Channel 29, provided lots of laughs. So did the WMMR morning team of Preston and Steve.

The theme of giving back was also stressed by the Person of the Year. Harry Hurley has done so much more than a morning show in Atlantic City on WPG. His outstanding ability was noticed by Fox News and he has been selected to be a fill in host for the national network.

Since first going on the air in the morning in 1992, Harry has been on the air pushing for changes and helping others. His morning show charity has raised over $900,00 that has directly benefited the needy.
His stirring speech was the perfect end to the night. Everyone left inspired and in great spirits.

You can see the entire event by going the Broadcast Pioneer’s website here (it will be up and running about a week after the dinner) or by clicking on the BPOP banner anywhere on this website.

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