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'Irv, Rick, and Tom!': A 'Giant' historic reunion with hosts Linda Pellegrino and John Di Sciullo at Buffalo History Museum

by jmaloni

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Mon, Feb 10th 2014 09:00 am
`Giants of Buffalo: Television`
"Giants of Buffalo: Television"

Tickets go on sale Valentine's Day

Earlier this year, an "M&T Third Fridays at The Buffalo History Museum" release announced the second annual "Giants of Buffalo" program to celebrate history-making individuals who made extraordinary contributions during their careers. On Friday, March 21, "Giants of Buffalo: Television" will feature the legendary WKBW Channel 7 TV news team Irv Weinstein, Rick Azar and Tom Jolls.

The program will be moderated by Channel 7 WKBW star and "AM Buffalo" host Linda Pellegrino, as well as former WKBW news director John Di Sciullo.

The "Giants of Buffalo" program follows an informal talkshow format in the museum auditorium, and invites the audience to ask questions after the introduction of stories. Channel 7 WKBW - the program's media sponsor - will film the event for an on-air showing at a future date.

The annual discussion series is in collaboration with the Buffalo Broadcasters Association and offers an adult soirée around the program. Wine, soft drinks and light snacks will be available.

The general public may call 716-873-9644, ext. 0, or email [email protected] to inquire about the program. Visit www.buffalohistory.org for more on the venue.

"Giants of Buffalo M&T Third Fridays" is sponsored by M&T Bank.

The Buffalo History Museum is a premier Western New York historical organization, serving since its founding in 1862 to collect, research, interpret and share the Niagara Frontier's rich history. Its collections include more than 100,000 artifacts, 200,000 photographs and 20,000 books. The Buffalo History Museum annually presents a wide array of programs, exhibits, tours, outdoor events and activities for all ages.

"Giants of Buffalo: Television"

  • Friday, March 21
  • Time: 6 p.m. cocktail reception; 7 p.m. seating for program
  • Location: The Buffalo History Museum, One Museum Court (at Elmwood Avenue and Nottingham Terrace)
  • Program admission: $10 for museum members; $20 general admission; $35 for VIP passes. On Friday, Feb. 14, tickets can be purchased at the museum, by phone at 716-873-9644, or online at buffalohistory.org.

About the 'Giants'

Irv Weinstein became news director of WKBW Radio's "Pulse Beat News" in 1958, and developed the concept of "rock 'n' roll radio news": fast-paced, sometimes bombastic delivery, with a tabloid emphasis on the police blotter. In 1964, he took over as news director and lead anchor for TV's "Eyewitness News." Seated at the Channel 7 news desk with Tom Jolls and Rick Azar, Weinstein was one-third of the longest-running anchor team in television history (24 years - beginning in 1965.) On Dec. 31, 1998, Weinstein retired from Channel 7, leaving Buffalo airwaves as the most popular TV personality in the history of Western New York.

Rick Azar is famous for his quarter-century run as the twice-a-night sports anchor at WKBW-TV. To hundreds of thousands of viewers, his face and voice are the definitive representations of sports on the Niagara Frontier. In the mid-1950s, he became one of the youngest staff announcers at NBC-TV in New York, eventually returning to Buffalo to work at NBC-owned WBUF-TV, Channel 17. In 1958, when Channel 7 signed on, it was Azar's voice that welcomed viewers to what would become Buffalo's No.1 TV station. He retired from Channel 7 in 1989. 

Tom Jolls was Buffalo's all-time favorite weatherman and a 34-year vet of WKBW-TV's "Weather Outside." He was also host of one of the city's most memorable children's programs, "The Commander Tom Show." Before Channel 7, he anchored news at WBEN-TV, and wrote and produced radio dramas for WBEN-AM.

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