NYSBA Announces 2021 Hall Of Fame Class
The board of directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association (NYSBA) has chosen four inductees for its Hall of Fame. They were selected by the NYSBA Hall of Fame Committee from nominations submitted by NYSBA members and will be honored this fall at a special awards luncheon in New York City.
They are Tim Busch, president, broadcasting, Nexstar Media Inc.; Mark Chernoff, senior vice president programming WFAN-AM-FM New York, Audacy NY and CBS Sports Radio; Wayne Mahar, chief meteorologist, WSTM-TV, WTVH-TV and CNY Central, all Syracuse; and Jacquie Walker, news anchor, WIVB-TV Buffalo.
David Donovan, NYSBA president, said: “The Class of 2021 represents the best in the broadcasting profession. While the inductees represent a cross section of broadcasters from across the state, they share one key characteristic. They have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serve their local communities. We are honored to have them join the ranks of the legendary broadcasters from New York State.”
Timothy C. Busch has more than 37 years of broadcasting experience and has been with Nexstar Media nearly 21 years. A long time up-state New Yorker, he was appointed president of Nexstar Media in January 2017 and up until his retirement from Nexstar on June 1 of this year, oversees its broadcasting operations. The Broadcasting Division operates, programs, or provides sales and other services to 198 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 116 markets or approximately 39% of all U.S. television households (reflecting the FCC’s UHF discount). The division’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, MyNetworkTV and The CW. Nexstar is proud to own and/or operate 17 television stations in coverage of every DMA across the Empire State.
Starting out in 2000 at WROC (CBS) in Rochester, New York as vice president and general manager when Nexstar comprised 12 markets and 15 stations, as of today, with 198 stations across 116 Nexstar markets, he has been intimately involved in the company’s growth through his expanding leadership roles, serving as its senior vice president and regional manager from October 2002 to May 2008, executive vice president and co-chief operating officer from May 2008 to January 2017 and subsequently as its president until June 1, 2021, when he will retire.
Prior to Nexstar, Busch was general sales manager and held various other positions at WGRZ-TV (Gannett/NBC) in Buffalo, N.Y., from 1993 to 2000. Earlier in his career, he worked in radio broadcasting holding various sales and management positions at WGRZ-TV and at WGR-AM and FM (Taft/Rich) in Buffalo.
Busch has been an active defender for local broadcasting, advocating for the industry with numerous federal and state legislative decisionmakers. He has spent many years lobbying on behalf of broadcasters through his company and board organizations with key lawmakers and the FCC. He has served on numerous boards in New York, including the Upstate New York Advisory Board for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the New York State Broadcasters Association, the first United Way in America (Rochester, NY), American Red Cross and Adjunct Professor for the University of Buffalo. He served on the CBS Affiliation Association Board with his latest role as Chairman, the TVB Executive Board, NBC Affiliates Board, the Media Ratings Council Board and as a Trustee of the Ohio University Foundation Board, in service to his Alma Mater.
Mark Chernoff is a legendary radio executive in New York sports radio. He has helped guide WFAN in New York City for nearly 30 years.
While known for his sports programming, he started his career at music stations including the legendary WNEW-FM New York from 1985 to 1989. He was the program director at WXRK-FM New York (1989-1993), which included working with Howard Stern. Chernoff again worked as the station’s programming director in 2004-2006, where he helped develop the unique “Free FM” format as a response to subscription-based satellite radio services and had the opportunity to work with Opie and Anthony. He also worked as a rock DJ for more than a decade.
Chernoff joined WFAN in 1993 where he oversaw iconic shows such as Imus in the Morning and Mike and the Mad Dog. Chernoff’s skills were put to the test as he rebuilt WFAN’s programming following Don Imus’s comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. He managed the legendary Mike Francesa and Chris Russo. Chernoff brought Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton to the station for a morning show that saw Boomer & Carton reach No. 1 in the market during their decade-long run.
Wayne Mahar has been providing weather information to the citizens of Syracuse and Central New York for 36 years. He was the first full-time meteorologist on central New York television. His arrival signaled a new era in central New York television weather of using computer models and science to actually make a forecast and taking weather seriously and not merely riping-and-reading off the newswire. His love for meteorology spawned the tradition of broadcasting the weather outdoors on the CNY Central Weather Deck in sunshine, snow storms and everything in between. Mahar has even broadcast from the top of the Syracuse University Carrier Dome.
He has been a professional member of the American Meteorological Society for more than 35 years, and holds the AMS Television and Radio Seals of Approval for excellence in weather broadcasting. He is also a member of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and National Weather Association.
Before coming to Syracuse, Mahar worked six years on TV in his home area of Portland, Maine, but before his TV career began, he founded Precision Weather Service, a private weather consulting firm that serves hundreds of clients worldwide in several industries including: radio and TV broadcasting, transportation, tourism and the Hollywood entertainment industry.
Mahar is known as Meteorologist to the Stars forecasting the weather for most red carpet Hollywood events, high-profile weddings and even the Super Bowl and MLB All Star game.
Additionally, Mahar lends his meteorological expertise to the court system, providing expert testimony in weather related cases all across the United States. Wayne’s contributions to meteorological education include “Wayne’s Weather Workshop” for high school earth science classes and a co-authored course workbook on the science of meteorology, sold worldwide.
In 2007, with the help of meteorologists Chris Brandolino and Peter Hall, Mahar developed an educational mock weather disaster that is used in the curriculum requirements for a college degree in emergency preparedness. Weather safety for outdoor events is a huge issue, so he developed a one-of-a-kind table top exercise for outdoor event professionals and has given talks in both the US and Canada on outdoor weather safety. In fact, a few years ago he was invited to New York City to present a day-long seminar to city officials on ways to better prepare for the next Super Storm Sandy.
Jacquie Walker has been news anchor at CBS affiliate WIVB-TV Buffalo for 38 years, the longest serving anchor at a television station in Buffalo broadcasting history according to the NYSBA. She anchors News 4 at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m. For her outstanding career, Jacquie has been inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Silver Circle of the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Walker’s work has been recognized with dozens of journalism awards, 18 New York Emmy nominations, and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Communications. She is proud to be on the WIVB team that earned two National Edward R. Murrow Awards for coverage of the tragic crash of Flight 3407 in 2009.
Walker has been honored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society with a Lifetime Achievement Award for 30+ years of support for those living with MS. Because of her dedication to the fight against cancer, she was honored with the prestigious Service to Mankind Award by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She also has received major awards for her service from the Girl Scouts of Western New York, Kevin Guest House, Rotary Club, National Conference for Community and Justice, and other charitable and civic organizations. For more than 10 years, the Buffalo chapter of the American Association of University Women has presented a $5,000 scholarship in Walker’s honor to a local college student.
A breast cancer survivor, she has shared her own story with viewers as well as other stories of survivors, screenings, and clinical trials.
Walker began her 42-year career in television news reporting and anchoring at the former WBHW-TV Springfield, Ill. In 1980, she became the first female co-anchor at WROC-TV Rochester, N.Y. She moved to Buffalo, NY, as anchor in 1983 and remains among the longest-tenured employees at WIVB-TV.