Induction Ceremony to be Held Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel
BOSTON – Nine highly accomplished members of the broadcast community will be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association (MBA) Hall of Fame during a luncheon ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, at the Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel.
The nine individuals are (alphabetically by last name): Mike Baxendale, the long-time morning co-host on Springfield’s Rock 102, WAQY; WCRB Classical 99.5 Boston morning program host of more than 20 years, Laura Carlo; Eric Jackson of Boston’s WGBH 89.7 Radio, widely considered the “Dean of Boston Jazz Radio;” pioneering broadcast executive Paul Kelley; ESPN’s award-winning former Boston Red Sox TV play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough; John O’Brien, the popular iHeart Radio podcaster and former Rock 102, WAQY morning co-host; Nancy Quill, who for 38 years with WMJX, Boston, Magic 106.7, was among the top-rated mid-day radio ratings leaders; Jorge Quiroga, the award-winning WCVB-TV, Channel 5, Boston journalist who reported news for more than four decades at the station; and Gerald Walsh, the former President and General Manager of Boston’s WLVI, Channel 56, as well as WFXT, Channel 25, and one-time President of Boston Celtics Broadcasting.
Kelley is the 2022 “Pioneer Award” recipient, given, as Hall of Fame Committee Chair Peter Brown explains, “to an individual who has distinguished himself/herself over decades for lasting contributions made to the broadcast industry and through a leadership role in his or her particular craft.” He added, “The Award was established to recognize individuals who do not appear on-air, but their role helped influence and inspire the Massachusetts broadcast community to reach a pinnacle of excellence.”
Tickets for the Sept. 22 event are now on sale at $90 each and may be purchased on the MBA website at: bit.ly/MABHOF2022 Tables of eight are also available for purchase.
MBA Chair Mary Menna, Vice President and Boston Market Manager for the Beasley Media Group, said of this year’s inductees, “The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association is thrilled to be able to gather in person to celebrate these individuals’ lifelong achievements and contributions to our broadcasting community and to welcome them into the Hall of Fame.”
Separately, MBA Executive Director Jordan Walton announced that the next Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, following the 2022 event, will be held on Thursday, June 8, 2023, also at the Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel, and he urged those interested to “Save the date.
Learn more about each of our upcoming inductees:
Mike Baxendale is a native of Rehoboth, MA and a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee. Bax began his career in standup comedy before turning his full attention to broadcasting in 1985 when he became a production assistant at WJAR TV in Providence. Later that year, he began his professional radio career at WQFM back in Milwaukee. And within three years, at the age of 23, he was hired to become a co-host in morning drive. In 1992 he was hired by Saga Communications and its WKLH station in Milwaukee where he joined the Dave & Carole Show. In March, 1995 he accepted a position to co-host with John O’Brien the morning show on WAQY in Springfield – which is also owned by Saga. For about 28 years, Bax has served in a variety of roles including being the one-time assistant program director. He also hosts his own music show on Sunday nights, as well as his own weekly music podcast which is available on multiple platforms.
Laura Carlo has been WCRB’s Morning Program Host for more than 25 years. She has written, produced and hosted numerous programs for WCRB including “ArtsAlive!” “Laura’s Book Nook,” “CEO Spotlight,” “Making Waves,” “Baroque in Boston,” and “Keith’s Classical Corner,” a weekly music interview with Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart. Under the station’s original ownership, she also hosted the morning show for the World Classical Network, syndicated in 18 US cities, making her the most listened-to stand-alone female morning music announcer in America, according to Arbitron. She has been both a part-time music host and news anchor on New York’s WQXR; weekend news anchor on Boston’s WBZ Radio; weekend news writer/news producer for Boston’s WCVB-TV; afternoon news anchor for Worcester’s Channel 27; and news director/morning anchor on Fall River’s WALE News Radio. Laura is, or has been, a member of the Board of Overseers of the Boston Conservatory, the Italian Home for Children, the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, and UNICEF- New England. One of her favorite charitable endeavors was creating the “WCRB Horn of Plenty Cookbook” (Vols. 1 & 2), which raised over $80,000 for Project Bread, the largest umbrella organization for food relief in Massachusetts.
Eric Jackson, widely considered the “Dean of Boston Jazz Radio,” began his broadcast career in 1969 as a Boston University student, hosting three programs on BU’s closed-circuit AM station, WTBU. Continuing his work in college radio, he went on to host WBUR’s The Grotto (1970) and at Harvard’s WHRB Going East (1971) before moving to the commercial airwaves and a Sunday afternoon jazz program on Boston’s WILD (1972). Eric hosted a contemporary mixed-music show for WBCN Boston where he also produced and hosted Third World Report, a weekly public affairs forum. In 1975 while still at WBCN, Eric wrote and narrated Essays in Black Music, a 35-part chronology of African American musical history that aired weekly on WGBH Radio, Boston. Eric became a regular part of the WGBH lineup in 1977 with Artists in the Night, an overnight jazz music showcase. Eric in the Evening debuted in 1981 and with it, his emergence as one of public broadcasting’s most popular on-air personalities. In 2000, the Massachusetts College of Art named him as one of the “100 Most Culturally Significant Bostonians of the 20th Century.” In 2006, Eric received the National Jazz Journalists Association’s Award for Excellence in Jazz Broadcasting. He was awarded Jazzweek’s Major Market Programmer of the Year in 2008, and in 2012, the Duke Dubois Humanitarian Award. Over the years, Eric has hosted more than 3000 interviews with music greats ranging from Wynton Marsalis to Ornette Coleman to Dizzy Gillespie. He is currently a member of the Northeastern University faculty where he teaches The African American Experience Through Music. WGBH celebrated Eric’s more than 40 years of employment with “Eric Jackson Week” activities in April, 2018.
Paul Kelley – Pioneer Award
Radio executive Paul Kelley, best-known for championing expanded professional and college sports broadcasts throughout New England is the 2022 Pioneer Award recipient, given, as Hall of Fame Committee Chair Peter Brown explains, “to an individual who has distinguished himself/herself over decades for lasting contributions made to the broadcast industry and through a leadership role in his or her particular craft.” Paul worked in local and national sales management for several top stations before branching out in his own business Kelley Communications. He launched the first 24-hour all sports/talk radio station in the country with WMEX in the 1970s, and he doubled the Red Sox Radio Network from 40 to 80 stations when he acquired the radio rights of the Red Sox in 1975. Paul was an early supporter and champion of the popular “Music America with Ron Della Chiesa” show, which began in the mid-1970s and still airs weekly on WPLM Radio, Plymouth. Paul is a decorated Air Force veteran of the Korean War. During his six-decade professional career, Paul also produced dozens of radio features including golf and ski tips and coverage of local high school and college sports teams. Paul is now in his 90s and is proud of a career that impacted so many so positively in the region’s radio market.
This is the fourth year that the Pioneer Award has been presented. “The Award,” Committee Chair Brown said, “was established to recognize individuals who do not appear on-air, but their role helped influence and inspire the Massachusetts broadcast community to reach a pinnacle of excellence.”
John O’Brien, the long-time former morning co-host on Springfield’s Rock 102, WAQY Radio, was raised just over the state line in Connecticut and graduated from high school there. He spent his entire radio career, from the age of 20 and beyond, in Springfield and Hartford working at WTIC, WCCC, WMAS & WSPR before beginning his 30-year career at WAQY. In a Springfield Republican article on John, local public officials credited him for being “thoughtful, witty, uncompromising, and well-researched when he tackled guests on the show. ‘I always enjoyed my time with him and we always had a few laughs,’ said Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. ‘John’s quick and sarcastic wit was always appreciated, but he did his homework too so he could drill down on issues.’” With his former WAQY Radio partner, Mike Baxendale, John co-hosted for more than 20 years the annual Mayflower Marathon, a 57-hour on-air food and fund drive that takes place each year on the weekend before Thanksgiving to benefit the Open Pantry food bank of Springfield. Since leaving Rock 102, John does a popular podcast for iHeart Radio.
From 1988 to 2004, Sean McDonough was the New England Emmy Award-winning television play-by-play announcer for the Boston Red Sox, and he is still heard today as a commentator on the Red Sox Radio Network. He is also the current lead play-by-play announcer for the NHL on ESPN and ABC, which includes calling the Stanley Cup Finals on national television. That assignment extends his tenure with ESPN well beyond three decades. Sean’s other broadcast work includes a College Football Playoff (CFP) Semifinal on ESPN and the CFP National Championship on ESPN Radio. Sean’s voice extends beyond ESPN’s college football coverage, calling signature men’s college basketball games concluding the basketball season with the NCAA Men’s Final Four for ESPN International. The Masters’ Par 3 competition, the PGA Championship, select Major League Baseball games and additional golf events are on his annual slate. Sean joined ESPN in 1988, establishing himself as a national voice just four years after graduating cum laude from Syracuse. In his renowned tenure, the Boston native has been behind the ESPN microphone for a bevy of marquee events, including Monday Night Football, the US Open, and multiple NCAA Championships. As CBS’s lead Major League Baseball broadcast voice in 1992 and 1993, he called the World Series, National League Championship Series and the All-Star Game, among a diverse array of other sports programs. His “celebrity” McDonough golf tournament has raised nearly four million dollars over more than ten years, with the proceeds distributed to 129 children’s charities throughout Massachusetts.
Having been on the radio for 38 years, Nancy Quill was regarded as “the most listened to woman in the city of Boston.” Hired at only 22 on a then-brand-new station called Magic 106.7, WMJX, she had consistent number one ratings in her 10 AM to 3 PM time slot during her Magic 106.7 tenure. Nancy told a recent interviewer that being number one was “great, but staying number one [was] hard work. I [had] to be on my game every day. I’ve got to do the best that I can to relate to people…to be real. I want[ed] them to know that I care, that I’m there for them.” A graduate of the University of Lowell with a degree in music education, Nancy is an accomplished singer, songwriter and musician. Radio is in her blood: she is the daughter of the late Doris and Joe Quill, owner and general manager of WRLM in Taunton, Massachusetts. Nancy was with the station from when WMJX signed on in 1982. “More than a million people listen to Nancy every week,” the station once boasted. “She has the longest-running show of any woman on the radio in any top-ten market in America.” For well over a decade Nancy co-hosted the annual “Boston Common Tree Lighting.” She emceed many of the Greater Boston “Walks to End Alzheimer’s” in addition serving as their radio spokesperson.
Jorge Quiroga, a retired award-winning journalist at WCVB-TV, Channel 5 in Boston, reported countless stories for 45 years for the station’s award-winning newscasts. An inductee in the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Boston/New England Chapter, he covered nearly every major national and local story of importance to New Englanders including the Blizzard of ’78, the Claus von Bülow trial (then, the “crime of the century”), the 9-11 attack on America, the Sandy Hook school shootings, and the Boston Marathon bombing. Jorge proudly tells his story: “At 20 years old, while going into my senior year at Emerson College, I was hired by WBZ-TV to host and help write ‘Que Pasa,’ the first show directed at the city’s burgeoning Spanish-speaking community. As such I became the first Latino to host and be featured in a regular weekly show in the Boston TV market. To this day, many old-timers, the ‘pioneers’ of the area’s Latino community, remember me fondly as ‘Enrique el Artista,’ the first Latino they ever saw on local TV. Following that, I went on to teach in the Boston Public Schools and get my Ed.M. at Harvard before joining WCVB-TV, Channel 5, in 1974, where I was the first producer/host of the public affairs program I co-created, ‘Aqui.’ Three years later I moved over from Public Affairs to News Center 5 and another boundary was broken when I also became the first Latino staff news reporter in this market, a responsibility I honored during my entire career.”
Rising through the ranks in television sales, Gerry Walsh became President and General Manager of WLVI, Channel 56, Boston, and served in that position from 1980 to 1989. At WLVI (then with the call letters WKBG), he introduced the city’s first commercial station 10 o’clock news. As President of Boston Celtics Broadcasting from 1989 to 1996, he served as general manager of WFXT-TV, Boston’s Fox network affiliate, Channel 25. After the Boston Celtics acquired WEEI Radio, he created and developed the first all sports talk radio station which included broadcasting Boston Celtics basketball. Soon after, WEEI became one of the most popular sports talk stations in the country. His professional career includes positions as account executive at WHDH-Radio and WLVI-television, local, national and general sales manager before becoming president and general manager at WLVI and then president, general manager, WFXT-Fox 25, Boston, to his retirement. As a broadcast executive and into his retirement, his charitable work is notable as a Board of Trustees member of: Carney Hospital, Boston, the Red Auerbach Fund, the Genesis Fund, Catholic Charities of Boston, and the South Boston Neighborhood House. He served as a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Boston/New England Chapter (president 1985-1986), the Northeast Broadcasters Association (president 1984-1985), and the Ad Club of Boston (trustee 1986-1987).