Broadcast Pioneers Honored

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Jun 1, 2009 at 7:56 AM EDT

11 Pioneers in local television are recognized at this years Southern Tier's Broadcasters Hall of Fame celebration.

Action News reporter Rachael Hidalgo tells us why their contributions to the industry deserve accolades.

“These are the pioneers of broadcasters right here. Ed Scala, Sam Page…” says new inductee Fred Heckman.

On this wall are some of televisions' most influential people in Southern Tier.

And this year... the Southern Tier Broadcasters Association adds 11 more faces to its Hall of Fame.

It held its 2nd inaugural ceremony at the Bundy Museum in Binghamton.

"If we don't, as a broadcasting community, recognize these people they're going to be forgotten. If you look at some of the names that are on the wall here, there's some pretty impressive people here," says President of the Southern Tier’s Broadcasters Association Tom Shiptempko.

When this years inductees look at the faces on this wall, they say it brings back memories from what they call, the "Golden Years".

Fred Heckman was there when TV first broadcast.

"There was no tape. BT, I call it Before Tape, and you did it and it was LIVE, everything. And if you made a mistake, you made a mistake that was it. But it was fun to do,” remembers Fred Heckman.

Ronald Shoemaker spent more than 4 decades working as an engineer here at WBNG.

He passed away this past September.

His family was there to accept his award as Shoemaker was inducted posthumously.

"What would he say? Um he'd laugh and probably say this really wasn't necessary. He got more joy out of watching other people than any other light that was ever cast on him," says his son Robert Shoemaker.

Whether spending years behind the scenes or in front of the camera, there's no doubt... These broadcasters have made a difference in the local community.

The museum hopes to add more photos and bios to the wall every year.

With the addition of todays inductees, the Southern Tier Broadcasters Association has recognized 31 pioneers from the industry.

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