The Central New York radio community said goodbye to several broadcast veterans this year.
‘Dandy Dan’ Leonard
Dan Leonard brought rock and rock to Syracuse radio and went on to become one of the market’s legendary jocks. Leonard, who spent 27 years on the air in Central New York, starting in 1954 at WNDR, died Feb. 11 from cancer in California at the age of 75. In 1993, Leonard was honored with the first Syracuse Areas Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.
Former Syracuse television news anchor and investigative reporter Sheryl Nathans died of cancer in a Pennsylvania hospice on April 9 at the age of 55. While known primarily as a television journalist, Nathans also hosted the issues oriented show Every Woman Everywhere on 570 WSYR in the mid 90s.
Keith Eubanks was a well-known national audio production and voiceover talent who voiced the sweepers and imaging for Hot 107-9 in the mid 90s. Eubanks died in Atlanta in June from complications of pneumonia. He was 38.
When Fred Hillegas joined WSYR 570 AM in 1946, he was the sole member of its news department. As the news staff grew, Hillegas served as the station’s news director in addition to heading up the news team at WSYR-TV 3 (now WSTM). Hillegas, who left WSYR in 1972, died in July at the age of 85.
Judy Krauss died July 2 at the age of 53 following a long battle with cancer. Krauss was WRVO’s donor services manager and wife of station manager John Krauss.
Former 62 WHEN news anchor and reporter Jeff Scheidecker died in November of lymphatic cancer at the age of 46. Scheidecker’s 23-year broadcast career also included work as a television news director at stations in Syracuse; Greensboro, NC; South Bend, IN; and Orlando, FL. He was most recently operations manager at WGGB-TV in Springfield, MA.
Former WTLB midday personality Bob O’Donnell died of cancer in December in Bonita Springs at the age of 59. O’Donnell, who worked at the Utica station during their Top 40 days of the late 60s and early 70s, originally made his mark as part of a folk music trio, the Windgate Singers.
We also remember Jessica Flegal who lost her life in a tragic car accident in LaFayette in June. Flegal was the 16-year-old daughter of Syracuse radio veteran Rick Gary.