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NYSBA Adding Rick Gary to Hall of Fame

SYRACUSE/UTICA — Longtime central New York radio and TV personality Rick Gary is among six people who are to be inducted to the New York State Broadcasters’ Association Hall of Fame during a ceremony next month in New York City.

Gary currently hosts afternoon drive on two stations in the area: AC Sunny 102.1 (WZUN) in Syracuse and Hot AC Mix 102.5 (WUMX) in Utica.  Both stations are owned by Galaxy Communications.  (The NYSBA press release erroneously says the programming on Sunny “is also heard simultaneously” on Mix.  While Gary is live on both stations, the two are separate; the Syracuse studio is set up so Gary can switch his mic back and forth between the stations.)

According to his brief bio on the NYSBA website, Gary’s career has spanned 11 radio stations in four states.  Perhaps one of his most well-known (and well-documented) gigs was his time at WOLF in the 70s, as co-host of the “Rick and Ron” morning show.

Gary later moved onto television, spending 23 years at ABC affiliate WSYR-TV (formerly WIXT).  First a weatherman, Gary moved onto co-anchor the station’s morning newscasts.  In 2004, he left the newsroom to co-host the launch of the weekday talk show Bridge Street.

Leaving news also allowed Gary to return to radio, co-hosting alongside Kathy Rowe at Clear Channel AC Y94FM (WYYY).  That ended in late 2006, when Gary was one of several employees let go by CC across the Northeast.  He quickly resurfaced as the afternoon host at WZUN, making him co-workers with former rival “Big Mike” Fiss.  About a year later, WUMX was added to Gary’s plate when Galaxy bought that station from Clear Channel.  Gary left Channel 9 in April, allowing him to focus exclusively on radio.

One nationally-known name appears on the inductee list: CBS News commentator Charles Osgood, whose radio feature, “The Osgood File,” is heard locally on CBS News Radio affiliates WIBX/Utica, WTNY/Watertown and WHCU/Ithaca.

Also listed on the program, two out-of-town personalities whose signals you might be able to pick up within central New York if you happen to have the right equipment in the right place: Don Weeks of WGY/Albany and Alan Levin, aka “Brother Wease” of WFXF/Rochester.  Rounding out the class of 2009: a New York City radio reporter and a Buffalo TV reporter.

The induction ceremony will take place on November 12 at The Paley Center for Media in Manhattan.

Thanks to an anonymous tip, was able to confirm Gary’s honor about a week ago with Galaxy VP of Operations Mimi Griswold.  At the time, she said she was excited for the news, but said the station was “waiting for the [NYSBA] to put out a press release before we announce.” chose to acknowledge the NYSBA’s timetable by holding this story until today.

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