Fischer Inducted Into Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame
Oct. 15, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The "Voice of the Hoosiers" Don Fischer was one of eight inductees into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame on Thursday. He was inducted at an awards banquet and induction ceremony at the Indianapolis Marriott North, Keystone at the Crossing.
Fischer was joined by David Bailey, Howdy Bell, Dick Lingle, Don Tillman and Lew Wood. Wanda Ramey and Elizabeth Turnell also were inducted posthumously that evening.
Following a reception and dinner, the induction ceremonies featured a video of each honoree's career. These videos will now be added to the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame display housed at the Indiana State Museum.
Don Fischer has been the "Radio Voice" of Indiana University football and basketball games for 37 years. He has done the play-by-play for over 1500 games, including three NCAA basketball championships and eight bowl games. He hosts the weekly Coaches show for both football and basketball and a daily radio show, "IU Sports Today," which is syndicated throughout the state. He has anchored the Indianapolis Colts pre-season telecasts for the past 15 years. He has been named Indiana Sportscaster of the Year 24 times by The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and The Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, with the ISSA inducting him into its Hall of Fame in 2004.
David Bailey began his television career at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute as a studio assistant in 1966 while completing his degree in business management at Indiana State University. During his tenure at the station, he worked in engineering, production, public relations, marketing and sales. He was named Vice President/General Manager of the station in 1987 and took on the additional responsibilities of radio stations WTHI-FM and WWVR-FM in 1997. He continued to oversee the three operations initially for Wabash Valley Broadcasting and later for Emmis Communications until his retirement in 2005.
Howdy Bell studied sportscasting under Tom Carnegie at Butler University and was a student announcer on Butler's WAJC. His first commercial job was doing live reports from the IHSAA Basketball Sectionals for WFBM Radio. He worked in sales, news, sports play-by-play and as a disc jockey at WSVL Shelbyville before becoming the afternoon disc jockey at WIRE Indianapolis. He joined Sid Collins on the Indy 500 Radio Network in 1962, and the 2010 race will mark his 49th. His career has encompassed advertising, development and a variety of positions with additional stations in Indianapolis, Louisville and Crawfordsville.
Dick Lingle was hired as an announcer/disc jockey by WFBM in 1950. Possibly remembered for live commercials such as the Omar Bread Man with weatherman Bill Crawford and the Polk Milk Man on Cartoon Club, he also did live commercials for Indiana Bell's sponsorship of the IHSAA Basketball Tournament. He covered sports for the Channel 6 early and late news in the late 50's, did Trackside from the Speedway, the Speedway Golf Tournament and the Victory Dinner. He left WFBM in 1960 to become program manager and part-owner of WASK in Lafayette but rejoined Channel 6 as an account executive in 1967 and remained there until retiring in 1990.
Wanda Ramey (Queirolo) was born in Terre Haute and graduated with a radio degree from Indiana State Teachers College (now ISU) before moving to California. Hired as a secretary by an Oakland radio station, she took on the program director's job (at no extra pay) when that slot opened. By 1952 she was at KGO-TV and in 1959 became the first woman anchor in the western U.S. and only the second woman anchor in the country when she was named co-anchor of the noon news on WPIX-TV San Francisco. She left that post in 1967 to serve as a correspondent for the Voice of America and National Educational Television (now PBS). The recipient of many awards, she died at the age of 84 in 2009.
Don Tillman began his 26-year Indiana broadcast career in 1955 at WMRI-FM in Marion while still a high school student. He attended IU but transferred to Northwestern, earning a degree in radio and television in 1961. Following college and the Army, he worked at WTAF-TV in Marion and WQAD in Moline, IL prior to being named Vice President/Station Manager of WTTV, Channel 4. In 1981 he moved to KTTV Los Angeles as Vice President of Programming and Production, a post he held until 1993. Among his numerous awards are four Emmys for producing the Rose Bowl and Dodgers' games and a gold medal from the International Film Festival.
Elizabeth Turnell joined the communications faculty at DePauw University upon completing her studies at Northwestern University in 1944 and remained there until her retirement in 1971. She taught a wide range of courses while supervising students who produced and aired weekly radio programming through the airwaves of a WIRE (Indianapolis) studio located on the campus. Pleased with the success of those broadcasts, she and her department chair petitioned the FCC and obtained the first 10-watt educational radio license in the nation. When WGRE began broadcasting in 1949, she was named faculty advisor and general manager. She died in 1997.
Lew Wood was born in Indianapolis and is a graduate of Howe High School, Purdue University and Notre Dame. His successful broadcast career included television in South Bend, CBS News and NBC News. He reported from Vietnam, from the South during the tumultuous days of the civil rights movement and from Dallas when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He anchored the news desk on the NBC Today Show for three years. He later had a successful second career as a media trainer, working with top officers of Fortune 500 companies. A proud retired Major, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, he returned to Indianapolis as the National Director of Public Relations for The American Legion before entering retirement.
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