Indiana Broadcasters Association to Induct Five History-Making Broadcasters into Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Ceremony Recognition Planned for November 17

Carmel, Ind. –  September 14, 2016 – The Indiana Broadcasters Association, representing more than 300 television and radio stations in the state, will induct five new members into its Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame later this fall:  Brad Byrd, Tom Griswold, Bob Kevoian, Ed Roehling, and Bill Shirk.

“We are honored to welcome these five legendary broadcasters into the Fairbanks Hall of Fame,” said IBA executive director, Dave Arland.  “Our Hall of Fame recipients represent the best in the business and have served as stewards of information and entertainment in our communities for many years.  Along with the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers, this year’s class of Hall of Fame winners represent the best of Indiana’s long history in radio and TV broadcasting.”

The Hall of Fame class will be inducted during the IBA’s 2016 Indiana Broadcasters Conference on November 17 in Carmel.  The luncheon ceremony will be held in conjunction with IBA’s the annual Spectrum Awards that recognize the best in Indiana broadcasting.  Tickets for the Hall of Fame and Spectrum Awards luncheon are now available.

Award winning Hall of Fame Indiana broadcasters include:

Brad ByrdBrad Byrd, lead anchor and managing editor for WEHT (ABC) and WTVW (CW) in Evansville.  The first Tri-State broadcaster elected to the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Hall of Fame, Brad Byrd is now in his 39th year as Lead News Anchor for Eyewitness News.  Among his honors are Emmy, Edward R. Murrow, AP and SPJ awards.

Byrd co-anchors Eyewitness News at 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 pm. He’s covered stories in Eastern Europe, Washington D.C., New York City, the Gulf Coast and other U.S. locations with Tri-State links.  He has received the Ball State University Telecommunications Distinguished Alumnus Award. The National Easter Seals Society Consistent Best Telethon Host award Evansville Courier & Press Best Community Volunteer and News Personality awards.

Byrd is a former president of the local American Heart Association Board. He co-founded Cruising for Hearts, a major fundraiser with his wife, TJ. For that effort, Byrd and TJ received the AHA’s Heart of Life award.  He was honored with the United Way’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with several Tri-state charities.  Byrd eventually took his experience to the classroom: teaching broadcast courses at the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana.

BOB&TOM-Duo PromoBob Kevoian and Tom Griswold began their on-air partnership in 1981, hosting mornings in Michigan at WJML, Petoskey.  In 1983, they joined WFBQ-FM, Indianapolis as the station’s morning team. Once there, The Bob & Tom Show became the city’s top-rated morning show.

The Bob & Tom Show has offered an unpredictable blend of news from Kristi Lee, sports from Chick McGee, talk, celebrity guests, in-studio musical performances, sketch comedy and topical, sometimes irreverent, humor. The show routinely features original comedy songs and a cast of recurring characters.  The Bob & Tom Show is recognized for giving national exposure to young and developing comedians (including George Lopez, Brad Garrett, Tim Allen and Rodney Carrington) and the show continues to promote the nation’s best comedians through the popular Friends of the Bob & Tom Show Comedy Tour.

In 1995, The Bob & Tom Show began national syndication. The show has been heard on more than 400 stations nationwide and The American Forces Radio Network.  The show has won over twenty major industry awards, including five Marconi Awards from The National Association of Broadcasters and the show has released more than 60 comedy albums.

Roehling

Ed Roehling always wanted to be a broadcasters and received his degree from Butler University in Communications.  In his mid twenties, he organized a group of investors to put a station in Winchester, Ind., on the air.  He went onto manage radio stations in Minnesota and Michigan before returning to Indiana.

In 1971, Roehling and a group of local investors were delighted when the FCC finally granted the license they had applied for in Rushville, Indiana.  He and his wife Sandy made it into a true hometown station, that received many awards for its service to the community.  During this time, he also was able to get WWWY on the air in Columbus, Indiana.

He also served as a professor for the communications program at Indiana Central College (now University of Indianapolis) and served as general manager for the public radio station on campus, WICR-FM, for 20 years.

Roehling was vice president for Hoosier Broadcasting for ten years, a company that owned three educational stations licensed to Cloverdale/Indianapolis, Lebanon, and Greencastle/Indianapolis.

Roehling is now the president and Broker of Roehling Broadcast Services, Ltd., which serves the radio broadcast industry with appraisal, brokerage, and consulting services for individual and company acquisitions and sales of broadcast properties. The company also consults in the areas of management, sales, negotiations, and marketing in the broadcast and other industries.

Shirk

Bill Shirk graduated from Ball State in 1967 with a degree in education and initially worked as a repairman and as an account executive for his Dad’s advertising agency.  He taught a year of middle school in 1965 then talked his dad and mother into applying for the license for WERK Muncie. They receive the license and Shirk’s parents wanted  him to start at the bottom, so he began at WERK as the janitor.  A year later, he became a weekend DJ at WERK and by 1968 not only became WERK’s station manager, but also served as sales manager, program director, production manager and remained as a DJ in the afternoons.

Throughout the next three decades, Shirk went on to own, general manage, program and serve as an air personality on ten radio stations and two TV stations  in Muncie, Indianapolis, Greenwood, Greencastle, Cloverdale and Lebanon. A member of The Garden United Methodist Church,  in 1983 Shirk was the executive producer and starred in “The Escapist” the first motion picture ever produced in the state of Indiana before the film commission was established in Indiana. He is also a published author having written “Modern Day Houdini.” Bill Shirk was the number one Escape Artist in the World, in the 1970s, 1980s & 1990s, setting eight Guinness Book of World records from fastest escape from Strait Jacket 1.68 seconds to a World Record Jail Break. Through his escapes, Shirk has raised thousands of dollars for underprivileged and handicapped children and adults throughout Central Indiana. This work has been recognized with various awards including the Crossroads Business Award, Variety Club of Indianapolis Human Achievement Award, and the Indianapolis Northwest Lions Club Special Award, among others.

He now owns 12 radio stations in Hawaii and does mornings on the oldies station in Honolulu.

Sam Klemet
Indiana Broadcasters Association
317-770-0970
sam@indianabroadcasters.org

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