The 30th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame inducted its class of 2018 in New York City on Thursday night. The induction ceremonies were hosted by New York City market legend and fellow Radio Hall of Famer Scott Shannon, and took place at Guastavino’s in midtown Manhattan, just as the city was hit with its first winter storm.
The 2018 inductees include veteran Chicago personality Jonathon Brandmeier, “The Fabulous Sports Babe” Nancy Donnellan, WFAN New York afternoon host Mike Francesa, ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg (Mike & Mike), New York radio vet Joan Hamburg, Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs, broadcast and satellite radio personality Kid Kelly, WAXQ New York morning man Jim Kerr, syndicated talk show host Mark Levin, and Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who spent 16 years in broadcast radio syndication and is now heard on SiriusXM Radio.
In making his acceptance speech, Levin said that “Rush Limbaugh took me under his wing, a great decent, very nice man,” and that “Sean Hannity is like a brother to me.” Jacobs made note of his industry position, saying he was the “the outlier of the night,” being the first radio consultant to be welcomed to the Hall. Golic and Greenberg spoke about their run on the popular “Mike & Mike” morning show on ESPN Radio saying, “We didn’t want to be blue, we wanted to be a family show and that’s the route we went.”
Kerr was introduced as “The People’s Prince of New York Radio” by presenter Jim Harper, while Schlessinger reminisced about listening to Cousin Brucie as she was growing up and said, “For me this is not a job, it’s a mission.” Entercom-Chicago VP Jimmy deCastro, while inducting Jonathan Brandmeier, made note of the inclement weather that slowed the city and surrounding areas to a crawl during the evening’s rush hour. “If this was Chicago, the snow would’ve been plowed, we’d all be in the bar and this would’ve been over two hours ago,” he said. Brandmeier said after sitting in a car for two hours in Manhattan gridlock traveling the six blocks from his hotel room, he and his wife made a run for it.
Actor Alan Alda introduced Hamburg saying, “She has the ability to interview anybody with grace and good humor.” In making her acceptance speech, Hamburg said, “We are so lucky because no matter what, [radio] is still about community… We make a difference in people’s lives.” Francesa, afternoon man at The Fan, was enamored by the presence of Alda, saying, “How great is it to stand up here at the same microphone as Alan Alda?”
Kid Kelly was inducted by Cousin Brucie and congratulated via video by Taylor Swift and Dr. Phil. “My aunt gave me the greatest gift, belief in myself,” Kelly said. “Thank you for supporting a challenged child and making his dreams come true.”
Donnellan was also inducted into the NRHOF last night, but was unable to attend the ceremonies.