Thursday, May 08, 2008

2008 National Radio Hall of Fame

Voting is open for this year's crop of nominees hoping to gain induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame at a gala on Saturday, November 8 at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel. For the first time ever, voting is free to the general public at and lasts until Tuesday, July 15 at midnight (EDT) with winners announced shortly afterwards. In 2004, I had to buy a membership to the HOF just to vote in Larry Lujack.

Here are the 2008 categories and corresponding nominees:

National Pioneer Category
Art Bell
Ralph Emery
Barry Farber
Gang Busters

National Active Category
Bob Costas
Focus On The Family (Dr. James Dobson)
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Howard Stern

Local Pioneer Category
Gary Burbank
Harry Kalas
Charlie Tuna
Jim Zabel

Local Alive Category
Howie Carr
Steve Dahl
Bob Grant
Ronn Owens

Without revealing my votes and influencing the outcome, I feel the need to point out some interesting tidbits about this year's cast of characters.

In the National Active Category, you've got NBC's Bob Costas, turned down by Keebler during his elf audition, up against a supposed doctor, Laura Schlessinger, battling against Howard Stern and his Private Parts. Do you think Focus On The Family stands a chance? Maybe next year, Dr. Dobson.

If Stern and Steve Dahl both win induction in 2008, is the dais large enough for their massive egos together in one room? I don't think so.

On a more serious note, the Local Pioneer Category was the most difficult choice for me. You've got Cincinnati's favorite son, Gary Burbank, matched against Harry Kalas, whose voice evokes memories of the late John Facenda, pitted against the legendary disc jockey Charlie Tuna, who has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, going up against the former long-time voice of Iowa Hawkeyes football, Jim Zabel. Kalas and Tuna remain active, full-time broadcasters, while Burbank retired from radio at the end of 2007 and Zabel is still on WHO in Des Moines during the football season from his home in Arizona.

After the vote is in, I may tell you who I voted for. Then again....