(Left to right) Broadcast Pioneers' President Gerry Wilkinson, Jack Facenda, John Facenda's son
NBC10 Reporter Edie Huggins, Broadcast Pioneers members Tom Brookshier
Bill Baldini, Donald Barnhouse, Herb Clarke and Mel Gollub
Broadcast Pioneers Luncheon
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

On Wednesday, May 16, 2007, we paid "Tribute to Broadcast Pioneers member John Facenda." John was "The Voice of Philadelphia" and a true legend in his own time. Facenda pioneered and created the 11 o'clock evening newscast by being the first anchor (we didn't call them anchors then) in the country. The normal thinking in the industry at that time was "no one will stay up to 11 pm to watch a newscast." How wrong they were and how right was John Facenda!

May of 2007 was the 36th anniversary of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia honoring John Facenda as our "Person of the Year." In 1992, he was in the first group of broadcasters to be inducted into our "Hall of Fame."

Bill Baldini, former WCAU-TV newsman (who today lives in Facenda's house)
Donald Barnhouse, Facenda's news commentator (Don is today a minister)
Tom Brookshier, John Facenda's sportscaster on WCAU-TV in the sixties
Jack Facenda, John's son (who will be traveling here from northern Pennsylvania
Mel Gollub (Mel Stewart), who worked with Facenda at WIP Radio
Edie Huggins, NBC10 News Reporter who worked with Facenda on WCAU

Introductory remarks were by Dennis Bianchi, the current President and General Manager of WCAU, NBC10.

It all took place on Wednesday, May 16th at the beautiful and historic Bala Golf Club, 2200 Belmont Avenue (across the street from the State Police) in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia. It's ironic that this event was at the Bala Golf Club because it was one of his favorite places in the Delaware Valley.

Broadcast Pioneers member John Facenda
Broadcast Pioneers Banquet

Meet and greet (networking) started at 12 noon with a full three-course lunch including salad, coffee or tea and dessert being served at 12:30 pm. There was also a crudité and cheese table. The cost was only $25 per person and was open to all our members, any person in the industry or associated fields; both people now active and retirees. This included members of the WCAU Prime Time Club.


We have complete audio of the luncheon. It runs over 75 minutes in length. Because of that, we have cut the audio into three separate segments. However, the audio rolls. That is, the next segment will start automatically when the previous segment is finished. For broadband users, this will be almost seamless. For those using dial-up, each segment may have to load (about 15 to 30 seconds per segment) before it starts to play.

Listen to the Tribute!
The first speaker is Dennis Bianchi, President and General Manager of WCAU, NBC10.

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
2007 Photo taken by Broadcast Pioneers member Bob Kravitz
1972 Facenda photo originally donated by Mike Walsh
© 2007, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
All Rights Reserved

The e-mail address of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is pioneers@broadcastpioneers.com