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09/18/2015

Dedication Ceremony on Sept. 22 for S.C. Broadcasters Hall of Fame Display

Quick Facts

 The Hall of Fame plaques were moved this summer from the University of South Carolina to a newly-remodeled spacious gallery located in historic Johnson Hall, home of Winthrop’s Department of Mass Communication.
 The 34 individuals honored in the Hall of Fame are remembered for laying the foundation for today’s broadcast industry in the Palmetto state. Each is honored with a bronze plaque, some of which weigh nearly 45 pounds, describing their contributions.

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ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – The South Carolina Broadcasters Hall of Fame and Winthrop University’s Department of Mass Communication facilities will be on display Sept. 22 during the broadcast association’s monthly meeting.

The Hall of Fame plaques were moved this summer from the University of South Carolina to a newly-remodeled spacious gallery located in historic Johnson Hall, home of Winthrop’s Department of Mass Communication. The 34 individuals honored in the Hall of Fame are remembered for laying the foundation for today’s broadcast industry in the Palmetto state. Each is honored with a bronze plaque, some of which weigh nearly 45 pounds, describing their contributions.

The only York County inductee is Allan Miller, a managing partner of the OTS Media Group and co-owner with Manning Kimmel of WRHI-AM/FM, WRHM-FM, WVSZ-FM (Interstate 107) and 104.1 The Bridge. He is credited with pioneering country music on the FM dial in South Carolina and his company is known for leading the effort to broadcast AM stations on FM translators and establishing online Internet radio broadcasts and HD radio in the state. Miller also created and nurtured several enduring community-wide events in York County. A former association board president, he has served on the board since 2001 and entered the Hall of Fame in 2009.

“Winthrop University and the South Carolina Broadcasters Association have been close partners in advancing broadcasting in our state for at least two decades. Since Winthrop is one of only two accredited mass communication programs in South Carolina, it is entirely appropriate for the Hall of Fame to move here,” Miller said. “Winthrop has furnished a lot of great broadcasters for our industry and we hope the Hall will inspire future generations to pursue a broadcast career.”

The Sept. 22 event will include a panel discussion for students with several of the state’s most prominent television and radio broadcasters, afternoon tours of mass communication facilities in Johnson Hall and the nearby Parker Building, and a 5 p.m. dedication ceremony. A private reception will follow the dedication, which will feature Winthrop broadcast instructor Mark Nortz as emcee and remarks by association president Bob Romine of WSPA-Spartanburg and Winthrop Provost Debra Boyd.

The South Carolina Broadcasters Foundation has contributed more than $100,000 in scholarships to Winthrop over the past decade. Winthrop students on S.C. Broadcasters Association scholarships will be in attendance.

Winthrop officials said the Hall of Fame captures the dedication and service of the industry’s kingpins. The first three men inducted in the Hall of Fame came from key South Carolina media markets and helped pave the way for the current generation. They are:

Richard Shafto of Columbia was the first in the Hall of Fame in 1973 and received recognition as founder and first president of the S.C. Broadcasters Association in 1948. Now deceased, he was president of Cosmos Broadcasting, managed WIS and helped created WIS-TV in what was 40+ years of distinguished service to the broadcast industry, his community, state and nation.

John M. Rivers was a banker, broker and broadcaster in Charleston. He was principal owner of WCSC, Inc., was founder of WCSC-FM and was the builder of the first S.C. VHF television station, WCSC-TV, in 1953.

Walter J. Brown was a Washington news correspondent and a broadcaster in Spartanburg. He was a pioneer in frequency modulation, putting the first FM station on air in South Carolina and was the first in Southeast with stereo. He also organized and directed the Washington News Bureau, 1929-40, representing Southern newspapers and Broadcasting magazine.

The Hall of Fame display includes two other categories of recognition. Former WSOC-TV and WRHI weatherman Jerry Peterson, who died in 2010, received the association's Honorary Life Member Award. He was honored in 2010 for his pioneering work as one of the nation’s first TV meteorologists. Retired Winthrop faculty member and former CBS and NBC Network correspondent Haney Howell received the same award in 2011 for his multi-faceted broadcast career as an on-air personality, educator and historian.

Manning Kimmel of WRHI was tapped in 2014 to join the Masters Award category for his longtime on-air work, his contributions as an OTS Media Managing Partner/Co-Owner and for his many civic contributions to the Rock Hill and York County area. The OTS Media stations are the association’s most honored broadcast group having won 103 broadcast awards, including South Carolina Radio Station of the Year six times. Several Winthrop alums have contributed to its success.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or e-mail her at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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