Kasell, Hemmert join Radio Hall of Fame's Class of 2010
National Public Radio veteran Carl Kasell and Chicago rock radio icon Terri Hemmert will be among this year's inductees in the National Radio Hall of Fame. But once again, voters have snubbed two of America's pioneering shock jocks -- Howard Stern and Steve Dahl -- denying them entry in the Chicago-based shrine.
Other 2010 winners announced Wednesday include country music personality Ralph Emery, who began at Nashville's WSM-AM, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's weekly "Music and the Spoken Word," billed as the longest-running radio broadcast in America.‚ In addition, the late Sam Phillips, owner of radio stations and Sun Records (and the man credited with discovering Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, among others), and‚ Cathy Hughes, a groundbreaking African-American broadcast entrepreneur and founder of Radio One, was chosen by the Radio Hall of Fame steering committee.
Voting, which was open to the public online for free, ran from June 14 to Aug. 1. Winners will be inducted Nov. 6 during a live national radio broadcast from Chicago.
Kasell, whose more than 50 years in broadcasting included 35 years at NPR, retired in 2009 as news anchor of "Morning Edition." He continues as announcer, judge and scorekeeper of the weekly news quiz show "Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!," produced by Chicago Public Media and airing here on WBEZ-FM (91.5). On the WBEZ Blog last week, Kasell posted a tongue-in-cheek video response to Stern's ridicule of him and the Radio Hall of Fame. (Here is the link.)
Hemmert, a 37-year veteran of CBS Radio adult rock WXRT-FM (93.1) who's featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "Rock and Radio" exhibit, made local radio history in 1981 when she became the station's first female morning drive personality. Known for her social conscience and her encyclopedic knowledge of the Beatles, she's been hosting middays since 1992.
Although this marks Stern's fourth rejection for induction in the Radio Hall of Fame, it's not likely to faze the self-styled King of All Media. He's consistently opposed having anything to do with the institution, brutally mocking it as insignificant and exhorting his listeners not to vote for him. If Stern had won, he vowed not to accept the honor. Ironically, announcement of this year's nominees was moved up by several weeks after one of Stern's fans, acting on the pleas of actor David Arquette, started a Facebook page called "Howard Stern for the Radio Hall of Fame."
Dahl, on the other hand, who's been nominated three times unsuccessfully, has expressed ambivalence about the Radio Hall of Fame over the years.
Administered by Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications, the Hall of Fame has inducted more than 165 broadcasters and programs since its inception.