Legendary meteorologist Barry Burbank, veteran political reporter Andy Hiller, and Dana Hersey, the velvety voiced host of “The Movie Loft,” are among the latest class of media stars to be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
The organization announced that nine radio and television professionals will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year at the annual awards luncheon on Sept. 27.
Rounding out the class of 2019 are former WCVB-TV editorial director Marjorie Arons-Barron; WBZ Radio Red Sox reporter Jonny Miller; Lisa Mullins, the voice of “All Things Considered” on WBUR; Bill Pepin, the retired general manager of WWLP-TV; and retired WBZ-TV news photographer Richard Chase. The late Robert Bennett, WCVB’s founding president and general manager, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously.
Chase was also selected to receive the Hall of Fame’s Pioneer Award this year. The longtime cameraman began his career as a newspaper photographer and moved to TV in 1970, and then spent four decades at WBZ-TV before retiring in May 2008. Chase often worked the morning shift at WBZ-TV and covered all sorts of stories, including the desegregation of the Boston public schools in the 1970s. What bothered him most about covering the busing crisis, he said, was seeing “young children getting off of buses with glass in their hair and crying.”
Chase was always on the front lines to capture news events as they were unfolding. In an interview that he gave when he retired from WBZ-TV, he spoke of his love of photography and how much he enjoyed being a news photographer.
“It’s having a front-row seat to see something while it’s happening,” he said in the interview. “I don’t think there is a greater joy.”
Sometimes Chase found himself a little too close to the action. He recalled one time that a man started shooting (a gun, not a camera) in his direction.
“The guy starts shooting towards us,” he recalled. “We dove under the car, and we’re under the car with our cameras, trying to point them out and photograph.”
He shook his head slightly.
“Photographers don’t have sense,” he said.
When asked what he liked most about his job, and what kept him at it for so long, Chase boiled it down to three important things: “loving what you do, caring about people, and enjoying photography.”
Hall of Fame president Peter Brown commended the inductees for their accomplishments.
“Our class of 2019 represents some of the true treasures of broadcasting,” he said in the press release. “This group of outstanding professionals has been recognized for their enduring commitment and deep dedication to their craft. Their body of work is a testament to their talents and their passions for bringing to their audiences the very best in news, information and entertainment. They are the leaders who set forth the path that future generations will follow. Let us welcome them as they join more than 150 others who can proudly state they have been inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.”
The Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame’s annual induction and awards ceremony will take place Sept. 27 at the Boston Marriott Quincy hotel.