Gil Whitney

Gil Whitney was an American television personality in Dayton, Ohio, who worked primarily at WHIO Television and Radio until his death in 1982.

Whitney’s career at WHIO was multi-faceted, having worked as an occasional fill-in anchor, but also as a sportscaster and field journalist, usually covering stories of human interest. By the early 1970s he was permanently assigned as a weather specialist. His sense of humor and folksy everyman approach to weather reporting made him a favorite with viewers.

As a weatherman, Whitney is best remembered for his timely warning on April 3, 1974 of a Category F5 tornado that went through Xenia, Ohio during the 1974 Super Outbreak. He specifically identified the Xenia neighborhood of Arrowhead as being directly in the tornado’s path; his report proved to be correct as Arrowhead was leveled by the twister.

During the summer months Whitney also hosted Summertime ‘7x (the number in the title changed each year), a weekly late-night talk show. By 1980, the show was renamed The Gil Whitney Show. After his death the show was again renamed Summer Nights and ran five more years.

He acted as emcee for numerous public events, volunteered as a firefighter, and most notably was one of the founders of the Dayton Air Show. (Source: Wikipedia)

Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders

Ro Nita began her career at WAVI/WDAO, but would work her way to the top of the broadcasting pyramid when she entered station ownership, launching WROU-FM/Dayton and WRNB-FM/Troy. Radio Ink magazine recognized her as one of America’s top 25 African Americans in radio.

WROU-FM is an Urban Adult Contemporary radio station at 92.1 FM licensed to West Carrollton, Ohio serving the Dayton area and owned and operated by Main Line Broadcasting. WROU is Dayton’s affiliate of The Tom Joyner Morning Show.

WROU was founded by Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders, a educator and dancer, in 1991. At the start, it was a typical locally owned Mainstream Urban with live airstaffers until Radio One purchased the station in 2003, after several years of resisting offers to sell the outlet and to fight off bankruptcy. Since the sale of WROU Hawes-Saunders continued to work with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company as its executive director and serves as a board member of Parents Advancing Choice in Education, Inc. (PACE), which was formed in 1998 to help assist families who seek to exercise education choice for their children while helping schools adopt strategies for improvement. Her life as a radio station owner was also profiled in 2009 in the syndicated television series “Lifestyles with Rebecca.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Tom Hamlin

Tom Harnlin is one of the giants of Dayton broadcasting history. A native of Carlisle, Ohio, Tom graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1951 after serving in the United States Marine Corps for two years. He began his broadcasting career in 1953 at WLOK in Lima. After a year in Mansfield, Ohio, Tom traveled south to Birmingham, Alabama,where he became the play-by-play voice of Auburn Sportcaster of the Year. He returned to Southwest Ohio in 1960 to join the staff of WHIO-AM-TV. He was the Sports Director of both radio and television for the next 17 years.

During that time he broadcast The University of Dayton football and basketball games, as well as The Ohio State University football and basketball games. He also organized the Aviation Bowl in 1962 in which Houston played Western Michigan at Welcome Stadium. After leaving WHlO in 1977, Tom continued sportscasting on WKEF-TV until 1985. Six times Tom was nominated as Ohio Sportscaster of the Year.

Tom was active in his community. He was the Dayton Jaycees’ Citizen of the Year in 1968 and was on the Board of the Greater Dayton Humane Society.

Tom Hamlin was a Dayton area Radio / TV Sportscaster for over 34 years.


Carl Nichols

Meteorologist Carl Nichols joined WDTN in November of 1977 and covered the Blizzard of ’78 two months later.

Carl said he’s loved the weather since his youth in Florida, where thundershowers and hurricanes were common. He later trained in weather while serving in the Navy from 1963 to 1967, then worked for the government for a while before joining a Tampa TV station in Tampa, Fla., his hometown in 1969.

Besides the Blizzard of ’78, highlights of Carl’s career include the Xenia tornado in 2000 and other major weather events. The low point, he said, was getting fired in the mid-70s at a television station in Louiville, where he was replaced by a very pretty blonde that was more pleasing to management’s eyes.”If that happened now, I’d probably own the corporation.” Carl also worked for stations in Youngstown and Chicago.

Nichols was also the face behind Carl’s Coats for Kids, a program that’s given thousands of coats to needy children in the Miami Valley. The Coats for Kids program at WDTN continues to this day.

Carl Nichols retired as Chief Meteorologist at WDTN in 2009 after 40 years in the TV weather business.

Charlie Day

Charlie came to Dayton broadcasting as a staff member at the former WLWD-TV (now WDTN-TV), Channel 2 as a News Videographer in the 1960’s. He would go on to work many years for the syndicated Phil Donahue Show, which saw its’ birth in the studios of Channel 2.

Chuck Upthegrove

Over the years as a videographer for WHIO-TV, Channel 7, Chuck would photograph the likes of John F. Kennedy, Neil Armstrong and many other national and international news makers covering news both in Dayton and around the globe.

Ted Ryan

Ted hosted travel programs, delivered weather forecasts and was a staff announcer for decades on WHIO Radio and Television. He also worked for a time at WING Radio, as well as Co-host of the local Children’s Miracle Network Telethon.

Johnny Walker

Johnny began his career in Dayton as a DJ for WING Radio in the 1960’s. By the 70’s, he had become a newscaster for WKEF-TV, Channel 22 and later News Director. But, what people remember him for the most: his commitment to and decades long tenure as host of Dayton’s Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, which each year, raised more money than the year previous for MDA.

Jim Bennett

For 15 years, Jim was at the helm of WING Radio as General Manager during the stations’ heyday as one of America’s premier Top 40 AM rock stations. He receives a Lifetime Achievement Award for his innovative programming efforts.

Virginia Bennett

Virginia began her broadcasting career in the 1950’s and was the first woman to be the General Manager of a radio station in Ohio. She also gave great encouragement to other women desiring to enter radio management, through her years with WIZE Radio in Springfield, WWSO/WAVI Radio and WING Radio in Dayton.

Dale Huffman


A former producer, reporter and writer for WCPO-TV, Channel 9 in Cincinnati, Dale has worked part-time as a radio and cable TV interviewer in Dayton…and has been a popular columnist for the Dayton Daily News for decades.  He sometimes is simply called Mr. Dayton.

Dale Huffman of the Dayton Daily News seems to show up everywhere especially if the event is newsworthy.  He is not only a popular newspaper columnist, blogger, an author, and television and radio show host. He has become a media personality.  And he uses his celebrity to do good things, to touch lives and to try to make positive change for all the people in the Miami Valley. (Dayton Daily News Biography)

Community Service Award

James H. McGee

James H. McGee was the first African-American mayor of Dayton and its longest-tenured mayor to date and friend of the media.

James H. “Jim” McGee (November 8, 1918 – March 4, 2006) was an American politician of the Ohio Democratic party. McGee was born in West Virginia and attended Wilberforce University. After serving in the United States Army, he received a law degree from Ohio State University. McGee, a member of the NAACP, was involved as a lawyer in several civil rights cases in the 1960s. He served as a city commissioner and mayor of Dayton, Ohio.