ARIZONA NEWS

Here are the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Famers from the KTAR family

Jun 21, 2022, 4:00 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2022, 9:33 am
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Broadcasters Association)...
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Broadcasters Association)
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Broadcasters Association)

PHOENIX — KTAR radio, the news, talk and sports leader in the Valley, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this week.

Over the years, many people have shared their talents to help bring listeners the news they need to be informed.

Some of these personalities have received the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a broadcast professional in Arizona.

Here are the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame Award winners who are and have been part of the KTAR family.

Karl Eller (2003)

Eight years after buying a billboard company in Phoenix for $5 million, Eller in the late 1960s merged the business with a television and radio station operator to form the Combined Communications Corporation and served as the president and chief executive officer.

The group included seven major-market TV stations, 14 radio stations (including KTAR) and two daily newspapers. It became one of the most profitable media companies in the U.S.

Eller was also known for running movie studio Columbia Pictures, putting the Circle K convenience chain on the map and his early investments in the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Cardinals.

He also was inducted into the national Advertising Hall of Fame in 2004.

Bill Heywood (2004)

Heywood was a staple in the morning on Valley radio stations for decades, starting in the late 1960s and lasting through the early 1980s.

Heywood worked four stints at KTAR and also spent time alongside fellow Hall of Fame member Pat McMahon for many years.

He even appeared in a 1970s television movie about a comet slamming into downtown Phoenix called “A Fire in the Sky.”

Heywood was also named Billboard’s No. 1 radio personality three times.

Al McCoy (2004)

The Phoenix Suns have been playing basketball in the Valley for 54 years, and calling the action for 50 of those years is none other than the legendary McCoy.

McCoy began calling games for the Suns in September 1972 and is the longest-tenured broadcaster for an NBA team.

He’s known for shouting “Shazam!” and “Wham-Bam-Slam” during games, phrases that have been repeated by generations of fans.

The team and McCoy will forever be connected as the Suns named their press room the Al McCoy Media Center in 2007 and inducted him into the team’s Ring of Honor in 2017.

McCoy also received the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

His voice can be heard during Suns home games on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Pat McMahon (2005)

Pat McMahon has been a Valley fixture in the media industry both on radio and television dating back to the late 1960s. He’s been heard on various KTAR shows, including “Arizona’s Morning News,” “The McMahon Group” and “The God Show.”

McMahon is also an actor, producer, recording artist, writer and one-third of the “The Wallace and Ladmo Show,” a celebrated Arizona comedy team that was on TV for more than three decades.

He has been honored with seven Emmys, multiple national and international radio awards, as well as civic, educational, religious and humanitarian awards.

McMahon also received the Arizona Broadcasters Lifetime Achievement Award.

Charlie Van Dyke (2005)

Van Dyke worked for KTAR in the 1980s, serving as the morning host and the imaging voice of the station for several years.

He has spent more than five decades in radio, making stops in Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles and others.

Van Dyke’s spoken-word record “The Flag” charted nationally in 1976.

He was also the narrator for the 1975 Albert Brooks Film “A Star Is Bought.”

Preston Westmoreland (2008)

Westmoreland was heard on Valley airwaves for decades. He began his time at KTAR in 1978 with a talk show called “Midday” and spent 26 years with the station.

He would interview up to 90 people a week, with guests the likes of Bob Hope, Joan Rivers, Jay Leno, Donnie and Marie Osmond,  Larry King, John Denver, Ella Fitzgerald, Leonard Nimoy, Bart Starr, Arizona politician John McCain, Nancy Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Westmoreland left the media industry in 2004 for real estate after interviewing more than 25,000 people and receiving the Marconi award for best large-market personality.

Ned Foster (2010)

Foster joined KTAR in 1988 and kept audiences in the know on the award-winning “Arizona’s Morning News.”

The Massachusetts native retired in 2015 after a 47-year radio career, first signing on in Boston, followed by Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Los Angeles before making his way to the Valley in 1983.

Todd Wallace (2014)

Wallace served as a programming director for multiple Valley radio stations, including KTAR. He was also a programming consultant for stations in Boston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, San Antonio and Houston, as well as more than 100 radio stations worldwide.

He created a system that has been used by over 200 radio stations and is known as the founding father of “callout passive music research.”

Tom Dillon (2015)

Dillon was best known as the voice of the Arizona State Sun Devils, calling some of the program’s most historic moments for KTAR from 1973 through 1997.

He also received the Arizona Sportscaster of the Year award 17 times and later was a broadcaster for Sports USA Radio, where he called national college football games.

Jim “Taz” Taszarek (2016)

Taszarek was one of the most respected men in the broadcasting business in the Valley, hired by Pulitzer Broadcasting in 1981 to run KTAR and K-Lite. He was vice president and general manager of both for 10 years, and during his tenure each station set ratings and revenue records.

He brought Arizona State University sports to KTAR, negotiated the first Arizona Cardinals contract, introduced Pat McMahon to radio, brought Jude LaCava to Phoenix and won a Peabody Award for broadcast excellence.

Jim Cross (2020)

Cross is one of the best-known names in Arizona news. He has spent 40 years in broadcasting, 25 of them right here in Arizona.

His Arizona career began at KAAA radio in Kingman, where he spent five years as a reporter before moving to Phoenix to join KTAR News in 1999.

Easily one of the most respected and recognizable voices in the Valley, Cross has spent the last nearly two dozen years at the news station as a reporter, historian and lead storyteller of the biggest events in the state.

His passion has always been working with forest firefighters to make sure their stories are told.

Jeanne-Marie Condo (2020)

Condo began her media sales career with KTAR in the late 1980s. During her nine years with the station was named lead sports marketing director and was in charge of local sports sales initiative with the Arizona Cardinals and Coyotes, at the time the Phoenix Cardinals and Coyotes.

She at one time recorded the largest sales deal in KTAR history.

Condo is now the president of network partnerships and chief revenue officer of the Arizona-based Skyview Networks, an audio technology and sales company. Skyview programming can be heard on 9,000 station across America.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Here are the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Famers from the KTAR family