Long time WHO Radio sports director and personality, Jim Zabel, is being considered for election to the National Radio Hall of Fame. Here is a portion of the news release announcing Zabel's candidacy.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact:
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 Gina Loizzo MBC, 312-396-0103
NATIONAL RADIO HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES POSTHUMOUS INDUCTEES
AND CLASS OF 2008 NOMINEES
. . .
LOCAL OR REGIONAL PIONEER
- Gary Burbank, born Billy Purser, he began his radio career in the mid 1960s, he took the name Gary Burbank as a tribute to radio and TV legend Gary Owens and his famous Laugh-In introduction formerly heard on WLW/Cincinnati until the end of 2007.
- Harry Kalas, made his major league debut in 1965 calling games for the Houston Astros before being hired as "the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies" in 1971.
- Charlie Tuna, over 40 years in radio, one of the original DJ's at the legendary KROQ and most recently hosted "Charlie Tuna in the Morning" on KBIG until 2007.
- Jim Zabel,
broadcasting on WHO/Des Moines for 62 years, he has served as "the voice of the Iowa Hawkeye's
football and basketball" teams.
The national online balloting will begin on May 1st and be monitored by Votenet, a highly respected online vote tabulating firm. Voting ends at midnight on July 15th, after which results will be tabulated and ratified by the Steering Committee of the NRHOF.
Voting is free and open to the public as well as major radio industry
leaders. However an online registration will be required. Please visit www.radiohof.org to learn more.
Zabel joined WHO Radio during World War II. He was hired by WHO Radio News Director Jack Shelley and handled a number of different duties before becoming sports director.
While Zabel is well known for his broadcasts of both Iowa football and basketball, he also covered Iowa State and Drake basketball, especially during the 1960s and 1970s. He anchored the WHO Radio coverage of the Iowa Girls and Boys State Basketball Tournaments, as well as covering the final games for many years on television.
As WHO sports director, Zabel anchored television sports coverage for Channel 13 in Des Moines. At one time he had one of the highest recognition factors in the industry.
He hosted a locally produced bowling program, Let's Go Bowling. It originated from various bowling alleys in the Des Moines area and pitted a team of Des Moines residents against competitors from Central Iowa. At one time, Let's Go Bowling had better ratings than professional football in the Des Moines television market. The program was on Channel 13 television for close to 30 years.
In addition to his sports coverage, Zabel is considered an excellent interviewer. On WHO Radio he was one of the personalities who handled a series of programs known as Speaking of People. These were interviews with well known individuals, including Ronald Reagan. During the mid-1960s and through the 1970s, Zabel was host of an afternoon telephone talk show in WHO Radio, Call Jim Zabel. It was mix of a little bit of everything, but especially reciepts from his listeners. Zabel eventually took the receipts and published them in a cookbook entitled Jim Zabel's Pink Apron Cookbook.