The Texas Radio Hall of Fame announced its inductees for 2014 on Thursday. Seventeen broadcasters were added to the hall, including two inducted as a team and another honored with an award for being a “trailblazing female in the industry.”
Four inductees, including the trailblazing woman, have DFW connections:
Chet Maxwell: Maxwell is the former general manager of (now-defunct) KBOX and KMEZ. According to his TRHoF nomination bio, Maxwell is credited with assembling the first male-female radio team in a major market. He also worked at KILT in Houston and KENS in San Antonio.
Mike Rhyner: Still on the air at KTCK/1310 AM “The Ticket,” where he’s been since the station launched more than 20 years ago (he was its first program director), the Hardline co-host was also part of The Morning Zoo wht John LaBella and John Rody on the much-missed rock station KZEW “The Zoo,” and has worked at WBAP and KLIF.
Mike Wade: Wade’s DFW gigs include afternoon DJ at Fort Worth’s KXOL, midday host and production director at KLIF, operations manager of KZEW and late-’80s AM station KLDD, and five years as morning host on KLUV/98.7 FM. Wade also worked at stations in Lubbock and Houston. He currently works as a Dallas-based personality for the “AC” format syndicated by Cumulus Media Networks.
Irene Runnels (UPDATED): Runnels is the winner of the “Sammy” award for being a trailblazing female in the industry (named for DFW’s Mary “Sam” Stoddard, who was the first licensed female DJ in a major market in Texas when she joined KLIF-AM in 1964, quickly moving the same year to KVIL, where she hosted the midnight-6 a.m. Nightlight show). Runnels began a successful career in radio sales and management after starting out in 1958 as a secretary for St. Louis’ WIL and then its sister station, KBOX. She moved up in sales, managing a mostly male staff in the ‘60s, before leaving KBOX in 1969 to operate KKDA-AM, then went on to management positions and KRLD and WFAA-AM and Texas State Network, and seved as vice president and general manager at KOAX-FM, the DFW easy-listening station she helped found. Runnells died in February 1989 at age 68.
The first “Sammy” was awarded last year to J.C. Webster-Joyce. She contributed to the news and public-affairs departments at KLIF during its "The Mighty 1190" days as well as DFW’s KNUS (where she hosted All About Dallas-Fort Worth) and KLUV. She also handled a myriad of duties at what was then KMGC/102.9 FM, where she became the first female general manager of a major-market radio station. According to 2013 TRHoF nominee Ray Whitworth, she was notified of the award, but passed away in her sleep just weeks before the 2013 ceremony.
This year‘s Texas Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Nov. 1 at the Hotel Galvez in Galveston.