Rick Azar

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Rick Azar (born Ricardo Carballada[1]) is an American broadcaster who spent 31 years at WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York.

WKBW-TV career[edit]

Prior to coming to WKBW, Azar was an actor and musician in New York City, as well as a staff announcer for NBC in New York.[2]

Rick Azar was the first voice heard on WKBW-TV on November 30, 1958. The station was located at 1430 Main Street in Buffalo, New York and the call letters stood for "Well Known Bible Witness".

Azar signed the station on with the words, "Ladies and Gentlemen, WKBW-TV Channel 7 is on-the-air!" The first broadcast on that snowy night was the James Cagney classic film, Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Azar became the station's first sports director in the early 1960s and held that position until his retirement in June 1989. Azar also hosted Buffalo Bandstand, a local franchising of American Bandstand, and on at least one occasion substitute hosted the national show in place of Dick Clark.[3]

Rick Azar, Irv Weinstein, and Tom Jolls served as the longest running news anchor team in the nation. Azar also served as a color analyst on WKBW's (now WWKB) radio broadcast of the Buffalo Bills games, play-by-play man on the Bills preseason games televised on WKBW-TV and an intermission host on Buffalo Sabres hockey games televised in the 1970s on Ch 7. Azar originated the name "The French Connection" on his sportscast on WKBW-TV's Eyewitness News. The name "French Connection" was soon picked up by other media and became legendary across the hockey world in reference to the famed Buffalo Sabres hockey line of Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and Rene Robert. Azar also did basketball play-by-play on St. Bonaventure basketball games on Ch 7 during the Bob Lanier era.[4]

Azar doing radio in North Carolina[edit]

Rick currently lives in Pinehurst, North Carolina with his wife Edith and hosts a weekly jazz radio program on WLHC-FM Life 103.1

Rick Azar began his career at WHLD radio station in Niagara Falls in the early 1950s and is an accomplished violinist.

Personal life[edit]

Azar is the brother of Carlos Carballada, who briefly served as interim mayor of Rochester, New York in 2011 and currently serves as Rochester's commissioner of community and economic development.[1]

Azar is a published author of the book "Tales From Azar's Attic", a professional memoir. It is available through Buffalo Heritage Press.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.buffalonews.com/city/article315762.ece
  2. ^ Murphy, John (28 March 2014). "Rick Azar on New Book and Covering Buffalo Sports". WGR. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Pergament, Alan (April 19, 2012). Top of newscast salutes to Clark deserved. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  4. ^ Where Are They Now?... Rick Azar & Tom Jolls - Wgrz.com
Preceded by
first
WKBW-TV sports director
1958–1989
Succeeded by
Bob Koshinski
Preceded by
Van Miller
Buffalo Bills announcer
1971–1977
Succeeded by
Van Miller