dave wilson montana broadcasters hall of fame 2017 inductee

Dave Wilson


In 1958, Mercury Recording Artists "The Four Flickers" asked Dave to be their bass singer and instrumentalist. They played 45 of the 48 continental states. This brought him to Montana in 1960, and the Big Sky Country captured his heart.

He started selling radio advertising for KUDI in 1968. His first shift on 560 KMON was on St. Patrick's Day 1969. In January 1970, he started with the afternoon drive shift. He was soon moved to mornings where he excelled. In 1972, created the "Grass Roots Gold" radio program, which is still the largest continuously running show of its type in the Northwestern U.S. and still on the air today.

In 1982, Dave's band, "Country Connection" traveled to Scandinavia, and was nominated for "furthering country music in Europe Award". They were honored to play for Vice-President Bush and President Regan during their visits to Great Falls. In 1986, he voiced the presentation of the "Elvis" bronze, which was unveiled at Graceland.

In 1996, Dave was promoted to Operations Manager of STARadio. In 2004, he accepted a position at KLSK Radio. He was with Fisher Radio until 2009, and after 40 years doing what he loved, he retired. In 2012, Dave established Great Falls' first on-line radio station streaming worldwide.

He was involved with Special Olympics, Bluegrass on the Bay, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Cascade County DUI Task Force, MC for Veteran's Memorial Opening ceremony, and Mayor's Prayer Breakfast MC for 17 years. He received the Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award and in 2005 the Silver Medal Award from the Great Falls Advertising Federation.

Dave and his son Mark were the only living father and son DJ's to be inducted together into the Montana Radio Legends in 2011. A life's ambition, Dave cut a C.D. in 2005, titled "My Turn to Sing". In Dave's words, he was: "The victim of a life thoroughly enjoyed".

jack hyyppa 2016 montana broadcasters hall of fame inductee

Jack Hyyppa (1945 - )


Jack Hyyppa is a native Montanan from Whitehall, who graduated from Butte High. He went on to earn undergraduate degrees from Montana State University and a graduate degree at Northern Illinois University, He returned to MSU in 1973 to join the faculty of the Film and Television Department where he taught television and film production. Jack retired from teaching in 2006 as a full professor having impacted the lives of thousands of students, many of whom went on to careers in television in Montana and beyond.

In 1984, inspired by a local group of mothers who wanted Sesame Street available for their children, Jack brought KUSM-TV, Montana's first public television station, on the air, serving as its manager for 22 years. The station began humbly and creatively, with assistance from KUED in Salt Lake City, and a donated, low-power transmitter from Montana broadcasting legend and Hall-of-Famer, Joe Sample. In the years that followed, Jack grew the small station,
raising support from the community, the university, and the Montana legislature. Its reach would eventually be extended through cable systems across the state and a number of translators.

In 1997, Jack was instrumental in forging a partnership between the state's two rival universities to form Montana Public Television. KUFM-TV went on the air, and in a virtually unprecedented show of cooperation, staff and producers at the University of Montana joined forces with the station at MSU to expand over-the-air public television into western Montana. In the subsequent years, that partnership grew to include stations in Billings, Great Falls and Kalispell.

Jack believed that locally produced, locally scheduled, educational, historical, and civic programming should be available to all Montanans. Today, MontanaPBS serves over 400 Montana communities, reaching over 80% of the state for free, and is available in nearly every Montana home.

Jack Hyyppa’s career established his place as the father of public broadcasting in Montana, a dedicated educator, and an influential leader of our industry.

gene peterson 2017 montana braodcasters hall of fame inductee

Gene Peterson (1941 - )

Inducted in 2015

Gene Peterson (1941- ) a native of Culbertson, Montana, started a fifty year broadcast career at KFBB in Great Falls, after attending Brown Institute. He joined KGVO in Missoula in 1962.

At the age of 29 with a fifteen hundred dollar investment and determined family involvement from his wife, Rose, and daughters, Pamela and Kimberlee, he built a struggling station into ownership of a successful radio group of five stations including KYLT-KZOQ, KBLL AM-FM in Helena and KPRK in Livingston.

He served as President of the Missoula Chamber of Commerce, Grizzly Scholarship Association, Montana Broadcasters Association, St. Patrick Hospital Advisory Board, YMCA, and UM President's Advisory Board. His awards included Businessman of the Year, Sportsman of the Year, and Hugh O'Brien Lifetime Achievement Award. He believed that a healthy financial statement was a reflection of how well you served your community.

bob hoene 2014 montana broadcasters hall of fame inductee

Bob Hoene ( - )

Inducted in 2014

Bob Hoene’s broadcast career started in 1971 as an instructor in the Radio and Television Department in the Journalism School at UM. Bob moonlighted as play-by-play announcer for the Griz on KGVO Radio while helping put the University radio station on the air. KUFM became Montana’s first public radio station and NPR affiliate.

Bob went to work in Helena for an ad agency and served as the executive director of the Montana Broadcasters Association from 1974 to 1997. Over the years the MBA Board of Directors was populated with future Hall of Fame inductees. This renowned group motivated and guided him through many successful years representing the broadcasters. Bob and his staff introduced sales education while rewarding high achievers with cash and recognition awards, devised the concept for a broadcast station directory, increased membership to record numbers, and hired a lobbyist, while improving communication and service.

Delivering on new ideas added expense; more income was needed. Bob developed a program with the Montana National Guard to fill unused broadcast time with paid messages, guaranteeing statewide coverage to non-commercial accounts and charging for the service. The idea blossomed in Montana and now every Broadcast Association in the nation uses the Non Commercial Sustaining Announcement Program, created by Bob, to help fund their organizations. Today the MBA and all State Broadcast Associations are comfortably subsidized by the NCSA program.

Meanwhile, Bob’s Advertising Agency, 5th Avenue, grew to become the most prolific purchaser of electronic media in the State. It was his great privilege to work with and for the many members of the MBA.

charlie cannaliato 2013 montana broadcasters hall of fame inductee

Charlie Cannaliato (1943 - )

Inducted in 2013

Charlie Cannaliato is a self-taught broadcast engineer who was born, raised and educated in Baltimore, MD and worked as a school teacher before moving to Montana in 1972. His first broadcast job was as a master control operator—or switcher as it was then known—at KCFW-TV in Kalispell. His innovation and strong leadership skills led to his promotion as Chief Engineer for KCFW, KECI and KTVM and he moved to Missoula.

Among his many “firsts” in Montana, Charlie developed a ¾ inch tape sequencing system for master control; he developed and built the first multi-studio control point enabling the operation of four studios from a single control point. He did this using a Radio Shack home computer, which he reprogrammed for this purpose. His stations were the first in Montana to use video file servers in master control and he was a pioneer in the use of digital transmitters and Dolby Surround Sound for television.

Since his “retirement” in 2007, Charlie has conducted all of the FCC Alternative Broadcast Inspections for the MBA and has worked tirelessly converting television translators to digital and assuring their future viability for rural Montanans.

richard miller 2012 montana broadcasters hall of fame inductee

Richard “Shag” Miller (1923 - 2009)

Inducted in 2012

Service was a theme in Shag Miller’s life; service to his community, to his industry and to his country. In 1942 he left the University of Montana and joined the Army Air Corp where he served in Italy and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Air Medal. Following his discharge he returned to UM and graduated with a degree in Journalism in 1947.

In 1961 Shag purchased KBOW-AM, Butte, and in 1972 he started KOPR-FM. In the mid-1960s he was instrumental in forming the Intermountain Network of Montana.

Shag served as President of the Chamber of Commerce, the Salvation Army, the Local Development Corporation, the Montana State Golf Association and on the Board of Directors of the Montana Power Company.

In addition to serving as the President of the Montana Broadcasters Association, Shag served on the CBS Radio Affiliates Board and the National AP Radio Board. He served on the UM Foundation Board and was recognized in 1996 as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Montana.

lamont wallis 2011 montana broadcasters hall of fame inductee

Lamont “Monty” Wallis (1946 - )

Inducted in 2011

Monty began his broadcast career at the age of 12 as a part-time announcer at KURL in Billings.  He later became manager of that and several other radio stations before moving to KTVQ-TV (Q-2) Billings as General Sales Manager.  At the time of his retirement, he was General Manager of Q-2, Montana Group Manager, and Vice President of Cordillera Communications Television Division.  He was also a member of the CBS Affiliates Television Board.

A past Chair of the Board of the Montana Broadcasters Association, Monty also serves as a Reserve Deputy for the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office where he received the Medal of Honor for heroic action. He co-founded the Child and Family Intervention Center, created the Your Choice Program and serves on the boards of the DUI Task Force, Montana Crime Prevention Council and Community 7 Television.

Monty has two sons, Vince and Grant, and several grandchildren. He and his significant other Kathy Carson live in Billings.

cato butler 2010 montana broadcasters hall of fame inductee

Cato Butler (1929 - 2014)


Cato “The Cat” Butler began his broadcast career in 1946 when, as a junior at Helena High, he went to work at KPFA Radio. Cato is best known for his more than 60 years of broadcasting high school and college football and basketball games around the state, although he also called track meets, horse racing, boxing, golf and baseball.

In the 1950s, when there was little interest in the Carroll College football games, Butler bought time on stations and then sold it himself to sponsors and called the games. He served as the “voice of Class C basketball tournaments” which he called for more than 15 years. But Cato is perhaps best known for the many colorful phrases that he coined over his years of play-by-play including “He tickles the twine for two” ; “Katie bar the door; we have a barn burner here tonight”; and “The cat is in the bag and the bag is in the river.”

Now in his 80s, Cato continues to host a daily talk show on Helena radio.  Cato and his wife Dora have three children.

norma beatty ashby 2010 montana broadcasters hall of fame inductee

Norma Beatty Ashby (1935 - )


Norma Beatty Ashby, a fourth-generation Montanan, was born in Helena and grew up on a ranch near Winston where she attended a one-room schoolhouse. After graduating from The University of Montana she moved to New York where she worked as a researcher for Life Magazine.

In 1961 she returned to Montana and, shortly thereafter, was hired to host and produce Today in Montana for KRTV in Great Falls. She continued in that position for more than 24 years during which time the program went statewide on the Montana Television Network. She also produced numerous award-winning documentaries during her time with MTN. She has been repeatedly honored by the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation for her broadcast contributions and by the Great Falls Tribune and the YWCA for her many contributions to the creative arts and the community including the creation of the C.M. Russell Art Auction which benefits the museum.

She is the author of Movie Stars and Rattlesnakes:The Heyday of Montana Live Television. Norma and her late husband, Shirley Carter Ashby, were married in 1964.

brent musburger 2009 montana broadcasters hall of fame inductee

Brent Musburger (1939 - )


Brent grew up in Billings and began his broadcast career in 1968 when he joined WBBM Radio in Chicago as Sports Director. He was later named Sports Director of WBBM-TV, before moving to Los Angeles to co-anchor the nightly news for KNXT-TV.

A preeminent college football, college basketball, and NBA play-by-play announcer, Musburger is also the host of ABC Sports’ coverage of the Little League World Series. He served as the pre-game and half-time host on both ABC Sports’ and CBS Sports’ coverage of the Super Bowl. Brent has participated in the coverage of more than one-third of all  Super Bowls. Among the many other events Brent has covered are the Olympics, the World Track and Field Championships and U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the Pan American Games from Cuba, the Kentucky Derby and ABC’s golf telecasts.

Prior to joining ABC Sports, Musburger was a member of CBS Sports’ announce team. He anchored “The NFL Today” pre-game, half-time and post-game National Football League broadcasts. Additionally he was the lead play-by-play announcer for the NCAA Final Four Basketball Tournament where he brought the term “March Madness” to the event. Musburger also hosted “CBS Sports Saturday/Sunday,” the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, the National Basketball Association Finals, and the Masters Golf Tournament.

Brent and his wife Arlene have two sons and split their time between homes in Montana and Connecticut.