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A Fond Farewell To A Buffalo Broadcasting Legend

August 6, 2014

Brian Kahle

Just a quick note today for an old friend who was more than a ‘showbiz’ friend.

I just found out (from Ed Honeck at Night Life) that Buffalo broadcasting great Brian Kahle passed away last year.

I originally met Brian in Clarence in 2002 when he was going business to business for his own company, Magic Marketing.  He was smooth and friendly and he always had a natural smile on his face.  I followed up with him about some help promoting my first published book, Born Pissed.  We ‘took a lunch’ at the T.G.I.Fridays in Clarence.  He quoted me a price for a marketing package (it was too high for me, I’m cheap) and picked up the tab.

Somehow or another I wound up on his Night Life Radio show (probably because I wrote bar and exotic club reviews for Night Life) in 2003 in order to promote my second book, Zany Hijinx.  The radio station was housed next to Spot Coffee on Delaware and Chippewa.  While I was waiting to go on Brian’s show with my friend, former mayor Jimmy Griffin (who Brian mixed it up with on AM Buffalo) came walking out after a friendly interview with Brian.  Somehow they’d patched things up and they were on friendly terms again.  That’s just one example of how genuinely friendly Brian was.

Over the years we kept in touch.  Brian moved his radio show to WLVL in Lockport and I went on a number of times.  Any time I had a new book he was happy to let me come on and hawk it.  He always researched before his show, he was always professional and at his core he was a DECENT guy.  There’s a shortage of them in Buffalo journalism, broadcasting, hell, anywhere in Buffalo.  We’d talk before and after every show just to get caught up on our personal lives.  He launched a television show with Time Warner and was very successful with it.

Towards the end of Big Words Radio he agreed (without flinching) to come on as a guest on the show.  I fired away (like I always do) with my usual nonsense and he played right along.  He even told me later that he lost a date because of his association with the show.  He didn’t care.  You can hear the show at this address: http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/audio/11062a.mp3

Brian Kahle was from the old school of broadcasting.  He did his research, he was what I think of as a class act, and he had the quality of being a NICE person.  You can’t fake that.  He and I often talked about how blurry the lines between journalism and advertising have become in newspapers, magazines and on the radio.  The media has devolved into a vehicle for their advertisers, printed solicitations for future advertisers, or attempts not to piss off people who just might advertise at some point.  He knew it and I knew it.  Traditional journalism has all but gone the way of the dodo, and Brian was one of the last guys who tried to toe the line.

I will genuinely miss him.  Buffalo has a little less integrity now that he’s gone.  And in terms of broadcasting, I hope that Buffalo will never forget his contribution, which was palpable.

Rest in peace, Brian.

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