Edited from a Press Release

(Huntington, W. Va., Aug. 8, 2018)—Six radio and TV professionals will be inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame on Sat., Oct. 27, 2018 at the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington, W. Va.

Tom Resler, Hall of Fame committee chairman, said that the selection committee had a talented field of individuals from which to choose. “These men and women have demonstrated excellence in the field of broadcasting—in front of the cameras, on the mic or behind the scenes—many of them as lifelong careers,” he said.

2018 Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees:

Frances Basile: Starting in 1957, she spent 30+ years at WBOY, Clarksburg, first in radio news and then anchoring TV news. Wrote, produced and hosted her own radio/TV shows and served as program director at WBOY during the last 14 years of her career. Known to have a ‘nose for news,’ she interviewed anyone of interest to her community who passed through Clarksburg, including John F. Kennedy. Her family fan club reports that walking down the street with her was like strolling with a celebrity—everyone knew Frances Basile, a woman who made it to the top of her industry in an era when men maintained the power positions.

Kennie Bass: Hailed as the TV news reporter who broke the story of the opulent furnishings of the WV Supreme Court (and won an Edward R. Murrow Award on Aug. 3 for it), he’s been in broadcasting since 1978. Before college, he did color and end-of-game football reports for radio. At Marshall University, he covered news for local AM/FM and school radio. In 1984, he segued into TV as anchor/reporter for MU and the following year, became an intern at the Huntington NBC-TV affiliate, which turned into a full-time position a year later. He became the station’s sports director in 1990. In 1997, he joined WCHS-TV as a news anchor/reporter who also provides sports and entertainment commentary.

Lucille Gallion – known on-air as “Perunie”: For more than 35 years, Lucille Gallion didn’t just work for WLOG radio in Logan, W. Va., she was an on-air celebrity and a strong-willed—and capable—program director. Famous for her 32-year country-music radio show, “The Hillbilly Roundup,” local legend has it Perunie received more than a thousand letters in a one-month period with requests for songs and dedications. Her unusual on-air name came from a colleague who commented on her weight loss. In a colloquial use of the word “puny,” he said, “You’re looking right pruny there, gal.” She responded, “It’s Pe-Runie to you!” The name stuck.

Frank Kearns: This Indiana-born broadcast journalist grew up in Morgantown, W.Va. and studied journalism at West Virginia University. When WWII broke out, he enlisted and cut his teeth on investigative reporting in London as part of the US Army’s Counterintelligence Corps. In 1953, CBS hired him as a part-time reporter in Egypt. In 1957, his six-week stint reporting on the Algerian rebels’ fight for independence produced a documentary and numerous awards. In 1958, he joined the elite tier of CBS News Staff Correspondents who worked alongside Murrow and Cronkite and helped establish the way foreign news is reported to US audiences. Retired in 1971, he became one of ten Benedum Professors at WVU. Upon his death in 1986, Dan Rather honored him on the CBS Evening News with, “Legend may be an overworked word among journalists. But in his quiet, courageous way, Frank Kearns was one around here.”

Dee Miller began her nearly 50-year radio career as a student in secretarial school at Beckley College in Beckley, W. Va. The general manager of WJLS radio called the dean for a recommendation—someone who excelled in grammar and sentence construction. Dee got the job and worked as continuity director at WJLS Radio for 10 years, also starting an on-air homemaking show and directing the station's Community Club Awards program. Following a move to Charleston, Dee joined WKAZ as chief copywriter, later moving to WCAW & V-100 where she spent 27 years as continuity director.

Crockett J. “Tiny” Thompson, Jr.: Contrary to his nickname, Tiny Thompson was a big name in TV news in his hometown of Bluefield, W. Va. This nearly lifelong resident spent more than 25 years as news director and anchor at WHIS-TV and also worked for the station’s new ownership when it became WVVA-TV in 1979. Tiny started in radio at WHIS in his early years in broadcasting and also did a brief stint at WSLS Channel 10 in Roanoke, Va. in the early 1950s. With a signal that covered Bluefield on the Virginia side as well as the W. Va. side, Tiny was a trusted friend and reliable source of news on TV-6. He covered US Sen. John F. Kennedy’s 1960 visit to the state and was a long running emcee of the local Jerry Lewis March of Dimes Telethon.