2021 was the year of the farewells of local media personalities | Buckler airtime

The big local stories of 2021 involved people saying goodbye instead of saying hello.

The farewell speeches began when longtime meteorologist Bruce DePrest announced he was becoming a part-time employee, stepping down on the 11pm newscast. Then DePrest eclipsed its own ad. After 43 years working for WFSB-TV3, DePrest announced in November that his retirement was becoming permanent. His latest weather forecast is for tonight.

When DePrest started her career in television, weather was not the headline of the news it is today. There was usually a weather forecast by news bulletin, occurring at the end of the broadcast.

Under DePrest’s leadership, the focus on weather information has changed. Most nights, that’s the main story. Some nights, meteorologists receive more camera time than anchors.

DePrest received praise for being the calm voice in the storm, providing stress-free weather forecasting. He also had another skill: his ability to explain complex weather situations so that those of us who didn’t have weather maps hanging in our living rooms could understand them.

DePrest was fluid. He made a tough job that seems easy, which not everyone can do. He might not be the state’s most flamboyant weather forecaster – he was simply the most underrated.

Another bomb was fired in November when WTIC-AM1080 morning host Ray Dunaway announced he was shutting down his microphone after 29 years.

Dunaway wasn’t just the station’s morning man; he was the voice of the whole station. Dunaway was everywhere, from Final Fours and pétanque sets to big weather stories. Dunaway helped transition WTIC from a music station to a chat / news station, and no one was better at improvising and improvising than him. One of his best segments came when he and his producer were listing today’s celebrity birthdays. He was able to make a nice radio out of thin air.

Dunaway was a reliable voice for almost 30 years. This is why it will be so difficult to replace.

The biggest story of 2021, however, centered on Hartford radio’s first five-tool player Brad Davis, who died on November 2. Davis was a television dance host, investigative reporter, radio Top 40-disc jockey, radio talk show host, and business spokesperson.

He grew up in Enfield and has spent his entire life in Connecticut. Dunaway may have been the voice of WTIC for a while, but Brad Davis was the voice of Connecticut.

His robust and crisp voice has influenced people from the 1950s, when he hosted his dance party show on WTIC-TV3, until the last days of his career as a conservative talk show host which drew an audience. loyal listeners. Many people remember 1991 when Davis hired Governor Lowell P. Weicker to stop state income tax. Imagine all the extra money we would have in our pockets today if he was successful.

If they ever decide to build a local Mount Rushmore, Davis’s head will definitely be on it. When he spoke, everyone in the state knew who it was. This is the ultimate tribute for a broadcaster.

Bruce DePrest. Ray Dunaway. Brad Davis. They may not be national names. At the state level, however, few have had more impact.

Follow Matt Buckler for more TV, radio and sports coverage on JI’s Twitter @journalinquirer, and check out his articles on the Inquirer Journal’s Facebook page.

About Deborah Wilson

Check Also

Charlize Theron teases her MCU character Clea on social media – Deadline

There’s a new character in the MCU, and Charlize Theron wants you to know about …