Art Wander, a radio industry veteran, began his "second retirement" on Thursday, March 28th 2002. The 40-year veteran, though well known for on-the-mic work in his later years, began his career as a station manager, developing programming for major radio stations.
The Buffalo native worked in many different formats, from Top 40 to Rock, Big Band to Classical and Country. Art was instrumental in starting the career of famous DJ Rick Dees. He also was the first to play A Day In The Life in the US, and interviewed The Beatles on a station he programmed.
After his first retirement in the 80's, Art returned to Buffalo, and eventually agreed to host the first opinionated sports talk show in Buffalo. This started a 7 year career of nightly radio broadcasts.
Art teamed up with the Empire Sports Network, what was then a new all-sports channel in Western New York. Art hosted a regular show on TV. In 1996, Art left his radio gig to work at Empire Sports full time. He began writing, and his regular column Don't Get Me Started was a feature on the fledgeling website of the new network.
Art also hosted a show, Fan Forum with with station manager Bob Koshinski. When Koshinski was promoted to General Manager, Art went solo on the show, and the show was re-titled Just Getting Started.
In 2000, when Empire Sports started a radio station WNSA 107.7 FM, Art returned to the airwaves with a daily 2 hour sports program.
From watching Art, I know that he is an honorable broadcaster. He left few plates un-rattled, handing out criticism where criticism was due, but also giving praise to where praise was due. Though loud and boisterous, he really is a nice person in person. Empire took advantage of this loud personality in some early commercials for the station. They would have Art, "The Tiny Tot of the Kilowatt" locked in a closet, and would show station staffers going in to pull him out in time for his broadcast. After the end of the show, they would re-gag him and lock him back in the closet.
Art was a good guy and will be sorely missed. Writes Bob Koshinski, "I am amazed at his energy and vitality. So my first column back on the net is a tip of my cap and a proud salute to a broadcaster, a mentor, a friend. Nuff said."