Bill Mazer, a legendary Buffalo-area broadcaster for almost 20 years and the man credited with creating the format of sports talk show radio, died on Wednesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 92.
Mazer spent more than 60 years in the broadcasting business, but he first made a name for himself in the Buffalo market. Mazer started working here around 1946, as he was recommended for a job here by legendary announcer Marty Glickman. Mazer later became the voice of the Buffalo Bisons (baseball and hockey) for several years, and was a sports anchor at Ch. 2. Veteran announcer and Kenmore native Don Criqui cited Mazer’s work with local college basketball as a major influence on his work. Mazer eventually was inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame and Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
“No one made a bigger impact on sports broadcasting in his era than he did,” said former Buffalo broadcaster Pete Weber, now the announcer for the Nashville Predators. “There was Van Miller, Stan Barron and Ralph Hubbell, but he was the pervasive voice at the time.”
Mazer left Buffalo for a position with WNBC in New York City, as the station was unveiling a then-unique talk format. He quickly developed a reputation for having encyclopedic sports knowledge.
After leaving WNBC, the Ukrainian-born Mazer served a color commentator for CBS’ coverage of the National Hockey League, and then served as a sports anchor and announcer for several New York City teams. Later Mazer had a morning radio show for 10 years, interviewing guests in and out of the sports world.