Buffalo’s War of the Worlds

On Halloween night 1968 WKBW Radio produced a radio broadcast that has become a staple  Buffalo broadcasting history. WKBW Radio Program Director Jeff Kaye wrote and produced a western New York version of H.G. Wells War of the Worlds. At the time WKBW Radio was celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Orson Welles broadcast that terrified listeners in 1938. Unlike the Orson Welles version, where actors portrayed newsmen, Jeff Kaye had the WKBW newsmen report about a martian invasion of Grand Island as if it were a breaking news story. This technique proved effective as police stations around western New York were flooded with calls from frightened citizens. The WKBW Radio version of War of the Worlds is a time capsule of everything that was great about one of the nations top radio stations in the late sixties. At the time the radio station was operating at nearly 50,000 watts and could be heard from Nova Scotia to Cuba on a clear night. In addition to a 50,000 watt transmitter and Jeff Kaye heading programming, WKBW had some of the best on air personalities in the history of Buffalo broadcasting. Personalities like Irv Weinstein, Jim Fagan, Don Lancer, Sandy Beach and Dan Neaverth all helped aided in the believability of the broadcast. The WKBW Radio version of War of the Worlds was rebroadcast in 1971, 1973 and 1975 and then fell into obscurity. With the advent of the internet and interest generated from Buffalo broadcasting aficionado's Bob Koshinski and Steve Cichon the broadcast has garnered national interest in recent years. It's hard to imagine in the age of a constant news cycle andsocial media that a radio broadcast could cause panic, even if the topic is out of this world. Discover WKBW Radio's War of the Worlds for yourself and listen to the 1971 version courtesy of StaffAnnouncer.com. Turn off yoursmart phone, sit in your living room and lose yourself in a remarkable broadcast from the golden era of Buffalo broadcasting.

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