John A. “Jack” Palvino

A native Rochesterian, 80 years young and a member of the Pioneer Graduating class of St. John Fisher College in 1955.  A trustee for the past 30 years, he is the first alumnus to be voted chairman of the board of trustees  (1992-1995) following graduation he attended the University of Buffalo Law School before the  radio bug bit, much to the chagrin of his parents, and he left law school to become  Jerry Jack, Mac Maguire and Tommy Thomas at WSAY radio 1370 in Rochester NY all in one  year.

Jack was then hired by his 92 year old guru, Bob Kieve, as morning man and Program Director at WGVA, Geneva, NY.  While receiving a flu shot jack noticed the blonde blue eyed RN administering the shot and has continued to notice RN Joyce for the last 55 years.  Jack and Joyce have 3 children.  John (who nominated Jack for this New York State Broadcaster’s award) Senior Account Executive at WHAM radio in Rochester, NY for the last 30 years.  Jill, Adult Education Director at Marywood College in Scranton, PA and Jason, Supervisor and Director of Security at Rochester Regional Transit Authority.  There are eight perfect Palvino grandchildren, Michael, Marcus, Adam, Lindsey, Abbey, Zachary, Olivia and Jack.

In 1958 Jack was promoted to WBBF radio in Rochester, NY one of the most popular radio stations in the country during the advent of top 40 rock and roll radio.  ‘Palvino in the Morning’ with Smilin Jack was the dominant morning show in Rochester for almost 2 decades.  The show featured ad lib indiscriminate one liners thrown at Jack while he was on the air by his ‘Engineer Donald’ using voice clips from comedy albums, interviews and actualities collected by engineer Donald Ariano, along with the top 40 music of the day.  One measurement by the pulse company in 1960 listed WBBF as the most popular station in the country.

In 1978, Jack and his partners, Bud Wertheimer and Ed Musicus formed the Lincoln Group to purchase WVOR-FM 100.5 in Rochester.  They were the first to bring AM programming to FM with morning news, helicopter traffic and commentaries rather than pure FM background music.  Within 2 years WVOR was the top billing and top rated radio station in Rochester, NY.  WVOR was the subject of the national RAB book in search of excellence and finalists for the NAB Crystal Award for community service.  The Lincoln Group grew to include WHAM, WHTK, WPXY, and WHRR in Rochester, NY and WBUF in Buffalo NY and WQXK/WSOM in Salem, Ohio.  The Lincoln Group was sold in 1997 to American Radio Systems (now CBS Radio).  The sale was the first decided upon by the FCC following the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and set up the national criteria for later radio sales nationally.

Jack is now retired in Rochester and Florida and has written his memoirs in a book, “On the Air” now in its 3rd printing and available on  In 2003, Jack co-founded WHICH AM 1460 in Rochester, NY with Jim Wright and Bob Brown Rochester’s first Catholic radio station and he continues to be active in the communications media department at St. John Fisher College and is especially honored to be invited to join his late partner, Bud Wertheimer, and the other outstanding broadcasters in The New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

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