Gib Shanley at his desk during his days at WUAB Ch 43
Andrew Boggs, BA | May 3, 2010 at 6:55 pm
Gib Shanley arrived like many of us do in the broadcast business – college and small market radio. Gib started life on August 6th, 1931 in an Ohio river town know as Bellaire, and grew-up nearby in Shadyside. After he finished high school, he attended a radio broadcasting school in Washington D.C. His scholastic studies at the institution ended two months early due to an appendicitis attack, however while recovering he landed his first radio job. Before he made it to WGAR AM and shortly afterwards, WEWS TV 5, Gib worked in the radio markets of Cambridge, Zanesville, Pontiac, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio. When one begins in broadcasting, one pays their dues known as their salad days – or for those unfamiliar with the term – living paycheck to paycheck. Gib arrived in Cleveland in an old Ford where one door had to be wired shut. However, he was welcomed by famed sportscaster Ken Coleman, and that turned out to be a good sign. Gib’s Browns days started with Coach Paul Brown and the team’s then new owner, Art Model. I first met Gib Shanley at WEWS TV 5 in its early days of ’Eyewitness News With John Hambrick and Dave Patterson. I was a teenager at the time and was allowed the rare privilege of hanging out with the guys and occasionally lunching with Dorothy Fuldheim in her office next to the reception area – Dorothy usually ’brown-bagged’ it. Gib himself was nice, but on the reserved side, not saying a whole lot, but concentrating on getting his six and eleven sportscast segments ready. Here’s the thing, Gib very much had a surprising sense of humor, and a great deal of kindness. News sets are usually on moveable pedestals, or raised flooring. This allows the camera to be at ’eye-level’ of the talent. Usually one is looking at a one-half to one foot rise above the flooring. If one is young, its no problem scaling the height – if one is older, it becomes a little more difficult to make the climb. In the late 1970’s forward, Dorothy had a little bit of a problem making it up to the platform. Gib would usually be the one to give her a hand up just before air time. That was a very warm gesture on his part. Sometimes Gib would tease me a little. In my young adult years, I’d occasionally bring an impromptu audience with me to the studio, and it usually consisted of a mother I was dating and her young children. The kids and mom would usually sit on the steps of the Morning Exchange set. I would get them there a little before the news sign-on, explaining how some of the equipment worked as well telling them that when they saw the studio light on the door and the tally lights on the cameras shining red, they had to be very quiet and still. Also in general they had to be soft-spoken during commercial breaks. Never had a problem on that, they were pretty good kids. One time I brought a woman whom almost became a fiancee – Kathy, and her children Margaret, George, Jr. and young master Karl with me to the set. During a commercial break, Gib looked in my direction and chided, “you know Andy, you are the only guy I know who brings an audience to a news program.” Over the years, Gib would kid me about this. Strange enough, I did have an ulterior motive when I did this. Sure, it was to impress my serious dates – but more important, when they had young children, it was to give them a very rare experience and to hopefully get them to think about their futures, not broadcasting per say, but amazing things are possible when people, or in this case, young children work towards achieving their dreams – whatever they may be. After Gib’s jaunt to the west coast and back to greater Cleveland, I bumped into Gib at WUAB TV 43, where he was its sports director and anchor. Gib saw me and looked a little depressed. When Gib gave up his WEWS TV position, he gave up the greatest gig he ever had – lets face it, WUAB TV 43 was considered small time when compared with the WKYC 3’s, WEWS 5’s and the WJW 8’s in Cleveland. As big a celebrity as Gib was, his lead-in at WUAB TV 43 was quite week. On a visit I made there dealing with my student days at Baldwin-Wallace College, we had the chance to talk in his (where the photo was taken) office. He said to me, “You know Andy, you should have given me the same talk you gave Don Webster when he thought about moving on.” I looked at Gib and said, “Gib, knowing you, you wouldn’t have listened anyway.” With that, Gib gave me a slight smile. Our paths would occasionally bump into each other over the years following that moment. We almost found ourselves recovering at the same nursing home together at Pine Tree Vista’s in Strongsville, Ohio. I missed Gib by one week after he was discharged. That would have been the last chance for our paths to cross. Next time I would here about Gib is when he passed away on April 6th, 2008.
TLones1480 | May 3, 2010 at 9:35 pm
You really ought to write a book..Great stories..Shanley also worked weekends at KYW/WKYC at least from 1964-into 1966..
Andrew Boggs, BA | May 14, 2010 at 7:43 pm
You are correct, he did. I find I have to make one correction, Gib was recovering at Falling Waters in Strongsville, and not Pine Tree Vistas. As to the stories, when I see some of the pictures, it does bring up memories. Speaking about TV3, Leon Bibb worked there and one time we were covering a bank hostage situation at a shopping center in Berea – Leon for WKYC TV 3 and me for the Mutual Radio Network and WERE Newsradio 1300. There was a Manners Restaurant in the strip and as a prank (in good humor), I stoled one of his french fries, dipping it in the ketchup on his plate. Thankfully, Leon had a sense of humor about it.
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