Bob BuchmannBusiness | 2008
In the early 1970s, Bob Buchmann founded Half Hollow Hills’ community radio station and also built an AM station in his basement. After a knock on his parents’ door from the Federal Communications Commission, Buchmann went legit, converting the pirate AM station into America’s first mass-distributed cable only radio station, based in Commack. While at Ithaca College, he worked for several upstate New York radio stations and part-time at three Long Island stations during summer breaks. When he joined WBAB in 1979, the station was the fourth-ranked rock station in the market. By 1982, WBAB had evolved into the Long Island leader and was not beaten by another rock music station (even those based in New York City) until the summer of 2001, when it was dethroned by Clear Channel’s Q104.3 (WAXQ), where Buchmann accepted on-air and program director duties. The station rocketed from 14th place to become a Top 5 player in the adults, 25-54, market. Buchmann is a board member of Friends of Karen, Special Olympics, and Charity Begins at Home, founded by longtime friend Billy Joel. He is also a winner of the Harry Chapin Man-of-the-Year Award from Long Island Cares for his efforts to fight hunger.