Broadcasters from across Pennsylvania tipped their hat to the owner and president of WFMZ-TV on Monday.
Richard Dean was named Pennsylvania Broadcaster of the Year and inducted into the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters' hall of fame during a luncheon in Hershey on Monday.
Dean couldn't be there to accept the award in person, but he did deliver a taped message to the audience. Two of his children, Rick Dean and Wendy Shubert, accepted the award on their father's behalf.
Dean founded Maranatha Broadcasting in 1964. Over the years, he's established numerous successful businesses, including WFMZ radio and TV, Lehigh Valley Page, Music Air, and New Century Productions. He also provided help to Dave Hendricks in starting WBYO in Boyertown, Berks County.
69-WFMZ-TV has been on the air since Thanksgiving Day, 1976.
The station's general manager, Barry Fisher, who also serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters' board of directors, told the audience how Dean managed to grow the TV station from only a handful of employees and a couple newscasts a day in the early days to more than 140 staff members and dozens of live newscasts each week in 2011.
69-WFMZ also accepted four 2011 Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters' excellence in broadcasting awards.
Eric Reinert, WFMZ.com manager, accepted an award for outstanding television website.
Brad Rinehart, WFMZ-TV news director, accepted an award on behalf of the 69 News staff for outstanding television public affairs program for the station's live election night coverage.
Matt Roth, WFMZ-TV assistant news director, accepted on behalf of the station staff for outstanding breaking news coverage.
And Fisher accepted a judges' merit award for 69-WFMZ-TV's broadcast of the 2010 Freddy Awards.