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41st Annual Professional Recognition Awards and Scholarship Banquet

April 27, 2019, 6 PM cocktails, 7 PM dinner

at Genesee Grande, 1060 East Genesee St, Syracuse

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Our Rundown


Jean Daugherty


   Jean Daugherty not only created the "Magic Toy Shop" program, but she also wrote, produced and appeared as the "Play Lady" in all 6,200 episodes broadcast by WHEN-TV and WTVH between Feb. 28, 1955, through Sept. 11, 1982.

   The "Magic Toy Shop" is probably Jean's best-known show. But she also produced 9,800 documentaries and other programs during her 40-plus years at the Syracuse television station.

   At least one of those programs was a first for Central New York, and likely in the entire United States. In 1963, when leaders of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse decided to broadcast the ordination of priests in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, they asked Jean to produce the program. That was the first time an ordination ever had been broadcast live in Central New York.
   After earning a bachelor's degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Jean Daugherty, a native of Barnsboro, Pennsylvania, came to Syracuse University to study radio broadcasting. Television had barely started in the late 1940's. But, her first job after getting her master's degree was at a television station in Cleveland, Ohio, where she also worked at an advertising agency. She returned to Syracuse several years later to take a job as a producer-director at WHEN-TV Channel 8. 
   Jean also took on a number of community projects. She is a founder of the Board of Literacy Volunteers, and has worked closely with the Interreligious Council. She is on the board of the Syracuse Children's Chorus and the Alibrandi Catholic Center at S.U. She is a member of the Friends of the Bumet Park Zoo and Historic Onondaga Lake. Jean also is a member of the Pompeian Players, which for years put on an annual musical show. In 1990, she served as co-marshal of the St. Patrick's Parade, Syracuse's biggest one-day event which was founded by another Irish colleen and television colleague, Nancy Duffy.
   Jean's contributions to her profession and to the community have won her a designation as an honorary Letter Winner of Distinction from Syracuse University and an honorary doctorate from LeMoyne College. 
   In recent years, Jean has been hard at work on the publication of a book, "Memories to Cherish," which includes both a history of the "Magic Toy Shop" and stories written especially for the program with original drawings by Socrates Sampson, who played Eddie Flum Num on the show. All proceeds from the book go to the Onondaga Historical Association so a permanent "Magic Toy Shop" exhibit can be built. Jean has worked closely with OHA staff to mount the present exhibit showing 50 years of television in Syracuse with special emphasis on the "Toy Shop."
   Jean Daugherty never tired of producing the shows. "What people don't understand about me is that it never was my job," she says. "`Toy Shop' was an extra thing I did in addition to my job. But we never got tired. Whenever you looked at a child's face, you were buoyed up." 
   Daugherty passed away in April of 2008 at the age of 86.

--Joseph A. Porcelo

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 November 2008 01:58 )
"It’s all storytelling, you know. That’s what journalism is all about."
--Tom Brokaw, NBC News

Wall of Distinction

Carl Eilenberg

WNYS-TV (Ch. 9)

Rome Observer

Mayor of Rome, N.Y.

Carl Eilenberg has had a number of careers but, as he says, "I?ve never stopped being a broadcaster and sports-guy."
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