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September 16, 2020 8:50 pm  #1

New Book Traces History Of Buffalo Broadcasting

I've been reading Steve Chicon's material online for many years, and his stuff about the history of Buffalo broadcasting has been pretty interesting. Now he's issued a 432 page book with more than 600 photos about the years 1920-1970, a key time for the Queen City's radio and TV. 

"We visit Clint Buehlman and Danny Neaverth; Uncle Mike Mearian and Rocketship 7; The Lone Ranger & KB’s War of the Worlds; Meet the Millers and Dialing for Dollars; John Corbett & Chuck Healy and Irv, Rick & Tom; The Hound and John Otto and so many more of the great broadcasters who were there as we experienced the best (and worst) times of our lives."

It's just under $26 U.S. but it does not appear they ship to Canada, which is pretty strange considering a lot of people here grew up with Buffalo media and might like to read it. We do have some American members on SOWNY and if they're interested, they can find more info here. 

Meanwhile, I've written to the author to ask if he can change this border biased ban, and to find out if Canadians who grew up with Buffalo media will ever get a chance to order it. I'll let you know if I get a reply.


September 17, 2020 8:40 am  #2

Re: New Book Traces History Of Buffalo Broadcasting

Well, I promised to let you guys know if I received a reply about getting this book across the border and I did - but it was not exactly what I was expecting. First here's the text of part of my email to the author:


"As a fan of your Buffalo Stories site, I was thrilled to find out you’d written a new book about the history of broadcasting in the city. And then, I was immediately deeply disappointed. Here’s why.
I tried to order a copy of your newest work only to find the store involved does not ship to Canada. I live in Toronto and am one of many boomers who grew up feeding on Buffalo TV and radio as a constant media meal. I was more than willing to pay the exchange and the postage for this new tome, only to discover I’m apparently on the wrong side of the world by less than 100 miles.
I have no idea who made this decision but I think it’s an unfortunate one...You may be missing a potential audience and sales by not making it available to us in the Great White North. The border may be shut down by COVID, but the mail can still go through. 
Is there any way you might impose upon whoever made this bad border-biased ban to change it?...There are a lot of readers here who might want to turn the page on this policy - and on what looks like a fascinating book, as well. I hope to be one of them.
 Many thanks for your outstanding site and best regards."


So that's essentially what I wrote him. This morning, I received this rather surprising reply.


"The insinuations in this email are insulting. 

The cost for me to ship this book to Canada is $27.05, $1.10 more than the price of the book... which I found out while losing money out of my own pocket to ship a book to Canada. 

I refuse to charge a ridiculous $27.05 to mail a book.  

My uncle lives in Fort Erie, about 6 miles from my home as the crow flies. He will not be getting a book until the border reopens.

Beyond that, the customs form has also become an onerous document, which forces me to ask the addressee questions beyond those which would normally appear on an envelope."


Wow. OK, I know tone can be misinterpreted in an email, but I don't think I was in any way "insulting." It certainly wasn't my intention. In any event, if this book interested you and you don't have a U.S. address, it appears you're out of luck.   

     Thread Starter

September 17, 2020 10:15 am  #3

Re: New Book Traces History Of Buffalo Broadcasting

I didn't find it insulting.  He just laid out, albeit somewhat tersely, the realities of the situation.

USPS shipping isn't as cheap as it used to be.

I'll bet, once the border is opened, Steve will probably have no problem selling a bunch of books if he trucks them over the bridge to his Uncle's place.  I'd love one.

One way around that would be to sell a digital version of the book but that gets into all kinds of messy issues surrounding copyright.


September 17, 2020 10:22 am  #4

Re: New Book Traces History Of Buffalo Broadcasting

I just received a follow-up from Mr. Chicon and in the interest of fairness, I felt I should post it here. 

"Sorry about the misunderstanding. I woke up to a handful of hostile emails and then read yours— I usually try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but the inbox was rough this morning.  

No excuse, though... Sorry. 

I truly appreciate your enthusiasm for the book— I know I’d feel similarly about a Toronto or Hamilton media book— but I can’t imagine anyone willing to pay $60US for it.  

Here’s the only solution I can think of— 

You post a special offer for Canadian customers at $50, offer good til the end of the month. At the end of the month, I send all those books to you in a single large package, already in envelopes and addressed, along with whatever is left over from the postage for you to use to send out the books. The hope is one large package to Canada will save money on that leg of shipping. 

I don’t suspect there will be many takers, and it’s a bit of work for you, but it’s the only thing I can think of."

I certainly appreciate the apology and it explains a lot. Who hasn't had days like that? I never got the impression this man was unreasonable and his site, Buffalo Stories, is very entertaining and there's lots of great reading there for Buffalo radio and TV fans.  If you're one of them, I highly recommend it. 

Anyway, that offer is open, although I doubt, as he notes, there will be many takers.  

     Thread Starter

September 17, 2020 10:40 am  #5

Re: New Book Traces History Of Buffalo Broadcasting

Out of curiosity, did you communicate with S. Cichon via email or via a SOWNY p.m.?      In any event, good for him for quickly clarifying his baffling initial response



September 17, 2020 10:43 am  #6

Re: New Book Traces History Of Buffalo Broadcasting

Old fashioned email. It was the easiest way to reach him. 

     Thread Starter

September 17, 2020 11:11 am  #7

Re: New Book Traces History Of Buffalo Broadcasting

Steve's not wrong about how expensive the postage has become. I cringe every time I have to pony up to send one of my Tower Site Calendars across the border. The shipping nearly doubles the US$20 cost of he calendar. 

I have some Canadian fans who buy the calendar, and I'm happy to send it if they're willing to pay the price, but yeah, it's steep, and Steve's also correct that the customs forms have become more complex. 

I'm wide open to finding an easier solution that would allow both of us to better serve Canadian audiences!


September 17, 2020 12:53 pm  #8

Re: New Book Traces History Of Buffalo Broadcasting

Over the years, I have purchased many of Joel Whitburn's Billboard chart books. The publisher, Record Research Inc. does ship to Canada but the shipping charges are about $22 plus the exchange on the dollar. Not cheap, but I find them interesting and I am willing to pay the price. I wonder if places like Indigo would be interested in stocking the book. 


November 11, 2020 10:17 pm  #9

Re: New Book Traces History Of Buffalo Broadcasting

As frustrating as it is for some of us that the author refuses to ship this book to Canada, I did find this review of it, published on Wednesday. (The site it's from is for Polish Americans from the Buffalo area, hence all the references to local Polish broadcasters.) But it does give a glimpse into what's inside the covers, which only makes me more unhappy that we can't get it here. 

(By the way, I just noticed that the cover indicates this is part one. That means a second tome, covering the years 1970 onwards, is probably coming out eventually. And no, we won't be able to order that here, either!) 

Anyway, in case you're curious...

Cichon looks back at Buffalo broadcasting history

     Thread Starter

November 12, 2020 10:47 am  #10

Re: New Book Traces History Of Buffalo Broadcasting

After reading the review, I am also unhappy this book is unavailable in Canada. An abundance of information and photos packed into those 432 pages.


November 12, 2020 10:47 am  #11

Re: New Book Traces History Of Buffalo Broadcasting

Well, when you consider the pandemic, four years of tRump administration madness culminating in tRump's refusal to even admit defeat, topped by an all around crazy 2020, it's a wonder Mr. Cichon isn't simply jumping over The Falls...never mind just having a bad morning.

Good on him for re-thinking and apologizing.