Niagara Gazette — Tom Darro’s been talking into a microphone about Niagara Falls for a very long time.
On Wednesday, the radio talk show host with one of the most loyal followings in the region, was celebrated by his friends, family and listeners for 50 years in the media business.
“He’s a good guy and it’s time somebody recognized him for what he’s done on the radio,” said Dave Costanzo, owner of Yaseen’s Jewelers, who has known Darro for more than 40 years and has joined him on his radio program, “Viewpoint” on WJJL, 1140 AM.
The event was planned by Darro’s family and friends, including his wife, Ann Marie, to honor the 65-year-old for all he’s done for the city.
“He’s the consummate professional,” said Joe Paduano, a regular caller to the show who uses the radio name, Sonny Callahan, in honor of an old friend who saved his life in the military.
“He’s very neutral,” Paduano said. “He lets everybody express their opinion.”
“Viewpoint” offers something a little different each day but typically features local newsmakers talking about regional issues while listeners phone in to add their views.
Although he has been talking about Niagara Falls for all of his career, including 22 years as a television and radio spokesperson for the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Darro said he is enjoying the tail end of his time on the air, where he can say whatever he chooses.
“I’m obligated to no one anymore,” he noted. “What I say is an honest opinion. I don’t jump to conclusions.”
It was Paduano and another long-time Darro friend, retired Niagara Falls police detective Carl Berak, who approached Darro about having a dinner in his honor.
“I said, ‘Tom you do a good job selling, let me sell you the idea,’” said Paduano. “I said ‘Tom, no matter what the weather, nor how hard the task, you were always there on the radio giving people information regarding goods and services they might not know are available to them.’”