TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A Wabash Valley broadcaster says he never even contemplated the Hall of Fame, but that all changed for Martin Plascak last week. The Terre Haute radio newsman heard from the Indiana Broadcast Pioneer Hall of Fame. He’s to be inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame class.
He still has that voice. And to long time Terre Hauteans, that voice is unmistakable. It belongs to long time former radio newsman Martin Plascak, who is now a hall of famer.
“I never thought about it, never ever thought I would be there,” said Plascak. “So, it comes as a very, very big surprise.”
After graduating high school in 1947, Martin knew Indiana State University was involved in radio. So, he decided to give it a shot. Dr. Clarence Morgan not only thought Martin had the voice that could give him a career in radio, but he also insisted that Martin apply for his first job as an announcer.
“Well I got there, and there were 4 or 5 or 6 other people wanting the same job,” Plascak recalled. “We took the test. I won, apparently.”
Anyone with a career needs a break, and martin got his in 1957 when WBOW was sold to a man from Chicago by the name of Bill O’Connor.
‘So he says what I want to do, he says I want to eventually make you the radio news voice of the Wabash Valley,” said Plascak.
And that he did. That, Martin Plascak is.
Martin’s career would go on to span about 45 years, split relatively evenly between WBOW and WTHI. And he did some memorable promotions. In one, he helped a man stay awake for an entire week. Another, he encouraged Terre Haute drivers to drive safely. The city went accident-free for two weeks. During the interview, he gave us a clinic on how to be an effective news reporter.
“One is if you’re going out on an assignment, I don’t care what it is, be prepared,” said Plascak. “Total preparation. And the other thing I emphasized was don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.”
Asking the tough questions is what earned Martin Plascak the respect he has among those he covered and those he worked with. It’s a career Martin looks back on with no regrets.
“If I had to do it all over again, that’s the way I would do it,” Plascak affirmed.
And why not? Who wouldn’t take a hall of fame career? Congratulations Martin Plascak. You may not say it, but we will. It’s a well-deserved honor.
Besides Martin Plascak, there are four Hall of Fame inductees. They’ll be inducted November 8th in Indianapolis.