Elmira News Pioneer Dies at 94

By Kevin Eck 

Bruce Flaherty, former news director at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., died Oct. 28 at the age of 94.

He started at the station in 1960 when it was WSYE and retired in 1991 as news director. He started his career as staff announcer at WNBF in Binghamton, N.Y. before moving to WICU in Erie, Pa.

The Star Gazette reports, Flaherty was known for his accuracy and impartiality, “He went to unbelievable lengths to get both sides of the story,” said former WETM sports director Terry Day.


Present WETM news anchor Jeff Stone appreciated the things Bruce taught him and his calm under pressure. “I can’t remember him losing his temper.”

“I liked him a ton,” said Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli. “Bruce was wired to everybody. Great sense of humor.”

The humor wasn’t always intentional.

[Rod] Denson recalled one Bruce on-air blip that brought the studio to its knees in glee. “When he said one local candidate ‘was up for re-erection.’”