George Kellas II
He was truly an Ohio Valley broadcasting legend. George Kellas the second began his broadcasting career here at WTRF. His former co-worker and our current news director remembers talking with him in the newsroom." "It just seems like yesterday when I was sitting in the news room with him and having these long conversations," said WTRF News Director and friend of Kellas. "I think back and I have really fund memories of George. I'm choking up and little bit so I'm sorry about that."
He touched so many lives in so many ways because he was active in numerous organizations and media outlets. But his first love, other than his family, was sports. George was Mr. High School Sports in the Ohio Valley. And he was a loyal friend.
Former Wheeling Park Basketball Coach Sam Andy said, "he always supported me. Some of my battles with the school board and all that stuff. He wouldn't stretch the truth or anything but he supported me and always called me and asked me what's going on. Whatever I told him, he believed. He was behind me all the way."
That was the sentiment of a lot of people after hearing about the loss of George. He was a true, loyal friend that stood by you, thick and thin. Wheeling Central Head Football Coach Mike Young remembers Kellas making him a highlight tape that he still uses today.
"We show that tape with George and his bushy hair and the words he used, the adjectives he used and how he expressed how that game was lost and how hard fought it was by St. Clairsville and Coach Strager and his staff at that time."
And there were many things about this Ohio Valley icon people didn't know. Friend and co-worker D.K. Wright said, "George was also an animal lover. That's what a lot of people don't know about George. George and Sherri raised three orphaned baby raccoons, which required everything you would do for a baby, every couple of hours, around the clock, care of everything. Feeding, cleaning, George was an amazing person. He was every a better person than most people realized. We'll miss George, so much."
Our thoughts and prayers go out to George's three children, wife and mother!
George Kellas was a veteran of more than 30 years of radio and television in the Ohio Valley. His career began at WWVA radio in March of 1977 with the broadcast of the Wheeling Park vs. Wheeling Central Catholic sectional basketball championship game. It was Park’s first season and they were 21-0 and ranked 22nd in the nation at the time.
George spent 12 years at WTRF-TV7, from 1982 – 1994, as sports anchor, reporter, and commentator, before serving in the same capacity at WTOV-9 form 1994 – 2002.
He has been involved in talk radio since 1991 and is committed to covering topics of interest which affect residents of the Ohio Valley. As a political independent, Kellas is dedicated to restoring integrity and transparency to local, state, and federal government. “We’re going to cut through the political bullstuff and other drivel,” says Kellas. “You’d better be prepared to handle the truth, otherwise you should be listening to one-sided propaganda on some other station. This forum is for the open-minded.”
In addition to his media career, he also founded and co-owned the two-time National Champion Ohio Valley Greyhounds of the National Indoor Football League.
George was a graduate of Triadelphia High School and West Liberty State College and lived and loved in Wheeling with his wife Sherri, son George III (Age 13), and 7 year old twins Max and Lydia.
"AM1600 WKKX the studio that Kellas built"
Tod Jeffers started his radio career which has now spanned five decades on this very radio station which was known at the time as WHLL. Jeffers has traveled the country and the world in the interim and now having come full circle is back where he started at 6:00 PM most weeknights. Following the fiery passion that is George Kellas, Jeffers' laid back style provides a smooth transition into the evening. His versatility also finds him filling in for all of the other day parts from time to time as staffers take vacations or days off.
Jeffers lives relatively quietly with his two parrots, his computers and his satellite big screen TV in suburban Wheeling. Sports and weekend travel take up most of his spare time mixed in with an occasional, frustrating trip around the golf course. "I've come home from a long trip," says Jeffers, "and I'm having more fun at this job than a guy my age should be allowed to have.
Talk show host Todd Jeffers, the host of "Jeffers and Company" on AM 1600 WKKX, passed away at his home in Wheeling.
He was 67.
Jeffers passed just nine days after his good friend and colleague George Kellas lost a battle with cancer on February 19.
Jeffers lived alone at his home in Wheeling with his two parrots.
He was a big Penn State fan and was once the voice of Penn State men's basketball and wreslting.
Jeffers' radio career spanned five decades. He once worked at what used to be known as WHLL, now WKKX.
The cause of death is still unknown, although we're told, he had a history of heart problems.