SYRACUSE PRESS CLUB
For more than four decades, an instantly recognizable face, a captivating smile, and a voice that was once synonymous with Syracuse University football and basketball, Joel Mareiniss earned the distinction of being a Central New York broadcast legend.
Almost all of his 46-year career in broadcasting was with WSYR Radio and Television (Channel 3). And while Joel is best remembered for his work in sports, he started out as a newsman.
A native of Newark, New Jersey, Joel first came to Syracuse in 1946 to attend Syracuse University's School of Journalism. Upon graduation, he served in the US Army as a public information officer during the Korean War, then came back to SU for a master's degree in television. It was 1953.
At the same time, Joel joined WSYR Radio as morning news reporter. He is most proud of his award-winning coverage of a local soldier returning home after being a held as a prisoner of war by North Korea. In 1958, Joel became WSYR-TV's first 11 PM news anchor, a job he held for the next eight years.
What happened next is what the Mareiniss legend is made of. No doubt, he will agree it was the start of his dream job in 1966 that combined a love of sports and Syracuse University. Joel was named WSYR's radio and television sports director.
Not only did he do the sports segments during the early and late night news programs, but Joel Mareiniss truly became the "Voice of the Orange." For 14 years, he called SU football and basketball play-by-play with an excitement and passion that endeared him to thousands of devoted fans. And the job only got better as Joel also hosted the extremely popular live television bowling program, Syracuse Bowls, for 25 years.
When the Newhouse family divested itself of WSYR in 1982, Joel stayed with the radio station. His career took a detour for seven years as he went into radio advertising work. But the call of sports play-by-play was too great to keep Joel off the air. He became play-by-play announcer for the Syracuse Chiefs baseball team, carried by radio sister station WHEN for another seven years.
In what spare time he had, Joel also held a commercial pilot's license with multi-engine and instrument ratings. He was a member of the "Quiet Birdmens Pilots Club."
Joel and wife Georgiana have two daughters, a son, and four grandchildren.— Jeff Paston