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LOU ADLER TRIBUTES
The former WCBS anchor and news director died at the age of 87 on December 22, 2017



  • Rita Sands: Lou Adler hired me as the first woman news anchor at WCBS not long after he became Director of News. We all saved the endless messages and reminders from him because in truth each was a teaching point, something well worth remembering if we wanted to grow in the job or even stay in the job. I'm grateful to Lou and still inspired by him. I choose to believe he can still hear the bulletin sounder.

  • Michael Kahn: Sad news. Didn't get to work with him, but I did with Jim. They were always on in the house and car, and were a major reason why as a kid I knew I wanted to work at WCBS. Both gone now, along with Bob Vaughn. Sad indeed.

  • Jerry Levin: The anchor glue that held that original fabulous Newsradio 88 morning drive time on and behind the scenes team together exuding energy, creativity, and above all credibility.

  • Peter King: I never got to meet him personally but spoke to him on the phone when I was a program director in Syracuse. We pick up his daily medical feature and like him, it was terrific. What an amazing life he lived.

  • Mike McCann Tauss: Wayne Cabot and I were discussing Lou at the holiday party -- he wasn't aware that Lou had taken a year or so and worked for channel 2 before returning to the radio side in '67.

  • Louis Freizer: Those. of us who worked for Lou and admired him may have nothing to. say. Their shocked silence is his memorial.

  • Tony Gatto: M. David Levin was quite fond of Lou, from what I recall. Also. Lou invented the 3 martini lunch. But he got to go home right after lunch. He also loved his golf game. Right after work.

  • Steven Reed: So sorry to learn of the inevitable. So many former colleagues at WCBS have taken their leave. Lou Adler was a special talent both on air and managerial. That I was one of hires will always be a source of professional pride. I will also always remember his unexpected phone calls from the golf course asking about something he had on our air!

  • Bob VanDerheyden: A great mentor in the early days of Newsradio 88. I watched Lou....and learned. Sad news

  • Bill Schweizer: Lou was a special friend and mentor! He hired me at WCBS in 1981 and was responsible for bringing me to Quinnipiac University in 1994. RIP Lou.

  • Don Swaim: Despite my prior on-air broadcast background, I was initially hired as a news editor at WCBS, but it was Adler who dragooned me into roles as reporter and anchor, and it was through him that my daily series on books and writers, "Book Beat," began. For that I'll always be appreciative.

    Funeral services were held in January 1978 for former Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Lou Adler insisted we broadcast the services live. I was opposed, knowing how deadly, so to speak, funeral services can be. Adler overruled me, so we carried the services in their entirely, including long stretches of sepulchral music. At one point, Adler phoned in from his car saying, "What's that music on MY radio station?" I answered, "I'm not sure, Lou, but I think it's the Chopin Sonata, Opus 35." The newsroom got a big charge out of that, but Lou was not amused.

  • Michael J. Schoen: I first got to know Lou when I was a stringer covering NJ for WCBS but I had my best conversations at the Quinnipiac luncheons, where the Fred Friendly journalism awards were bestowed. He was a great man and his report on medicine was among the best ever on the air.

  • Todd Glickman: Lou Adler was my first boss at WCBS Newsradio 88 in 1979. He was a great mentor. I think of him often and ask, "What would Lou have done?" He had been ill for many years, but hung on until 88. Of course. He would have demanded nothing less! Here's my favorite Lou Adler story:
    Lou selected me to be the weekend meteorologist on WCBS in 1979 when he brought on Boston-based Weather Services Corporation as the station's weather contractor after the Dr. Bob Harris scandal. Norm Macdonald was the weekday meteorologist. WSC submitted seven tapes for the weekend slot, and Norm says Lou told him, "We're taking Glickman -- he's the only one with a New York accent." It seems all the rest said, "pahtly cloudy." When I interviewed, he asked me if I knew the difference between "schmutz" and "spritz," and I also pronounced my native “"Long Island" properly. I passed :)

    One day I filling in on morning drive, working from our studios in suburban Boston via phone. The format at the time was different -- weather went to 59:00 straight up, and then there were 60 seconds of headlines, the last five seconds of which were read over the four tones leading up to the CBS network news. In this instance, something went wrong, and they were a minute late. I don't know how, since Lou, Jim Donnelly, and the technician behind the glass were all masters at the clock. At any rate, it was about five seconds before the top of the hour when Lou casually introduced me. I looked at the clock on the wall, my watch, and the spare clock on my desk. All were in agreement. I made a decision, which I knew would make or break my career. I said, "Lou, a nice day today. Details after CBS news on the hour, over WCBS, New York. It's 9am." BONG! One minute later, my landline rang. "Hello?" "Todd, Lou. Thank you." CLICK. He never mentioned it again.

    Rest in peace, Lou, and thank you for having faith in a 23-year old kid from Long Island.

  • David Silver: I remember listening to him as a kid. Sorry to hear of his passing. On a related note, does Cameron Swayze ever still report?

  • John Fix: Sad to hear, definitely one of the great ones in NY news radio history.

  • Andy Kraus: How ironic he passes at the same time Charles Osgood announces his signing off. The two of them were synonymous with WCBS all throughout my life.

  • Philip Hom: I remember his voice.

  • Spencer Ross: Lou Adler is the man who hired me at WCBS News Radio in 1972. Thus began the most wonderful dozen years I've ever spent in radio. Sat next to him on many mornings when he teamed with the great Jim Donnelly. Arguably the greatest all-time news duo in New York morning drive time all news radio. The great Ed Ingles the regular morning guy. I spent the afternoons with another fabulous team. Pat Parson and Ben Farnsworth. Great to work with. Great to work for. Lou was also our News Director. I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to work with him and gain his respect. I can honestly say he never uttered a harsh word to me during those those 12+ years. Lou Adler also taught me a great deal about honest, objective journalism. This has been a tough year. It's been tantamount to a horrific avalanche. Lou Adler's gone. Harvey Hauptmann, Robert Vaughan, Bill Fahan.

    I can honestly say that beyond giving me some infrequent constructive criticism he never once spoke to me in a negative manner. He was also responsible for my selection as play by play broadcaster for the New York Jets when WCBS won the broadcasting rights to their games. Thank you Lou. That decision led to my being named play by play broadcaster of the year by the NYS Broadcasters Association on two separate occasions. (Surprised Marv didn't win it every year? I wouldn't have complained.)

    This has been a tough year. We lose Lou and several other icons Harvey Hauptmann, who continued to call me "boychick" even when I started receiving my Social Security checks. (I got a kick out of it. He started calling me that when I was 30 years old.) Robert (Bob )Vaughan, the man who seamlessly took over Lou's spot when he moved to WOR and Bill Fahan, my longtime card playing buddy.
    This is the holiday season. I'm gonna she'd a tear or two, but drink a hearty toast to that group when I think of the joy they brought me. Each of them responsible in some way for any success I've had in this business.

  • David A. Vieser: Ross comments. Lou Adler and Jim Donnelly were the best news duo in NY. RIP Mr. Adler.

  • Bruno Giufurta: That's sad news, I remember him on CBS 88 am band.

  • Gabrielle Accardi: Arnold Sorry to hear it. Love that he was 88, though.

  • Pat Alder: My heartiest condolences to the Adler family, and all his CBS family. A very sad loss for the network and news radio listeners.

  • Alan Reiman: I almost fell out of my car when I heard this. I appreciate the mention of how to pronounce FebRUary.. And the mention about a former neighbor, Art Athens.

  • Steve Scott: It almost seems fitting that Mr. Adler, who was a giant of Newsradio 88, died at the age of...88.

  • Eric Greene: Sad... Listened to him when I was a kid ... RIP.

  • Bob Kirk: Lou and Jim Donnelly set the standard for all news morning drive. RIP.

  • Jim Bleikamp: Lou Adler was indeed a giant. Giant is the operative word.

  • Paul M. Davis: Lou led the RTNDA visit to China broadcast newsrooms in the early 80's.. i was fortunate to be on that trip.

  • Mark Feinman: How ironic that he died at the age of 88. Grew up listening to him and Joe Donnelly in my yoot. RIP.

  • George Puleo: Yes I am sorry for the passing of Mr. Lou Adler at WCBS news radio station 880 in New YORK City. I have been a long time special Fan of Mr. Lou Adler and Mr. Jim Donnelly and Robert Vaughn and Jane Tillman Evrving and The Whole family of The WCBS news radio station 880 Anchors and Reporting Staff members Since the Station came over the Airwaves, and I am happy to tell you that I am 66 Years old Young. I have Sooooooo many wonderful memories of the WCBS news radio station 880 Family members over the years.I Still Listen to The Broadcasting anchors on the Air on my Smart Phone App from my home town in Horse lover Country in Ocala Florida. I am happy to hear that y'all are doing a wonderful job and I Truly Enjoy the best of News Radio Broadcasting on WCBS news radio station 880 Each day of the year. yes I will send prayers to Saint Francis to watch over Mr.Lou Adler's Whole family.How fitting for Lou Adler to Passway at the Age of 88 and his Last Love Job Call Numbers Were 880. I will miss you Lou Adler, Thanks for the memories, Your Big fan from NEW YORK City and Long Island New YORK and now Ocala Florida Cowboy George Puleo.

  • Ken Jeffries: Listened to him growing up in NYC...wish I had met him.

  • Steven Baltin: I'm very sad to hear about Lou's death. Lou and Jim Donnelly were a terrific morning anchor team. I had the privilege of writing for them in the mid-70s and later writing and producing Lou's “Report on Medicine” for over 3 years. Lou was quite demanding as anchor and News Director, but was also very fair and complimentary when we did a good job.

  • Lon Braithwaite: I am very sorry to learn about the passing of Lou Adler. My career in news radio began with Lou. Not only did he select me to be a news trainee at WCBS -- a career-changing step up from chief desk assistant, but he suggested also that I shorten my name to "Lon." Dr. Lonnie Carton was a voice already on CBS Radio. On-air work at WPOP Newsradio 14 and WEEI Newsradio 59 followed for me, as a result of the confidence-boost and support I received from Lou Adler. Many years later, I was grateful to be able to be in a position to edit one of his newscast at ABC News Radio, where he anchored for a period of time. My condolences go out to Lou's family.

  • Jean M. Hughes: I grew up listening to Lou Adler and Jim Donnelly. A NYC radio legend for sure. Sorry for the loss of your friend. RIP

  • Bill Sobel: Waking up to Lou Adler was part of my morning ritual.

  • Bob Bruno: During his tenure, he made WOR News sound like a million bucks, which, if memory serves me correctly is about what we paid him. Worth every dollar. A strong willed, bare-knuckled, hard core Journalist, (capitol "J"), with old school integrity, perfect pipes and a brain to match. One of of the greats and without question, one of a kind. R.I.P. Lou Adler

  • Frank Raphael: Great newsman, great teacher, great anchor and an all around great guy.

  • Joe Lamachia: As I first read this news, I was saddened. I knew Lou quite well when I was an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University. We had many long conversations. As good as the teaching staff was at Quinnipiac, it was dwarfed by Lou's knowledge and ability to teach.

  • Merrilee Cox: So sorry to hear this. Lou was a good man and an exceptional journalist. RIP.

  • Matthew Schwartz: Thanks for sharing this sad news, Tim. My first job out of college was as a desk assistant at WCBS Newsradio 88 (as it was then called). I was hired mostly because my neighbor was Lou's great morning drive co-anchor, Jim Donnelly. Lou was always helpful to me and was a great anchor. My condolences to his family.

  • Crys Quimby: I never had the privilege of working with Lou but I did get to interact with him a number of times when I worked at 880 and he was a professor… So highly respected and beloved!

  • Debbie Hanley Martella: Oh my, so sorry. He is a Radio Legend! He was my Professor at Fordham University while he was Mormon Drive Anchor at WCBS. I enjoyed working with him later in years at ABC Net. I heard about him over the past few years from a friend who knew his wife and him in Ct. God Bless Him and his family.

  • Gary Maurer oh no no no no no no. the sad news just keeps coming. this is awful. just awful. i go all the way back to the beginning with lou. a pioneer. a legend. a very demanding boss. lou was my mentor and i owe my career at 88 to him. my heart is heavy and my thoughts are with lou's family.

  • Fred Fishkin: It was listening to Lou and Jim that spurred me to dream of working someday at Newsradio88. My condolences to his family.

  • Ken Charles: Sad to hear. I never worked with him. However he leaves behind a standard for excellence that those who have worked with him will carry on.

  • Frances Walterman: A legend has passed, but will not be forgotten.

  • Bruce Bobbins: A true legend lost

  • Bernard Gershon: So many stories! He was a great man! He taught me so many things about news and management and integrity! He was tough and smart and honest! As I recall he had me fire you and then allowed me to rehire you! RIP Lou Adler!

  • Tim Scheld: He did indeed. Didn't like that I was doing weekend work for the AP and having my work airing on competitors. We changed my name on the AP and All was forgiven. And then you hired me full time so I didn't need to do the stringer work. Lou was a treasure. He did threaten to fire me another time when I was sent to Atlantic City to cover a Hurricane. He told me if he heard the phrase "calm before the story" I'd be fired!!!

  • Tom Foty: I had some pleasant dealings with Lou when he did a consulting gig with UPI around 1983. This was while he was at WOR .. where he also hired ex 88 colleague Ted Feurey .. who had done a brief turn at UPI in between. I think his RTNDA presidency might have been a year or two earlier than 1985. Later, I distinctly remember hearing Lou on both WINS and ABC .. and am pretty sure he also did a turn at all-news WCNN in Atlanta in the mid 90's, which I don't see mentioned anywhere. Sorry to learn of his death.

  • Bill Lynch: I was privileged to have been Lou’s wingman in the early seventies and learned a great deal from him. We also found far too many occasions to wine and dine on Mr. Paley’s dime. So sad to hear he has gone. RIP, Lou.

  • Ed Simon: I used to listen to him all the time on CBS radio. R. I. P. to a newsradio pioneer. Alzheimers is a horrible disease, it took over his brilliant mind.



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