Jay Schuster (former WCBS desk assistant) 3/16/09
I came upon your site by accident and thoroughly enjoy it. From August 1969 to January 1970, I was a desk assistant, who during afternoon drive wrote the mass transit reports and produced the Lou Timalot helicopter traffic reports.
Dick Reeves (great guy) hired me. Working at WCBS was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I had just graduated from Temple University with a degree in communications and never thought my first job would be at a place like that.
Jay's college grad pic
I remember working with you as a producer and also with Ted Feury. One day I called in sick to Jerry Silberberg, the chief desk assistant. He neglected to tell anyone, and when I was listening at home, I heard that no one had cued Lou for his first helicopter traffic report of the afternoon. When I returned to work the next day, Marv Friedman called me into his office and told me he was removing me from traffic duty and that I would be a pulling copy all of the time instead. I wrote a two page memo of defense telling him that I did nothing wrong and that it was Silberberg who neglected to tell the producer on duty to have someone cover for me. The next day, he called me back into his office to tell me I'm back on the traffic desk. A few days after that, Ted Feurey came to me and asked if I would like to write sports reports for air on the two days a week that the sports writer/producer, Mike (I forget his last name) [NOTE: probably Mike Palmer] was off. It was a thrill to hear my copy read on those evenings by Bob Glenn, George Reading or Jack Welby. I suspected that my memo defending myself had gotten around and impressed Ted with my writing ability. Who knows? It could have been a coincidence, but I always thought that was why he allowed me to write for air.
I have a lot of other memories. Being outside of Tiny Tim's wedding reception at the Ground Floor restaurant and seeing Bill Fahan coming out throughly soaked with sweat is one, but one of the most enduring is the way I was treated by the seasoned pros that worked there. With only a couple of exceptions, I was treated as an equal colleague, someone who was listened to when I had a suggestion.
I remember working with people like Harvey Hauptman (another great guy), Bob Sandler, who had just gotten married, Barney Tassler, a hippie desk assistant named Wayne who always wore a fedora, Alan Wasser, Ralph Howard and Allegra Branson. Dick Reeves' secretary whose name I forget was also very nice. Marv's secretary, who I knew as Jessy was always standoffish. It was years later that I realized she was Jessica Savitch.
I was asked to take the writing test, but unfortunately decided not to, since I wanted to be on the air. I had the confidence to do it, but Friedman told me "no one starts on air at WCBS."
I eventually landed a job at the CBS affiliate in Harrisburg, PA (WHP) as a radio-TV news reporter. I left after a couple of years to work for the PA Governor, Milton Shapp in PR and have been in PR ever since.
I have been in L. A. since 1977 and ran into George Reading when he was working at KNX in the mid 80s.
Thanks to everyone for the great memories and thank you for keeping up this site. I'm attaching my college graduation picture in case no one remembers my name. Just put on some eye glasses on it and you have what I looked like back then. Jay Schuster