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News and Recollections 2015-2018
News and Recollections 2012-2014
News and Recollections 2009-2011
News and Recollections 2008
News and Recollections 2007
News and Recollections 2006
News and Recollections 2005

- Bob Maickel, 10/31/11. PAUL DUCOISET.

It is with deep regret that I advise of (K2VBS) Paul Ducoiset's passing. On October 5th, Paul had open heart surgery at Mt. Sinai hospital in NY City. The 5 hour operation was successful, but problems developed during recovery and Paul went into a coma. He passed yesterday with all family members at his hospital bedside. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced. Paul and I started working at WCBS Newsradio 880 as techs on the same day in 1967. We have been the best of friends for 44 years and my wife and I are God Parents to his daughter Rita. He was a regular member of our 2 meter CBS Retirees Net and served as Net Control when I traveled on vacation. Sadly, Bob Maickel W2BOB
NOTE: the numbers above represent ham radio calls
Barry Siegfried, Technical Supervisor, WCBS Newsradio 88, 11/1/11. I worked alongside Paul Ducroiset at WCBS Newsradio 880 for 22 years, from 1975 - 1997. He was a great radio technician, a kind person and a good friend to me. I gained more knowledge from him about how to be a good maintenance technician than I could have ever learned from anyone else in that shop. He had a wonderful disposition, was always a patient man, and was very kind to me during our professional time together. I will never forget him.

- Don Swaim 10/29/11. Exclusive! THE SWIMSUIT ISSUE -- CBS EDITION. Adults only

click to read

- John MacKenzie 10/21/11. WORKING AT WCBS IN THE 1950s.

In 1952, after gradation from the New England Conservatory of Music, I arrived in NYC looking for a job. Student string quartets were not in great demand. While walking down Madison Avenue I passed CBS. A visit to the employment office put me in touch with Jim Flood. Jim told me about the "executive training program" i. e. the mailroom. In those days starting in the mailroom was an acceptable entrance strategy without the stigma it probably carries today. I was given a large brown cardboard box, loaded with letters, memos and scripts including those for Arthur Godfrey and Jackie Gleason -- all of which were read in a men's room booth before delivery. It was an education. Still vivid in my memory was the correspondence between Edward R. Murrow and Frank Stanton (CBS president) concerning the best way to handle newscast content about Senator Joseph McCarthy -- who was busy accusing nearly every one in the media of being a communist. (Oh God, where were Xerox machines when you needed one!) In my spare time I'd visit studio control booths to see what went into the production of live radio shows such as "The FBI In Peace and War." I loved those sound effects guys ­ firing blank pistols, running up and down staircases, breaking glass panels, etc. While off duty I often holed up in a studio, most of which had marvelous pianos, e.g. Becksteins and Steinways. During one of my "solo" recitals I met Oliver Daniel who was in charge of CBS music matters. A lovely guy he managed to get some of my compositions (recordings) aired on a NYC radio station. I forget the name of the station, which went out of business shortly after playing my music. One of the primary jobs you have when you're in the mailroom is to get out of the mailroom. After about six months I landed a spot in Network Operations run by Jim Sermons, Harry Glazier, Art Peck and Marty Dickstein. I had the night shift and it was pretty quiet, unless I had to dive for the teletype machine to send an urgent message to the CBS network: which, in those days, was about 75 stations. That; s enough for now. Anyone interested in the Trails and Tribulations of a young man's career at CBS can reach me at

- NORMAN CORWIN, AMERICAN RADIO 'POET LAUREATE,' DIES AT 101. Corwin, who wrote, produced and directed scores of award-winning radio dramas for CBS in the 1930s and 1940s, died Oct. 18, 2011, at his Los Angeles home.

- Bernie Wagenblast, Traffic Reporter, 10/4/11. Don, Thanks for putting this together! It's been awhile since I last visited and I enjoyed listening to some of the new material you placed online. Some of it brought back some fond memories and other parts of it were interesting because they happened before I remember listening to the radio. I may be on WINS today, but I grew up loving WCBS. I look forward to future additions to the site.

- William Brown, New York City, fan & Listener, 10/2/11. CBS STAFF ANNOUNCER BILL MARTIN DIES.

William George (Bill) Martin, a former staff announcer for CBS TV and radio (and the WCBS-TV/AM/FM cluster) in New York for three decades, died on June 19 at age 90. Obituaries can be found at manhassetpress/obits and Born on March 8, 1921, Martin was a graduate of NYU. A veteran of World War II, he was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge while saving his platoon, and was later awarded a Bronze Star for his bravery. After the war, he became an announcer at a radio station in Springfield, MA, and by the late 1950's had joined the CBS announcing staff. In his early years with the network, he appeared on-camera doing weather updates on Channel 2's early morning newscasts, and on the radio announced everywhere from Lowell Thomas' and Walter Cronkite's radio broadcasts, to live remotes of the orchestras of such bandleaders as Kai Winding (of "More" fame), Bobby Hackett (the legendary trumpeter who played on the early mood albums of Jackie Gleason), Count Basie, and "Mr. New Year's Eve" himself, Guy Lombardo.

Bill Martin

For much of the 1970's, Martin was part of the rotational core who anchored hourly news updates on WCBS-FM, and it was his voice heard on WCBS Newsradio 88 intoning before the top of the hour, "Set your time to WCBS. Four tones will follow. The final, loudest one marks the exact time." (When another CBS staff announcer, Alan Berns, recorded a newer version of that notice in the '80's, the first part of the last sentence was modified to "The fourth and final tone...")

On TV, Martin handled both network and local announcing duties, on WCBS-TV doing everything from the intros of weekend newscasts and bumpers for "The Late Show" (in rotation with such other network voices as Don Robertson, Dave Campbell and Pat Connell), and on the network filling in from time to time on "The CBS Late Movie" handling live bumpers whenever that show's regular announcer, Norm Stevens, was off; it was Martin who was on duty at the CBS network announcing booth on the night of Nov. 17, 1978 when the now-infamous "Star Wars Holiday Special" had its one and only airing.

Contemporaneous to within the last half of his CBS career, Martin also volunteered his time narrating audio books for the Xavier Society for the Blind, which he did for nearly three decades. He was also a member of the American Legion and a chaplain in the Knights of Columbus. A resident of Manhasset, NY from 1959 until 2010 when he moved to Delray Beach, FL, Martin is survived by his wife, Leona; three children; two grandchildren; and his sister, Joan.

- Hugh Christopher Henry, 10/1/11. Don, I hope someday you can locate and feature the original "WCBS New York, 8-80 on your dial" jingle package from the mid-1960s. It remains a personal favorite of mine, and a fond memory from the pre-all news days of WCBS. A great site. Keep up the good work. Hugh

- Don Swaim, 10/1/11. MAJOR AUDIO PAGE UPDATE.

The WCBS Radio Appreciation Site's Audio Page has been completely revamped. Over time, scores and scores of historic and pertinent audio files related to WCBS were posted in chronological sequence, resulting in a wealth of material but an exercise in confusion. One had to scroll internably to find anything. Now, this huge archive has been reorganized into five distinct sections: (1) Jingles, Alerts, Sounders (2) CBS Radio-WCBS History (3) Airchecks (4) People (5) Bloopers & Oddities. WCBS Radio's own audio archive is often inaccessible, unavailable, or non-existent. Listeners and fans have reached into their personal files and airchecks to supply this terrific archive. The page been expanded to include audio related to WCBS-FM and to WINS (former arch-competitor, now part of the CBS family). Go to: WCBS Audio Page

- Devon Wickens, Las Vegas, 9/27/11.

I grew up in the 60's, 70's and beyond with Newsradio 88. It was the first thing we all heard in the morning and the last thing at night (or sometimes during the night) - as my parents always had every radio in the house tuned to it. I grew up knowing that Newsradio 88 was the definitive source for news. I could and still listen to it as others do with music. It inspired to me to work in radio - which I did for over twenty years. I did a daily talk show on WREF 860 in Fairfield CT - and also worked in corporate radio at IBM (15 years of a corporate talk radio series in the company). We now live in Las Vegas, NV - and we still listen to 88 online. When I hear the old bumpers - when I hear the old sound.... it really brings a tear to the eye and a comforting feeling. I had the opportunity to briefly work in TV news here in Las Vegas - and would point everyone to this site to hear just how news is done right. There is no other like Newsradio 88. My only regret is not having applied for a job there in my 20's. Oh well. Anyway - thanks for the memories. You will always be the standard of excellence in news. Best, Devon Wickens

- Don Swaim, 9/13/11. Brooklyn radio buff John Landers has sent us three super early WCBS-FM jingle packages. They're on the WCBS Audio page. Listen HERE.


- John Landers (Brooklyn listener), 1010 WINS MUSIC SURVEY, 7/30/11.

Growing up in the tri-state area in the 60s and 70s, a Saturday ritual for myself and many other kids was to head down to our local record shops (yes at one time there were stores that sold records) and pick up the weekly WABC Musicradio song survey. My trek in Brooklyn was to Mel's Record Rack at The Junction which was where Flatbush and Nostrand Avenues intersected... More [with full two-page WINS Record Survey from 1965] HERE


- Martin Brooks. Site Error. 7/24/11. "WCBS Radio's David Levin phoned the bank during the standoff and got this exclusive interview with the robber. LISTEN [runs 3:27]." It wasn't exclusive, because the bank robber called WNEW-FM and spoke with Scott Muni on the air for an extensive period of time.
Martin Brooks
New York Intermedia Authority
112-20 72nd Dr. Suite C31
Forest Hills, NY 11375

- Jerry Levin, former WCBS producer, 7/18/11. [subject of a profile on the main page of the WCBS Appreciation Site]: If it's not against the rules, please add my e-mail address -- -- to the story. Would enjoy hearing from anyone who might want to be back in touch. Attached is a memento that was given to me on my last day at Newsradio 88... plus the only mainstream column done on my adventure [as a hostage of Muslim extremists] that I also treasure, done as only Dick Williams [former WCBS newswriter] could have done it...and did [at the Atlanta Constitution].

Levin's last day at WCBS -- click to enlarge

Dick Williams, former Newsradio 88 newswriter, on Levin, 1985 -- click to read

- John Mackenzie, former WCBS director (when WCBS had directors), 7/11/11. In 1952 I was in the CBS mailroom at 485 Madison in NYC. Joe Sharpe, supervisor. It was sort of a survival training ground -- with an implicit challenge to get out and move on as soon as you could. I recall delivering mail to Arthur Godfrey, Edward R. Murrow and Frank Stanton (CBS president). I'd lock myself in a john stall and read everything. There were a lot of executive memos in those days about Senator Joseph McCarthy whom Ed Murrow had blasted. (Go Ed!) Give the Senator equal time for a response? Yes? No? I forgot what happened. Later I moved up to Network Operations (NOD) with Harry Glazier, Art Peck and Marty Dickstein. Great guys and a good crew! From there I got a job as a WCBS director. I never actually directed anything or anybody, but made sure all the commercials were done. Shows I worked on were Galen Drake and John Henry Faulk. Later I got Music 'Till Dawn with Bob Hall sponsored by American Airlines. Bob was a great guy with a great voice who died as a young man. I wish AA would bring that show back. Enough news, already!

485 Madison Ave., former CBS headquarters building


- Larry McCoy, former Executive Editor, CBS News, Radio, 6/28/11. Hi, I admire your productivity. You win a fiction award and you write scholarly pieces. I've just read the engaging Bierce-Mencken article and plan to pick up something by Bierce the next time I go to the Oceanside Library. Some people are obviously much better managers of time. And more serious. Sunstone Press has just published a collection of my humorous essays on aging. I'm touching base, hoping to drum up a little interest in the book, Did I Really Change My Underwear Every Day? The first book I wrote was a memoir about my days in news and radio, but I couldn't find a publisher. As a former desk assistant at CBS News said, "Larry, everyone writes a memoir. " I wish she had told me that earlier. Best regards, Larry. Go to:

- Bill Diehl, ex-ABC, 6/22/11. Bill and Jeffrey Together Again!

My good friend, movie and theater critic Jeffrey Lyons [former WCBS entertainment critic] was at a Barnes and Noble on New York's upper west side last night [June 21, 2011] for a talk and book signing. His new book, with a foreward by CBS News Correspondent Charles Osgood is called Stories My Father Told Me: Notes from "The Lyons Den." Jeffrey's father was Leonard Lyons who wrote for the New York Post during the Golden Age of New York City nightlife. 12,439 columns.

Diehl (l), Lrons (r)

It's a delightful book, a great tribute to his father. Jeffrey doesn't just reprint his dad's old columns... he turns them into witty stories, from Hemingway to Marilyn Monroe. Ed Kosner in a Wall Street Journal review of the book says Leonard Lyons wrote before gossip was 'gawkerfied.' Lyons' column, six days a week, ran from 1934 until 1974. He was the un-Winchell, who wrote without the help of PR flacks, making his lunchtime and late-night rounds of Gotham's restaurants and nightclubs, jotting down exclusive items from the stars. Kudos to Jeffrey for bring "The Lyons Den" to life again, with behind-the-scenes glimpses of this long ago era.

- Bob Welch, anchor, WSTJ, St. Johnsbury, VT , 5/24/11. I bumped into your website and have at the same time stumbled upon a true time tunnel.. all those sounder elements.. thematic beds.. old news segments... More HERE.

- Don Gould, former WCBS sports anchor, 5/20/11. Don, Sometimes it seems like an eon ago when I traipsed through the Black Rock halls. But I knew I was part of something special in my two turns at WCBS. I appreciate all the work you've done to fill up the web site with all those wonderful, nostalgic pictures. And it was also a pleasure to work with such a professional on those rare occasions when our shifts would match. Regards, Don

- DOG DAY AFTERNOON. A bank robber staged a heist in Brooklyn on August 22, 1972, to raise money for a sex-change operation for his "wife," another gay man. The stickup went bad, and the robber, John Wojtowicz and an accomplice, were trapped by police inside the bank with seven hostages. The sensational incident was the basis for the film Dog Day Afternoon with Al Pacino. WCBS Radio's David Levin phoned the bank during the standoff and got this exclusive interview with the robber. LISTEN [runs 3:27].

By David Levin: It was a long day's morning, Tuesday, August 22, 1972. I'd been on the early morning shift, writing the 6a and 8a drive time hours, then switching to tape ops in Studio F. The WCBS offices then were on the 16th floor of Black Rock, 51 W. 52 St. The late Ted Feury was the producer and he insisted that I work an extra hour's overtime, which isn't that objectionable, since I was there already. But then, while I was packing up,  he asked for another hour and then, though I really howled, he asked for a third hour's overtime. That's when the call came in on the police ticker, which has been superseded by the computer. Studio F was the size of a small bathroom and was packed with gear from which emanated virtually all the sound heard on Newsradio 88, as the station then promoted itself. All the telephone interviews, reporters' reports, weather reports and so forth were either taped or relayed live from F. So I fished out the phone book and called the bank branch. The woman who answered the phone confirmed that a holdup was in progress. I asked her to ask the robber if he'd talk to me. She did and he did.

- CBS BROADCAST LEGEND JOE WERSHBA DIES AT 90 -- 5/16/11. While Joe Wershba earned his reputation as a producer and reporter for Edward R. Murrow and later with 60 Minutes, he was also a news director of WCBS Radio (before it became all-news). In the film Good Night and Good Luck, Wershba was portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. More on Wershba's life and career at CBS News.

Joe Wershba

l-r: George Clooney as Fred Friendly, Robert Downey, Jr. as
Wershba, David Straithairn as Murrow
  • For an excellent ten-minute interview with Joe Wershba and his wife Shirley about the Edward R. Murrow days at CBS, check out the estimable NPR broadcast On the Media of May 20, 2011. It includes both the transcript and the complete audio. Go to: ON THE MEDIA

  • Note from Don Swaim: Joe Wershba, a dedicated book collector, was a casual friend of mine. While on a trip to Zurich, Switzerland, in 1983, Joe found a copy of Of Mice and Men. Knowing I admired the author, John Steinbeck, Joe mailed the book to me. It was in German! (Von Mausen und Menschen). At the time, I wasn't sure I wanted an inscription in the book, but, now, Joe's inscription means much more than the book.
  • ______________________________

    - Don Swaim, editor, WCBS Appreciation Site, 5/5/11. His definitive account of the relationship between journalistic luminaries Ambrose Bierce and his intellectual heir, H.L. Mencken, fills the entire spring 2011 issue of Menckeniana, an online quarterly dedicated to H. L. Mencken. The magazine is available by subscription at Menckeniana. However, an illustrated version has been posted on the Ambrose Bierce Site. Go to Ambrose & Henry.

    - METEROLOGIST CRAIG ALLEN MARKS 30 YEARS OF FORECASTS ON WCBS-AM. 4/27/11. "Allen admits that over the last three decades, not every forecast was precise but, 'I was honest about it.'" By Jerry Barmash at FishbowlNY

    - William Brown, New York City, 4/21/11.

    I continue to learn a great deal from your excellent website, but there's something that's been bothering me for some time that you may know, and it has to do with one of the vast array of CBS staff announcers who were heard on the WCBS TV and radio cluster over the years. I remember one voice, before Alan Berns assumed such a duty in the '80's, who did the pre-TOH notice of "Set your time to WCBS. Four tones will follow. The final, loudest one marks the exact time," back in the 1970's. This voice I remember is heard on this clip: YouTube. Thanks to here, the New York Broadcasting History Board and listening to old-time radio airchecks (plus staying up, way back when, listening to 10-minute slides-only news updates on Channel 2 in-between Late Shows), I've been able to identify by name the voices of such individuals as Bob Hite, Harry Kramer, Mr. Berns, Hal Simms, Pat Connell, Dave Campbell, Norm Stevens, Lee Jordan, Art Hannes, George Bryan, Gaylord Avery, Roger Forster, Bill Gilliand, Wally King, Warren Moran and Don Robertson; this voice on the above clip is one where I can't place the name to the voice - could it possibly be Bill Martin, and if not, then whom? He was as ubiquitous as the others I've mentioned, in terms of prominence on local and network. I would appreciate any help on this question. Thanks in advance,


    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has been recognizing top achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Today, the organization announced its 2011 recipients in radio and TV in regions throughout the country. In the large market radio division, WCBS-AM won four times, including for Overall Excellence. Newsradio 880 also was victorious for Audio News Series (Chasing the Next High) with reporter Irene Cornell, and Use of Sound by reporter Sean Adams. "Given the level of competition in the region, we are thrilled with this honor," Tim Scheld, WCBS-AM news director, tells FishbowlNY. Scheld singles out another WCBS award winner, Best Audio Newscast (September 17th 7 a. m.) from the morning after the New York City tornado hit, as dozen of staffers gathered information in and out of the newsroom. "That's a nice honor. I'm thrilled for our crew, plus being part of the CBS family, the Murrows mean something special here," Scheld says.

    - Bob VanDerheyden, former CBS staffer, 4/13/11.

    Don: Can't tell you how much I enjoy your Newsradio88 appreciation site. Wonderful memories... Was at WCBS 1st when we were at 485 Madison... in the old Columbia Records Bldg, then produced the Jack Sterling Show... the first broadcast out of Black Rock.
    Traffic guy when Newsradio88 went all news under Joe Dembo.
    Assembled traffic reports for Ken Banghart.
    Later on PD of WCBS-FM.
    VP Programming FM stations.
    GM, WEEI-FM, Boston... among other stuff.
    I'm the only guy I know who was fired TWICE and QUIT once from CBS. Very best wishes and keep up the good work. -- Bob VanDerheyden C.O.O., Bold Gold Media Group, Scranton, PA. Email:

    - DON SWAIM WINS PEARL S. BUCK NATIONAL FICTION AWARD, 4/11/11. Swaim, long-time WCBS staffer and founder of the WCBS Appreciation Site, won the top prize for his short story, "Dearest Friend, Annie," which focuses on the relationship between Walt Whitman and Anne Gilchrist. Buck, author of The Good Earth, was a winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. Pearl S. Buck International.

    - Todd Glickman, WCBS Meterologist, 4/2/11. Todd has posted a gallery of Newsradio 88 photos, dating to the 1980s -- including several shots of and from the WCBS traffic copter. View HERE.

    - Robert Vaughn, retired anchor, WCBS, 3/29/11. THOSE WERE THE DAYS. Vaughn's memoir about his early days at WCBS. Read HERE.

    - Tim Scheld, News Director, WCBS, 3/23/11: RICH ADCOCK 1952-2011.

    I just got word from the brother of Rich Adcock that Rich passed away last Saturday. Rich had just turned 59. For those who don't know, Rich was a long time Newsroom Assistant at WCBS who retired in late 2008 after 33 years of service to WCBS Newsradio. Rich had health issues on and off the past few years and died of heart failure, according to his brother David.
    Rich was a fixture at WCBS for decades. He worked the newsroom phones before many of us ever even considered this business. He manned the traffic desk before Tom Kaminski learned how to drive. Rich knew the NYC subway system better than the MTA. He commuted to Black Rock and then the Broadcast Center from Queens every day by bus despite being blind. When he couldn't come in, he monitored scanners from home.
    He was a marvel. He loved WCBS and it's people. He loved radio and it's ability to connect. Rich hated leaving in 2008 but knew he couldn't keep up. After he left, and for the past few years Rich had a tough time. He was in and out of the hospital and then assisted living. Never once did I hear him complain.
    I have passed on condolences from WCBS and will send flowers. There is a wake Thursday [March 24, 2011] 2-4p and 7-9p: O'Reilly Funeral Home Inc. (718) 528-6969, 137-40 Brookville Boulevard, Rosedale, NY, 11422.
    Bob Gibson [former WCBS anchor] writes: That was, indeed, sad news about the loss of Rich Adcock. While I've not seen him since leaving the station nearly a dozen years ago, I have, undoubtedly like all of you, such fond memories of this man who day after day after day worked effortlessly to keep everybody on top of traffic and transit delays thanks to having perhaps the keenest ears in the business! Fifty-nine is not much longevity in this day and age but my gut tells me that Rich managed to cram a lot into his time in this crazy world. He was a man dedicated to his work and a man of determination, getting to work most days by means of the transit system. There has long been a humorous story involving Rich and in the few times I've told it I've ALWAYS made it a point to say that it was not his fault and had he known what happened he no doubt would have been upset, to put it mildly. There was an afternoon early-on when Ben and Pat were on the air and there was some just-breaking traffic story that Rich had typed up and brought into the studio. The way the story goes Pat and Ben were in the midst of reading a spot and when they came out of it, Pat was prepared to read what he was handed except there was a problem... the paper did not have a word on it. It seems the DA on duty that day before Rich had started to change the typewriter ribbon but never finished and Rich, quite unknowingly,  was left with a "defective unit." The problem was corrected in rapid order. That was a long time ago, in the mid 70s, but for all the days that everything clicked and Rich Adcock was on the case, NewsRadio88 and its legion of listeners were better for it!

    - Richard Gutierrez 3/21/11.

    Hello Don. It would be wrong of me not to acknowledge your piece on the legendary Art Hannes. [Art Hannes Letter Surfaces From the North Pole -- WCBS Memories Page 2006] I was doing an internet search on the 1975 movie, The Night That Panicked America, of which Mr. Hannes played the role of a CBS announcer. That's when I stumbled upon "From Olean to the top." I trained with Mr. Hannes at the KiiS Broadcasting Workshop in Hollywood, back in 1980. I was extremely lucky to have studied under him. While others at the workshop had grand visions of becoming music "DJ's," I was greatly fascinated by Mr. Hannes' delivery of the news and the power of his voice. He was an outstanding and dedicated teacher, who shared his vast knowledge of the broadcast industry, of which, I was very grateful. He was truly one of America's great broadcasters......... THANK YOU FOR REMEMBERING ART! P. S. Here's the link to the movie: *** Your WCBS All News88 site is fantastic!!!! *** Kindest regards, Richard Gutierrez

    - Harvey Hauptman 3/7/11. I believe many, if not all, of you [WCBS staffers] worked with John Armstrong at WCBS and/or CBS. Sad to say, John died late last month. Below is his obituary which was just published in The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ) earlier this week.

    John Ayres Armstrong Jr., 72, of Bethesda, Md., formerly of Plainfield, N.J., died on Feb. 25, 2011, following a series of strokes. Born in Bound Brook, N.J., Mr. Armstrong graduated from Plainfield High School in 1956. He served in the U. S. Army from 1957 to 1959 and graduated from Rutgers University in 1963. Mr. Armstrong started his career in New Brunswick, N.J., at WCTC Radio, then moved to WCBS Newsradio. He was a writer and producer for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and CBS Sunday Morning in New York and Washington, D.C. From 1980 to 1991, Mr. Armstrong worked for ABC News in Washington as a producer and deputy bureau chief. He was a loving husband and father and will be greatly missed. Mr. Armstrong is survived by his wife of 51 years, the former Donna Norman, of Bethesda, Md. ; daughter, Lynn Fuchs and her husband, Mark, of Ridgely, Md. ; son, Thomas, of Chevy Chase, Md., and sister, Lisanne Armstrong James and her husband, David, of Kennebunkport, Maine. He was predeceased by his sister, Magge Armstrong Boehm. In his memory, consider a contribution to

    FRED BARBIERI 1924-2011

    Dwight Taylor & Fred Barbieri [right] in a typical pose at Newsradio 88

    - Barry Siegfried 2/28/11. I am sorry to report that Rica Rinzler [former WCBS staffer] informed me that Fred Barbieri [former Technical Supervisor, WCBS-AM] passed away this morning. Viewing Wed. 4-8. Stickle-Soltezsz Funeral Home, 187 La Rue Road, Newfoundland, New Jersey, 07435. 973-697-6700 (you might want to double check the hours). Funeral Thurs. 9:30 at St. Thomas the Apostle in Oak Ridge. Nancy Barbieri's address is: RR #4 Box, 280 Pecan Lane, Oak Ridge, New Jersey, 07438.

    NOTE FROM DON SWAIM: The always congenial Fred Barbieri led the WCBS technical staff at a time when the Newsradio 88 operation had no fewer than forty technicians, a massive task to coordinate a rowdy crew with a stringent union contract. Fred handled the challenge with aplomb. By the time Fred retired the station had three technicians.

    - Joyce Fahan 2/24/11. Thought you'd like to hear that Bill [Bill Fahan, former WCBS anchor] underwent open heart surgery on the 22nd. After cauterization, the doctor says the aortic valve was about closed. No stents, no bypasses, so hopefully recovery is a little faster since they only did two smaller incisions instead of cracking the ribs. He's doing pretty good now, walked the first time today, still weak, and cranky, but I guess I would be too. Hard for him to be a patient when he's been so private. :) Should be home, maybe later this weekend, maybe Mon.

    - William Brown (New York City) 2/9/11.

    It was very heartening to hear the old 1010 WINS sounders once more (the ones heard at: 00,: 20 and: 40, I seem to recall, originally came from a production music library, as I heard a far more complete section of that very piece at the end of a public affairs show on one of the local independent TV stations in NYC - probably WOR-TV - in the late 1970's or early '80's) ; it was a shame John Landers didn't have the "New York wants to know, and we know it..." sounder that was heard at: 40 in the late 1970's, but I guess one can't have everything. I was curious as to whether you or he would know who was the voiceover for those sounders (as well as the sounder heard prior to the bottom-of-the-hour tone at: 30). These had more grit than what is used today, I.M. H.O. Incidentally, as to why Steve Karmen's "News-Is" jingles referred to WCBS as "All-News 88," this was because at that time WINS branded itself as "1010 WINS News Radio" (irrespective of the space WINS inserted inbetween "News" and "Radio"). And of course, the talent that worked at both all-news stations, such as Ralph Howard, Paul Murnane, Wayne Cabot, Brigitte Quinn, Bob Gibson, Lou Adler, Allen Shaw, and Palmer Payne (if any other names come to mind, feel free to bring them up).

    - BRIGHT SUN EXTINGUISHED: ODE TO NORMAN MAILER. Long time WCBS staffer Don Swaim's novella was just published as an ebook by In the post-apocalyptic past, a young Kansas man and his beautiful accomplice set out on a dangerous mission across a deadly zone of destruction to assassinate Norman Mailer. Both satirical and literary, Bright Sun Extinguished is an original pastiche of dark fantasy and horror. Download the ebook and the free software to read it on Macs, PCs, iPads, Kindles, or any digital device from $5.99

    - ALL-NEWS RADIO IS THRIVING. "What's driving the growing strength of all-news radio is, of all things, Arbitron's Portable People Meter for tracking listening. With the rollout of the PPM across major markets, media buyers are afforded a far more accurate picture of what people listen to, when they listen and how often, all to the benefit of all-news stations." By Mike Stern at Media Life.

    - Elizabeth Hainstock (former WNBC Radio, WINS) 1/29/11. Very impressive collection of images and history. I fall under the "ex-competitor and generally ex-colleague" categories. I missed the December luncheon but sent a piece of NEWS88 memorabilia to Bob Leeder to share. As one who struggles daily with how to receive information for an informed citizen, looking back is both delightful and painful. Amazing site. Thank you for creating this.

    - LIZ DRIBBEN 1937-2011. Liz was a writer and producer for CBS News, Radio, and a friend of Newsradio88.

    - WCBS-FM & 1010-WINS JINGLES POSTED 1/10/11. Again, courtesy of John Landers. Go to the WCBS Audio Page.

    - STEVE KARMEN NEWSRADIO 88 JINGLES & MORE 12/24/10. In the 1970s, legendary ad man and composer (I Love New York) Karmen created a package of "News-Is" jingles for WCBS. Here's the complete set with all instrumentals and vocals. We're indebted to radio buff John Landers of Brooklyn for sharing this super archive. LISTEN. In addition, John has given us a collection of Newsradio 88 sounders for traffic, business, and bulletins from the '70s, as well as various CBS network production pieces. Hear an unintentionally hilarious station evacuation notice (never used) voiced by Jim Donnelly. LISTEN. For more rare audio go to the WCBS Audio Page.

    - DON SWAIM 12/22/10. Photos, guest list, Jerry Barmash's report on the luncheon, and a special edition of "Great Moments in WCBS Radio History" have been posted here.

    - JOHN CAMERON SWAYZE SAYS SO LONG . A well-known name in broadcasting, Swayze, after twenty-two years, has left Newsradio 88 for "a new adventure." Story by Jerry Barmash at FishbowlNY.

    - MERVIN BLOCK (TELEVISION NEWSWRITING WORKSHOP) 12/6/10. Several people on my mailing list have asked me when the new edition of my "Writing Broadcast News" would be published. Well, it has now been released. The book's full title: "Writing Broadcast News Shorter, Sharper, Stronger: A Professional Handbook, 3rd Edition." The publisher: CQ Press, a division of Sage Publications.


    Great Website! Great Memories! Just one correction... for your newest aircheck highlighting a February 1975 snowstorm, the date on your Appreciation Page should be changed to read February 12, 1975. Gordon Barnes speaks of the similarity of the weather map to the "Lindsay Storm" of February 9, 1969, which is where the confusion of dates likely occurs. However, this particular storm (which I personally remember very well) took place on February 12, 1975 -- which was a holiday in of itself -- because in those days, Lincoln's Birthday was a "stand-alone" holiday, not as it is now; having been merged with Washington's Birthday into what we call "Presidents' Day." If you listen you will hear more than a few references to this 1975 snowstorm occurring " ... on the holiday." This was the also most debilitating snowfall in the Tri-State area since February 19, 1972. With Kindest Regards, Joe Rao

    - MA PERKINS SIGNS OFF. A presage of radio's news and information era, CBS cancels the mainstays of its radio network in November 1960. By Larry Harnisch in the Los Angeles Times.

    - JUDY WOMACK (WCBS ALUM) 11/13/10.

    I got a call last night from a meteorologist I worked with in Syracuse, NY. He told me Paul Jeffers died a year ago. I'm shocked. So sorry I lost touch with Paul. We worked together at WINS and later at a TV station in Syracuse. In fact, he recommended me for a job reporting at WNYS-TV. Later, I moved on to WDIV in Detroit. But whenever I was in town Paul would take me to Neary's Pub for drinks and lamb chops. Imagine a conservative and a liberal getting along--novel, huh? You may recall, I was Charles Osgood's trainee in 1970. He voiced a couple Osgood File pieces I wrote. I was ecstatic! Ed Bradley, Steve Porter, Lou Adler, Dave Marash, Irene Cornell, and Jessica Savitch were a few of the folks "around the compound" in the '70s. I can't remember the news director's last name--it was Lou something [Adler]. He hired me as a newswriter, working with Marc Kusnitz, Dave Atherton, Ted Feury, Allegra Branson. I remember Phil Cecchini as always helpful in the booth. I worked at WNYW-TV until 2004. I now live in Durham, NC. I had a radio show and was doing PR at a local university. For extra cash, telecommuted, wrote for a syndicated show based in the city. You know what life's like for freelancers. Warm regards and give my best to crazy Ed Rickards and a hello to Palmer Payne. Judy Womack

    - DON SWAIM 11/8/10. Independent filmmaker Alexander Roman is working on a documentary about Patricia Highsmith (Strangers on a Train, the Ripley novels). His demos include a montage -- showing Matt Damon and Jude Law -- of questions I put to Highsmith in an interview at CBS some years ago. Go to: YouTube. To hear my actual broadcast(s) with Highsmith: listen. And for the raw, unedited interview: listen

    - MARGIE LATZKO 10/26/10.

    My husband, Walter Latzko, was a writer for Jack Sterling [see Sterling site] for ten years, and his feature "It Happened This Day, I Think" was his. Also, as I listened to the tenth anniversary party for Jack, I knew that Hank Miles had written many of the jokes as well as the musical parody. He was very good at it. My husband passed away September 10th, but I have his scripts and the show rundown schedules. Sincerely, Marjorie Latzko. email

    - ROGER A. HENDLER (listener) 10/12/10. I love your web site. Thank you. It is a terrific station and has had wonderful news persons. The DJ who played the last record on WCBS Radio prior to going all news was Jim Gearhart. He is now the morning host on WKXW, NJ 101.5. Many years ago Jim Donnelly was a DJ on WJMJ Radio in Phila.

    - BEVERLY POPPELL (former WCBS staffer) 10/6/10.

    Don, you and I worked together at "88" in the late '70s... I periodically check your website to see what new things have turned up about what I call the Halcyon Days of New York Radio. I'm never disappointed. Checking today, the 10th anniversary of Art Athens' death, I enjoyed browsing the audio cuts of Jack Sterling, etc. You've done a wonderful job pulling all this together. My voice is long out of radio but Radio and the wonderful people I enjoyed working with (and some of the creeps, too, let's be honest) will forever remain in my memory and my heart. For 18 years, I've been working as a NYC government attorney -- on unfair labor practice cases -- and am about to wind that career down so I can get back to my first loves, which are talking and writing. I also volunteer a huge amount of time to animal causes, specifically animal disaster response. Hope all is going well for you... and I look forward to running into you on a street corner or maybe even a radio reunion some time. Until then, keep up the good work on this website... and be of good cheer!

    - DIANE SAWYER: WHEN WORDS FAIL HER. Former CBSer Mervin Block runs his own television newswriting workshop, and keeps a close watch on the many editorial misdemeanors commited in the name of broadcast news. The sloppy grammar and other jounalistic errors of ABC's Diane Sawyer have fallen under the scrutiny of Merv's critical eye. [Any errors in this paragraph?]

    - NEWSRADIO 88's ABSOLETE WORST COMMERCIALS. Over time, I've been asked if I had airchecks of the Tom Carvel and Gramercy Park Clothes commercials during the early, needy, days of Newsradio 88. I found two of 'em. They're back-to-back in a 1977 aircheck of mine (which I let run to hear news about an incredible coldwave of the year). Listen. Laugh. Weep. CBS? Tiffany? LISTEN. [runs 4:29]

    - Barry O'Brien... I LOVE YOUR CBS NEWSRADIO PAGE. 8/14/10. The jingle packages are great! Most of my adult life has been within listening area of KNX or KCBS-AM and now I find myself in Portland, Oregon with NO CBS NewsRadio station--not even an affiliate with CBS News on the hour! I'll be returning to no. Calif. in a few months and can't wait to hear KCBS-AM again. I'm probably much older than you (71) but wonder if you have ever heard a jingle package for "Radiant Radio"? It was used by RKO-General's KHJ in LA and I did hear it on KFRC in SF when that signal was picked up in LA on occasion. It had great orchestral weather music. This format was prior to Boss Radio format. Not sure if WOR ever used it. Barry O'Brien, Portland, Oregon former employers: KABC-TV, KHJ-TV, KNBC-TV, KRON-TV, KTVU (Cox), KGO-TV.

    - MIKE OR MIC? Ben Zimmer in The New York Times Sunday Magazine addresses the burning issue of how the word "microphone" should be abbreviated. Hint: inevitably, broadcasters opt for "mic."

    Ed Ingles

    - Wayne Cabot (WCBS afternoon anchor) 7/13/10. Today, [retired WCBS Sports Director] Ed Ingles and his students from Hofstra University stopped by the station. With the news of [former Yankees owner] George Steinbrenner's death I pulled Ed into a studio and got his recollections. I offer it for your site. Listen HERE [runs 4:48]

    - Don Swaim 7/19/10. I received some 200 photos taken at the "CBS Board" luncheon on June 19, 2010. I sifted through all of them one-by-one and came up with twenty that I thought would be a decent sampling. Many thanks to Bob Leeder for the hard work he's put in setting up and managing these popular events. To go to the gallery click HERE

    - Ted David. Per Rita Sands, sorry to report that former WCBS traffic reporter and chopper pilot Tom Salat passed away suddenly on June 15, 2010, from a heart attack. Tom was 61.

    - HIMAN BROWN DIES -- ONE OF LAST LINKS TO GOLDEN AGE OF RADIO. Brown, 99, who created "Inner Sanctum" and Grand Central Station," also produced "CBS Radio Mystery Theater," which sometimes broadcast out of WCBS Radio's Studio D [but which was never heard on Newsradio 88]. New York Times obit here. Washington Post tribute here.


    Between twenty-five and thirty people gathered under gray skies and blustery winds on April 17, 2010, to pay final respects to H. Paul Jeffers, whose ashes rested on a stand near a family plot at Morris Cemetery in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. The Reverend Dr. Cynthia Krommes of St. Johns Lutheran Church officiated. There were two speakers: Sid Goldstein, Paul's executor, and Don Swaim, who worked with Paul when he was News Director of WCBS. The following items were buried with his ashes: his deerstalker hat, Baker Street Irregulars necktie, birthstone ring, and bracelet with his initials given to him by his mother. After the service, a luncheon was held at Paul's Phoenixville boyhood home, which is still in the family.

    Paul died in New York on December 4, 2009, of heart failure. A prolific author, he previously worked at WINS, ABC, and WCBS [the box in the stand above contains his ashes].

    Jeffers as Sherlock Holmes

    Joe in 1967 on the eve of Newsradio 88's launch

    - ALL-NEWS RADIO PIONEER JOE DEMBO DEAD 3/15/10. Dembo, who died of cancer at the age of eighty-three, spent twenty-eight years at CBS in a variety of important news positions, including that of Vice President, CBS News, Radio. Joe joined WCBS in 1960, and became an executive producer and later its news director. In 1967, Joe was named vice president and general manager in charge of turning the CBS radio flagship into an all-news operation. See article in Broadcasting Magazine. He left Newsradio 88 in 1971 to head the CBS News Bureau in Rome. Joe retired from CBS in 1988 to join the journalism faculty at Fordham University. Official CBS obituary: HERE

    - Don Swaim. 3/15/10. The article below was passed along by Bill Diehl. It's a piece in TV-Radio Mirror, November 1958 about Hal Simms who, while not a meterologist, broadcast a daily five-minute weather show on WCBS in addition to his CBS staff announcing duties. Hal was 83 when he died in 2002. To hear Hal reading the news on WCBS on the morning of Nov. 6, 1958, click HERE

    click to enlarge

    - JOE DURSO, JR's REPORT TO CONSUMERS. On 2/28/10, Robert T. Resnick sent us an interesting aircheck dating to the late 70s. It's a consumer report by the late Joe Durso, Jr., who later headed the CBS Radio Stations News Service. What's interesting is that Joe's subject is those amazing, new-fangled [and expensive!] video tape recorders, so quaint now. Anchor on this aircheck is Ralph Howard. LISTEN.

    - Don Swaim. 2/6/10. The recent death of J.D. Salinger reminds us that the reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye attended the famous P.S. 6 grade school on Manhattan's Upper East Side, as did such CBSers as Bob Gibson, Wes Vernon, and Lou Freizer. For my audio entry on Salinger, go to: Book Beat: The Podcast.

    - WCBS-AM NEW YORK MARKET'S TOP BILLING STATION. 1/15/10. Matthew Flamm in Crain's New York writes, "Industry insiders credited WCBS Newsradio 880's win to high ratings for broadcasts of Yankee games -- especially of the World Series -- and a busy news cycle." For details go to: Crain's.

    - ALLEGRA BRANSON [former WCBS newswriter]. From Bob Gibson [former WCBS anchor] 1/10/10: People have asked me from time to time what I hear from or about Allegra and I'd tell them that I've not heard from her or spoken to her in many years. I did remember to ask Palmer Payne about her recently and he got back to me late this afternoon and okayed my passing this along to you for posting on the site, if you so desire. The way Palmer explained it to me the problem is dementia. Here's his note...

    [12/21/09] I got more info from Allegra's sister, Annie, who visited her recently. It is not a pleasant picture. Allegra recognized Annie as someone she had known for a long time but NOT as her own sister. They tried to put her in a daycare place but she was insistent on coming home ASAP. There is not much more that can be said about the situation.

    - WCBS PRIMARY ELECTION COVERAGE 1974. 1/4/10. Former anchor Bob Gibson unearthed this 1974 memo from WCBS Assistant News Director Bill Lynch. What's interesting is the degree of coverage the station gave to an otherwise lackluster primary -- yet the names of the reporters covering is amazing, not to mention the logistics. This is a PDF. Go to: 1974 primary.

    - H. PAUL JEFFERS 1934-2009. From Sid Goldstein. 12/4/09 [a Jeffers friend]: "I regret to inform you that Paul died tonight [Dec. 4, 2009] in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He had been hospitalized just the day before, when his condition at his rehab facility was deemed to be unstable. He was undergoing tests when his blood pressure dropped, they returned him to his room, his breathing weakened, and he quietly expired. The cause is tentatively being called heart failure.His longtime friend and colleague Ed Rickards was there at the end. He was 75. Arrangements are pending. Under discussion is a family service in his home town of Phoenixville, PA., followed at some later date by a memorial service in New York. Ideas for the memorial service will be welcomed. Sorry for the news." [UPDATE: The family advises the following: Cremation. Paul's ashes will be sent home to Phoenixville, PA., and a memorial service will be held there in the spring. Sid]

    From Don Swaim: H. Paul Jeffers, a Fulbright scholar and graduate of Temple University, worked at ABC and WINS Radio before joining WCBS-AM as a part-time writer. He became News Director from 1983 to 1985. While he was a true-blooded conservative, with a full-length portrait of the convicted Iran-Contra felon Oliver North on his Manhattan apartment wall, he never allowed his politics to interfere in his journalism. In addition to his news expertise, Paul was a prolific author and active member of the Baker Street Irregulars, a Sherlock Holmes fan club. One of his early novels was a mystery with a gay detective, Portrait in Murder and Gay Colors. When he lost his CBS job he beat the management by posting his own resignation letter. Late in life and unemployed, he petitioned his friends and acquaintances to chip in so he could continue work on a book in progress. He promised them a party and a share of the royalties, if any. A list of the amazing number of books he published can be found here. He told me he almost married once, but he died as a single man, although his close friend, Ed Rickards [well-known local broadcast news figure], was reportedly at his side at the end./

    CBS "BOARD," TEANECK, NJ, 12/5/09

    Standing center: Steve Porter, Charles Osgood -- first Newsradio 88 anchors. click to enlarge

    By Bob Gibson (former WCBS anchor) 11/14/09

    Harrison, Osgood (click to enlarge)
    Charles Osgood of CBS News and Harry Harrison, who enjoyed a colorful 44-year New York career at WMCA, WABC, and CBS/FM, were among a half dozen veteran broadcasters given the red carpet treatment at the induction ceremony that the NYS Broadcasters Association held November 12, 2009... For details and more photos click HERE.


    - Jim McCarthy (former WCBS Washington Reporter) 9/26/09. I've been in more hospitals than Ben Casey (gawd, am I that old?) and Dr.Kildare (wow! that's even older) combined as they poke and prod. But that means I'm still here...if not all there. I'm keeping up on things via your site and enjoying some of the other remembrances. I even catch 88 on my radio at night up here in the boondocks [Wilkes-Barre, PA]. It ain't the same. Knowing your love of history, vis-a-vis WCBS "Golden Days," I thought you'd be interested in these pictures that I ran across while cleaning out the attic. Photos and commentary: HERE

    - ERNIE McDANIEL (Former head of Technical Services, WCBS) DIES. McDaniel, who was eighty, died at St. Vincent's Hospital, New York, on September 17, 2009. He supervised more than forty technicians during the early years of Newsradio 88 before making the gutsy decision to leave management and become a camerman at WCBS-TV. Ernie said later that he had no regrets in changing from a suit to jeans.

    From Barbara McDaniel: Many of you are aware of this news but some are not--my husband, Ernie, passed away on Thursday, September 17th after two weeks in the hospital recovering from a broken hip. Thank you for the support and kind words expressed - it certainly has helped. I can be reached at: and (212) 475-8651. At some future date, Ernie's e-mail and phone will probably be discontinued. I wish you all the best, Barbara

    - J.J.R. Ramey (Former newswriter, WCBS) 8/29/09. Hello Don: Back in the 1980's, you interviewed me on BOOK BEAT about my western novel, West of Paradise Run, while we both worked at WCBS NewsRadio 880. I wanted to let you know that I am getting a reprint of the novel through the Authors Guild.

    - Tony Gatto (Former Desk Assistant, Writer, Producer, Managing Editor, Asst. News Director, WCBS) 8/21/09. Too many memories to even try to start writing them down. I tell people that I grew-up in the WCBS Newsroom. The people at WCBS played as important a role in my life as my family and closest friends.

    - Tim Scheld (Director of News and Programming, WCBS Newsradio 880) 8/18/09. Don, Glad to see you putting the Book Beat material on line and love the fact that you keep the WCBS appreciation site so up to date with memories and photos. It's important to me to make sure that everyone who works here is aware of, and respects the legacy of this radio station and all who contributed to its prominence. We're very proud of where we came from. As difficult as the media climate is out there these days we are encouraged by the fact that radio listening is up nationally and news listening in this market continues to be popular. WCBS and WINS are the top two newsradio stations in America. Over the past few months, WCBS has enjoyed its best news ratings in decades. Thanks for keeping the entire community in contact. All the best. Tim

    - FORGOTTEN CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT. David Schoenbrun [1915-1988] was part of the "second wave" of Edward R. Murrow's boys during World War Two. Despite a distinugished career at CBS and the author of half a dozen books, Schoenbrun is little remembered, ending his career at WNEW and WPIX-TV in New York. He details his battles with what was then the bureaucracy of CBS and why he had to leave. But, "There's no bitterness in me..." To listen to Don Swaim's thirty-minute interview with Schoenbrun click here.

    - Don Swaim 8/16/09. My CBS Book Beat website has been substantially expanded to include new material, updates, and links related to books and authors. Go to: Book Beat: The Podcast.

    - DAN RATHER: PAYING A HIGH PRICE TO CLEAR HIS NAME. As he sues CBS for breach of contract, the former news anchor says, "Their strategy is to string it out, wear me out, suck the will from me, and make it so painful in the pocketbook that I want to give up." By Matea Gold in the Los Angeles Times. [UPDATE: Rather lost his suit.]


    - ENGLISH SPOKEN HERE 7/30/09. ABC News Emmy-award winning newsman Ed Silverman, in The Riverside Press, attends the June 13, 2009, CBS "Board" luncheon and revels in "proper grammar, correct syntax, clear enunciation of colorful and understandable vocabulary."

    - THE MAN WHO WASN'T CRONKITE 7/27/09. For some of you, his name may be vaguely familiar. For most of you, it probably will mean nothing unless you heard his three daily network hourlies on Newsradio88. Yet he was TV's first anchorman and was once the face of CBS News. By Bob Greene, CNN contributor.

    - REMEMBERING WALTER CRONKITE 7/20/09. The late CBS anchor's top assistant for twenty years, Marlene Adler, denies Cronkite planned to marry Carley Simon's sister, Joanna. Adler takes on all questions, silly and serious, about Cronkite in this Q&A in The Washington Post.

    - Milton Kamen (Gramercy Park Clothes, NYC) 7/18/09. I shocked your [WCBS] sales department in c. 1970 by saying I would buy 4 spots per hour from midnight to 6am, seven nights a week. That was considered wasteland but I knew NYC was truly the city that never slept and I wanted to capture the all night audience that no one knew existed. It worked. And the commercials for my company, Gramercy Park Clothes, became a conversation piece. I paid $5 each for 60 seconds and it was found money for the station. I wrote the copy, read the spots, and had my 15 minutes of fame. My only regret---I refused the nomination for a Clio; I can't remember why. I get a kick out of some postings that remember my commercials from 30 years ago. Although I cannot find pictures nor a tape, I did find some copy--this was the first spot we ran:

    THE PRESIDENT!....... of Gramercy Park Clothes says: 16 advertising men and one mother-in-law have been trying to write commercials for Gramercy Park Clothes. Commercials that will make you stop dead in your tracks, leave your wife, your home, and run like crazy downtown still in your underwear to buy a suit. The president called a meeting and said: stop the baloney. Just tell everyone that Gramercy Park sells great looking suits--good quality, perfect fit and the price is right. After 78 years of manufacturing men's clothing for fine stores, Gramercy Park will sell direct to you. Come to the factory building at 64 West 23rd Street--go through the big iron gate--ask for Bella-the-fella, or Rosie-with-the-cigar. You'll look great in your new suit and you'll save a bundle. Credit cards OK. Gramercy Park Clothes. Open to 7 and on Sunday 10 to 4. Gramercy Park Clothes 64 West 23rd Street--that's 64 West 23rd Street, New York.
    Part of the fun was that your competing station [WINS] didn't want to run the spot because I used the phrase "still in your underwear." What a difference 35 years can make. Regards and good wishes, Milt Kamen


    - THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN THROAT DIES AT 99. CBS announcer Kenneth Roberts, who died in New York on June 19, 2009, began his broadcast career at a small station in New Jersey in the 1920s. In 1931, Roberts beat out 40 other applicants for a full-time position as an announcer on CBS's New York flagship, WABC, the call letters before they were changed to WCBS. A retrospective by T. Rees Shapiro in The Washington Post.

    - Don Blair (former WCBS anchor-reporter & author of Splashdown: NASA and the Navy) 6/24/09. "The archives you (and others?) have put together are priceless... especially for a nostalgia nut like myself... but aren't we all? We know what it was like and what it is today and we are thankful to have been in it when it still had a touch of quality and integrity." For MORE and for two of Blair's exclusive Apollo 11 photos -- including one of Neil Armstrong plucking the ukelele click HERE

    - Jim McCarthy (former WCBS, Mutual Washington reporter) 6/23/09. Hello Don: Well, once again the hands of fate took over and screwed me out of a great luncheon reunion. Not that too many of the crew even remember me. I have been under MD's care for a while now, and had to take a stress test on Friday, the day before the reunion. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the medication and it stopped my heart. As a result, I am now wearing a pace maker and defibrilator. My son, Tim, says "You're going to the next one (reunion), and I'm driving to make sure you get there". Keep fingers and toes crossed for December. Love to all, and keep up the great work on the web site. PS: Are any of the "originals" still around to be especially invited? You know, the Joe Dembo's, Friedman's, Reeves, Joyce's, etc. I used to talk with Jerry Nachman all the time a few years ago, and we had manys the good laugh. I still miss his humor. Oh well, take care... Jim.

    - WCBS 880 STAFFERS, PAST AND PRESENT, REUNITE. Article by Jerry Barmash about the CBS "Board" meeting on June 13, 2009, Teaneck New Jersey. "In between the bites of veal parmigiana, many business cards were passed around, proving the art of reconnecting was alive and well." Go to NY Media Examiner.


    - CBS "BOARD" MEETS JUNE 13, 2009. Close to fifty CBSers, colleagues, ex-competitors, friends, broadcast aficionados, and radio historians gathered in Teaneck, NJ. Details and photos to come. Guest list here.

    - SAN FRANCISCO'S KCBS CELEBRATES 100 YEARS ON THE AIR. Newsradio 88's sister station began as an experimental station in San Jose, California, with a regularly scheduled broadcast on June 11, 1909. KCBS returned to San Jose on the anniversary with morning anchor Stan Bunger and midday anchor Rebecca Corral broadcasting the news from the same spot where the first broadcast originated: the corner of First and San Fernando. Here's a wonderful site dedicated to the station's founder. Go to: Charles Herrold.

    - Joe Cioffi (TV meterologist and listener) 5/23/09. Don, What a terrific site! As a teenager I remember it all... the jingles... the voices... Jim Donnelly, Robert Vaughn, and of course you. I dreamt the same dreams as you did but mine took me a different route. Love it all and thank you. Joe Cioffi

    - Michael Kahn (former WCBS newswriter) 5/22/09. My daughter Sonia, 14, started a Facebook fan page for Wayne Cabot [WCBS anchor]. It is a way to show her appreciation after he let her tag along last month for "Take Your Child to Work Day." Every 8th grader in Fairfax County, Va., had to follow someone, and a weekly about electric co-ops is too dull. Could you put something on your site mentioning the Wayne Cabot fan page and asking everyone who is on Facebook to become a fan? Here is the link: #/pages/Wayne-Cabot/89104183128? ref=s Also, typing "Wayne Cabot" in the search box will get you there. We're up to 76 fans but we can do better!

    - FORMER NEWSRADIO 88 "CONSULTANT" SUSPENDED FOR ON-AIR SLURS Jay Severin, a far right-wing talk show host on Boston's WTKK-FM, described Mexicans as primitives, leeches, and spreaders of VD; former Vice-President Gore as "Al Whore"; and Senator Edward Kennedy as "a fat piece of lying garbage." Severin, who once delivered commentaries on WCBS Radio from a "Republican" perspective, falsely claimed he won a Pulitzer Prize and a master's degree from Boston University. For details go to The Boston Globe.

    - Steve Okonski... grew up in New York City in the 1970s with dreams of becoming a news or weather announcer. While that didn't happen, Steve remains a fan of Newsradio 88 and has sent us a recording of Pat Parson and Ben Farnsworth bantering on the air during a heat wave on July 21, 1977. To listen to the audio click HERE. [runs 1:09]

    - KNX AND KFWB TAKE DIVERGENT PATHS. Former competitors, these Los Angeles all-news stations -- sister stations to WCBS -- are staking out different identities. By Steve Carney in the Los Angeles Times.


    Jay's college grad pic

    - Jay Schuster (former WCBS desk assistant) 3/16/09. 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. MORE...

    - EX-CBSer GIL GROSS REPLACES LATE PAUL HARVEY. Gross, a former WCBS afternoon anchor, currently broadcasts on KGO-AM in San Francisco. He'll take over the duties on Harvey's morning show. For details go to radio-online. To read a 2001 interview with Gross, who once did a talk show on WWDB, Philadelphia, go to Philly Talk Radio.

    Gil Gross

    - Thomas Turner, Framingham, MA, 3/4/09. I just came across your site while surfing the Internet. You have done a great job with detailing the history of your station. Found the audio segments quite enjoyable, but am having trouble with some of them. What media player(s) do you use for them? I currently have Windows Media 11, RealPlayer, and QuickTime in my computer at home. I've been able to hear some using Windows Media at work, but not at home. When I was going to college at Emerson in Boston, I worked part-time at WNAC Radio and TV. At that time, they were affiliated with CBS on the TV side and later switched to ABC. WNAC Radio was the flagship station for the Yankee Network, which supplied news and programming to various stations in the New England area, I was there from 1959 to 1961. WEEI Radio was the primary CBS Net outlet at that time; now it's WBZ. Keep up the good work!!

    [reply] Don Swaim. I converted all the audio on the site into mp3 files, so any audio player that can play mp3s, such as QuickTime or iTunes, should work. Some of the files are quite long, so it's possible some computers with less than adequate memory might have problems. [The larger the file the longer it takes to open.] The files aren't made for RealPlayer -- and Windows Media is fussy about playing some non-Microsoft created files.

    - Palmer Payne (former WCBS anchor) 3/1/09. Re: MURROW PHOTO [below]. Note the venetian blinds in the background. This is the news studio at 485 Madison Ave. The newsroom, less than half the size of News88, is on the other side of the window with the blinds. The general rule in the "old" days was that the newscaster should read all of the wire copy, transcripts from correspondents, etc. and then turn away from all of that and write his five minute newscast from memory and submit it to the editor on duty. He would often stroll into the studio a few minutes before air time and the corrected copy would be brought in to him. They tell the story that once Robert Trout waited for his copy but it was not delivered. He went on the air, waving his arms frantically in hope someone in the newsroom would get the idea (the blinds were open that day), managing to deliver a flawless newscast totally from memory.

    - WRITE YOUR OWN! Here's a website where you can add your own captions to photos of people, famous or not. See what they've done with Edward R. Murrow! Go to PUNDIT KITCHEN.


    - Mark S. Leff, Ohio University, 2/26/09. Hi from an OU broadcast news faculty member teaching this year in Beijing. I used to listen to WCBS when I worked in NYC in the mid-70s, first at TVN and then at NBC News. At NIS, I remember working election night 1976, going home early in the morning and riding the elevator with some glum-looking radio executives, and waking up in the afternoon to hear Pat Parson and Ben Farnsworth reading my obituary (NBC's decision to shut down NIS because it wasn't making money).

    Here's a bit of Ohio music trivia you may enjoy or even remember -- something I discovered when researching a bunch of OU bicentennial history minutes I did for WOUB-TV. First, listen to Alma Mater Ohio (unless you know it by heart). Now listen to this song that OU alumnus Samuel Zarnokay (Sammy Kaye) wrote for his Sunday radio show December 15th, 1941: Remember Pearl Harbor. I ran it by a music prof who said it's probably more than coincidence...

    Mark Leff, Assistant Professor
    E. W. Scripps School of Journalism
    Ohio University, Athens, OH
    2008-2009 Fulbright Lecturer School of TV and Journalism, Beijing

    - "OBAMA INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS." So says Jeff Ballabon, newly named Senior Vice President of Communications for CBS News, of the President of the United States. Ballabon maintains that Democrats are "inherently bad" while Republicans are "fundamentally good." Did CBS hire a right-wing nut? More from Ira Forman on The Huffington Post.

    Ed Hotaling

    - FORMER WCBS NEWSWRITER ED HOTALING... caused quite a stir when he learned (and reported) that both the U.S. Capitol Building and the White House were built with slave labor. Ed, who became Mideast Bureau Chief for CBS News, is the author of four books and currently lives in Washington. Ed's website HERE

    - Bob Gibson (former WCBS anchor) 1/19/09. Bob Vaughn sent me this photo and I thought you'd enjoy seeing it and realizing, as I did, the flood of memories it generates. Bob's guess is this was snapped in 1986... Best wishes to one and all!

    Vaughn (left), Jim Donnelly (right)

    - MARK Di GIORGIO (WCBS listener, W. Hartford, CT) 1/7/09. I am a 51 year-old man and absolutely LOVE your WCBS Appreciation Web site. I have listened to News 88 since I was in high school, and at the time I lived in a small town named Torrington in the Northwest hills of Connecticut. I could could barely get the News 88 signal. In many ways, I feel like Wayne Cabot's twin. MORE...