2012-2014 WCBS Newsradio88 Appreciation Site

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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

Don Swaim (ye webmaster) and Bob Leeder (CBS Board host) spar at Oct. 25, 2014, CBS Board luncheon in Teaneck, NJ, HERE.

- AL MEREDITH, RETIRED WCBS-FM NEWS DIRECTOR, DEAD AT 68. 7/15/14. Obit by David Hinckley, New York Daily News HERE.


Ed Joyce was one of the news executives who helped to usher in the era of all-news at WCBS Radio. Later he became President of CBS News during a stormy tenure he shared with Van Gordon Sauter.

Obit in The New York Times HERE

- JOHN LANDERS, 7/14/14. The WCBS Appreciation Site thanks Brooklyn radio buff Landers for a batch of new contributions -- pictures, audio, ads and photos -- as well as a super photo-tour of the new CBS Radio headquarters on Hudson Street, Manhattan, where all of the network's NYC o&os are housed. HERE.


Paul Murnane in background. Photo by Todd Glickman


by Bob Gibson

Voice of North Carolina Ltd.

The upcoming star-spangled holiday traditionally conjures up thoughts of history, war and peace, and a fair amount of patriotism. Truth be told, this Fourth of July tale, coinciding with the 237th anniversary of America's independence, is a history story about one man! His name is Wayne Cabot and if his moniker fails to ring any bells perhaps you're not listening to the right radio station! Make no mistake about it, Wayne is a radio junkie in the truest sense of the phrase and this coming Thursday, whether he works or not...he will mark twenty-five years as an anchor at all-news WCBS in New York. Why mention that? WHY NOT?! The broadcasting business revolves around one constant: change! Most anchors, writers, account executives, program directors don't normally enjoy the luxury of long-term employment at one place. Wayne's longevity may not garner a flurry of headlines, but I feel he's more than worthy of a story because of what he's accomplished and yes, his lasting quality.... Continue reading HERE.

Dear Don, I have been a long time listener to WCBS. I remember when the station changed to all news in 1967 although as you know, it was a while before the station became a 24 hour news operation. As you point out on the tribute site, WCBS had its ups and downs as far as ratings. One example that stands out is the "news not noise" campaign in 1993. I could understand why it didn't work and how many of the listeners didn't get what that was about.

New York is fortunate to have two stations devoted to providing news and information around the clock. Many markets don't have any as this is an expensive format to do right. While both stations are owned by the same company, they differ in their approaches to informing the public about what's going on both on a local and national basis. I think News Radio 880 is going back towards a more conversational approach which they maintained for years. This is good and results in a way that the anchors talk to people and not at them.

Congratulations to Todd Glickman. He is a true survivor along with Wayne Cabot and Craig Allen. It's good to hear Brigitte Quinn back on the station. I always liked her work going back to the days when I heard her at WALK on Long Island. I hope WCBS will continue and be financially successful for many years. Sincerely, Larry Stoler (lstoler99@optonline.net)


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Crack newswriter M. David Levin supervises anchor Deborah Rodriguez in main anchor studio during Black Rock days. Note state of the art PC, boxy TV monitors, and audio cartridges.


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WCBS Newsroom photo, ca 1988-89, Originally posted on Facebook by Tony Gatto. According to Roslyn Barreaux Brendzel: "It was Battle of the Bulge Day. We made bangers and mash." L-R: Ed Ingles, Jeff Grambs, Ros Barreaux, Brigette Quinn, Tony Gatto, Art Athens, Pete Bianco. Jim Donnelly, Terry Raskyn, Bernard Gershon, Irina Lallemand, Rich Adcock (blind traffic reporter far right)

- ALLEN BROWN, CBS, 3/10/14. I am the nephew of LEO BROWN [longtime Newsradio88 technician], I am writing sadly to inform you of his passing on Sat. March 1st in Florida after a short illness. Leo fell I'll suddenly about a week before he died.

He had been out fishing that day and from reports, he had a pretty strenuous day. When he returned home to his condo at Wynnmore at Coconut Creek he complained his right arm hurt. That night while playing cards he lost the use of his right arm and his complexion changed. The ambulance was called at that point. His heart was apparently in atrial fibrillation. Although they could not find the cause they also were not able to control it which over a weeks time at the hospital he continued to deteriorate and eventually suffered renal failure. He died Sat. March 1st at 5:00 AM. Needless to say a tremendous shock and loss to his family, friends, and all the people he worked with and was close with over the many years of work at CBS.
Peter Cane. RIP. I remember him well and fondly.

Roslyn Barreaux Brendzel. I remember Leo very well and all his wonderful fish stories. RIP Leo.

Steven Reed. Leo had such a wonderful spirit and was so passionate about life in general and fishing in particular. The fact that he could still do what he loved after all these years put a smile in my heart. I will never forgot the evening we spent together broadcasting live as fireworks exploded over the Statue of Liberty during the July 4th Bicentennial celebration., Rest In Peace Leo. You were a blessing to so many !!!

Todd Glickman. A great technician, a great man. And did he love to fish! Glad he had so many good years to enjoy. He will be missed!

Rich Lamb. The Great Fisherman is gone. Wonderful, talented, funny man. I only have memories of his laughing. He was a true professional and was a delight. RIP

Charlie Kaye. Leo worked at the network after WCBS. He was a very kind and warm man and will be missed.

Gary Maurer. oh no...this is terrible news. it was always an adventure to head out in the "mobile unit" with leo & listen to his fishing stories. tight lines, old friend.

Tony Gatto. A great man. One of a kind. Sheepshead Bay remembers.

Frank Raphael. My first day at WCBS I was assigned to work with Leo to put the Arthur Godfrey show on air. he was a gent from that first day until the last day I worked with him. Mobile unit or tape ops. He was always a pro.

Allen Brown. Thanks so much, Don. I have enjoyed a 40 year career as a cameraman at CBS because of Leo. He was a great guy.

Barry Siegfried. Leo Brown was one of the most incredibly talented field technicians with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working. In my younger years at WCBS he taught me more about how to get a remote broadcast on the air under duress than any other individual in the business. I have seen him do things and invent solutions to problems on the fly that I could only dream of being talented enough to do myself. When I was producing the NY Jets Football games for WCBS (a total of 8 years over 2 non-consecutive contracts), I was lucky enough to have Leo as my primary field technician. We spent more time with each other working together at these football games than I think either of us did with anyone else over our professional years. He was a wonderful mentor, friend and colleague and I will truly miss him.

Gegg Forbach. I worked with Leo for my 8 years as a tech @ WCBS and he was always a great standup guy to be around. Anyone know how old he was?

Allegra died Dec. 31, 2013, at a nursing home in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Born on January 2, 1934, she was two days shy of her eightieth birthday. A graveside service was held at the Sharon Gardens Cemetery, Valhalla, Westchester County, New York, on Sunday, January 5. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease for several years. Allegra held a BA in Music and an MA in Library Science from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining WCBS, she worked at NBC Radio and the Vienna Bureau of United Press International. She was a past Treasurer and President of the Writers Guild of America East.

Allegra Branson

Frontiers Aflame!
co-written by Allegra Branson
Allegra's father was Henry Clay Branson, author of a number of crime novels published in the 1940s and 1950s, featuring detective John Bent, as well as the Civil War novel Salisbury Plain. Henry Clay Branson's correspondent with the crime writer Ross Macdonald has been archived by the University of California.
Allegra co-wrote (with Eugenia Campbell Lester) Frontiers Aflame!, a novel based on true events in upstate New York during the Revolutionary War. Published by Heart of the Lakes Publishing in 1987.

M. David Levin gave us this undated photo of WCBS staffers after a run in Central Park (ca 1980). Among the group (in no order) are Rob Sunde, Lou Adler, Mary Gay Taylor, Jim Morris, Jane Tillman Irving, Linda Siegfried, Bob Hyland, Gigi Birdas, Rona Landy. Let us know if you can identify the others. click to enlarge


Broadcast legend Stan Brooks, WINS, at the Oct. 19, 2013,
CBS "Board" in Teaneck, NJ

Veteran New York radio reporter Stan Brooks died Monday afternoon, December 23, 2013. He was 86 and reportedly had been diagnosed with cancer. Brooks had worked at WINS-AM for more than 50 years, most recently as senior correspondent. Prior to that, he was a reporter at Newsday.

He joined WINS in 1962, first as a news reader, then as news director when the station changed to an all-news format. After several years of heading the news department, Brooks returned to his first love: reporting. Although he filed his last story on Nov. 21, he never officially retired. Brooks became part of the CBS family when the network acquired the Westinghouse stations, including WINS, once an arch-competitor.

In December, Mayor Michael Bloomberg renamed the radio room at City Hall in Brooks's memory.

New Yotk Times obituary HERE

One Hell of a (WCBS) Newsman
Ann Nyberg (WTNH News 8, Connecticut): "If you listen to WCBS News Radio 880 as you're headed down the highway, you have probably heard Joe Connolly's small business reports, pearls of information that anyone can use in their daily lives." Nybeg's video interview with Connolly HERE

STEVE PORTER 1940-2013
by Bob Gibson

photo courtesy Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia

I'm sorry to tell you that [former Newsradio 88 anchor]Steve Porter has died in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at age 73. His widow, Robbie, says that Steve died this morning [9/27/13] in the hospital where he had undergone heart surgery Tuesday. Steve had mentioned to me on the phone recently that part of that procedure was to involve a valve replacement.

The man who many of us knew and worked with enjoyed a long career in broadcast journalism that by my account took him through five states---Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, South Carolina---and the District Of Columbia, where he was the NBC News White House Correspondent for ten years during the Reagan and Bush Administrations. Before transferring to Washington, Steve anchored and wrote NBC Radio hourly news broadcasts in New York and that's where we first met nearly forty years ago.

Steve always had a wonderful sense of humor but when it came to his air work he was interested in getting the story and telling it in an easy-to-understand way. Our boss at the hourlies operation, Bob Kimmel, the Director of NBC Radio News, told me that he remembers Steve as an air talent who was always cool and calm and got on the air with a story, telling it well, and without leaving the listener in the dark. Kimmel says Steve was a very dependable man who could always be counted on.

Before his move to NBC News, Steve's was the very first voice heard on WCBS NewsRadio88 in New York after that station switched to an all-news format on August 28, 1967. He worked the morning shift with fellow anchor Charles Osgood. Charles says that Steve Porter was a real pro who knew how to do his job and frequently made it look easy, even when it was not. Charles also remembers Steve as being a very kind man.

Steve grew up in Pittsburgh and graduated from the University of Miami where he worked at WINZ and WGBS. This award-winning journalist who was a licensed pilot and a man with a love for golf and community service, also worked for WFLA Radio in Tampa before taking a TV anchor job in San Antonio. From there he made his way to Philadelphia where Steve helped put all-news KYW NewsRadio on the air in 1965. He was not there long before New York beckoned and Steve moved on to broadcasting's largest market.

In 1995, after retiring from NBC News and helping to inaugurate the Associated Press' all-news radio service, Steve bought an interest in WRNN Radio in Myrtle Beach which had been home for eighteen years. Besides hosting a very successful morning news and information program on that station, Steve also wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper. Steve loved news and he loved people. He enjoyed socializing with friends and sharing his stories and theirs.

Steve Porter is survived by his wife, Robbie, and three children.

NOTE from Don Swaim

I was Steve's copy editor back in the early days. Yeah, back then we worked with hard copy. He typed in lower case and ignored punctuation, so his copy was a nightmare to read, much less edit. Finally, I gave up. I eyeballed it but never actually edited it. And when Steve went on the air his scripts were, indeed, perfect. --DS

- NEWSRADIO88 SIGNS ON. WCBS-AM Newsradio88 debuts inauspiciously on its little-heard FM Station on August 28, 1967, because a small plane demolished the transmitter tower on High Island in a fatal crash, knocking the AM station off the air. Interestingly, the debut begins with a staff announcer reading the WCBS-FM sign-on, followed by the "Star Spangled Banner." Then, anchorman Steve Porter reads an account of the air crash. Pat Summerall delivers the sports, Gordon Barnes the weather. The rather ponderous presentation includes few if any commercials, and virtually no news audio. Charles Osgood takes over from Steve Porter at 6:00 A.M. The producer of the broadcast was Mike Ludlum, the editor was Al Wasser. Audio courtesy of Bill Tynan, Manager of On-Air Promotion, WCBS. 8/28/67 (46:29). WCBS Newsradio88, Part 1 8/28/67 (46:21). WCBS Newsradio88, Part 2

Hey Don, Your WCBS NewsRadio 88 appreciation site has brought back a lot of memories. In the 14 months since I retired as a news writer from ABC News Radio I have time to just reflect on the years and now at my time at WCBS News Radio. It was my first job in radio, taking place between 1975-1977. I started as a desk assistant; then chief desk assistant and news-trainee, a much-sought position I was fortunate to get at the very beginning of a news career in radio. Clearly, it was an experience that was invaluable to my professional growth -- presenting an opportunity to sit with Lou Freizer in the morning or Marty Duskin in the afternoon to learn how to produce; to tag along on assignment with Steve Flanders at City Hall or yourself, to a fire in the east Bronx to learn how to report; to sit in-studio with Pat Parson and Ben Farnsworth to learn how to anchor; to sit down with Mel Granick or the late Liz Shanov to learn radio news writing. Years later, Liz would file stories from ABC News Radio.

Your site has photos of great past colleagues like Mike Ludlum and Ralph Howard. I was sorry to learn of the passing of Rich Adcock and Dick Spencer who was my editor at WEEI NewsRadio 59. J. Raimey and I were colleagues at NBN. I see a photo Kevin Curran, who was at WHN during my time with Mutual Lifestyle Radio out of the same facility as well as Bill Diehl, my colleague at ABC Radio.

I have to say there were some other, unanticipated perks for being part of the WCBS staff. Ed Ingles was responsible for my first opportunity to see a U. S. Open match at Forest Hills; Spencer Ross facilited my attendance at what was a new concept at the time: Team Tennis, Nassau Colosseum on Long Island. I play tennis several times a week, these days and have attended lots of U. S. Opens over the years. Thanks, Don for this is a great website. I will be a frequent visitor.

After sending you that message, I realized I left out names of others who had had a strong influence on my career -- Lou Adler, Rob Sunde and John Wheeling for example -- as well as others who I hold fondly in my memories, like Alegra Branson and Mike Callahan; Palmer Payne and Harvey Hauptman.


The image of Edward R. Murrow looks down proudly on celebrating Newsradio 88 staffers in their Hudson Street studios on June 12, 2013. WCBS won major awards for Overall Excellence, Best Newscast, and Continuing Coverage for its reporting of Superstorm Sandy. And CBS Radio News wins three more. Who says radio news is dead?

Dear Don, I'm checking out your appreciation site as I type this. It is fantastic. I have worked off and on in broadcasting since the late 80s. I remember when the plane crash happened and the new format for WCBS had to be carried on 101.1 FM. Looking at your site reminds me and so many others how much we took for granted; i.e., the excellent anchors, the way they delivered the news, weather, traffic, sports, etc. on this legendary radio station. If anyone would have told me in 1967 that both all news stations would be owned by the same company, I would have said they were crazy, but due to the 1996 Telecommunications Act, among other things that happened.

Fortunately both stations differ in their approaches to what they cover and highlight. For example, it seems to me that 1010 WINS puts more emphasis on crime stories than is the case at WCBS. John Maher once described WINS as a "beer and potato chip" news station. Maybe he was right. A traffic reporter who will remain nameless, once told me that he found WINS to be the NY. Post of news radio and WCBS the equivalent of the Times or a high quality magazine. Although News radio88 is not the same as it once was, it still stands out in my opinion. Finally, I first heard Wayne Cabot when he jocked at WFIL. It was on New Years Day, 1985. He was great as a jock and outstanding at WCBS. He deserves all the credit in the world for lasting 25 years at one radio station. That doesn't happen often as you know especially the way radio is being run today. Again thank you for a tribute site to a station that deserves it. WCBS News Radio88.

- LAYHMOND ROBINSON, JR. DEAD. FORMER WCBS NEWSWRITER. Robinson, who was 88, died June 29, 2013, at his home in Queens. Before joining WCBS, Robinson was a reporter at The New York Times at a time when black reporters in major newsrooms were rare. In an obituary in The Times, Robinson is described as helping to inspire the next generation of black journalists. Robinson also worked at WABC-TV and in public relations for the National Urban League and govermental agencies. He was born on February 11, 1925, in Abbeville, Louisiana, served in the Navy, and graduated from Syracuse and Columbia Universities.


Melissa Ludlum, Sis Levin, Jerry, Mike Ludlum, Julie Howard, Ralph Howard
at the Thalia Restaurant, New York, June 30, 2013

- DON SWAIM, 6/27/13. STEAMPUNK ELECTROBLASTER ROMANCE. And now for a word from our sponsor... I recently published an illustrated 11,000-word ebook, Steampunk Electroblaster Romance on Amazon.com. It's a parody of the recent Steampunk genre. Miss Lovett, my high school art teacher in Pittsburgh, may not have been proud of my illustrations, but at least I did it. As an introductory price for CBS people and friends, it's 99-cents. Yes, 99-cents. Access it HERE. Amazon.com permits reviews and comments, which I welcome (in the hope they might be positive).

Broke the Jimmy the Greek Story

Ed Hotaling, died on June 3, 2013, on Staten Island. He was 75.
Hotaling joined Newsradio 88 as a writer in 1967, later becoming Bureau Chief for CBS News in Beirut. As a reporter for WRC-TV in Washington, Hotaling reported on the curious racial musings of CBS sports commentator Jimmy The Greek Snyder, which led to Snyder's firing. Hotaling also discovered that black slaves had been recruited to build the White House and the U.S. Capitol building, which gave lie to some of the notions about American ideals.

One of Hotaling's colleagues at WCBS was former producer JERRY LEVIN, who offers this memory:

Ed Hotaling's name may not be the first one that comes to mind when remembering the many journalistic luminaries that worked a shift at Black Rock in the early days; but for those who really knew him it sure does.  He landed on my producing shift at about the same time that Ted Fuery, Jim Cusick and Dick Williams did. Ed's entry point was Tape Ops. All those guys were irrepressible, energetic, clever, hard to hold down (but who wanted to) experienced journalists, full of fun and great senses of humor, the sliest of which was probably Ed's. (Not to slight Dick Wiiliams who drew down the wrath of Ed Joyce one day when he wrote an intro to a Myra Waldo piece, "Now here is Myra Waldo with observations on Broccoli.") Read more HERE.

- DON SWAIM, 5/20/13. CLASSIC STEPHEN VINCENT BENET RADIO SHOWS ONLINE. Benet who? A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who wrote, not only supernatural stories, but about the Civil War. His best known works are John Brown's Body and "The Devil and Daniel Webster." He wrote militant anti-Nazi broadcasts in the 40s. Hard to find these anywhere else. Scroll to the bottom of my illustrated essay about Benet and Ambrose Bierce: FABULISTS BENET AND BIERCE.

- HARVEY HAUPTMAN, 4/26/13. MEMORIES OF PAT SUMMERALL. With the exception of the obituary posted on the WCBS Appreciation site, nothing has been made of Pat Summerall's early days at WCBS Radio... Find out HERE


Longtime NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall died Tuesday, April 16, 2013. He was 82.

Summerall died in his hospital room at Zale Lipshy Hospital in Dallas where he was recovering from surgery for a broken hip. A Florida native, Summerall played football, basketball and baseball at the University of Arkansas before playing first base for the St. Louis Cardinals' Class C team. He then moved to the NFL in 1952 and went on to play for the Detroit Lions, the Chicago Cardinals and the New York Giants before retiring in 1961.

Summerall started announcing games for WCBS radio in New York and joined CBS in 1962 as a part-time analyst. He was WCBS's morning man before the station went all news after which he became Sports Director. As a play-by-play announcer, he worked alongside veteran announcer Tom Brookshier before teaming up with John Madden for 21 seasons. Summerall and Madden became the most popular sports broadcast team in the country and their work during Super Bowl XVI in 1982 is still the highest-rated sports program ever. Summerall worked on a record 16 Super Bowls throughout his career.

Known for his minimalist style, Summerall also called NBA games for CBS, and was the network's lead voice on golf and tennis events, including 27 Masters and 20 United States Tennis Opens. In 1994, he followed Madden to Fox when the network outbid CBS for NFL programming rights. He broadcast his last Super Bowl in 2002 and retired soon after. However, he called several early 2004 NFL season games for ESPN and also worked on the 2007 and 2008 Cotton Bowls for Fox.

Off the field, Summerall struggled with alcoholism but remained sober after he spent five weeks at the Betty Ford Center in 1992. Two years later, he convinced baseball legend Mickey Mantle to do the same and 10 years after that, Summerall received a liver transplant. In recent years, he had also undergone cataract surgery in 2006 and hip replacement surgery in 2008.

Harvey Hauptman's memories of Pat and a related anecdote by Bob VanDerheyden HERE


Spencer, whose career at Newsradio 88 spanned more than forty years, died on January 11, 2013.
From Tim Scheld, WCBS News Director, 1/22/13: Dick's passing was very sad for us here. He had a long history with the station and a great passion for his role in getting the news on the air here all those years. A number of us attended his Memorial Service last week in Ardsley, and we were touched by his son Steven's remarks about how much pride his dad had in working at WCBS. Dick's Mother Evelyn is still alive and she came up to us after the service and talked about how they all felt a kinship with WCBS. Irene Cornell, Wayne Cabot, and Harvey Nagler led a contingent of colleagues who attended. We were also touched by hearing stories of Dick's selflessness in his work (outside of his news career) as an Episcopal Deacon who comforted the sick, the aging, and the indigent. Everyone said he wrote terrific sermons. That didn't surprise any of us who knew him to be a great writer in his day. As you may know, Dick had a very difficult last few years. It began with a bad fall a couple of winters ago which led to numerous surgeries and issues. He was hobbled ever since and every year got more difficult for him, but he never lost his passion for a good story or great lead. I don't have much to add but here is the note I sent to the staff:
From: Scheld, To: all Date: Friday, January 11, 2013. By now most of you have heard the sad news of the passing of Dick Spencer. Dick was one of the longest serving employees at WCBS Newsradio 880. I remember his great writing, and his passion for a good story. He was especially proud to work in this newsroom and told me so just two weeks ago when we were talking about his difficulties. He cared for the people here. He cared about how he did his job. He loved it when we all rallied to cover a big story and he was a part of it. That's how I will remember him. I spoke to his mother and expressed condolences on the part of his CBS family. I told her that we were remembering all of the big stories we all covered together. She said that there is still no word on what happened by they suspect it was his heart. For those who have asked where you can send condolences, the following address is Dick's Mom's home: Evelyn Spencer, 187 Stone Oaks Drive, Hartsdale, NY 10530

From Wes Vernon, CBS-RSNS Washington Correspondent 1/8/13: It is with deep sorrow that I must report that our colleague Jim McCarthy passed away this afternoon at what is believed to be 77 years of age. I knew that Jim had been in ill health lately, but still had hoped he would hang on. Jim McCarthy was the Washington correspondent for WCBS-AM starting with its all-news operation in 1967. Prior to that, he had been an hourly news anchor at the Mutual Broadcasting System. In 1972, CRD initiated its PLNX (later CBS RSNS) Washington Bureau to serve the owned and operated 24-hour news operations. It was then that Jim became the bureau's chief and hired me as his assistant. He left CBS in 1980. Jim was a pleasure to work with in those years, always willing to give "the new kid on the block" some encouragement. He had a way of putting a pleasant spin on the minor day-to-day irritants in this business, saying "I only sweat the little things." After he left and went back to operate his own restaurant and bar in Wilkes Barre, Pa., we were in touch, mostly by phone from time to time. Later, when I was in his vicinity and even later when he started attending the Board Meetings in Teaneck, we had some robust laugh-filled conversations about "the old days." I was informed of his passing by his son Justin, who took over his father's business in recent years as his health declined.I will miss Jim--big time.. Wes Vernon

Terrified National Guardsman wielding rifle confronted by anti-war demonstrators, Washington, DC, 1971. Newsradio 88's first Washington reporter Jim McCarthy, holding WCBS mic [far left]. For Jim's own Memories page click here. For Wes Vernon's history of WCBS's Washington Bureau go here.

Via Bob Gibson comes this tribute to Jim from his former colleague, Dick Rosse:

I have vivid memories of "Big Jim" from the Mutual days on those rare occasions when MBS would send me to D.C. for one reason or the other (Inaugurations, etc). You were struck immediately by Jim's ebullience, along with his great set of pipes and his irresistible urge to pontificate about all matters political, big or small. He was part of a team of legendary correspondents like Charles Bachelder, Richard Rendell and Cedric Foster, all of them great talents although somewhat unsung, toiling for the "Fourth Network." Jim was a true professional and a good friend for a few, insane years at the old Mootch.

- CHARLES OSGOOD'S 80th BIRTHDAY -- JAN. 8, 2013. And he's still seeing us on the radio. Newsradio 88 anchors Michael Wallace and Pat Carrol spoke to Charles on the air. Listen HERE


In his recent essay, retired CBS tech Phil Cecchini maintained that the ashtrays in the CBS headquarters building (Black Rock) were once color-coded by floor, the 16th floor's being blue. This position was immediately contradicted by former WCBS staffer Rica Rinzler, who says she saw red ashtrays. And by former producer-writer Peter O.E. Bekker, who writes the following:

As a denizen of the 16th floor from 1975 until 1989, I'd like to testify that if there was an ashtray color code at 88 during that period, it was yellow. (Ipso facto photo attached).

However, as you insightfully and colloquially point out on your excellent WCBS Appreciation Site, CBS was "one classy joint" (though some might argue, strongly, that the ambiance on 16 was more like the impact zone of a major earthquake). Still, 16 was just one floor of many. It's not out of the question that if there were color codes, they were seasonalized by the chic corporate stylists: yellow for spring and summer, blue for fall and winter -- or, to be outré, vice-versa. Either that or maybe the company caved during bitter, top secret, sidebar negotiations with the Guild and IBEW, conceding to each a top demand: yellow ashtrays in the newsroom, blue in the tech areas. The latter possibility might also explain Frank Stanton's eagerness to tote wood to IB's bonfire, as recollected by Phil.

Speaking of which, the union negotiators must certainly have been formidable back in the day. Nothing short of the highest regard would have prompted the dapper Dr. Stanton to go rummaging around for wood in Blackrock's furnace room in those days before steam heat from Co Ed.

Yr, obt. svt., peter o. e. bekker



Mr. Cecchini responds: "I worked on the 16th floor from 1967 to 1974 when all was blue. Mr. Bekker was a Johnny come lately....Phil"


James R. McQuade, of New York, NY and Spring Lake, NJ, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, at his home in Spring Lake, NJ after a brief illness.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Constance Nugent McQuade; his aunt, Anne Maguire Fedigan; and his brother-in-law, Joseph C. Nugent. James was Vice President of CBS Radio and General Manager of WCBS News 88. He graduated from Fordham Preparatory School and Georgetown University. He served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He was a Board member of the former St. Vincent's Hospital & Medical Center, Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home both New York City, Boy's Hope and the St. Vincent's Fund Inc.

He received an Honorary Degree from St. John's University. He was a member of the Spring Lake Bath & Tennis Club, the Spring Lake Golf Club and past president of the Green Gables Croquet Club. Also survived by his nieces, Constance O'Leary Keller, Heidi Bovers Johnston and Hope O'Leary Frenette; and nephews, William, Peter, Richard, Paul and Joseph Nugent O'Leary, Mark and Gregory Nugent and their families.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 at O'Brien's Funeral Home, 2028 Hwy. 35, Wall. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 at St. Catharine's Church, Spring Lake. Burial will follow in St. Catharine's Cemetery, Sea Girt. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Meridian at Home Hospice, 1345 Campus Parkway, Suite A2, Neptune, NJ 07753-9930.

Published in Asbury Park Press. October 6, 2012

- BOB GIBSON (EX-ANCHOR), 10/9/12. WITH MARTY DUSKIN (RETIRED WCBS PRODUCER) I had the opportunity to have lunch with Marty Duskin [in Woodbridge, NJ] on Tuesday [Oct. 9], as he will be unable to attend the next group gathering on the 20th. It's the first time I've seen Marty in more than a year and since he lost his beloved wife, Bernice, in June. The man whom we always appreciated having "on the desk," is getting along but recognizes the obvious void in his life.

Gibson (l) Duskin (r)

"Weighing Anchors" has now been released. Subtitle: "When Network Newscasters Don't Know Write from Wrong." The book documents distortions, deceptions and delinquencies in many scripts.These are some of the headings in the table of contents:

Brian Williams: Nightly Problems
Diane Sawyer: When Words Fail Her
Scott Pelley: Wearing Two Hats Can Cause Headaches
Autopsy of an Anderson Cooper Script
CNN: Blitzer Cries Wolf
Networks Mangle and Strangle Language
Health News That's Not Healthful
"60" Keeps on Ticking, But Its Writing Takes a Licking
ABC's Muir Seems to Think Using Tonight Works Muiracles
ABC Anchor Tampers with Clock and Calendar
Hard Look Finds Weak Script Fading to Blah
Write This Way, Please
Alas, Poor Couric

The publisher of "Weighing Anchors" is Marion Street Press. 216 pages, paperback, $18.95. www.marionstreetpress.com/home

No release of a book would be complete without blurbs. To save time, here's just one:

"When network news anchors murder the language--which they do night after night--thank goodness there's Merv Block to perform the autopsy. No one has a better ear or sharper pencil than Merv Block. He's a one-man quality control department for the broadcast news business. His wise and witty dissections of TV's highest-paid poobahs and their verbal blunders are both hilarious and appalling. After reading his collection of spot-on critiques, you'll never watch TV news the same way again." --Robert Feder, media critic, Time Out Chicago

I'm Mervin Block, and I approved this message.



In addition to his long-running food & wine pieces on WCBS, Andy Blue has been doing a radio show called "Blue Lifestyle" for Sirius/XM and a network of stations. That show went on the road last weeeknd to the Arizona Biltmore resort. I do freelance remote engineering for talk shows and sports teams that roll into Phoenix. (I've done two shows for WCBS commentator Peter Greenberg.) It was cool to be reunited with Andy more than a few years after my intern days.

Curran (l), Blue (r)

- WAYNE CABOT, WCBS ANCHOR, 8/28/12. Hi Donnie. I liberally "borrowed" images from your website for today's 45th anniversary video, which I rushed to get done this morning. When I can catch my breath I will ID the faces and credit the WCBS Site. I can't thank you enough for your excellent stewardship of our heritage. Happy anniversary, my friend. Go to: ANNIVERSARY


I'm Mike McCann, WFAN weekend sports anchor and former WCBS-FM and WYNY deejay. As a native of the New York area and lifelong news junkie, I've been an avid listener of 880 since before the all-news days. And as one who knew from a very young age I wanted to be in the broadcast field (November marks the 38th anniversary of my first professional job at WLNA/WHUD in Peekskill), I fondly recall some of the print ads WCBS ran in its first newsradio years.

One in particular came up in conversation at last December's company holiday party. I mentioned it to Wayne Cabot, the official 880 historian, but he did not recall it, but perhaps you do. It was a full-page back-of-section ad in the TIMES titled, "The 88 Faces of Newsradio 88," with a small picture of each of the on-air staffers (Ed Bradley was still a local reporter them), some writers, producers and, to hit that magic number, some radio network correspondents such as Dallas Townsend. Does this ring a bell? This anniversary day seemed like the ideal time to find out if you've seen -- or maybe even more fortunately, kept -- a copy of this.

Thanks for all the good work you put in here to honor the still-active legacy of a still great station, the flagship of the last great radio company, which, between stints at WFAN, WCBS-FM and KMOX-KLOU, has been my on-air home for a total of 20 years. Best regards, Mike McCann WFAN and mikemccann.blogspot.com (my baseball photo site)

As a former New Yorker and WCBS-AM fan, your News 88 Appreciation Site web site is a great delight to me. On top of that, I have some broadcasting training in my background and had the good fortune to work as a TV production technician with the AFRTS outlet in Seoul, Korea. With this brief description of my background, I hope this helps you to understand the many ways I've been enjoying your News 88 Appreciation Site. I'm very grateful for it.

However, what I'm mainly writing about is the "WCBS Jingle Package," as your web site calls it. The link for it is located on this PAGE and the direct link for the actual MP3 file is HERE.

In my view, this particular package is the best the world has ever seen ... or heard, I mean. I enjoy it so much, I occasionally listen to the entire package as if it were a favorite music album/collection. And since using audio editing software is one of my hobbies, I endeavored to produce a copy that excludes the cut number introductions. I want to make it available in case you might have interest.

[NOTE FROM DON: Mr. More's audio version of the WCBS AXCESS JINGLE PACKAGE is almost symphonic and actually stands alone as music. LISTEN. Runs 13.10]

- Jerome J. Slote, Oneonta, NY. 8/5/12. Thanks for your great site. I'm wondering whether you've located any clips from WCBS-AM as a music station, circa 1965. My grandparents would listen around Godfrey Time. Peggy Lee, Roger Miller, and an "Eight-Eighty on Your Dial" jingle which I'd enjoy hearing again. Yes, I've enjoyed the Jack Sterling 1958 clips and anniversary show in the past. But if you're ever able to post that 1965 jingle, it'll align with my first memories as an 880 listener. I've had the pleasure of singing jazz with Brian Madden [former WCBS anchor] a time or two in Oneonta. He was pleased to chat with someone who remembered his radio work in the Watergate era.
Jack Sterling Page HERE

- Barry Siegfried, Technical Supervisor, WCBS Newsradio 880. 8/2/12. Ladies & Gentlemen... Many of you may have already heard by now that I am hanging up my engineering hat after a 40.5 year career in radio, the last 37 years of which have been devoted exclusively to WCBS 880, WCBS-FM and CBS Radio. My last day of work is currently scheduled to be on Friday, August 17.  There is obviously a bittersweet component to this. While I am excited to be on the cusp of crossing over into a new realm of existence that will likely not include getting up regularly at 2:00 AM, I will miss those very talented people with whom I have worked alongside over the past 37 years and for whom I have tremendous respect.

- Ray Sills, Retired CBS tech. ARTIE VOLDSTAD. 5/29/12. Just got this from Bob Maickel:

Sad news. May he rest in peace. 73 Bob: I am very sorry to have to tell you that Art [retired CBS tech] died on Friday the 25th, resulting from a massive stroke and bleeding from the brain. He had a very peaceful passing, with all of the family by his side. We will miss him. Mercedes Voldstad

- Todd Glickman, WCBS Meterologist, 5/28/12. BRAVO, DON! And so much appreciation to YOU, for keeping the history alive. Warm wishes from the Portable Weather Center (in suburban Boston), where the 8's are alive this "PM drive" with the sounds of weather: -)

- Ed Silverman, former news director, WABC-TV, former news correspondent, ABC News, 5/21/12.

Another super luncheon... If the attendance keeps growing at the "Board" meetings we may have to relocate to the Meadowlands... Just a comment on the thought that the name of the group be "changed" somehow. As a latecomer, I am delighted to meet under the WCBS flag... a luncheon founded by and for vets of the EYE and an integral part of the APPRECIATION concept.

Ed's memoir, Brief Encounters With the Famous, The Near Famous & The Not So Famous, can be purchased as an ebook HERE.



Passionate radio memorabilia collector J. David Goldin, one-time Newsradio 88 tech, is credited with solving the theft of some 1000 historical radio recordings from the National Archives. The story in The Washington Post

Ohio U's Alden Library published a profile of Don Swaim and "Book Beat" in its quarterly publication Gatherings. To read the article click HERE

- Jerry Levin, former WCBS Producer, 4/5/12.

Little known fact: In 1962 Lou [Freizer] and I were one of six finalists for the at the time prestigious CBS fellowship. That's where I first encountered him. He won. In 1966, when I shifted from Exec. Prod. of "Talk Radio" on the programming side to News in order to produce "Up to the Minute." I was brought over to replace Mike Ludlum, the current producer who was about to embark on his CBS fellowship. (Other fellowship winners: Av Westin and Bernard Eisman.) I can't remember if Lou was an editor or a producer. So there we all were. Mike returned from his fellowship in time to be in on the ground floor of the Newsradio launch. As I remember the formatting was carried out by a triumvirate of Ed Joyce, Dick Reeves, and Marvin Friedman on the News side, and others from Sales and Programming, Operations and Technical. Bob Hoskins (I think) was Sales Mgr. Jim McQuade was Program Director. I don't remember who the Technical Director was. (I don't think it was Larry Solow sic?) All were superintended by Joe Dembo. Over Joe was the President of CBS radio, Clark George, who had been General Manager of WBBM-TV when I was Assistant Public Affairs Director in 1961, 62.

- Rudy Ruderman, journalist, 4/3/12.

First, I, Rudy Ruderman (talk about voices from the past!), must say "thank you, and congratulations for your web site. It's a beautiful production... and I appreciate the opportunity to revive memories of old colleagues and competitors." Second, can anyone please remind me who the Channel 2 reporter was in December '58 and early '59? I was one of only 3 radio news people regularly on the street beat then (Gabe Pressman and Danny Meenan were the others)... and when the newspaper strike hit I was the outside man for the spanking new WNEW operation. To my shame, I can't remember the name of the great Ch 2 guy who let me share his space for an interview with Mayor Wagner. We appeared on the 11pm TV show, and I asked Wagner if he'd emulate Mayor LaGuardia and read the comics on the air if the strike lasted thru Sunday. It did, and he didn't. Strange, but every couple years his name pops into my mind.... but then I block it again! Sure hope you can find someone who remembers. Thanks in advance, and once again, that's a real cool website you have.

- Lou Freizer, retired WCBS Producer, 2/26/12. Don: Hello from Brussels. Some where on your page it was said we moved from 485 Madison to Black Rock. You and I both remember we moved from 485 to 49 East 52nd THEN to Black Rock. Regards, Lou Freizer (always a news editor)