MARTY DUSKIN: AN APPRECIATION
by Bob Gibson
Many of us have lost a caring friend in the passing of Marty Duskin. The retired, longtime afternoon news producer at New York's WCBS Newsradio88 and before that a respected and admired rewrite man at The Jersey Journal and The Newark Star-Ledger died very peacefully Nov. 7, 2016, at a senior living center in New Jersey's Howell Township, according to a family friend. Marty Duskin was 86.
The last time we spoke on the phone a few weeks ago he indicated this had been a very difficult period of his life because walking was a problem, among other things. Marty was never a complainer but at the point that we spoke he had a laundry list of health problems. He was, in my estimation, the glue that held the newsroom together in times of crisis during his 25 years, and he was a dedicated producer who slotted stories for anchors and writers and made certain that there was ample sound for all of the day's major stories. A graduate of Wagner College on Staten Island, and later a Master's recipient from Columbia University, Marty was married for 55 years to the love of his life, Bernice, who predeceased him. Their son, George, died in a 1999 car crash.
One of the terrific things about Marty is that you could talk to him about most any subject and turn it into a conversation. His life was news but he was also a sports enthusiast and a huge baseball fan. Most of all, the Marty I knew was a people person who was always gracious, courteous and if need be, would give you the proverbial shirt off his back. To the best of my knowledge, Marty did not have any other family, but I'm sure I speak for many in saying he's survived by a legion of friends and former colleagues who always appreciated a helping hand from the well informed PM-Drive Producer!
Roslyn Barreaux Brendzel. So sad to hear. Marty was the best of the best, chomping on his unlit cigar and wearing his slippers. He was an island of calm in a frenetic newsroom. RIP my friend.
Todd Glickman. May his memory be for a blessing!
John Miller. An island of calm. Wonderful guy.
Steven Reed. Marty was one of the most gentle souls to grace any newsroom anywhere ! As Roslyn Barreaux Brendzel correctly describes him "an island of calm" always. Rest In Peace sir !
Lon Braithwaite. RIP Marty Duskin.
Tony Gatto. What a great man. Always loved working with him. A newsman's newsman.
Mayer Fertig. Was just thinking about Marty recently and hoping he was well. Very sad to hear. Some advice he gave me just before he retired from WCBS has stayed with me for all these years; it is equally applicable to producing the news and to most areas of life itself: Nothing bad will happen if, before reacting to something, you take a minute or two to just *think.* Rest in peace, Marty.
Paul Farry. So sorry to hear that. I have not seen Marty in almost 30 years, but remember him as a mentor and a very kind man. A real pro.
Fred Fishkin. Marty was such a great producer to work with...sharp instincts and wit. And on top of that...a just plain nice person.
Lou Giserman. RIP. a newsman' s newsman or is it newsperson's newsperson? Never panicked and never saw him angry!
Michael Kahn. Terrible news. A genuinely good soul and a top rate newsman. Came out of the Jersey Journal I believe. And, of course, gotta smile as I remember him wearing his slippers in the newsroom.
Stephani Shelton. Really sorry to hear this. He was a legend.
Jeffrey Lyons. I worked with Marty in the summer of 1966, if memory serves, on the City Desk of The Jersey Journal and of course at WCBS. I never saw him when he wasn't smiling. A solid pro and a great, good man.
Tim Scheld. So many wonderful memories of Marty. We still think of him often and every memory brings a smile to our faces. God Bless you Marty. We're better for having known you.
Peter Cane. Marty was just a great guy - I loved working when he was on the desk. A true gentle soul who was a world class newsman, and that's a rare combination. Those slippers. That unlit cigar. RIP Marty.
Mitch Lebe. Marty was a kind, gentle man. And a terrific newsman as well. I will miss him.
Gary Maurer. This is awful news. such fond memories. so glad and privileged to have worked with Marty.
Louis Freizer. I am impressed and pleased by the numbers of people who remembered the late Marty Duskin on these pages. To the insider or even the outsider of our business, Marty hardly was a significant figure. Marty did not appear on Facebook regularly; Marty was not awarded one of those CBS Foundation News Fellowships; Marty never won one of those brass statues of "journalistic" appreciation that so many of us treasure. Marty never was asked to teach at a university as a few of us were. Marty was the trusted afternoon drive producer but for fiscal reasons Marty never was promoted from "news writer" to news producer. While others may be considered to be the "blood" of the newsroom, the "energy", the "heart" of the newsroom, the "brains" of newsroom, Marty was, most important, the veins of the newsroom. Everything that went in or went out passed through Marty. And so tonight members of my generation and others remember Marty Duskin with respect for his dedication, his smile and, of course, for his slippers.
Annette Colston Saviet. Rest in peace.
Ray Hoffman. What a sweet man. And a really good newsman.
Palmer Payne. When Marty Duskin was on the producer's desk, we could be assured that, come what may, bombshell or boring day, all would proceed smoothly, calmly and professionally. Sorry to learn that his latter years were strained by health problems, but he a great guy with which to work.
Robert Vaughn. Sad to learn of the passing of Marty Duskin. At the risk of sounding trite, I have to say Marty was just one, wonderful human being. Easy going, friendly, thoughtful....and just plain nice!
Mel Granick.When the Pope (was it John Paul?) visited New York, NewsRadio88, of course, did to wall-to-wall live coverage, including his departure for his next stop, Philadelphia. A few minutes after we returned to our regular format, Mr. Paley's office called the newsroom... and the desk assistant who took the call said to Marty, "Mr. Paley's office is on the phone; he wants to know if we'll be going back live with the Pope's arrival in Philadelphia." Without missing a beat, and in his usual low-key manner, Marty replied, "Tell him we'll do whatever he wants!"
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