Harvey Hauptman (former WCBS anchor/reporter/writer) 8/21/05
Attached is a picture for the new website. It was taken before the station adopted the all-news format. The people pictured were the cast and characters of "Up To The Minute," broadcast Monday thru Friday from 4 to 6 PM. The format was similar to the all-news programming the station later adopted.
The picture was taken in the early 1960s -- '62 or '63 I would guess. CBS Radio did not operate out of the headquarters building on Madison Avenue. We were around the corner in our own building on East 52nd Street. Arthur Godfrey had a big audience-size studio on a mezzanine floor just above the ground floor lobby entrance. There were a couple of large two story studios on the 3rd floor, as I recall, which had originally been used for live dramatic and musical programs. WCBS-AM had studios on the 5th floor (that's where "Up To The Minute" originated). The newsroom, with its own on-air studio, was on the 7th floor.
Pictured, left to right: Jerry Melamed, the director. (Programs had directors, armed with stop watches in those days, who did little more than keep the log and point at the on-air person when the mike was opened by the tech.) Next is writer Jim Brooks, now known as Academy Award winning writer and director James L. Brooks, co-creator and writer of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spinoffs, "Taxi," among others and producer of many TV shows. That's me at the typewriter (notice I had hair). I was the producer and chief writer. Ken Banghart, the star, host and commander-in-chief is seated at the desk. Sis Aurelius, his personal assistant and the one who kept everyone of us in line, is standing next to Ken.
Ken Banghart used to do the 6 PM News in addition to "Up To The Minute." His news copy was written in the 7th floor newsroom and sent, a couple of pages at a time, by pneumatic tube to the 5th floor so he could look it over and edit it before broadcast. The last 15 minutes of "Up To The Minute" were pre-recorded so Ken could take a waiting elevator (there were elevator operators) up to the newsroom in time for the 6 PM newscast.
I'm still looking for more stuff in my old box of tricks and will send more later.