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Palmer Payne (former anchor WCBS) 7/8/05

Remember the Saturday morning the place filled with smoke? [early 1970s] FDNY arrived and ordered the place evacuated but three of us stayed; me on the air, a tech in the control room and the producer in the newsroom. Sorry, but I cannot remember who the others were. As the smoke thickened, I began ad-libbing to the audience that we might soon go off the air due to the situation and updated as the visibility lessened. Over the intercom, the producer advised that Ed Joyce [News Director, later President of CBS News] had called and instructed me to be less jovial on the air as I described the situation. Not much later, I was advised of a phone call from Sam Cooke Digges, President of the CBS Radio Division, congratulating me for carrying on under the circumstances and praise to all for doing a great job. I told the producer that if Joyce called again to refer him to Digges. Turned out there was a minor fire on another floor and the smoke was pumped in through the central ventilation system.

I live in Boothbay Harbor, about one third of the way up the Maine coast, a delightful former fishing village turned into tourist town in the summer. Been retired in Midcoast Maine since April, '04. Doing a lot of volunteer stuff: Chairman of the town's Port Committee (we are concerned with some 800 moorings, the Harbor Master, and waterfront activities; Chairman of Board of Directors of a 4 town Refuse Disposal District (the "dump") and American Legion Adjutant of my post I handle membership and also assist vets who wish to take part in the V.A.Healthcare system and those who want to file for benefits as well as trying to assist families of vets who pass on. Keeps me off the streets at night! Haven't set foot in NY since moving day. Don't miss broadcasting one bit although the memories of working with some of my colleagues are cherished.

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