WALT WHEELER TRIBUTES
The former WCBS reporter died at the age of 77 on December 2, 2017
Gary Maurer: That's exactly how i remember him. damn! feels like another death in the family. My thoughts are with walt's family.
Steven Reed: Oh man! So sorry to hear! I remember Walt's ever present pipe,marveled at his long daily commute between New Haven, Ct. and the WCBS studios in Black Rock, and watched him lead the newsroom charge into the computer age. To this Day I cannot be convinced that Walt wasnÕt a closeted pitchman for Osborne computers. Rest In Peace Walt....
Roslyn Barreaux Brendzel: We've lost so many of our WCBS family lately. So sad. Yes, Gary, we are getting old and a new generation at 88 never heard of us. Walt and I worked betty closely on the Challenger explosion. I had all the NASA books and press kit and Walt was the on air reporter. I fed Walt all the official stuff and we put together the breaking news. RIP Walt.
Steven Baltin: I'm saddened to learn of Walt's death. During my years at NewsRadio88, Walt was an excellent reporter. Walt covered and reported on several stories every day, especially when he was in charge of the NJ Bureau. He always made sure everything he put on the air was accurate and had a distinctive, excellent delivery.
Gil Gross: I hate this. Walt got me to the North Pole when he took me along to Greenland to be trained for surviving on the ice if your C-130 skibird crashed.I still remember when we all spent the first night under a hastily built paratent just to cut the wind, so to speak, there was Walt sleeping outside on the ice in his sleeping bag as if he didn't have a care in the world. Even our trainers from Elmendorf were amazed.
After that we took that 130 and hopped up to the Pole, a weather station at 86 north and one of our radar stations to catch Russian missiles coming over the Pole. Because I went on that craziness, the NSF and the Air Guard Walt worked with took me to the South Pole too.All because Walt suggested I freeze my ass off when we were at Art Athens' retirement party at Gracie Mansion. He took me on some of the best adventures of my life and I will always be grateful for his friendship.
Tom Foty: Shocked to see this. Walt was at UPI Audio before WCBS .. mostly as a newscaster. Think he was among the original anchor staff when UPI started hourly casts in 1971.
Bill Schweizer: Walt Wheeler was a CT resident when I started at WCBS in 1979...and there were times we carpooled to work.....at 4AM. interesting commutes. RIP Walt.
Michael J. Schoen: So sad to hear. Back in the 70s, when he was covering New Jersey for WCBS and I was covering the state for WCAU in Philadelphia, then all news, we would check each day to be sure we weren't duplicating on stories relevant to both cities. So anything major or of statewide interest. That way one of us would get the PLNX fee which was then $15.
Our biggest assignment together was the opening of the Atlantic City casinos in 1977. It was actually one casino, Resorts International and we covered it day and night like a political convention. Ben Farnesworth was also there from WCBS and Lori Yapczensky from 'CAU. In those days, we even had producers. John Wheeling from New York and Karen Fox from Philadelphia.
We had access and the ability to record on the casino floor for 24 hours -- unprecedented!
Walt's live shots were amazingly good. I remember Ben doing a live shot as he ran a slot machine. It didn't pay off.
The best thing we had was a big RV on the boardwalk as a base to file etc. We could file nationally from it.
One day two young women from Philadelphia stopped by to see what was going on in this big vehicle, Mary Ann and Felicia. We spent some time explaining things and gave them business cards as they left. They vowed to call. Sure enough, Mary Ann called me.
Then I got a call from Wheeler. "Who's Felicia?"
Rest in peace my friend.
Peter King: I was lucky enough to have met Walt at the CBS "Board" luncheon a couple years back...one of the "voices" I grew up listening to as a young broadcaster and what a reporter he was!
Fred Fishkin: I met Walt while I was working as a reporter in NJ and he was one of my inspirations for wanting to work at 88. So sorry to hear this.
Barry Siegfried: I am so sorry to read that Walt has left us. When we worked (and to some degree discovered what computers could do) together at WCBS, we developed a bond that was very special. I visited with him and Linda several times, both in CT and after they moved to Rensselaer county in NY, during which time I remember wishing that they hadn't moved so far away.
As a reporter he always approached his stories in a completely professional and unbiased manner and I always marveled at his ability to make sense out of what often were breaking and confusing news events. To me, he was a wordsmith who had a remarkable ability to impart the essence of a story so that anyone would be able to understand it. I miss the very talented WW and I offer my sincerest condolences to Linda and his family.
Rita Sands: He was such a dear sweet person, so easy to work with
even if under the most time constrained circumstances. A competent newsman who had a soft side
for his friends, which seemed to be all of us in the newsroom. How I wish his later years were easier for him.