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News and Recollections 2009-2008
News and Recollections 2007
News and Recollections 2006
News and Recollections 2005

News, recollections, and comments from Newsradio88 staffers, ex-staffers, listeners, fans. To contribute please email: Don Swaim

- Joe Potente, Kenosha, WI, 12/23/07. Surfing around on You Tube, I found the following TV ad for WBBM Newsradio 78 in Chicago: I was surprised to hear the WCBS sounders in the commercial. Do you or anybody else recall if WBBM used the same sounder package on the radio during these years? I am a longtime Chicago radio listener and do not remember that.

- Bob Leeder 12/10/07. I was delighted to see the turnout that we had at the Dec. 8, 2007, CBS "Board Meeting" in Teaneck, and it gave me a lot of pleasure to see how much each and everyone seemed to be enjoying himself or herself. Many people were kind enough to come up to me to thank me for trying to continue these events which, they told me, they really enjoy. A number of people sent regrets. To read please click HERE...

- Robert Bertrand, technician, WCBS, 11/16/07. Hi Don -- Barry Siegfried turned me on to your site not long after I joined WCBS in 2005. I'm the latest addition to the long line of WCBS engineers, and every time I get a chance to look at your site I am just completely overwhelmed by the history of this station and everyone that brought it to where it is today. As I sit here at High Island eating my lunch, I look around me and recognize some of the objects in Rita's scrapbook that have found there way out here over the years. I'm happy to report that the towers are still standing and that *breaking news* they now appear to be protected by an attack cat who wards off the Canadian geese. I've named him Paley. **rob**

- Laury Weber, former Traffic Manager, WCBS, 10/27/07. I don't know how I didn't come across this website sooner but...I was the Traffic Manager of WCBS/AM from 1979-1981. I have many fond memories of the people I worked with and the experiences I had working there. My first exposure to the station was a temporary summer position working with Art Athens on his stop smoking campaign! (I even have the article written about him from the Sunday News) Name then was Reiff. Laury Weber


Rescued from a former CBS management team's pending destruction, more than 750 unedited Book Beat interviews and some 3,000 actual feature broadcasts have a second life at Ohio University's Wired for Books, cited by PC Magazine's "Best of the Internet" in its Nov. 20, 2007, issue. Over portions of three decades, Book Beat was broadcast seven days a week on WCBS and was syndicated nationally by the CBS Radio Stations News Service.

- Peter Cane, former newswriter, WCBS, CBS News, 10/27/07. Re: Rita Sands' Scrapbook: Those pictures are right in the middle of my era, so I really appreciated them. I think what you're doing is just great and your efforts are obviously appreciated by a lot of us alumni. Be well, Peter

- Wayne Cabot, WCBS anchor, 10/25/07. Re: Rita Sands' Scrapbook: Donnie -- I love it, Some really nice shots in there. But where are YOU? Wayne

- Les Bayer, former writer, WCBS, 10/25/07. Re: Rita Sands' Scrapbook: What a great job you did putting together this site. Even though I was only with newradio88 for a short time in 1970-71, the pictures brought back a lot of memories working with yourself, the late Bob Sandler, and some of the greats in radio news.

- Mary Ellen Porrazzo, former writer/producer, WCBS, 10/25/07. Re: Rita Sands' Scrapbook: Don, how much I enjoyed visiting your Appreciation Site this morn. Really very special. M'Ellen

- Bill Tynan, Manager of On-Air Promotion, WCBS, 10/25/07. Re: Rita Sands' Scrapbook: Don, fabulous photos...WOW! Thanks for alerting me to them and thanks for mentioning me re: the TV ads on the site. The website is just wonderful...a real treasure trove for fans and a great place to take a cyberwalk down memory lane. Thanks again! Bill

- Barry Siegfried, Technical Supervisor, WCBS Newsradio 880, 10/25/07. Re: Rita Sands' Scrapbook: Simply wonderful! What terrific images! Thank you for donating them, Rita, and thank you for posting them, Don. If you ever want to document who some of the photographers were, please let me know. I took at least a half dozen of those photographs, including the one of Rita that is on the first page of the slide show and which is also cropped on the home page. :) Thank you for the memories!

- Dan Hanley (former WCBS desk assistant), 10/25/07. Re: Rita Sands' Scrapbook: Hi Don...Thanks so much for putting together such a terrific site. Unbelievably beautiful, comprehensive and touching. My best regards, Dan

Rita Sands, August 2007

- Stephani Shelton, former anchor, CBS News, Radio, 10/24/07. Re: Rita Sands' Scrapbook: Really nice! Looked at them during the Series game commercials. Nice to watch my Red Sox ahead at Fenway (I'm from Boston) and look at one of my very best friends (Rita). Thanks! See you at the Dec. lunch I hope. Best, Stephani

- Todd Glickman, WCBS Meteorolgist, 10/24/07. Re: Rita Sands' Scrapbook: Don, simply OUTSTANDING!. Todd

- Ted David, Senior Anchor, CNBC Business Radio, 10/24/07. Re: Rita Sands' Scrapbook: Sensational pictures! Thanks so much tipping me off about them having been posted!

- Bob Gibson, Boynton Beach, FL, 10/24/07. Re: Rita Sands' Scrapbook: Absolutely dynamite! I loved them all...right down to the food conspicuously absent from Gary Maurer's tongue!!! Geez, between my tribute page, Rita's pics, and all the other memorabilia, you (my boy) have SOME online kit and caboodle! Congratulations, once again!

- Don Swaim 10/24/07. You may have seen this on the main page already, but long-time WCBS anchor Rita Sands has sent in dozens of candid newsroom photos of Newsradio88 staffers, both on and off the air -- many dating to the 1970s. Folks like Tom Franklin, Steve Porter, Dave Marash, Paul Ducrioset, Phil Cecchini, Peter Bekker, Mary Ellen Porrazzo. I put them together as a slide show. Go to: RITA'S SCRAPBOOK. Rita also sent some old Newsradio88 promotional material, which I'll post later.

- Dave Vieser (WHCU News/Talk, Ithaca, NY) 10/16/07. My father was a DJ at WGBB on Long Island in the late 1960's through the mid-1970's, and as a kid, my radio shifted from his station over to the NYC AM stations after he left broadcasting to work with the LIRR and MTA, especially when "Daddy" was live on WCBS "News 88" with the latest on a strike or snowstorm impacting the railroad. MORE...

- Robert Leeder (CBS Board Chairman) 10/8/07. Colleagues! The next luncheon meeting of "The CBS Board" will be Saturday, December 8th, 2007! MORE...

- Daniel R. Ruffini (listener) 9/23/07. I love your "Appreciation" website. It brings back many memories of the final days of the 'Golden Age' of radio. Do you recall who recorded the Music 'Til Dawn theme "That's All" for WCBS? It was the best instrumental (symphonic version) of that great Bob Haymes [younger brother of crooner Dick Haymes] tune I ever heard. Bob Hall had one of the greatest radio voices ever. It was if that arrangement of "That's All" was written for his baritone voice. Do you know if a recording of the WCBS version of the theme song is still available? There are thousands of us out here that would love to hear it again. Many thanks in advance. Sincerely yours, Daniel R. Ruffini, New York City [anyone know?]

- Rita Sands (former WCBS anchor) 9/22/07. Dear Don, your "Appreciation" website is a work of broadcasting art! Let alone organizing such a thing by yourself, but keeping it growing and adapting, with such care and pride in the place and its people, over so many years. Don, you have enriched the lives and memories of more people than you may realize; I among them. Thank you for the idea of it, for the life it has taken on and its beautiful and generous response to our wonderful 40th anniversary. I had hoped you would be there. Wish we could have met again. Thank you, my former colleague. Thank you for all the hard work that goes into this living tribute. I'm sure all of our former colleagues would join me in saying: the tribute belongs to you. With affection, Rita [aw shucks, ma'am]

- LIVE FROM NEWARK, IT'S THE COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM 9/18/07. CBS made it's first network radio broadcast eighty years ago on September 18, 1927, originating from WOR, Newark, New Jersey. Frederic D. Schwarz in writes that a 22-piece orchestra led by Howard Barlow performed a wide-ranging assorting of music on a network consisting of 16 stations.

- LORD OF SUNDAY MORNINGS 9/13/07. Super article by MaryEllen Fillo in The Hartford Courant about Newsradio88's own 74-year-old Charles Osgood, star of CBS News' Sunday Morning, who responds to her question about his sexy voice.

- PAT SUMMERALL TAKES TO THE INTERNET 9/11/07. The 77-year-old Summerall, athlete, former Newsradio88 Sports Director and one-time WCBS Radio morning anchor, now broadcasts on the VoiceAmerica website.

Summerall Glory Days

- Alan Statsky (former WCBS producer) 9/10/07. It was a pleasure to attend the 40th anniversary party at 880. As someone who spent 5 years working at the station, it was a truly historic moment to see some of the great people who worked and work at this radio station. There's much more than meets the eye when you meet the faces behind the voices. Here's looking forward to another 40 years. PS: Hello Don. I actually worked with you for a year back in the mid 80's, then returned to the station in 2000 and spent nearly five years there. A great place with great people.

- Dick Helton (Senior Political Correspondent, KNX, Los Angeles) 9/6/07. I was browsing through the WCBS 40th anniversary page and came across your website. Nicely done...took me back a few years with some of the pix, etc. I went on staff at WBBM in Chicago as an anchor in Feb of 1969, spent 29 years there and then came to KNX here in Los Angeles.Thankfully, there's been plenty to talk about over those years...

- Robert Hyland (Former Vice President, General Manager, WCBS) 9/6/07. Don, congratulations on your web site. So many great 88 memories and friends. WCBS was the best place I have worked in 40 years in this business. It is the only place where I still stay in contact with some incredible people. Again thanks for all your efforts. Bob

- Stephen Fleay (Indonesia, former CBS News stringer-Netherlands) 9/3/07. Just stumbled across your website whilst checking out a few former "colleagues" at particular Larry McCoy...belated thanks Larry for your wonderful support and encouragement during my times as a feelance (stringer) for CBS in the Netherlands from 1984 onwards. MORE...

- John Korolow (Manhattan, listener) 9/3/07. About 1971 or 72, my dad attended a convention in which CBS radio made available for small businesses a cassette tape called "The People Who Reach People". The tape consisted of a few minutes of vintage radio news events from the 1920s through the 1960s and then you heard the signature Newsradio 88 sound and the announcer said "and this is radio today" and he made a sales pitch for about 15 minutes of why one should advertise on Newsradio 88. MORE...

- Don Swaim 9/2/07. Per Bill Tynan's message below, I removed the 1980s Newsradio88 "when I can't read about it" spots from within the rather lame YouTube video, and now they can be watched in the clear. The WCBS commercials feature Yankees manager Lou Piniella and actress Sally Struthers. Announcer's voice is Jim Donnelly. Quality's so-so, like much of YouTube, but you'll get the idea. Runs thirty seconds. Click on image to play.

- Bill Tynan (Creative Services Director, WCBS) 8/30/07. Hi Don, one of our web people found this today on YouTube. It's a post there that has two of our TV spots from the 80's...that great "when I can't read all about it, I hear all about it" campaign. I'm hoping we can lift them and isolate the spots for our anniversary page. I figured you'd like to see them and hope perhaps you can lift them for your wonderful site. The spots are 1:07 into the file. ENJOY!! Go to 80s Commercials.

- Don Blair (former WCBS anchor-reporter, author of Splashdown: NASA and the Navy) 8/30/07. By the way....he said seeking blatant self-promotion....any room on that site for an early-70s 88 veteran with a published book in hand? Rita Sands looked just great in those recent photos. Went on to become, as I said to Bob Leeder, only the best anchorwoman I ever heard. MORE...

- TEEN DJ ROCKS RADIO STATION WINS 49 YEARS AGO 8/29/07. Nice article in the New York Daily News on how former WCBS anchor/reporter Mitch Lebe broke into radio in 1958.

- GOOD OLD WCBS NEWSRADIO 88 8/29/07. The very first anchor on Newsradio88 was Steve Porter in 1967. Steve writes about those early days in a column for the Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) Herald.

- Don Swaim 8/29/07. The current management of WCBS threw a Newsradio88 40th anniversary bash at the CBS Broadcast center on Tuesday, August 28, 2007. Business Reporter Ray Hoffman put his trusty digital camera to work and you can see the party photos here. Go to: WCBS Anniversary. WCBS has posted an official 40th anniversary site loaded with photos, audio, video, and a guest book. Go to Newsradio 88 Anniversary.

- Don Swaim 8/23/07. Just in time for Newsradio88's 40th anniversary: Two 1997 Let's Find Out broadcasts celebrating WCBS's 30th anniversary as an all-news station. Courtesy of Bill Tynan. With the voices of Rich Lamb, Charles Osgood, Lou Adler, Art Athens, Jim Donnelly, Harvey Hauptman, Rita Sands, Gary Maurer, Ben Farnsworth, Bill Fahan, Neil Busch. Go to: WCBS Audio Page

- Don Swaim 8/23/07. A new webpage has been set up in recognition of Bob Gibson's tenure as unofficial "Chairman" of the unofficial "CBS Board." The page includes a bio, early photos from Bob's career, and audio. Go to: GIBSON

NEWSRADIO 88's 40th
Old-timers and current staff members gathered throughout the day on August 28, 2007, at the WCBS radio studios at the CBS Broadcast Center to celebrate the station's 40th anniversary as Newsradio 88. Click HERE to see the pictures. WCBS has posted an official 40th anniversary site loaded with photos, audio, video, and a guest book. Go to Newsradio88 Anniversary.

- Matt Fleury, Hartford (former WCBS Albany stringer, anchor) 8/9/07. I made some terrible mistakes on WCBS. I was given the chance to fill-in on the anchor desk a few times, but I had never used a computer before (we were lucky to have Selectrics where I was working!) and it was such a mess getting the show prepared that I was just awful. MORE...

- BOB GIBSON CITED FOR HIS WORK AS CBS 'BOARD' CHAIRMAN 7/27/07. Incoming 'Chairman' Bob Leeder presented Gibson with framed page of tributes from past and current CBSers, a card, and a $500 cashiers check. Gibson, a former WCBS anchor, hosted the informal CBS 'Board' meetings since 1993 before announcing his retirement in June.

Leeder presents framed tributes to Gibson (left) -- click to enlarge

The tributes were presented to Gibson during a luncheon at Amarone Restaurant, Teaneck, NJ. Attendees included Bob Lape, Marty Duskin, Dave Atherton, and John Lancellotti.

- Larry McCoy (former News Director, CBS News, Radio) 7/17/07. I worked for CBS News, Radio in New York for nearly 20 years and the fools even made me a manager for a while. MORE...

- Don Swaim 7/13/07. The 30th anniversary of the Blackout of 1977 was noted on July 13, 2007. I was one of the many reporters covering the blackout for WCBS -- and two years after the event I recorded this anniversary recollection for Newsradio88: Swaim 1977 Blackout

- Todd Glickman (WCBS Meterologist) 7/13/07. When the "News is..." package was on-air, I would record all the versions I could. One day I sat down and pieced them all together, and with a Gillette razor blade and Scotch splicing tape, did my own mix! Best, Todd, Certified Broadcast Meteorolgist, WCBS Newsradio-880, New York City, NY. Glickman News Is...

- Davies Bassoon Reeds (long-time listener) 7/10/07. I just spent a couple of hours perusing your wonderful site. Well done, indeed! How about a "whatever became of ..." feature. I didn't even see a mention of my favorite curmudgeonly helicopter pilot, Lou Timolat on your site.

- J. Barry Bulat (long-time listener) 7/3/07. My father, who passed away this past February, would keep WCBS on the radio all day long as he tinkered in the garage, also looking forward to being kept informed by the most professional newscasters in the business. Not a day would go by without my hearing the familiar "jingle" at the top of the hour, that I so miss today. MORE...

- Mike Ludlum (former WCBS News Director) 7/1/07. I just listened to the Eric Siday [WCBS audio] package. It brings back lots of memories. He is the guy who designed a lot of great jingles including the Maxwell House percolator drip-drip. I was asst news director then and worked with Eric explaining our whole wcbs concept, took him all through the station and explained our mission. He then designed this wcbs package which was rather brilliant. [For more WCBS audio click here.]

- Bob Paine (Richland, WA) 6/25/07. Next memory is hearing the voice of CBS Radio's Alan Jackson saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States is dead", followed by the National Anthem. MORE...

- LONG-TIME CBS SOUND EFFECTS MAN DEAD 6/18/07. Ray Erlenborn, who was 92, joined the sound effects staff at WCBS sister station KNX, Los Angeles, in 1937. He handled sound effects for such shows as "Blondie," "Jack Benny," and "Amos 'n' Andy."

- Robert Vaughn (former WCBS anchor) 6/18/07. Who're.....all them old folks? [at the CBS "Board" meeting 6/16/07] Actually, none has changed a bit....I'd have recognized all of you had we passed in the night. Wish I could have been wit chooo. Too many of our bunch have passed this mortal nice to see the happy faces of those still among the quick. Best to you. Bob V.

- GIBSON RETIRING, LEEDER TO HEAD 'BOARD' MEETINGS -- 6/17/07. Former WCBS anchor Bob Gibson has announced his pending retirement to Florida after heading the informal invitation-only semi-annual CBS "Board" meetings since 1993. Replacing Gibson is long-time CBS Radio executive Bob Leeder. The next luncheon is planned for early December. Click headline above for full details. To see June luncheon pictures click HERE.


- Jack Raisner (former WCBS desk assistant) 6/14/07. The high point of my tenure came on Oct. 20, 1973. It was a drowsy weekend evening and I was the sole desk assistant on duty. The teletype machines started ringing and never let up. MORE...

- FORMER WCBS ANCHOR JIM HARRIOTT DEAD AT 71, 5/23/07. Jim, one-time WMCA, New York, deejay, was one of the original Newsradio 88 anchors in 1967. He died in Seattle from complications of a stroke on May 13, 2007. Jim also worked at TV stations in Seattle and Washington, D.C. He did both radio and TV for the Voice of America until 2004, and also voiced radio spots and podcasts for AARP. Jim's 1967 classic promo at the launch of Newsradio88 can be heard here. And here's a pre-Newsradio88 cut of Jim voicing a three-minute piece for ABC Radio's "Flair Reports" on the show's first anniversary in 1964 (courtesy Bob Gibson/Jeff Roteman). Go to Flair Reports.

Jim Harriott

- Todd Glickman (WCBS meterologist) 6/14/07. Great to see the photo on the Web site! [see photograph below] Here's the background on the picture. After two years of being on-air each weekend by phone, and never meeting Gary Maurer in person, I arranged... MORE...

- Jim B. Morris, Atlanta (former WCBS writer-producer) 5/23/07. I was at News 88 from late 1975 until I went to the network in early 1982. That year, CBS started a "young adult" network called RadioRadio (remember that name!??!) MORE...

Gary Maurer, Jim Morris, Todd Glickman, Allegra Branson, April 26, 1981
click to enlarge

- Dan Fante (former CBS part-timer) 5/1/07. Back in the 1970s, I attended Hunter College. I took an advanced newswriting course taught by CBS newswriter Max Goldstein and he felt I had enough potential to call the powers at be at CND and schedule a network newswriting test for me! MORE...

- Bob Gibson (former WCBS anchor) 4/23/07. Before you know it, the summer travel season will be here! So before any of you hit the road, here's hoping you can clear a few hours of one day for the Spring Board Meeting. MORE...

- JOE DEMBO (ex-WCBS VP, GM) TO TELL ALL. 4/8/07. Dembo, one of the originators of the all-news format at CBS -- and Newsradio 88's first chief -- will talk about Edward R. Murrow and the development of broadcast news on April 19 in Brooklyn, NY. Go, Joe.

- David Saviet (CBS Radio) 4/5/07. Have you seen this 2-minute animation? Sit thru a short commercial and enjoy. What We Call the News.

- Walter Hudsick (listener) 3/28/07. I just came from your WCBS appreciation website -- some great stuff in there. I was a kid in Brooklyn in 1967 and can remember News-88 well. I wonder if you had an image of a Superman-type character the station used in advertising, a guy opening his shirt like Cark Kent to reveal a costume underneath with an "88" on it instead of an "S." The subject came up from a different tangent recently, and I was hoping to find one somewhere. Anyway, thanks and good luck with the site! Walter Hudsick

- Gil Gross (Senior Correspondent ABC News Radio, former WCBS anchor) 3/19/07. Don... They [WCBS] tried to bring me back last year, but after spending a day there I became convinced it is now too trafficked and too commercialed to be what it needs to be to work. MORE...

Gil Gross

George Reading
- George Reading (former WCBS anchor, 1968-71) 3/8/07. I picked Steinbeck Country: Monterey, CA [to retire to] - a small cottage overlooking the Pacific. Gateway to the wild and rugged Big Sur coast. MORE...

- EX-WCBS STAFFER MEL KARMAZIN TO HEAD MERGED SIRIUS AND XM SATELLITE RADIO -- provided the deal gets FCC approval. Karmazin has come a long way since he joined WCBS Newsradio88 as a time salesman in 1967. Here's a profile in The Washington Post -- and an interview with The Hollywood Reporter

- Don Swaim, 2/14/07. I happened to be listening to the brilliant Kander and Ebbs score for Kiss of the Spider Woman, when I recalled a WCBS jingle,"More than Just the Headlines," which was so similar I'm sure was stolen from celebrated composers Kander and Ebbs by the Axcess Group of Dallas, a broadcast jingle mill. Decide for yourself: Kander & Ebb ripoff

- Julius May, Philadelphia, 2/8/07. I really loved WCAU-AM because it was Philadelphia's second or third option for many years for local news on radio. Today's 1210 AM WPHT [successor to WCAU] is not really good because the local talent on the station is not very good and will never come even close to the great success that WCAU-AM had in terms of talent on the talk shows, programming and the news team. They had a major radio news presence at the time in Philadelphia. They had a business talk show, a sports talk show and the regular talk shows. BTW, if you have any WCAU-AM programming air checks or jingles from 1960 to 1990, please e-mail me or send the audio to the webmaster of this site. Email:

A Few WCBS Staffers 1992
click to enlarge
Top L-R: Mike Ludlum, Rich Lamb, Art Athens, Rita Sands, Jim Donnelly
Bottom L-R: Rob Sunde, Lou Adler. (Photo courtesy Mike Ludlum)

- WNY WxMan (former WABC meterologist) 1/24/07 my late teenage years, I was an occasional weather watcher for Gordon Barnes and Bob Harris. This was back in 1969 through 1971. MORE...

- John D. Talbott, Marietta, Georgia 1/19/07. I used to commute to Manhattan by car in the late 1960's and listened practically exclusively to 880AM. I heard the Gramercy Park Clothes commercials so often that I committed most of them to memory. But memories fade and what I probably remember is parts of more than one, which I've written down "for the hell of it." MORE...

- FORMER WCBS REPORTER JACK CAVANAUGH PENS BOOK ABOUT GENE TUNNEY. Jack, who lives in Wilton, CT, was part of the first team of reporters to work for Newsradio88 in 1967. His book, Tunney: Boxing's Brainiest Champ and His Upset of the Great Jack Dempsey, was published by Random House. Here's a profile of Jack by Owen Canfield in the Hartford Courtant

- Kevin Canessa Jr, Editor, The Observer (NJ) 1/13/07. Dear Don, As a fellow journalist, and avid listener of Newsradio 88, I wanted to let you know how great your tribute site is. I had always wanted to work in radio, but continue in the world of newspaper. What a treasure it is to be able to listen to the older clips -- and jingles, etc. Thanks for giving us such a great site! I hope you are well -- and again, thank you.
Kevin Canessa Jr.
Kearny, N.J.
Editor of The Observer

News and Recollections 2008-2009
News and Recollections 2007
News and Recollections 2006
News and Recollections 2005