Not affiliated with CBS or its current owners, and is independent, sometime critical, often impertinent.

Edward R. Murrow died for our sins

Col 1

online history and archive
of this legendary CBS radio flagship station

Lou Adler * Jim Donnelly
Anchors Lou Adler (left) Jim Donnelly (right) 1978. Photo courtesy Martin Hardee.
click to enlarge

from Richard Lorenzo, Chairman

It's time to think of autumn leaves AND our next CBS "board" luncheon! Kindly mark your calendars for Saturday, October 15, 2016. We are looking forward to seeing you at our usual spot. The particulars...
Date: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Time: 12 Noon (same as always)
Place: Amarone Ristorante
63 Cedar Lane
Teaneck, New Jersey 07666
Price: $30.00 includes tax and tip. (first price increase in seven years)
Richard Lorenzo: 908- 464- 2222
email: richardjlorenzo @
We are looking forward to a very enjoyable get together.Tim Scheld [WCBS News Director] will be visiting colleagues "who were there" during the five decades of newsradio as plans for the 50th anniversary of all-news on WCBS AM in 2017 continue to move along!

May 21, 2016 Luncheon Photos, Details here

WCBS News Director Tim Scheld addresses the Board on May 21, 2016


click to enlarge & read

Photos from all recent luncheons HERE

Long suppressed by sinister forces at CBS and its accomplices within the federal government, this tell-all chronicle is posted in full on the Internet for the first time as a pdf file. Previously available only in a limited-print edition, it may now be read by all, despite the threat of physical violence and legal action by CBS.



photo of Peter Bekker by Rita Sands

Rich Lamb [WCBS Reporter] asked me to let you know that our friend and colleague, Peter O. E. Bekker [WCBS writer-producer], died after a long battle with brain cancer. We will miss Peter's sharp wit -- remember his feature, "On Record?" -- and his refusal to suffer fools gladly. I'm told there will be a notice in the Times. He was 62. In recent years Peter had been the consulting director of the New York Press Club, putting us on the web, maintaining our site, and managing our very successful awards competition. Press Club president, Steve Scott, wrote an excellent tribute on the NYPC page. --Jane Tillman Irving

by Rich Lamb

Just after sunset on Lake Champlain, on an outdoor wooden deck in Vermont, surrounded by family and friends, Peter Otto Eric Bekker, Jr., aged 62, died peacefully at 8:50 PM on Friday, August 5, 2016, the culmination of a valiant three and a half year battle with brain cancer. Mr. Bekker was a central figure in the New York Press Club, where he held the title of Consulting Director. He was renowned for his innovations on the club's web site, including his digitalization of what had been a cumbersome method for the entry and judging of its journalism awards. Mr. Bekker's system worked to the great advantage of the Press Club, and was the object of imitation by other august organizations which honor journalistic achievements.

Mr. Bekker was an articulate defender of the first amendment, an author, a news writer and an editor whose sentences, both spoken and written, were justly famous for their clarity and ascerbic wit. Mr. Bekker wrote endless reams of newscopy for WCBS Newsradio 880 in New York City from 1975 to 1989. He also broadcast a feature of contemporary music criticism on WCBS titled Peter Bekker, On Record. He was the author of four books about music, on topics ranging from Gospel, to Jazz, to Country and the Baroque Period. Between his work as a writer and broadcaster at WCBS, and his tenure at the New York Press Club, he worked on an encyclopedia project at the Microsoft Corporation in Washington State.

Peter O. E. Bekker was predeceased by his parents and a younger brother Paul, and is survived by another younger brother Fred Bekker and sister­in-law Dawn. At the time of his death Mr. Bekker was a resident of Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Memorial Gathering for Peter O.E. Bekker

Friday, October 7. 2016
5:30 - 7:30 PM
The Century Association, Red Room
7 West 43rd Street
New York


An Appreciation

by Bob Gibson
Bill Fahan was the kind of man who never had a problem making himself heard. At least not in the nearly twenty years we knew one another at New York's WCBS NewsRadio88. As anchors at the all-news station we reported our share of tragic and happy stories and yet the former always seem to outweigh everything else. Bill, who was much loved and respected by his family away from home, sadly passed away early Thursday morning, June 23, at his Pearl River, New York, residence at 82.

Bill's daughter, Robin, told me that her dad had been in failing health for several months and really deteriorated last week. Without offering any specifics, Robin goes on to say that "we are thankful that this did not drag on and on and that her father is finally without pain and at peace."

More than one of my friends and Bill's former colleagues have accurately described him as a nice man and a talented man. He knew his craft and when and how to ask the pertinent and difficult questions in the midst of breaking stories when many of us didn't know what would happen next. Bill was also a fun-loving guy with a gift for gab who for quite some time attended our twice-a-year broadcasters' luncheons in New Jersey with his lovely wife, Joyce. Many of us had not seen him in a few years because as I was told by his wife, his arthritic knees made it very difficult to walk. I had paid the Fahans a visit now and then when I'd be in the metropolitan area and did so again last year when the above photo was snapped.

For those who are wondering and per Bill's wishes, there will be no funeral nor memorial service as he wanted his ashes scattered over some body of water. The water, incidentally, was a second passion because of his love for his boat which he kept docked not far from his Rockland County home. I never sailed with Bill but good friend Don Swaim, another WCBS alum, had, and reminded me that despite his affinity for getting out on the water, Bill could not swim. But as I understand it, he never shrank from the task to spend a nice day in a nice way with family and his friends on the Hudson.

As friendly and out-going as they come, Bill had a colorful 27-year career at WCBS following TV and radio assignments in middle America, including at KMSP Television, Channel 9 in Minneapolis, where he was the lead news anchor. Bill's was a smooth and rich, bass voice that commanded attention. A former colleague at CBS, Michael Kahn, many years ago in commenting for a New York Daily News story about his favorite radio station while growing up, listed a number of the then-anchors at WCBS in the 1970s and made it a point to say "That whenever the end of the world comes, he wants to hear it reported by Bill Fahan!" Indeed, he had that kind of authoritative voice.

Heartfelt condolences to Bill's beloved wife, Joyce, his daughter, Robin, son, Terry, and the other Fahans whom I've unintentionally overlooked!

forget the history...
the profit margin isn't big enough

"...and the signal is clear, strong...unsettling."
by Phil Rosenthal, Chicago Tribune. HERE


Part memoir, part history, this is the incredible
story of Newsradio 88's helicopter fleet and its pilots


Former WCBS anchor Rita Sands gives us dozens of candid, behind the scenes Newsradio88 snapshots from her own collection dating back to the 70s and 80s. They're presented here in slideshow form:

new page consolidates and adds to previous
entries on the history of WCBS


A collection of WCBS souvenirs, program schedules, artifacts, pictures, posters, old ads, memorabilia, hats, clothes, kitsch, and just plain junk.


Mitch Lebe, budding announcer
Joke! Joke!

Dedicated to Newsradio 88's younger,
musical sibling Go HERE


Renamed WPHT as a far right-wing talk station, it fails the Tiffany test, and is an embarrassment to the once-great CBS image.




Jerry Levin

Opera News Sep. 1985
click to read

click to access

Fidelio is Beethoven's only opera, the story of a faithful wife who rescues her husband from a political prison. "Fidelio is my story," said Jerry Levin, ex-WCBS, in 1985 shortly after his miraculous escape from Muslim extremist hostage-takers in Lebanon. Almost an opera story, Jerry's wife, Sis, crisscrossed the Mideast seeking her husband's release. The drama was made into a TV movie, Held Hostage, with Marlo Thomas as Sis and David Dukes as Jerry.

Jerry says he treasures an article about him in the September 1985 issue of Opera News titled "To Freedom," in which Jerry compares Sis to Beethoven's Leonore and himself to Florestan.

After graduating from Northwestern, Jerry joined WCBS as a producer in 1967, where his hyperkinetic newsroom style involved wielding a ruler like a riding crop.

Following stints in Birmingham and Houston, he went to CNN, where he became chief of the cable channel's Beirut Bureau, leading to his capture by Hezbollah gunmen.

In captivity and in isolation for eleven months, Jerry played opera games in his mind while experiencing a spiritual reawakening.

Sis Levin's book, Beirut Diary, describes Jerry's captivity and her efforts to gain his freedom.

Currently, Jerry lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where he and his wife are involved in educational efforts to achieve peace through non-violence. And Jerry has not lost his love for opera. (--DS)

Jerry's email:

In 1993, WCBS launched its worst promotion campaign ever, something to do with slapping down competitor 1010-WINS with a flyswatter. Lost on listeners and the public alike, it did nothing to stop Newsradio 88's abysmal slide to its lowest ratings level since going all-news. click image to watch


A WCBS staffer unearthed these short back-to-back TV commercials for Newsradio88 from the 1980s on YouTube. The first features Yankees manager Lou Piniella, the second actress Sally Struthers. Announcer's voice is Jim Donnelly. Runs thirty seconds. Click on image to play.



Election night, New York, 11/7/06
Rich Lamb, WCBS; Stan Brooks, WINS; Mitch Lebe, Bloomberg Radio (ex-WCBS)
Combined broadcasting experience: 130 years (rough estimate)

__________ __________


Famed author Norman Mailer appears on Ohio University's "Wired for Books," 1991, one of more than 700 unedited Don Swaim interviews with the greatest writers of the 70s, 80s 90s, and preserved by Ohio University, which organized and posted the archive on the Internet. In addition, all of the broadcast's actual two-minute features, some 3,000 of them, are available as mp3 files at Book Beat: The Podcast. The archive narrowly escaped extinction, but, thanks to Ohio University and Wired for Books, is reaching fans and scholars in a way the original broadcasts could not do. Cited by PC Magazine's "Best of the Internet" in November 2007.

click image to hear Mailer interview



Original Newsradio88 studios at 51 W. 52nd St.

Black Rock, 51. W. 52nd St.

A designated NYC landmark

  • CBS Radio at 80
  • WCBS Radio's EKKO
    Radio Verification Stamps
  • 1980s News88 TV Spot
    Quicktime Video
  • Rita Sands
    Photo Album One
  • Philly's WCAU: RIP
  • Pictorial “History”
    of WCBS
  • WCBS "Art" Gallery
  • Behind Every Great Building...
    The CBS Ediface

  • WCBS's Dave Atherton reads Poe

  • Memories of WCBS
    Personal Recollections


    Pre-1967 WCBS logo

  • site edited by Don Swaim

    Special thanks to John Landers, Bob Gibson for their contributions


    WCBS Appreciation Site   Book Beat: The Podcast   Wired for Books   Radio Days   Aspinwall HS Class of 55   Ambrose Bierce Site   Bucks County Writers Workshop   Errata   Steinbeck in Bucks Co   Pennsylvania Sunsets   Growing Up in WW 2   Don's Houses: Where I've Been   Fighting the Hun in WW I   Official Stuart Cummings Ripley Site   Swaim Name in History   The Swaim in America   The Swimsuit Issue

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