New York City Radio

A Book Notice from Bill Diehl

New York City Radio by Peter Kanse and Alec Cumming. Published by Arcadia. It’s a fun read from the early days of NYC radio right up to an Internet Radio Station in the East Village. Some photos we’ve seen before along with station promotion ads. But a few are new to me.

NYC radio cover for web

Broadcast historian Peter Kanze, who has worked at WHN and the ABC Radio Network, also produces WABC “Rewound.”  And with his background, there’s lots of WABC in the book.  Co-author, Alec Cumming, is billed as a pop historian and television writer/producer who has worked for NBC, USA, Syfy, the History Channel, Rhino Records and Nickelodeon.  Currently, he serves as a history consultant for NBC Universal.   In the back flap notes, Kanze, a lifelong collector of broadcast memorabilia, writes that he culled many of the images in this book from his personal collection and a good number I had never seen before.

News gets short shrift in the book, and I guess that’s understandable considering that it’s  geared more to ‘personalities’ who became so popular on New York City radio stations. However,  near the end of the book’s 126 pages, there’s a shot of three of what’s billed  New York’s “Legendary hardworking radio newscasters,” Rich Lamb, (WCBS) Stan Brooks (WINS) and Mitch Lebe (WBBR)   WNEW is represented with a few photos including, of course, William B. Williams, Martin Block,  station GM John Van Buren Sullivan (don’t you love that name) and station manager, Bernice Judis.

NYC radio judis and block

 NYC radio sullivan and WBW

From the early 60’s. Pete Myers is on hand in a car.  There are a good number of shots of WABC personalities, WMCA, WHN, WMGM, WINS and WOR.  There’s a chapter on the FM stations and their personalities, some of whom like Alison
Steele moved over from the AM side.  Some shots of WINS newsroom (on the eve of it’s transfer to all news–April 18, 1965) Also photo of Jim Donnelly and Lou Adler on the air at WCBS. There’s Imus, Howard Stern…of course.

NYC radio Pete Myers copy

I got through the book in less than half an hour…photos have some captions and a bit of background. The cover by the way is Long John Nebel broadcasting his all night WNBC talk show out of NBC’s ultra-modern Monitor studios, also known as Radio Central on the 5th fl. at 30 Rock. Nebel’s real name, which I did not know til I read the book, was John Zimmerman.

Anyway, quite a bit to chew over…definitely worth the price if you like to add a book like this to your collection.                                                                        B.D.