Rudy Ruderman Passes

rudy for web
Rudy Ruderman

We learned this evening from Rudy Ruderman’s sons, Jim and Dan, that Rudy died sometime overnight at his home in Scarsdale.  He was 86. Cause of death not immediately determined.  Here, below, is the e-mail sent this evening by Jim and Dan to a few of Rudy’s long-time WNEW colleagues who worked alongside him during his years as producer, business reporter and News Director.

Dear friends of Rudy,

 We are deeply saddened to tell you that our father, Rudy, died unexpectedly this morning at his house in Scarsdale.

 We apologize for not knowing all your names – we harvested your addresses from one of the many and delightful joke and anecdote emails that he routinely forwarded to us — but we wanted you to know.

 We will arrange a memorial of some type soon, probably next weekend in Westchester, and will send those details when we have them.

 Meanwhile, we hope you will consider sending jokes, stories, anecdotes or remembrances in lieu of donations – he would appreciate that!

 Thank you for your long and loyal friendship.

Dan Ruderman      Jim Ruderman

Remembrances can be sent to this site.  All received will be forwarded to the Ruderman family.

Here’s a photo of Rudy sent in by Bill Diehl, who wrote: “One of my favorite photos of our dear Rudy taken a couple of years ago when a small group of us  went to the Yonkers racetrack casino to wish him a happy birthday. ”

rudy at yonkers 2

 

A note from long-time colleague Mike Eisgrau:  “We had a really fun day. I remember him from two pictures.  The one you (Bill Diehl) took  that day, and a shot of Rudy, me and Carolyn Tanton in the news room.  We were all young and concentrating on news  the old fashioned way.”

(Editor’s note: That’s Ray Rice in the background.)

ruderman-eisgrau-tanton for web

 

A comment from a Rudy Ruderman colleague, Bob Gibson. — Long before Rudy Giuliani came along as a prosecutor and mayor, New York. had another well-known Rudy…the veteran broadcaster with the last name of Ruderman.  Rudy’s two sons say their father died unexpectedly Saturday morning at his Scarsdale home. He was 86.  So far there is no reported cause of death. Rudy enjoyed a long career in New York and that included a better than 20-year run at WNEW Radio where he held a variety of positions including producer, reporter, financial editor and ultimately News Director. Rudy left the station in 1974 and later became a business reporter for NBC’s short-lived News and Information Service. He also did business news reporting for Dow Jones and in 1981 was named Broadcast Editor for Business Week Magazine, a position that had him doing business reports on New York’s 1010/WINS. Happily married for many years,

Rudy lost his wife, as I recall, in the late 1990s. Rudy and I had known one another for more than forty years and early on we had discussed the possibility of my joining his news staff at WNEW.

Unfortunately, Rudy was forced to leave the station before he could hire me, (which his successor Dick Stapleton did), but we remained friends for the rest of his life and he was responsible for my becoming the morning anchor & writer at the Wall Street Journal Radio Network for a couple of years in the early 80s.

 Rudy and I had our last email exchange about two weeks ago during which  he acknowledged the nice story about him on Edward Brown’s WNEW Tribute web site, that he was feeling well and that he was looking forward to celebrating his 87th birthday in May. I told him I’d be in the New York area in late May and we should try to get together. That is not to be, but no one can take away the wonderful memories I have of Rudy and his dedicated work ethic and great sense of humor!                                                                                      B.G.

——————

See : “Rudy, Rudy, Rudy,” and “I Love Rudy Ruderman,”  below, and Rudy Ruderman “Blue Chip Scribe” at http://wnew1130.com/news/staff/q-r-s-t/rudy-ruderman/

Rudy Ruderman, during his more than 20 years at WNEW, held quite a few different jobs, sometimes a few of them at the same time. NY Daily News Radio & TV writer Val Adams took note of this in an April 29, 1973 column, (below) prompting from WNEW GM George Duncan, a note to Rudy that years later would surface when R.R. rescued files from some cardboard boxes that had been sent adrift in a basement flood.

 

 Those fuzzy lines cut and pasted from Adams’ column read as follows: “Rudy Ruderman, already financial editor and drama critic for WNEW, received a new appointment as news director.  Maybe triple threat Rudy can give lessons  to poor George Duncan, whose only title at WNEW is general manager.”

 But, what did GM Duncan mean by “Goodbye”? Was Ruderman fired?  No, that would come later.  Rudy would be  fired about eleven months later on  April Fools’ Day, 1974.  His successor, Dick Stapleton, would be fired a year later on April Fools’ Day, 1975.  Now, back to the memo . . .as Rudy explains. 

 “I think all Duncan (left) meant was a cute response to Val Adams’ ‘triple threat Rudy’ line.  Not only did he not imply a threat to me by saying “goodbye,” but a year later, after (new GM Carl) Brazell told me to fire and not replace all the editors, I resigned in protest. Then George, who was Metromedia President by that time, called me to say “Don’t quit, Rudy! Wait a week, and we’ll fire you, so you can get severance pay and  qualify for unemployment insurance.” 

 George Duncan had been promoted to President of Metromedia Radio Division, after about two years as GM of WNEW-AM, following his immensely successful turn as GM of WNEW-FM between 1968 and 1971.  He was replaced as the AM GM by Carl Brazell, (right)  who was replaced as News Director by Ruderman, which gets us back to the memo one more time.  Rudy R. goes on to say he was out of work for four months, then . . .                                                                                                                   

 “. . .then, suddenly, my successor, Dick Stapleton, hired me to replace the vacationing Andy Fisher on the overnight newscaster shift Christmas week, then to do weekend mornings, and Bill Scott gave me weekend overnights  at WINS, and Bob Kimmel hired me as a producer at NBC Radio net.  From there, as you know, I moved over to NBC’s NIS (News and Information Service) as Business Correspondent when Bob Dallos left. Among my most satisfying memories there was working with you and Cameron Swayze. I also remember getting a heart attack on Ash Wednesday in ’77, a couple of months before the all-news network went kaput.”

 George Duncan photo by Claude Hall

Carl Brazell photo by Dan Barrett

2 thoughts on “Rudy Ruderman Passes”

  1. I thought I would share some thoughts about Rudy. This is part of an e-mail I sent to Dan Ruderman.

    I’ve always thought of Rudy as my broadcast news mentor. I remember the first time I heard him on the air, in a gas station in Bath, Pennsylvania. I’d been driving east, into WNEW’s signal territory, listening to the last few minutes of Gene Klavan’s show. And then at 10 AM came the ‘NEW news sounder, and a fellow who identified himself as “Rudy Ruderman reporting.” What I heard was so refreshing and so different. Not that the other newscasters weren’t good –they were very good– but there was an unusually relaxed, yet informed and highly literate quality to what he was saying. After hearing that five-minute report –and I did not leave the car until it was over– I had at least a sense of how to do it, how to report the news and not be afraid of being myself while doing so. That was 1974 or ’75, and nearly forty years later I can still picture myself sitting there. In fact, I’m sure I’d recognize that gas station.

    A decade later, he hired me as his assistant, his understudy at BusinessWeek. And in recent years, when he’d send me an occasional e-mail about something he enjoyed hearing me say on WCBS, I’d always respond with a “Well, you know where that came from, RR.” He was a loving husband, father and grandfather…a first-class broadcaster…and a beloved mentor.

    –Ray Hoffman

  2. I knew Rudy at BusinessWeek, where I worked for some years. He was a true gentleman and I’m saddened by his passing.

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