Andy Fisher seemed always beside himself. That is, there seemed to be two of him who were beside themselves, and that made four Andy’s beside themselves and thus he did multiply to populate many realms of reporting. He’s been all over the map, excelled at all assignments (except one) and carries with him an enviable reputation as a journalist. There’s more to the story, below.
Andy Fisher arrived at WNEW in 1962 as an 18-year-old Columbia sophomore, having begun his journalism career at the age of 11 with a summer column in a weekly newspaper in Massachusetts. He spent the rest of his college years as a copy boy in the newsroom, adding the duties of political researcher during the election year of 1964.
In 1981, he went to NBC News as a radio news anchor, serving as the radio network’s religion correspondent and anchoring NBC’s radio coverage of the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary and Seoul.
In 1989, he became the principal news writer of the Today show, transferring to CNBC as a financial journalist in 1999 and ending his career as writer of the popular stock blog on CNBC.com.
During his career, he taught and served as guest lecturer at Columbia, Rutgers, Seton Hall and New York Universities and at Ramapo and Barnard Colleges. He was a recipient of the gold medal of the International Radio Festival, New York, for his Olympic work; of the National Headliner Award for network reporting; of media awards from American Women in Radio and Television and the New York State Bar Association; and of a WEBBY award from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. In 2011 he was named Distinguished Alumnus of his alma mater, the Albany Academy.
His first wife, Sharon, a musician who died in 2006, worked at WNEW as a desk assistant in the summer of 1972. Andy lives with his wife Ann, a stepson, a dog and two cats in Denville, NJ.
(Now, about that one assignment that didn’t go well. In a recent e-mail, after attending a WIP anniversary event in Philadelphia, Andy wrote)
“I am one of the few people who worked at WNEW first and then moved to WIP. A desk assistant (copy boy) job in the awe-inspiring WNEW newsroom helped put me through college, and set me up for an on-air job at WIP when I graduated. “
“It is ironic that WIP is now so successful as a sports-talk station. I may have been — no, I know I was — am — the worst sports broadcaster WIP ever employed. During that first summer I worked at the station, the sports director was the great Philadelphia Eagles tight right end, and later general manager, Pete Retzlaff. One afternoon he called in sick, and the news director summoned me to do his afternoon sportscasts. “What can be so hard about sports?” I asked myself. “AP sends across a fresh sportscast every hour.” I knew that the top story had to be that afternoon’s Phillies home game. At 4:05, I went on the air saying something like, “After eight and a half innings out at Connie Mack Stadium, the Phillies are in front of the Cubs, 2 to 1.” An hour later, there was, of course, no score from the bottom of the ninth, and I dutifully went on the air saying something like, “Still no score from the bottom of the ninth, but after eight and a half, the Phils were leading, 2 to 1.” When I left the studio, every phone in the radio station was ringing. I think even the phones in the bank downstairs were ringing. The caller on the one I picked up said graciously, “YOU IDIOT! Don’t you know that if the home team is in front after eight and a half innings, THE GAME’S OVER??!!”
“I went on to be WNEW’s morning sportscaster in 1975 and 1976 (and on WNEW-FM through 1981), anchor morning sports on the NBC Radio Network in 1986 and 1987, cover the 1986 World Series for NBC Sports, and anchor NBC Radio’s coverage of the 1988 Olympics in Calgary and Seoul, so I did manage to learn a few things after that awful afternoon at WIP.”
“Those who also worked at both WNEW and WIP were me (far left), Dean Tyler (fifth from left), Dick Carr (seventh from left), Bill St. James (eighth), and Don Cannon (ninth). Here’s a link to the organization that sponsored the tribute luncheon on March 21, 2012 to celebrate WIP’s 90th anniversary.” http://www.broadcastpioneers.com/
(Here’s what Andy Fisher’s prep-school alma mater, the Albany Academy, has been running on its website for the past year: )
Says Andy, about winning in 2011 the Acadamy’s Distinquished Alumnus Award, “It’s the same award won by my fellow alumnus Andy Rooney, class of 1938, in 1976. It only took him 38 years; it took me 50.”