There’s Only One . . . WNEW

There was a time when most radio stations, no matter how big, were local and part of neighborhood life.  WNEW-AM, where the forms of modern radio were invented and made personal, existed within a community of broadcasters and listeners who shared in life’s events and now, share memories. This blog,  exists to collect as many as possible of the bits and pieces of that history. What do you remember? What part of the story can you tell?

134 thoughts on “There’s Only One . . . WNEW”

  1. 17 Mar 2007

    This remembrance of WNEW is from Michael Brockman, an old friend of Bill Diehl’s, who was his roommate at Ithaca College.

    “Michael who now heads his own production company in Los Angeles was previously an executive at CBS Television in L.A. Earlier he worked at both NBC and ABC. I love his memories of “The Big W,” which I have included below.”

    Bill Diehl
    WNEW–1967 to 1971

    ************************************************************************************************

    I don’t know how WNEW (AM) affected your life, but I know how it affected mine. As an only child in Brooklyn it became my surrogate brother. It was my time to dream …..enjoy the great music and DJ’s…..as well as provide me with elements that guided and formed my entire career. I look back with great reverence and respect for the sheer joy of listening to William B’s comments about the music, the artists, and about life. Then there was the music!! I still recall those special moments at various times particularly under stressful circumstances. Those memories provide with a feeling of calmness and joy and has the effect of relaxing me and allows me to weather whatever tough moment is in front of me. While the loss of the call letters is sad, the great sadness is that two great cities – New York and Los Angeles – do not have one over the air station that offers these great American standards. Even though we go through various periods of re-discovery of this music as we are currently going through with Michael Buble, Rod Stewart, Barry Manilow etc. I guess those of us who lived through this WNEW period can consider ourselves lucky to have experienced such class and talent. It gave us a level of performance to strive for in our own lives and careers. I know it enriched my life.

    Michael Brockman

  2. 17 Mar 2007

    I am 46 yrs old and a second generation WNEW-AM listener. I discovered WNEW through my parents during the 60’s, but realized I was listening to WNEW around 1971.

    What turned me onto WNEW was its music selection which was very much an MOR/AC station during the 70’s and their air personalities like Gene Klavan, William B. Williams and Ted Brown.

    The music and personalities on WNEW is the reason why I became interested in the radio part of broadcasting.

    When WNEW left the NY airwaves on December 11, 1992, it was like losing a close friend.

    WNEW-AM 1130 iwill always be the best radio station that was heard in the NY area.

    Kevin L. Sealy

  3. 18 Apr 2007

    43 years old and a die-hard WNEW fan. . . with a twist! let me explain I am not a New Yorker, and have never lived in the U.S. I heard WNEW for the first time while slowly searching the AM radio band for interesting english radio stations. It was shortly after I had moved to Quebec city, Canada. It was the early 80’s I didn’t speak a word of french and was hungry for any english radio stations I could get my hands on. I could only tune-in at night as AM radio waves carry better. I would spend many a night being lulled to sleep by the mellow tones wafting in and out of range. It was really a life-saver for me as it was a very real connection to some english culture, and my love for the Americain songbook as played by the DJs at WNEW only grew as time passed. So, did you make a difference? At least to this Kanuk you did! Thanks guys for some powerful memories and opening a door to a type of music that I woul otherwise probably never have grown to love.

    Dan Burgess

  4. 30 Apr 2007

    All you have to knwo about WNEW for most of us 60’s college (Wagner, Staten Island) is that you listened to WNEW to hear William B. and during the late afternoon, then it was WABC at night. But to hear Sinatra, Streisand or Brubeck was not only cool, to hear the WNEW jingles (which I have) were part of growing up! Gracefully!!

    There were some “sampled”-type jingles that sounded like Brubeck, Shearing and Getz if I remember right! Anyone know where they are available?

    Ed Macomber

  5. 9 May 2007

    I lived in NYC from 1965 to 1983 and was totally devoted to WNEW AM. I can still sing one of its more memorable jingles, and often do. William B was awesome, the class of the station was awesome and in some ways while mourning the passing of WNEW and WABC etc is the realization that quality radio and the culture of listening like that is now gone too.

    Christopher St John

  6. 19 May 2007

    I am so happy to read these comments from others who seem to share the same experience I had and feelings I have for this great station. I too, coincidently am a Canadian. I first started listening to WNEW-AM in the 80’s when I was about 13 or 14. I too happened upon it a by a late night search through the radio dial and came across this smooth welcoming voice inviting me to the ‘Make Believe Ballroom’. I would fall to sleep to the soothing Big Band sounds and soon after sought out the classics and artists I heard…first at my local library and then at my local record store. I’m sure the clerks thought it was odd to see this 13 year -old girl asking for and buying Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. WNEW began my love affair with Big Band music that l continues today, now at 38. I stopped hunting for the station after I stared buying my own records; however, just today I thought to myself, with all this technology and everything now on the Internet, I wonder if WNEW is streaming on the net these days. I must say I was dismayed.. no….that’s too tame a word… I truly was heart-broken that a piece of my childhood no longer exists. I can’t express how much I enjoyed those late night listens…where I would dream about my future and picture myself in a ballroom dancing to those great songs with the imagined man I would marry someday. I’m sure sad it’s gone but I’m glad that someone decided to erect a website in its honour. I take the liberty of quoting Dan above, ” Thanks guys for some powerful memories and opening a door to a type of music that I woul otherwise probably never have grown to love”

    Angela Johnson

  7. 11 Feb 2009

    Mike…

    The following thoughts are those of David Crane in an email to his friend of many years, reporter Mike Forrest. David has sold his television talent agency and lives with his wife Barbara on the West Coast.

    How fortunate you were to work at the station which made me love radio so much. When I was a WIP and KLAC (before it became talkradio), we patterened our format after WNEW and could only hope to find jocks like William B, Jazzbeaux, Klavan and Finch, Art Ford, et al. Jerry Graham’s great memos about the “vanishing grammarian” were both hilarious and instructive. For me, as a young Marine stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and later as a broadcasting student at NYU, WNEW was the ONLY radio station that got it right. Maybe the only exception was Jean Shepherd’s late night rambles on WOR. Listening to the Nat Cole jingle almost made me bawl. So right, so tuneful, so tasteful. That defines the late WNEW-AM!

    By the way, my first Metromedia news director, Paul Rust at WIP, just died at this home in Florida. He was 87 and a great radio newsman. When I moved to Florida in ’92, Paul and I often played golf together and shared a few “see-through’s”, his description of a very dry gin martini. He is survived bv his only son, Lawrence (a Philadelphian to this day) and his wife, Gail.

    Best,
    David

  8. 21 Feb 2009

    I realized a young broadcaster’s dream in 1975 when I was hired as Program Director of WNEW. Working with Gene, Willie, Ted and all of the other wonderfully talented guys was amazing. It seems impossible to believe that those legendary voices are silenced forever.

    I will come back again to write more about my experiences and great love for WNEW. I have many fond memories of my time there.

    Bob Bruno

  9. 1 Mar 2009

    Delighted to find this site! As many others, I was a second generation listener. The on-air personalities were a part of our family. When WNEW celebrated it’s 50th anniversary, they sold a book with the history of the station. I’ve lost the book and wonder if anyone can tell me where to get another (tried Ebay, no luck).

    Thanks-
    Diane

  10. 11 Mar 2009

    Oh how I miss to this very day… 1130 on the dial and what it meant back then in general to radio listeners who caught WNEW AM as far away as the British Isles and up into the Scandanavian Countries to here at home as far west as Chicago and south to Atlanta.

    Personally WNEW was a family member from wake up time until late night time before the intrusion of TV. I started with Lascoulie & Rayburn to Rayburn & Finch to Klavan & Finch. K & F were the best! Not since then have I enjoyed mornings as much or laughed as often. The slamming doors! What a team they were and how great Gene always was. The names are a golden repository in my mind… Willie B…. Bob Landers… Art Ford… Jim Lowe… Ted Brown… Bob Jones… Joe Givens… Jerry Marshall… of course Martin Block… Jazzbo Collins… Wally King… John Dale… Wally Parker… Chip Cipola… Mike Rich… Jim Gash… Freddie Robbins… Bob Haymes… I could go on and on.

    Willie was a dear friend…met a run of big time entertainers through him including the Chrmn of the Board. I lucked out and worked among them as a news guy. Gene used to call me “Wiley Post.” Years later we became personal friends and I still treasure the lunches we had on the East Side… to be in his company… his wit…his style…his class!

    When I moved on to EWN in NYC and later to ABC TV News, a radio was always nearby so I could stay in touch with one of the “friends” of my life. The only time I was chased away was during that R&R period and when the music did return, Willie B. observed to me, “It’s great to be able to do the show from the studio again.”

    I teared up the day 1130AM, went silent. Who wouldn’t losing a lifetime friend and perhaps also because the character who bid us goodbye was Mark Simone and I couple him with the assassin… Michael “K” for helping to bring down the greatest independent radio station in history… The Queen of Independent Radio in America as WNEW was crowned. Mike “K” because he was clueless and Simone because he was a pebble of a figure in a landscape once occupied by GIANTS! Of course it was too the changes in our culture… but lesser stations of note still prevail and provide the music. Kakianis once held up a picture of old and feeble people and said to his sales staff, “that’s our audience.” Certainly not the way to invigorate a sales staff! He thought it was funny.

    How great if Bloomberg Radio was to return 1130AM to the WNEW music format of the past just on weekends. Wouldn’t that be a delight? A treasure?

    I recall the words of a listener who once observed, “If life was a song WNEW would be the music.”

    AMEN to that!

    Art Browne
    Marketing Specialist
    Cancer Treatment Centers of America
    1331 East Wyoming Avenue
    Philadelphia 19124
    215-537-7672

  11. 11 Mar 2009

    Man, I grew up listening to the “Milk Man’s Matinee” and Glaven & Finch as I plyed the streets of NYC at night. The greatest!

    You should have a recording of all the special break songs by the artists that did them.

    JJSeaton

  12. 12 Mar 2009

    Happy to hear that all of you guys are alive and well.

    “There’s only one…”

    But of course you know that already. The news department of WNEW was the very best…although Dave Crane and the late Paul Rust of WIP made me very proud.

    Best to you all,

    Dick Carr
    WIP and WNEW

  13. 14 Mar 2009

    Dear Diane – my friend Ted Brown – sent me that treasured book you’re looking for.
    It was published by Nightingale Gordon, New York.
    Don’t know if they still exist.
    As a WNEW alum I can sure try to find if (1) of us from that olden Era still has an extra copy.

    Art Browne

  14. 16 Mar 2009

    Great site and a wonderful opportunity to sharpen memories of the newsroom and all those terrific guys I enjoyed working with and learning from way back in the Sixties. If you’re interested, I happen to have the WNEW Style Book (with larger than life Alan Walden on the cover) as well as a newsletter written by Jack Pluntze.

    Jerry Schreck
    1965-67

  15. 17 Mar 2009

    Well, well, well. It looks like Marlene Sanders and I are still the only females in this news body. But no matter, it’s still a great body to be in.

    I felt I had died and gone to heaven when after an apprenticeship with WNEW in 1962, I was offered my first job in broadcasting. Lee Hanna was the News Director then. It went something like this: “What are you going to do when you graduate, kid”? “I don’t know,” said I….”I’ll either look for a job or go to graduate school.” “Look,” he said, “come here and work for me in the newsroom…..I’ll teach you everything you’ll ever need to know about broadcasting in six months.” I said, “Gee !!” hurried home to my folks who asked me about salary and benefits….to which I replied “who cares??????”

    It was all up from there on. I was assigned as Marlene Sanders’ assistant…..and I was probably the first “gopher” in the business (Yes, I’m that ancient). I got the coffee, I changed the typewriter ribbons, I typed the transcripts…..but then…..on then…..I was allowed to watch and learn.

    Little by little I began to edit tape. Marlene would give me a book to read and ask me to make up questions for the author. Lee Hanna would have me read news scripts and pick up errors (my first editing job???). And all around me were the wonderful sounds of a living, throbbing newsroom. And what sounds….the dulcet tones of all the guys…..Reid Collins, Jim Van Sickle, Mike Rich, Edward Brown, Alan Walden, George Engel, Ray Rice, Jim Donnelly….the list goes on and on. But the thing is nobody….and I mean nobody except we the few really knows what it was like. The jokes, the black humor of course but the great, great writing.

    Let my memory just free fall for a moment. We …a local radio news operation….sent somebody to cover the election of the Pope! We covered the trial of Nazi war criminal Eichmann in Israel. If it happened, we were there. Jim Gash never stopped….neither did Chris Glenn or Mike Eisgrau. Editors ?? You want the best and the brightest….I submit to you: Jack Pluntze, Al Wasser, Mike Stein, Jerry Graham .I was there and it was something to behold…..every day, every minute. We hummed, baby…..we soared…..and we were a mighty troupe taking pleasure in each one of our individual successes. On any subject at any time we knew who to get and where to get them and all you needed to say was “this is WNEW News calling……” and nobody back then refused to talk.

    That was the news side. As for talent ? I still have a gold bee from Tiffany’s that Ted Brown gave me because he called me his “busy little bee”….because he could hear my heels clacking ( yeah, it was still heels and skirts back then) as I rushed to the booth to bring late copy to a newsman. Willy B….Klaven and Finch….teasing and flirting with the new “chickie”. It was, in many respects, overwhelming at times. Buddy Hackett just “dropping in”; Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks cutting promos for the 2000 year old man in our booth; and who can forget the anniversary party when we filled Madison Square Garden….a local radio station !!!!! Guest stars: Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Steve and Eydie to name just a few. Look it up you who weren’t there!

    In the end, you know what it was: we loved the job, we loved and respected the station and ourselves and our audience…..and the audience gave it all back to us. That’s a terrific feeling and it’s still there in my heart today.

    Carolyn Tanton Giatras

  16. 24 Mar 2009

    WNEW was the greatest radio station ever. It was a constant in my life for 40 years as were all the wonderful personalities. Willie-B, Gene Klavan and Dee Finch, Ted Williams and the Redhead, and all the other radio greats. No station can hold a candle to this station and its hosts! The Radio we grew up with is truly a lost art – as is the music of those times — nothing today can compare.

    Carol

  17. 3 Apr 2009

    HI,

    I spent a lot of time up at the WNEW studios as a kid and here are some pictures I took back then… Let me know if you would like more for the web site I have them…

    Great web site … Thanks

    Frank Principe

    +++++
    Editor’s note: Submitted pix will be made available in another section fo the blog.

  18. 6 Apr 2009

    I am trying to determine if there is an archives for the old WNEW am from 1938.

    I am doing research and I cannot find a listing in the NY Times radio log for WNEW for that day.

    I would like to know what the WNEW programming consisted of for Sunday 5-29-1938 between 8 am and 3 pm.

    There was a 5.5 hour concert broadcast from Randall’s Island in NY called the “Carnival of Swing” hosted by WNEW personality, Martin Block. I am trying to determine how much of the concert was actually broadcast.

    The only information that the NY Times supplies is in a ‘highlights’ box indicating a 90 minute broadcast from 11 am until 12.30 pm. But that is not conclusive enough for my research requirements.

    http://www.jjonz.us/RadioLogs/pagesnfiles/logs_files/1930s/1938/38_05May/%5Bn%5D38-05-29-(Sun).pdf

    I would very much appreciate you help on this search for information on this historic event.

    Thank you very much.
    John Cooper

  19. 7 Apr 2009

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Malcolm C.` Dankner..I do a’wnew type show’ on Wpkn,89.5 fm out of Conn. and L.I.,NY….You can hear me on the web,at wpkn.org…,.

    I would like to hear from one and all[listeners and staff] , with the intent of doing an onair special ……..recorded material as well would be welcomed…….you can reach me at 631 8381553 or 631 287 1663,as well as ,shrinkmcd@optonline.net…….my program is heard live on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month,from 10am -2pm

    My listening relationship with
    1130am ,at least as far as I remember,extends to WILLIE B’S noon show with the live music oF Roy Ross ,and his ‘Bar Mitvah Boys’…. Am I giving my age away??.

    Sincerely,
    Malcolm C.Dankner

  20. 9 Apr 2009

    Someone suggested WBBR play a WNEW format on the weekends. Better than that, how about playing actual broadcasts by Willie B., Ted Brown, Klavan and Finch, etc. plus the station jingles? There must be gobs of old broadcast tapes in someone’s garage.

    Even if WBBR devoted only Sundays To these re-broadcasts it could be a real money-maker for them with a ready-made audience.

    Lennart Johnson

  21. 23 Apr 2009

    Discharged from the Army in June of 1954 and living on Long Island, I remember listening to Willy B on the radio at night from 9:00 PM to 10 or 11 PM. He would open his show with”Good evening world, this is William B. Williams” and then his theme song “You Are The One” by Henri Rene would play…..memories.

    Truly he was the best disk jockey NY or the US has ever known and a loyal supporter of The Chairman Of The Board when others wouldn’t play his music. And of course probably best known for the Make Believe Ballroom.

    I tracked down “You Are The One”, not an easy task, even in the Google age and found a place that had it on 45, bought it and burned it to a Cd. Now when nostalgia takes over, I play it imagining the great Willy B. introducing his show.

    He is sorely missed.

    Sincerely
    Jim Landmann

  22. 25 Apr 2009

    One of my best friends growing up on Long Island in the 60’s was a kid by the name of Greg Finch. Yep, son of Dee. I spent a lot of time in their house and it seems whenever I was there Mr. Finch was engaging in his favorite hobby – Ham Radio. Broadcasting to the New York metropolitan area in the morning; to the world in the afternoon. Couldn’t get enough of it I guess.

    R.C. Gisler

  23. 25 Apr 2009

    I grew up listening to WNEW. It was simply the most stylish radio station ever, always classy. It made you feel New York was the greatest place in the world.

    Marenghi3

  24. 27 Apr 2009

    Ahhh…How glad I am to have found this site! WNEW was the springboard for my love of music…specifically, Jazz. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I never bought into that newfangled stuff called rock and roll. It just didn’t strike the cord that the MOR and big band stuff did. In bed at night, I would listen to Jean Shepard spin his tales on WOR. When he was through I’d switch right back to ‘NEW. When I was around 13 or so, I awoke around 2:30AM one night…only to hear ‘Ella and Duke at the Cote du Jour.’ My music heart was set at that moment. Like so many that have responded here, I shed a tear when NEW hit the deck. Alas, my track record is not too good….my love of jazz brought me to WLIB and then…you guessed it WRVR…and we all know how that turned out!

    Keep up the great work at this site…there are a bunch of us that still have the fondest of memories – of Ted Brown getting thwacked on air…!

    Phil Audino

  25. 5 June 2009

    I was a big fan of WNEW and listened regularly at night as that was the only time it would come in here in New Hampshire but boy would it come in clear as a bell. I was one of the listeners that didn’t fit the supposed demographic for this station as I was in my teens in the late 70’s through the 80’s. As a kid I had never been to NYC except one time on the way home from a class trip to Washington when I was 13 for a couple hours to ride the ferry past the Statue of Liberty and back. To me WNEW was New York high society embodied in a radio station. It was Broadway, limousines, jazz, top hats and tails. Well I was a kid and most of what i knew about New York came from old movies. Above all else WNEW was class. I used to listen when I went to bed most nights and loved the Milkman’s Matinee. To this day that theme song by Les Brown and the Modernairs still gets stuck in my head playing over and over and I haven’t heard it in 17 years now.

    The final day of WNEW I had to go to work very early and was able to listen that morning as it was still just dawn and the station was still coming in. I heard the announcer talk about how they were going to be playing a lot of the old jingles throughout the day as well as lots of looking back and talking to past announcers etc. I really didn’t know what it was all about as I had not heard anything of the station being sold. I thought maybe it was an anniversary or something. I was kinda bummed that I had to go to work and couldn’t stay in the car and enjoy as much as I could until the sun would rise and the station would fade away. I really wanted to hear some of the old jingles, especially the ones that were made by real stars not packaged ones from a jingle company. I mean how many radio stations in the US had jingles sung by Nat King Cole!! The last thing that crossed my mind was that it could be the last day of WNEW ever. If I had known that I might have been tempted to blow off work that day and start driving south so I could continue to listen. It was either that night or the next night I tuned in and heard the station simulcasting another station, country music i think it was. My first reaction was what the heck are they doing but then I slowly put 2 and 2 together and realized that maybe I had overheard the swan song that morning on the way to work. I kept checking almost every night for the next couple weeks to see if by some chance WNEW would be back but I was always disappointed. Now when I’m driving at night and I start scaning the AM dial to see what I can find and the radio hits 1130, it still comes in clear as a bell but i’m still disappointed and saddened.

    I got my first computer in the late 90’s and have tried many times to find jingles or airchecks from WNEW but have only found two things, both of which aren’t on this website. So I’m glad to offer first Stan Getz playing the WNEW Theme Song and second is a jingle that says it’s from the 60’s but I have no way of knowing if that correct or not. I hope they are enjoyed by everyone who misses this historic station.

    Charles Dean
    Rochester, NH

  26. 9 June 2009

    From my first day as a freshman at Wagner College on Staten Island to my departure from Brooklyn to join forces with my brothers in the 1st marine Air Wing, WNEW was on my radio almost 50% of the time. You can guess the other 50%, but I just wanted to say that my friend Jeff introduced me to the station and I cannot believe how this site has made me feel a kindred spirit I never imagined might exist.

    William B and K&F among others made me feel so good. I’d come back from a tough German class or math, and there’d be Bennett or Streisand on and then that penultimate WNEW jingle and all was well. Sadly, most of the jingles I remember seem to be absent. Eleven Three Oh in New York lives on in such a great site and fans, that I feel blessed I found this site. Thank you.

    Ed Macomber
    New Bern, NC

  27. 10 June 2009

    I’m delighted to have stumbled upon this website. I was introduced to William B. and the Make Believe Ballroom as a lad in the late 1950’s and eventually listened exclusively to WNEW. I got married in 1971 and it was the “default” station for me and my wife. We were fans of Ted Brown, Gene Klavan (went to see him broadcast one morning at the Bowery Bank building across from Grand Central), Jim Lowe, Jonathan Schwartz and of course Willie B. We remember the period after William B. died that Steve Allen hosted the program from L. A. and N. Y. He would broadcast one afternoon every couple of weeks from a midtown restaurant, Charley O’s. We attended one of those broadcasts and I got to do an impersonation of his pianist Tony Monte on the air and chat with Steve briefly. Another great talent who will never be replaced. Now we listen mostly to channel 73 on XM satellite radio, and they do have Jonathan Schwartz, but it’s not the same.

    T. Furth

  28. 16 June 2009

    Carolyn…please write the book. Thank you. Walter

    Walter Sabo
    Hitviews

    (See submission by Carolyn Tanton Giatras, dated 17 March, 2009)

  29. 17 June 2009

    I spent many an hour listening to WNEW. My mother loved the station, knew every song and could sing as if she were, Anita o’Day, Dakota Staton, Carmen Macrae, Eydie Gorme, Ella, Shirley Bassey, you name the singer, she knew the song. We kids didn’t have a choice of what to listen to when she was home. If you changed the dial while she was out, it really had better be back to 1130 when she got home. Reading all the blogs made me remember names I knew as well as my own siblings. I had forgotten how much I liked the station and then I listened to the jingles. Guess who knew almost all of the words?? The link has been forwarded, long live the memory of W N E W, 1130 in New York!!!!

    T Nyfield

  30. 17 June 2009

    William B. was the first to play my album “Born To Bo Blue” a lot of years ago. I’ll never forget the thrill of hearing myself on WNEW! Well, I’m still at it! All of you who long to hear AND SING the great songs you can! Come to this. The melody lingers on!

    Anne Phillips

    SING! SING! SING!
    The Great American Songbook Sing-a-Long
    Singer/pianist Anne Phillips and Singbook devotee Michael Shepley
    Tuesday, June 30, 2009
    7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

    The first SING! SING! SING! was a few weeks ago at Café Loup. What a smash! People sang their hearts out! They laughed at the anecdotes about the songwriters (Michael Shepley, is full of them,) sang extra lyrics (sometimes Cole Porter and Larry Hart just couldn’t stop!) Some young Broadway singers were there and were swept up into it! They’d never heard these songs before! Imagine! “Bewitched,” “Anything Goes,” “As Time Goes By.” Somebody said it was like going to “song church!” Now SING! SING! SING! has a home at the TRIAD 158 W. 72nd. Future dates are Tuesday, July 28th and Wednesday, August 26th.

    Cover $10 Min. $10 Subway 1,2,3,B,C Bus M72
    Res: Triadnyc.com

  31. 20 July 2009

    The note from David Crane about WIP News Director Paul Rust really brought make some memories for me. Paul happened to be my first News Director when I became a Desk Assistant in the WIP newsroom when I was 17. So just learning of his passing after googling him put a small dent in my heart. It was my first real radio job working at the Wellington in center city Philly. Did that gig for a couple of years and always recall getting phone calls at 4AM from the deep, voiced Gordon Thomas (no relation) to do the snow closings. It was a great time at WIP and lots of respect will always go to Paul Rust who did a great job at running that news department.

    I know this is about ‘NEW but WIP was a monster radio station in Philly back in the 70’s when I worked there. And I just wanted to share my thoughts about the guy that got me to where I am today.

    Rick Thomas
    MediaRich Marketing
    3540 Wilshire Boulevard/Suite 824
    Los Angeles, CA 90010

  32. 5 August 2009

    I was restoring a small mirror and on the back was two pieces of WNEW posters.. they are not in perfect condition, but are so interesting….
    it is a picture of a man holding a microphone and a 78 record…… ..
    looks to be standing in front of a milk bottle. and it says “popular man in town!”. I looked up information on your website, but could not identify the person.. thought it may be Ted Brown, but he does not have
    glasses this looks to be from the 50’s…

    would love to send these to you for your archives….there are two of these poster pieces.. and they are identical…

    mary anne spann

  33. Does anyone have a clean copy of the news bleeper that can be posted in the “jingles” section? It was such a classic and distinctive sound!

  34. Mary Ann Spann – Not seeing the photo of the gent with the milk bottle…my guess is that it is either Stan Shaw…the original host of the Milkman’s Matinee or Art Ford.
    Art Browne (NEW Alum)

  35. FYI — The milkman depicted on the “Milkman’s Matinee” poster, sent to us by Mary Anne Spann, is Jack Lazare. Comparison with a photo of Jack (not yet uploaded) suggests the poster was produced not long after he took over the show in 1952. It will appear soon on the site.

  36. I just discovered this site and I was wondering if anyone has information on Bob Jones who did the Milkman’s Matinee as well as other dayparts on WNEW ?

  37. All I can say is WOW! This site is long overdue. WNEW played a huge part in my life, beginning when I was a teen in the sixties (how’s that for demographic displacement!) I have number of questions and would love to talk with the admin folks of this great site, particularly about whether or not the jingles remain in copyright. I have over 80 versions of WNEW jingles going back to the late 50’s. Also, I have some information regarding the WNEW music library which transferred to WQEW. Please….someone contact me. Thanks!

  38. I listened to WNEW for years. I was introduced to the station by my grandfather. We would listen to it together. I remember when the station celebrated it’s 50th anniversary on the air. They had many remote broadcasts during the celebrations. My favorites were William B. Williams and Jim Lowe. The Makebelieve Ballroom was something I looked foreward to every day.

  39. A breath of fresh air in a stagnant environment ! First, you are to be congratulated on putting together a website that is fitting for WNEW Radio, or as it was known when I was about ten years old, “The Big W”.

    Certainly, the class and style of WNEW made a lot of us who work in radio want to do it and while many of us aspired to be there, it is probably a good thing we never got there. Who could match William B. Williams or Jim Lowe or Ted Brown ? Who among us could read the news like Edward Brown or Bill Diehl ?

    In fact, when I began working in radio more than 30 years ago, Bob Jones was doing the Milkman’s Matinee on weekend nights and started by playing the theme by Les Brown. I would high tail it out of Sag Harbor so I could be near Manorville (on Long Island) by midnight so I could hear the opening notes of that great theme !

    For 17 years, the airwaves of New York have been diminished. It is an open sore that aches to be healed.

  40. When the cultural history of New York City is written, WNEW will be its soundtrack. From its inventive, structured and textured call letter self-advertisements–“…11-3-0 in New York…” to its disc jockeys who knew the music they played–Willie B., Julius La Rosa and later Jonathan Schwartz, WNEW recognized and promoted the best of a non-rock pop that most exemplifies New York City as much as Sinatra singing “New York, New York.”

    As a child born in 1957, I have a warm set of memories listening in the back seat of our family car during the 1960s and early 1970s, as my parents were generally tuned to WNEW in their various cars. From the playlist, which was essentially wide open within the pop standard genre, I learned about Gershwin, Ella singing Gershwin, and about every songwriter from Hoagy to Cole to Arthur Schwartz. I may still have a tape of Jonathan interviewing his father in the late 1970s that was as much a reconciliation as an interview.

    If the old tapes of those shows in the 1960s and 1970s exist, they belong on the Internet or podcasts to be re-enjoyed by a new generation. The songs, the voices speak of our nation’s creative strength and its redefining of the Great American Songbook.

    And a side word about WNEW-FM. From 1967 to 1973, it was the home of psychedelic music and almost immediately progressive rock music, mostly from the British Isles. Listening to Jonathan elegantly discuss Gentle Giant, Genesis and King Crimson remains a joyful memory of mine. And hearing Pete Fornatale play the Move’s “Feel Too Good” or Sweet Thursday’s “Gilbert Street” on a Sunday afternoon brings an admittedly deep nostalgic smile.

    I know I am also not alone in my generation who can genuinely say it was Jonathan Schwartz who most effectively introduced me to my parents’ music in a way that was not a lecture, but an adventure. And Schwartz put the seed into my head about Vaughn Williams, the great neo-Romantic British classical composer; a seed which did not sprout until I hit my forty-first birthday, and which has grown since then to bear fruit with my wife, son and daughter.

    WNEW was more than a grouping of four letters of a radio station. It was a cultural phenomenon, an electronic nightclub and musical pavilion–or, as it was first described in the late 1930s, a “make believe ballroom.” Yet, the music played was certainly real, and represented an artistry and a craft that created a unique and distinctly American sound.

    “It’s springtime in New York…” forever with WNEW.

  41. Parked at the Canarsie Pier every Saturday night with my date and the Milkman’s Matinee. It was a time I will never forget. How I miss the Milkman and Martin Block.
    I think at least 25% of James Madison High was there.

  42. I fondly remember W-N-E-W – – 1130 on your dial: It was a great Radio Station. As a Kid growing up in the area I listened to Top 40 however I did have an interest in my parents’ music and WNEW AM helped to foster that until one day about 10 or 15 years ago I found myself with an entire collection of “Standards.”
    The personalities made the program. Here I was, sophomore in High School, listening to the same station as some of my teachers. I remember the distinctive sound of Willie B Williams and Julius La Rosa. The programming helped to bridge the so called “generation gap” and the talent was local. It was clearly a station that everyone could enjoy.

  43. I have been actually making a “mock” show of WNEW in sheer desperation for memories and “the sound” which I took for granted so many years at college (Wagner, Staten Island 1964-68). So here’s what I do…hit a WNEW jingle, add a Ted Brown clip with my mouse, then hit my cd player cued to Barbara, Tony, Astrud, Jobim or Brubeck then let the mix cd play for about three cuts..yes I remember it was AM and we had about one selection between Marlboro, Barney’s or Farm Fresh spots, but sometimes someone had to go to the bathroom. Anyway, the evening is blessedly rough around the edges with my PC, my two Yamaha CD players and my manual swtiching box..but you know what…I am 19 again and so in love with radio..(as tears are falling……) but I’ve got memories! Thanks to WBW, TB, Julius, Klavin, Allsion and, of course, WNEW for all that I cherish. Someone once told me that soundwaves travel for eternity…they do in the brain!

  44. As a kid born in 1964 I heard ny farthers music on the radio.I fondly remember hearing William B. Williams and Ted Brown.I did not quite get this style of music till later on in my years.But today I totaly get it.The Great American songbook is a Treasure of music.I admire and treasure this style of Music. My farther was of this era and he had loved this music.I salute him and The Great American Songbook.He would be proud.

  45. A sad note. Charles Byron Bruce Benjamin, AKA Bruce Charles of WNEW News passed away October 16, 2010 in Jacksonville, FL of natural causes. He was 85. He will be missed.

  46. Do you have any info on Hal Moore, WNEW DJ and Program Director 1954-1958? I’m his son and I have pictures and maybe some air tapes. I’d like to talk to the author of this site. You can reach me at mercurythumb A@T yahoo D.T com

    A@T = @

    D.T = . (dot)

  47. I love the jingles. I wish someone had my favorite. Does anyone remember the one: Who Listens to Radio?
    When I see this site it brings back so many memories. I will never forgive Mayor Bloomberg for destroying our station.

  48. I just can’t get enough of listening to the jingles. I remember them SO well. The lush orchestrations and range of singers – flawless. Such sweet memories! I was born in the 60’s and WNEW was a part of my life, a member of the family. Alas, as everything else in this world – the innocence is fading away. Today’s music refelcts our times. No more full orchestra and singers dressed to the nines. Now you just push buttons and keyboards – sad. Thank GOD for this website! GOD bless you!

  49. “WHO LISTENS TO RADIO”, WAS RECORDED BY SARAH VAUGHAN..I BELIEVE IT;S NOT A WNEW JINGLE……MALCOLM C DANKNER,’THE AMERICAN POULAR SONG’……WPKN.ORG

  50. Everyone, please listen/watch the Mike Eisgrau 30 minute interview (from comment # 46). Thanks so much for sharing this with us # 46!! Delightful indeed!

  51. Last Sunday, January 16th) on the Radio Deluxe program John Pizzarelli, Jessica Molaskey and their guest Leonard Maltin were discussing what influenced their musical tastes as they were growing up and and all agreed that WNEW-AM played a big part in educating them and exposing them to the legendary performers interpreting the classics of the American songbook. If you want to hear a really nice update of the WNEW-AM vibe I suggest that you tune into to this 2-hr. program each week on a local station or podcast on your computer.

  52. There is, not was, only one: WNEW! As a starry eyed boy in NJ in the 50’s I hung on to virtually evey kilocycle of sound coming off the 1130 towers in the Meadows. Through Bob Stoepker (sp?) I got a tour of the studios and got to meet (and sit in the Ballroom with) William B. Williams when I was getting ready for college. Later fellow IC alum Bill Diehl introduced me around several more times. In my professional career in the late 60’s into the 80’s, WNEW was Mt. Olympus, home of the Gods. It was the standard by which all radio stations and all radio talent was measured by. (I met several of the air people while they were at WNBC/NBC Monitor as I worked at an NBC affiliate.) I wish I had a chance to work there but it was too soon gone. I really miss listening to it today!

  53. Who Listens to Radio was a Radio Advertising Bureau campaign in the 60s’ produced for the RAB by Stan Freeberg. His classic Lake Michigan filled with hot chocolate receiving giant marshmellows dropped by the Candadian Royal Air Forece as a crowd of thousands cheered is another classic. But, no, these were not created for WNEW like the Bob Green WNEW jingles for Music Around the Clock, There’s Only One, and It’s (season) in New York campaigns. I always liked the line, “pick a W, any W, WNEW!”

  54. Great site! Nice to share memories. I cut my teeth on WNEW–Ted Brown was my favorite. I started a long broadcast career in 1962 and listened to Ted and others and regarded them as my ‘instructors’. I still do a morning radio show (AM 1370 WDEA in Ellsworth, Maine) playing much the same music as the old WNEW and everyday try to sound just a little bit like 1130. When ‘NEW went dark, an era ended, never to return.

  55. Reflections of Gene Klavan

    In the 1970s, I had the good fortune to compose the jingle packages and station ID music for Metromedia owned WNEW-AM, considered by many to be the premier New York radio station for many years. The company’s advertising revenue was faltering, and Mel Karmazin, current Sirius XM Satellite Radio CEO, was hired to head up the sales department. Within a short time, his relentless style turned around the broadcaster’s resources and helped reestablish WNEW’s financial position as a leader once again. He was tenacious, not particularly well-liked, but extremely effective. There was good reason that he quickly became the President and GM of the station.

    If you were a listener of WNEW at that time, you might remember that the station featured a roster of radio superstars, which included Ted Brown, William B. Williams, Julius LaRosa, Sandy Becker, Bob Fitzsimmons, Dick Shepard, and my closest friend for more than 30 years until his passing in 2004 – Gene Klavan. Gene was more than the person who was arguably the most creative and brilliant broadcaster of his time – or any other. He was an incredibly talented writer – some of which was shown in his two published books, “We Die At Dawn” and “Turn That Damned Thing Off.” But what hardly anyone knows is that Gene and I were creating a Broadway musical entitled “Emperor Norton,” a largely fictitious work based on a real historical figure. Gene wrote the book and lyrics, and I composed the music around the central character named Joshua Abraham Norton, a wealthy merchant who, in the 1870s in California, lost his fortune and his mind and emerged after several months as “Norton I – Emperor of the United States, Protector of Mexico and Heir to the Dominion of Canada.” Much has been written about the eccentricities of the actual Emperor Norton, but the book and lyrics that Gene Klavan created were funny, charming and fresh. Gene was a musical theater maven with an extensive knowledge of the medium, and a record and CD collection to match. Sadly, he passed away before we were able to mount the show in a workshop environment before attempting to bring it to the big stage in NY.

    Gene and I created a promotional contest for WNEW called “The Name Droppers,” in which listeners were asked to send post cards to the station, and each week the management would randomly draw twelve names. Together, we would then create a jingle rhyming the winners’
    names and town locations which was performed by recording artist Jane Meryll. When the listener heard his or her name sung and called in to the station, they would be awarded a special prize – great stuff which even included TV sets, stereos, watches and other valuable goodies. The promotion, which was scheduled to run for 13 weeks, was so successful that WNEW continued it for more than 2 years, and attributed its pseudo “forced-listener” qualities to a substantial rise in the ratings.

    Many listeners also were rarely aware that on many days that Dee Finch was unable to come to work due to illness, Gene seamlessly ran the Klavan & Finch show solo, doing all the voices of the characters that the team had created together. His box full of toys from which he provided the myriad of sound effects, most notable the “door slam”
    of his fictitious creations coming and going, was a central staple of the show, and one which he utilized constantly when he went solo after Dee Finch retired. People who knew of our relationship often asked me if “Trevor Traffic” – one of Klavan’s most popular imaginary avatars – really had a dog that he took up with him in the station’s helicopter. In actuality, WNEW didn’t even own a helicopter and “borrowed” the traffic reports from another station that did. Of course, Trevor, Coach Guts Garrity, Johnny Charge with his out of tune guitar, Mrs. Wes Chester, Mr. Nat – Coordinator of Inter-relations, Helen Copter, etc., only existed in Gene’s mind, but his capacity for voice manipulation gave life to the multitude of his roster of “guests” on the show. Nobody but Gene Klavan could have gotten away with destroying advertising copy as much and as extensively as he did, owing to his great ratings and revenue generation.

    I miss him.

    Richard Lavsky

  56. I have just started a PhD project on the history of American radio between 1930 and 1970. My purpose is to describe the relationship between music records and DJ-performances. One of my case studies is supposed to be “The Make-Believe Ballroom” by Martin Block which started in 1935 on WNEW. I am looking for recordings of Block´s broadcasts. Does anybody know where I can find sound sources that can be used for scientific analysis (digital audio, shellac, vinyl, tape)?

    I would be very happy for every piece of information!

    Thomas Schopp, Oldenburg, Germany

  57. TOM: You might be able to find some things…remember recording of shows and
    programs was not common nor often possible. Some programs were
    “transcribed”, needle cut masters, in their entirety. Others, like DJ shows
    at WNEW, sometimes, like Sat. mornings, had only the talent transcribed with
    an engineer playing the transcription disk along with the music records.
    Later regular tape was used in the same way. Block moved to WABC later on
    and after retirement I think WOR…at WOR his shows may have been
    entirely prerecorded. At any rate, good luck.

  58. Although unable to attend his memorial service, I was privilaged to have my eulogy to Gene read at the service by Joan Hamburg:

    The world accepts, even admires, imitations, but it adores originals.

    Gene Klavan was an original.

    He gave joy to a delighted and appreciative generation of radio listeners who were captivated by his sophisticated, yet childlike, humor. Gene never tired of making faces behind the teacher’s back.

    No one was safe from the terrible, swift sword of Klavan’s very funny tongue. Remember the officious sounding Program Director who always called him “Germ”…who couldn’t remember his own name, much less the call letters of the radio station… and who, whenever he had properly chastised Gene for some weakly concocted offense, would issue forth a dramatic exit line…and walk right into Klavan’s closet?

    Well, that cartoon character was me… and I could not have been more thrilled or honored to have joined the pantheon of fractured characters created in Klavan’s fertile brain.

    Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions to determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The questions were, “Did you bring joy?” and “Did you find joy?”

    Did Gene find joy in his lifetime? Only he could have answered that…but there is no doubt that he gave joy….in great and generous quantities.

    Gene Klavan was a great artist who used every inch of Mr. Marconi’s audio stage to create great radio, the likes of which we may never see again.

    We had our differences on occasion, but Gene was there for me at a time when I needed a friend very much. I will always be grateful for his compassion and wise consul.

    I am truly sad that he is gone.

    To Gene’s beloved Phyllis, his sons and family, I extend my deepest sympathies on their great loss.

    For those of us who remain, we are each left to covet our own special memories of Gene Klavan as a man and as a performer.

    His timeless, brilliant on air antics will surely surface in our minds from time to time. When they do, we might enjoy an unexpected, but much appreciated, chuckle…we might even shed a tear.

    Radio has lost a rare talent. Most likely we will never experience a creative force like Gene Klavan on radio again in our lifetimes. Like every great artist, Gene was the real deal; a genuine, once in a lifetime, American original.

    We will miss him and all of the endearing characters that he created out of not-so-thin- air for our listening pleasure. They became so real to us in that we welcomed each of those slightly loopy folks into our homes and ultimately into our hearts.

    Sadly now we say a final good bye to our dear Gene…and to Mr. Nat, Isadore Isobar, Mrs.Wesley Chester… and Trevor Traffic.

    Thanks for the memories Gene…may you all rest in peace.

    Respectfully,

    Bob Bruno

  59. I had the pleasure of working with Richard Lavsky on many occasions. When he and Gene began to write the book and score for “Emperor Norton,” they asked me to orchestrate the score for a 26-piece broadway pit band. I worked closely with Richard and Gene and Gene continually amazed me with his attention to detail, his creative ideas, and his caring about the welfare of others. The efficient manner in which he worked in editing the book was a wonderful example for me. He kept Richard and me laughing continually with his “off the wall” comments and humorous anecdotes. My lunches with Gene were fun and educational at the same time. He never failed to always see the good in others and to put others before himself.
    He was a delight to be with in every way.

  60. Is there a sound archive of WNEW-AM in New York City? I am looking for complete recordings of radio broadcasts by Martin Block. According to its online catalogue the Paley Center for Media has some Block recordings. But there is just one program from the 1930s. It contains only music, no DJ-talk.

  61. When I heard that WNEW jingle, I smiled and thought to myself, I want my WNEW 1130 back! To hear Nat King Cole perform what has to be the greatest jingle in New York radio brings back memories! It’s good to see a web site that remembers what radio was like then. And how can you not forget WNEW? William B. Williams, Ted Brown, to name a few. As the song says, There’s only one…….WNEW! The melody does linger on! Long live WNEW 1130! This station will NEVER be forgotten!

  62. One of America’s great radio stations and missed greatly. I have some old promotional items that may be of interest to you.

  63. A slightly unusual one, this, but here goes…

    I’m trying to establish a list of all members of staff – and that includes those on the other side of the mic – who were “on duty” between 2200hrs on Monday, 25 November and 0500hrs on Tuesday, 26 November. If any one can furnish the same sort of thing for WNEW-TV, for precisely the same time frame, I’d be most grateful.

    Second, what was the relationship between the radio news team at WNEW and their television colleagues? Did they write bulletins for both radio and TV? Or were they entirely separate fiefdoms? All suggestions/answers welcome.

  64. ..COULD WE BE GETTING OLD????

    I am 65 years old and live in Iowa City, but play those jingles…ONLY ON DOUBLE YOU, ANY DOUBLE YOU, ELEVEN THREE OH IN NEW YORK…and I am a 20 year old kid living in Jersey and having the greatest boss in the world who was also a Trevor Traffic fan..does anyone else get a real tear in the eye?
    Question??? Was it not WNEW that had a young black jazzz musician and his piano on late nights? A fellow who now calls himself..Doctor Billy Taylo?????..are there no studio photos of Billy Taylor..who kindled my interest in jazz.
    Are there any achive WNEW recordings???… I would die (maybe for real)..with a little..MAKE BELEIVE BALLROOM TIME…TAKE ALL YOUR CARES AWAY…….
    Gotta go, have to meet two guys at the CORNER OF WALK AND DON’T WALK!.. Tim Taffe aka kid from Palisades Park..oh wait a minute..I still sing a commercial too..”Make your day a Little bit Britta….eat a little Pickle Herring…by VITA…”..How about VOLVO..Doors that Slam like a Safe!”

  65. Tim Taffe & JohnBuzz – you are NOT alone! Everytime I hear Nat’s jingle I get hit with a sentimental wave and for just a moment my vision is altered and I worked there. So many of us were of the belief that NEW would last forever…for it was as much a part of the great city as Broadway and the Empire State Bldg.
    It was an overwhelming personal and professional experience…the high calibre of all the players and then there was the production and timing…such precision…and of course the music….it was always the music!

  66. WNEW in New York, was the sound which came through loud and clear on the radio in my room AFTER our local stations signed off for the day. My favorite dj was Al Jazzbo Collins, and the music he played became the basis of my own jazz record collection. I was just fourteen years old.

    One night I rushed upstairs to my room when we returned from a movie, just in time to hear AJ READING MY FAN LETTER!!!! Imagine the thrill for this young girl.

    Years later, when I lived in Manhattan, I always listened to WNEW, and when I made my first recording for Columbia Records in 1961, the thrill was magnified beyond my wildest dreams when I would hear my name introduced by William B.

    I have numerous golden memories of WNEW, and will always be grateful to the radio personalities who shaped my understanding and appreciation for jazz.

  67. So great to see your post, Carol Sloan, as you are one of my memories of listening to WNEW!

  68. Can anyone please help me find a good, clean copy of the robust big-band music that was played on WNEW-AM, leading into the news break? It was an uptempo instrumental version of the “double-you, enn-ee double-you” theme song, and sometimes included a voice-over that went something like this: “For more than 60 years, the home of Sinatra, Ella and Basie, this is W-N-E-W, AM Eleven three-oh, New York. Then there’d be the Mutual News fanfare, and an announcer’s voice: “Mutual News.” This lead-in music was a mainstay of WNEW (at least in the last couple of years of the station’s existence), and later turned up on Jukebox radio, the now-defunct New Jersey standards station started up by a former WNEW official in the wake of WNEW’s demise. I would love to hear the tune again, because it is one of the most exciting things of its kind!

  69. Mike,

    I may have that song/jingle…though not sure. Need more info. I do have the news sounder and over 200 of the WNEW jingles.

    Howie

  70. Howie, that’s great news. Right up until the station disappeared, it was played going into the hourly Mutual Radio news broadcast (for example, immediately following the concluding reprise of the Les Brown-Modernaires “Milkman’s Matinee” theme, at 6 a.m., I believe), often with the “home of Sinatra, Basie and Ella” voice-over I described. It had a boisterous sound, with the brasses punching out the melody (based on the theme song), in moderately fast four-four time. And as I say, it turned up on Jukebox Radio after WNEW went off the air, performing the same function it did on WNEW. I contacted the former WNEW person who started Jukebox Radio about my interest in hearing this jingle, but he said everything was in storage and he didn’t know where anything was.

  71. Mike,
    By chance, is this an instrumental that sounds a bit like Basie and Zentner together?…maybe 15 seconds long, or was it longer?
    Started out with brass ta-da ta-da da dada ta da da dah?
    Howie

  72. There is a strong Zentner sound to it, and I guess some of the Basie feeling. But there was no fanfare, if that’s what you’re suggesting. It went bang right into a little melody, “Da da DAH da, da DAH da da ….” that was almost a telegraphic version of the WNEW theme (I didn’t realize this until much later, because the theme was fairly well disguised). Driving the whole thing forward was a descending chord and bass pattern, I think, and that’s what really caught my ear.

  73. Ok Mike…I’ll spend a little time looking through things…I thought I knew what you’re describing, but not so sure now. I’ve got one running through my head that I think is it, but there is another one…runs about a minute if I’m correct. My favorites go back a few years earlier….”We’ve got quite a few friends” or “Nothing can quite compare, with New York City…and eleven three oh.” or “You’ll never have the blues when the sun goes down” (Sue Raney, I think) or the bossa nova sound of “Any time at all, any place at all, you’ll hear it all, on New York’s, W-N-E-W, eleven-three-oh…. Good stuff!!

  74. The memories of the one-and-only N E W, for me, are bittersweet. Sweet in that I knew, even at a young age, that I was listening to the best mix of music but, more importantly, experiencing the most professional and informed hosts on the planet. Can anyone tell me if you have since found another music-oriented radio station where the people hosting the shows far outshone the music they were playing? Bitter in that the experience I was fortunate enough to be a part of, has never been, or will ever be, replicated! And was I dreaming, or was that really the legendary Steve Allen who took over after Willie B’s untimely death? I could go on and on….which is what I hope that we, the extremely fortunate fans, can accomplish with this blog…let’s never lose the memories we have and can share in our lifetimes. I can still hear the last Sinatra song Willie B. played everyday: “Put your dreams away…for another day.”

  75. Reference post #65 above, 26 April 2010: The year was 1963 – apologies for the omission. I’m trying to find a) a recording (kinescope?) of the following; and b) WNEW staff who saw it:

    Richard K. Doan, “Now the Task of Righting Upset Schedules,” New York Herald Tribune, 27 November 1963, section 1, p.21:

    “WNEW-TV (Channel 5) claimed it was the first TV station in the country to televise an amateur photographer’s film footage of President Kennedy’s assassination. The film was distributed by United Press International and aired by Channel 5 at 12:46 a.m. yesterday.”

  76. I really wish that someone would get hold of the old William B. Williams “Make Believe Ballroom” tapes and play those on the air. I LOVED the music and I LOVED his patter – it was so great! On a very rainy day he’d say, “It’s a dark, dank, rainy day…” He was soooo WONDERFUL!
    I’d love to hear that great voice and that fabulous music all over again.
    I do listen to Jonathan Schwartz on WNYC-FM on Saturdays and he’s pretty good, but his music is not as good as William B. Williams’ selections!
    I just wish someone would bring that sound back! I’d love to hear it again, while I’m working at home.

  77. To all. We have been working on the financial, technical and legal issues involved in streaming from the WNEW-1130 site, audio from WNEW programs (what we have and hope to acquire)and music from the WNEW library (what we have and hope to acquire.) It’s taking time, but we’re getting there. We put in bids on WNEW promo tapes, lost the one with Sinatra by .50; won the bid on a tape containing promos by Lena and Luis and a few others. Did anyone reading this bid successfully on any WNEW tapes? Stay tuned.

  78. I am very lucky to have a copy too, mine is signed by William B. I was also lucky to get a cassette of Jingles in the early 80’s, I have converted most to MP3, but quality for many are sub standard.

  79. I remember visiting the old WNEW studios on 5th Ave. I have some old promotional items including Giants coverage items. Met Ted Brown on a remote when he worked at WVNJ in north NJ. Loved him and all his comments.

  80. I listened to WNEW from 1970 to the end in 1992 and then over to WQEW to the end of that in 1998. Sad, very sad. WNEW was like a drink of cool water in a desert of junk radio. I miss it all the time. Thank goodness I’ve also got the WNEW 50th anniversary book from 1984. And a couple hours of cassette tapes with my favorite William B. Williams from his November 11, 1981 broadcast.
    Thanks for this great website. I really enjoy it.
    And I’d like to hear streaming WNEW 1130 when that becomes available.

  81. Wasn’t Gene Rayburn paired with Dee Finch at one point? I didn’t start listening until the final months of WNEW and by then it was too late. I remember in the 70’s they were adult contemporary and then big-band and then adult hits and then, finally a kindof MOYL-type format. Why did Ted Brown get exiled to WNBC?
    I remember WNEW always had a great news department and the hourly news sounder was so familiar to me!

  82. I don’t know if anyone remembers, but prior to Bloomberg buying WNEW and switching 1130 to all-business, Salem Communications tried to buy WNEW and was thwarted. I guess it doesn’t matter who owns the frequency now (if WNEW doesn’t exist, what does it matter what it is now?) Salem went on the take over WMCA and also WWDJ, which was renamed and now is a rather stridently-conservative talk station. WMCA is religious and religious paid-programming. Not sure if anything in the area is close to the WNEW format, but maybe WQUN and WRIV. WRIV is at 1390 am on Long Island but does not stream and at 1220, WQUN does. WQUN is owned by Qunnipiac University in Hamden, CT.

  83. Dick Shepard worked all over the place. He was on WEVD among other stations. Does anyone know if he is till around? Danny Stiles also does some stuff that is similar to what WNEW aired. he apparently buys time and then sells the commercials himself, like block programming. He also works on WNYC, along with Jonathan Schwartz.

  84. Gene Rayburn was teamed with Dee Finch prior to Gene Klavan replacing Rayburn. I believe Ted Brown left WNEW for WNBC for monetary reasons(a better contract). He later returned. Ted was the best and was great with Nancy Reamy on traffic and Bob Harris with the weather.

  85. If anybody is interested, I just put up several WNEW “Seasonal” jingles on Youtube

    Spring

    Winter

    Summer

    Fall

    Its been so long, but I can’t seem to get that jingle out of my head!

  86. To all and especially Ed Brown. I hope you are successful in streaming WNEW-AM 1130 via the net. There is nothing like it anymore yet there is the demand. My family had it on continuosly in the home , car and then our store from 1947 until it departed the airways; although the hayday was the 1950s to the very early 70s. Like an old friend that has passed the memories do still linger on. I too have tried to collet some airchecks but they are far and few between and poor quality in many cases. The availability of the newly unearthed original WNEW studio tapes are fasinating,although mostly voice overs and not the music they are still great and bring back yesterday instantly; I had to buy a 15 IPS tape recorder though to listen to them!

  87. What wonderful memories this website brings back!

    I was a huge fan and one of Jazzbeaux’s regular call in guests in the early 1980’s.

    I can still remember the party Jazzbeaux held at the Automat during a massive February snowstorm, the picnic at Van Saun Park and the celebrities who visited the Grotto.

    I’m happy to say I’m still a proud member of the Lobe Lender’s Society and still have a few “stinkin’ badges lying around!

    Keep the memories coming!

  88. WNEW was my preset during the period that the station carried the New York Mets, 1975-1977. The names Gene Klavan, William B Williams, Ted Brown, Chip Cipolla bring back great memories of that era. As a collector of complete baseball baseball games and highlights of games, just wondering if anyone on this blog know if any tapes of this games or highlights are still around and who to contact.

  89. Does anyone remember WNEW-FM before it started playing rock music?

    I got my first FM radio when I graduated 8th grade, and I soon discovered WNEW-FM’s Middle-of-the-Road format. This would have been just around the time that the FCC ordered diversity of programming for FM stations that had previously simulcast their AM programming all day long.

    WNEW AM and FM simulcast their AM programming beginning at 5:30 AM each weekday, with Klavan and Finch and continuing through the Ted Brown Show, which ended at 8:00 PM. Right after the 8 PM newscast, the FM side would switch on their stereo carrier and would air Jim Lowe, who did two simultaneous programs, “Jim Lowe’s New York,” on the AM side, and “Evening Touch,” on the FM side.

    The FM programming was mostly automated instrumental music, with occasional vocals by such groups as the Ray Coniff Singers. The instrumentals were peppier than the “elevator music” on WPAT/WTFM/WRFM, but the programming was aimed at an older audience than the AM music was.

    About every 15 minutes, Lowe would come on the FM side and read a commercial, give the weather forecast and offer some comment (presumably while they were playing a record on the AM side) and then the music would start up again.

    They had a series of instrumental WNEW jingles, because it wouldn’t do to be [laying “Eleven Three Oh” when the FM frequency was 102.7 megacycles. I remember one of the air personalities saying that the jingles were produced by such big bands as Neil Hefti. I do not believe that the instrumental jingles were used much, if at all, on the AM side.

    At midnight, Lowe would turn the reins over to either Dick Shepard or Tom Mercein (sp), who did the Milkman’s Matinee on the AM side. They called their FM program “Music From The Tower Suite,” and it ran until 5:30 in the morning, when simulcasting with the AM side (in mono) would resume.

    I never see anything written about WNEW-FM back in their MOR days. If anyone else remembers that period, please post your memories.

  90. More on the old WNEW-FM:

    On weekends the AM and FM sides simulcast the same programs from 5:30 AM until 10:00 AM, and then went their separate ways. Saturday morning programming was Klavan & Finch, and on Sundays there was religious programming until 10 AM.

    So, on Saturdays, William B. Williams had a separate show on FM, while he did the Make Believe Ballroom on AM. He called his FM show “New York Seventeen,” a reference to what was then the postal zone for WNEW’s street address of 565 Fifth Avenue. This was prior to the introduction of ZIP codes by the Post Office. Back then, the address for WNEW would have been written out as “New York 17, NY.” With the advent of ZIP codes, that changed to “New York, NY 10017.”

    At 4:00 PM Ted Brown took the microphone, and he did double duty, with one show on the AM side and another one on the FM side. I don’t remember what he named his FM show. I also don’t recall who was on air from 1 PM until 4 PM, between William B. and Ted Brown.

    So the AM and FM sides had separate programming on weekdays between 8:00 PM until 5:30 the next morning, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 AM until 5:30 the next morning. According to an article on Wikipedia, this MOR format ran until July 4, 1966, when it was replaced by an “All Girl” deejay format, which featured more chatty female on-air personalities. The all-girl novelty didn’t last very long. WNEW-FM went to their famous rock format on Halloween, 1967.

    I was not impressed with the all-girl format or the progressive rock format. I liked the automated music format, because it was free of chatty deejays and had few commercial interruptions.

    Back in the pre-July 4, 1966 days, WNEW-FM would simulcast the 5-minute hourly newscasts with its AM side. I still remember the recorded announcement that they played immediately before the newscast:

    “You’re listening to New York’s newest and finest in full stereophonic broadcasting: WNEW-FM. 102.7 on your dial. Metromedia FM in New York.”

    Then they would turn off their stereo carrier and play the news. Once the newscast was over, back on came the stereo carrier and the FM side again resumed its own programming.

    I remember those days with fondness.

  91. Larry,
    Thank you for the terrific story. I remember well how the personalities did different shows on the AM and FM at the same time. Ted Brown was also the voice of the Football Giants on the network as WNEW had its own broadcast team.

  92. like so many others i use to tune at night to WNEW at night when i was a young teenager. Man that ‘s stuff was just great! I have a couple of cassette tapes of the show that i’ve transferred to digital. I wonder if there are more of these floating round out there. I’d sure love to be able to listen to any of the old shows from any date of that era, if anyone has any of these. Are there archives of the various Milkmans matinee available? i’d like to know. thanks
    L

  93. I have been converting some of the older archived tapes to digital and in some cases creating videos using stock photos. The link below is from a tape of about 40 Klavan & Finch promos from 1962 & 63.

  94. WNEW was a menu staple for the McGoughs’ breakfest club crew across from the Times on 43rd..Thanks…Painting of John L Sullivan, photos of Joey D, the Babe, and Mickey, what more could you ask for except some Jane Fonda urinal soap…and great oldies on WNEW…

  95. I just posted in another place, but I want to be sure this is seen. My dad is radio announcer Bill Hickok, who did the Milkman’s Matinee in the early 70’s. I’m very proud of his long history in radio. He’s living in Florida now–the old voice and sense of humor remain intact. I’m sure he’d love hearing from any former fans/colleagues!

    1. Betsy, I had the opportunity to chat with your father “Wild Bill” this morning. Quite a fascinating man.

  96. I started in broadcasting in 1962 and would listen to Ted Brown on WNEW as a mentor. WNEW came in loud and clear here in Maine at night. Ted was one of those rare personalities that simply will never be duplicated. He was the best! Those truly were the best days of radio broadcasting. I also enjoyed Wally King–anybody know what became of him? I still am in radio–morning show on WDEA AM 1370 in Ellsworth, Maine and every day try in a small feeble way to keep alive those early years while listening and learning from WNEW Eleven-Three-Oh in New York.
    And Betsy Hickok–I remember your Dad–he was on too late for me but the name is very familiar and I would hear him on occasion. It was so great of you to post your comment. A few years ago I had a chance to talk with Ted Brown’s daughter Samantha on the phone. She is in real estate in NYC (the last I knew). She also has great memories of her dad. He used to talk about her on the air–I have a clip when Ted was on Monitor on week-ends on NBC. Perhaps other announcers and relatives will post here.

  97. FANDAMNTASTIC !!!
    Friend Roger Hendler pointed me in the direction of this site with the mention of the name, Betsy Hickok. She is the daughter of one extremely creative ‘radio announcer’ that I had the pleasure of working with at another MetroMedia station in Philadelphia, PA, WIP.
    In an ‘earlier today post’, by Betsy, I/we all found out that Bill’s in Florida. This is unbelievable.
    Betsy, a short favor from a short deejay? Please tell
    your Dad, I said, “Hello you”. That was the opening
    of every Dick Partridge Show on WNEW, back in the day. I borrowed it (OK, stole it) and used it during my
    43 years in the ‘show biz’.
    I hope all members of the Hickok Family are healthy and happy.
    Happy New Year to you, Betsy Hickok.
    Thanks, Roger Hendler.

    Tom Moran

    1. Tom, did I ever reply to your incredibly gracious message? I do not check this site often, by oh my goodness, how wonderful it makes me feel to know these details about my father. I am currently writing up his history for the family. Happily, he is still with us in mind, but his body is failing and he is now in a nursing home in Ft. Myers. Still happy to hear from any old fans, though, and I will be sure to call him TODAY to share your kind words…

  98. Several of us in the radio school at Syracuse University often used to ride up and down the Thruway late at night listening to stations across the dial. WNEW was one of our favorites. Loved the “anytime, anyplace, N-E-W” ID.
    Specifically remember the night in early 1958 on the Milkman’s Matinee when the jock played the entire then-new “Come Fly With Me” album by Sinatra.
    Even in that early rock, top 40 era, WNEW was in a class by itself.

  99. We will never be able to duplicate the worlds greatest radio station WNEW 1130 AM in New York but we can pay tribute to the great talent.

    For those interested check out “Metromedia Radio” on Live365.com
    We are broadcasting music licensed by BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. We are also broadcasting WNEW jingles, retro Radio commercials and WNEW shows.

  100. Joe Fay–

    Thank you so much for that link to the WNEW tribute site on Live 365. I’m listening now and it really takes me back. The jingles really make it. Keep it up. Thank you again.

    Rick Foser

  101. Rick:

    Thanks for the compliment. Jeff Williams has given me permission to air snippits of his father on Metromedia Radio on Live365. On Sunday we will air:

    1. 2 hours of Ted Brown Remembers it well special from 1984.
    2. The 1961 WNEW News Close Up “Straightening out the Twist” with Reid Collins, Ike Pappas, WBW and Pete Meyers
    3. A 1962 WNEW Woody Herman Music Spectacular hosted by Biggy Wilson.
    4. Sprinkled through daily music broadcast will be Ted Brown, Jim Lowe and WBW interviews.

  102. Yesterday I was writing a fictional scene from something that sort of happened when I was a kid and I kept hearing a radio in the background. I knew exactly what it was, could hear the WNEW jingle, but it happened so long ago that I didn’t trust my memory for the exact call letters, so I Googled “New York radio stations” and found this website. Wow. What an emotional flood to learn that WNEW no longer exists, and to hear sounds that were part of every morning of my life until 1967, when I was 12, and we left New Jersey.
    I grew up in Bloomfield and my mother, a single parent, worked as a secretary. Her radio alarm clock was perpetually set to WNEW, the only station she ever listened to, mornings, weekends, in the car. In our small apartment, I was allowed to listen to “my music” only behind a closed bedroom door (mom was definitely on the same page as William B. Williams when it came to rock and roll). So every morning the first thing I heard were the voices and music of WNEW–and I liked it. My mom was a musician who brought in all kinds of music except, well, you know. It is surprising how deeply these memories burrow in. Listening to the WNEW jingles was like being shot out of a rocket to a specific time and place so many decades ago. I could suddenly see and feel that place so clearly, it was kind of jarring. I hope more programming will come into this website. Thanks for this!

  103. Lynn:

    Check out “Metromedia Radio” on Live365.com

    We are broadcasting, Licensed music, jingles and old NEW shows and interviews.

  104. Just found this site today and am enjoying reading about the old WNEW days. My father was Lonny Starr — very well known for his show, “Starr, Sinatra & Strings.” I remember all the dj’s very well.

  105. Hey Joe Fay: thanks for the suggestion to check out Metromedia on Live365.com I’ve “tuned in” to it a few times and I am enjoying the music. Do you know if they will be playing any hours of original WNEW shows with the greats: William B. or Ted Brown? I’d sure like to hear a few hours of original programming from the old WNEW.

  106. Johnny K.

    Thanks and the answer is yes. I typically run old WNEW Content on Sunday evenings. I have been actively digitizing about 150: 10 and 5 inch reels from the old WNEW archive. I have also recently aquired some significant recordings of content from the early sixties from WNEW number one fan of 1984!

    I have many live concerts and Legends series specials.

    Jeff Williams (son of William B. Williams) has given me permission to air small segments of many of his father interviews and music spectaculars.

    In the future I will broadcast: Ted Brown, Jim Lowe, WBW and Les Davis interviews.

    We are now the number 25 rank jazz radio broadcast on Live365 out of 500 stations. The current demographics indicate that we have thousands of listener in over 56 countries!

    Joe Fay

  107. Thank you Joe! I’ll definitely tune in on Sunday evenings to listen to your original WNEW programming. It’s also great to know Jeff Williams is active in allowing us to hear, once again, his wonderful father’s material. I can’t recall a day back in the 1960s through the early 1980s when I didn’t have WNEW on at some point every day and often it was when William B. was broadcasting. He had a marvelous way with the artists that he interviewed and of course he played the greatest music. I look forward to hearing these again. It’s truly a gift for listeners like me who were loyal to WNEW 1130 for twenty some years. And thanks to you for keeping it’s heritage alive on Live365.

  108. This Sunday at 7:00 pm Eastern, Metromedia Radio on Live365.com will start airing old WNEW content. The goal is to broadcast one to two hours of original content every Sunday night for the next six months. Content will include regular WNEW broadcasts, Music Spectaculars, News Close ups, and various celebrity interviews.

    This weekend we will start by broadcasting a two hour special hosted by Frank Sinatra and Ted Brown.

    Our current broadcast represents a 70 hours playlist of non repeating music overlayed with WNEW musical bumpers and jingles.

    Enjoy:

    http://www.live365.com/stations/wnewradio1130?site=pro&play=1

  109. I grew up listening to WNEW, specifically to Ted Brown in the morning. I recall that he would always make a big deal about having to pause (I think) in the 7 or 8 o’clock hour each day as the transmitter had to be adjusted. Can anyone explain what was going on, and why? Thanks in advance for any details!

  110. MARC: The switching Ted Brown compalnied about, I BELIEVE,
    was switching antenna pattern or directionalizaiton, from that employed to
    ‘protect’ WDGY, 50 kW on 1130 here in Minneapolis (which beamed North-South to protect WNEW) and, I BELIEVE, a Shreveport 1-B ‘almost-a-Clear Channel’ on 1130.
    Rob Brown (no relation to Ted or The Redhead), ex-WCCO Radio promo director, Minneapolis and diehard WNEW listener in ’50’s.

  111. WNEW was my life. I was born in NJ in 1932. It was in the 40’s when I started to listen to it. The music that was played was just wonderful. I have the best memories of Ted Brown and William B. Williams. I listened to Sinatra and all the greats. Where the melody lingers on. There will never be anything like it again

  112. What a great website and tribute to a wonderful radio station. I joined the WNEW news team in 1964 and much of it remains among my life’s highlights. William B. Williams. Jim Lowe with whom is spend many a late afternoon playing “Name that Tune” using songs selected from a nearby jukebox. Mary Travers hanging out in the newsroom to read the wires. Klaven and Finch. Sammy Davis Jr. in the hallway. Gerry Graham bringing some dignity to the newsroom and Jack Pluntze cracking the whip. There was Reid Collins and Jim Gash and Alan Walden and Chris Glenn and Al Wasser and Mike Stein and so many others — all of them great broadcast journalists. I covered RFK’s U.S. senate campaign — establishing an ongoing relationship at the time. I was the first reporter on the scene when Malcolm X was assassinated. I got to actually hang out with Herbert Hoover on some of his daily walks in Manhattan. And I interviewed Sofia Loren — sort of. I was so mesmerized that I could not think of a single question to ask. In 1965, John Kluge decided to open a Washington Bureau and establish a national news network and was sent to Washington as the primary correspondent. To this day, I believe our Washington Bureau was one of the very best in DC and our tireless staff very, very hard to beat. The day that Kluge decided to pull the plug on what had become a respected news network remains one of the saddest of my life. Even though I want on to become a network correspondent for NBC News and CNN I still hear the WNEW jingles in my head.

  113. As a youth I met a WNEW engineer named Shelly Hoffman who took me under his wing and taught me audio from the Microphone to the transmitter. All at the best radio station ever to modulate a transmitter. I retired from a 30 year career with the ABC television network in 2000 and now am the Executive Producer at our local government cable-tv station. I have never forgotten the greatest radio engineers at the best radio station. The towers may lie submerged, and the Transmitter building overgrown with weeds, but the station will always live with those of us who had the privilege of being able to listen.

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