Desk Assistant was just the start of things

A photo arrived the other day from Glenn Crespo, at one time a WNEW News desk assistant.  His caption:

“I found a picture of Bruce Charles, myself, another Desk Assistant Mary Ellen Kowalski and, if you look close on the left side, fill -in reporter Randy Place.  This was taken after we moved to 3rd Avenue and must have been in the early 1980’s.”

In response, we asked Glenn to send a few lines about his time at WNEW and where it led, which turned out to be an impressive string of call letters including the new, all news WNEW in Washington, D.C. 

“I was  (at WNEW, New York) from  January 1977 through September of 1991, starting as a desk assistant, hired by Jim Gordon.  From 1978 through 1980, I was a weekend anchor at WFAS in White Plains.  I continued as a desk assistant at WNEW and then, under Mike Prelee, began doing sports reports in 1986 and weekend anchor shifts in addition to anchoring news on the NY Giants football network. I free-lanced for AM and FM until AM went off the air. . . My time at WNEW was a great learning experience, working with Bob Hagen, Bruce Charles, Charles Scott King, Andy Fisher, Mike Eisgrau and Peggy Stockton. There were many major news stories covered during my time there, “Son of Sam,” The Northeast Blackout, the helicopter crash on the Pan Am Building, hijackings, presidential elections, the First Gulf War, the Battle for the Falkland Islands, the blizzard of 1977, transit strikes, the murder of John Lennon, the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan and the Challenger disaster, to name a few.

 After the news department was “downsized” in 1991, I worked two years for WXPS in Hawthorne New York as the morning anchor, co-host and News Director.I also free-lanced for WHUD, WFAS, WBLS, WFAN during this time. Went to WJUX in Dumont New Jersey in 1993, where I worked as the afternoon anchor and moved to WVNJ in Teaneck as the News Director and anchor in 1995.  In 1997 I joined Shadow Traffic and remained there for 10-years doing traffic on WINS and news on WQCD.

 In 1997 I began freelancing for the Wall Street Journal Radio Network and continued to do so off and on there until I was hired full-time in 2012 doing overnight reports for Dow Jones Radio on the Wall Street Journal Network, WCBS and WNEW (in Washington D.C.).

 The WNEW (New York) News Department was a very interesting, volatile, action-packed place to work.  A lot of different personalities thrown together.  But at the end of the day, getting the news on the air was what mattered and getting it right was what mattered.  The business has changed so much since then with sensationalism, character assassinations and speculations now being the norm. I will always treasure my years working in the WNEW News Department.”

2 thoughts on “Desk Assistant was just the start of things”

  1. Wow! TWO unforgettable former WNEW co-workers in one post! I could always count on Glenn to brighten any day at the Big W. He could cut the pompous down to size and was always available to help with a project or a phone call. He loved giving co-workers nicknames. One, he called “Carson,” because she was always taking days off the way Johnny Carson did in his latter years on the Tonight show. He was also a dependable member of the WNEW-FM All-Stars charity softball team. I enjoy hearing his Wall Street Journal reports on WCBS. Lee Bridge was the news department administrative assistant when I arrived back at WNEW from WIP in 1969. She made me feel at home in a newsroom that had changed dramatically (as had all of radio news) since I had left four years earlier. I think she was the first person I ever knew who came from Staten Island!

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