Rudy, Rudy, Rudy

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. 

George Duncan

 “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.” 

Carl Brazell

 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.”

 NBC’s NIS, sadly, did go kaput, but R.R., happily, did not.                            E.C.B.


 George Duncan photo by Claude Hall

Carl Brazell photo by Dan Barrett


2 thoughts on “Rudy, Rudy, Rudy”

  1. I just came across this site and had to comment. Don’t know if you all remember me…I programmed music for WNEW-AM along with Carolyn Paranello, Jeff Mazzei, Gail Sicilia and Bob Jones (to name a few) from the mid 70’s through September 1980. I was feeling a bit nostalgic and began reading all the postings about WNEW-AM and Bob Jones’s passing and William B. Williams….two of many of the talent I had the pleasure of working with and learning from. William B a/k/a “Willie” was one of the classiest gentlemen I had ever come across. I was in awe of him from the first day I began working at WNEW. As a little girl who grew up listening to WNEW-AM (the only station allowed to play on our radio) I was amazed that years later I wound up working inside that “little box” I used to listen to years earlier, let along would call Willie a friend. I learned so much from him during those years…things I took with me when I moved over to NBC’s WYNY-FM as Music Director. Of course Sinatra followed me in the form of “Saturdays with Sinatra” hosted by Sid Mark which served as a reminder of Willie. I recall one phone call where he teased me calling me “so kid, you went over to the other side” knowing full well he was and always would be the original “Silver Haired Prince of the Airways” to me and millions of his listeners. What I would not give for a spin around the studio once again with Willie to Frank’s “I’ve Got a Crush on You”… my favorite Sinatra song….If for some reason I was needed in the studio by Willie he knew how to find me…all he had to do was play that song and I would come running. I hope someday I get to sit in his studio once again in a place where clouds serve as a dance floor.

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