Friday, February 01, 2013

Experience Counts for WCBS, After Word of Ed Koch Death

All-News Station Has Some Really Veteran Reporters Talk About Hizzoner

When news broke during morning drive that former New York mayor/icon Ed Koch died overnight, the Big Apple media understandably went into hyper-drive. The papers hit send on the obits that were already in the can, including this winner from Bob McFadden at the Times.

But WCBS radio was in a rare position among media outlets, in that it has two reporters still on staff who covered Koch. Irene Cornell, left, now north of 80, has been at the station since 1970. Rich Lamb, who knows every nook and cranny at City Hall, has been with the station since 1978. Their first-person accounts about Koch helped elevate WCBS' coverage beyond reporting the news of his passing and the requisite statements from Mayor Bloomberg and the like. It also enabled WCBS to go all Koch, all the time, even to the point where it busted the hourly network newscast. And they were still at it in the 10 o'clock hour.

Not that WCBS has a monopoly on old-timers at the mic. The other all-news station, WINS, has Stan Brooks who has been with the station since 1962--when it was still a Top 40 station. Officially, he's been a City Hall reporter, though he's long been a multi-trick pony. The stories he can tell about Koch--and has. Brooks is a spry 85 and just as irrepressible as Koch was, until recently.

We've often heard how reporting is a young person's game. That's often true in the modern news world. But New York radio benefits immeasurably from these three blissful exceptions, esepcially on a day like this.

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