(CBS11) – This week we celebrate the lives of three people who made WCBS Newsradio 880 in New York a legendary all-news station.
Robert Vaughn, who teamed up with the late Jim Donnelly, passed away on September 11, 2017 at age 87. Originally from Spartanburg SC, he worked at stations in Florida and Pennsylvania before joining WCBS in the 70’s. He did appear on TV on WSPA/Spartanburg in a segment for kids called “Treasure Hunt” where he dressed up as a pirate (the late CBS News correspondent Christopher Glenn used to do segments on the CBS Television Network on Saturday mornings during children’s programming years ago called, “In The News” a short news segment geared toward young audiences). Vaughn and Donnelly had the best voices for all news radio. He was married for 56 years and had three children. His wife Ruby predeceased him in death.
Fran Schneidau, WCBS’s Connecticut Bureau Chief and reporter, passed away in December 27, 2017. She was a native of Connecticut and got her start at WICC/Bridgeport. She joined WCBS in 1978. While at WCBS, she covered news from Westchester County NY and Connecticut for nearly 40 years, and was a very well respected and well liked journalist. Schneidau retired from WCBS last February. She was 79 years old.
And last, Lou Adler, who passed away on December 22, 2017. Lou, along with the late Joe Dembo, built WCBS from scratch. In 1967, the station experienced very low ratings with a music format until CBS Chairman/CEO William S. Paley decided that there was room for another all- news station (1010 WINS had already been on the air with all news since April 1965). Lou was a news anchor who also paired up with Jim Donnelly and together they were the ones who set the standards for anchors and all news radio in the 70s and 80s. Adler was also news director at WCBS from 1973 to 1981. He was tough and demanding from his people but always fair. Adler also anchored at WINS, ABC News, and produced a nationally syndicated medical program. It is very poetic that he passed away at the age of 88, as WCBS was often referred to as Newsradio 88, not always Newradio 8-80. He is survived by his wife Thalia and a daughter.
Three great journalists and distinguished radio personalities we were blessed to have.
Listen to Lou and Jim from November 1, 1978: