Perhaps ignoring the podcast (hello, Alex Reimer) or Connecticut School Of Broadcasting (how ya doin’, Joe Benigno-Gazingo?) as the sports-yack launching pads of the modern era, the New York Times’ Marke Fuchs talks to the would-be Francescas & Russos at Fordham’s WFUV, along with recounting the experiences of alums like Knicks play-by-play voice Mike Breen.
To Mr. Breen (above), the chance to work in other parts of the radio station proved advantageous. As a freshman, he spun records during an overnight shift when he was the only person at the station. As it happened, he was there, the only one there, on the December night in 1980 when John Lennon was killed.
“I was a geeky freshman,” said Mr. Breen, who recalled playing a lot of Beatles songs and reading news in stilted fashion from The Associated Press. Eventually, he had to call the program director for help.
Calls kept coming in from people with stories about Lennon, his lyrics and his life. “They were crying and spilling their emotions,” he said, “and it was a little overwhelming and got crazy.”
Thought it does sound as if Breen handled himself well under trying circumstances (at least he didn’t play any David Peel records), I can’t help but fantasize how well that particular broadcast might’ve gone had Walt Frazier been there to assist. Much as I’ve often wondered how Johnny Most might’ve covered the Hindenburg disaster.