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9/11: New York Remembers

Q104 Jock Maria Milito Led Listeners Through ‘Very Emotional’ 9/11 Coverage

As we’ve highlighted over the past several days, throughout September 11, 2001, people were inundated with coverage on their televisions and radios. 

But that radio coverage was not only found on news stations, and within news departments.   

At Classic Rock station Q 104.3/WAXQ, midday disc jockey Maria Milito was starting her day just as millions of others were forced to abruptly end theirs.

FishbowlNY spoke with Milito for our continuing series–9/11: New York Remembers.

“I walked to work while it was happening,” Milito says. “So I didn’t know what was going on.”

Before leaving her home on the West Side for the Midtown studios, Milito had only a slight inkling of trouble brewing, when she learned that a plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m.

But, Milito set out on her 20-minute walk, not giving it much credence—believing it was a rare accident, perhaps caused by the pilot having a heart attack.

“I kept hearing sirens and alarms, and [seeing] all these ambulances,” Milito recalls. “It was just too much at the same time.”

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Famed Kiss FM Newsman Bob Slade Recalls ‘Triple Duty’ 9/11 Coverage at Emmis Stations

Listeners to Emmis’ WRKS-FM/98.7 Kiss FM know Bob Slade very well. He’s been the award-winning morning newsman (at times afternoons) since RKO started Kiss started 30 years ago. 

While those years in live radio served him well, he never could have planned for what was about to happen on September 11, 2001.

In today’s installment of 9/11: New York Remembers, FishbowlNY talks with Slade for his memories of that fateful day.

“I was going back to my office, and all of a sudden I looked up and there was a flash,” Slade tells FishbowlNY.

The Kiss studios since 1996 have been located in the West Village, just a mile or so from the World Trade Center. 

So Slade knew there was a problem. He monitored the police radio to get details about the first plane crash into the north tower.

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Morning Mayor Harry Harrison a Comforting Presence at WCBS-FM in Days Following 9/11 Tragedy

As you’ve been reading, FishbowlNY has explored how some of your favorite TV and radio personalities are coping with the 9/11 attacks—ten years later.  

None has been more beloved than the Morning Mayor—Harry Harrison.

Harrison spoke with FishbowlNY for our special 9/11: New York Remembers feature.

The Hall of Fame DJ ended his steady work with WCBS-FM in 2003. At the time, the legendary jock received numerous letters and online accolades as he stepped into retirement.

Many offered comments highlighting Harrison’s work on the days that followed September 11, 2001.

“Yours was the voice that comforted us in the terrible days after 9/11,” One person writes. “You encouraged us to be brave, to smile, to be happy, and basically appreciate life.”

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WCBS-AM Traffic Reporter Tom Kaminski Recalls the Chaos of 9/11 From the Air

In our continuing series, 9/11: New York Remembers, FishbowlNY speaks to WCBS-AM traffic reporter Tom Kaminski who had a perspective on September 11, 2001 that few had, and presumably, that few could have wanted.  

He was wrapping up his morning shift, hovering above New York City in a chopper. Because of an unfounded report on the Major Deegan Expressway, Kaminski was in the air later than a normal morning.

But, of course, we would soon discover that there would be nothing normal about this day.

“We were over the GWB and we started to turn south on the Hudson and we just saw a flash,” Kaminski remembers.

Kaminski’s pilot Arthur Anderson (now pilot for WABC-TV’s Newscopter 7) went on the intercom saying he believed there was a plane in front of tower one.

The pilot investigated by contacting LaGuardia Airport to see if they lost an aircraft. First, he heard silence. Then, Anderson called back and got nothing but “stand by.”

As you undoubtedly know, the air space, not just around lower Manhattan but the entire country, would be frozen.

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Ten Years Later, Veteran NY1 Anchor/Reporter Kristen Shaughnessy Describes the ‘Horrible Stuff’ of 9/11

It was a sunny late summer morning—64 degrees and not a cloud in the Manhattan sky on September 11, 2001.

We continue our unprecedented look back at 9/11: New York Remembers with a pair of NY1 reporters—Kristen Shaughnessy and Amanda Farinacci.

With it being primary day in New York, Shaughnessy, NY1 weekend anchor since 1995, was positioned in Brooklyn at the time (8:46 a.m.) of the first strike on the World Trade Center towers.

She thought it was incredulous, if not impossible, when the newsroom alerted her about the breaking news.

Shaughnessy and her live truck operator broke down the gear and headed for the Brooklyn Bridge, which was already closed, save for emergency vehicles. Fortunately, Shaughnessy had built a friendship with some of the firefighters.

“Follow us,” she was told. “So we were the only two vehicles on the bridge.”

As the second plane already hit the other building, they pulled over at City Hall and Shaughnessy continued on by foot to the towers.

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Veteran WINS Reporter John Montone Had ‘Story to Tell’ on 9/11 Despite Extremely Difficult Situation

John Montone is a longtime morning mainstay at 1010 WINS. He is most associated with his “person on the street” interviews that allow him some license. Montone can have some fun finding the quirky, off-beat slices of humanity.

However, without missing a beat, when developments warrant Montone gets serious, jumping into breaking news mode.

News was at its most serious on September 11, 2001, as we continue with our special series–9/11: New York Remembers.  

The biggest story prior to 8:46 a.m. was Primary Day in New York City. Montone worked that story from the Upper East Side. After going live, Montone was in the process of filing his taped reports.

He was paged by the station that a “small plane” hit one of the towers at the World Trade Center.

Even if initial reports were accurate, Montone knew it was still a big story.

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NBC News Reporter Jeff Rossen Calls it ‘An Honor’ to Cover 9/11 for WABC/Channel 7

Already with NBC News since 2008, Jeff Rossen’s popularity ballooned earlier this year by landing an exclusive interview with Charlie Sheen. 

But his star was on the rise just months after returning to New York City in May 2001 at WABC/Channel 7. 

Rossen, a Hauppauge, New York native, was one of the Eyewitness News reporters covering the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

Rossen spoke to FishbowlNY for our special series–9/11: New York Remembers.

“When we finally got downtown, we saw a jet engine on the sidewalk,” Rossen says.

Rossen (25 years old at the time) and his photographer Danny Lamothe kept moving south toward the World Trade Center.

“We were in place for when the second building came down,” Rossen remembers. “We felt that coming down on top of us.”Fortunately, Rossen didn’t suffer any long term ill-effects from being in the crosshairs of the collapse. But there was the matter of dealing with mental anguish.

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Anchors Ernie Anastos, Bill Ritter, and Chuck Scarborough Relive Their Most Difficult Professional Challenge–9/11

Despite working their famous calm exterior, some of New York’s veteran anchors endured emotional pain, tears, and a personal scare in covering that catastrophic Tuesday ten years ago.

The tragedy of 9/11, which of course started in the morning, was one of those rare breaking news stories when nighttime anchors were pressed into action.

One by one, the highest of high-profile anchors were on the air at the height of the disaster.

We begin our special Fishbowl series 9/11: New York Remembers by reexamining the 9/11 attacks with the Holy Trinity of New York anchors: Ernie Anastos, WNYW/Channel 5 (then with WCBS/Channel 2), Bill Ritter, WABC/Channel 7, and Chuck Scarborough, WNBC/Channel 4.

Bill Ritter, who lives in Manhattan, had the easiest trek to WABC’s Upper West Side studios. He got a call from his producer after the first plane struck the north tower at the World Trade Center. Even before knowing the full extent, Ritter was making his way to WABC.

Thanks to a short commute, Ritter (above, with Diana Williams during WABC’s 9/11 coverage) was on the air just after 10 a.m.—meaning he was describing to viewers as the second tower imploded.

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New York Media Pros Reflect on the Horrors, As We Present Our Series, 9/11: New York Remembers

It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the death and destruction of the 9/11 attacks. While the terrorist strikes also impacted the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for New York, the focus was on those twin towers that stood proudly as a beacon of the skyline.

The day was difficult for so many. But beginning tomorrow, we’ll get some insight into how tough it was for those who had to report the news.

FishbowlNY is pleased to give you unprecedented access to the city’s most prominent radio and television personalities with our 16-part series 9/11: New York Remembers.

For the next three weeks, you’ll go to ground zero as reporters work the story amid the carnage surrounding them at every turn.

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