A mainstay of WCBS-FM has died. Spanning two generations, Bill Brown was on the air for parts of five decades at CBS-FM, predating the famed Oldies format.
Brown died Sunday after a long illness. He was 69.
When CBS-FM launched a freeform rock format in 1969, Brown with his signature deep voice was hired. In 1972, when the station flipped to Oldies, Brown adjusted. He would remain a constant at CBS-FM until the bitter end in 2005 when the “Jack” format took over, making the jocks obsolete.
Brown was the final jock on the air prior to the transition on June 3. Instead of a typical “Good day, Good bye” sign-off, Brown combined wit and foreshadowing with: “Do you ever feel the urge to scream Rescue Me?! I’m beginning to get that feeling; here’s Fontella Bass.” (The “Jack” era ended two years later with a new version of CBS-FM).
“He was a consummate pro,” former CBS-FM program director Joe McCoy recalls.