Someone heard doing a commercial on the radio is hardly noteworthy. But when the person is “Cousin Brucie” Morrow and the station is WCBS-FM, the ears perk.
For nearly a quarter-century, Morrow talked to his “cousins” on CBS-FM, primarily Wednesday and Saturday nights.
Now, his famous voice is back on WCBS-FM, but this time to shill for Lexus.
Morrow tells FishbowlNY that the spots date back to CBS-FM’s 40th anniversary last July. As part of his “reunion” broadcast, Morrow did several live commercial reads, including one for Lexus.
“They loved it so much, they called me the next day and asked me if I’d do their commercials for them,” Morrow says.
He says the ads run on all CBS Radio stations in New York.
That deal, though, almost didn’t happen.
Brucie came close to saying no to the one-time return on his beloved CBS-FM, still sore about the ugly 2005 flip to the jockless Jack-FM.
He says Jim Ryan, who became program director around the same time as the station anniversary last summer, kept pursuing Morrow to be part of the special weekend of music and memories.
“No way am I ever going to come back to that radio station,” Morrow recalls telling Ryan. “These people did a terrible thing, they’re nasty people and I can’t forgive them.”
Ultimately, after talking to his wife Jodi, Morrow reached out to Ryan telling him the “Jack” debacle seven years earlier wasn’t the programmers’ fault.
“All the people who were responsible for that stupidity at CBS-FM are no longer there,” Morrow says.
So Brucie agreed to appear, but not before laying down some rules, among them he would do a three-hour show and talk to any callers. Morrow also needed to pick his own music.
“[And] nobody comes in the studio except if I permit them,” Morrow says.
Ryan acquiesced in order to give one of the city’s most popular air personalities another moment on terrestrial radio.
Incidentally, right after losing his CBS-FM gig, Morrow was offered work by Ryan, who at the time was in charge at WLTW/Lite-FM. Two days later, Brucie signed a contract with Sirius (now Sirius XM) Satellite Radio.
“I love Brucie and he does a great job for the client,” Ryan tells FishbowlNY.
A residual effect of that celebratory night last year, Morrow visits CBS-FM on Hudson Street monthly to record the next batch of Lexus spots.
“It’s like old home week or it’s a high school reunion.”
But Brucie sees few comparisons to today’s CBS-FM that offers a heavy rotation of 1970s and 1980s tracks in its Classic Hits library.
“It’s a new radio station really, with new music. They just use the call letters,” Morrow says.
Beyond the occasional voice-over work, Brucie wouldn’t rule out another CBS-FM “reunion.”
“I have real nice, long contracts with Sirius,” Morrow admits. “But say in the future, I’m always willing to talk to everybody, if it meets with my standards and my way of doing radio.”