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Posts Tagged ‘Mitch Lebe’

Memories of Longtime Media Favorite, Mayor Ed Koch

His style was brash and it was all New York! Edward Irving Koch is being laid to rest today. He died Friday at age 88 of congestive heart failure. Koch, a three-term mayor from 1978 to 1989, was a friend to the media, always good for a quote.

Rich Lamb covered Koch’s entire run as mayor for WCBS-AM. Although Koch was ill for the past several months, getting shuttled in and out of the hospital, Lamb was not fully prepared to learn of his passing.

“The phone went off at 6:15 [a.m.], and the first thing I heard was my own obit that I recorded yesterday because we decided we’d better have something ready to go,” Lamb tells FishbowlNY.

The situation appeared grave when Koch was transferred to the ICU at New York Presbyterian-Columbia Hospital.

Before Lamb could wipe the sleepy dust from his eyes, there was a live report awaiting him on WCBS at 6:20.

“As I began to speak on the air I choked up and it really surprised me,” Lamb admits.

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9/11: New York Remembers Revisited

In case you missed any of our special feature 9/11: New York Remembers, today we’re observing the 10th anniversary of the tragic day linking back to the entire series.

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Covering 9/11 for WBBR Was ‘Very Hard’ for Legendary Radio Anchor Mitch Lebe

Mitch Lebe is a veteran newsman with more than 50 years in New York radio.

He worked more than a decade at WYNY and sister station WNBC, followed by WCBS-AM throughout the 1990s.

In the new millennium, Lebe was prominently heard on Bloomberg Radio/WBBR.

On September 11, 2001, he was co-anchor of the afternoon shift.

Lebe spoke with FishbowlNY for our special series–9/11: New York Remembers.

“It was a day that we were starting a new jingle package,” Lebe says.

So that morning, Lebe, wanting to hear what to expect later, tuned to Bloomberg’s website for the streaming audio and the 9 a.m. jingles.

While waiting, he heard a traffic report at 8:55 a.m.

“I hear the helicopter [reporter] say, ‘There are flames coming out of the World Trade Center. We don’t know for sure, but we think a plane hit the building.’”

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Friends, Colleagues ‘Nominate’ Veteran Newsman Mitch Lebe for New York’s Broadcasting Hall of Fame

As we examined last week, staffers are finding their way since the break up two years ago from Bloomberg LP.

One of those is Mitch Lebe, now a fill-in news anchor primarily on 77 WABC.

Lebe is a radio lifer, in the business for more than 50 years.

Last year, this reporter began a campaign to get Mitch inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

While waiting for a decision, FishbowlNY reached out to some friends and colleagues that know him best. Needlessly to say, there was a consensus. 

Mitch began his radio career at WINS in 1958 billed as “The Teenage Disc Jockey.”

There were several stations over the years, but his greatness was solidified with stints at WYNY/66 WNBC, WCBS-AM, and WBBR (Bloomberg).

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Two Years Since Massive Bloomberg Layoffs, Former Staffers Persevere

On February 4, 2009, more than 100 employees of Bloomberg Radio and TV were laid off. While that’s part of the business, especially as the economy went from bad to worse, at the Mayor’s financial media empire, Bloomberg LP, it was unimaginable. Just do the math—28 years in business, no layoffs until that fateful day.

Last August, FishbowlNY spoke exclusively with veteran anchor Mike Schneider, who along with his staff, saw firsthand the ball rolling the night before.

Dozens were let go, but there were a select few that would find their voice again, working in New York radio and on the national scene. Longtime news anchor Mitch Lebe, at Bloomberg Radio (WBBR) through much of the last decade, is back on the air. He’s doing part-time anchoring on WABC-AM for Metro Networks and Westwood One.     

But this focus is on the names you don’t see on TV or hear on your radio. This is a cross-section of some behind the scenes staffers who had to deal with the Bloomberg debacle, and how they’ve recovered, or attempted to, in the ensuing two years. 

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Past and Present WCBS-AM Talent Swap Memories

Dozens of former WCBS Radio staffers renewed acquaintances at their biannual CBS Board luncheon in Teaneck, New Jersey.

The gatherings started simply enough in 1993 when six WCBS-AM staffers did lunch. In time, organizers (now run by Bob Leeder, a former CBS Radio executive) asked for, and received, the inclusion of station alum.

While primarily CBS on-air and behind-the-scenes folks make up the lunch, the guest list has grown to include other media personalities.

At one table you could find Bob Lape, the veteran food critic on WCBS (and WABC-TV), Stephani Shelton, a former CBS Radio anchor (and TV reporter), and Jane Tillman Irving, a longtime WCBS reporter, and now newswriter at the station. Also in attendance was Mitch Lebe (above), who anchored throughout the 1990s at WCBS. Lebe, into his second half-century in the business, is currently doing newscasts on WOR and WABC.

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