Bob Hardt and WABC News
When you think of Musicradio WABC you usually think of the music, the DJ's, the jingles and the contests. But there was another part to WABC that was equally important: WABC News.
In the sixties and seventies all radio stations were required by the FCC to carry newscasts in order to "serve the public good". WABC was no exception and had a significant news presence. In fact, it had an entire news department that was actually bigger than today's WABC's is. It was a tricky job in that the news had to be written and presented in such a way as to keep its music listeners interested.
John Meagher and Bob Hardt are the best remembered on air newscasters. John did mornings with Harry Harrison and Bob did afternoons with Dan Ingram. Bob also did the "Six O'clock Report". After the American Contemporary News at 5:55 PM, Bob did ten minutes of local news followed by a five minute local sports report with Howard Cosell.
Here's an example of one of Bob's Six O'clock Reports:
The production of this daily newscast was far more than reading the news. It was written, produced and presented on a level equal to the all news stations in New York (WCBS-AM and WINS) and the other full service stations with big news departments (WOR and WNEW).
Here are a series of pictures of the Six O'clock Report from March, 1973. Bob wrote and anchored the newscast which was honored six times by the Associated Press as the best regularly scheduled local news broadcast in New York City. Bob is at the microphone. Bill Arp is his editor, producer and is the director. George Berger is the engineer sitting across from Bob. And, yes, this is the same studio "8A" where the DJ's sat and played the hits!
If you'd like a much more detailed discussion of Musicradio WABC's news presence, listen to the interview below. Bob spoke with Scott Benjamin for Musicradio77.com in 2003. You'll come away with a real sense of what WABC news was all about... and what it was like to do news at the biggest radio station in the country from 1968 to 1979. Bob also talks about Howard Cosell, Dan Ingram and others:
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