Wayne’s WCBS history began at 13 as an avid listener to the founders of Newsradio 88, as it was then called. Almost four decades later, Wayne is listening still as the longest-tenured anchor at WCBS.
A Jersey guy, Wayne was born in Newark and lived all over the Garden State map: Union, Califon, Frenchtown, Trenton, Brick, Howell, Cranford, Springfield, and back to Hunterdon County where he lives with his childhood sweetheart and their two kids.
The call to radio began in high school when he overheard the radio club kids at Hunterdon Central whine about having to read news. Wayne’s hand shot up. That led to an internship at WCRV, the country and western station up Route 31 in Washington, NJ, and soon a job paying $2.90/hour.
The big 50,000 watt FM break came on Wayne’s 18th birthday when he began a short, painful career as WPST’s worst DJ ever. Program Director Tom Taylor kindly suggested Wayne might be more at home on their AM station, WHWH in Princeton.
Piecing together part-time paychecks, Wayne also reported in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania at WLEV and WEST in Easton before beginning college at Temple University in Philadelphia and transitioning to the legendary WFIL. He was hired by Jeff Caplan whom Wayne would replaced as news director (and would work with again at WCBS). While at WFIL Wayne also got redemption as a DJ a few times which, thanks to the internet, lives on at Famous56.com.
Wayne also reported news and hosted a call-in show down the hall at Power99FM, where he met the lowly prize guy who would become his boss at CBS radio, Marc Rayfield.
The week Wayne got his Temple diploma, he got his WFIL pink slip when the station was sold and the entire staff was dumped.
Auditioning for a job at the venerable KYW — and told there were no openings — Wayne turned on his way out the door and groveled to the manager that he’d be willing to travel to New York if there were openings at the Westinghouse station there. The manager smiled and said he’d pass that along. Wayne got a message three days later to call Steve Swenson at 1010 WINS. Today Swenson is in charge of all the CBS stations in DC, and that manager from Philly, Scott Herman, is in charge of CBS stations in New York and across the country.
After a year at WINS and decades at WCBS, Wayne is genuinely humbled to work among the industry’s best, both on the air and behind the scenes. Wayne is most proud of his involvement and the company’s generous support of such community giants as WHY Hunger, Special Olympics New Jersey, the Matheny Medical and Educational Center, and countless other charities. And he is grateful to WCBS News Director Tim Scheld for embracing the heart and spirit that makes WCBS part of the local community fabric. To that end, the fact that Tim and Wayne are fellow Deadheads is no surprise.
After anchoring PM drive for 17 years, Wayne got the call to mornings, 5-10 am, and traded his martini shaker for an alarm clock.
Wayne is keeping the martini glass not far from reach thanks to “News on the Rocks,” an unplugged news and conversation podcast CBS-FM personality and longtime friend Patty Steele.
A true believer in the power of the radio, Wayne likes to quote the late Pete Fornatale of the great WNEW-FM: “Radio is a miracle. You can define it artistically, scientifically or technologically, but snatching sounds out of the air and bringing them into our heads, our minds and our hearts is, was and always will be a miracle. Radio is a magic box. It is the most intimate form of communication that we have next to lovemaking.”
It’s been an interesting week for web searching.
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