Saturday, September 11, 2021

September 11 Radio History

Kenneth Banghart
 ➦In 1909....Radio announcer Kenneth Banghart born in Paramus, NJ (Died at age 70 - May 25, 1980 in Delray Beach, FL).

Banghart was working as a tour conductor and manager of Thomas Cook and Son Travel Agency in Washington, D.C., when he became a radio announcer at WRC, then went on to be a radio and television announcer, and a news commentator and sportscaster. Served briefly during WWII, as a war correspondent, then in 1944, he moved to New York where he became an NBC staff announcer.

He was the announcer Archie Andrews,  Katie's Daughter (1947-1948); syndicated program, Proudly We Hail (1947-1957); The Private Files Of Rex Saunders on NBC (1951); Encore on NBC (1952-1953); Best Of All on NBC (1954-1955).

Host of The Ken Banghart Show on NBC-Radio (1947); News Game on NBC-Radio (1954). Commentator on The Gillette Summer Sports Reel for NBC-TV (1953). In 1962, Banghart left NBC to work at CBS until he retired to Florida.

➦In 2000...John R. Gambling does the last “Rambling With Gambling” show on WOR 710 AM NYC.  Gambling joined his father as co-host of Rambling with Gambling in 1985, and took over as sole host in 1991 after his father's retirement. When WOR ended Rambling with Gambling in 2000 after 75 years on the air, John R. Gambling moved up the dial to 77WABC, taking over the post-morning-drive 10 a.m. - noon slot. Gambling was fired by WABC on February 29, 2008 in a cost-cutting move

➦In 2001...Terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City silenced four FM and nine TV stations.

Video produced by Art Vuolo Jr:

Since three of the major television broadcast network owned-and-operated stations had their transmission towers atop the North Tower (One World Trade Center), coverage was limited after the collapse of the tower. The FM transmitter of National Public Radio station WNYC was also destroyed in the collapse of the North Tower and its offices evacuated. For an interim period, it continued broadcasting on its AM frequency and used NPR's New York offices to produce its programming.

The satellite feed of one television station, WPIX, froze on the last image received from the WTC mast; the image (a remote-camera shot of the burning towers), viewable across North America (as WPIX is available on cable TV in many areas), remained on the screen for much of the day until WPIX was able to set up alternate transmission facilities. It shows the WTC at the moment power cut off to the WPIX transmitter, prior to the towers' collapse.

During the September 11, 2001 attacks, WCBS-TV channel 2 and WXTV-TV channel 41 stayed on the air. Unlike most other major New York television stations, WCBS-TV maintained a full-powered backup transmitter at the Empire State Building after moving its main transmitter to the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The station was also simulcasted nationally on Viacom (which at the time owned CBS) cable network VH1 that day. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the station lent transmission time to the other stations who had lost their transmitters, until they found suitable backup equipment and locations.

The Emergency Alert System was never activated in the terrorist attacks, as the extensive media coverage made it unnecessary.

9/11 Simultaneous Broadcast from Six Networks of the first fifteen minutes

Television coverage of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and their aftermath was the longest uninterrupted news event in the history of U.S. television.  The major U.S. broadcast and cable networks were on the air for days with uninterrupted coverage from the moment news first came that the first plane hit the World Trade Center.

Millions of shocked television viewers watching live pictures of the World Trade Center saw the second plane hit and both buildings come down. In order to keep up with the constant flood of information, at 10:49 a.m. EDT, Fox News Channel began running continuous updates in the form of a news ticker that crawled along the bottom of the screen. This was so well received by viewers that it became a permanent feature on the channel and was adopted by many other news channels.

Like television, almost all radio stations across the United States put a halt on all programs and commercials to simulcast affiliated news coverage of the attacks from ABC News Radio and CBS Radio News, or taking an audio simulcast of a television news operation, be it local or national, while national morning shows hosted by personalities such as Rick Dees or Howard Stern focused on providing both information about the attacks and call-in forums for listeners to express sympathies.

Local New York all-news radio operations WINS and WCBS, along with Washington's WTOP carried locally based coverage that was simulcast on those sister FM stations without operations destroyed at the World Trade Center as AM operations with transmitters on the outskirts of metropolitan areas were unaffected outside of security concerns for studio and transmitter facilities.

XM Radio, a subscription-based satellite radio service headquartered in Washington, D.C., was scheduled to launch on September 12, 2001. As a direct result of the attacks, the launch was delayed until September 25 when the service debuted on a limited basis in San Diego and Dallas.

➦In 2005…Sportscaster Christopher Eugene Schenkel died at age 82 (Born - August 21, 1923).  Over the course of five decades he called play-by-play for numerous sports on television and radio.

He began his broadcasting career at radio station WBAA while studying for a premedical degree at Purdue University. He served in the military during World War II and the Korean War.  He worked in radio for a time at WLBC in Muncie, Indiana.and then moved to television, in Providence, RI, and in 1947 began announcing Harvard football games. For six years he did local radio and called the Thoroughbred horse races at Narragansett Park.

In 1952, Schenkel was hired by the DuMont Television Network, for which he broadcast New York Giants football and hosted DuMont's Boxing From Eastern Parkway (1953-1954) and Boxing From St. Nicholas Arena (1954–56), replacing Dennis James as the network's primary boxing announcer.Schenkel was at the microphone for DuMont's last broadcast and its only color telecast, a high school football championship game held on Thanksgiving in 1957.

In 1956, he moved to CBS Sports, where he continued to call Giants games, along with boxing, Triple Crown horse racing and The Masters golf tournament, among other events. Along with Chuck Thompson, Schenkel called the 1958 NFL Championship Game for NBC. He was the voiceover talent for the first NFL Films production ever made, the 1962 NFL Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants.

ABC Sports hired Schenkel in 1965, and there he broadcast college football, Major League Baseball, NBA basketball, golf and tennis tournaments, boxing, auto racing, and the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. He became widely known for covering professional bowling, mainly for the Professional Bowlers Association (with the program becoming known as the Professional Bowlers Tour). He covered bowling from the early 1960s until 1997, as it became one of ABC's signature sports for Saturday afternoons.

Chris Schenkel also did play-by-play (with Bud Wilkinson providing color commentary) for the legendary 1969 Texas vs. Arkansas football game, known as the "Game of the Century", culminating the first 100 years of College Football in 1969. The game, also known as the "Big Shootout", garnered a share of 52.1, meaning that more than one half of the televisions in the United States were tuned in. Years later, Schenkel said "it was the most exciting, most important college football game I ever televised".

Schenkel went on to broadcast many more huge games, including the celebrated Nebraska-Oklahoma match on Thanksgiving Day 1971, as well as the Sugar Bowl national championship showdown between Notre Dame and Alabama on New Year's Eve 1973 (with Wilkinson and Howard Cosell, in a rare college football appearance). Schenkel was replaced by Keith Jackson as ABC's lead play-by-play man for college football telecasts in 1974, but continued to call college football games for several more years.

In 1976, Schenkel was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in the "Meritorious Service" category and in 1988 was inducted into the American Bowling Congress (now United States Bowling Congress) Hall of Fame, he was inducted in 1981 in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.

He was named National Sportscaster of the Year four times, and in 1992 received a lifetime achievement Emmy Award. Also in 1992, the Pro Football Hall of Fame presented Schenkel with its Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. In 1999, he received the Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award.

In a 2009 vote by its members, the American Sportscasters Association ranked Schenkel 25th on its list of the Top 50 Sportscasters of All-Time.

Larry Gelbart
➦In 2009...Producer, screenwriter Larry Gelbart died from cancer at age 81.   Drafted shortly after World War Two, Gelbart worked for the Armed Forces Radio Service in Los Angeles.

Gelbart began as a writer at the age of sixteen for Danny Thomas's radio show after his father, who was Thomas's barber, showed Thomas some jokes Gelbart had written. During the 1940s Gelbart also wrote for Jack Paar and Bob Hope. In the 1950s, his most important work in television involved writing for Red Buttons, for Sid Caesar on Caesar's Hour, and in Celeste Holm's Honestly, Celeste!, as well as with writers Mel Tolkin, Michael Stewart, Selma Diamond, Neil Simon, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen on two Caesar specials.

In 1972, Gelbart was one of the main forces behind the creation of the television series M*A*S*H, writing the pilot (for which he received a "Developed for Television by __" credit); then producing, often writing and occasionally directing the series for its first four seasons, from 1972 to 1976. M*A*S*H earned Gelbart a Peabody Award and an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and went on to considerable commercial and critical success.

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