William O’Shaughnessy, who was president and editorial director of New York radio stations WVOX and WVIP, died May 28. O’Shaughnessy held those positions for 67 years. He had also been president of the New York State Broadcasters Association in 1973-1974, and chairman of public affairs for the National Association of Broadcasters. O’Shaughnessy was also on the board of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.
O’Shaughnessy was 84. Radio magazine Talkers said he had battled cancer.
“Bill set the gold standard for local broadcasting in New York with his many editorials and commentaries,” said David Donovan, president of the New York State Broadcasters Association. “Throughout his life, WVOX and WVIP remained true to their mission, serving the local community. Bill earned national recognition as a staunch defender of the First Amendment rights of broadcasters. He served as president of the New York State Broadcasters Association. Bill assisted countless broadcasters that were in need through his service on the Board of Directors of the Broadcasters Foundation of America, where he served as Chairman of the Foundation’s Guardian Fund. He was the epitome of a local broadcaster and will be missed.”
WVOX, an AM station, is based in New Rochelle, New York. It plays a mix of talk, including local politics, and music. [Disclosure: This reporter hosted a program on WVOX, an unpaid position, in 2015.] WVIP, also based in New Rochelle, plays Caribbean music. The stations are part of Whitney Radio, which O’Shaughnessy was president and CEO of.
“The Board of Directors and I are saddened at this tremendous loss to our profession,” stated Scott Herman, chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation. “A true wordsmith, Bill was known for his eloquence in his speech and his writings. His letters to raise funds for The Broadcasters Foundation’s Guardian Fund struck a chord with everyone who read them, so graceful and elegant was his prose.”
“Bill O’Shaughnessy was a passionate public servant who left an indelible mark on broadcasting through his leadership, dedication and prose," said National Association of Broadcasters President Curtis LeGeyt. "His commitment to his community and our profession reflects the very best of broadcasting. Further, his incredible dedication to the Broadcaster’s Foundation helped countless lives. Our condolences go out to Bill’s family and all whose lives he touched.”
O’Shaughnessy authored six books, including Radio Active, Vox Populi and Mario Cuomo: Remembrances of a Remarkable Man. ■
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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