NEW YORK — For a generation of rock ‘n’ roll radio listeners across the Five Boroughs of New York City and up and down the eastern seaboard, the name Cousin Brucie is synonymous with one set of call letters: WABC.
While the man known legally as Bruce Morrow would go on to invest in radio stations across the Catskills and mid-Hudson Valley, take an air shift at Oldies WCBS-FM 101.1 and, most recently, hold a widely popular slot on SiriusXM’s 60s on Six, the association with “77 W-A-B-C” was indelible.
Now, Cousin Brucie is “coming home.”
Morrow, who is 84 and recently exited SiriusXM, will essentially shift his Saturday night program from the satellite radio service to WABC-AM 770, now owned by John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media.
He’ll host a music-intensive program titled Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party, starting Sept. 5. It can be heard from 6pm-9pm each Saturday.
The debut show will be replayed on Labor Day (9/7) from Noon to 3pm Eastern.
“Cousins, this is literally one of the most exciting projects of my life,” Morrow said. “It completes a circle … a career circle. It all started at WABC, and here we are all these years later, and the magic is still here. And what magic we’re going to make!”
Originally, Cousin Brucie worked at WABC’s biggest rival in the 1960s, “Good Guy Radio” WMCA-AM 570 in New York. He started there in 1959, but a year later took a brief stint at then-Top 40 WINZ-AM 940 in Miami. Morrow returned to New York in 1961, for the night shift on a retooled WABC that would become a Top 40 legend — and survive a format war that saw WINS-AM switch to all-News and WMCA move to Talk by the end of the decade.
Morrow exited WABC in August 1974, when he replaced Wolfman Jack at WNBC-AM 660. In 1977, he said goodbye to the station and teamed with Robert F.X. Sillerman in the ownership of radio stations in the Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and Middletown, N.Y., markets.
But, his time behind the mic didn’t end. In 1982, he joined the air staff of WCBS-FM, which was enjoying a surge in popularity for its Oldies format.
“Brucie is a national treasure and talent,” said Catsimatidis, who acquired WABC from Cumulus Media.
News of Cousin Brucie’s return to WABC came following a report by CNBC stating that veteran talk host Bill O’Rielly is “on the verge of landing a new show” on WABC.
A new show, according to CNBC, is expected to debut in the fall.
— Reporting by Renee Cassis in New York and Adam R Jacobson in Boca Raton, Fla.