Father's Day Weekend
Teeing off on Father's Day. 5:45 PM. Photo: JH.
Father’s Day. It was very hot and humid in New York yesterday. The air was thick and murky. The streets were empty except for those coming and going. Even New York with its millions of inhabitants can feel like everyone left town.

Last Thursday night, down at the new Le Cirque, I went to a dinner for the Broadcasters Foundation of America, held upstairs in the restaurant's new private rooms. The evening which was a dinner “in honor of” the Foundation, and not a fund-raiser per se, was hosted by Nancy and William O’Shaughnessy. Mr. O’Shaughnessy is chairman and editorial director of Whitney Radio (WVOX 1460 AM/WRTN 93.5 FM, New Rochelle).

I don’t know this for a fact, but I’d bet that Mr. O’Shaun was a kid in the golden age of radio (when The Voice was the ticket to your success and you occupied a special place at breakfast tables or after dinner evenings when America listened to those voices on the radio). So he knows about all those who labored around, in front of, behind the mike, and what happened to them.

The Broadcasters Foundation was formed to look after their own – all of those men and women who had good careers but perhaps not financially spectacular results. Last year the Broadcasters Foundation distributed close to $300,000. in monthly grants in 27 different states to those plight had been confidentially brought to their attention. Under the leadership of Ward Quaal, Ed McLaughlin and Phil Lombardo and president Gordon Hastings.

Thursday night’s dinner was a kind of thank you and it was loaded with media and broadcast people including Jean and Dan Rather whose departure from CBS will be completed in November. Mr. Rather’s contract paid him $12 million a year.

Also at the dinner: Cindy Adams, Bob and Barbara Taylor Bradford, Ambassador Ogden Reid, Matilda and Mario Cuomo, their daughter Maria Cuomo Cole, Frederic Fekkai, Arthur Hill Diedrick, Ruby Dee, Ann (Mrs. Wellington) Mara, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Jeanine Pirro, Tony Malara, Robert Zimmerman, Lee Elman, Nick Verbitsky, Ralph Guild and the Maccioni family, Egidiana, Francesca and Stella, Sirio, and Mauro.

I was at the same table as the Bradfords. Bob was telling me that Barbara’s latest “The Ravenscar Dynasty” has had such pre-publication reception all over the world (it has an October pub date) that it may be bigger than “A Woman of Substance.”

Barbara has sold more than 75,000,000 books worldwide and turns out a book a year. Bob was telling me about her work routine. She’s at her keyboard in her well-appointed office in her beautifully appointed co-op at six in the morning.

She stops for breakfast about eight. She goes back to work, stops for lunch and finishes up about four in the afternoon. She does most of her own research because she loves research. As she gets into the process, she is rarely far from her desk. It’s a picture of a great storyteller compelled to write, and a glamorous one at that.

It was a night of affection for the art of broadcasting, a celebration of all the men and women made it their lives. In a way it was a night in honor of Mr. O’Shaughnessy who may now be a seasoned executive and broacasting raconteur but really is still The Kid getting started in the golden age. He’ll keep the banners waving for us.

Francesca and Egidiana Maccioni
Bill O'Shaughnessy and Dan Rather
Cindy Adams, Nancy Curry O'Shaughnessy, and Jeanine Pirro
Ann Mara and Susan McDonnell
Dan and Jean Rather with Gordon Hastings
Frederic and Shirin Fekkai
Matilda Cuomo and Ned Powell
Phil Lombardo with Barbara Taylor Bradford and Bob Bradford
Ogden Rogers Reid and Mario Cuomo
Nancy Curry O'Shaughnessy and Matilda Cuomo


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June 19, 2006, Volume VI, Number 100


© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/NewYorkSocialDiary.com