North East RadioWatch: March 5, 1998

Loss of Two Legends

by Scott Fybush

We begin this week's news with the passing of two of the industry's giants.

W. Gordon Swan was on the air at the Boston area's first radio station, Tufts University's WGI Medford Hillside...way back in 1922. Two years later, he joined the staff of Westinghouse's WBZ/WBZA in Boston, rising through the ranks until becoming program director.

Swan was instrumental in bringing television to New England, as program director of WBZ-TV when it signed on in 1948. Swan remained with WBZ radio and television until his retirement in 1968.

In recent years, Swan was writing a memoir of his days in broadcasting. Gordon Swan died Sunday at a nursing home in Kingston, Massachusetts. He was 92 years old.

The medium Swan helped create was later polished to a high sheen by Fred W. Friendly. As Ed Murrow's producer on "See It Now," and later as president of CBS News and as a statesman of the industry, Friendly stood for the highest values of broadcast journalism throughout his long career. He was also a veteran of New England radio, having started his career at WEAN (now WSKO) in Providence. Friendly was 82.

On with the rest of the week's news...

We'll see you next Thursday with more news from across the dials...

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