Broadcasting exec Steve Labunski has passed away of natural causes. Labunski was 86.
As general manager at WMCA, he was the person who gave Ruth Meyer her start in New York radio in 1958. Meyer was the trailblazing WMCA “Good Guys” program director through much of the 1960s. Meyer died in January.
At the time, FishbowlNY reached out to an ailing Labunski for reaction.
Radio great Harry Harrison credits Labunski and Meyer for bringing him to New York in 1959. He last saw Labunski during a milestone on-air shift–celebrating his 40th year in the Big Apple.
“I did my CBS-FM morning show from the Museum of TV and Radio in Manhattan [now known as the Paley Center] and the station surprised me,” Harrison remembers. “They contacted Steve, I didn’t know. He was a guest on the show. It was a very pleasant surprise, and we had a great time chatting. It was great to see him and talk to him.”
Labunski had other high-profile positions, including president of NBC Radio. But for Harrison and millions others, WMCA represented a special time that will never be replicated.
“Steve as the manager, and Ruth as the program director [were] very important and a large part in the success of the ‘Good Guys.'” Harrison recalls. “Steve trusted Ruth and her ideas and plans.”
Building on the popularity of the “Good Guys,” Harrison, (the WMCA midday jock), reflects on one pet project the station had.
“We recorded an album–The Good Guys Sing–and Steve wrote the liner notes,” Harrison says. “They were very clever, very funny.”
Harrison then recited a portion of the Labunski’s liner notes.
“There’s never been a team like the Good Guys, and there just aren’t any words to describe what it’s like for the rest of us at WMCA …
About all I can say is fellas the boss is proud of you, like your thousands of wonderful listeners, I love you Good Guys!”