Co-Anchor Remembers Tom Snyder

By Chris Ariens 

From TVNewser columnist Gail Shister.

Legendary Tom Snyder, who died Sunday at 71 from leukemia, would have been a perfect fit for cable news, says his long-ago Philly co-anchor.

“Cable is looking for people larger than life, and that was Tom. He had a towering personality,” recalls Marciarose Shestack, who, with Snyder, launched the “Eyewitness News” format at KYW in 1965.

“He wasn’t afraid of anybody or anything. He had a level of unpredictability than makes you very nervous as a manager, but gives a show spontaneity. People love to watch train wrecks.” Snyder, of course, went on to national stardom as host of the late-night Tomorrow on NBC from 1973 to 1982; and as the first host of CBS’s Late Late Show, in 1995. (Fun Fact: Fox News czar Roger Ailes produced Snyder at Tomorrow.)

Shestack, 74, still a Philly gal, vividly remembers the day she met Snyder. “This big, loud, brash guy came bounding into my office and said, ‘OK, kiddo, I guess we’re going to be working together.’ I didn’t know what to make of him. “He was an amazing, smart, remarkably gifted man. He’s also the only person who ever made me feel diminutive, and I’m tall.”