First Voice on KYW Newsradio!

A Steve Porter Tribute!

Stephen Gregory Porter, who was the first voice on KYW Newsradio passed away in September of 2013. He was 73 years old. Steve had heart surgery on September 23rd at the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Doctors expected a full but slow recovery. He was in intensive care after the surgery until the time of his death.

When KYW became newsradio on September 21, 1965, Steve Porter was the first anchor on the air.

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By the way, Steve Porter left KYW Newsradio to go to WCBS Newsradio. On August 28,1967, Steve was the first voice on that all news operation.

Steve Porter served for ten years as an NBC News White House Correspondent during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. His primary assignments were to provide NBC with coverage of the president’s activities at home and abroad. On television, he was seen regularly on the NBC News “Sunrise” program that precedes the “TODAY” program, and he also provided reports for “TODAY” and for “NBC Nightly News.” He was a major contributor of syndication coverage for NBC News affiliates and syndication customers. In addition, he was the primary White House correspondent for the NBC Radio Network.

Following his retirement from NBC, he assisted the Associated Press in the development of ANR, the wire service’s all-news radio product and helped start “Sky Radio,” the all-news product that was delivered directly to commercial airliners by USA Today.

In 1992, after the deaths of his wife, Rita and their son, Scott, Steve decided to leave Washington. He picked Myrtle Beach to be his home. This was where Steve and Rita planned to retire.

In 1995, he purchased a share of WRNN Radio in Myrtle Beach where he began WRNN’s morning news and talk program (January 1, 1995) which has developed into the Grand Strand’s strongest morning product. He also wrote a weekly column for the Myrtle Beach Herald entitled, "Porter's Point." It ran for 15 years.

Prior to being assigned to the White House in 1983, Steve was, for ten years, one of the main anchors on the NBC Radio Network’s “News on the Hour” nationwide broadcasts from New York City. He would also cover spot news for the television network and was called upon from time to time to anchor network break-in bulletins and evening news breaks.

Steve was the original kick-off anchorman on WCBS Newsradio in New York City in 1967. The station continues that format with virtually the same on-air product to this day. Steve recently attended the station’s 40th anniversary Newsradio celebration at CBS headquarters in New York.

Steve was also the original kick-off anchorman on KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia in 1965. That station too continues today with the original format. Steve also did spot news reports for KYW-TV and won awards for his long running series “Black plus White equals Peace,” that was designed to give minorities a voice on KYW in an effort to prevent development of another Philadelphia riot.

Prior to Philadelphia, Steve was a morning television anchor on KONO-TV (ABC) in San Antonio, Texas and was news director of WFLA Radio (NBC) in Tampa, Florida where he also co-anchored the evening TV news at the age 23. He started at WFLA while attending St. Petersburg Junior College. He then went to the University of Miami.

While attending their School of Business, he worked full time for WGBS and WINZ, the two most powerful stations in Miami.

Steve has won numerous journalism awards from the Peabody to the Ohio State to the Janus award for economic reporting, the New York Bar Association , and the Headliner Award for his coverage of the first summit meeting in Moscow between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev and received an Alfred I. Dupont nomination for his documentary on the Israeli Lobby.

Steve was born on January 17, 1940 right here in Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh. He was the son of Stephen Geyer and Louise Kusler Porter.

Steve and his wife, Robbie have three grown children. He was an instrument rated pilot and in his spare time liked to play golf, dabble in book writing and generally just help out in the community. He also loved jazz and classical music.

Listen to Steve Porter on KYW Newsradio on Sunday, October 17, 1965. It is from KYW Newsradio, which at this time was less than one month old. This clip is from the noon hour. It runs 9:43 in length. The reports starts out with news about the Vietnam war and then segues into news about anti-war demonstrations. The station spoke via phone to a Philadelphia college student at the University of California who was at a west coast demonstration the day before. Included in this excerpt is a report by Nelson Cohen about a demonstration here in Philadelphia. That report was 4:15 long. Also included are remarks by Congressman Richard Schweiker, who later went on to be a US Senator from Pennsylvania. In 1955, Schweiker married Claire Coleman, who was a graduate of Temple University and was Miss Claire on WFIL-TV's "Romper Room." The anchor has been identified by long-time KYW Engineer Bud Galow (a member of the Broadcast Pioneers) as Steve Porter.

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Jerry Klein speaks with Steve Porter

At our Wednesday, June 16, 2010 luncheon (a celebration of 45 years of KYW Newsradio), our moderator was then Vice-President Jerry Klein who spoke with Steve Porter via the telephone. Steve was in Myrtle Beach.

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