14 January 2010


Long before there was a WFAN, ESPN Radio and Mike and the Mad Dog, there was "Sports Talk on TalkRadio 77 WABC." The host was former WNBC-TV sportscaster Art Rust, Jr.

Back in the day when he was on WABC, "Mike from Toms River" rarely missed his daily show. One of my favorites was when Art would take a shot at Howard Cosell after Howard's (taped) nightly "Speaking of Sports" segments.

One of my most memorable segments was when Art let his listeners know that when the NY Knicks "won" the NBA lottery and selected Patrick Ewing, there was a lot more than "luck" involved and despite GM Dave DeBusschere's reaction to getting pick #1, nobody else in the room was overly surprised. Looking at recent NBA history, not much has changed.

I hope Art gets his due respect today in the sports radio world because without "Arthur George.....Rust Junior, that is..." there would not be a WFAN and the sports talk radio format that is so hugely successful today.

"He was the godfather," said Tony Paige of WFAN. "He was the Jackie Robinson who paved the way for me and everyone else - Mike Francesa, Chris Russo, Michael Kay, everyone."(quote source: NYDN)

"You have to remember, when he started at WABC in 1981, there was no 'FAN or anything," says Steve Malzberg, who got his radio start as Rust's producer and is now on WOR. "There was just him. And he took New York by storm."(quote source: NYDN)

Arthur George Rust, Jr. died yesterday from complications of Parkinson’s disease in Manhattan.

“Yesterday is a canceled check, tomorrow is just a promissory note, today is the only time we have so spend it wisely... Goodnight Edna baby.”

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