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Roy Shapiro, KYW Newsradio Icon, Dead at 76

John McDevitt John McDevitt
John McDevitt has been a reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060...
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By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  Roy Shapiro, an acknowledged broadcast pioneer and a former general manager of KYW Newsradio in the ’80 and ’90s, died last night in Bryn Mawr, at the age of 76.

Listeners may remember Shapiro for his many editorials that aired on KYW 1060 during that time.

“Sure role models are important,  but so is equal opportunity — for everyone,” he said in his thick Bronx accent during one 1988 editorial about equal employment opportunity.

Marc Rayfield, the Philadelphia market manager for CBS Radio, which owns KYW Newsradio, today said, “You would never think that the general manager of a radio or television station would be remembered because he did editorials, yet I knew who he was when I was a kid.”

Rayfield said that when he became KYW’s general manager, he tried doing a couple of editorials himself but found that they were “a cheap imitation of Roy — how could I do that?   And I rarely did (editorials), because he was the master at it.”

Shapiro was also part of the management team that created the all-news radio format, in 1965.

Today, Scott Herman, executive vice president of operations for CBS Radio, said, “His original role in the company was one of our research heads, so in his role as research director within the company he was very much involved in the all-news radio format when it began in 1965.   But he was also  involved in the way we sell radio today and the way ratings are calculated today.”

In 2003 Roy Shapiro was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in Philadelphia.

He was a lecturer and teacher at Temple University and active in the community, most notably for the Police Athletic League (PAL).

A funeral was set for Sunday.

The current staff at KYW Newsradio 1060 extend their sincere condolences to the family and friends of Roy Shapiro, whom many at the station were happy to call a friend.

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