Dennis Hart - Monitor

Dennis Hart - A Fan Remembers Monitor

[Find Dennis Hart's Monitor Tribute site here]

Twenty-five years ago on this very night -- January 26, 1975 -- one of broadcasting's greatest programs ended its incredible run.  NBC Radio's "Monitor" began June 12, 1955 -- the brainchild of NBC President Sylvester L. "Pat" Weaver Jr.  It started as a 40-hour continuous feed from 8 a.m. Saturday to midnight Sunday.  It featured news, sports, interviews, special  events and remote pickups from around the world.

  Over the years, "Monitor" hosts (originally called "communicators") included Dave Garroway, Frank Blair, Hugh Downs, Ben Grauer, Gene Rayburn, Bert Parks, Hal March, Frank McGee, David Wayne, Ed McMahon, Henry Morgan, Brad Crandall, Jim Lowe, Ted Brown, Joe Garagiola, Murray the K, Don Imus, Big Wilson and John Bartholomew Tucker -- to name just a few.
  "Monitor" was the Last Great Network Radio Show.  When Tucker signed off "Monitor" for the final time at 5:58 p.m. EST 25-years ago tonight, and the "Monitor" beacon and NBC chimes played for the last time -- the program had broadcast more than 20,000 hours -- far more than any other network offering in history.

    So let's all raise a toast to the memory of two magnificent broadcasting institutions that are missed to this day -- "Monitor" and WNBC Radio.

In another post:

 Gene Rayburn's passing this week should not go unmentioned on this great tribute page. For years, Gene was heard on WNBC on Saturday mornings on NBC Radio's "Monitor." He was the 2nd longest-tenured host of "Monitor," right after Jim Lowe. Gene came to NBC Radio via WNEW Radio in New York, where he had teamed up with Jack Lescoulie and, later, Dee Finch, to do a morning drive-time show that, as today's NY Times says, helped popularize the morning drive-time formula used to this day.

 Gene Rayburn arrived at NBC Radio in 1952 and replaced Bob and Ray on an early-morning show. A few years later, of course, Bob and Ray would star on "Monitor" -- as would Gene Rayburn. Today's NY Times calls "Monitor" a "radio news program broadcast on weekends." It was much more than that. It was a mammoth, wonderful program of news, features and live remotes that provided thousands of hours of enjoyable weekend listening over a 20-year period from 1955-75. And Gene Rayburn was a very, very big part of it.