Devotees of National Public Radio no doubt are mourning the imminent retirement of Carl Kassel, who for so long was the voice of “Morning Edition” news updates.
Kasell, who found a second life as the official judge and scorekeeper of NPR’s game show “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me!,” has been with the organization for five decades. He turns 80 on April 2.
It’s an impressive run, but I can think of four other broadcasters who are still working after age 80.
Charles Osgood, 81
This year marks Osgood’s 20th anniversary as host of “CBS News Sunday Morning.” His weekly sign-off, “I’ll see you on the radio,” alludes to his daily news commentary, “The Osgood File,” on CBS Radio Network. The only problem with the radio is that you can’t see Osgood’s ubiquitous bow tie. He was born in New York City but moved with his family to Baltimore’s Liberty Heights neighborhood. His 2004 book was titled “Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack.”
Vin Scully, 86
Like Osgood, Scully graduated from Fordham University, where he also played baseball, including a game against Yale’s George H.W. Bush. Scully is entering his 65th season as voice of the Dodgers – having started in Brooklyn in 1950 and continuing today in Los Angeles. “He works alone and completely schtickless,” wrote Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, calling home games and road games in California and Arizona. It’s worth the $200 cost to purchase Major League Baseball’s TV package just to go to sleep to Scully’s voice.
Bob Chase, 88
One Thanksgiving night back in the late 1990s, I got stuck in a traffic tie-up on Route 30, approaching the Susquehanna River from Lancaster County. The clear night air carried to my car radio the powerful signal of 50,000-watt WOWO and Chase’s broadcast of the storied Fort Wayne (Ind.) Komets hockey team. A mentor to another legendary hockey play-by-play announcer, former Hershey resident Mike Emrick, Chase is in his 61st straight year of calling Komets games; only Scully has been with a team longer among U.S. broadcasters.
Luther Masingill, 92
Scully and Chase have a way to go to catch up with Masingill, however. He’s the world’s longest-running broadcaster, this year marking 74 years on WDEF in Chattanooga, Tenn., and 60 years on WDEF-TV. Part of Sunny 92.3 FM’s morning crew, “Legendary Luther” “features community events and continues his 70 year mission to reconnect lost dogs with their owners,” according to the radio station’s website.