Media icon pays a visit to QU

Mark Dipaola

Charles Osgood, a renowned news radio and television anchor, paid a special visit to Quinnipiac University on Friday, Sept. 14th to mark the 10 year anniversary of WQUN, Quinnipiac’s award winning commercial radio station.

The presentation, which took place in Alumni Hall at 2 p.m. and lasted for an hour, began with a brief introduction from university President John Lahey, and an audio clip featuring various highlights of WQUN’s distinguished ten-year existence.

Although the event was well attended, relatively few students were seen seated among the largely non-student audience.

Osgood, who took the podium to thunderous applause, kept the mood light with clever jokes and humorous stories spawning from his long, distinguished career in the media.

WQUN has worked closely with the CBS Radio Network since 1997, and Osgood was on hand for the station’s official launch that same year. Since then, WQUN has garnered four Associated Press awards.

A recipient of, among others, three Peabody awards, three Emmy awards, and an International Radio and Television Society Foundation award, Osgood is also a member of the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He currently anchors the CBS Sunday Morning News, and his radio show, the Osgood File, which airs on the CBS Radio Network.

During the presentation, Osgood recalled the early stages of his career, which include four years as a reporter for ABC News, and a stint with WCBS, where he worked side by side with anchor Lou Adler, now a professor at Quinnipiac. Also on his resume is a position as general manager at Hartford’s WHCT, the first pay TV station in the country.

“You learn from your colleagues,” Osgood said. “I learned from Lou. And at CBS I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best.”

He added, “I really do feel that I have not stopped learning. And you have to keep learning as you go along.”

Osgood also entertained the audience with a clever poem that he had written in response to a disgruntled listener’s criticism of his famous “See you on the radio” sign off, and even showcased his musical talents using the auditorium’s piano.

Although Osgood’s legacy stretches across dual mediums, he said that he prefers radio over television. The most important role of a radio anchor, he said, is to establish and maintain a “relationship” with listeners.

“I think it’s a more intimate medium than television,” Osgood said after the presentation. “As a broadcaster I’m all alone in the room, and so I’m talking to one other person. In television, the room is awful. Technicians, camera people, makeup artists. I just think it’s a more intimate medium. It’s one on one.”

Although Osgood has always had an interest in radio, he studied economics at Fordham University, where he was involved with the campus radio station, but did not take any courses in broadcast.

“At the time I just didn’t think you went to school to learn radio,” Osgood said. “So I worked at the radio station at Fordham. And I think I learned quite a lot working for the station.”

When asked what the pinnacle of his lengthy, illustrious career was, Osgood simply answered, “Yet to come.”