Westchester broadcasting mogul William (Bill) O’Shaughnessy passed away at the age of 84 on May 28, 2022.
The President & Editorial Director of WVOX, community broadcaster, editor, and author had a decorated career that touched the lives of many people in Westchester and throughout the media world. During his illustrious tenure at the New Rochelle-based radio station, O’Shaughnessy interviewed several high-profile people in politics and entertainment including Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, and Howard Stern.
The number of relationships he built with high-profile individuals helped put Westchester radio and media on the map. “His Irish charm and eagerness to know, understand, and engage with everyone was anchored by philanthropy and humanitarianism,” his obituary read.
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To truly realize the impact Bill O’Shaughnessy had on Westchester and beyond is reflected through his resume of stewardship and patronage:
- President & Editorial Director, WVOX
- Director, National Association of Broadcasters, Washington
- Trustee, Broadcasters Foundation and Broadcast Pioneers
- Trustee, Fund for Modern Courts
- Past President, New York State Broadcasters
- Founder & Past President, Advertising Club of Westchester
- Founder & Former Chairman, New York Market Radio (NYMRAi))
- Trustee, Andrew Cuomo’s Housing Enterprise for Less Privileged (H.E.L.P.)
- Founder, Nelson A Rockefeller Minority Internship Program (NYSBA)
- Chairman, The First NAB National Radio Conference
When asked about his mission in serving on the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s Board of Directors in 2016, he said that “it’s a chance for us all to give back. Everything we are proceeds from the fact that we are broadcasters. This is a chance to remember who we are and where we have come from; if you forgive me, it is noble work.”
Not only did the broadcaster have a strong positive influence on many people and organizations, but O’Shaughnessy was the recipient of many renowned media awards. These honors included the Indiana University Award for “Outstanding Editorials in the United States,” the Abe Lincoln National Award, the George Washington Medal of Honor, and the Westchester County Distinguished Service Medal for Public Service. He was also actively involved in giving speeches at large venues including the Communications Sub-Committee of the US House of Representatives, International Radio and Television Foundation, National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the First Amendment Forum in Washington DC.
O’Shaughnessy also edited four publications in collaboration with Fordham University Press and authored six books that reflected his passion for radio, Westchester, and many of the interesting folks he met throughout his life.
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One of his books includes a memoir of the 38-year friendship with former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. The two men held strong passions for the First Amendment and would frequently travel together to support their political visions. Cuomo described the Westchester broadcaster as “a journalist, commentator, connoisseur, a strong political presence, and a forceful advocate of great causes.”
“Bill O’Shaughnessy was a giant in Westchester,” County Executive George Latimer adds. “He single-handedly kept WVOX as the last local media voice…he was a chronicler and compadre of the famous in this county.”
O’Shaughnessy leaves behind many pieces of writing and broadcasting, as well as awards, relationships, editorials, and contributions to numerous people and organizations. He will be dearly missed for his impact on the media industry, in Westchester and well beyond.