N.Y. radio vet worked at WNEW for 31 years.

New York radio legend Scott Muni died last night (Sept. 28) at New York Hospital. He was 74. The pioneering rock DJ had been confined to a rehabilitation center since suffering a stroke earlier this year.

Most recently at New York classic rock station WAXQ (Q104.3), Muni is best known for his time at WNEW-FM, where he arrived in 1967 and remained for 31 years. Also known as "Scottso" and "The Professor," Muni began his New York radio career as a "Good Guy" on top-40 WMCA in the late '50s. He then moved to WABC in 1960, where he played an integral role in breaking the Beatles before leaving the station in 1964.

Muni's arrival at WNEW as program director helped usher in the progressive rock format, which quickly spread to other major U.S. cities, providing an outlet for countless seminal artists largely ignored by the dominant top-40 stations of the day. Artists he interviewed in the '70s, including Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger and Pete Townshend, counted him among their friends.

When a bank robber holding several hostages called his show in 1972, the incident was later turned into the Academy Award-winning film "Dog Day Afternoon."

Muni left WNEW in 1998 and moved over to WAXQ. His daily one-hour show always started off with a block of the Beatles. As part of a series of on-air tributes this weekend, WAXQ plans to air a 1975 special in which John Lennon co-hosted an afternoon with Muni.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print