Saul “Sy” Dresner, longtime owner and operator of WCCC AM/FM, the hard rock station in Hartford that gave a young Howard Stern one of his first on-air jobs in professional radio, died on New Year’s Day in southern Florida. The Brooklyn native was 89.
Dresner got his start in radio alongside his brother, Al, building radio stations in upstate New York, including WWHG (Hornell) WBNR (Beacon), and WELV/WDRE, (Ellenville). By the late 1960s, Dresner moved to Hartford and bought WCCC from the Electra Corporation, the “culmination of his lifelong love of radio,” his family said in announcing his passing.
A decade after buying WCCC, Dresner hired Stern to fill a morning radio slot in his lineup. Though a success, Stern departed a year later after being denied what he later described as a “lousy, stinking $25-a-week raise.”
Compensation grievances aside, it was at WCCC where Stern met fellow jock Fred Norris, who went on to work with Stern as his longtime producer. Their meeting was given the Hollywood treatment in the 1997 Stern biopic Private Parts.
“Whatever notoriety he has now he deserves,” Dresner said of Stern in a 1993 interview. “He never depended on anyone else. He did it all himself. So he deserves all the credit himself.”
Dresner sold WCCC in 1998 after 28 years of ownership, later settling with his family in Boca Raton, Fla.
In addition to his wife Edith, Dresner is survived by two sons, four granddaughters, a sister, and several nieces and nephews. The funeral will be held on Monday, Jan. 7 at Beth El Temple in West Hartford.