Scott Muni, 74; Radio Host Was on the Air for Almost 50 Years

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Scott Muni, 74, the gravelly voiced radio host whose encyclopedic knowledge of rock ‘n’ roll made him “The Professor” to three generations of New York listeners, died Tuesday night in New York City.

Muni, who spent nearly 50 years on the air in the nation’s No. 1 radio market, had suffered a stroke this year. But the cause of his death was not immediately known, said Josefa Paganuzzi, spokeswoman for Clear Channel New York.

Muni was born in Wichita, Kan., and raised in New Orleans. His broadcasting career started in the Marines on Radio Guam. Back in the U.S., he replaced Alan Freed in Akron before arriving in New York City in the late 1950s as one of WMCA-AM’s “Good Guys,” serving up Top 40 fare. He switched to rival WABC-AM in 1960, spending four years there during Beatlemania.

But it was when he switched over to the new world of FM that Muni found his place on the radio dial. He arrived at WNEW in 1967, helping create one of the nation’s first and longest-lasting alternative stations. He also had many nationally syndicated programs during his career, including “Scott Muni’s World of Rock” and the Beatles-oriented “Ticket to Ride.”


In addition to his radio work, the distinctive Muni voice asked, “How do you spell relief?” in a memorable Rolaids commercial; he also did promotional announcements for ABC’s “Monday Night Football.”