Northern New York Newspapers
NNY Business
NNY Living
Tue., Oct. 6
Serving the community of Ogdensburg, New York

Voice of assurance


Last week, Massena paid tribute to the man who just may have the distinction of having the longest continuous early morning radio show on a single station in the north country.

Sanford T. Cook has been the morning disc jockey on WMSA since 1982, cheering on Massena with his Morning Extravaganzas. But Massena heard Mr. Cook’s voice even before then. His first broadcast came in 1973 when he joined the station as a new high school graduate from Honeoye Falls.

Morning radio announcers fill a unique calling, rising before dawn to be ready to begin talking into a microphone just as the community begins to stir. It is a solitary job because you never directly see your audience, but you know they are there if you forget to report the ball scores or overlook the weather forecast.

The Cook formula for the Morning Extravaganzas is simple: Pleasantly awaken the community with information, sports scores, weather, music and driving conditions. It is a job like few others.

Mr. Cook took on the WMSA’s morning radio show after the retirement of the late Jean LaPage. Mr. LaPage was just as well known, commonly referred to as the morning mayor of Massena.

Morning radio is not enough for Mr. Cook, who has been the play-by-play announcer for the Massena High School football team. He has hosted innumerable fundraising broadcasts including those for Massena’s hospital and Rotary Club. He has been a key promoter of the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas toy drive.

Mr. Cook followed in the footsteps of many well-known broadcasters at WMSA. When he was honored last week, former station manager Victor A. Perry reminded the audience of the heritage of some of WMSA’s notable voices — names such as Glenn Gough and the late Jim Nash, Danny Burgess and James W. Higgins — who went on to complete notable broadcast careers in Watertown.

But none of the voices of WMSA can claim 40 years behind the same microphone. And Mr. Cook promised his audience last week that he plans on another decade of talk.

May the words continue to flow.

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