William O’Shaughnessy, a broadcasting pioneer in New York, died at his home in Connecticut on Saturday, May 28. He was 84.
O'Shaughnessy was owner and president of Whitney Radio, which owns and operates WVOX in Westchester County.
A 1999 New York Times profile described O'Shaughnessy as "a flamboyant figure, a tall man with bright silver hair and a penchant for London-made suits and Corvette convertibles."
He was born April 7, 1938 to William Mac O’Shaughnessy of Elmira and Catherine Pauline Tucker of Waverly, according to his obituary.
As president and editorial director, he presided for 67 years over WVOX and WVIP radio stations.
He began his career in 1957 at the original WVIP in Northern Westchester, a suburban station owned by Martin Stone, producer of Howdy Doody and Author Meets Critic. He was the station’s top advertising salesman at the age of 21.
From there he moved to the WNEW in New York as executive assistant to that station’s general manager John Van Buren Sullivan. At WNEW, he developed a great friendship with the disc jockey William B. Williams, host of The Make Believe Ballroom, whom he eulogized in Variety.
He was married twice, first to Ann Wharton Thayer with whom he had three children: Matthew Thayer O’Shaughnessy, David Tucker O’Shaughnessy and Kate O’Shaughnessy Nulty, and five grandchildren: Tucker Thomas Nulty, Flynn Thayer Nulty, Amelia Jane Nulty, Isabel Grace O’Shaughnessy, and Lily Anna O’Shaughnessy.
He later married Nancy Ellen Curry, which ended in divorce.
In recent years, he lived with his “compadre” and companion Gregorio Alvarez in Litchfield, Connecticut, where he was a father to three cockapoo dogs, Coco, Jack, Stella Bella, and the late Lacey.
A member of the American Yacht Club, Lyford Cay Club, Litchfield Country Club, the Winged Foot Golf Club and Torrington Country Club, among others, O’Shaughnessy had homes in Westchester, Sun Valley, New York City, and Litchfield. He built a 180-acre farm, Lordstown Meadow Farm in upstate Waverly, NY, where he raised quarter horses.
A past president of New York State Broadcasters Association for many years, O’Shaughnessy ran its Annual Conferences at the Otesaga in Cooperstown and the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga.
He served as a senior director of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.
Services will take place at Lloyd Maxcy Funeral Home in New Rochelle from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 31. The funeral mass will be held at St. Anthony of Padua in Litchfield at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 1.
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