Former WMCA Owner R. Peter Straus Dies
August 9, 2012 at 3:51 AM (PT)
R. PETER STRAUS, the longtime former owner of WMCA-A/NEW YORK and director of the VOICE OF AMERICA, died MONDAY at his home in MANHATTAN at 89.
STRAUS joined WMCA in 1948 after its purchase by his father, NEW YORK State Senator NATHAN STRAUS, serving as PD before leaving in 1950 to work at the INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION. He rejoined his father in running STRAUS COMMUNICATIONS, INC., owner of WMCA, in 1958 and became President of the company in 1959 and CEO upon NATHAN STRAUS' passing in 1961, holding that position throughout WMCA's heyday as a major Top 40 outlet in the 1960s and an all-Talk station in the 70s and 80s.
Under the operation of STRAUS and his wife ELLEN SULZBERGER STRAUS, the station became known for its "Good Guys" air staff (and iconic sweatshirts), STRAUS's editorials, and the "Call for Action" hotline that spread to stations nationwide.
The station was sold in 1986, and STRAUS segued into owning several local weekly newspapers in the area surrounding the intersection of the states of NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, and PENNSYLVANIA, now headed by the STRAUS's daughter JEANNE.