Steve Post was an overweight, nebbische Jewish kid born in the Bronx who had a complicated childhood. His mother died of cancer while he was a child. Successive women in his father’s life treated him with indifference or outright hostility (save for one woman, a stripper, who treated him like a real person). With his brother, he spent two years in a Dickensian boarding school where he was bullied. And he never did well in any school environment.
Back at home, he found escape in radio. Despite his father’s prohibitions, Steve surreptitiously used his dad’s Webcor reel-to-reel recorder to make “radio” programs, employing pseudonyms like “Luke Warm” and “Paige Turner.” Eventually, he realized his dream at WBAI, became a cult radio personality who innovated in “free form” radio, and helped many other youthful aspirants find their voices and realize their radio dreams.
He moved on to National Public Radio’s New York City flagship station, WNYC-FM, in 1981, where he hosted the weekday Morning Music for twenty years. During this time, he established himself as the station’s number one on-the-air fundraiser. He is credited with having played a major role in helping the station raise the money to buy the station’s license from the City, thereby winning its independence from mayoral interference.
When WNYC changed its format to all-talk subsequent to 9/11, Post began a weekly program, The No Show, returning him to his radio roots, combining music, commentary, and satire.
He retired from WNYC in 2009 and died in 2014.
His radio persona was that of a curmudgeon, but his outstanding personal characteristic was that of nurturance. His struggle with cancer lasted off and on for more than thirty years. Although he always characterized himself as a coward, he demonstrated remarkable courage in facing that challenge and other challenges of moral principle: “grace under pressure.”
Our portrayal of Steve Post presents us with the opportunity to portray some of the spirit, the zeitgeist of the 1960s and early 70s, with special reference to a key cultural, or counter-cultural institution of the time, Pacifica radio’s WBAI-FM in New York City, “one of the few examples of freedom in action in the electronic media.” (Julius Lester)
On the Road Productions International, Inc. (501(c)(3) is producing an 80-minute film documenting the artistic and personal impact of his life. Elements of the film will include photographs, radio program selections, readings from his book Playing in the FM Band: a Personal Account of Free Radio and other of his writings, letters from his listeners, and interviews with friends, family, and colleagues.