Tom Seem '68

Publication Date

Retired TV executive

Tom Seem '68

1920 - 2020

celebrates a century

I joined the WRUC team in 1964, after Dick Ferguson, Jeff Hedquist, Toby Olson, Dick Sweed and Al Nahmias had resurrected the station from piles of wires and equipment in what was then Old Gym Hall. I started doing fill-in work for a jazz DJ, reading the liner notes on classy albums to make it sound as if I really knew jazz.

Tom Seem '68

I moved on to work with the station’s Top 40 format during a weekday evening time slot that eventually became “The Squirrel Show.” Eventually, my slot morphed into the “Tom Seem Show” until I started to discover and play some of the weirdest novelty music ever produced in the annals of rock and roll. These included off-brand covers of hits of the day, including songs done by “Mrs. Miller,” an older woman who thought she could sing pop. As this continued, the show became the “Rotten Tom Show” with great promos produced by Jeff.

I tell people that I majored in political science and college radio at Union. The radio obsession, and other things, cost me a year before I could finish my thesis and walk in graduation, but…

A seed was planted and I went into broadcast news, working at TV and radio stations in Elmira, N.Y.; Hartford, Conn.; Miami, Fla; and in 1981 to CBS News.

I retired from CBS in 2008 after establishing and running the Special Events unit in the Washington bureau. I continue to do freelance work for CBS News, most recently acting as coordinating producer for the CBS Democratic Debate in February 2020, in Charleston, S.C.


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