Who was Steve Flanders?

Steve Flanders Square is named after Stephen C. “Steve” Flanders, an award-winning broadcast journalist who covered New York and national politics for more than four decades.

Flanders died of a heart attack at the age of 64 on January 18, 1983 while on his way to a news conference at New York’s City Hall. He was the chief political reporter for WCBS radio. Millions of New Yorkers listened to his ”Reporter’s Journal” (Monday through Friday), and his ”Weekend Observer” broadcast on Saturday and Sunday. Flanders won awards from the New York Press Club and the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association for his reportage and commentary.

Stephen C. Flanders

Flanders covered both New York and national politics during his long career, interviewing City Council and presidential candidates alike with the same enthusiasm and genial skepticism.

Flanders was part of the original WCBS all-news team that included anchors Charles Osgood, Lou Adler, Steve Porter, Jim Harriot and Robert Vaughn, street reporter Ed Bradley and sportscaster Pat Summerall.

Flanders began his career in journalism in 1940 as a copyboy on the staff of The New York Herald Tribune. During World War II he served as an artilleryman with Gen. George Patton’s Third Army. He rejoined the Herald Tribune in 1945 as a reporter. In 1951 he moved from print to broadcast, taking a position as a writer and editor with ABC News. In 1955 he became an editor and commentator for NBC radio and television. He joined WCBS in 1962 and was named its political specialist in 1967 when the station shifted to an all-news format.

Posthumous honors

New York City Council named Steve Flanders Square, near City Hall, and dedicated it on June 8, 1984.

The New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association awards the Steve Flanders Award, a grand prize given for the best radio news operation in New York State.

The Steve Flanders Memorial Scholarship Fund was established at the Columbia University Journalism School.


Dedication of Steve Flanders Square

Photo by Alex Flanders

Steve Flanders Square was dedicated on June 8, 1984.

From the PROGRAM


New York City was Steve Flanders’ hometown and his news beat. Born here on February 17, 1918, he began his career in news as a copyboy at the New York Herald Tribune. During World War II he served in General George Patton’s Third Army. In 1945, he returned to the Herald Tribune as a staff reporter. In the 1950s he moved into broadcast journalism at ABC and NBC and then joined WCBS Radio in 1962 where he established a reputation for clarity and honesty as a political correspondent, analyst and commentators, a position he held until his death on the way to his beloved City Hall beat on January 18, 1983.


Hon. Edward I. Koch
Mayor of the City of New York

Hon. Andrew Stein
President, Borough of Manhattan

James McQuade
V.P. and general manager, WCBS

Doug Edelson

Jeff Flanders
Representing the Flanders family

Frank Rosa

Hon. Thomas J. Cuite
Majority Leaders, City Council of New York