“One of his pet peeves was if somebody died, the person ‘died,’ the person did not ‘pass away,’ ” Mr. Lamb said.
Mr. Adler left WCBS in 1981 for another New York radio station, WOR-AM (710), and later worked at the Atlanta all-news station WCNN-AM.
Mr. Adler liked to work on The New York Times’s crossword puzzle, and one of the ways he evaluated job applicants was by asking if they knew the name of The Times’s crossword editor, said Larry Kanter, a news anchor at WINS in New York who worked with Mr. Adler in Atlanta.
As a news director, Mr. Adler was aware of the popularity of television and the pressures radio faced.
One of his former colleagues, Wayne Cabot, a news anchor on WCBS, recalled in a recent interview that “Lou Adler came around in the time in the 1970s when on television warm fuzzy news came into play.”
“Everybody was buddies hanging out,” Mr. Cabot said. “And he was told by consultants, ‘We need to do that to WCBS.’ So he called a news meeting and told all of the reporters and anchors, ‘Be warm and fuzzy or you’re fired.’ ”
Louis Charles Adler was born on April 18, 1929, in Jamestown, N.Y. His father, Sylvan David Adler, was a traveling salesman who sold pen knives and pens. His mother, the former Myrtie Marguerite Peterson, was a seamstress.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia, and later earned a master’s degree from Purdue University in Indiana. During the 1950s, his family said, he briefly worked for the Army in counterintelligence.
At 70, he received a law degree from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., where he served as director of the Ed McMahon Mass Communications Center and founded WQUN-AM, a CBS-affiliated radio station based at the university.
In the 1980s, Mr. Adler was president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association (now the Radio Television Digital News Association). For decades he hosted the syndicated radio show “Medical Journal,” which he produced with his wife, the former Thalia Bergamini.
His wife and his daughter are his only immediate survivors.
When he was in college, Mr. Adler’s daughter said, he was not sure if he wanted to pursue a career in radio or be a violin teacher.
“One of my happiest memories is playing piano-and-violin duets with him,” Ms. Adler recalled — although, she added, as a violin player “he was really mediocre.”
“We used to tease him, ‘Thank God you went into radio.’ ”