Skip to comments.WABC fires John Gambling, brings in Sliwa (WABC-AM - NYC & Metropolitan area)
Posted on 03/03/2008 9:59:39 AM PST by neverdem
City radio veteran John Gambling is out - and Curtis Sliwa is in.
Gambling was fired from WABC, a victim of hard times at the station's parent company, Citadel Broadcasting.
Sliwa will get Gambling's 10 a.m. slot starting Monday. Also out is WPLJ afternoon host Rocky Allen.
Further changes seemed imminent following a scorched-earth fourth quarter financial report from Citadel CEO Farid Suleman.
There was no official announcement from WABC or Citadel that Gambling and newsman George Weber were dismissed, but company sources confirmed it. They said Sliwa will take over Gambling's 10-11:45 a.m. slot.
That's a prominent position on the station because Mayor Bloomberg is a live guest on the show every Friday. It was not immediately clear if Sliwa will host the mayoral segment.
Asked for comment, Bloomberg spokesman John Gallagher said: "The mayor thinks John Gambling is a class act and enjoyed spending Friday mornings with him."
Gambling and Weber were just two of numerous employees Citadel fired in several cities Friday. Citadel bought WABC (770 AM), WPLJ (95.5 FM) and most of Disney's other radio stations last year.
"The fourth quarter and the year was difficult for the broadcasting industry and the company," Suleman said in his year-end conference call. "The performance of the larger-market radio stations acquired in the ABC merger was particularly disappointing."
Suleman said he remained confident about long-term prospects, but promised "a major restructuring of these stations to both improve short-term profitability as well as position them for future growth."
Suleman's remarks seemed to place WPLJ on the firing line.
He said rival station WWFS (102.7 FM, "Fresh"), which began playing some of the same music as WPLJ last year, had delivered a devastating blow to WPLJ's advertising revenues.
Cash flow was "down over 50% on a 70% decline in revenues," he said.
WPLJ has long had modest ratings, but made a lot of money because it is popular with the "soccer moms" whom advertisers love to reach.
WPLJ was "totally repositioned because there was a void in our music programming, and 'Fresh' came in and provided a real good format alternative for people to go, all day," Suleman said. "We allowed that to happen. We're not going to do that going forward."
Reports that Sliwa would get Gambling's WABC slot began to surface last fall after WABC hired Don Imus for the morning show, displacing Sliwa and Ron Kuby.
Sliwa was kept on the payroll, reinforcing his image as WABC's ultimate survivor.
Gambling's ratings were solid, but he was vulnerable because he was the only purely local host in WABC's daytime lineup. The rest are syndicated national hosts who are harder to remove.
You remember Jean Shepherd?
As did I. It is the end of an era.
I’ll put on Malzberg some times. He’s good with a guest, but there are too many times that he comes across as angry and outraged. (I’m sure he is angry and outraged at those times, but it isn’t much to listen to — Hannity’s got that problem as well at times. They need volume control.)
I don’t know who annoyed me more, Gambling or Sliwa.
I still have the sound in my head of the unique voice of Henry Gladstone doing the news. Everybody listened to WOR in the morning those days and WABC the rest of the day.
I’m local NY, for me its the ‘net for Dr. Bill from 6 -8:30 AM EST, and Uncle Neal ‘till 12. And then at high noon...
never, never do I remember him defend Clinton (at least on anything substantively). I listened to him every day he was on.....
Curtis and Commie.
Thanks for the tip! I thought 101.5 had too many commercials, but what radio station doesn’t?
Yes, I’m glad he’s back on the air.
Yes, I think several hosts have that problem.
Sometimes I use all caps when I want to “scream” in a post!
Here is a different WOR link, just in case:
Sliwa is at least mildly entertaining. Gambling? Zzzzzz....
Just putting in my 2 cents for Mark Simone. Smart, informed, funny as all get out. And I get a real kick out of his throwback music shows.
Actually its from the early days of FM radio. Stood for Peace Love & Joy.
That’s what I’ve heard anyway. Lately just another top 40 station.
Curtis is too much about Curtis and the mobsters and it dislikes etc.
This distracts from his performance it is annoying but his ego is big he would just dismiss anyone who would tell him so!
I was luke warm about John some days I could take him and someday when he was in the moderate appeasement phrase I it was boring.
But I am shocked at how they terminated him he was doing this promotion for a trip to Germany now he is vanished.
I really despised the inhuman way this kind of business treats people.
If he was a trouble maker I could understand, but John was puff!
Citadels Broadcasting are low life Humanist jerks!
rambling with gambling, i got used to him and liked the show.