Sunday, March 16, 2008

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Seeks New Radio Outlet for Weekly Address

By Heather Chin (March 10, 2008)

After oft-embarrassing statements on his weekly radio address, Mayor Bloomberg leaves one station to seek out another venue.

The New York Times reports today that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has opted not to accept an offer to continue his weekly “Live From City Hall” vocal appearance on regional radio station, WABC-FM, due to a combination of diarrhea of the mouth, and the effort of radio stations seeking to adapt to changes in everything from the economy to technology’s influence on broadcast communication. However, he may continue elsewhere.

His decision comes after last week’s firing of WABC- AM radio host John Gambling due to budget cuts by the station’s parent company, Citadel Broadcasting. He was replaced with Curtis Sliwa, who is supposed to add a national focus to the show. Where Mr. Bloomberg will move his weekly address is unknown, but offers include NY1 television, a separate hour on WABC-AM, and other radio stations.

Bloomberg’s six years on the air were often filled with amusing peeks into his personality, eating habits and odd humor, but was also filled with useful public service announcements (like ‘311’) time when he would address specific projects, issues and frustrations called in from citizens. The concept is an institution created by New York’s immediate past mayor, Rudy Giuliani.

The mayoral tradition of weekly radio addresses goes back generations and has been used to different effect by many colorful personalities. From Fiorello H. La Guardia in the 1940s, who scolded reporters and bookies while talking about family and Dick Tracy comics,” to TV-friendly Ed Koch and radio-fixture David Dinkins, the tradition has always managed to be useful in different ways.

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