Monday, December 9, 2013

NYC Radio: WOR Gets A Near Total Make-Over

It's officially over for old-style, homey, folksy radio in New York, according to NY Daily News media writer David Hinckley, a longtime follower of the city radio scene.

WOR 710 AM announced its 2014 lineup Monday, a near-total makeover that moves Joan Hamburg to weekends and instead is built on afternoon institutions Rush Limbaugh, noon-3 p.m., and Sean Hannity, 3-6 p.m.

Because Limbaugh and Hannity have been WABC's anchors for more than a decade, their move could dramatically change the ratings equation for talk radio in New York.

WABC 770 AM has dominated the local talk field in recent years. In 2013, with WOR in a holding pattern, WABC's audience share has doubled and almost tripled WOR's.

WOR is optimistic that will change with a mostly new lineup that also includes Elliot Segal, 6-10 a.m.; the returning Mark Simone, 10 a.m.-noon; Andy Dean, 6-9 p.m.; and Dave Ramsey, 9 p.m.-midnight.

Hamburg's departure from the weekday lineup, along with the previously announced retirement of long-time morning host John R. Gambling, terminates the last vestiges of WOR's "heritage" lineup. Back in the mid-20th century, WOR like most stations featured local hosts who chatted about health, lifestyle, restaurants and New York topics in an across-the-kitchen-table style.

The most surprising choice in the new WOR lineup, suggests Taylor, is morning host Elliot Segal. For years he has successfully hosted "Elliot in the Morning" on DC101 in Washington. Before that, he cohosted the WHTZ 100.3 FM, Z100 morning show in New York with current host Elvis Duran.

Since WABC has Don Imus in the morning slot, both stations will feature an entertainment-focused morning show.  WABC has not yet announced its noon-3 p.m. replacement for the departing Limbaugh.

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