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WOR cancels Michael Colameco's Food Talk

It appears the powers that be at WOR radio in New York are cancelling the show Food Talk on Monday through Friday, and are only going to air it on Sundays.

This is a our loss.

Michael Colameco has done a great job with this show. Name a top chef in New York - he or she has been on it. Mike brings so much to the table with his knowledge and easy-going demeanor. It's like having a chat about food with a buddy.

Food Talk has evolved over the years.. For more than a decade, Arthur Schwartz hosted it and brought his own style - some would say more suited to older listeners. At the end, he had a bitter dispute with management and left.

Then came the surreal Rocco DiSpirito years, where Rocco, down on his luck from The Restaurant fiasco, wanted to stay in the media limelight at all costs.

You could envision him sneering from behind the mic for having to dumb-down to radio. Toward the end, it was clear his co-workers despised him as they stole his headphones and bottles of wine given to him by guests. I think I heard Rocco's last hurrah as he insulted on-air the Flemington Fur Co. one of his show's sponsors. There was a giveaway for a fur item and he was clearly disgusted by it. It was such a Rocco moment.

Then Tyler Florence served a short stint as Food Talk host. He was a hit with the audience right out of the gate before he even opened his mouth.

But sadly he did open his mouth and it was clear he did not want to be there. His advice was usually short and glib and hurried, like he couldn't wait to be done with the caller. He was often absent from the show, and when there was a huge WOR event, where Tyler was to be featured - he just didn't show up.

A listener called in and said she waited hours just to see him, and was very disappointed. He glibly (of course) answered that WOR didn't send a car for him so instead he went off to visit his son, and was proud of the fact that he made lemonade out of lemons... Huh? The listener was not amused by his excuse. Tyler exited very shortly thereafter.

At this point I thought Food Talk's days had to be numbered.

But then the station's management did something brilliant and unexpected and hired Michael Colameco. A HUGE breath of fresh air. Knowledgeable about food, affable humor, and the kind of guy you want to invite over for a slice of pizza and a beer.

He brought in every Grand Poobah food celebrity around...from Daniel Boulud to Ina Garten last week. It was a great opportunity for listeners to ask questions directly to these people. Plus Mike always had the lastest skinny about the New York restaurant scene.

In a word, the show was fun!

How sad is it that just as Food Talk reached the height of quality, the show is all but disappearing from the airwaves.

Is there any way we can save it? Should we contact the station? Is there any hope?

I feel like I have lost a friend.

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  1. I called in to Michale Colameco's weekend show this morning. He said he is sitting down with management this week to discuss Food Talk.

    For anyone interested, WOR can be reached at:

    General Phone Number: 212-642-4500

    WOR Radio
    111 Broadway 3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10006

    1. As a fan of both Food Talk and MC's PBS show, I am very disappointed to hear this. I am going to send an email to voice my opinion, I hope a lot of other fans will too.

      12 Replies
      1. re: Justpaula

        What is the email address for the program director and for MColameco ?

        1. re: JGoodfriend

          Programming e-mail is Scott Lakefield at slakefield@wor710.com.

          For Michael Colameco: MichaelColameco@wor710.com

          1. re: TrishUntrapped

            TrishUn, the email for Mike didn't work...hope it's not a sign of final decisions.

            1. re: HillJ

              Go here to the radio site. Scroll down to where it says EXTRAS then click where it says E-mail Michael Colameco. That's where I got the address:

              http://wor710.com/Food-Talk-with-Mich...

              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                TrishU, wasn't questioning your source. I tried using the email and it came back undeliverable. I'll try another source. Thanks.

                1. re: HillJ

                  HillJ, I was recommending you to that site because maybe by clicking on the e-mail link it will work...for some reason maybe it doesn't work all written out...I don't know...I hate technology.

                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                    lol, I tried that too...didn't work.
                    I have a NJ mag with another source around here somewhere.
                    I'm gonna track it down in the morning.

        2. re: Justpaula

          I sent an email to an address off WOR's website under contact info.
          I also sent an email direct to Michael on his own website; he responded personally within a day. I urge all to contact WOR.
          My first response to them cancelling what is clearly one of their MOST popular shows
          (people have been clamoring for more not less FoodTalk!!).. was...are you kidding me?!! Still can't believe it, WOR, even with a desire to change format to more politics (yawwwwn), is still keeping other "lifestyle" shows...and even added another hour of Dr. Joy Brown, instead of keeping Foodtalk?! What?!!

          FT fans, WRITE AND CALL INTO WOR!

          1. re: amb18

            amb18, I tried both email addresses thru the site and both came back undeliverable. Perhaps mail box is full or shut down at this point....but I plan to call the station tomorrow.

            1. re: HillJ

              HillJ - I sent an email this morning, and so far it has not been returned undeliverable. Perhaps the box was full yesterday. Try again! :)

              1. re: Justpaula

                I appreciate it Justpaula. I also wrote thru his site as TrishU suggested.
                Fans of his programming are definately speaking up!

        3. I agree, Michael Colameco was the best host of the show. I remember the 'trial period' WOR had, and I thought Michael Lomanaco, and David Rosengarten were great, but Colameco's personality definately came through, as TrishUntrapped wrote - 'I feel like I have lost a friend', I hope not! BTW Colameco's 'Food Show' on PBS is without a doubt can't miss tv for me.

          1. Trish,
            Your article is "on the money." I'm a longtime listener who recalls the Arthur Schwartz days, and the short stints with the "hollywood chefs"...funny and not surprising inside
            scoop on Rocco. I recall that show getting old fast, too much "momma's meatballs", and as always with him....it was "all about Rocco." Was not surprised that lost favor fast.
            Tyler, who I like on FN, but am disappointed to hear of such bad behavior...I recall
            as fast talking and the show being almost exhausting and it was hard to understand his answers to callers. He translates better (tho' still fast talking) with visuals on T.V.
            Was not surprised of his early exit...I felt listeners...old Arthur fans, were probably complaining. I also heard all the temp replacements, and while all were good, when
            Mike came on I just knew he was the one they'd choose. The positive response
            by listeners was immediate, palpable and new enthusiasm for the show grew rapidly.
            Michael raised the bar of that show from it's best old days with Arthur, above and beyond...took it to new levels, made it current and wildly informative and entertaining.
            Yes, he's "the chef next door" you could have a beer with. And as a former. NYC restaurant worker myself, I related to the "old NY restaurant guy" in him too.
            But make no mistake, this guy next door is amazingly articulate and well-versed in so many food subjects, with a backround from restaraunts to food distribution.
            He brought so so much to us in that show, from famous chefs, foodies, food artisans, while taking all our calls on how to store basil or clean cast iron, or cook a roast!! I learned so much on such a variety of food topics...and you're right...it was JUST PLAIN FUN. And a much needed break from the usual news radio!!
            WOR has clearly blown it, and I'm not tuning in for their new political lineup...just what we need...more bad news and political postulating.
            People, make your voices heard....maybe it's not too too late.
            Tks for the great article!

            8 Replies
            1. re: amb18

              Thanks AMB, let's hope the powers that be at WOR will realize that Food Talk is a better product than political jabbering or psychobabble.

              For those looking to contact Michael Colameco, he has his own Web site.... and you can click on Contact to send him an e-mail directly:

              http://www.colameco.com/

              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                I wrote to Mike via http://www.colameco.com/ and he responded to me this morning.

                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  what about weekend food talk, is that going as well? Who emailed qor, what address, and to who's attention. I need food talk on sunday - it's my seque between wfuv sunday breakfast, through, wnyc - to wfmu - billy kelly shows.

                  1. re: michele cindy

                    Michelle - As of now, WWOR plans to keep the two hour Food Talk in its Sunday line up.

                    1. re: michele cindy

                      Michele, just in case you want to voice your support for the Food Talk weekday show, I sent an e-mail to the programming person Scott Lakefield at slakefield@wor710.com.

                          1. re: HillJ

                            Thanks HillJ. If fans want the show to stay they are going to have to contact WOR, plain and simple. Otherwise, it is a done deal.

                            Regular Coca Cola (Remember "New" Coke) and Hydrox Cookies came back from the ashes, so never say never.

                2. I too am very disapointed with wor for cancelling Michael's show. I have listen to wor for over 25years and as much as I enjoy Joan and a few others as of jan 5th wor will no longer be on any of my radio station. I hope michael will have his own link so we can keep in touch with him. I feel has if I have lost a dear friend whom I hear from every day.