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WOR cancels Michael Colameco's Food Talk

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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.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Ouch that is bad indeedy....

        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: TrishUntrapped

                        done - thanks.

                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                          http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...

                          Did you read this article earlier in the week?

                          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.

                  1. someone must not be looking at the same ratings. mike's show, thank god, is not political. Information is great for city dewllers, not so much for long island but still a greast show. what was wor thinking?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: PETER8

                      Remember, these are the folks who fired John Gambling...

                    2. As of today, 1/5/09, this is the new lineup for WOR (710 AM) radio.

                      No Food Talk.

                      I have no reason to ever listen to this station again, and have notified them.

                      5:30am The John Gambling Show
                      9:00am The Glenn Beck Program
                      11:00am The Joan Hamburg Show
                      1:00pm The Dr. Joy Browne Show
                      2:00pm The Lou Dobbs Show
                      4:00pm The Steve Malzberg Show
                      6:00pm The Savage Nation with Michael Savage
                      8:00pm The No Spin Zone with Bill O'Reilly
                      10:00pm The Dr. Joy Browne Show
                      11:00pm Health Talk with Dr. Ronald Hoffman

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                        I think the majority of the hosts would do well by getting sessions from Dr. Joy Browne. They could sure use some anger management.

                      2. I'm a listener in S. Fla. So far Colameco is the best food host!

                        1. I happened to catch just a bit of Joan's show this morn (I no longer regularly listen to her anymore, or any of WOR now) and WHAT A LAME ATTEMPT AT SPIN and replacing Foodtalk. First of all, Joan went into this whole thing about how they "talk about everything from politics, to shopping tips etc etc to restaurants and Food, food and more food. "One of their favorite topics!" "Food this, food that and oh....did I mention FOOD???" Then in the next segment she had some "food guy" on and preceded to have a boring conversation with him, that didn't keep my attention and I seriously can't tell you what it was about now. WOR...don't insult your audience by trying to "fill the void" of Foodtalk by putting lame food topics on Joan's show.....NOT NEARLY THE SAME!! You cancelled it, you blew it, now "eat it!!"
                          I wanted to write to WOR to say the same, but don't want them to mistake that I'm still listening....I happened to be home and tuned in while making lunch...and then shut it off.

                          Next...I tried to download a few of Mike's old podcasts but you can't anymore?? Anyone else try this? I mean you can play some of them on the WOR website, but no longer download to an Ipod ...unless I'm doing something wrong.

                          Last....anyone got the inside scoop? I got the feeling Mike was ok, after all, with leaving. When all was said and done....not sure he'd want that schedule again even if WOR came to it's senses (not likely.)
                          Like maybe he had wanted more money or something, they couldn't agree to terms so he was ok to go. Because clearly, it seems WOR is trying now to compensate with second rate talk from Joan & Co. about "FOOD!" ...so why then would they get rid of Food talk to begin with unless it was a disagreement of terms.

                          I used to be a big WOR listener, but this lineup doesn't interest me at all.
                          And Foodtalk was it's BEST show!!
                          I fear Sundays may not be long for the world too...(recall how they 'kept Bob Grant for special segments" for about "a minute?" (not that I was sorry to see him go either!)

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: amb18

                            Amb, if you can, do take a minute to let WOR know you caught part of Joan's show and what you thought of it. You never know...maybe if there is a backlash they'll change... worth a shot.

                            And yeah, it's pretty lame to think that Poor Ole Joan who lives to shop is somehow going to turn into a food expert - not going to happen, and she's not going to appease Michael Colameco's core audience.

                            As for my theory on what happened, I think it is economics.... Glenn Beck, O'Reilly, Dobbs, Dr. Joy, Savage Nation are all canned shows that come with a lot of their own ads and cost the station practically nothing to air.

                            So WOR chooses to air free crap, and doesn't care about their listeners.

                            The irony here is that Food Talk lasted through Rocco and Tyler - who were terrible...and it's cancelled when it has a very good, knowledgeable and fun host.

                            C'est la guerre.

                            The only thing folks can do is notify WOR that you are no longer listening.

                            1. re: TrishUntrapped

                              When WOR replied to my email they encouraged me to tune into the podcast. Sad to learn that Mike's charm and knowledge would be pushed off to such a limiting medium like that.

                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                I discovered this show recently and really enjoyed it. I don't normally listen to radio on Sundays unless it's football but I listened to his show. I sent an email to the station general manager and the head of programming telling them how much I enjoyed his show and would like to hear it back on the air.

                                You mentioned that the only thing folks can do is notify WOR that you are no longer listening. But I would also suggest that you notify the SPONSORS that you are no longer listening.

                                1. re: JohnnyU

                                  I used to be a big fan of Mike Colameco's radio show, and recently listened to a few of his podcasts. Downhill alert!

                                  On every podcast at least 15 minutes, sometimes much more, pass before he turns the subject to food. On the March 18 program, he covered everything from Goldman Sachs to the weather to a Russian heiress' recent purchase of an apartment on Central Park West. Is there anyone who cares about his take on these subjects?

                                  Please, Mike, talk about what you know best: FOOD!

                                  1. re: erica

                                    This is an old thread, but I think WOR jumped the shark long ago. Even Joan Hamburg chats about politics these days. What's up with that?

                            2. As the OP, I don't listen to the podcasts and I don't listen to WOR anymore...ever. That's too bad Mike is veering off food.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                I couldn't even tell you WOR's current lineup. Too bad, used to be the best talk radio show format about 4-5 years ago. I happened to go to their website recently because while in my car I partially heard an interview with an author I wanted to podcast on what I thought was one of WOR's afternoon shows. I couldn't even navigate that website? Was wondering if I needed some software upgrade (I have a newer computer.) Website was awful and never found what I needed. I tune in only sometimes for Launchpad, and couldn't even find those archives anymore.
                                I listen only now to WABC for Imus & occasional talk radio; they have much better shows in recent years than WOR.
                                Another complaint that made me leave WOR...about 5min. of commercial breaks what seems like every 3-4 minutes! Joan Hamburg's show has really gone downhill to me, and she spends much of it hawking stuff. But she seems to remain a WOR audience staple to many.

                                Btw..in my area Sunday Foodtalk is no longer on WOR. It does come in faintly on a local CT station. He doesn't take food calls anymore...plays a lot of prerecorded interviews...some recycled ones. I don't think the radio show is his "passion."
                                Oh well, guess we've all moved on!

                                1. re: amb18

                                  Sad isn't to see something good go downhill. Looks like with the Colemeco thing in 2009, it was pretty much all over right then. I never did listen to Sunday Foodtalk, so at least I didn't have to hear Colemeco decline too.

                                  1. re: amb18

                                    I've been listening to Colameco's podcasts and enjoying them, except they are poorly edited. They condense 1 hour into 36 minutes, so there's times when he's in the middle of a story, there's a break, and he comes back doing another topic.

                                    Today I was listening to the July 8 one and he's talking about Cape May weather and the farms and the beach, and then he does an interview with Marco Canora where they reference the Julie&Julia movie, his new book, and a Pollan NYT piece - all items released in 2009!!!!!

                                    What the hey? And no warning, like, here's an oldie but a goodie, or Marco just opened his 6th restaurant, let's replay my 2009 interview. Nope, they try to pass it off as fresh. So weird. And he's not on the 710 WOR schedule right? It's podcast only.

                                    So damn sad. I agree with Trish "The irony here is that Food Talk lasted through Rocco and Tyler - who were terrible...and it's cancelled when it has a very good, knowledgeable and fun host."

                                    1. re: Snorkelvik

                                      Could not agree more. Rocco was the absolute worst...Tyler almost as bad. So many mistakes, so much empty chatter.

                                      There seem to be new episodes of the Colameco PBS program airing this week...

                                    2. re: amb18

                                      Your comments are right on the money. I used to really like Michaels show about food, and also Ron Inanian's (sp) Car Doctor show. And when the station had Ed Walsh doing the morning show, the station hit its peak. Then they brought Rudy Guliani's ex wife in as Ed's co host, the chemistry did not work, and Ed was pushed out, landing in Boston on another station. The Car Doctor got relegated to the middle of the night sometime and they cut way back on the food show. WOR management --> what a complete lack of concern they have for their loyal listeners.

                                      1. re: jracpa

                                        I listen on Saturday morning when the Mitchell London and the Fairway guy is on. I like Mitchell London, but the Fairway guy is SO annoying at times. I know he's there to plug the stores, but give it a bit of a break and stop saying Fairway in every single sentence!

                                  2. You can also enjoy Michael's voice in the pages of Edible Jersey magagzine where he is a contributing writer.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      I too enjoy those little “bites” every quarter. Similarly, I’d say that the PBS show on Saturday evenings is a food geek favorite (much better than settling for the latest Food Network “Bachelorette” reality nonsense).

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        http://onlinedigeditions.com/publicat...
                                        Here's a for instance, digital version of Edible Jersey mag.

                                      2. Thanks for the updates everyone. I admit I haven't listened to any podcasts or kept up with the show since it was canceled. Weird they are running shows with no context or disclaimer.