Volume 17 • Issue 13 | August 13 - 19, 2004



WOR switching the dial to broadcast Downtown

By Deborah Lynn Blumberg

WOR’s Bob Grant and his colleagues will be moving the radio station to 111 Broadway at the beginning of next year.
Known for such radio personalities as call-in host Bob Grant, journalist Ed Walsh and radio psychologist Dr. Joy Browne, the 76-year-old WOR station — 710 on the AM dial — will move from its Midtown location on Broadway early next year to a historic Downtown building also on Broadway, making WOR the only commercial radio station based in Lower Manhattan.

Executives at the talk-only station decided this year not to re-new their lease at the station’s original location at 1440 Broadway. The time had come, they said, for a change. The construction of a new New York Times building on 8th Ave. would also soon block the station’s antenna, according to Richard Buckley, president of Buckley Broadcasting, the company that bought WOR from RKO/General Tire in 1989. The move just made sense, he said.

“We were ready for a new look,” Buckley said. “We figured Downtown would be a very vibrant and exciting place to be over the next 10 to 20 years and thought it would be an excellent place to put our station.”

WOR’s new office will occupy the entire third floor of the Trinity Center at 111 Broadway at Cedar St. Executives said the station’s 75 employees are pleased to come Downtown and very excited about the new space.

“I have nothing but positive things to say about us moving,” said Ed Walsh, who hosts the station’s 5 a.m. - 9 a.m. morning news show. “[We’re] excited about moving Downtown into what’s a revitalized neighborhood.”

Lower Manhattan real estate said the move will help stimulate Downtown. “It’s going to be positive to have a radio station Downtown,” said Bradley Gerla, senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis, the real estate firm that helped negotiate the move. “It shows the diversity of the tenant base that Downtown is developing.”

Two commercial-free stations, WNYC and WBAI, also broadcast from Lower Manhattan.

WOR will join a number of businesses that have relocated Downtown in the past several years, said Bryan Evans, spokesperson for the Downtown Alliance, an organization that manages Lower Manhattan’s Business Improvement District. Goldman Sachs moved into One New York Plaza on January 1, 2004, Millennium High School opened in December 2003 on 75 Broad St., and The Health Insurance Plan of New York moved from its Midtown location on W. 34th St. to 55 Water St. in July 2004, Evans said.

“If you asked anyone if we would be where we are now three years after 9/11, I don’t think anyone would have believed how far we’ve come,” Evans said. “I think each [business] that comes down creates a precedence for others.”

WOR has several conservative hosts including Grant and Michael Savage, who lost his cable TV show after he told a gay caller “to get AIDS and die.”

The station is the only one in New York to have kept its original call letters, which used to stand for the slogan “World of Radio.” It launched the “Rambling With Gambling” show, which over the years was hosted by a grandfather, father and son — all named John Gambling. The younger Gambling is now on WABC.



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