Clear Channel Layoffs Begin at WOR; David Paterson and Joy Browne Axed

It was only a matter of time at WOR. It’s the sense of radio insiders that staffers at the venerable news/talk station were on borrowed time since Clear Channel purchased the 710 frequency in August.

Now, FishbowlNY has learned that numerous changes have taken place at WOR, with others still possible, all within days of Christmas. Here’s what we know at this point. Midday host, Dr. Joy Browne is out. The psychologist spent 15 years dishing advice to callers on WOR.

Mike Huckabee’s syndicated show has been dropped.

A source close to the information tells FishbowlNY that only scratches the surface.

“All local show promos are off… news department will be absorbed into Total Traffic. It’s a bloodbath there today.”

Part of that bloodbath, we’re told, is the dismissal of former New York Governor David Paterson. The unorthodox hire joined WOR for a weekday two-hour show, succeeding Steve Malzberg in September 2011.

Paterson’s spokesman confirmed the firing to FishbowlNY.

“Governor Paterson’s run hosting his afternoon drive program on WOR has come to an end.  As someone who had to do significant house cleaning when he took over as chief executive, these moves by the new management come as no surprise. As governor, he was often times in position to dish it out, so he is certainly someone who can take it.”

The spokesman says Paterson will focus on future projects.

“In anticipation of this eventuality, Governor Paterson has been exploring a number of different options both in and out of the media and will be working towards finalizing some of those options after the New Year.  He has greatly enjoyed being part of the rich, proud history of WOR radio and would like to thank the Buckley family, [VP/GM] Jerry Crowley and the entire WOR team for the opportunity.”


For now, it appears that longstanding news director Joe Bartlett remains at WOR.

Although the fate of station executives is unknown, we’re told that the morning show board-op for John Gambling has been terminated, along with some show producers at the station.

FishbowlNY has been unable to get confirmation of this from WOR.

Publish date: December 20, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT