The close of an epic radio run deserves an epic send-off. And so it is with Friday’s final episode of John R. Gambling’s WOR-AM morning show.
The December 20 program brought to a close the continuous 88-year family radio dynasty of John G., father John A. and grandfather John B. Among those who phoned in Friday was Bill O’Reilly. The Factor host turned the tables on Gambling, noting that radio has changed over the years to become more like “pitched warfare” and asking his interviewer whether that is a good or bad thing:
“I think that it’s, ultimately, a bad thing,” Gambling answered. “In thinking about that question, and having been told that one of the reasons that people have listed to me and listened to all of the Gamblings is the civility…”
That is as far as Gambling got. Although he had more to say, O’Reilly powered forward with several more questions, leading Gambling to joke “I’ve lost control” and the host’s wife Wendy, in-studio, to reply to a query about how the absence of the radio “adrenaline rush” might play out in the Gambling household. “I’ll let you know in two months, to see how this is going to work out,” she answered. “He might be back at work.”
Other guests on Gambling’s final program (he took over the show in 1991) included Donald Trump, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani. Gambling – with the gift from the WOR gang of a brand new golf bag – is retiring to Florida but said he plans to keep a presence in Long Island. He will be missed.