Joan Hamburg Returns to New York Radio Airwaves

Fans of Joan Hamburg were very unhappy with WOR 710 AM when the station unceremoniously dumped her earlier this year, without the chance to do a farewell show. But after a summer recharging, the veteran radio personality has returned.

Starting this Saturday at 1 p.m., the 79-year-old “First Lady of New York Radio” will host a two-hour weekly show on WABC 770 AM. From this week’s glorious announcement:

Hamburg will continue discussing the most important social, economic and political issues that impact listeners’ lives each week. Hamburg will also interview major celebrities and powerful political figures on the program.

Hamburg will also produce weekly features and exclusive programs available in digital formats. In addition, The Joan Hamburg Show programs pre-empted by sports play-by-play will be presented on the 77 WABC stream and within other 77 WABC digital products.

“How excited I am to join legendary WABC radio and work with Kim Bryant, Craig Schwalb and the rest of the Cumulus family,” said Hamburg. “And what a treat to join their roster of the best talk talent in the country. New York get ready – the conversation is about to begin.”

At Michael’s this summer, here’s how Hamburg described the WOR parting when she crossed paths with our “Lunch” columnist Diane Clehane:

“I didn’t see it coming,” Hamburg said. “I never in a million years thought this would happen. I’m still trying to process.”

She recalled the events of that day for me like this: “I was getting ready to go on the air when saw someone from human resources and I thought, ‘Someone is sick and they’re going to ask me to go on for them.'” Instead, she was shown the door that day without any warning. While she admits that the station has the right to let anyone go, she calls the decision to deprive listeners of a proper farewell as “despicable” saying “I love my audience and they deserved better.”

This consummate pro respected by all who know her remains optimistic. “I’m the ultimate Pollyanna,” she said with a smile. “For all of us, there is life out there. Every ending is a new beginning.”

Hamburg was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 2012. Welcome back, Joan!

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.