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.