Friday, December 13, 2013

December 20 marks end of twelve year radio show with WOR's John Gambling and NYC Mayor Bloomberg

12/12/13, "Q&A: John Gambling on the End of the Mayor’s Radio Show," WSJ Metropolis blog, Mara Gay

"The end of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12 years in office this month marks the final chapter of another long reign: the weekly radio program, called the John Gambling Show, where he shared candid and polarizing thoughts on life and politics.

WSJ: You’ve sat down with the mayor almost every Friday for 12 years. How well do you know each other? Are you friends?

I would say we are friends, yes. I wouldn’t hesitate to call him if I needed something. I wouldn’t describe myself as a close confidant but having spent 500 broadcasts or so – that’s probably a fair number – you get to know somebody when you sit with them for 500 hours. You get to talk. there’s downtime because of the commercial breaks, and he and I are talking golf, usually. He’s invited me to spend some time with him – not a lot, but I would say half a dozen times. We’ve golfed together.

WSJ: Who’s a better golfer?

He is. But not by a lot.

WSJ: What was your vision for the show?

I wanted to give him the opportunity, and me piggyback off the opportunity, to present to ny listeners Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as he is. I get criticized by those of you in Room 9, or by some of you in Room 9 [the room in City Hall where reporters sit], for throwing softballs at him and not asking the tough questions like, ‘Were you in Bermuda this weekend?’ I find those questions agonizing as I’m sure the mayor does as well.

WSJ: Have you been too easy on the mayor?

I’ve read what they say. I don’t think too much about it one way or the other either way, to be honest. I think what I’ve done has been good for the mayor, and good for me and most importantly good for my listeners.

WSJ: What do you know about the mayor that the rest of us don’t?

He comes from a place of wanting to make people’s lives better. He always comes back to the fact that the average life expectancy of a New Yorker is longer than any other city in the United States. It’s up three years across the city, I think. He is incredibly proud of that fact. That really is where Michael Bloomberg starts and ends.

WSJ: You mentioned the snowstorm. Is there an issue on which you guys disagree? 

The snowstorm is not one of them. It certainly is not high on his list of achievements that he’s been involved with. I think that there have really been only two areas that we’ve disagreed on: Climate change, global warming is one of them. And immigration, to a degree. He and I both agree on how you fix immigration but I must admit I’m not as open-armed as he is as welcoming the illegals.

I think global warming is a complete hoax. I argue with him that I’ve lived on Long Island Sound my entire life and I can assure you the water levels haven’t moved at all. His response is, ‘John, you have the right to be wrong.’ And that’s when I laugh, and we move on, talk about something else.

WSJ: What do you think about Bill de Blasio? 

[Long pause] He’s certainly not somebody I would have voted for. I don’t live in New York City so I don’t vote in New York but if I did I would not have voted for him. I’ve been very vocal against his policies.

WSJ: Has your standing date with Mayor Bloomberg served the public?

It allowed me and the mayor to get into a comfortable place when a lot of the answers are different than they would have been at a press conference. He was comfortable with me. This was my favorite part and this was not discussing the city, it was discussing the major issues – to have the opportunity to sit with certainly one of the richest men in the world but also one of the smartest, and is at the center of global politic.

WSJ: Do you think his outspokenness on your show hurt him?

I don’t think it’s hurt him at all. It’s required he and his press folks to react on Saturday, and they do.

WSJ: Do you have any special plans for the final show? (scheduled for Dec. 20)

No. I don’t think we’re going to do the full hour only because it’s going to be a very busy day. What I really want to do with the mayor is sit for 15 minutes and reminisce a little bit. Talk about his future, my future, the city’s future, America’s future and just see what we come up with.

WSJ: How tightly controlled is the mayor during the show?

He shows up with his press secretary, Marc LaVorgna now, and he has his security detail with him. The mayor will show up around 6 minutes after 8 ‘o clock. They’re good about getting him here on time. He usually gets himself a coffee and half a bagel, and that’s it, then it’s just Mike and John. Marc goes in the control room, and listens carefully, obviously to all of the things that are being said. If the mayor has extemporaneously thrown out a wrong number or what not, he’ll correct it during a commercial break." via NY Radio Message Board

12/12/13, "A Mayor and a Broadcaster Sign Off," WSJ.com, Mara Gay

"Mayor Bloomberg's Long Run on 'The John Gambling Show' Has Been Favored Platform."

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