WOR is a class A (nighttime clear channel), AM radio station located in New York, New York, U.S., operating on 710 kHz. The station has a talk format and has been owned by Buckley Broadcasting since 1987, after the station was sold by RKO. Its call letters have no meaning, being sequentially assigned. They had previously been authorized for use by the ship SS California, owned by the Orient Lines.
In partnership with Chicago radio station WGN, WOR formed the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1934 and became its flagship station. Mutual was one of the "Big Four" national radio networks in the United States during the 1930s – 1980s. In 1941, the station changed its city of license from Newark to New York City. In 1959 WOR ended its relationship with Mutual and became an independent station.
From the 1930s to the early 1980s, WOR was a free-flowing full service station. There was an emphasis on news reports and talk programs, but music was played also, usually a blend of pop standards and adult contemporary cuts. WOR played several songs per hour weekday mornings from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again afternoons from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. They also played about a dozen songs per hour on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. On ratings books, WOR was classified as a MOR/Talk station rather than a News/Talk station until 1984. From 1983 to around 1985, WOR gradually stopped playing music altogether, as they evolved to an almost complete talk format.
WOR's most renowned program was its morning show, Rambling with Gambling, which aired continuously from March 1925 to September 2000 across three generations of hosts: John B. Gambling, John A. Gambling, and John R. Gambling. After John R. Gambling's edition of the show was dropped, he moved to WABC where he hosted a late morning show until January 2008; he returned to WOR mornings on May 5, 2008. Although never a favorite of young listeners, WOR was this group's radio station of record in the New York Metropolitan area whenever winter unleashed its snowy fury. Students of all ages dialed up 710-AM on their radios as John A. Gambling dutifully announced a comprehensive list of school closings for New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut, in strict alphabetical order.
Today, WOR is a news and talk radio station. It broadcasts 24 hours per day with 50,000 watts using a three-tower directional antenna with a single radiation pattern, both day and night. Its transmitter is located in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. It is the only New York City AM station to have retained its original three-letter call sign, which are the oldest continually used ones in the New York City area.
WOR is the flagship station for the WOR Radio Network. The network distributes nationally syndicated programming, all from the WOR studios at 111 Broadway in New York.
Past notable WOR program hosts have included: