Geraldo Rivera is heading back to his roots: His nationally syndicated radio show next year will cease syndication around the country and instead will focus on New York City, as reported by Politico’s Mackenzie Weinger. The Fox News contributor’s radio presence will be on 77 WABC on weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon, and his national syndication via Cumulus Media Networks will end, after having started in August 2012 on 40 stations.
In a statement, Rivera said, “For the last four decades, in war and peace I’ve been chasing the news around the world. But there’s a universe of stories right here in my hometown. Energized and excited by this opportunity, I’m taking our show to the four corners of the five boroughs. I’ll be on the streets and in the face of lawbreakers and newsmakers, ready with a hot mike and a helping hand.”
The arrangement frees Rivera to move back to his early-’70s roots as a reporter for WABC-TV, where he did low-to-the-ground pieces on New York City. In a series titled “Drug Crisis in East Harlem,” Rivera planted himself on a block of East 100th Street and immersed with a few junkies. He describes his heroics in his 1991 memoir, “Exposing Myself”:
I was very aggressive with these kids. I pushed, probed and bullied them into revealing something of themselves, something of why they lived the way they lived. I tried to get them to tell me where their lives were going, and how they thought they were going to get there. I actually, physically, pushed these kids on camera to get them to open up; I had my hands on them constantly during the interviews, in a manner that was challenging and confrontational. A part of me thought it was my job to beat a confession out of them.
We’ll find out next year whether Rivera can still promulgate that style of physical journalism. We do know that he retains the abs to do so.