On his weekly call-in radio show with John Gambling on WABC-AM, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg may not have kept up the Wild West tone of his combative predecessor, Rudolph W. Giuliani -- he never berated a caller as "deranged" or told a woman whose son had been shot dead by the police that she should question his upbringing.
Nonetheless, almost every Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. since Feb. 1, 2002, the highly choreographed, fiercely private billionaire provided entertainment of a different sort, nudging back the curtain on his prickly personality, his gaffe-prone sense of humor and even his occasionally devil-may-care eating habits.
"Me, I like a big hamburger and fries dipped in mayonnaise," he said in 2004, urging New Yorkers to "live a little" despite city efforts to make them adopt healthier habits. "I like some mayo and mustard, and ketchup and pickles and lettuce and tomato on my hamburger."
But the tradition of the Friday morning talk with the mayor, begun by Mr. Giuliani in 1994, has ended for now. Mr. Gambling was fired amid budget cuts at the station and Mr. Bloomberg has not accepted an offer to appear on the new show in the same time slot, which features Curtis Sliwa as host and has more of a national focus.