By JERRY BARMASH
Ray Hoffman has been the comforting voice dispensing financial reports afternoons on WCBS 880 since 2006.
The updates, although broadcast from the Hudson Street studio, are under the auspices of the Wall Street Journal.
Regular 880 listeners likely noticed recently Hoffman was not there and there was no mention of his being away. Jen Ursillo has taken the p.m. drive business role.
As for Hoffman’s mellifluous cadence, it was caught in crosshairs of cost-cutting. The Wall Street Journal Radio Network sliced a 1/3 of its staffers, leaving Hoffman vulnerable.
“My contract came up and they didn’t renew it,” Hoffman admits to Tuned In. “I wasn’t surprised because I was making a fair amount of money.”
Despite the longevity and familiarity on 880, Hoffman diplomatically wouldn’t discuss if WCBS played a part in removing him from their station.
“I stay away from administration, and I don’t want to get involved with that now or second guess what anybody does,” Hoffman adds. “I know the Journal would have liked to have kept me, and CBS I’m sure would have liked to have kept me doing more than what I’m doing now.”
Fate, though, would intervene to keep Hoffman on WCBS. A morning business segment called CEO Radio is not associated with the Wall Street Journal and he was plugged into the feature.
The three-times-a-day reports from the WCBS studios include interviews with entrepreneurs and executives.
“I do that now exclusively. I’m trying to build a kind of franchise around that,” Hoffman says.
He may not have a franchise yet, but Hoffman does have the backing of the CBS Radio Network.
This is also a chance, even if not by choice, to finally catch his breath. Hoffman, who also did market updates for WCBS from 1989 to 1995, estimates that he’s done more than 320,000 radio reports in 32 years on the air in New York.
“Looking back, that’s an awful lot of shows, and I think I needed a break,” Hoffman says.