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Wendy Williams marks 10 years of daytime television talk
Host revels in universal appeal of program
Published Thursday, August 9, 2018 4:03 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Daytime talk shows won’t lose their following anytime soon.

While the industry continues to shift, the consumer appetite remains the same. Women like Wendy Williams have built their careers capitalizing on TV talk. Season 10 of “The Wendy Williams Show” premieres on Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. on WSOC. Tonight, she’ll meet with fans at the Fillmore from 6:30-10 p.m. for an evening of “Ask Wendy.”

“I think daytime talk is here to stay,” Williams said. “I am a fan of daytime talk. I am also a fan of judge shows—long before I became part of the ilk. I am a fan. I just happen to be part of something that I know.”

Broadcasting has driven Williams’ career for over 30 years. From the radio side with “The Wendy Williams Experience” to television with “The Wendy Williams Show,” she has cultivated a voice that people listen to.

“People look at radio and TV as being part of the same kind of thing,” Williams said. “You come from radio, and you jump on TV. No, no, no, no. It’s not like that. Radio is you and a microphone in a dusty room talking to millions of people, and that’s fine.”

Williams noted the vast differences between the two media forms.

“You don’t have to do hair, makeup and wardrobe” for radio, Williams said. “You don’t have to see yourself on camera, which can be a great distraction. That was a big deal to me, like ‘oh my gosh—sit up straight. OK. I can’t wear UGGs and leggings today. All right, I’m going to wear a dress, a pound of makeup, eyelashes every day. That was a big deal. Radio, in the way that I was doing radio, was a lot more renegade. I could take my commercial breaks when I wanted to—talk as long as I want. I had four hours to make my point and then go home every day. TV, a one-hour show is 44 minutes of programing, and you’re entering homes that might look at you like, ‘who is this?’”

Winning an audience in New York is one thing, but convincing people in more rural parts of the country to tune in showed the universal appeal of what Williams has to say.

“You can’t win by only having certain people in certain cities,” she said. “You win by having the masses, and boy oh boy—I’ve got a slick mouth and a tart tongue. When Beverly turns me on in the middle of Kentucky, she’s like, ‘who is this?’ She gave me a chance, and she stuck around. For now, we’re winning going into our 10th season.”

What’s next?

“My goal is to leave before I get thrown out—honestly,” Williams said.

Beyond that, she has an eye on increasing her role in substance abuse awareness. Williams, her husband Kevin Hunter and their son Kevin Hunter Jr. founded The Hunter Foundation, which provides grants for everything from drug education to prevention and rehabilitation.

“I’ve done a lot of charity work all through my life,” Williams said. “Even when I was a little girl, I came through that type of family, but it’s one thing to serve a meal or write a check, but it’s a very fulfilling thing to have your own foundation, and actually be in on the grassroots, and actually send girls to camp, or feed people who can’t get fed, or clothe people, or send kids to college, which is my next big endeavor with this foundation.”

Their partnership with BeHere offers a more detailed approach to substance abuse, which Williams experienced.

“If you haven’t gone through it, you’re lying if you tell me you know nobody who has been problematic with substance abuse,” she said. “There are things that can be done.”

Williams noted the embarrassment, denial and other issues that come with substance abuse. However, there are solutions.

“People wallow in their own substance abuse,” she said. “Families ignore it. You want to be here for your family. That’s why it’s called behere.org. You want to be here for Thanksgiving. Be here for Christmas. Be here for you.”

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I found The Wendy Williams show about two years ago and have been a watcher ever since.
Posted on August 17, 2018

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