The trials of Wendy Williams: The rise and fall of the ultimate gossip girl
Wendy Williams started off as a DJ for her college’s radio station in the 80s and became one of the most sought after by the ‘90s, thanks to her open, direct way of communicating
For years, one woman has satiated our hunger for gossip and everything that is hot, but she has been out of action due to some health problems since the last few months, and we have been worried. Talk show maven Wendy Williams has been embroiled in a cheating scandal of her husband and business partner since the end of last year, and despite having given her unsolicited two cents about everyone’s cheating beaus – from Beyoncé to Khloe Kardashian (the last time around) – she has stayed uncharacteristically mum about Kevin Hunter fathering a love child with his alleged mistress.
Over her long career in showbiz, Williams has been given some of the biggest honors and she has been called the worst names, but she has always bounced back, and we hope she will do it again this time around. Williams, has seen worse than this in her long, illustrious career, and if haters thought her husband/business partner’s betrayal is what would take her down, it would do them well to think twice.
However, recently, she has been suffering from health issues after fracturing her shoulder. Beyond this, complications from Graves' disease was also taking a toll on her. Thankfully, it has been announced the ultimate gossip girl, Wendy Williams, will be back in action Monday, March 4, and we can hardly wait.
“Wendy Williams is an incredible talent with the most unique voice in daytime,” Debmar-Mercury, the distributor and producer of 'The Wendy Williams Show', said in a statement announcing her return. “We can’t wait to welcome her back to her iconic purple chair on the set of her show on Monday, March 4th.”
Williams, who started off as a DJ for her college’s radio station in the mid-80s, became one of the most sought after by the ‘90s, thanks to her open and direct way of communicating with her listeners. A woman of many talents, she was very open to discussing her personal life on air, and spoke about everything from her miscarriages to her breast enhancement surgery and former drug addiction.
Despite the huge fan following that idolized her, Hot 97, where she was employed in the late ‘90s, fired her due to her “rude behavior.” In her memoir ‘My Voice,’ Williams’ co-worker, DJ Angie Martinez spoke about how she lost her “f***ing mind” with Williams while working with her. Their feud got so bad, they got into a scuffle, which led to both of them getting suspended.
Williams’ fans were so crazed and loved her so much they started faxing threats to Martinez. She writes, “I used to get threatening faxes . . . that said things like, ‘B***h, get off the radio. I’ll break your jaw. It was awful and it made me insecure.” Eventually, the station was tired of how rude Williams was “to so many people all the time.”
That was not the end of her radio career though; she proved she could still go on by jumping on board Philadelphia urban station WUSL, which she helped move up from 14th place in the ratings to 2nd. That in itself proves Williams' prowess in not only telling a story, but also making her audience connect with it.
Williams continued to see ups and lows in radio, but before she left the medium to focus on her TV shows ‘The Wendy Williams Show,’ in 2009, she was syndicated in Redondo Beach, California; Shreveport, Louisiana; Wilmington, Delaware; Toledo, Ohio; Columbia, South Carolina; Emporia, Virginia; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Tyler, Texas; and Alexandria, Louisiana, among other markets.
Despite the doubters and non-believers trying to represent her show as a "backtalk show," Williams managed to rake in viewers almost immediately. After a successful six-week trial run, Fox started nationally broadcasting the show on their stations beginning in July 2009, while BET secured the cable rights to broadcast it at night. In another year, the show was airing internationally in 54 countries through BET International.
There is a reason her fans love her – she loves her job, and takes the job of gossiping seriously, and more importantly she loves her fans. She makes her viewers feel like family, and her show gathers them all, and together, they discuss the hot topic of the day together.
Most importantly, she said things most other hosts were afraid to bring up on TV - things you would only be comfortable sharing in the comfort and security of your own home. Political correctness was never her cup of tea, and she wasn’t afraid of upsetting anyone. With most celebrities, she had a love-hate relationship at best, and she has never expressed a desire to change that.
Her joy in hosting the show is evident in the fact that over the years that Williams hosted the show, she had not missed a single episode up until February 2018, when she was forced to take infinite days off to take care of her health. All we knew is that she was hospitalized due to complications with Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism.
Fans of Williams wondered if she would ever return, owing to the fact that she was nowhere to be seen or heard. Many assumed she had made her exit from showbiz, and would never be heard from; the hot topics would remain stale and we would continue wondering what trends to pay attention to. But, she reached out to us when we least expected it, and said, indeed she would be back – and what a comeback it would be.
This talk show queen may have gone through her lowest lows in recent times, but if there is one person who can turn that into a great story to engage with her fans, that would be Wendy Williams and that we are looking forward to, come March 4.