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Paul Harvey Returns to Airwaves

August 21, 2001

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CHICAGO (AP) _ Paul Harvey returned to the airwaves sounding a bit hoarse but telling his audience he ``feels so good to be back.″

``Americans, in judging the speaking voice which is still undergoing renovation, please be merciful,″ Harvey said Monday as he closed his five-minute morning program, ``Paul Harvey News and Comment.″

The 82-year-old broadcaster had been absent from his daily radio shows since mid-May while recovering from what he believed at first was a severe case of laryngitis. Doctors later diagnosed a virus that had settled in one of his vocal cords, and he was treated in Chicago earlier this month, Chris Berry, vice president of ABC News Radio, said Monday.

Harvey’s voice sounded scratchy and hoarse as he began his broadcast with his trademark ``Good Morning, Americans,″ with news of Tropical Storm Chantal and President Bush’s visit to Milwaukee. But it seemed to clear up as he went along, and near the end of the program, Harvey broke into song.

``It’s been a long winter without you. It’s been a long winter without you,″ he sang. As he closed, Harvey said he felt so good to be back on the air that he might start singing the news. ``And you wouldn’t want that,″ he said, laughing before signing off with his trademark ``Good Day!″

Harvey will do only his morning broadcast and his daily ``Rest of the Story″ program for a few weeks, leaving the duties of his 15-minute midday program to guest hosts while he continues to recover, Berry said.

Harvey signed a 10-year, $100 million contract with ABC Radio Networks last November to continue the commentaries that he began broadcasting in 1951. The broadcasts reach about 24 million listeners daily.

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