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The C.R.M. Interviews
Special conversations and insights from your favorite local media stars -- past and present!

CRM Interview: Mike North

For over a decade and a half, Mike North was one of the biggest names in Chicago radio, most famously known for being a top host on WSCR-AM/670 The Score for many years. With his outgoing personality, speak-your-mind attitude, and blue collar "everyman" persona, North quickly became a local media superstar, who was either loved or hated by fans. He was a star on WSCR-AM from its inception in January 1992, until his exit from the station in June 2008, leaving after North and CBS Radio could not come to terms on a new contract.

Since then, he has co-hosted morning television shows on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WBBM-TV/CBS 2. He also had a column page in the Chicago Sun-Times, hosted shows and features on WIND-AM, hosted his own Internet radio show, and was a principle executive in the infamous, short-lived Internet sports radio project, ChicagoSportsWebio.com. North started working nationally with FOX Sports Radio in 2010, joining them full-time for the morning show "FOX Sports Daybreak" at the end of 2013.

One of the hardest working men in media, North continues to have numerous side jobs in addition to his national morning show, including: writing sports columns twice a week in the suburban Daily Herald newspaper, delivering custom videos for the Daily Herald's website three times each week, and starting this Sunday afternoon, hosting "The Mike North Sunday Drive."

That new show will be a live and local Bears post-game program on WDRV-FM/97.1 The Drive. Sunday's debut program will be at approximately 3:00, following the conclusion of the Bears/Packers season opening game.

In this interview, North talks about his long and varied media, his new show on 97.1 The Drive, and more...

Read more: CRM Interview: Mike North

CRM Interview: Rick O'Dell

Chicago broadcasting legend Rick O'Dell is a life-long Chicagoland resident and has been a staple on the Chicago-area radio airwaves since 1981. He is best known for his 19 years at WNUA-FM, when it was a Smooth Jazz station, where he served as a DJ, Music Director, and Program Director. More recently, he served in those same roles on the short-lived, but impressive WLFM-LP.

O'Dell launched the SmoothJazzChicago.net Internet radio station in November 2012. With no Smooth Jazz or Smooth AC found anywhere on the Chicago radio landscape, O'Dell's website became a haven for fans of this genre. With it's high-quality sound and programming, plus with O'Dell's deep connections and respect within the Smooth Jazz industry, SmoothJazzChicago.net became a popular website in Chicago (and worldwide) in this past year.

Since the start of this year, Hubbard Radio Chicago announced it would be simulcasting O'Dell's SmoothJazzChicago.net on WTMX-HD2. Additionally, WDCB-FM has asked O'Dell to host a Sunday morning Smooth Jazz show on its station.

In this interview, O'Dell talks about his amazing radio career and much more...

Read more: CRM Interview: Rick O'Dell

CRM Interview: Crazy Howard McGee

For many years, Crazy Howard McGee was a Chicago radio phenomenon. McGee is a Chicago native, who started his radio career down at Southern Illinois University's WIDB-FM. He signed on with WGCI-FM as a weekend jock in 1993. He soon after moved to weekday middays and then afternoons on WGCI-FM. In January of 1998, he became the host of 'GCI's morning show. Ratings were... "crazy." McGee was at or near the top of the ratings each ratings period. WGCI-FM 107.5 was as big of a smash sensation as it had ever been. Locally and nationwide, credit was given to McGee, along with WGCI-FM executives Elroy Smith and Marv Dyson. In the summer of 2007, despite sky-high ratings, Crazy Howard McGee and his morning show staff were released by Clear Channel Radio as part of a cost-cutting mass firing and replaced by a nationally syndicated show. WGCI-FM's ratings fell and have only recently begun to recover close to the level it once was with McGee on the air.

Since being pushed out from WGCI-FM, Crazy Howard McGee has not returned to Chicago's airwaves, outside of being part of a short-lived weekend brokered show with an attorney on a suburban signal in 2009. He continues to have a strong following and fanbase in Chicago.

In his first interview in years, McGee talks about his remarkable time in radio, some of the people that helped shape his career, sports, the food business, and much more.

Read more: CRM Interview: Crazy Howard McGee

CRM Interview: Susan Carlson

Susan Carlson has been working in Chicago television and radio consistently for over 20 years. This May, WBBM-TV/CBS 2 made the surprising decision to not renew her contract and removed her from the air, weeks prior to the end of her deal. That decision has proven to be extremely unpopular with fans of hers. On the CRM Message Board, one thread about Carlson's dismissal has already been viewed thousands of times and has a few dozen individuals expressing their anger and disappointment over her release.

In her first interview since her exit from CBS 2, Susan Carlson talks about her long career (which is far from over), her reaction to her release, what she is doing now, what she may be doing in the near future, and much more.

Read more: CRM Interview: Susan Carlson

CRM Interview: Spike O'Dell

Spike O'Dell was one of the most popular radio hosts ever in Chicago and certainly of the last couple of decades. After 10 years working in the Quad Cities (plus a little time in Charlotte, NC), O'Dell came to WGN-AM in Chicago in May 1987, working afternoons. In early 2000, he took over the morning show for the station, where he stayed until his retirement in December 2008. Since that day, he has been enjoying his life with his family down south.

Mr. O'Dell talks to CRM this week about his successful radio career and what he is up to now...

Read more: CRM Interview: Spike O'Dell

CRM Interview: Steve Dahl

The very first CRM Interview features Chicago radio legend turned podcasting trailblazer Steve Dahl! With his podcast network growing bigger and better than ever, as well as a new live stage show coming up, this seemed like the perfect time to have a conversation with Mr. Dahl.

Read more: CRM Interview: Steve Dahl

Larz Interviewed

At some point in the future, this page will be getting regular additions of exclusive interviews. Before that happens, I thought I would give a link to a brand new interview where I am on the receiving end of it. The interview can be found on the Metrolingua blogsite. You can read it at this link HERE.

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CRM Website Information

The Chicagoland Radio & Media website (abbreviated as CRM) is a celebration of all things relating to Chicago-area media matters. CRM is a news source, a location for fans to voice their opinions, and an online museum of Chicago media's past and present, with a hopeful eye to its future. For the visitors, readers, and fans of the website, CRM is a both a resource and a release, both educational and an escape, and both factual and fun.

If it has a connection to Chicago area radio, television, print, and/or other forms of media -- information on it can be found here at ChicagolandRadioAndMedia.com!