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Responses (40)
  • Accepted Answer

    Monday, February 17 2014, 09:01 PM - #permalink
    I knew they would be going with syndicated fare in the latenight hours, but wasn't sure if it would be NBC or FOX Sports Radio programming, but NBC it is I suppose. A first for this market for NBC Sports Radio.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Monday, February 17 2014, 12:58 PM - #permalink
    ....many markets...many of them smaller than Chicago, have 3 sports stations. ....Much of what has been written here was said about the Score when it debuted in 92'....so who knows what will work. In this case, I am not sure this lineup will have the chops the original Score had....but DeCastro lets no grass grow under his feet...if this lineup sucks, there will be changes.....He moves forward like a shark...and forget having the access to offer your suggestions....they are better served here. DeCastro never heard a good idea he didn't think of.....and Brandmeier in the morning gives the station flexibility to change direction if necessary and provides the only proven track record of success In the whole lineup
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  • Accepted Answer

    Monday, February 17 2014, 10:30 AM - #permalink
    RadioNerd: I absolutely have many more updates. It will be a busy afternoon.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Monday, February 17 2014, 10:23 AM - #permalink
    Larz is the real scoopmaster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • Accepted Answer

    Monday, February 17 2014, 10:19 AM - #permalink
    Sounds good. Thanks, Larz. Looking forward to tuning in for the debut of the newest Chicago sports station. I think the FM band is still viable and a station on FM can be extremely successful.

    Looking forward to any other updates possibly on The Game on CRM this afternoon as well.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Monday, February 17 2014, 09:58 AM - #permalink
    How come no other media outlets are reporting "The Game" branding or the premise that WGN is creating a "mostly sports" FM station?


    RadioNerd: Others will follow. This was yet another exclusive story found only on CRM. Tune in this afternoon and especially tomorrow and you will hear "The Game," not what other said last week would be airing.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Monday, February 17 2014, 09:37 AM - #permalink
    If brandmeoer doesn't work out, north is doing mornings on the national fox sports radio feed. That's a straight barter deal and would cost WGN nothing. Just saying......
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  • Accepted Answer

    Monday, February 17 2014, 07:44 AM - #permalink
    So, does CBS counter this by giving WSCR one of its FM outlets?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, February 16 2014, 07:08 PM - #permalink
    Maybe there are more details about the content and talents that will be a part of this new venture forthcoming, BUT they probably will need to fill a lot of the remaining slots with brokered or syndicated programming, maybe from Fox Sports radio or NBC Radio, so who knows as this is all an experiment in progress. Good luck to them as they'll really need it.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, February 16 2014, 03:33 PM - #permalink
    How come no other media outlets are reporting "The Game" branding or the premise that WGN is creating a "mostly sports" FM station?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, February 16 2014, 02:27 PM - #permalink
    SJ: Buzz and Hector will still be key parts of the Brandmeier morning show. (Sorry for the delay in responding to your question.)
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, February 16 2014, 01:36 PM - #permalink
    I wonder if Jim Decastro could get some content from Fox Sports to fill in some of the void he'll have since Chicago doesn't have a radio station currently carrying their feed.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, February 16 2014, 11:03 AM - #permalink
    Alot of markets have 3 or more sports staions. ESPN, Fox Sports Network, NBC sports network, CBS sports Net, Yahoo sports net
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, February 16 2014, 10:32 AM - #permalink
    This totally explains why Jimmy Decastro was trying to hire Mitch Rosen to be his right hand man. He wanted to start a sports station like Larz said many months ago. Having Brandmeier do mornings is a bad idea, though. Mitch Rosen would never have done that.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, February 16 2014, 09:42 AM - #permalink
    Actually Rich, it's happening a bit before that. At 1:00pm, 101.1/87.7 announces their new branding of 101WKQX and their plans for the immediate future. Right after that, that two station simulcast ends and 101WKQX will only be heard on 101.1 FM. At that point, WGN Radio takes over 87.7. So, at some point between 1:02pm and 1:05pm, "The Game" is on.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, February 16 2014, 09:08 AM - #permalink
    The switch from WKQX alternative rock music on TV channel 6 and 87.7FM to WGNG is suppose to take place tomorrow around 2pm that's when Merlin Media gives up it's lease to the Tribune Company. I'm going to turn my TV on channel 6 to listen I'm curious to hear what WGN has planned.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 09:51 PM - #permalink
    I think DeCastro is in a tough position. Many people on this message board want something new and interesting. But I'm not sure there *is* new and interesting anymore. If you go downmarket, most of he time you're going to find only syndicated shows, maybe 24/7. So where is this new, fresh talent supposed to come from? They don't get to cut their teeth anywhere except in a podcast.

    The only option, then, is to bring in some established names (and a couple of newer names perhaps) and try to make it work. It's a system that will only work for a few more years, until these weird people from early 90s Loop decide that coming in to work is beneath them.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 09:48 PM - #permalink
    @Mike #1, don't also forget the continuing amount of Bears discussions going on over there too at WSCR-AM, but a question also is why did the station not fully broadcast the Team USA-Russia hockey game today (2/15) but instead decided to join it in progress?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 09:32 PM - #permalink
    Maybe when you stop and think about it this isn't Decastro's fault. Did any of you think that people like Johnny B, and Dahl expect more money then the Tribune Company is willing to Pay right now. Dahl can make good bucks doing his own on line thing and he has total control of content he won't get that under WGN.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 07:34 PM - #permalink
    Decastro is disappointing this time around.

    When he built AM1000 back in the day he took chances and brought in some young fresh talent in johnny and kevin. This time he is rehashing old names at WGN like cochran and sirott.

    Come on jimmy, do what you did at AM1000. You didnt work your magic in rebuilding AM720. At least give us somethig fresh and new on the fm.

    Fresh, new and taking chances is what built decastro's name and also built AM1000. this time around its all stale, old and take no chances.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 06:26 PM - #permalink
    Come on, this is a joke, right?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 02:05 PM - #permalink
    I'm going to have to disagree with the "so called experts" here and say this will work moderately well. I'd hardly call WSCR a good sports station. It's Bears, Sox, and WAYYY too many commercials. Their programming is predictable and boring. There's plenty of other teams out there pro and college to talk about. There's also the Blackhawks and NHL which WSCR (aka WSOX) won't talk much about despite 2 Stanly Cups in 4 years. AM1000 plainly sucks except for Mike and Mike in the morning.

    Give it a chance. When it's all said and done WGNG very well might flip to the LOOP talk of the 90s, which is fine with me. Hey, pipe in Bonaduce and bring in Matthews, Dahl, and Brandmier. Why would this work? Because programmers in Chicago have no guts now to allow a real morning show that is edgy, funny, and provocative, or to some degree politically incorrect. All we have now are SAFE "advertiser friendly" morning shows about as interesting as dryer lint and no more compelling than the part time Randy Michaels voice tracking deejays.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 11:03 AM - #permalink
    <<All you wanna be Program Directors and Station Managers should take these great ideas and suggestions you've been posting and go to 435 North Michigan Avenue Chicago IL and present them in person directly to Mr. DeCastro instead of wasting them on us.>>

    Oh, you mean instead of discussing them on a Chicago Radio and Media message board labelled (let me go check...brb...)







    MEDIA DISCUSSIONS?




    OK, you win.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 10:37 AM - #permalink
    My prediction based on nothing but having been a Brandmeier listener forever is that his show will be virtually the same as it has been since WGN.fm started. Harry and sports have been a big part all along and will still be the 20-25% of the show that it has been.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 10:09 AM - #permalink
    All you wanna be Program Directors and Station Managers should take these great ideas and suggestions you've been posting and go to 435 North Michigan Avenue Chicago IL and present them in person directly to Mr. DeCastro instead of wasting them on us.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 08:59 AM - #permalink
    Another disastrous decision at WGN radio! As I predicted back in August, the new line-up on the AM side will not work, and now this. What are they thinking? Chicago needs entertainment radio (as in the glory days of WGN-AM--hello....!), not another sports station.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 07:10 AM - #permalink
    A couple of observations:

    1) Larz - the app button image at the bottom of your incredibly fascinating story says it all for me. The majority of audio content I listen to these days is delivered on my iPhone via Bluetooth to my car system and now to an awesome Bluetooth speaker in the house. It renders over-the-air irrelevant. I think that reality has moved pretty solidly into the early majority on the diffusion of innovations curve.

    2) A mix of comedy, sports and other talk with a marquee non-sports morning show ruled New York for over a decade. WFAN The Fan featured Don Imus in the morning and sports talk the rest of the day. Imus didn't talk sports himself much, but he was surrounded by Warner Wolf, Mike Breen and other well-known NY sports personalities. There was probably about four minutes of sports per quarter hour in the morning, during which Imus either put his feet up or interacted with the sports personalities. It worked great. WFAN The Fan. WGNG The Game. Same thing. This concept is nothing new nor is it outlandish or contrived. It worked two markets up. It can work here.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 15 2014, 01:55 AM - #permalink
    Just by reading this article and what they're proposing on doing with this station and the limited reach it's going to get, I can't see this station lasting more than 6 months until they decide to change up formats again and then placing Brandmeier on a sports-oriented station truly isn't going to work for the type of show he normally does. If yuo guys and gals thought he was out of place at WGN-AM, wait until you hear this new show of his on WGNG-FM. That's completely out of his element. I guess with Kaplan, that's one way for the man to earn his salary, but again why another sports station? Makes no sense and this won't even be simulcast on TV 6 and so now what airs on that analog TV channel if WKQX is going bye-bye?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 10:52 PM - #permalink
    Following the saga of the changes at WGN, to the G and now the WGNG, is dizzying! What a turn of events by changing to a sports format. I enjoy Johnny's show, as I always have, when I can listen online. I had my doubts when he switched from AM to the new .FM concept but have found the show to really work as JB covers a myriad of topics that make the day fun. essentially JB is doing the type of show he wants to do, no structured format. Harry's sports meshed well into the show, so my question is why change, again??? Do you think that management doesn't want to tell Johnny where the door is by simply, constantly making changes to make failure imminent??The WGN.FM situation seems to work well and has potential to work on the radio again. Now they are thrusting JB into yet another format and venue change, all within 6 months! Hey Jimmy D: Let Johnny B be what he's great at, providing morning entertainment and laughs to last all day!
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 10:18 PM - #permalink
    Could this be an April Fool's prank a little early?

    That morning show with Brandmeier, Kaplan, Harry and Spike is an unmitigated disaster on paper, and I am surprised DeCastro would green-light the thing. I just cannot see the egos of goofball Brandmeier and blowhole Kaplan gelling at all, and forcing Brandmeier into a sports-oriented show almost seems like they're telling him he can take a hike at any time since he has no contract. Quite a shame, too, as his .FM show has been fantastic without all of the ''regular'' radio morning-show constraints.

    Then again, wait a second - if this is going to be a sports format, are Pugs and Kelly, and Abe and the gang going to do sports shows, too?

    Something sounds off, here...
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 08:26 PM - #permalink
    WGNG, "the Gong". Has a nice ring to it. Maybe it will be as entertaining as the original "Gong Show".
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 05:47 PM - #permalink
    I would like to see Johnny & Buzz join Steve Dahl & Kevin Mathews
    on the Steve Dahl Network.

    That would be an interesting turn of events.
    I believe I heard Johnny say that he & Buzz are currently working without a contract.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 04:51 PM - #permalink
    Don't see DeCastro and Manley changing Brandmeier's show, but maybe they will.

    Like the sports idea for the rest of the time on the station. Either way, they will have a large online presence since WGN.fm has already been established, so it could work out.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 03:31 PM - #permalink
    you comedy fans will probably win out. Think about it with Brandmeier and his stick,and Kevin Mathews doing his "Jim Shorts" bits they're bound to find other comics to chime in to cover the weekend shifts. With WMVP having the ESPN network to back them up they can go to network feeds for fill ins. What will the Tribune folks do for 24/7 coverage? Otherwise they can get as dull as WSCR does at times.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 03:27 PM - #permalink
    I'm not thrilled about this sports idea either, but they seem to be going with the personnel they have and Johnny is a team player. I'm not sure this will last more than a few months, but deCastro's idea of getting Dahl and Matthews back on simply isn't going to happen. So maybe finding new talent by confining them to sports and seeing how well they can go beyond the boundaries isn't a bad idea. Of course Harry and Spike aren't new talent, but at this point the whole thing is really just an experiment anyway.

    The experiment I would have liked is putting a camera in Johnny's studio and putting the video on Channel 6 (a la the Roe & Roeper show on 5.2 a while back).
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 02:46 PM - #permalink
    Actually, I've never once predicted it. About a year ago, some Tribune Broadcasting people were strongly looking at the idea and I passed that info on. Eventually, the more sound idea of having WGN-AM return to its fun-talk roots won out, which I agreed with. This idea of "The Game" is a newer concept by de Castro and Manley. Thanks to some inside info, I am now passing that along. Personally, I don't think the all-sports idea for WGNG-LP is the best way to go. Some sports? Sure, especially with all the sports connections WGN-AM has. All sports or even mostly sports? Brandmeier talking sports? I'm not on board with those ideas. I hope it works out for them, but I can foresee a lot of "tweaking" taking place there over the next few months.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 02:40 PM - #permalink
    We should all give credit to Larz, though. He's been predicting a WGN sports stations for about 5 years! :)
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 02:31 PM - #permalink
    Damn! I was hoping it would be a straight talk/comedy format. WE DON'T NEED ANYMORE SPORTS STATIONS IN CHICAGO!!

    How many listeners did WLS drive away at 5:00 with Conn & Roeper discussing the White Sox anemic offense with Steve Stone, and/or Henry Melton's latest arrest for intoxication and assault?

    I used to love Brandmeier's 6 AM "comedic spin" on the news during his last LOOP gig with Kent Voss as the straight man. Now we're getting Spike and Tiny-Nuts again?? That "Crease-Monkeys" bit resuscitated is going to kill, right?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 01:33 PM - #permalink
    What will happen to Buzz and Hector?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, February 14 2014, 01:21 PM - #permalink
    Wait a second. Kaplan's going to have a larger role during the daytime? He's only on his WGN-AM show about 20% of the time and he works at like 40 different places (when he's not in Mexico/Sweden/other luxury hotel about 4 times a year). I'm curious to see how that's going to work.
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