Published on Wednesday, 09 November 2011 17:10
Today's News & Notes has a lot of local media stories, including: WLIT-FM flips over the holidays again, TV viewers flip over the Chicago Bears, Lauren Jiggetts does an accidental flip at work, Jill Egan is back to work, Tim Virgin is also back to work, Dick Biondi is #1, Chris Petlak is also #1, Ed Tyll is out again, Perry Marshall & Hal Bruno pass away, and condolences to Roy Gregory. All the details can be found just below...
* * As previously revealed on this website's message board
many weeks ago, WLIT-FM has decided to flip the switch to its all-Christmas music format "The Holiday Lite" today at 5:00pm. This comes just a few hours before the start of Arbitron's "December" ratings period. The station's website is now fully made over into its yuletide version, as well. Since the start of this month, the station has been just teasing Holiday music fans
by occasionally sprinkling in a Christmas song periodically and then asking fans to vote for more on their website. This is the 11th November in a row that "The Lite" has become "The Holiday Lite," dropping its regular Adult Contemporary programming and going to 100% Christmas music. The annual flip, has always resulted in a landslide of ratings for the station -- if only for a month or two each year.
* * How popular are the Chicago Bears this season? Monday night's exciting game against the Philadelphia Eagles brought in a combined 33.2 rating in Chicago (20.8 rating for ESPN and a 12.4 rating for WCIU-TV). That means approximately 1,160,000 households in the Chicago market tuned in -- a new record high for the 2011-2012 season. Nationally, ESPN averaged a 12.3 household coverage rating, which translates out to approximately 12,219,000 households and 16,847,000 viewers. This particular "Monday Night Football" broadcast on ESPN was the fourth largest audience in households for cable television in all of the 2011 calendar year. Go Bears!
* * On WGN-TV, the WGN Morning News has a funny reoccurring character on their broadcasts named "Wink Winkle," who is always wearing a neck brace. Now, WMAQ-TV's morning news program, NBC 5 News Today, has its own person in a neck brace -- only this time, it's not being done for laughs. WMAQ-TV reporter Lauren Jiggetts had a work-related tumble at the end of last week, causing her to hit her head, gaining a mild concussion. She now has to wear a neck brace for a while as a precaution. Despite how bad it sounds, Lauren Jiggetts appears to be taking it all in good spirits. Lucky for her, she comes from tough DNA. Her father is former Chicago Bears offensive lineman Dan Jiggetts (who is also a well-known & respected Chicago radio & TV broadcaster).
* * Jill Egan is back on the air! As of the start of this week, she has signed on with Radiate Media/NAVTEQ and is reporting the traffic during the afternoon drive shift on WBEZ-FM. Egan is the Chicago radio veteran who was released by WLUP-FM in early October
in a cost-cutting move.
* * Chicago radio veteran Tim Virgin is back on the Chicago airwaves on a part-time basis, as well. Since the start of this month, Virgin is doing weekends and fill-in on WKSC-FM/103.5 Kiss FM. He has been off the air locally since mid-July when WKQX-FM/Q101 flipped formats, pushing out all of the on-air talent. For the last couple of months, Tim Virgin has also been working as morning DJ (remotely) for Baltimore, MD's alternative WHFS-FM.
* * Chicago radio legend Dick Biondi won the Radio Ink website poll for favorite Top 40 DJ of the 1960s. The poll, first mentioned HERE
in mid-October, also included Larry Lujack (who came in at #4) and Art Roberts (who came in at #6). It certainly helped that Biondi is still actively on the air, along with the fact that WLS-FM promoted voting for Biondi heavily on their website and social media pages. (Dick Biondi does not currently have his own website, as mistakenly mentioned on the Radio Ink page and elsewhere.) The results can be seen on Radio Ink's website HERE
* * As first mentioned here last week
, WTMX-FM's Social Media Manager, Chris Petlak was one of five finalists for Jacobs Media's "Radio's Interactive Superstar." It was announced today that Petlak and his work for The Mix won the contest. In addition to bragging rights, Chris Petlak will be flown to Baltimore to host a presentation at the Jacobs Media "Summit 16" conference in Baltimore on December 7th. More information on Chris Petlak's big win can be found HERE
* * Former Chicago radio talker Ed Tyll is out as the host of the 9:00am-Noon slot on low-rated Orlando, FL station WEUS-AM. Tyll started there in the summer of 2010. Ed Tyll is not entirely leaving radio, though. He will continue to do regular, live Internet radio shows on his Blog Talk Radio program
, while looking for his next opportunity. Additionally, he will continue to do his hard-edged stand-up comedy around the New York area. Tyll worked at WLUP-AM from January 1990 until October 1992, when he was released after disagreeing with management about his show's content. He spent a short while doing a weekend talk show on suburban WYSY-FM (now WLEY-FM) in 1993, before leaving the market for good the following year.
* * Unfortunately, this News & Notes will end with three sad items. The first is that Pittsburgh broadcasting legend Perry Marshall passed away over this past weekend after suffering a heart attack on a cruise about two weeks ago. Marshall was 86. He was a native of the south side of Chicago, born Sheldon Roy Lewis, and started his long radio career here. He first worked here using the radio name "Roy Silver," doing some on commercial work, as well as being a writer and editor for WBBM-AM in the late 1940s. In 1951, he began working at stations in Pittsburgh, but returned home to Chicago to work at WIND-AM in 1961, this time under the DJ name Perry Marshall. Working afternoons, Marshall gained 18% of the listening audience, despite stiff competition from stations like WLS (who had just flipped to Top 40) and WGN. By the mid-1960s, he had left Chicago for the last time, returning to Pittsburgh where his radio fame grew. He retired in 1988. Perry Marshall also happened to be the father of east coast & syndicated radio star Robin Marshall.
* * Longtime ABC News Political Director Hal Bruno passed away yesterday at the age of 83, caused by a fall in his home last week. Bruno was a Chicago native, who graduated from the University of Illinois in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism. He started his long professional journalism career as the Sports Editor for the DeKalb Daily Chronicle. He served in the Army during the Korean War, but afterward, quickly returned to journalism as police reporter for the Chicago City News Bureau. In 1954, he joined the Chicago American as a reporter. Two years later, he left Chicago to work at covering news internationally and then nationally. He was the guiding force behind ABC News' political coverage through most of the 1980s and 1990s. He retired from the news business in 1999. In addition to his over 60 year career in journalism, he was a fireman for over 60 years, having loved fire trucks since he was a small boy in Chicago, chasing them down the streets. Bruno was a longtime contributor to Firehouse Magazine.
* * Sincere condolences go out to Roy Gregory, WCCQ-FM Program Director and morning show co-host, and his entire family. Roy Gregory's mother passed away yesterday after an illness.