Published on Saturday, 03 March 2012 13:59
It seems the only constant is change at WIQI-FM/FM News 101.1, as the fairly new radio station continues to get its footing and find its way. The latest changes have to do with some promotions for a couple of staffers and some planned exits as staffers move on to different careers elsewhere.
First the promotions and changes...
Patrick Baldwin has been named as Lead Producer. Baldwin was the Director of News Content for WCIU-TV, but was forced out this past August
with the hire of Rob Morhaim as Senior Executive Producer for WCIU-TV's morning program "You & Me This Morning." He had been working with WIQI-FM since then in a part-time capacity before this week's promotion. In his new role, Baldwin will lead the news writing efforts in the afternoons and evenings, as well as handle reporter assignments after 2:30pm. (Geneen Harston still handles reporter assignments before 2:30pm.)
Lindsey Reiser has been promoted up to news anchor/reporter. She previously was an editor with WIQI-FM. In her new role, Reiser will be heard on the air primarily Wednesdays through Sundays. Before being one of the initial group to help launch the Merlin Media radio station, she was a News Producer for the Chicago Tribune and, up until this past October, was a writer/blogger for ChicagoNow, writing about vintage fashion called "Second City Secondwear."
Feature reporter Sam Sylk will now be moving from full-time to part-time. As first announced here
a few days ago, Sam Sylk will soon be launching a nationally syndicated Urban talk/entertainment/music program for Major Trendz Radio Networks later this month. Between that and many other projects Sylk has going on, he could no longer devote as many hours to FM News 101.1, but will still remain with the station as much as his schedule will allow.
There are a pair of exits to announce, as well...
Guy Bauer has given notice and his last day with the station will come on March 11th. He will be giving up his duties as anchor/reporter/producer to instead focus on his own full-service corporate video business, Guy Bauer Productions. With his schedule freed up some, this will also mean the return of his highly-regarded web video show, "The Guy Bauer Half Hour
," which has been on hiatus for a short while. Bauer had been with the 101.1 frequency since being named Executive Producer of the old Sherman & Tingle morning show in April 2011. Bauer previously worked with Jonathon Brandmeier, first in 2004 on KCBS-FM in Los Angeles, CA, and then coming with him back to Chicago when Brandmeier returned to WLUP-FM in 2005. Bauer was with Brandmeier & WLUP-FM until November 2009, when Emmis management decided to prematurely end their relationship with Brandmeier, removing his show and everybody who worked on it. His production career started in television when he was just 18 years old, working on Comedy Central's "Crank Yankers" and then on the network's "Man Show."
It was announced yesterday that JP Allen will be leaving the station. He has accepted a position as Producer at Philadelphia's WRDW-FM. There, he will be a morning show producer for Wired 96.5's "Chio in the Morning," reuniting with former Q101 morning show host Steve Tingle, who just recently joined the cast of that show. JP Allen has been with 101.1 FM for many years (including two owners and three call letters), starting out as an intern, moving on to phone screener, weekend/part-time DJ, Producer for Sherman & Tingle's morning show, and Producer for FM News 101.1. He is now planning his quick move to Philadelphia in the next week.
The only non-voluntary change occurred at the end of last week, which was previously mentioned on this website
last Monday, was that of afternoon traffic anchor Elizabeth Braun. An employee of NAVTEQ/Radiate's traffic services for use with WIQI-FM, she was released when WIQI-FM Executive Producer Diana Bodkins decided to make a change in reporters. Mary DeBaggis is now filling in as afternoon traffic anchor, a role that could become permanent.
FM News 101.1 launched in late July of last year. Originally planned to be a new type of news/entertainment/lifestyle/personality radio format, under the guise of a news station, the format has since morphed repeatedly since its launch and is now a much more traditional all-news format. The station has largely gone unnoticed by the general public due to its refusal so far to market itself while it tweaks & perfects its format. Despite the lack of promotion, ratings have been organically rising each month, especially in the so-called money demographics of 25-54. However, even with the slow rise in ratings, WIQI-FM still remains in last place for all of the major downtown Chicago radio stations. Station management hopes to have all that change in the coming months and marketing plans begin to get rolled out and relationships with other outlets, including WMAQ-TV, begin to let the public know of the station's existence.