Published on Monday, 30 July 2012 09:49
WKQX-LP/Q87.7 has been fishing for one more DJ to fill out their on-air staff. It would appear that Merlin Media, the operator of Q87.7, has finally reeled in a big fish: Shark. A veteran of numerous Chicagoland radio stations, many will remember Shark from his days on past Chicago Alternative stations Q101 and The Zone.
Shark is just one of a few radio names that has been used by Eric Olson. He has also been known as Eric Austin (when he worked on Fresh 105.9) and Ric Stone (when he worked for 101.9 The Mix). His childhood nickname of "Shark" is the one he may be best known for, though.
Fans of Chicago radio will remember Shark as a night/weekend DJ on WKQX-FM/Q101 in 1995-1996. From 1998-2001, he was the afternoon personality on WKIE-FM 92.7/WKIF 92.5 when it was known as 92Kiss-FM, and even after it flipped formats and was then known as Energy 92.7 & 5. From there he worked weekends and fill-ins at WZZN-FM/The Zone in 2001-2003. Longtime fans of the Chicago Rush arena football team will remember Shark as the original PA announcer for the the first five years of the team.
Between the years of 2004 and 2008, Olson worked at WKLS-FM, WZGC-FM and WBZY-FM in Atlanta, GA before coming back home to Chicago. In May 2008, Shark began working at WTMX-FM as a weekend and fill-in personality, but since the "Shark" nickname didn't fit the station's image, and since there is already a famous person named Eric working mornings there, he used the radio name of Ric Stone. At the start of April 2011, he left The Mix to become the full-time afternoon personality
on WCFS-FM/Fresh 105.9. He was there until CBS Radio killed off the Fresh format exactly one year ago
this week. He had also been doing some part-time weekend work on WJMK-FM/104.3 K-Hits recently.
Over his long career in radio, he has also spent time at KROQ-FM in Los Angeles, CA, KOME-FM in San Jose, CA and KEDJ-FM in Phoenix. This is not even mentioning the tiny markets like LaCrosse, WI and Mankato, MN, where the native from Madison, WI had to work at while starting out.
In June 2011
, he was awarded a Silver Dome award as "Best Radio Personality" from the Illinois Broadcasters Association for his weekend work at WTMX-FM the summer before. While he was at The Zone in Chicago, he was a 2002 Chicago A.I.R. Award Finalist for "Best Overall Talent on a Music Station." While he was working for KOME-FM, he was a finalist for Billboard Magazine's "1998 On-Air Personality of the Year - Alternative."
At Q87.7, Shark now joins the other on-air voices at the station, including Slater (aka WLUP-FM's Maxwell), PJ Kling, Lou Lombardo, Walter Flakus, and Lauren O'Neil. For the most part, Shark will be heard there during the afternoon drive hours. He begins on the WKQX-LP airwaves today.
Although there are no plans for it just yet, with Shark's extensive resume and ability to work numerous radio formats, including Rock and AC, it may be just a matter of time before his voice appears on one, or both, of Merlin Media's other local properties - WLUP-FM/97.9 The Loop and WIQI-FM/i101 (which will soon be adding voices to the new station, including a new morning show
). In the not-too-distant future, don't be too surprised if "Shark" is speaking on Q87.7, while "Eric Austin" is introducing songs on i101.