• Register

Rick Kogan Exits WGN-AM; Dean Richards To Replace Him

Rick Kogan, host of the WGN-AM weekend show, "The Sunday Papers with Rick Kogan," will be exiting the radio station after this Sunday morning's show. Beginning Monday, Kogan will be the interim host of the WBEZ-FM weekday program, "The Afternoon Shift."

WBEZ-FM's found itself scrambling to find a new host for its afternoon show, after the show's original host, Steve Edwards stunned co-workers earlier this month by announcing he was leaving the radio station. Edwards has accepted the role of Deputy Director of Programming for the University of Chicago's new Institute of Politics and his final day on the air for WBEZ-FM is today.

A search for a new host of "The Afternoon Shift" is underway. In the meantime, Rick Kogan will be the fill-in host. While Kogan is certainly a possible permanent replacement host, no decision has been made and other candidates are being considered.

Rick Kogan is the longtime Chicago Tribune columnist/writer/reporter (since 1985), who previously wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Daily News. Although he did some radio work for WBBM-AM in the 1980s, he did not begin hosting radio shows until 1994, when for one year, he was the host of "The Sunday Papers" on WLUP-FM. In 1998, he co-hosted "Media Creatures" along with Richard Roeper and Kathy Voltmer. The highly-popular show turned out to be short-lived, though, as The Loop's AM station was sold to ESPN and flipped to an all-sports format just a matter of months after the show started. Attempts to resurrect "Media Creatures" on TV & radio the following year fell short.

Soon after that, "The Sunday Papers with Rick Kogan" began on WGN-AM. This was a natural fit, as Kogan also worked for the Chicago Tribune -- both employers being owned by the same parent corporation, Tribune Company. The most recent time slot for his show was Sundays from 6:30am-9:00am.

Just as Steve Edwards' announcement that he was leaving WBEZ-FM caught his co-workers and bosses by surprise, Rick Kogan's sudden departure from WGN Radio did the same. Kogan had agreed to be the fill-in host for "The Afternoon Shift" and slipped details of the agreement to a local blogger before having any face-to-face meeting with his WGN Radio or Tribune bosses. The quick exit to a direct competitor of Tribune Company's didn't sit well with some.

Because of that, after Sunday morning's program ends, Rick Kogan will no longer be an employee of WGN Radio. Even with that, Kogan is so well liked by both the station employees and its fans, that station management is not against the personality returning to the station at some point in the future and have wished him well as the guest host on WBEZ-FM.

Bill White, WGN Radio's Program Director, issued a statement today, saying: "Rick is a true Chicago legend and has been a mainstay on WGN for the past 13 years. We expect him to have a great experience in his new endeavor, but the door is open for future projects down the road at WGN."

With the exit of Kogan's early Sunday morning show, WGN-AM has found a way to fill the vacancy. It is being announced today that "Dean Richards' Sunday Morning" will expand and move earlier.

Starting on October 7th, Dean Richards' long-running entertainment and lifestyle show will air from 6:30am-11:00am. (No decision has yet been finalized for a fill-in show on Sunday, September 30th.)

Dean Richards joined WGN-TV in 1991, where he remains as their Emmy Award-winning entertainment reporter and critic. In 1994, he also joined WGN-AM, first as a fill-in host, and then as a permanent weekend host by the end of that year. He has been with WGN-AM ever since, winning well over 30 awards and honors along the way. His popular annual breast cancer awareness specials, which have aired on both WGN-TV and WGN-AM since 1996, have earned Dean Richards numerous well-deserved national and regional awards and citations.

Chicago native Dean Richards has worked in local media since 1975, ever since earning his degrees in Broadcast Communications and Marketing from Columbia College. Prior to joining WGN, he worked at such Chicagoland stations as WLTD-AM, WMRO-AM, WAUR-FM, WFYR-FM, WCFL-AM, WIND-AM, WCLR-FM, WPWR-TV, and WNUA-FM.

Even with Dean Richards' expanded duties on Sunday mornings, he will continue to be heard on WGN-AM giving movie reviews Thursday afternoons on "The Garry Meier Show."

Bill White, WGN Radio's Program Director, said today: "Dean's show has been a staple on Sunday mornings since 1994, and this new timeslot will give him an earlier start -- avoiding sports broadcast pre-emptions -- while still airing during part of his longtime timeslot. As a Chicago native, Dean truly embodies the WGN hometown quality and we're excited to expand the show."


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!