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News & Notes: Radio Arte; The Drive; Kiss FM; V103; B96; Mark Baggio; Wild Bill Cody; Mark Nilsson

Eight local media news items to pass along in this final News & Notes of 2012, including: Radio Arte comes to an end; The Drive looks back at 2012; Kiss FM celebrates NYE in a big way; V103 celebrates NYE four ways; B96 does a big countdown; Mark Baggio exits B96; Wild Bill Cody passes away; and Mark Nilsson gets hitched. All of the details are just below...

* * Today is the final day for Radio Arte on WRTE-FM 90.5. When the distressed radio station owned by the National Museum of Mexican Art was purchased by Chicago Public Media in June of this year, Torey Malatia, CEO of Chicago Public Media, called it more of a "partnership" than a purchase. Said Malatia at that time: "I am honored to work in partnership with National Museum of Mexican Art to preserve an important community asset... In acquiring this frequency we are taking responsibility of this asset to serve the communities currently served by Radio Arte." Just over six months later, Radio Arte's Hispanic-targeted programming is being removed. Some of the programming will be shuffled to an online-only station in 2013 as part of RadioArte.org, but as of later today, it is an end of an era, as Radio Arte is ending on Chicago's radio airwaves. WRTE-FM and Radio Arte had been broadcasting to Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood -- home to the second largest Mexican community in the United States -- since 1997. Replacing Radio Arte will be a simulcast of Torey Malatia's pet project, the experimental Vocalo, also heard on WBEW-FM. In approximately one month, Chicago Public Media will also move WRTE-FM's frequency from 90.5 to 90.7, expanding WRTE-FM's signal reach.

* * Tonight at 9:00pm on WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM/The Drive will be a special episode of "The Classics." The two-hour show, hosted by Steve Downes, will look at the best of 2012, including Classic Rock news, interviews, and events.

* * WKSC-FM/103.5 Kiss FM, along with the Chicago Sun-Times and others, are sponsoring "NYE Soiree 2013." This formal attire New Year's Eve party will be hosted by Kiss FM's nighttime personality Special K and will take place at the Palmer House Hotel (17 E. Monroe St., Chicago) starting at 9:00pm. In addition to drinks and dancing, there will also be live casino gambling taking place. Tickets range from $145-$165 and also include tickets for tonight's pre-NYE party at Sound Bar and the post-NYE party at the Hard Rock Cafe. Proceeds from the ticket sales and gambling go to benefit the Starlight Children's Foundation Midwest. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit this link HERE.

* * WVAZ-FM/V103 is sponsoring not one, not two, but FOUR big New Year's Eve parties tomorrow night.

V103's Herb Kent will be hosting a giant celebration in the Grand Ballroom at The Legacy (11901 S. Loomis St., Chicago) starting at 9:00pm. Music will be provided by V103's Maurice "Ice" Culpepper and Eric "ET" Taylor. Tickets are $35 in advance and can be purchased HERE, or $45 at the door.

V103's Joe Soto will host the "New Year's Eve Back In The Day Jam" taking place at Club Olympic (6146 W. Cermak, Cicero). Music will be provided by V103's Maurice "Ice" Culpepper (again -- he gets around), and various other guest DJs. Additionally, there will be a live performance by Aly-Us, singing his hit "Follow Me" and performing in Chicago for his very first time. Tickets are only $25 (with food) or $15 (without food) and can be purchased by calling 708-652-0808.

V103 is sponsoring the 22nd Annual New Year's Eve Stepper's Extravaganza taking place at the Tinley Park Convention Center (18501 S. Harlem Ave., Tinley Park) starting at 7:00pm. The event will feature special musical guests Marcel & The Truth. Tickets are $55 in advance, $65 at the door, and come with an appetizer buffet, party favors, and parking pass. For more information call 773-660-0300.

Lastly, V103 is also sponsoring the New Year's Eve concert with Charlie Wilson (the former lead singer of the Gap Band) and Ledisi taking place at 8:00pm at the Chicago Theatre (175 N. State St., Chicago). Tickets range from $78.00-$128.00 and can be purchased HERE.

* * WBBM-FM/B96 will be counting down the Top 96 songs of 2012, starting at 2:00pm Monday and ending at Midnight. The the 10 hours of music will be hosted by morning show hosts J Niice and Showbiz Shelly, as well as by afternoon hosts Stylz & Roman.

* * Longtime WBBM-FM/B96 staffer Mark Baggio was released by the station just before Christmas. He had been a producer with WBBM-FM/B96 since April 2006, with the last few years executive producing the station's morning show with J Niice & Julian. In May, he stepped down from his producing jobs to work in programming, assisting B96's Program Director and Music Director. Seven months later, Baggio is out and now searching for his next full-time opportunity in radio. Baggio hasn't completely exited CBS Radio Chicago, however, as he will still be doing some work for WSCR-AM/670 The Score on a very part-time basis.

* * Former Chicago radio personality Wild Bill Cody passed away on Christmas Day in his home in Fort Collins, CO from an apparent heart attack -- his second heart attack this year. He was 62 years old. Chicago radio fans will remember him as being one half of the TJ & Wild Bill morning show duo that made up the "B96 Wakeup Call." These were the radio DJ team that was put together by Program Director Todd Cavanah to replace the then-fired Eddie and Jobo. TJ & Wild Bill were on WBBM-FM from September 1994 through July 1995. The duo were fired because their ratings were far below those of Eddie & Jobo's, as B96 fans wanted their Eddie & Jobo back and did not accept these "outsiders" taking over. TJ (Terry Jacobs, now going by Terry Coffey) and Wild Bill Cody then went their separate ways. Cody had been in radio for over 35 years in various markets nationwide, but spent his biggest years in Reno, NV and Denver, CO.

* * Congratulations to WLS-TV's Mark Nilsson. He and his girlfriend Kady became husband and wife this month. Nilsson has been a regular contributor to ABC 7's "190 North" since May 2009 and all of the WLS-TV New Year's Eve specials since then _including tomorrow night's).

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!