Published on Friday, 02 April 2010 14:06
The following are a handful of proposed scenarios, inside rumors and probable happenings at some Chicago radio stations. These are not official announcements, nor are they yet officially confirmed to happen.
* * Word continues to come in about probable changes to the WGN-AM daytime line-up. The probable schedule for WGN Radio by mid-April will be:
5:00am-9:00am Greg Jarrett
9:00am-Noon: John Williams
Noon-3:00pm: Steve Cochran
3:00pm-7:00pm Garry Meier w/ "Elton" Jim Turano
7:00pm-9:00pm Jim Laski
This would take away the hour that was recently given to John Williams. This also eliminates the "Noon Show," but in name only, as all of the elements on the "Noon Show" will stay, only with Steve Cochran added. Garry Meier's show moves to the important afternoon drive timeslot and is given an extra hour. Even better news for fans of Garry & Elton Jim is that the strict time schedule will be relaxed. Instead of breaking every few minutes for news, weather, sports, traffic, business reports and commercials, the multiple breaks will be consolidated down, allowing Meier to do more longer topics, something that works better with his style. Of course, the already much-discussed Jim Laski show will air after that, replacing "Sports Central." All of these moves, especially the Garry Meier shift, is being done to counter-program against WLS-AM's recent moves, especially the upcoming addition of Richard Roeper to the afternoon show. These changes should be announced late next week.
* * A few days ago, Bill Gamble was relieved of his PD duties
for WUSN & WCFS. It would appear that the odds of Kevin Robinson coming back to Chicago to program WCFS, or any big name programmer doing so, is now very slim. CBS Radio is looking to have Chicago & New York's Fresh stations to be more alike than they now are. Chicago's Fresh 105.9 will be basically run by the NY Fresh 102.7. As a formality, the new Program Director for WCFS will more than likely be WBBM-FM's Todd Cavanaugh, who will add that to his WBBM duties. He, along with Assistant Program Director Joe Epperson, will do as they are directed from elsewhere. On the plus side, NY's WWFS allows their personalities to talk a bit more than Chicago's WCFS does. On the negative side, they are forbidden from using their last names on the air or on the websites.
Over at WUSN, Marci Braun, the current APD has the inside track at becoming the PD for the station, a move that is well deserved. These moves are expected to be announced before April is over.
* * Some interesting events are happening over at WLIT & WNUA. As reported here earlier
, WNUA was on the brink of dropping the CHR "Mega" format and becoming "El Patron," Clear Channel's Regional Mexican format. A domain name was purchased, logo created and a website template drafted. That trigger was not pulled, however. WNUA's ratings have slowly, but steadily risen and Clear Channel is not looking at dropping the format at this time. WLIT's ratings continue to drop unless it is airing Christmas music. Clear Channel's headquarters in San Antonio is strongly considering dropping the long-time AC station, despite its decent billing, low overhead and December dominance, to replace it with a sister-station for WNUA. "El Patron 93.9" would be able to be run by the same management/programming team as WNUA and cut into the the major audience that top-rated WOJO & WLEY have. Also, with WLEY currently not encoding for Arbitron's PPM, this would be a prime opportunity for WLIT to take that away and use the new ratings for new revenue. Another clue that this is under consideration is WLIT's advertising that listeners should check out WKSC. WLIT is now playing many more current hits that Kiss-FM also plays, and is airing promos asking people who enjoy new music to listen to that station, which of course, is also owned by Clear Channel. That kind of programming and advertising may be done to try and retain many of the listeners they may potentially lose with a full flip to Mexican music, and keep them within the same company. It would also help boost up WKSC's lagging ratings and give them a better shot at the surging WBBM-FM. If this proposed flip were to happen, it would probably not be until late May. Clear Channel already has an "El Patron" station doing well in Atlanta. WILV & WCFS are already licking their chops at the idea.
* * Fans of Jake Hartford can rest easy. Your Saturday mornings will return to normal soon enough. Look for WLS to make an announcement late next week about the return of "The Jake Hartford Show" to WLS-AM's airwaves, with the probable start date of April 17th, although April 10th remains a possibility. Hartford has not been on WLS in almost two years.