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Brandmeier Gets His Own 'Day' & Prepares For New Web Show

With the upcoming changes to WGN Radio's schedule, Jonathon Brandmeier will no longer the station's morning show host. Instead he is heading online for an exciting new venture with WGN Radio and Tribune Broadcasting. Before all that, Jonathon Brandmeier had one final, exciting show on WGN-AM this morning, with a special surprise...

On this morning's radio show, Jonathon Brandmeier was visited by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. While there, he announced that today, Friday, August 23, 2013, was officially "Johnny B. Day" in the state of Illinois. Brandmeier was handed an official, framed State of Illinois Proclamation by the Governor.

The audio of Brandmeier receiving this honor can be heard here:

Today's official State of Illinois Proclamation reads:

WHEREAS, the State of Illinois is a major staging area for top local radio talent and the best of national radio personalities; and

WHEREAS, Jonathon Brandmeier, also known as "Johnny B," is a radio superstar whose humor, indomitable spirit, and sharp wit have captivated listeners across Chicago and the nation; and,

WHEREAS, Johnny B's radio career began at age 15 with WFON-FM in his hometown of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. By 18, his demo tapes helped him obtain a job at WOSH-AM in Oshkosh; and,

WHEREAS, over the past 40 years, Johnny B has taken to the airwaves in Oshkosh, Appleton, Rockford, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, San Jose, Phoenix, and Chicago; and,

WHEREAS, Johnny B's career has stretched from the era of transistor radios to podcasts; and,

WHEREAS, though Johnny B is about to embark on a new adventure at WGN's groundbreaking "virtual FM" station, he has previously manned booths at WLUP-AM/FM, WCKG-FM, and WGN-AM; and,

WHEREAS, Johnny and the Leisure Suits have worked with Governor Pat Quinn to send pizzas to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan through the "Pizzas for Patriots" project; and,

WHEREAS, Johnny B has consistently led the ratings for both morning and afternoon slots; and,

WHEREAS, Johnny B's band, Johnny and the Leisure Suits, has performed in local bars and concert venues for decades in the Midwest, becoming a top draw and setting attendance records throughout the region; and, to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan through the "Pizzas for Patriots" project; and,

WHEREAS, Johnny B is a multi-year winner of the Billboard Magazine Radio Personality Award, winner of Gavin Report's Air Personality of the Year, and the Chicago Tribune Reader's Poll voted him the "Best Radio Personality" for six consecutive years. In addition, The National Association of Broadcasters gave him the prestigious Marconi Award for "Major Market Air Personality of the Year"; and,

WHEREAS, Johnny B will always be the North Star that leads us when it comes to Chicago radio; and,

THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim August 23, 2013 as JOHNNY B DAY in Illinois, in recognition of his tremendous success and contributions to the entertainment industry as a magnetic radio personality.


Jonathon Brandmeier is not the first WGN Radio host to receive such an honor. Earlier this month, on August 13th, Governor Quinn declared it "Orion Samuelson Day," while Samuelson was being given other honors at the IL State Fair. Also, on September 26, 2010, Samuelson was first honored by the Governor with "Orion Samuelson Day," as he celebrated his 50th anniversary with WGN-AM. On May 14, 2012, WGN-AM overnight hosts Steve King and Johnnie Putman were honored with "Steve & Johnnie Day" to salute their 25 years with the station. On Spike O'Dell's final radio show for WGN-AM on December 11, 2008, then-Lieutenant Governor Quinn declared it "Spike O'Dell Day" within the state.

Jokingly, longtime Brandmeier sidekick Buzz Kilman griped on the show this morning about the fact there has not yet been a "Buzz Kilman Day" in the State of Illinois.

While Jonathon Brandmeier may no longer be heard doing morning radio on WGN-AM, he is not done with his relationship with the station or its owner, Tribune Broadcasting. The company is launching a new website, WGN.FM (which can also be accessed by the domain name WGNFM.com). Starting in approximately two to three weeks, Jonathon Brandmeier will be doing his radio show on this website. It will be uncensored and have limited interruptions (unlike his situation on WGN-AM where his show had seemingly non-stop interruptions, which ruined its flow).

Brandmeier's new show will be the foundation for an online experiment for Tribune Broadcasting and WGN Radio. Other hosts will slowly be added to this virtual radio station, until the station has round-the-clock entertainment. Tribune Broadcasting is exploring the purchase of at least one Chicago radio station frequency on the FM band in the near future, once they can clear some federal regulations that prevent that ownership. At that point, WGN.FM will move to the terrestrial radio frequency (most likely in the middle of the dial) and be able to hit the ground running with an established brand featuring established shows and personalities.

Along with being able to access WGN.FM via any computer with an internet connection, new smart phone and tablet devices are being developed.

Since there is no WGN radio station on the FM band in Chicago currently, the "FM" in WGN.FM is standing for "Freeform Media."

The WGN.FM website is using simple block lettering in its name which is eerily similar to the font used by WLUP-FM/WLUP-AM in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Not so coincidentally, current WGN Radio President and General Manager Jimmy de Castro was also the General Manager of WLUP-AM/FM at that time.

Until it is fully ready to launch, WGN.FM/WGNFM.com is placing various teaser videos on its site, each with a very cleaver, humorous slant.

As previously written about, Steve Cochran takes over mornings on WGN-AM beginning September 3rd.


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