Published on Tuesday, 08 June 2010 00:09
Feeling pressure from Mike McConnell's unexpected early exit from WLW-AM and that station's open admission that McConnell was coming to Chicago, WGN-AM finally has admitted publicly that they have indeed hired Mike McConnell as their new daytime talk show host. They have even fessed up to his WGN-AM start date: August 9th.
Two things have not yet been confessed to... The first is just which of the two WGN hosts that are on the bubble will be removed for McConnell to move into that time slot -- John Williams or Steve Cochran. The second is if (or should I say "when") McConnell's co-worker and friend from WLW, Bill Cunningham will be joining him on the WGN airwaves.
The common thinking is that Williams will be forced out early to make room for McConnell, while Cochran will not have his contract renewed at the end of June, to make way first for a month or so of guest hosts and finally for Cunningham. However, moving McConnell into Cochran's soon-to-be vacant time slot is a possibility, as well.
For decades, WGN-AM was known for its consistency. Lately, the only true consistent at WGN is change.
The following is the official press release from this evening from Tribune-owned WGN Radio:
MIDWEST RADIO ICON MIKE MCCONNELL JOINS WGN RADIO
CHICAGO, June 7, 2010 -- WGN Radio today announced that veteran radio host Mike McConnell will join the station effective August 9. One of the most listened to radio personalities in the Midwest, McConnell is known for his quick wit and common sense approach to discussions. For the past 20 years he hosted middays on WLW-AM 700 in Cincinnati, one of the country's most respected radio stations.
"There are really just a handful of truly unique radio hosts in this country -- and Mike is one of them. He's successful based on being who he is, not by imitating others. He's straightforward, and his common sense approach to topics will be a great fit for WGN listeners," said Tom Langmyer, Vice President/General Manager of WGN Radio. "He has tremendous experience and a winning track record as a local talk host. He'll be a great addition to our growing programming line-up."
McConnell's show will feature a broad range of topics from in the news social issues to the oddities of everyday life. His timeslot on WGN will be announced in the coming months.
"Mike McConnell is arguably the most gifted of all American broadcasters at leveraging the news and events of the day into compelling radio shows. We're fortunate and delighted he is joining WGN," said WGN Radio Program Director Kevin Metheny.
"I've always enjoyed Chicago and never met anyone who's lived, worked, or visited there who has a bad word to say about the people or the city of Chicago. I can't wait to be a part of it and particularly WGN Radio," said McConnell.