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Traffic Choppers - WBBM AM

Is WBBM-AM no longer using the choppers anymore? Haven't heard Chopper 780 or Air 105.9? I know the traffic provider changed were the choppers owned by the station or Total Traffic? And if Total Traffic owned them doesn't Radiate or whatever they are called now own any? Miss hearing the choppers.

Side note A

Miss Bart Shore in the morning/ it's sad listening to the cities best traffic reporter cut down to 2 times an hour and only 30 second spot on a music station. It sounds to me TTN didn't want to let him out of contract out of spite. Hoe can using him the way they are right now be a win for anyone? Let him out of contract so he could go back where he belongs.
Responses (6)
  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, April 13 2017, 09:47 AM - #permalink
    USTN is the new traffic provider for all CBS Radio stations nationwide, including WBBM-AM in Chicago. They are not currently using traffic helicopters, but might in the future.

    Bart Shore is still working, just not on WBBM-AM. He is under contract to Total Traffic/iHeartMedia. Even if Total Traffic were to release him or he were to quit, he still could not join USTN. There is an agreement in place that prevents USTN from poaching away any full-timers from Total Traffic for an undisclosed period of time. Also, the full-time Total Traffic employees have clauses in their contracts that prevent them from jumping to a direct competitor for a certain period of time. It is quite possible that in the future, Bart Shore and some of the other famous and familiar traffic voices from Total Traffic could once again be heard on WBBM-AM, but it simply is not possible for quite a while.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, April 13 2017, 10:42 PM - #permalink
    Once home of the proud "air force as Pat Cassidy would say in the morning, BBM's traffic reports will sorely lack without a helicopter or plane. Effectively this closes an era of airborne radio traffic reporting for Chicago? Larz, is this correct?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, April 14 2017, 07:26 AM - #permalink
    The traffic on air sound has certainly changed at WBBM- perhaps people will use their phone apps more- although- that is really a bad idea when you are driving- so I am sure there will still be plenty of tune in for the traffic- since as a listener, we have been trained to get traffic on the 8's around the clock-

    The reporters now in place offer little other than the travel times which just sort of drone on- the lack of air coverage hurts too-

    Kris Habermehl for all we know is parked in front of his house on a poor quality phone line, giving Tollway updates. His information can only be relayed to him by an editor back at the station, he can't possible see anything he is talking about from his car. His reports are hard to hear and you can't really make out what he's saying. I just hope Kris doesn't fill up on too much junk food driving around each morning and afternoon. Steak n Shake does have those half price shakes while he's on the clock!
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, April 15 2017, 10:30 AM - #permalink
    BBM's traffic product has declined noticeably over the last two weeks. The new morning reporter sounds phony, like the shock jock he once was. The afternoon and evening traffic reporters seem very unsure of themselves, and often resort to just rattling off travel times.

    The lack of airborne reporters is a problem as well. Most in the business know this is the best way to get traffic info but unfortunately, it's also the most expensive. So we can surmise that CBS radio is saving cash by putting Kris "in his car."

    I'm surprised that the #1 station in Chicago, the #3 market, would let such a vital part of their sound go downhill. The people responsible for the current sound of the traffic reports may have to go back to the drawing board, at the very least.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, April 18 2017, 10:08 PM - #permalink
    I've noticed they have been using the term "relocated" when talking about accidents. I had never heard that used in a traffic report before. It's really bad.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, April 20 2017, 01:34 PM - #permalink
    ".... "relocated" when talking about accidents." They are just using wording that the LEO's/dispatchers are using on their radios.

    Actually the wording is informative as it tells you that, if relocated, there is not any lane blockage, hopefully!
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