720 Chicago

WGN Shuffles Morning & Evening Programs

Tribune Media News/Talk 720 WGN Chicago is revamping its morning show and evening lineup. As first reported by Robert Feder, Justin Kaufmann will move from hosting “The Download” from 7-11pm to joining the The Steve Cochran Show as a contributor. The Download will continue as a podcast on WGN Plus and Kaufmann will serve as fill-in host for Cochran. Andrea Darlas, who had been part of Cochran’s morning show, will join The Patti Vasquez Show as newscaster and co-host. Vasquez’s show will move from 11pm-2am to 7-11pm on nights when WGN does not have Chicago White Sox or Blackhawks games and 10pm-1am when they do. On nights with no sports play-by play “WGN Nightside” made up of clips from other WGN shows and podcasts will fill the 11pm-1am slot. Nick Diglio...[Read More]

Chicago White Sox Head To 720 WGN

After having its contract dropped by Cumulus Media News/Talk 890 WLS Chicago during its bankruptcy proceeding, the Chicago White Sox have agreed to a multiyear deal with Tribune Media News/Talk 720 WGN. WGN will air all regular season games, select spring training games, pre and postgame shows, and a weekly year-round show focusing on the team. Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson will remain in place as the team’s play-by-play voice and analyst respectively. The first game on WGN will be the team’s spring training opener on Friday, February 23 at 2:05 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. WGN previously carried White Sox games from 1927-1943. WGN’s 90 year association with the Chicago Cubs ended following the 2014 season. WGN Radio and the Chicago White Sox jointly announced today a ...[Read More]

The Radio Effects Of Sinclair’s Purchase Of Tribune Media

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune Media will see News/Talk 720 WGN Chicago join the combined company with assets including over 200 television stations, WGN America, Tennis Channel, and three Seattle radio stations. While WGN was a major part of Tribune’s holdings, the same will not be the case under Sinclair ownership. That said, since acquiring AC “Star 101.5” KPLZ, Conservative Talk 570 KVI, and News 1000 KOMO (plus LMA of 97.7 KOMO-FM) as part of Sinclair’s 2013 purchase of Fisher Communications, Sinclair has not done much in the way to affect how the radio properties are operated outside of the usual post-closing layoffs. The Seattle radio properties have seen little in the way of corporate intervention. WGN, however, is not like...[Read More]

John Williams Exiting WCCO; Returning To WGN Full-Time

Afternoon host John Williams will exit afternoons at CBS News/Talk 830 WCCO Minneapolis and return to the weekday schedule at Tribune’s 720 WGN Chicago. Williams has hosted afternoons at WCCO since 2010. He worked fulltime at WGN from 1997 through 2012, doing shows for both stations from 2010-2012 from WGN’s studios until relocating to Minneapolis at the start of 2013. He has continued to host a Saturday show for WGN from Minneapolis. Williams will host 1-3pm weekdays on WGN and 10am-12pm on Saturdays starting Monday, March 13. His daily show will replace the second half of Wendy Snyder and Bill Leff’s split show. They will continue to host 10am-12pm, while adding a third hour on WGNPlus.com according to Robert Feder. WGN will also add two new Saturday shows. The Innovation Hou...[Read More]

Bob & Marianne Leaving WGN

Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano will leave Tribune News/Talk 720 WGN Chicago at the end of this week. The husband and wife duo moved from Sunday nights to the 12pm-3pm slot in September 2013 among a massive schedule revamp. Todd Manley, VP of Content and Programming, told the Chicago Tribune, “Right now we need to invest in one less show. It’s just a matter of resources.” With the elimination of Sirott and Murciano’s show, WGN will extend the hours of its other programs. Morning host Steve Cochran will extend to 10am and late-morning hosts Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder will move to a split 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm slot. The 12pm “Wintrust Business Lunch Hour” that Sirott and Murciano anchored will be led by Steve Bertrand. The new schedule will go into effect...[Read More]

Big John Howell Joins WLS; Roe Conn To WGN

A pair of Chicago talkers are headed to new dial positions. Cumulus’ 890 WLS has hired Big John Howell as its new morning host replacing Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft. Howell joins WLS after exiting Salem’s “560 The Answer” WIND at the end of 2014 where he spent eight years. Prior to joining WIND, Howell spent many years at CBS Country “US 99.5” WUSN in both mornings and afternoons. While Howell joins WLS, their former afternoon host Roe Conn is heading to Tribune’s 720 WGN. Conn, who was let go in October following the hiring of Steve Dahl will take over the 3-7pm slot according to Robert Feder. Feder states that the addition of Conn will see current afternoon hosts Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder move to late mornings and John Williams to weekends. Cumulus...[Read More]

Chicago Cubs Make Move To WBBM Official

Update 6/5: The Chicago Cubs and CBS Radio have made their deal official. The multi-year deal with CBS will see the games broadcast on 780 WBBM with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer remaining as announcers. The deal also includes promotional initiatives through CBS’ seven stations in the Chicago market and their digital and social platforms. The team and CBS will create and produce live music events at Wrigley Field. CBS will also air a weekly Cubs Corner program on one of its stations. INSTANT INSIGHT: CBS notes that WBBM will be the Cubs flagship and not simulcaster 105.9 WCFS. At the press conference CBS notes that the News programming will remain on the FM during games. CBS RADIO and the Chicago Cubs announced today that WBBM Newsradio 780AM has been named as the team’s new flagship rad...[Read More]

John Williams Returns; Garry Meier Out As WGN Revamps Lineup

Tribune News/Talk 720 WGN Chicago is shuffling its lineup. Robert Feder reports that John Williams will return to the 10am-12pm slot he hosted from 1997 until 2012. Williams will remain based in Minneapolis where he also hosts afternoons at CBS’ 830 WCCO. The return of Williams will see Garry Meier shifted from afternoons at WGN to their sister webcaster WGN.FM for the remainder of his contract. He will be replaced in afternoons by late morning hosts Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder. Morning host Steve Cochran will add the 9am hour to his morning show. Also joining WGN’s lineup fulltime is comedian Patti Vasquez. Vasquez had been filling in on the 11pm-2am slot since Pete MacMurray moved to 7-11pm earlier this year and will now take it over permanently.

More On WGN.FM

Update 9/12: WGN.FM will debut on Friday, September 13 with the Jonathan Brandmeier show running from 6 to 9am Central. Brandmeier will be joined by longtime sidekick Buzz Kilman and sportscaster Harry Teinowitz. Original Report 8/22: On Tuesday, Tribune Company’s 720 WGN Chicago announced plans to move morning host Jonathan Brandmeier to an FM station without an FM signal. A splash page for the site is now live at WGN.FM with a video promoting Brandmeier and describing the FM as standing for “Freeform Media”. The domain is owned by Kurt Hanson’s AccuRadio LLC, which operates the Accuradio streaming network. A number of longtime Chicago based radio executives work for the company including COO John Gehron and VP/Sales Michael Damsky. The new site spotlights the new ...[Read More]

WGN Reveals Full Details Of New Lineup

Update 8/29: WGN has officially announced its new lineup that will debut on Tuesday, September 3. In addition to the previously announced additions, Wendy Snyder will join the station as Bill Leff’s co-host. The pair worked together at then Hot Talk 97.9 WLUP and Alternative “Q101” WKQX in the 1990’s. Snyder had been doing traffic reports for Cumulus Talk 890 WLS. WGN will also be teaming with Radiate Media for a new traffic service. The press release with the full schedule details follows: WGN Radio today announced changes to its weekday and weekend lineups effective September 2013. Beginning Tuesday, September 3, Steve Cochran returns to WGN Radio full time as host of the morning show weekdays from 5a.m. to 9a.m. The mid-morning time slot becomes a radio reunion f...[Read More]

WGN Moves Mike McConnell Online

Tribune News/Talk 720 WGN Chicago is bumping midday host Mike McConnell from its on-air schedule. McConnell, who had been hosting from 10am to 3pm, will now be heard on WGN’s WGN2 online stream. The station is currently listing the daypart as “WGN Daytime” with various hosts. The station has yet to set a timeslot for their addition of Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano. McConnell joined WGN in August 2010 after spending 25 years at WLW Cincinnati, along with a brief run in syndication.

WGN Continues Revamp With Addition Of Bob Sirott & Marianne Murciano

New 720 WGN Chicago President/GM Jimmy de Castro continues his revamp of the station with the addition of Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano for an undisclosed daily show. The couple, married since 1999 when both were anchors at WFLD-TV, currently host a Sunday evening program on the station. Robert Feder confirmed the hiring with de Castro, but the station is not ready to announce a timeslot for the new program. Sirott currently anchors “Fox 32” WFLD’s 9:00pm newscast, however is rumored to soon be departing that station. His long resume in Chicago media includes seven years hosting afternoons at Top 40 powerhouse WLS in the 1970’s, television news anchoring at WBBM-TV, WMAQ-TV, WTTW, and WFLD and a previous three year run hosting WGN’s “Noon Show”....[Read More]

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