WGN welcomes back Steve & Johnnie


Johnnie Putman and Steve King

Johnnie Putman and Steve King

Steve King and Johnnie Putman, the husband-and-wife team who hosted overnights on WGN AM 720 for more than 26 years, will be heard again on the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station.

In the couple’s first return engagement since they retired from WGN in December 2011, they’ll fill in Christmas week for morning personality Steve Cochran.

“I was thrilled they said yes,” said Todd Manley, vice president of creative content at WGN, who extended the invitation Monday. He said the move was part of the station’s ongoing effort to “honor the past,” which also has included overtures to other talent who left the station under previous management.

King and Putman will broadcast from WGN’s Allstate Showcase Studio on Michigan Avenue from 5 to 9 a.m. on Dec. 23, 24, 26 and 27. (Special programming will air Christmas Day.)

While there’s been no talk of anything beyond Christmas week, it wouldn’t be surprising if the fill-in stint led to more. In addition to Cochran’s return, WGN also welcomed back Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey, who host a Saturday morning show, and Rick Kogan, who hosts a Sunday night show. In addition, Roy Leonard appears with late-night host Nick Digilio.