It’s been six weeks since Dick Biondi was sidelined from WLS FM 94.7, but if the legendary Radio Hall of Famer has his way, he’ll soon be riding the late-night airwaves again.
“To be very honest, I’m going crazy sitting here and waiting to go back to work,” Biondi said Monday in a phone conversation from home.
Bosses of the Cumulus Media classic hits stations are no less eager to have Biondi return to his show, which airs from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday. “We have got the door open for him whenever he feels like coming back,” said Jan Jeffries, senior vice president of corporate programming and program director of WLS FM. “He’ll always be our guy.”
Biondi, 82, said he spent three days last month in the hospital where he was treated for an irregular heartbeat and dehydration. (Friends said he also was battling the flu at the time.) On the day he returned home, he slipped and fell, suffering multiple nasal fractures.
Since then, Biondi insists he’s been feeling “much better” and hopes to receive a clean bill of health later this week. “Friday is my next appointment with the doctor, and if he says I can go to work, I will be going down next Monday,” he said.
Until Biondi returns, John Records Landecker has added an hour to his evening show, which now airs from 8 p.m. to midnight, followed by Jeff Davis, who’s voice-tracking from Los Angeles from midnight to 2 a.m.
This marks the longest Biondi has ever been off the air for health reasons. “The Wild I-tralian” has been synonymous with rock ’n’ roll radio in Chicago since 1960 when he started at Top 40 WLS AM 890 and drew an unfathomable 60 percent of all nighttime listeners.