In a talent raid reminiscent of an earlier era in radio, iHeartMedia Chicago lured two top personalities Wednesday from Crawford Broadcasting’s competing hip-hop station.
In one fell swoop, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI FM 107.5 stole midday host Frankie Robinson and afternoon host Tone Kapone (whose real name is Anthony May), both mainstays of Crawford Broadcasting’s WPWX FM 92.3.
At WGCI the two are expected to replace midday host Loni Swain and afternoon host U.B. Rodriguez, whose last day on the air was Tuesday. “Loni Swain and U.B. Rodriguez are no longer with the company,” an iHeartMedia spokeswoman said in a statement. “It’s our policy not to discuss employee matters for privacy reasons.”
No start date has been announced for Robinson and Kapone, whose hiring was not acknowledged by the company. Both are believed to be bound by standard noncompete agreements that are typically in effect for three to six months.
While awaiting arrival of the new talent, WGCI temporarily has assigned weekend host Rob Nice to middays, evening host DJ MoonDawg (whose real name is Michael Muniz) to afternoons and weekend host Jamal Smallz to evenings.
Wednesday’s move is believed to complete the overhaul of WGCI’s daytime lineup under Derrick Brown, director of urban programming for iHeartMedia Chicago. In January the station launched a new morning show hosted by Kyle Santillian, Kendra Gilliams and Leon Rogers.
No word yet on replacements for Robinson and Kapone at Power 92.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WGCI tied for 11th overall with a 3.1 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 1,468,800, while WPWX tied for 23rd with a 1.8 share and 974,600 cume. Among listeners between 18 and 34, WGCI was fifth with a 6.0 share and 579,800 cume, while WPWX was ninth with a 3.7 share and 405,200 cume.