Jumpin’ jazz: WDCB station manager retires

Scott Wager

Scott Wager

Scott Wager, who helped put College of DuPage’s WDCB-FM (90.9) on the air in 1977 and has led the public radio/jazz outlet for more than 30 years, is retiring as station manager. His last day will be July 31.

“We tried to build a good staff over the years and work hard to fine-tune the programming content,” Wager told me Wednesday. “We always thought of WDCB as an ‘island of difference’ within the Chicago market dominated by pop music stations and talk, maintaining our focus on an American art form — jazz — and presenting that to an audience.” Continue reading

Hubbard buys Sandusky for $85.5 million

Hubbard Radio, owner of the Mix, the Drive and Rewind 100.3 in Chicago and stations in Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, St. Louis and Cincinnati, is acquiring Sandusky Radio for $85.5 million.

Sandusky Radio is a privately held, family-owned company operating five stations in Seattle and five stations in Phoenix. The deal brings to 25 the total number of stations owned by Hubbard Radio. Continue reading

CBS 2 renews Rob Johnson as main news anchor

Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson

Veteran Chicago newsman Rob Johnson has agreed to a multiyear renewal with CBS 2 to continue as 5, 6 and 10 p.m. weekday news anchor. His co-anchor on all three newscasts is Kate Sullivan.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Johnson confirmed the extension negotiated between his New York-based agent, Gregg Willinger, and bosses of the CBS-owned station. Continue reading

Sirott & Murciano join WGN Radio as weekday hosts

Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano

Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano

Veteran Chicago broadcaster and Fox 32 news anchor Bob Sirott is headed to a Monday-through-Friday air shift at WGN AM 720 with his wife, Marianne Murciano. They’re expected to co-host a midday or afternoon show on the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station, starting in the next few weeks.

Sirott continues to anchor the 9 p.m. weekday newscast for the Fox-owned station under an extension of his contract, which was to have expired Saturday (July 6). While talks proceed between Sirott’s agent, Steve Mandell, and management, Sirott remains onboard with co-anchor Robin Robinson, whose contract expires in August. Fox Chicago bosses did not respond to inquiries about reported plans to alter their anchor lineup. Continue reading

NBC 5 expands weekend morning newscasts

Cheryl Scott

Cheryl Scott

NBC 5 Chicago is giving more air time to weekend meteorologist Cheryl Scott. And in other news, the station is expanding its Saturday and Sunday morning newscasts by an additional two and half hours.

Starting July 27, NBC 5 will air local news on Saturdays from 5 to 7 a.m. and from 9 to 10 a.m., and on Sundays from 5 to 7 a.m., 8 to 9 a.m. and 10 to 10:30 a.m. Kim Vatis and Anthony Ponce anchor both mornings.

Scott, who’s been a rising star in Chicago since she joined the station in 2011 from NBC affiliate WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee, forecasts weather on NBC 5’s weekend morning and evening newscasts. Continue reading

Steve Cochran back on WGN Radio

Steve Cochran

Steve Cochran

Three years after he left WGN AM 720, Steve Cochran was back on the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station Tuesday.

Filling in for vacationing morning host Jonathon Brandmeier, Cochran picked up where he left off without missing a beat: “This morning I’m just walking by [Tribune Tower], minding my own business,” he joked with overnight host Bill Leff. “The lights are on, I know the security guys, so I come in, plug in some headphones and figure I’ll do a show. What’s so wrong with that?”  Continue reading

Susan Carlson joins WLS as afternoon news anchor

Susan Carlson

Susan Carlson

Former CBS 2 morning news anchor Susan Carlson is joining WLS 890 AM as news anchor for Roe Conn and Richard Roeper’s afternoon show, starting later this month. She will succeed the legendary Jim Johnson, who retired Friday after 45 years at the Cumulus Media news/talk station.

It’s a return to her radio roots for the Chicago native, who worked for a variety of local stations, including WLS where she served as a news anchor for Conn’s afternoon show from 1998 to 2002.

“We are thrilled to have Susan back,” Conn told me. “She was an instrumental part of our run in the late ’90s and we’re looking forward to a great future.” Continue reading

Brooke Hunter to host middays on 93.9 My FM

Brooke Hunter

Brooke Hunter

Chicago radio veteran Brooke Hunter signs on today as midday personality at WLIT 93.9 FM, the Clear Channel adult contemporary station recently rebranded 93.9 My FM.

Hunter, who will be heard from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, previously hosted middays on CBS Radio’s former Fresh 105.9 FM. Earlier, she held various shifts on Q101, The Mix and The Zone. Continue reading

Tribune Co. doubles down on Local TV stations

In one fell swoop, Tribune Broadcasting nearly doubled in size Monday, increasing the number of television stations it owns from 23 to 42.

With the acquisition of Local TV, the Cincinnati-based company once headed by former Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels, Tribune becomes the largest television station owner in the country. The $2.725 billion deal adds 19 stations in 16 markets. Continue reading