John Kass and Lauren Cohn, who bridged the midmorning block between Big John Howell and Rush Limbaugh at WLS AM 890, have been cut from the Cumulus Media news/talk station.
No reason was cited for the move, but the two were told by WLS program bosses that they were finished after they got off the air Thursday. Their show aired from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Kass, who continues as the lead news columnist for the Chicago Tribune, began hosting middays on WLS in September 2012 with Jim Edwards (aka Jake Hartford). When Edwards died in January 2013, Kass was joined on the show by Lauren Cohn, a former Chicago television news anchor.
“I’ve been told by many friends that I have a face for radio, but my days at WLS AM are done,” Kass wrote on Facebook. “I can’t tell you how great it was to talk with my Tribune readers every day. It was as if we worked out the next day’s column together, over the radio, from 9-11 am each morning. Let’s keep the conversation going in the Chicago Tribune and I’ll let you know where you can tune in next.”
Donna Baker, vice president and Chicago market manager of Cumulus Media, did not respond to a request for comment.
The sudden removal of Kass and Cohn from WLS follows the ouster of Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft in mornings, and Roe Conn and Richard Roeper in afternoons. Earlier this week, WLS also dropped Bruce DuMont, whose “Beyond the Beltway” show aired Sunday nights.
All of the moves follow a disastrous year for WLS, where revenue dropped a staggering 27.5 percent — from $13 million in 2013 to less than $9.5 million in 2014, according to figures compiled by Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, middays on WLS tied for 24th with 1.3 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 154,300. Among listeners between 25 and 54, middays tied for 32nd with a 0.7 share and 60,400 weekly cume.