Dan Proft called ‘perfect addition’ to WIND’s new lineup

Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson

Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson

Salem Media news/talk WIND AM 560 unveiled a new lineup Tuesday, officially installing Dan Proft as morning host in place of Big John Howell. It confirms a move Proft announced himself more than a month ago.

The Republican political commentator, consultant and onetime gubernatorial candidate has been filling in alongside co-host Amy Jacobson since January when Howell segued to mornings at Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890. Proft previously hosted co-mornings with Bruce Wolf at WLS.

Calling Proft “the perfect addition to our lineup,” Jeff Reisman, general manager of WIND, said in a statement: “As the only talk radio station in Chicago dedicated to talking about politics, current events, and breaking news, Dan Proft provides the kind of analysis and insight that our audience has come to expect from us. ‘Chicago’s Morning Answer’ will be the go-to place in Chicago to get up to speed on what’s happening in the world each morning.”

The first phase of the station’s new lineup will become effective Monday, with Proft and Jacobson airing from 5 to 9 a.m. weekdays. Two hours of their show will rerun as an “encore broadcast” from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. through the end of May.

Also new to the lineup starting Monday will be “This Morning with Gordon Deal,” a syndicated news and business show that had been heard until late last year on WLS (under the former title of “The Wall Street Journal This Morning”). It will air from 4 to 5 a.m., replacing “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America” from Salem Radio Network.

Mike Gallagher

Mike Gallagher

Prompted by the radio retirement of Dennis Miller, whose show has been airing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., WIND will revamp middays by adding Mike Gallagher from 9 to 11 a.m. and moving Dennis Prager from overnights to 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager are two of the top talk radio show hosts in the country,” Phil Boyce, senior vice president of Salem Media Group, said in a statement. “They have earned the trust and respect of millions of listeners because each and every day they come prepared to inform their audiences on the stories that matter. We believe Chicago is the right place and now is the right time for Mike and Dennis to be featured prominently again.”

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey

The second phase of the new lineup will kick in June 1, when WIND adds “The Dave Ramsey Show” from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. An expert on personal finance and debt reduction, Ramsey is the author of five New York Times best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace.

In an interview Monday, Reisman said he sees the overhaul at WLS, including the addition of Steve Dahl, Jonathon Brandmeier and Howell, as an opportunity for his station to strengthen its franchise.

“We’re committed to staying focused on politics, current events and breaking news,” Reisman said. “While other AM news/talk stations are taking a foray into entertainment talk, if you’re an individual that is passionate about politics, current events and breaking news, 560 is committed to delivering that. At a time when our primary competitor is making some significant changes, we’re buckling down.”

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WIND tied for 38th with a 0.5 percent share and a cumulative weekly audience of 162,500.

Here is WIND’s weekday lineup from March 30 to May 31:

4 to 5 a.m. This Morning with Gordon Deal
5 to 9 a.m. Chicago’s Morning Answer with Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson
9 to 11 a.m. Mike Gallagher
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dennis Prager
2 to 5 p.m. Sean Hannity
5 to 8 p.m. Joe Walsh
8 to 11 p.m. Michael Medved
11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Chicago’s Morning Answer encore broadcast
1 to 4 a.m. Hugh Hewitt

Here is WIND’s weekday lineup from June 1 on:

4 to 5 a.m. This Morning with Gordon Deal
5 to 9 a.m. Chicago’s Morning Answer with Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson
9 to 11 a.m. Mike Gallagher
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dennis Prager
2 to 5 p.m. Sean Hannity

5 to 7 p. m. Joe Walsh
7 to 10 p.m. Dave Ramsey
10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Michael Medved
1 to 4 a.m. Hugh Hewitt