It’s a new day at Inspiration 1390 AM.
Angela Martin announced her retirement Monday as morning host at WGRB AM 1390, prompting a new daytime lineup at the iHeartMedia gospel station.
“It’s time,” Martin told listeners, saying her last day on the air will be Friday. “I’m going to open the door to a new season with joy.”
A 20-year veteran of gospel radio in Chicago, Martin began with Crawford Broadcasting and moved to Clear Channel Radio (predecessor of iHeartMedia) in 2000, when she teamed with Richard Steele and later with Lonnie Hunter and John Hannah. She most recently has been on from 6 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.
Mark Smith, who co-hosted with Martin from 6 to 10 a.m. for the past two years, signed off from the station last Thursday.
Succeeding Martin, as of April 4, will be Sonya Blakey, who moves from afternoons to mornings. Blakey will continue as program director of the station and host of “Get Your Praise On!” from 8 a.m. to noon Sundays on iHeartMedia urban adult-contemporary WVAZ FM 102.7.
“Sonya Blakey has a legacy of excellence, talent and passion for the Inspiration 1390 audience and the gospel music community,” Derrick Brown, director of urban programming at iHeartMedia Chicago, said in a statement. “I am confident our listeners and advertisers will continue to embrace Sonya as she transitions to her new time slot.”
Taking on Blakey’s former shift from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays will be Marcella Jones, who most recently hosted Saturday afternoons. Jones will continue as assistant program director at Kennedy-King College WKKC FM 89.3.
“Over the last decade, Marcella has been one of our most dedicated personalities, stepping up and stepping in whenever and wherever she was most needed,” Brown said. “Marcella is primed to take afternoons on Inspiration 1390 to its next level of success.”
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, Inspiration 1390 AM tied for 34th place with a 0.7 percent share and a cumulative weekly audience of 152,500.