Paul Rennie named general manager of ‘Chicago’s Very Own’ WGN

WGN TV

WGN TV

Paul Rennie, a veteran of Tribune Broadcasting stations in Indianapolis and Seattle, has been named president and general manager of WGN-Channel 9, the hometown flagship of Tribune Media in Chicago.

Rennie’s appointment, effective immediately, was announced Tuesday by Larry Wert, Tribune Broadcasting’s president of broadcast media. In addition to “Chicago’s Very Own,” Rennie also will oversee CLTV, the regional cable news channel. Continue reading

Following controversy, Joe Walsh expands radio platform

Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh

Days after he was widely criticized for a series of incendiary tweets attacking President Obama and Black Lives Matter, former Chicago area congressman Joe Walsh has carved out a wider berth for his radio rantings.

Walsh announced Monday the expansion of his self-syndicated radio program to Houston, Indianapolis and Birmingham, Alabama, bringing to seven the number of affiliates for his two-hour weekday talk show. It already has been airing on stations in New York, Phoenix, Denver and Dallas. Continue reading

Harvey, Savage to join Eric & Kathy in National Radio Hall of Fame

Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart

Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart

Twelve veteran broadcasters were named 2016 inductees to the National Radio Hall of Fame Sunday, including Chicago personalities Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart, and nationally syndicated hosts Steve Harvey and Michael Savage.

All 12 will be inducted November 17 in ceremonies at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast and Communications, which has been home of the national shrine to radio’s top performers and programs since 1991. Continue reading

National Radio Hall of Fame to induct Eric & Kathy

Kathy Hart and Eric Ferguson

Kathy Hart and Eric Ferguson

Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart, who may well be the most popular and successful morning team in Chicago radio history, are headed for the National Radio Hall of Fame.

The duo known as Eric & Kathy, stars of Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9 for two decades, will be on the list when official announcement of this year’s inductees is released Monday, multiple sources have confirmed. Continue reading

Finally, a full-blown history of Disco Demolition

Comiskey Park July 12, 1979

Comiskey Park July 12, 1979

To Dave Hoekstra and most of the other 50,000-plus young people who packed old Comiskey Park on July 12, 1979, Disco Demolition was nothing more than a chance to have a little goofy fun on a hot summer night and blow off some steam.

Enter Steve Dahl, a pitch-perfect pied piper for Chicago’s rock and roll rebels: Right on cue, the 24-year-old recently-hired morning host from WLUP FM 97.9 exploded a box of disco records between games at a White Sox double-header with the Detroit Tigers. Suddenly thousands of rowdy fans stormed the field. The ensuing pandemonium, which forced the White Sox to forfeit the second game, made worldwide headlines the next day. Continue reading

Robservations: CBS Radio ready to go its own way

WBBM Newsradio

WBBM Newsradio

Robservations on the media beat:

CBS Radio

CBS Radio

News this week that CBS Radio would spin off into a separate entity means the company’s seven-station Chicago cluster is assured of remaining intact. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, parent company CBS disclosed plans to take its radio division public by the end of the month. The decision to proceed with an IPO effectively ends speculation of a sale or merger with another company. CBS Radio owns 117 radio stations in 26 markets nationwide. In Chicago it includes all-news WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9; sports/talk WSCR AM 670; Top 40 WBBM FM 96.3; country WUSN FM 99.5; adult album alternative WXRT 93.1, and classic hits WJMK FM 104.3. The Chicago station group led the market in 2015 with total revenue of $123.54 million. Continue reading

Latest ratings: Chicago radio’s country showdown heats up

Mason, Alabama and Remy

Mason, Alabama and Remy

Eighteen months after iHeartMedia Chicago launched WEBG FM 95.5 as a country music competitor to CBS Radio’s WUSN FM 99.5, it’s finally living up to its billing as Big 95.5.

In the Nielsen Audio survey released Tuesday, Big 95.5 narrowed the margin with US 99.5 to a scant 0.3 percent share among all listeners. The latest ratings report covered the period from May 19 to June 15. Continue reading

Robservations: Crawford taps DJ Lil’ John for nights on 106.3 FM

DJ Lil' John

DJ Lil’ John

Robservations on the media beat:

John Coleman III, the prominent Chicago music mixer and producer better known as “DJ Lil’ John,” has been named evening personality at Crawford Broadcasting urban adult-contemporary WSRB FM 106.3. Effective Tuesday, he succeeds Tony Sculfield, who left to host mornings at KBLX in San Francisco. Coleman, who most recently hosted “Club 1063” Friday nights on the station, spent eight years as a top mixer at iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI FM 107.5. He began in the 1980s at Kennedy-King College’s WKKC FM 89.3. The new Monday-through-Friday lineup on 106.3 FM features the syndicated Tom Joyner from 5 to 9 a.m., Ericka “Sundance” Campbell from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mike Love from 2 to 6 p.m., and “DJ Lil’ John” from 6 to 10 p.m. Continue reading