Robservations: Wait till Sherman & Tingle meet Eric & Kathy

Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle

Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle

Robservations on the media beat:

One of the meanest, funniest bits Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle ever did was a lacerating parody of Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart. At the time (circa 2011) Sherman & Tingle were the highly underrated morning duo at WKQX FM 101.1, the alternative rock station then owned by Emmis Communications. Then as now, Eric & Kathy were kingpins of Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9. As luck would have it, after five years apart, Sherman & Tingle are about to be reunited by — you guessed it — Hubbard Radio. On Halloween they’ll debut as morning hosts at classic rock WDRV FM 97.1. Can’t wait to hear what happens when they run into Eric & Kathy in the hallway.

Pete McMurray

Pete McMurray

Tuesday marked Pete McMurray’s last day as morning host on The Drive. With the hiring of Sherman & Tingle (see above), McMurray chose to step down immediately. Hubbard Radio will continue to pay him through the expiration of his contract in March, sources said, although he’s free to pursue employment elsewhere. His best bet would be a return to Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720. McMurray’s departure marks the last chapter in his ill-fated pairing with Dan McNeil in February 2015. McNeil exited The Drive last June. Also out is producer Scott Miller. Kathy Voltmer, morning news anchor since 2001, will shift to a public service role, according to program director Rob Cressman. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, The Drive ranks fifth in mornings with a 3.9 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 402,200. Continue reading

Jimmy deCastro leaving WGN Radio: ‘I’ve done everything I can’

Jimmy deCastro (Photo: Glenn Kaupert)

Jimmy deCastro (Photo: Glenn Kaupert)

Jimmy deCastro, the charismatic radio showman who brought familiar voices and profitability back to WGN AM 720, is stepping down after three and a half years as president and general manager of the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station.

The veteran media executive said he plans to leave WGN at the end of the month to focus on The Content Factory, his Evanston-based national syndication and new media company, and to expand into the area of sports representation.

“I’ve done everything I can to respect and build on the legacy of this amazing place, and I believe I accomplished everything I set out to do,” deCastro told me. “It’s been great fun to work with the incredibly talented people here. Now the time is right for me to go back and build something new.” Continue reading