Wendy Rice, the voice of “Saturday Morning Flashback” on WXRT FM 93.1 for more than 30 years, is stepping down from the CBS Radio adult album alternative station. Rice announced at the end of this week’s show that next weekend’s broadcast will be her last.
Airing from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, the program focuses on the music, movies, pop culture and news headlines of a particular year each week. Rice was onboard at its inception in 1985 and was named sole host and producer in 1991.
“The opportunity to play great music every Saturday has kept me going, along with the support of the loyal listeners who have stayed with us all these years,” she said in a statement. “I am now looking forward to my ‘retirement’ — aka experiencing the novelty of a two-day weekend.”
Starting July 1, Frank E. Lee and Johnny Mars will rotate as hosts of “Saturday Morning Flashback,” which will be cut to three hours, airing from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays.
Greg Solk, operations manager and program director of WXRT, called Rice “Chicago radio royalty,” adding: “Her Saturday morning show has been a staple of WXRT weekend programming and one of the most listened-to specialty shows in Chicago radio history. All of us thank Wendy for her years of brilliance both on and off the air.”
Rice, who’s employed during the week as a middle school teacher, is married to Norm Winer, who was program director of WXRT from 1979 to 2016.
A native of Champaign, Illinois, Rice attended the University of Illinois in her hometown and began as an intern at WXRT in 1978. After a radio stint in Peoria, she returned to ’XRT in 1982 as overnight and weekend personality.
“I’ve had a wonderful run at ‘Chicago’s Finest Rock,’ working nights, weekends, and for years I got to fill in for vacationing DJs in every shift,” she said. “I married the boss in ’87 — a CLM: career limiting move — have three amazing kids, and am dedicated to my weekday gig as a middle school teacher.”
For her final “Saturday Morning Flashback” broadcast on June 24, Rice will feature 1978 — the year she interned at the station.