Jonathon Brandmeier, the longtime Chicago radio personality who achieved fame and fortune as morning star of WLUP 97.9 FM in the ’80s, is in the running for the National Radio Hall of Fame.
It’s the first time on the Radio Hall of Fame ballot for Brandmeier, who was nominated in the category of active local/regional performers. The recognition for Johnny B. follows the recent sale of The Loop, which ended its 41-year run in Chicago and triggered an outpouring of nostalgia for the iconic station.
In addition to two stints on The Loop, the native of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, also worked for the former WCKG and two news/talk stations — Tribune Broadcasting WGN 720 AM and Cumulus Media WLS 890 AM. He’s been off the air since his syndication deal with Westwood One Radio Network was not renewed in 2016.
Online public voting in two categories — music format on-air personality and spoken word on-air personality — begins June 4. The rest will be chosen by a panel of industry professionals, including radio executives, programmers, past inductees, executive directors of state broadcast associations, and members of the trade media. Winners will be announced June 25.
“I personally appreciate the challenging task that our Nominating Committee accepts each year to officially nominate talent from an infinite list of deserving individuals,” National Radio Hall of Fame Chairman Kraig Kitchin said in a statement. “Congratulations to this year’s nominees, an excellent selection of our industry’s finest.”
The 30th annual induction ceremony will be held in New York November 15 while Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications hosts the “Saturday Night Live” exhibit in the Radio Hall of Fame space at 360 North State Street.
Here are the nominees:
Active Local/Regional (10 years or more): Jonathon Brandmeier; Jim Harper and “The Breakfast Club”; Preston Elliot & Steve Morrison; Bob Rivers
Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Mike Francesa; Johnny Holliday; Jim Kerr; Charles Laquidara
Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): John Garabedian; Walt “Baby” Love; Dr. Laura Schlessinger; Robert Siegel
Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more): Nanci Donnellan (“The Fabulous Sports Babe”); Kim Komando; “Marketplace”; Mike & Mike
Music Format On-Air Personality: Ellen K; Kid Kelly; Angie Martinez; John Tesh
Spoken Word On-Air Personality: Mark Levin; Joe Madison; George Noory; Jim Rome
Friday’s comment of the day: Joe Cappo: Good move. I’ve always felt that BBC was highly overrated and not produced with Americans, and certainly not Chicagoans, in mind. At one point, BBC-originated material accounted for more than 20 percent of BEZ’s news output. I’d like to see more coverage of local business news, and there are plenty of journalists around who can do the job.