Country radio star Bobby Bones to host mornings on Big 95.5

Bobby Bones

Bobby Bones, one of iHeartMedia’s biggest syndicated morning stars, is coming to WEBG 95.5-FM, the country music station known as Big 95.5.

Live from Nashville, “The Bobby Bones Show” will air from 5 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, starting August 13. Amber “Alabama” Cole, who now hosts mornings on Big 95.5, will move to middays.

Big 95.5

“Welcome to Big 95.5 mornings, Bobby Bones,” Matt Scarano, president of iHeartMedia’s Chicago region, said in announcing the move Monday. “We are excited to add the most recognizable name in country radio to our morning lineup.”

Bones, 38, a 2017 inductee in the Chicago-based National Radio Hall of Fame (and the youngest honoree ever), was billed “The Most Powerful Man In Country Music” by Forbes magazine.

“When Bones was tapped by iHeart executives to move to Nashville to host a syndicated morning show in 2013, he admittedly wasn’t much of a country-music guy,” Forbes reported in a 2017 profile. “His radio background — which he detailed in his 2016 No. 1 New York Times Best Selling, rags-to-riches memoir — had always been in other formats. ‘The Bobby Bones Show’ began as a Top 40 format show broadcast out of Austin. But, Bones’ on-air antics, relatable interview style (‘I’m the best interviewer in the whole format. Except for Howard Stern, I’d put myself against anybody,’) and unorthodox cast of show characters have since won over country fans, artists and eventually even Nashville’s tradition-loving industry insiders.”

Amber “Alabama” Cole

Leading up to next week’s debut, Big 95.5 will air a tease and extended promotion for “The Bobby Bones Show” from 5 to 10 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, followed by Alabama from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Brooke Taylor from 3 to 9 p.m.

As of August 13, the station’s new weekday lineup will be: “The Bobby Bones Show” from 5 to 9 a.m.; Alabama from 9 a.m. to noon, Lance Houston from noon to 3 p.m.; and Brooke Taylor from 3 to 9 p.m.

Houston, who also serves as program director of Big 95.5, said in a statement: “’The Bobby Bones Show’ really connects with the core country audience more than any other show that I have ever seen throughout my career.”

Bones is slated to throw out the first pitch Saturday for the Chicago Cubs game against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field.

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, mornings on Big 95.5 tied for 24th with a 1.5 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 237,800. Its main country music competitor, Entercom’s WUSN 99.5-FM, tied for 14th in mornings with 2.6 share and 326,600 weekly cume.