Cara Carriveau, a longtime favorite of Chicago radio listeners, is the latest familiar personality to sign on at WLS 94.7-FM, the Cumulus Media classic hits station.
She’ll officially debut July 4 as a part-time and fill-in host, according to program director Wade Linder, who confirmed her hiring Wednesday.
Carriveau will join a lineup that includes such recognizable Chicago voices as Dave Fogel, Greg Brown, Brian Peck, Tom O’Toole, Danny Lake and Abby Ryan, among others.
“It’s rare that a station has so many strong personalities on the air, through the day and all week,” Linder said. “It makes for a lot of creative collaboration and entertaining radio. We must to be good and have the best people. Chicago is a tough market and requires the best. I’m so grateful.”
A shining star on the radio scene since the late 1980s, Carriveau has been without a local broadcast outlet since March 2018 when she signed off as afternoon personality on Hubbard Radio adult contemporary WSHE 100.3-FM. Since then she’s been employed at Local Radio Networks as midday host for the company’s classic rock format.
“I’m so excited to work at WLS,” Carriveau told me. “I’ve been a big fan of the station for a long time, love the music and adore the staff. I’ve worked with most of the jocks and off-air employees at some point over the last three decades so I immediately feel right at home. . . . It feels great to be back on the air in Chicago.”
Carriveau said she will continue at Local Radio Networks.
There’s an interesting footnote to her employment at 94.7 WLS, which is now headed by Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Chicago.
In 2006 Nyren was vice president and general manager of then-classic rock WLUP 97.9-FM when he fired Carriveau as a weekend and fill-in jock. Carriveau’s offense? She sent a letter to my column in the Sun-Times bemoaning the dearth of talent on Chicago radio.
Citing the unemployment at the time of such icons as John Landecker, Fred Winston, Dick Biondi, Mancow Muller and Bobby Skafish, she wrote: “My heart goes out to those talented personalities, and I am empathetic to the many disappointed listeners. This situation is sad. Very, very sad.”
Asked why he cut Carriveau from The Loop, Nyren told me: “I don’t think Cara is a fan of what’s happening here. I have no problem with my people talking to you, but I want to have people here who believe in our industry and believe what we’re doing is right.”
Thirteen years later, apparently all is forgiven.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, 94.7 WLS tied for fifth place overall with a 3.9 percent audience share.
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Charles Edward: Has the recreational marijuana bill passed already? Because most of the statements regarding Garry Meier attest to people being high on something. Garry is, was and always will be at best a “second banana” and only a legend in his own mind. His trite, bitter, sarcastic, and adolescent attempt at humor and his “angry ‘John-Kass-like’ old man in the balcony” shtick on WGN was gladly put to rest by Jimmy D. I’m ready for the pro-GM locals to come with their verbal pitchforks. However they can’t change the fact that GM has no talent. No way. No how.