WBEZ’s ‘Wait Wait’ nominated for Radio Hall of Fame

Radio Hall of Fame

“Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!,” the popular NPR comedy-quiz show produced by Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM, is among this year’s nominees for the Radio Hall of Fame.

Hosted by Peter Sagal with resident scorekeeper Bill Kurtis, the program is competing with three others — “The Jim Rome Show,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “The Sounds of Sinatra” — in the Longstanding Network/Syndicated category.

“Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!”

The national shrine to notable radio personalities and programs is headquartered at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. No other home-grown talent made the list of 2019 nominees announced today.

The closest individual connections to our town are two syndicated hosts — Lon Helton, who worked at the former WMAQ in the ’70s (nominated in the Music Format On-Air Personality category), and Stephanie Miller, who worked at the former WCKG in the ’80s (nominated in the Spoken Word On-Air Personality category).

Chicago honorees in recent years have included Jonathon Brandmeier (2018), John Records Landecker (2017), Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart (2016), Dick Orkin (2014), Ira Glass and “This American Life” (2014), and Steve Dahl and Garry Meier (2013).

Balloting begins today among industry professionals in four categories. Public voting online starts July 15 in two other categories. Nominees were selected by a 23-member Radio Hall of Fame committee, chaired by Kraig Kitchin.

“Each year we have the privilege of coming together to acknowledge those who have tremendously impacted our industry and the audiences they serve,” Kitchin said in a statement. “We’re all proud to present our 2019 nominees.”

“All Things Considered” previously was inducted.  From a Radio Hall of Fame spokeswoman: “’All Things Considered’ was inducted in 1993 as a radio program, inclusive of the body of work of the entire staff, and not of an individual performance by a single person.  Last year and this year, the nominating committee chose to recognize the individual talents of Robert Siegel as the host of that particular program with a nomination.”

Here are the nominees to be voted on by industry professionals:

Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more):

Bob Rivers, Seattle
Charles Laquidara, Boston
Harry Harrison, New York
Jack Harris, Tampa Bay

Active Local/Regional (10 years or more):

Angie Martinez, New York
Kevin and Bean (Kevin Ryder, Gene “Bean” Baxter), Los Angeles
Preston and Steve (Preston Elliot, Steve Morrison), Philadelphia
Sarah and Vinnie (Sarah Clark, Vinnie Hasson), San Francisco

Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more):

Jim Rome, “The Jim Rome Show”
Robert Siegel, “All Things Considered”
Sid Mark, “The Sounds of Sinatra”
“Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!”

Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more):

George Noory, “Coast to Coast AM”
Glenn Beck, “The Glenn Beck Program”
John Tesh, “Intelligence for your Life”
Kim Komando, “The Kim Komando Show”

Here are the nominees to be voted on by the public and the nominating committee:

Music Format On-Air Personality:

Hollywood Hamilton
Lon Helton
“Mark & Brian Show” (Mark Thompson, Brian Phelps)
Ryan Seacrest

Spoken Word On-Air Personality:

Joe Madison
Scott Slade
Stephanie Miller
Suzyn Waldman

Inductees will be announced August 5. Plans for the induction ceremony this fall are still in development.

Friday’s comment of the day: Chuck Schaden: Warmest wishes to Kris Kridel on her retirement. She always expressed a friendly interest in the old-time radio shows when I recorded my “Radio Classics” in a wing studio off the WBBM newsroom from 1985-95.