With the world of sports at a standstill because of the pandemic, it may seem like an odd time to launch a sports talk show. But that’s not stopping WLS 890-AM.
Beginning tonight the Cumulus Media news/talk station will air a new “sports-focused program” from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, hosted by news anchor and sports reporter Rob Martier.
With the new addition comes the subtraction of Jenniffer Weigel, who signed off as evening host last week.
“I am truly looking forward to Rob’s extensive sports background and broadcasting talents as he assumes this new opportunity,” Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Chicago, wrote in an email to staff.
“We thank Jen for her contributions to WLS-AM as she brought her unique Chicago sensibility to the airwaves each evening. We wish her well as Jen has decided to go in another direction,” Nyren said.
Martier joined WLS as evening news anchor in 2018 and later adding hosting of Fighting Illini football broadcasts and the weekly “Drive Chicago” automotive show. The graduate of Glenbrook South High School and Illinois College previously worked at Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM and Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM.
It’s not clear what’s next for Weigel following her truncated run at WLS. The longtime Chicago journalist, author and broadcaster joined the station in March 2019 as sidekick and traffic reporter for Erich Mancow Muller’s morning show. Seven months later the two parted ways and Weigel began hosting her own show from 10 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday. Her show moved to early evenings in November.
A graduate of Evanston Township High School and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Weigel is the daughter of the late Chicago sports anchor Tim Weigel and former WGN Radio news anchor Kathy Worthington. Her brother is former Chicago TV news anchor Rafer Weigel.
“Grateful to have been able to inspire, connect and entertain my listeners for the past 150-plus shows on WLS,” Weigel wrote on social media. “A new adventure awaits for ‘The Jen Weigel Show.’ Stay tuned for details…. #inspiration #wellness #community #jenweigelshow.”
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WLS ranked 21st overall (and tied for 22nd in evenings) with a 2.1 percent audience share.
Friday’s comment of the day: Bruce Beckman: Somehow, I thought Derrick Blakley would surface at WTTW in some fashion.