Robservations on the media beat:
You may have missed it if you blinked, but another radio show has come and gone for Joe Walsh. The former northwest suburban Republican congressman announced he’s been dropped after one year as afternoon host on the GAB Radio Network. His show airs here from 3 to 5 p.m. weekdays on Evanston Broadcasting news/talk WCGO 1590-AM. “The network is run by a big Trumper, and he’s wanted to boot me for awhile. Looks like it finally happened,” Walsh tweeted. “Not surprised, but I am bummed. I thought it was so important to have ONE anti-Trump conservative voice on the radio. . . . I’m no victim. And I wasn’t ‘cancelled.’ This is the market at work. And the market says there’s no room in the GOP or talk radio for an anti-Trump conservative.” GAB Radio Network did not respond to requests for comment, but posted the following on its website: “Regardless of what Mr. Walsh is saying on social media and the press, as you can see he is still on the network. Until we come to a production agreement, please enjoy the Joe Walsh replay.” Walsh spent six years on Salem Media news/talk WIND 560-AM before he left in 2019 to challenge Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.
In the first of a series of themed specials to air throughout the summer, David Plier will host “Women of Rock” from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday on Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM. With a prologue from WGN morning host Bob Sirott, Plier will feature interviews with female rock royalty Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, Pat Benatar and Suzi Quatro as well as former MTV veejay Nina Blackwood. “When looking back at the classic rock era, it’s easy to point to musicians like Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix or Bob Dylan as the pioneers of the genre,” Plier said. “But there were countless female musicians who were just as talented, equally significant and historically overlooked . . . yet their importance is undeniable.” WGN will rebroadcast the three-hour special at 4 p.m. June 12.
Radio Hall of Famer Chuck Schaden this week wraps up a splendid five-year run as host of his monthly “Memory Lane Podcast” series with a grande finale — “Remembering My Favorite Things.” Among favorite performers he’ll recall are Danny Kaye, Al Jolson, Johnny Mathis, the Mills Brothers, Kate Smith and Glenn Miller. The entire 60-episode run is archived on Schaden’s podcast page, and an encore podcast will be rereleased each month beginning with Program No. 1 from July, 2016. Schaden was the creator of “Those Were the Days,” the weekly showcase for the golden age of radio, which he hosted from 1970 to 2009.
Steve King, the Chicago radio legend who hosted overnights on WGN for more than 25 years, could have been even more famous as a songwriter. In the June edition of Illinois Entertainer King reminisces to Rick Kaempfer about his earlier career as a musician and his brush with fame in 1962 when he wrote the song “Satan Is Her Name.” (Here is the link.) But Mercury Records, Lesley Gore and circumstances came together to thwart his musical stardom. Even so, the song lives on, Kaempfer reports, with at least seven versions of “Satan Is Her Name” on YouTube. “I’m amazed at the life this record has had,” said King.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Geoff Dankert: The various “hot takes” from the commentariat about the decline in local news viewership — especially among A25-54 — ignore a societal shift that’s been long in coming: changes in viewing habits brought on by the popularity of streaming services. Now that people realize they can watch their favorite shows without watching over-the-air TV, local news operations are beginning to lose their biggest traditional viewership drivers.