Robservations on the media beat:
Alpha Media made it official Wednesday: “Eddie Volkman in the Morning with Hannah B.” will debut Monday at southwest suburban adult-contemporary WSSR 96.7-FM. The Chicago radio legend has been filling in since former morning host Kevin “Kollins” Hedemark left to run for a seat on the Will County Board in the June 28 Democratic primary. Joining Volkman as Star 96.7 morning co-host is Hannah Brummer, a Mount Prospect resident and Elmhurst College graduate. She’ll continue as the afternoon voice of WXLC 102.3-FM, Alpha Media’s north suburban hot adult-contemporary station. “Hannah is what radio needs to survive and grow,” Volkman said. “She’s brilliant with social media, podcasting and engagement on multiple platforms that extend radio’s evolution and reach, such as TikTok. I guess I’ll have to learn to dance!” Volkman, who previously hosted afternoons at Star 96.7, continues as program director.
Brandon Ison, who joined WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM as a part-time reporter in 2019, is moving up to full-time news anchor and reporter at the Audacy all-news combo. Ison previously worked for KXL in Portland, Oregon, as a news anchor, reporter and producer. He also filed reports from the Pacific Northwest for CBS News Radio. “[Ison] has covered a full gamut of stories, from the pandemic to local reaction to the war in Ukraine and everything in between,” Ron Gleason, brand manager and news director of WBBM Newsradio, told staffers in an email Wednesday. “Please join me in congratulating Brandon on his increased role.”
With the flip of a switch Tuesday, morning co-hosts Brian Haddad, Ali Mattacola and Justin Nettlebeck launched the rebranding of Cumulus Media alternative rock WKQX 101.1-FM as Q101. Fans cheered the announcement at the station’s sold-out Weezer concert at the Aragon Ballroom. As first reported here last month, the move restores a legacy brand that was associated with the frequency for nearly 30 years before previous owner Merlin Media sold it in 2011. It took four years of negotiating for Cumulus Media to buy back the rights from suburban radio entrepreneur Matt Dubiel’s Broadcast Barter Radio Networks.
Bill O’Reilly, the former top-rated commentator who was fired from Fox News in 2017 amid sexual misconduct allegations and reports of a $32 million sexual harassment settlement, is making a comeback on radio. For more than a year he’s been hosting evenings on WABC in New York. With the addition of 58 new syndication affiliates this week, O’Reilly is now being heard on 281 stations nationwide. In Chicago his one-minute commentaries air at 10:21 a.m. and 6:32 p.m. Monday through Friday on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890-AM.
“Sports Talk Chicago” host Jon Zaghloul has added the title of sports director to his duties at west suburban DuPage Radio WCKG 1530-AM. “I am honored to be a part of this exciting new challenge with WCKG,” Zaghloul said in a statement. “Over the past two years with the station, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the chance to provide Chicagoans with hard-hitting sports opinions and insightful interviews. Now it is time to expand our iconic brand, and I am actively on the hunt for both fresh and established local sports talent to bolster our daily lineup.” His “Sports Talk Chicago” continues to air from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Eric Zorn: The book Robert Feder touts this morning [The Primetimer Guide to Streaming TV] looks like an excellent and overdue resource.