Will Steve Cochran Return To WGN Radio?
The never-ending saga of who will have air-time on WGN radio continues with news that will delight many in radio land. For years I have had more than one opinion on both the management of the station, and the on-air talent. WGN was the main station I turned to for decades when listening to radio. As such I have been sad at the state of affairs at that legendary place on the dial in the past few years. This news today would be a major step in the direction the station needs to head to once again appeal to the broad middle portion of radio land.
Former WGN-AM personality Steve Cochran is looking to return to that station’s airwaves for the first time in just over three years. He is now available to work there once again, after his contract with WIND-AM expired over the weekend.
In August 2011, Steve Cochran agreed to join WIND-AM working a two-hour, late afternoon/early evening shift. He began officially in that role in October 2011. Station officials confirmed that Cochran’s contract ended on June 30th. It appears the decision to not renew that contract was a mutual one, although the parting of the ways was amicable.
Cochran was brought in to Salem Communication’s WIND-AM/AM 560 The Answer to help increase ratings, revenues, and awareness of the struggling AM station. By all accounts, that did not happen in Cochran’s almost two years there. This was despite the station placing billboards along highways in its reception areas promoting him and having Cochran do live remotes regularly in the city and suburbs.
Cochran’s more light-hearted views on current events and moderate views on politics did not mesh well with the station’s more hardcore conservative base, nor was it able to attract non-hardcore conservative listeners over to the station. Both sides seemed to give it their best shot, but it just wasn’t a good match.
WIND-AM will have an announcement to make about how they will fill that vacancy left by Cochran’s exit in the next day or so. In the meantime, another former WGN-AM host, Dan Deibert will fill-in for the 5:00pm-7:00pm shift. He was already at the station this week filling in for morning show co-host Big John Howell, who is on vacation.
All this means that once again, Steve Cochran is a radio free-agent.