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John Williams Out As Morning Man On WGN Radio

June 15, 2009

I really do not make it a daily ritual to find something to complain about.  But there are times when I think the universe is out to push all my buttons.  The news out of WGN Radio, once a station I raved about, (as this blog has often shown) is absolutely wretched!


As some of my readers my recall I applauded shamelessly the announcement of John Williams as the new morning drive for WGN Radio.  He is cerebral, witty, and perfect for the morning.  His questions to those he interviewed were sharp and focused, and it was clear they originated in a head full of ideas and facts.  He was the verbal equivalent of a morning cup of coffee.  I absolutely love this guy!

So what did WGN Radio do………?

WGN Radio today announced that veteran radio host, news anchor and correspondent Greg Jarrett will join the station as the morning host on June 22. Jarrett will lead the morning team from 5am to 9am and John Williams will host the 9am to 12 noon talk show.

Well at least WGN did not fire him, as they did with our Girlfriends.

I am sure in the muddled mind of WGN Radio managment this cluster ‘screw’ of bad ideas makes perfect sense.  But for those of us who still have wrist control, and a lighted dial on our radio to see where to turn our AM radio, we know there are other places to go.

For starters.

  1. ron u permalink
    October 30, 2009 9:37 AM

    I agree with many of Judi M’s insightful comments re. WGN morning radio. The stations Arbitron ratings are plunging because of poor programming choices. The current morning show does not cut it. It is not “edgy”, witty, or at all thorough.

    I would rather see a few topics covered in detail than throwing mud at a wall to include everything. Bob Sirott would
    be a great AM show host–he is honest, genuinely down-to-earth, witty, and a great interviewer. The one time uniqueness of 720AM is somewhat preserved with Bob, Max and Orion, Milt Rosenberg, and Steve and Jonnie—not too many major market stations offer those stellar options. I no longer listen to the Morning Show on my AM commute–I either turn my radio off or opt for a classical music on FM.

  2. cubbieguy permalink
    September 14, 2009 2:33 PM

    Langmeyer and Matheny are the culprits. They have no clue as to who Wgn listeners are, or their tastes. They think edgy sells. If I wanted edgy, I could listen to any of hundreds of stations. Wgn was good because they were informative, and met the needs of their listeners. These new jerks are obnoxious, mouthy, and hateful. Get rid of them all , and go back to what Wgn truly was, a family station

  3. Ferrell Gummitt permalink
    September 10, 2009 9:55 AM

    In the August 2009 ratings WGN-AM has a 2.1 rating and is in 22nd place.

    Number one rated show is on WTMX “Eric & Kathy”. Homegrown Chicago talent.

    Memo to WGN programmers: First rule in Chicago radio never, ever bring in someone from out of town for your Morning Drive.

  4. judi mccarthy permalink
    August 6, 2009 11:54 AM

    I am so upset by the changes made at WGN radio. Greg Jarrett cannot hold a candle to John Williams. I spend one hour driving to work each day and after a few weeks of Jarrett, I have finally turned WGN off. Jarrett is not witty, and his interview skills leave alot to be desired. I don’t care where he ate dinner,who bought him a beer, or what he overheard in the hotel lobby. I had to laugh when he said, “Breaking News”, There is a delay on a United Airline runway this morning. Call ahead for information.” What was the deciding factor in bumping John down? Were his ratings that bad? I just don’t get it!
    As long as I’m at it, Jerry Agar is a horrible host. If you don’t agree with his opinion, he cuts you off. This guy is so over the top far right wing, that I am insulted by his behavior. Shawn “The news junky” is right behind him.
    I have written to WGN three times to let them know how I feel. Sadly, after being a loyal listener for 30 years, I have turned them off. ( I still listen to CUB games and John Williams)
    All I can say is, watch out Steve and Johnny. You could be the next bad decision.

  5. Jean Holloway permalink
    July 10, 2009 9:45 PM

    Where are you getting these emty headed talk hosts? Without John Williams you have empty air. He is so bright and such a joy. Couldn’t you find three more with brains?

  6. groucho permalink
    July 10, 2009 11:47 AM

    i moved on from wgn after the one/two punch of them first pulling nick digillio’s movie reviews from the saturday show (those reviews were what got me listening to wgn in the first place years ago) followed by the abrupt ouster of kathy and judy. with those two moves they lost a loyal listener for good. it’s podcasts for me from here on out.

  7. Harriett Potenza permalink
    June 25, 2009 3:03 PM

    The 5-9:00 am spot may be a plum, but I like John in the 9-noon spot much better. It fits all the neat things he does like “sign of the apocalypse” and highs and lows of life. He is brilliant and I love his discussions which didn’t fit in that morning slot.

  8. robert Cottier permalink
    June 21, 2009 1:31 PM

    The direction the radio station is taking will result in the removal of those responsible for its direction.

  9. June 15, 2009 4:03 PM

    WE AGREE!!!!

    (how often do I say that….LOL….)

    Have a nice day.

  10. Ferrell Gummitt permalink
    June 15, 2009 3:59 PM

    I am now convinced that Dr. Timothy Leary has come back to Earth and is now Programming WGN.

    How else can you explain the changes there other than someone on Acid.

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