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WGN Says Goodbye To Greg Jarrett, Listeners Rejoice At Departure

December 2, 2011

UPDATE…Steve and Johnnie rumored to leave WGN airwaves.

There is no way to state how glad I am to hear that WGN’s morning drive-time windbag Greg Jarrett is leaving the famed studios on the Magnificent Mile.  Greg Jarrett is off the WGN airwaves immediately.

I do not want to sound overly rude or look like I am kicking a man when he is down.  I sincerely hope Jarrett lands another radio job, but at a station I do not listen to.

There is no way to state how utterly unprepared Jarrett was to step into the WGN chair that Wally Phillips once broadcast from.  I am old enough to recall the magic connection that Phillips had with the listeners, and I am old-fashioned enough to think that style of broadcasting is still being sought by listeners.

Jarrett never even tried.

When Jarrett arrived at WGN he felt a need to state how many people he knew, and all that he had done in radio.  There was always a need to convey to his listeners that he was important.


A professional broadcaster need not tell listeners such a thing, the day-to-day on-air work will just allow that fact to be established.

After two years WGN listeners were still waiting.

If this all sounds tough about a person in radio, perhaps that is because I have high standards for the folks who are invited into our home.  When we turn on the radio we invite the radio host or broadcaster to be our guest.  In time, it is hoped the announcer is so welcomed they no longer need to knock.

That is how I truly feel about radio.

I recall the words penned by media columnist Robert Feder that sums up all one needs to know how Jarrett blustered his way into the Windy City.

It’s been more than a year now since Jarrett got off the bus from San Francisco and stepped right into the WGN morning job — arguably the most venerated and important radio position in Chicago — without one day’s prior experience in the market. From the moment he signed on here, he’s shown a penchant for parading his ignorance of local personalities and places. Nevertheless, his bosses repeatedly have defended their decision to hire him, even as they recently announced plans to cut his show back by 30 minutes. At least that’s a step in the right direction.

With Jonathon Brandmeier having been announced today as the new morning man at WGN radio I trust another line such as I penned in August 2010 will not be needed on CP.

Isn’t there another soccer match anywhere in the world that we can pay Greg Jarrett to attend, and have him off the WGN airwaves?  The best weeks recently for morning radio in Chicago were the ones Jarrett spent in South Africa.

  1. Max permalink
    December 4, 2011 3:26 AM

    Well, I guess I’m in the minority here. I am glad the braggadocios snorlax is out.
    – au revoir et bonne chance, profitez de votre fromage.

    I just hope Brandmeier isn’t anything like he was the other day with Gary Meier.
    His try too hard “funny” was my “Please just shut up already – annoying”….all in all, these next couple weeks should prove interesting.

  2. Duane Ware permalink
    December 3, 2011 5:45 PM

    We will miss Greg, and will ;ook for him on Chicgo Radio Bye Bye morning will put Wgn on fpr John Williams.

    Wgn’s loss someone elses gain.

    The dewmeister

  3. Kevin Cunningham permalink
    December 3, 2011 5:26 PM

    I didn’t care for the intrusion, initially, into “our” WGN family of Gregg, and then Mike McConnell. But then it wasn’t something that we had any say so about. WGN has been going through a transition in morning radio, and it’s been real ugly. It was due to the wrong person being hired to do the hiring a few years back. He was some clown who had a “different” idea for molding a new WGN. Fortunately, they got rid of him, but not before he tried to fix something that wasn’t broken. Historically, WGN has always been able to promote from within in large part due to being able to have wonderful people already on board who became part of the “family”. Then when they needed someone in a certain place it was just a matter of moving someone there. We already knew them and life was good.
    Hopefully we are making a change in the right direction. At least we know Johnny B.
    He’s at least from the Chicago radio family. I like him & wish him luck. I just hope he isn’t going to be too far in the other direction.
    I’d rather have seen Greg kept here to replace Bill Moller. There’s a guy who can really get me to change stations fast! Greg ended up growing on me, as has Mike McConnell.
    Good luck Greg.

  4. December 3, 2011 11:14 AM

    Brandmeir might be too silly for me first thing in the morning, I didn’t care for Jarett all that much, but I could put up with him; McConnell is the one that should go.
    P.S. you say “If this all sounds tough about a person in radio, perhaps that is because I have high standards…” Who are you? What is the name of the author of this site? I’m new to this site and didn’t see a by-line.

  5. Alexa permalink
    December 3, 2011 10:26 AM

    Loooong overdue. The prayers have paid off. Hopefully Brandemeier will have matured for wgn listeners as Meier has. I say this in a good way.

  6. GIJoe permalink
    December 3, 2011 8:27 AM

    Although I was a great fan of Wally Phillips, Roy Lenard, & Uncle Bobby, I found that Greg Jarrett braught something that has been much needed in recently………a different level of humor! I really think here that he must of ticked off management more…….then the listening adiance. However, I did think that his time slot was should of been changed. I was never a listener of the Girlfriends of O’Dell. When they came on, I turned the radio off!
    And if you are wondering, I over 65 and retired.

  7. Linda permalink
    December 3, 2011 7:29 AM

    Greg has grown on me. I wish they would have replaced Mike McConnell.

  8. Richard permalink
    December 3, 2011 6:32 AM

    I will no longer listen to WGN morning radio

  9. December 2, 2011 10:56 PM

    I was not been a big fan of Jarrett in the beginning but he has grown on me for his lack of soft pedaling on the news. I wil miss his thoughtful conversations with people because we are certainly not going to get that with Brandneir. I wish Jarrett could take over mid-mornings.

  10. Skip Baum permalink
    December 2, 2011 6:31 PM

    Wally Phillips????? Did you step into a time warp? Greg Jarrett has stepped into the shoes of Uncle Bobby and Spike O’Dell with ultimate class and intelligence. Too bad Brandmeier will be held responsible for getting Greg Jarrett dumped. How lame!

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