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John Williams Leaving WGN Radio

October 24, 2012

This is really awful news, as John Williams remained the best reason to turn into WGN radio.

John Williams is erudite, articulate, charming.

What more does one want from a friendly voice over the radio?

While this news was sure to come it still remains hard to hear.

WGN Radio announced that midday host John Williams has made the decision
to leave the station at the end of the year. Williams will be moving to Minneapolis where he will continue hosting afternoons at WCCO-AM, a show he has done remotely from WGN since 2010.

I loved the idea that Williams would be morning man at WGN, and then was very disappointed when he was pulled for the rankest of reasons.

Chicago will lose one of the best, and Minneapolis is about to gain by having him live and contribute to the area.

Williams said in a note released to WGN staff this afternoon: “After a great deal of
thought, after the 1st of January, Brenda and I have decided to move to
Minneapolis and my time here will come to an end. I decided some time ago to do
just one show — as well as I can — and that one will be at WCCO.  Both
stations and staffs deserve as much.” Williams continued: “We’ve had a lot of
Bright Sides here. I never got to be King, but you’ve always made me feel like
royalty.”

All the best, and thanks for the radio memories!

28 Comments
  1. dolly keeley permalink
    October 31, 2012 2:14 PM

    Ditto to all the comments above – WGN was a delightful station at one time – now it absolutely stinks!!! John, you will be sadly missed but I will be tuning per internet to WCCO but it won’t be so personal – your laughter made me laugh and sometimes that was the only time I laughed all day – God Bless to Brenda and you – Minneapolis is an exciting town – and you will be King at WCCO!!!! OMG, so sad…I just don’t want to think about it – feel the same way I did when Kathy and Judy left!!!!

  2. bonnie dresar permalink
    October 30, 2012 11:54 AM

    john I feel as if I’d been hit in the stomach! Missed is not the feeling, more like lost. best to all
    of you and yours. I remember when your little boys were little. you were reading to them and one of the book titles was HOLES. Seems as if your family, dogs and all, was a big part of my family…….thank you john

  3. Jeanne permalink
    October 30, 2012 1:46 AM

    Reading the comments above mine are certainly evidence that John won’t be the only one leaving WGN! What once was a delightful mix of entertainment and information delivered with wit and personality has become the homeplace of nothing but whiners and complainers and celebrity-driven crap I could care less about. So many of us woke up to the stimulating banter of Kathy & Judy and laughed our way through the morning hours followed by John Williams with his quirky mind and intelligent wit and penchant for finding the hidden gems in the day-in-day-out news & events. Later in the evening we looked forward to Steve and Johnnie who offered up an encyclopedia of info about dozens of subjects regarding cars, computers, music and the special little insights about Chicago to their night-time “family”. WGN was once a a potpourri of witty banter as well as intelligent perspective on things in Chicago. RIP

  4. Kathy permalink
    October 27, 2012 2:55 PM

    WGN has managed to pulll so many of its good people. I still miss Kathy and Judy, Steve and Johnnie, Bob Sirott, and Steve Cochran. I wonder why the powers that be are alienating the age group with the most disposable income. I don’t want WGN to be edgy. I want to listen to insightful conversations. I’ll miss John on WGN, but I won’t despair–I’ll be listening to him via the internet. Tune in to WCCO and enjoy him there. Buh-bye, WGN!

  5. Geri permalink
    October 26, 2012 2:45 PM

    I agree with all the comment so far. John you the only reason I turn on WGN, but I can’t blame you I miss you King John. WGN I will be turning you off I think you have treated John unkindly also Nick D.

  6. Len permalink
    October 26, 2012 12:55 PM

    I am a 65 year old white guy and have been listening to WGN since the Jack Brickhouse and Wally Philips days. The station has become just a shadow of what it had been. John Williams was my only reason for still tuning in.
    Good luck in MN John!! At least you won’t have to put up with that right wing nut case Leslie Kiiling any more!!

  7. Margaret Bennecke permalink
    October 26, 2012 9:36 AM

    Truly, this is a sad day. I’ve been in mourning for WGN for some time, remembering its greatness. I’ve tried to adjust to the changes, but with John leaving, I feel there is no reason to continue making the effort. It’s been hard to watch the decline of such a memorable station.

    John, our best wishes go out to you. Minneapolis will be lucky to have you as a citizen.

  8. Barbara Rubenstein permalink
    October 25, 2012 8:05 AM

    Barbara
    I have been a loyal listener for over 46 years , probably not the demographic management
    has in mind. Steadily WGN management has made decisions that have been oblivious to producing the finest product. John Williams was the last reason to stay tuned. He has been an articulate and kind voice in a station filling shows with misinformation and rancor. WGN’s decision does not need to be mine. My decisions is to turn 720 off. My best wishes remain with John WIlliams and his family.

  9. Jay permalink
    October 24, 2012 9:48 PM

    Just another reason to no longer listen to them. Gary is great. Milt has become less open to a non bias discussion. Just ask John Mearsheimer. And, Nick D seems to get less time on the air. Guess it is time to tune them out, along with the ads they feed us, and go to the internet.

  10. Mark permalink
    October 24, 2012 6:34 PM

    WGN is now a complete shadow of its former greatness. John Williams was the last vestige of an iconic station. How do you ruin a dynasty? Ask WGN management…..

    You will be sorely missed in Chicago King John.

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