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Steve King And Johnnie Putman Coming Back To WGN Radio!!

November 20, 2013

Steve-Johnnie

Steve and Johnnie were never forgotten and so when they sit down again behind the microphones it will be as it there was a long commercial break and now we are back to the regularly scheduled program.

If you have followed this blog over the years you are well aware that Steve King and Johnnie Putman, the famed husband and wife duo of late-night radio in Chicago, are two of my favorite radio personalities.   When the dark days of a previous radio management team made it necessary that they retire many were terribly upset and sad.

At the time they made their announcement in December 2011 I made the following comment.

While it is sad to lose friends over the airwaves, we all know radio changes.  But the memories of Steve and Johnnie will remain forever.

But now comes the news that is nothing less than an early Christmas present that Steve & Johnnie are coming back to WGN radio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the couple’s first return engagement since they retired from WGN in December 2011, they’ll fill in Christmas week for morning personality Steve Cochran.

“I was thrilled they said yes,” said Todd Manley, vice president of creative content at WGN, who extended the invitation Monday. He said the move was part of the station’s ongoing effort to “honor the past,” which also has included overtures to other talent who left the station under previous management.

King and Putman will broadcast from WGN’s Allstate Showcase Studio on Michigan Avenue from 5 to 9 a.m. on Dec. 23, 24, 26 and 27. (Special programming will air Christmas Day.)

While there’s been no talk of anything beyond Christmas week, it wouldn’t be surprising if the fill-in stint led to more.

I hold firm to my belief that radio personalities are friends that we invite into our homes and cars.  When they provide real companionship, laughter, and talk they become regulars that make our days brighter and the nights not so long.  There are hundreds of thousands of listeners who have not forgotten the style and warmth of Steve and Johnnie and are smiling today over the news that “him and her” are soon to be back where they belong.

This all goes to prove that insightful radio management can make the needed changes to bring back the listeners, elevate the programming, and increase ad revenue.

Jimmy DeCastro took over as president and general manager of WGN following a most troubling and embarrassing time for the legendary powerhouse of a station,   One could almost hear the collective gasps from listeners as the old favorites were removed from the airwaves over the past couple of years.  But with the return of Steve Cochran, Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey, along with others there is now an audible sound of joy.  The decisions that are now being made by DeCastro underscores the fact listeners are being heard when they complain, and  sanity has returned to AM 720.

Steve and Johnnie were never forgotten and so when they sit down again behind the microphones it will be as it there was a long commercial break and now we are back to the regularly scheduled program.

2 Comments
  1. November 21, 2013 12:30 AM

    “I hold firm to my belief that radio personalities are friends that we invite into our homes and cars. When they provide real companionship, laughter, and talk they become regulars that make our days brighter and the nights not so long.”

    I quite agree. This attitude made the “old” WGN the great station it was, its absence was one of the most important things wrong with Bad Days WGN, and its increasing return makes the future look hopeful.

  2. Marilyn Schmidling permalink
    November 20, 2013 3:34 PM

    Hooray!!!!What a wonderful present to unwrap early on Dec. 23th. I’ll be up with my cookie baking and wrapping projects, Singing I’m Hardrock, I’m Cocoa,and I’m Joe. Thanks WGN!!!Long time listener from 1964. MS.m

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