John Williams Back On WGN Radio!


The sun has been bright in a cloud-free sky in Madison.  It is one of those perfect days.  Nothing more could make it better.

And then it was better……and in a way that makes it so for countless others, too.

WGN Radio today announced changes to its weekday lineup, including the return of broadcast veteran, John Williams.  Readers know I love Williams, and was his champion as morning personality.  I also was not pleased when he was forced to leave the station.

But that was then, and this is now.

John Williams is back!

Video Of (Formerly) WGN’s John Williams (Now On WCCO): Why AM Radio Is Important

WGN should never have allowed John Williams to leave his spot behind the microphone.  WGN is no longer the bright spot on the dial it once was, and that saddens me.   But AM radio still matters, and Williams spells out the reason that is true in this video.

There is no way not to notice that Williams is a most gracious man and that is one reason I am a huge fan of his, and with that I again say WGN made a huge mistake.



John Williams (Formerly Of WGN Radio) Sells Home

I really like John Williams for his on-air professionalism, along with his ability to make radio fun and informative.  WGN lost a real talent when they removed him from the airwaves.  The Twin Cities, meanwhile, are all the better with the move.


Last Thursday, November 29, John Williams, the afternoon host on WGN Radio, and his wife, Brenda, sold their home of 11 years, a brick Tudor in La Grange Park. They are moving to Minneapolis, where Williams will work for WCCO-AM. Since April 2010, he had been hosting shows on WGN and WCCO, but he is leaving WGN in December at the end of his contract there.

It was the couple’s second house on the same block; they moved from just a few doors down in 2001. “Our kids were in school, so we didn’t want to go far but wanted more room,” he says. “ You wonder about people who move across the street? Meet me.”

Built in 1925, the house stands on a corner lot in a neighborhood of historical homes. It’s a few blocks from the La Grange Park Woods and Salt Creek Woods tracts of Cook County Forest Preserve, which contain a bike path to the Brookfield Zoo. Six blocks away are La Grange’s Metra station and humming downtown, and Ogden Avenue Elementary is nearby, as well. “It is a family neighborhood, that’s for sure,” Williams says.

The house has three second-floor bedrooms and three full baths. Two original bedrooms on the first floor have most recently been used as an office and a TV room. Williams says that the big basement was a plus: with room for a pool table, a sitting area, and a kitchen, “it was great for parties.”

Photos that accompanied the listing show crisp colors, some arched interior doors, and, in the living room, a wall of built-in bookcases. “That intrigued [potential] buyers,” says Kerri Mahon, the listing agent. “Everyone who saw it said these sellers must be so cool.” But, she adds, she did never revealed the names of her clients. The buyers, who are not yet identified in public records, are moving from the city, Mahon says.

The Williamses paid $505,000 for the house in September 2001, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. While in the house, they made many improvements, according to Mahon, including putting on an all-new roof; installing air conditioning and insulated windows; gut-remodeling two bathrooms; and giving the kitchen a cosmetic upgrade that entailed putting in new appliances, painting the cabinets, and laying new countertops.

A Joliet native, Williams interned at WGN in 1980 and worked at other stations before he began hosting a talk show at WCCO in 1993. He signed on at WGN in 1997, and for six months in 2008-09 was the host of the station’s morning show. He moved back to midday after that, and in 2010 started doing the double Chicago and Minneapolis shows. (Disclosure: I have been a guest on his show numerous times to talk about real estate.)

The departure is bittersweet, Williams says. “When you move from a neighborhood, you are suddenly reminded of how many friends you have and how much you like them. My focus had been so much on the details of the move, I didn’t really think about it, and then it hit me, literally as we were walking out the door.”

John Williams Leaving WGN Radio

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

All the best, and thanks for the radio memories!

John Williams Out As Morning Man On WGN Radio

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.

Video: WGN Morning Man John Williams In Recent Interview

I thought this interview of John Williams gives an interesting insight into the person that will soon take over as the ‘morning man’ on WGN Radio.  The first part of the interview needs volume adjustment, or as we called it in radio, ‘riding gain’.  Williams talks about his thoughts on Rush Limbaugh, Jesse Jackson, what he thinks about getting up early for a radio job, and the topics that he discusses on his show, along with the importance of the internet to his job.  This is for all the folks who are coming to this blog site today for more on John Williams.  Needless to say there are lots of happy folks today with the news from WGN Radio.