Spike O’Dell in the home stretch

It looks like longtime WGN-AM morning host Spike O’Dell is heading into the home stretch. The Sun-Times is reporting the longtime morning personality is expected to either retire at the end of the year.

With a large salary and Tribune’s cash crunch, it is unlikely O’Dell will return, unless he wants a cut with pay (and the way he sounds about his current gig, that’s pretty remote.)

Names surfacing to replace O’Dell would be Steve Cochran (a good choice, IMO) and Bob Sirott.

The possible moves come as WGN-AM and the rest of Chicago radio is heading into the Portable People Meter era, set to begin in January. It could negatively impact stations with older audiences like WGN who are used to filling out diaries and is not familiar with techinical devices.

O’Dell ranked first among all morning shows according to Arbitron. WGN has had a hammerlock on the top spot for decades, dating back to the days of Wally Phillips.