Monday was an active day in Chicago radio as two big personnel moves took place.
Hubbard Broadcasting’s WILV-FM (aka Rewind 100.3) hired Marty Bender as the station’s new program director (PD), effective soon. Bender ran WFBQ (Q95) in Indianapolis for over two decades and also oversaw “The Bob And Tom Show”, a station staple which now airs in over 50 markets nationwide. Bender also oversaw the launch of WLFM (87.7) in Cleveland, which runs an Adult Alternative format, similar to WXRT’s. The 87.7 FM frequency in Chicago was home to the WLFM call letters before the station was taken over by Merlin Media and renamed WKQX.
Bender replaces longtime PD Barry James, who retired last month after twenty years with Hubbard/Bonneville.
After years of numerous format and call letter changes, WILV has stabilized with its current Adult Contemporary format, which features music from the 1980’s, 1990’s, and today.
Later in the day, Tribune’s WGN Radio made a personnel move of its own – with the departure of PD Bill White after just 30 months.
The announcement came on the same day Jimmy de Castro took the reigns as general manager of WGN-AM.
While no decision has been made on his replacement, speculation has centered on current WSCR-AM PD Mitch Rosen to succeed White.
During his tenure at WGN Radio, White never could get the station back on track after the disaster known as the Randy Michaels-Kevin Metheny era. WGN-AM typically finished outside the top 20 overall in the key adult 25-54 demo.
– And speaking of the Court Jester-Pig Virus era, former WGN evening host Jim Laski’s attempt at a talk radio comeback has come to an end. According to an item in CRM, the disgraced politician and convicted felon pulled the plug on his WCPT-AM Saturday afternoon show after just four weeks because of a lack of advertiser support (imagine what the ratings were like.) Laski’s show was time-brokered, meaning he had to pay WCPT for airtime.
If Laski thought he would get sponsors after his disastrous performance at WGN (and not to mention his status as a convicted felon) he’s clearly delusional. But if it’s a job he’s looking for, I hear American Idol is hiring judges. After all, they possibly can’t do any worse than the bunch they brought aboard last year.
Updated 12:21 p.m. on 2012-06-04 (misidentified WLFM’s format)