T Dog’s Grab Bag: Steve Cochran returns to WGN Radio

Steve Cochran. (Time Out Chicago)
Steve Cochran. (Time Out Chicago)

Also: Brooke Hunter is hired by My 93.9 FM ; Susan Carlson heads to WLS-AM

It has been a busy last few days in the Chicago radio – quite a bit of activity. So the next time someone tells you this medium is dead, point to this week – its never been more alive.

Steve Cochran abruptly resigned from Salem Communications’ WIND-AM last week after just twenty months – but resurfaced Tuesday morning on WGN Radio as a fill-in for the vacationing Jonathan Brandmeier, who returns July 15. Cochran had been holding down the 5-to-7 p.m. at WIND slot since October 2011, while keeping his 10 a.m.-Noon shift on KTRS-AM in St. Louis.

Cochran is expected to remain in a fill-in capacity for now, while retaining his regular St. Louis radio gig.

This is Cochran’s second tour of duty with WGN-AM: Cochran was at WGN for a decade prior to his WIND stint, but was unceremoniously dumped by then-program director Kevin Metheny in 2010. Cochran is a twenty-year veteran of Chicago radio, having done work for WPNT-FM (now WILV, Rewind 100.3 FM), and WLUP-AM/FM. Current WGN-AM PD Jimmy DeCastro was head of Evergreen Media and Chancellor during Cochran’s tenure at WLUP.

As a result of Steve Cochran’s departure, WIND is moving Joe Walsh’s (the politician) radio show to 5 p.m. and expanding it three hours to 8 p.m. as of July 3 (yeah, like we need another hour of him.)

Meanwhile, another Chicago radio veteran has landed a gig – former Q101 and The Zone jock Brooke Hunter has become the new midday voice for the recently rebooted WLIT, now known as 93.9 My FM, taking over the 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. time slot on Monday. Hunter is one piece of the puzzle filled by WLIT – the other is the arrival of Mario Lopez, who began the evening shift yesterday voice-tracked from L.A. Morning and afternoon shifts have yet to be filled, but an announcement is expected soon.

Hunter’s last Chicago gig was two years ago, when she was a personality at WCFS-FM (Fresh 105.9 FM.)

Speaking of 93.9 My FM, a television advertising campaign began last week, which was quite unimpressive and brutal in presentation. The 93.9 My FM ad looked primitive – like it was made with Adobe Flash and filled with cheesy graphics. Just because you play music from the ’80’s doesn’t necessarily mean your TV commercial has to look like it was made in the ’80’s…

Former WBBM-TV morning anchor Susan Carlson also has a new gig: at the end of month, she’s heading to WLS-AM to be the new news anchor for Roe Conn & Richard Roeper’s afternoon show. Carlson replaces Jim Johnson, who he and his “Carnable Wagon” retired on June 28 after a remarkable 45-year run with the station.

This is the second stint Carlson has had at WLS- she was a news and traffic reporter from 1998-2002.

Prior to being released on May 17, Carlson was employed with CBS 2 for the last ten years in various capacities. Carlson won’t be able to start at WLS until her contract with CBS officially expires on July 18.