Clean-up in aisle B96: “The Morning Mess” canceled

The Morning Mess got Colrox’d by B96 Tuesday.

Top 40 station dumps underachieving show

In news that comes as no surprise, Audacy-owned Gold Top 40 B96 (WBBM-FM) pulled the plug on The Morning Mess, an ill-conceived morning drive show who lived up to its name.

As first reported by Radio Insight, The Mess was nowhere to be found Tuesday morning, as B96 opted to play music with now-former Morning Mess co-host Karla Hernandez while fellow cast member Jeana Shepard did the midday shift. 

The third member of the show (Aneesh Ratan) left the station. All instances of the show were scrubbed off the station’s website.

Originally created at Audacy’s Phoenix Top 40 station KALV-FM, Morning Mess launched at B96 on April 4, 2022 as a modern take on the “Morning Zoo”-type of show that dominated radio in the 1980s and 1990s, shifting the program cross-country to Chicago. Last August, original Morning Mess member Joey Rodriguez departed B96 and returned to KALV for a new morning show in that city, leaving the Morning Mess crew as a trio.

This juicy nugget was included in the press release touting the show a few weeks before its premiere: “Karla Hernandez is a young and fun Mexican-American beauty queen who enjoys giving listeners a sneak peek into her dating, partying, and personal life. Hernandez joined the company [Entercom] in January 2018 and became part of “The Morning Mess” in January 2019.”

To comment, this space said: “Guess there isn’t much partying that can be done when you have to get up at 3 a.m. every day.”

It’s no secret the once-relevant B96 brand fell on hard times as it often ranked as the lowest full-signal FM station in Chicago for several years and so has speculation on how long it would stick with its longtime Top 40 format, which it has programmed in one form or another since 1982. 

Conceding to iHeart arch-rival 103.5 KissFM (WKSC-FM) in the contemporary music arena, B96 added more “Gold” product onto its playlist last April, basically 1990s and 2000s hit songs played on the station during its heyday.

With the station in the ratings basement and now no signature morning show – not to mention Audacy currently undergoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, B96 is currently adrift with no purpose or direction in the waters of Chicago radio, not knowing where to go next, as there’s not enough Mr. Clean in the world to clean up the real mess at B96.


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