WGN-AM names new morning host

In a surprise (and shocking move), WGN-AM announced today the hiring of Greg Jarrett, formerly of KGO-AM in San Francisco in morning drive.

But wait a minute, you ask. Isn’t that the slot John Williams holds? Yes it is, and he’s moving to the 9 a.m. – noon slot formerly occupied by Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey. Williams only started in the morning drive slot six months ago, replacing the retiring Spike O’Dell.

The move comes as WGN-AM is freshening up its lineup to draw younger audiences to the talk-radio station. Recently, the station added personalities such as Garry Meier and trying out others on the weekends.

Jarrett is a sixteen-year veteran of KGO, which like WLS-AM, was owned by ABC for decades until its sale to Citadel Broadcasting in 2006. He worked for ABC News in the mid-1990’s, then for a Portland, Ore. station before returning to KGO in 2000. He was laid off from the station earlier this year.

In the last 43 years, John Williams beccomes the shortest-lived morning host at WGN. Wally Phillips held down morning drive for 21 years, while Bob Collins did so for 14 years. His replacement (Spike O’Dell) hosted morning drive for eight years.