Welcome back: Garry Meier returns

Garry Meier. (WGN)
Garry Meier. (WGN)

Longtime Chicago radio personality Garry Meier announced Tuesday he is launching a new online radio show via his recently launched website, garrymeier.com., scheduled to launch next year. He urged fans to sign-up for e-mail updates for future information on the new venture. Meier’s last gig was afternoon host at Tribune Media’s WGN-AM.

Also coming on board is Leslie Keiling, who did the news and traffic during his last radio show. But “Elton” Jim Turano, who was his sidekick at WGN-AM, is not joining him since he returned to WGN as a weekend/fill-in host recently.

Despite ranking as the top-rated afternoon drive talker and in the top ten overall, Meier was demoted to WGN’s secondary Internet feed, knows as WGN.FM (now WGN Plus), with station management releasing a rather bizarre memo on why they made the move. A few months later, Meier was yanked from the station altogether, despite having only a few months left on his contract, which expired on October 31 of this year.

According to a local website, Meier had the most listeners of any live-streamed Internet show on the web, per Tune In – and his WGN podcasts were the most downloaded content on WGN Radio’s website – factors in Meier’s decision to head down this road. And since his dismissal from WGN, people on social media and message boards have speculated on what would he do next.

Primarily known as a “second banana” to former on-air partners Steve Dahl (on four radio stations) and Roe Conn, Meier proved he can hold his own as a solo talk show host, on WGN and the former WCKG-FM. He was recently inducted into the Radio Hall Of Fame.

The news comes on the same day former terrestrial radio star Howard Stern renewed his deal to stay with Sirius XM, signing a five-year pact to stay with the satellite radio carrier and a twelve-year deal overall, which includes video and archival footage. Stern however, recently criticized Internet radio and podcasting in general, saying the latter “was for losers” (I’m certain Adam Carrolla and a lot of others beg to differ.)

In a short note to his fans yesterday posted on his new website, Meier had the desire “to do something different” (you can read the note here.) Other details regarding the new venture have yet to be ironed out, including financial details.

Last week marked the triumphant return of Mystery Science Theater 3000, thanks to a successful Kickstarter, raising more than $5 million in addition to an aggressive social media campaign – something Meier should think about.

Back two years ago, yours truly said the move of Garry Meier wouldn’t exactly revolutionize Internet radio because his WGN bosses stuck him there to wait out his contract (they fired him anyway.) Now, Meier may just do exactly that – under his own terms.