Chicago radio and TV personalities Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano are on the move once again, this time being added to WLS-AM’s morning lineup.
Beginning January 2, the husband-and-wife duo surfaces in the 10:00 a.m. to noon time slot on the Cumulus Media-owned station. The news is a homecoming of sorts for Sirott, who spent seven years at WLS-AM beginning in 1973 until 1980, when he jumped to sister station WRCK-FM (one of the many formats at the 94.7 frequency) as morning personality. Sirott’s career has spanned 45 years, starting at WBBM-FM in 1971 and worked for CBS News, WBBM-TV, WFLD-TV (twice), WMAQ-TV, WGN-AM (twice), and as host of WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.
Sirrott and Murciano – who were paired up on the former Fox Thing In The Morning in 1994 and later married, had appeared together on WCKG-FM and had a full-time gig at WGN-AM from 2013-15. A month ago, both appeared on WLS on election night. Apparently, their performance impressed Cumulus officials.
The hire coincides with the cancellation of Jonathon Brandmeier’s show, which ended its run last week. Though based in Chicago, Brandmeier was targeted to national listeners but never gained any rating traction locally or nationally. The move continues WLS-AM’s shift away from conservative political talk, even though Rush Limbaugh continues to have a presence on the station, thanks to a renewal deal Cumulus made last week with the 33 stations carrying his show, including WLS.
With Sirott and Murciano coming on board, WLS is shifting its schedule an hour later than it was before. Starting January 2, the weekday schedule is as follows:
6:00 AM – 10:00 AM Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano
12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Rush Limbaugh (now delayed an hour)
3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Steve Dahl
Evenings vary, as Bulls and White Sox games often pre-empt the schedule. Mark Levin’s syndicated show is expected to run between 9 p.m. and midnight.
WLS hopes these moves – which brings an additional two hours of local programming per day – would enable them to compete better with rival WGN-AM, owned by Tribune Media. Once a top ten station, WLS tied for 21st place overall in the most recent Nielsen PPM survey, released on Monday.
In August 2015 however, Bob Sirott & Marianne Murciano placed no better than fifteenth in the ratings overall. At the time, WGN program director Todd Manley labeled their show “a success story” even though he deep-sixed them. Well, the duo now can become someone else’s success story – that is, if finishing fifteenth qualifies as one – which in many cases, does not.