Longtime Chicago rocker makes changes
Adult Album Alternative rocker WXRT-FM announced some major changes Wednesday that may not sit well with its fanbase.
For one, there is a huge overhaul in the morning – longtime WXRT radio personality Lin Brehmer is shifting out of the daypart and moving to middays beginning sometime in “early 2020”.
“Like a veteran centerfielder who moves to first base, I look forward to batting second,” said Brehmer, a noted Chicago Cubs fan. “The exhilaration of being a morning companion to the families that support 93XRT offset the brutal schedule of someone who likes to go to concerts at night. I’m not 29 anymore. May the phrase, ‘Isn’t it past your bedtime?’ be applied to someone else for a while.”
Replacing Brehmer in mornings is longtime station personality Richard Milne, who has been with the station for 33 years.
However, there is one more change in the morning, and it’s the removal of longtime news anchor Mary Dixon, who did not appear Wednesday morning as noted by Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rosenthal and others:
— Phil Rosenthal (@phil_rosenthal) December 18, 2019
It turned out WXRT has eliminated her position in a cost-cutting move as Entercom officials felt the new morning show didn’t need a news anchor – and I’m certain many listeners would disagree as the banter between Dixon and Bremher is something longtime fans of the radio station appreciated.
Dixon has opted to leave Entercom, turning down an offer to join sister station WBBM-AM as a news anchor, saying it wasn’t a good fit for her and her family. Dixon has been Brehmer’s on-air partner on and off for the last two-and-a-half decades. She joined WXRT as a general news reporter in 1991, the same year Brehmer began his morning radio show and when the station was still owned by Diamond Broadcasting. Dixon also had stints at WGN-TV and CNN.
CBS/Infinity bought it and sister station WSCR-AM (The Score) in 1997. Both were acquired in Entercom’s acquisition of CBS Radio in 2017.
The moves comes after the announced semi-retirement last summer of another longtime WXRT personality, Terri Hammert after 46 years. with 27 of those years in midday. It also comes as Entercom is undergoing a major transition at the top: Jimmy deCastro departed as market manager last week and is being replaced by Rachel Williamson early in the new year.
Even though the change is jarring for most listeners for the station, Dixon isn’t complaining.
“I slept until 7:30 this morning and it was glorious”, she told the Chicago Tribune.