Chicago Media Headlines
February 2001 05.24.2015

Chicago Media Headlines - February

February 28, 2001

Hi gang - let's see - now confirmed, Metro Networks' Maura Myles has switched to mornings with Steve Downes on Bonneville's WLUP 97.9 "The Loop" - short story long...Myles' husband, Jimmy Novak, was recently promoted to evenings at the same station (reported in this column awhile back). As he moved from overnights to evenings, Myles adjusted her schedule for family reasons. You can hear her weekday mornings from 5:30-9a (and hear Jimmy weeknights from 7p-12mid).

The website that served the former WKKD-FM 95.9 "Kool 95.9" now has a new "master"...WKKD-AM 1580. The site, is up with information on the new station - calling itself "The Voice of The Fox Valley." The domain transfer happened after 95.9 FM switched to WERV-FM 95.9 "95-9 The River" a few weeks back...WERV's new site - - was registered on Monday and will be up soon...

Here's a national bit - beginning in mid-March, our favorite cast member from MTV's REAL WORLD - SEATTLE will be gracing Atlanta's airwaves on the morning drive. Lindsey [Brien] has landed the 6-10a co-hosting slot on Susquehanna's WWWQ-FM 100.5 "Q100" - Atlanta's newest CHR. No information about her on the station's website yet, but it should be interesting to see how long she lasts...You'll remember that she served time on the overnights with the rest of her cast at Seattle's KNND-FM 107.7 "The End" during the MTV show's 3-month stint...

Have a fun day - see you on Thursday!

February 27, 2001

An abbreviated column today - Here's the log of WNIB-FM 97.1 thus far (thru yesterday):

2/12 Babs
2/13 Garth
2/14 Rolling Stones
2/15 Beach Boys
2/16 Frank
2/17 All Blues
2/18 All Blues
2/19 Madonna
2/20 Pink Floyd
2/21 Motown
2/22 Boy Bands
2/23 Bruce
2/24 All Beatles
2/25 All Beatles
2/26 All TV themes

Anyone notice what format/music genre has NOT had a true representation yet? I'm sure you can all figure it out. Hope you have a great day - see you tomorrow - right here at!

February 26, 2001

Hi gang - HEY NOW! Wow, what a nice much to talk about...let's see - can anyone remember a time in Chicago when so many stations were flipping formats in the same 3-month period? Here's a recap (in sequential order):

WXCD-FM 94.7 "CD 94.7" became WZZN-FM "The Zone"
WUBT-FM 103.5 "The Beat" became WKSC-FM "Kiss 103.5"
WKKD-FM 95.9 "Kool 95.9" became WERV-FM "95-9 - The River"
WKIE-FM 92.7 "92 Kiss FM" became WKIE-FM "Energy 92-7 and 5"
WXXY-FM 103.1 "The 80's Channel" became WXXY-FM "Viva 103.1"
WNIZ-FM 96.9 "Classical 97" became WTNX-FM "The Mix" - simulcast of WTMX-FM 101.9
WNIB-FM 97.1 "Classical 97" will become WNIB-FM "???????"
WYLL-FM 106.7 "Chicago's Word" will become WYLL-FM "The Fish"
WYPA-AM 820 will go from religious to a "Sporting News Radio" sports format
WJKL-FM 94.3 will go from sports to a "K-Love" religious format
WYCA-FM 92.3 will go from religious to urban that it? Did I forget anything?

Anyone catch Art Norman, morning co-anchor at WMAQ-TV NBC-5, visiting with Kevin Matthews last Friday morning? Matthews, morning host at WZZN-FM 94.7 "The Zone," was hosting his bi-monthly live studio audience from 8-9:40a at the studio's headquarters in the Loop.

Ratings came out for Winter 2001 Phase I on Friday (data below for listeners 12+ 6a-12mid):

#1 - WGCI-FM 107.5 (6.7, down 0.1)
#2 - WGN-AM 720 "WGN Radio 720" (5.7, down 0.5)
#3 - WBBM-FM 96.3 "B96" (5.4, down 0.2)
Of note, WNND-FM 100.3 "Windy 100" (3.0, up 0.1) finally edged out competitor WLIT-FM 93.9 "Lite Rock 93.9" (2.8, down 0.4)...also, congrats to WLEY-FM 107.9 "La Ley" (3.3, up 0.5) - they had the largest jump of any station on the survey.

Speaking of "The Zone" - their website,, is now up and running 100%! A little busy (and cumbersome for slow computers), but fun nonetheless...

With last month's demise of WXXY-FM 103.1 "The Eighties Channel," Shadow/Metro employee Marti Jones has switched to afternoon traffic on WTMX/WTNX-FM 101.9/96.9 "The Mix" with Dave Fogel. She previously conversed with Fred Winston, former afternoon personality at WXXY-FM. No word yet on where Maura Myles (former afternoon traffic reporter at "The Mix") has landed...

That's it - I'm still keeping track of WNIB-FM 97.1 and their artist "showcases" - look for an up-to-date log tomorrow. Have a great day!

Feb. 19 - Feb. 23, 2001

Hi all - sorry for the late post. The column is taking a break this week - enjoy WNIB-FM 97.1 and their daily showcase of different artists (it was Frank Sinatra Friday, Blues all weekend, Madonna today...) - look for the new format around March 15th - expect the unexpected (with formats, calls, frequencies, you name it!). If anything comes up this week that you want to discuss, drop us a note! Have a great week!

February 16, 2001

Look for Dick Vitale to make a special appearance Sat. morning at ESPN ZONE in River North (he's in town to call the DePaul-UCLA game Saturday on ABC). The restaurant is hosting the first birthday party of a Wisconsin baby named Espen in honor of the ESPN network. What were those parents thinking? What about regular names like John, Matt, Steve, or Bob?

Keeping the log rolling...Bonneville's WNIB-FM 97.1 had Beach Boys fever on Thursday...updates from the weekend on Monday morning...

If you get a chance, head out to the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place this weekend. Several radio stations - including WUSN-FM 99.5 "US 99," WTMX/WNIZ-FM 101.9/96.9 "The Mix," WZZN-FM 94.7 "The Zone," and others - will be on hand to promote their sponsors, broadcast live, and hand out freebies. The Auto Show runs through Sunday night at 10p!

Finally, thanks for the note from WJ in Milwaukee - apparently, the new WNIZ-FM 96.9 "The Mix" (simulcasted from 101.9 FM) can be heard with crystal-clear quality in Waukesha (a NW suburb of Milwaukee) and downtown MLW. Entercom (the owner of WMYX-FM 99.1 "The Mix 99WMYX") should definitely be a little worried...

Have a great weekend - see you Monday morning!

February 15, 2001

Interesting items today...WTMX-FM 101.9 "The Mix" is currently offering an "exclusive" chance for two listeners to win a trip to Las Vegas to see Bon fly out there - see a Bon Jovi concert LIVE (while standing on stage with the group) - then get married at 12midnight while Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora serenade you. The twist to the exclusivity - "The Mix" isn't the only station doing this. WMBX-FM 102.3 "Mix 102.3" in West Palm Beach is offering the same contest for the same time period. See here for more on this. The deal...several radio station listeners nationwide win passes to the concert, several stand on the side of the stage during the show (similar to their AllState Arena show back in November) and then Bon Jovi/Sambora serenade the MASS wedding at 12midnight. Happy trails...

Second interesting note - WKSC-FM 103.5 "Kiss 103.5" has Valentine as their syndicated morning host from 5-10a. Although his taped bits allude to his show being "live" in Chicago, it is well known that his main gig is afternoon driver for KIIS-FM 102.7 "Kiss FM" in Los Angeles. However, he also syndicates a morning show for KFMD-FM 95.7 "95.7 Kiss FM" in Denver from 6-10a - see here for details. NOTE: Both stations are owned by Clear Channel Communications.

Lastly, WKKD-FM 95.9 "The River" has registered new calls as of February 7th - WERV-FM.

That's it...have a good Thursday - see you tomorrow!

February 14, 2001

Congrats to listener "Tanya" on Kevin Matthews' morning show at WZZN-FM 94.7 "The Zone" - she won the contest "You Can't Win" yesterday morning at 9:35a...the contest is a parody of other Chicago stations' eagerness to constantly give away prizes to their listeners. Tanya correctly answered five obscure, difficult questions - and is now planning her trip to Maui. It should be noted that the contest (the 2nd run) began in late October and has been played two times each morning since (not bad when it takes over 3 months to get a winner). The 3rd run of the contest (now three times each morning) began this morning. Good luck...

Another day - another artist is keeping a log of all artists to be used in the stunting of WNIB-FM 97.1 - today it's the Rolling Stones. Look for a new format coming next month - I'll have it here first (thanks to L for the tip)...

Confirmed by Feder this morning, reported here earlier - WNIZ-FM 96.9 is now a permanent simulcast of WTMX-FM 101.9 "The Mix" - not sure how this affects WMYX-FM 99.1 "The Mix 99WMYX" in Milwaukee (as Chicago's "Mix" now extends more than 120 miles through Illinois and Wisconsin to the south end of Milwaukee) in reference to the Arbitron books...we'll have to see how that pans out.

Finally, Mancow Muller has reportedly been dropped from another affiliate - WLUM-FM 102.1 "Rock 102.1" in Milwaukee. Not sure since he's still on their website, but I'm waiting to hear back from a contact up there...I'll let you know.

Have a great Valentine's Day - see you tomorrow!

February 13, 2001

Pulling out all the stops - Bonneville's WNIB-FM 97.1 is now giving WUSN-FM 99.5 "US 99" a run for its money - if only for a day. Sadly, Babs is gone and Garth is here...this stunting is one of the more memorable radio moments in recent Chicago history. Look for a new format announcement tomorrow...

Find it interesting that WTMX-FM 101.9/96.9 personalities didn't mention the new frequency on the air yesterday? Not to worry - the newly-added calls (WNIZ-FM) are ID'ed at :50 past each hour - and the expanded listening area is showcased on the web.

The Jonathon Brandmeier website is back...sort-of. The listener-run message board is back in action at, with further speculation of the former WCKG-FM 105.9 midday's next move. Stay tuned...

Interested to know who billed the most money in Chicago last year? WGN-AM? WGCI-FM? Nope - it was none other than our favorite country station...WUSN-FM 99.5 "US 99." The good folks over there billed just over $46 million in 2000 - yet they couldn't come to salary terms with 10-year veteran "Ramblin' Ray" Stevens just a few weeks ago.

Just for kicks - the #1 biller in the nation was KIIS-FM 102.7 "Kiss 102.7" in L.A. - home of Rick Dees mornings and Valentine afternoons (syndicated here mornings at WKSC-FM 103.5 "Kiss 103.5")...they billed just over $66 million in revenue last year. Unreal!

Have a fun day - see you tomorrow!<

February 12, 2001

For those of you who wrote us this weekend - the column was out on Friday because WE were out! I mentioned that at the tail end of Thursday's insert below...anyway, welcome back. Good morning/afternoon - due to some tech. issues, columns are being posted later in the day now - I'll let you know when we're back to normal.

The biggest news from the weekend - WNIB/WNIZ-FM transferred ownership to Bonneville Intl. Corp. at 12:01a this morning. WNIB-FM 97.1 went dead - to static - to Barbra Streisand NON-STOP (stunting before the new format debut). As of now, they're still showcasing BABS - no new station ID's or calls yet. On the other side, WNIZ-FM 96.9 is now simulcasting the signal of WTMX-FM 101.9 "The Mix." On the hourly station ID's, as well as listed at WTMX's website, Bonneville is promoting the "Mix" signal as reaching from Chicagoland through the southern suburbs of Milwaukee. I'll let you know when something happens with the signal of 97.1 FM.

Looking for updates on former radio personalities from the now-defunct "WXXY-FM 103.1 The Eighties Channel?" Log onto Jeffrey T. Mason's website (he's the new night guy at WZZN-FM 94.7 "The Zone") at - it has all the info. on his new gig, as well as where some of his former colleagues have landed (including Robert Murphy, Fred Winston, Lyn Taylor, and others). Take a look around...(on a side note, WZZN-FM's website is still waiting to go 100% live - I'll keep you posted)...

Look for WUBT-FM 103.5 "Kiss 103.5" to change calls this week. Borrowing the same letters from an AM outlet of Kershaw Broadcasting in South Carolina, Clear Channel will change their CHR format calls to WKSC-FM tomorrow night at 12mid...

Hope you have a great Monday - see you tomorrow - right here at!

February 8, 2001

Hi guys - appears that Robert Murphy's homecoming to West Palm Beach, FL isn't all that rosy. Turns out that WMBX-FM 102.3 "Mix 102.3" has received hundreds of letters, faxes, and e-mails from its outraged listeners - they're quite upset over the recent, unannounced firing of the "Mo and Sally" morning show last Friday (in order to make way for Murphy). Mo and Sally had been on the air for 2 years - click here to see the station's response to their listeners, here to see the old morning show webpages (which are hidden from the "Mix 102.3" site now - but I found them!), or here to see Mo and Sally's response to their fans. I think the whole thing is comparable to the abrupt departure of "Wendy and Bill" from WKQX-FM 101.1 "Q101" a few years ago - remember?...

Did anyone catch David Novarro and Tamron Hall (of WFLD-TV Fox-32's "Fox News in the Morning") chatting live this morning with Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart (morning co-hosts at WTMX-FM 101.9 "The Mix")? Fox-32 joined "The Mix" live in the studio, with taped video shots of Ferguson's and Hart's Chicago-area homes as well...

Rumors have been grumbling that WCKG-FM 105.9 might be in limbo - with it's midday host out the door (Jonathon Brandmeier) and it's afternoon host without a contract soon (Steve Dahl), could a format change be in the air? A possible FM music station after Howard Stern's 6-11a syndicated morning show? Stay tuned...

Have you seen Shanesia "Shane" Williams, formerly of WBBM-TV CBS-2's "Early Edition," starring in "Bee-luther-hatchee" at the Northlight Theatre in Skokie? You'll remember she recently played the blind companion to Kyle Chandler on the canceled CBS drama.

Finally, launched last Monday at 5p, Fox Sports Net debuted a new series devoted to Chicago high-school basketball players. The first episode of "Preps" focused on Eddy Curry, a star player at THORNWOOD.

The column's out to lunch tomorrow - see you Monday - right here at!

February 7, 2001

Sorry for the late posting. First - congrats to Kathy Hart, morning co-host at WTMX-FM 101.9 "The Mix" - she and her husband Bert are expecting their second child in July, right around the time that co-host Eric Ferguson and his wife Jen are expecting their first kids - twins. Talk about material for the show...

Some old friends leaving town - check out Rock 105 to see their newest afternoon personality - Patti Haze. The former afternoon driver for WXCD-FM 94.7 "CD 94.7" (before their format switch) will broadcast from 3-7p weekdays on Jacksonville, Florida's WFYV-FM 104.5 "Rock 105." We wish her well (she served Chicago for over 20 years)....

How in the world? Robert Murphy does it again - after lackluster ratings and a failed "coming-out-of-retirement" bid here at WXXY-FM 103.1, Murphy is the new morning host at Mix 102.3 in West Palm Beach, FL. It should be noted that Murphy left a rival WPB station just over 2 years ago to return "home" to Chicago. He'll be broadcasting weekday mornings from 5-9a on WMBX-FM 102.3 "Mix 102.3" beginning in late February. The new "Murphy in the Morning" site is up at the new station as well - check it out.

Finally, look for WNUA-FM 95.5 "Chicago's Smooth Jazz" to switch locations for their "Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch" beginning this weekend. Broadcast every Sunday from 9a-2p, the brunch will now originate from the Swissotel's 43rd floor Edelweiss Penthouse on East Wacker (they had been previously held at the Chicago Hilton & Towers). If you're in the mood, join WNUA-FM downtown on Sunday morning for food, jazz, and a view...

Have a great day - see you tomorrow!

February 6, 2001

Hey everyone - I'd like to welcome our new readers - anyway...word has it that the full website for WZZN-FM 94.7 "The Zone" should be up and running by Friday. Keep checking back to - I'll let you know if anything else comes up...

Anyone catch Lin Brehmer, morning personality at WXRT-FM 93.1, at the annual Chicago's Best Wing Fest downtown on Sunday? Brehmer, along with other Chicago media personalities, acted as a judge in the event that benefited the Chicago chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Fund.

If you noticed the traffic jam at State & Wacker last night, no worries...Joan Cusack was just filming the intro. to her ABC sitcom - yet to be named. Look for the show's premiere later this month, following "Dharma & Greg." Thank God Cusack is replacing "The Geena Davis Show."

Finally, happy belated birthday to Steve Sanders, WGN-TV's 9p newscast co-anchor. He turned 52 on Saturday. Hope you guys have a good day - catch you tomorrow right here!

February 5, 2001

Happy National Weatherman's Day (congrats to Paul, Tom, Tracy, Byron, etc.)...further updates on WYLL-FM and WYLL-AM. WYLL-FM 106.7 "The Fish" will debut Feb. 21st with 40 days and 40 nights of commercial-free music (catchy start for the format, huh?) call letters and airstaff will be installed for the new FM format at the end of the 40 days - all current airstaff of the FM talk format will follow over to the 1160 AM dial on Feb. 21st as well. I'll keep you posted of anything else...

Rumor has it that Buzz Kilman and Wendy Snyder will get the permanent nod from management for the midday program at WCKG-FM 105.9 - interesting since Snyder already does a steady weekend/fill-in gig at WZZN-FM 94.7 "The Zone." WCKG is currently using the intro "Welcome back to the Temporary Buzz Kilman Show - it could be here for a while." Additionally, when Brandmeier left "The Loop" years ago, Kilman continued solo for over a year. No official word yet from WCKG - I'll let you know...

Finally, facing [what appears to be] a lot of opposition from its fans, WUSN-FM 99.5 "US 99" has issued a press release regarding its recent line-up changes, encouraging fans to stick around and support the station. Click here for the statement - also noted, "Left Lane Lorraine," one of the station's favorite traffic personalities, has left Shadow/Metro Networks to pursue other opportunities. Thus, WUSN is also apologizing to their fans for her departure - no fear, I'm sure someone is eagerly waiting to grab her permanent slot.

Have a fun day - see you tomorrow.

February 2, 2001

Hey everybody - WZZN-FM 94.7 "The Zone" has already hosted their first concert (The Romantics @ the House of Blues a couple of weeks ago) - now, their first live remote. The interesting part - the first DJ remote is not even one of the station's weekday personalities. This Saturday from 5-10p, join Brooke Hunter, weekend personality, at ESPN Zone downtown for music, games, food, and ZONE prizes. Hunter normally broadcasts on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

It is official - Salem has taken the reigns at WYLL-AM 1160. The station began simulcasting their WYLL-FM 106.7 "Chicago's Word" talk format yesterday at 4p - the switchover of it's FM format to a Christian CHR "The Fish" should happen in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted.

Lots of speculation around town as to the new format to be installed at WNIB-FM 97.1 once Bonneville completes their purchase February 12th. I've heard everything from Soft AC (softer than Bonneville's WTMX and WNND), Active Rock (to compete with WKQX-FM 101.1 "Q101"), and Standards (Barry Manilow, Streisand, etc.). Any thoughts? Drop us a line with your feedback!

Hope you have a great weekend. See you Monday - right here at!

February 1, 2001

Hi gang - let's see...have you had a chance to notice the new set over at WLS-TV ABC-7? The set is used for all newcasts and presents a "fresher" look for the station. I, on the other hand, can only think of "blue" when I see it. What do you think?

Look for Chicago's own Charlie Trotter back on the TV starting this Saturday. Trotter's "Kitchen Sessions" returns to WTTW-TV PBS-11 each Saturday at 2:30p. Tune in for his favorite dishes, cooking tips and more...

Anyone see Joni Young filling in for WGN-TV Ch. 9's Robin Baumgarten earlier this week? While Baumgarten was out, Young flew in SkyCam 9, allowing a fill-in to do her morning shift at WKIE-FM 92.7 "Energy 92-7 & 5."

Confirmed this morning by Feder - reported here weeks ago - WYLL-FM 106.7 "Chicago's Word" will officially become "106.7 The Fish" when Salem completes the sale of WXRT-AM 1160 in a week or so. The talk format will switch over to 1160 (with the same call letters), while "The Fish" will be a Christian CHR format. No word yet on airstaff...stay tuned.

Hope you have a great day. See you tomorrow morning!