Thursday, June 7, 2018

Chicago Radio: Changes Set For WGN AM

WGN 720 AM has announced that Chicago’s very own Justin Kaufmann will join the weekday morning Steve Cochran Show. The show’s cast will include Kaufmann, Dave Eanet, Mary Sandberg Boyle, Steve Grzanich, Mary Van De Velde, Joe Romano and Pete Zimmerman.

Andrea Darlas will join Patti Vasquez as co-host and news anchor of The Patti Vasquez Show with Andrea Darlas, weekdays from 7pm to 11pm, or 10pm to 1am when preempted by sports play-by-play.

“Our nights will be filled with intelligent conversations about the stuff that matters from two very compelling born and bred Chicago women,” said Todd Manley Station Manager and Vice President of Content.

Steve Cochran said, “I have mixed emotions. I’ll miss Andrea but I’m excited for her and Patti. And it will be great to have Justin on the show. He’s smart, funny, and inexplicably willing to get up at a ridiculous hour.”

In addition, The Nick Digilio Show will be expanded by one-hour, starting at 1am. The Download with Justin Kaufmann will continue to release new shows on demand through iTunes and

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, Chicago Media watcher Robert Feder notes WGN dropped to 22nd place with a 2.0 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 578,100. Cochran’s morning show tied for 15th with a 2.6 share and 211,300 weekly cume. Among listeners between 35 and 64 — WGN’s target demo — the station also ranked 22nd with a 1.7 share, and Cochran’s morning show tied for 20th with a 1.8 share.

Todd Manley, station manager and vice president of content at WGN, acknowledged the ratings problem but said it was not the impetus for the realignment.

Effective Monday, June 18, 2018, WGN Radio’s weekday programming schedule is:
  • The Opening Bell, 5am – 6am
  • Steve Cochran Show, 6am – 10am
  • Bill and Wendy Show, 10am – Noon and streaming Noon – 1pm
  • Wintrust Business Lunch with Steve Bertrand, Noon – 1pm
  • John Williams Show, 1pm – 3pm
  • Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, 3pm – 7pm
  • The Patti Vasquez Show with Andrea Darlas, 7pm – 11pm*
  • Nick Digilio Show, 1am – 5am
*When preempted by sports play-by-play, Pretty Late with Patti Vasquez and Andrea Darlas airs 10pm – 1am.

More Changes:

The news-talk station will soon vacate its longtime home in Tribune Tower as it prepares for new ownership as part of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s pending acquisition of parent company Tribune Media.

With Tribune Tower sold for redevelopment, WGN Radio is leaving behind its street-level studio on North Michigan Avenue and relocating one block south to an 18th-floor perch at 303 E. Wacker Drive. Target date for the completed move is June 15.

Meanwhile, Tribune Media’s proposed $3.9 billion sale to Sinclair, a conservative Maryland-based TV station group that also owns four Seattle radio stations, is projected to close this summer.

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