Thursday, November 29, 2012

It’s A New Morning For B96, KISS-FM In Chicago

With the departure of Julian NiehWBBM-FM / B96 is retooling its mornings around former sidekick Jamar McNeil (known on the air as J Niice). According to PD Todd Cavanah, J Niice recently agreed to a multiyear contract renewal with the station is now the host of a morning show built entirely around him and renamed The J Show.

“The goal of the show is to highlight J’s experiences and his life,” Cavanah Robert Feder at “He’s got so many interests and so much to offer that we think that the women will say: ‘I want my boyfriend — or I want my husband — to be just like J Niice.’ This is really going to give him an opportunity to shine and open up the show a little more.” 

Cavanah adds North Shore native and Medill journalism grad Michelle Menaker (aka Showbiz Shelly) will remain a key player on the show, with an expanded role planned for Gabriel Ramirez, the technical board operator known as Producer Gabe. “I think this is a great opportunity for everybody to kind of step up to our expectations and to actually grow in their character development.”

Feder writes, it’s all being watched closely at rival Top 40 Kiss FM, Clear Channel’s WKSC-FM (103.5). Morning duo Christopher Frederick (aka Brotha’ Fred) and Angi Taylor have been gaining on J Niice & Julian since Brotha’ Fred’s Neighborhood debuted two years ago. According to Arbitron ratings released Tuesday, the two morning shows are about as close as can be: Among listeners between 18 and 49, B96 ranks seventh and Kiss FM ranks eighth.

Tony Coles, vice president of programming and operations for Clear Channel Chicago, points to another measure in Arbitron — cumulative weekly audience — noting that Kiss FM scored for the 11th straight time as “the most listened-to morning show in Chicago.” In the 18-to-49 demo, Kiss FM boasts a weekly cume of 432,400 to B96’s 429,400.

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