John Williams

John Williams Says Goodbye

John Williams says goodbye and shares memories of the best times he had at WGN AM 720 with his staff during the  final hour of his final show.

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192 Comments to “John Williams Says Goodbye”

    CM Boileve said:
    December 21, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Thank you John Williams. All the good people are gone that made me laugh, especially when I woke up through the past years, and now the last that put a smile on my face is gone. How sad. Well, the wgn that I know is gone. Until the station normalized and stop converting to shock jock station, I'll turn to NPR at 101.5 fm. I never thought I would do that. But, for right now, WBEZ is the lesser of 2 evils. Sorry, WGN, sorry. Bring Leff to the morning slot, and I'll come back. Bring Steve Cochran back, and I'll come back.

      ingrid said:
      December 22, 2012 at 12:16 AM

      I agree with you- I am doing the same

        Joan said:
        December 22, 2012 at 3:04 AM

        Me too! I have been grieving for a few years now … now it's over for me!!! John is the only one I have been listening to during daytime … now I'm finished with WGN.
        I've become a Sirius XM listener most of the time …. and now after today it will be FULL TIME!!

        Dave said:
        December 22, 2012 at 8:59 AM

        Here here. I've been a Sirrus /Xm listener since the big fall of WGN started, now that John is gone. the only one worth listen is Bill Leff that I wake up to. At 5:30 it's XM except at noon till 3:00 and back to XM

      Mat said:
      December 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      I'm sorry, but I think Bill Leff is as exciting as paint drying. I like Brandmeier & Meier. I miss Spike and I will miss John. Good luck John!

      Margaret said:
      January 2, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      I agree 100%.

    Kathleen Harty said:
    December 21, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Miss you John. You did great. Chicago won't be the same without you. You were the best WGN had, Good luck and keep in touch.

    pmills said:
    December 21, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    So sorry to see John go, WGN has finally hit rock bottom. please bring back the people who made this station great. At least people like them. I know Spike won't come back. Love to hear Steve and Johnnie again. And, of course, Kathy and Judy. I really do like Bill Leff. He would be good for morning instead of the goof who is there now.

      Walt Soderstrom said:
      December 22, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      So very true… Bill Leff is good and would make a wonderful change from hyper
      Brandmeier.. What a terrible choice he was…

        Phyllis Doyle said:
        December 27, 2012 at 4:25 PM

        Agree — bring on Bill Leff and save the morning!

      Rick Maynard said:
      January 10, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      I agree. With all of the changes made I no longer have any allegience to WGN. I do not care for
      any of the new personalities except for Gary.
      Unfortunately, I do not tune in to WGN anymore after listening for 30 years.

    jeanie said:
    December 21, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    glad that WGN posted this since i missed the show today. John Williams is the best radio personality, so sad to see him go. WGN has now lost me as a listener, if they every bring Bill Leff to daytime, I might come back, but can't stand any of the other personalities.

    Beth said:
    December 21, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    It is a very sad day. First Kathy and Judy and now John Williams. No reason to listen to WGN anymore.

    BECKY said:
    December 21, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    MET JOHN WILLIAMS AT A CUBS CONVENTION. HE WAS VERY DOWN TO EARTH AND WILLING TO SIGN AN AUTOGRAPH. YOU WILL TRULY BE MISSED JOHN. ALSO SAW YOUR PICTURE AT STACKS. CAN SEE HOW YOU'VE AGED. GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS BECKY

      Michael said:
      December 31, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      I met John , and Steve & Johnnie and Dean Richards John was a class dude ( actually they all were class acts. ) They took pictures with me. and all autographed my Spike Hat. I will be listening to John on the internet as much as I can.

    Carul said:
    December 21, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    John, I will miss you. Since Kathy and Judy left , Wgn went downhill in a hurry. You were my one favorite.

    Linda said:
    December 21, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    The line-up on WGN is really bad especially the morning goof. No Steve & Johnny for late night and now no John Williams or Milt Rosenberg. I don't know what audience WGN is trying to attract but it certainly is not me.

    Ron said:
    December 21, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    My years with WGN go all the way back to Eddie Hubbard, followed by Wally, Uncle Bobby, Spike, and John, and throw in some Kathy and Judy. The glory days are gone forever. I'm a senior citizen and so not in the demographic that WGN is trying to attract. John was my last tie to the station. I agree about Bill Leff. Put him on in the morning! John, thanks for great memories. I'll catch you on the Internet since I'll now have time on my hands.

      Pat said:
      December 22, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      I too go way back on WGN and I am also a senior citizen. There are no stations for us anymore. These new people that are trying to be funny are anything but, they are repulsive. About the only thing I will listen to now is Saturday morning. Haven't heard Bill Leff but would welcome something other than what is on daytime WGN

      Austin said:
      December 22, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      Also long-time listener. I agree…..put Bill Leff on in the AM. Mike McConnell is somewhat like John in that he is very intelligent and can talk about most anything……give him a try….you might like him.

      veronica said:
      December 29, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      I agree with Ron and all that are sorry that we have lot John William, I also miss all those that Ron mentioned. I can't listen to the morning goof off either. But I do like Dean Richards, Steve Burtran, the sports guys and Andrea, Leslie, Tom Skilling, Garry Meier. But the morning drive guy should go. I just can't listen to him, I've tried, but just can't stomach him any more. He isn't what WGN stands for. Bill left seems to be a good fit, maybe he should be replacing the morning guy. John, thanks for all the good years that you did give us, you are already missed. God Bless, you and your family, I loved hearing about your boys throught out the years, and all the goofey things you did also. Never will forget you running in underwear with Christmas lights, lit up. Thanks for the memories.
      Love you.

        nathanielstubblefield said:
        January 14, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        As a 30 year old who listened to WGN for the last 15 years I've left the station behind as well. The writing was on the wall when Spike chose to get out while the getting was good. Outside of Cubs and Blackhawks I have no reason to listen to GN anymore either. It's only too bad that we lost Ronnie a few years ago too. There was a time when I never took the dial off of 720, now unless its hockey or baseball I rarely ever stop there anymore.

    David said:
    December 21, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    John was the last one left worth listening to. After 30+ years it good by WGN. Already got John's new station bookmarked on my computer, I'll be listening there often.

      Kate said:
      December 25, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      David, how do I get John's new station bookmarked on my computer? He and Milt Rosenberg were/are those voices speaking out in the wilderness. You are absolutely correct that John was the last one left worth listening to onWGN. Jim Dowdle was quite influtential in keeping high standards at WGN. Many ask what can we do about "this world we live in"…we always have the right to not listen, not attend, not watch…we, too, can be those
      Voices in this wilderness". Kate

    Julie said:
    December 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    The last voice on WGN worth listening to. Spike, Kathy and Judy, Steve Cochran and now John Williams are all gone. None of the great ones left. Need to find another station. Really has gone down hill quickly.

      Cornelia said:
      January 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      yes, my sentiments exactly. 100%!!! Switched over to Sirius Radio full time. No reason to listen to WGN anymore!

    Nancy Wanber said:
    December 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    John Williams the only liberal I ever liked! Our loss leaves many listeners—alone w/o someone as kind & funny & serious & goofy as JW. Does this mean no more TJ ? Oh John—there is no bright side w/o you.Well, maybe if Kathy & Judy came back even for an hour (noon to 1 pm). God Bless You and know you will be missed & loved.

    Lynn said:
    December 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Best to you and the family in the north country. You have always been in the elite with Wally, Bob and Spike. You WILL be missed.

    Jeri Lindrum said:
    December 21, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    I wish you loads of good luck; you deserve all the best, John. I have enjoyed many years. …with memories
    of your last broadcast as I was crying. I will miss you every day !!!!!

    Karen said:
    December 21, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    I wish you and your family happiness, health and success in your new adventure in life. You will be missed but I will always remember all I learned from you and how much I enjoyed your show and your laugh.

    Jan said:
    December 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    How dumb can you be…put WGN Gold back up!!

    Peggy Lindberg said:
    December 21, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    John, can I tell you how many times I sat in the car in a parking lot somewhere to listen to an interview or take notes on something you were discussing, or laugh along with you, before getting on with 'the list.' Even today, I sat (in the car, in the parking lot) and noted the favorite apps. segment.
    I have been a faithful follower of yours since the beginning. You entertain, inform, and humor us. Your insightful interviews are noteworthy. WCCO is fortunate to have you all to themselves.
    Thanks for the great words about Beth, she is the best and has only just begun. It's fitting that you leave together.
    Okay, about that segment when you were talking about your 'radio' name and how they strapped you with John Williams….so what is your given name?
    Indeed! Very Happy Exhale Day to you and Brenda. Well deserved and job well done.
    Peggy

    Bob said:
    December 21, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Minnesota Nice and John Williams – a perfect match!

    I'll miss you on WGN but will listen to you on WCCO whenever I go back home for a visit.

    Bill said:
    December 21, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Thanks for the great shows, John Williams. And good bye WGN, Nothing left worth listening to, especially that dumb ass from 5:30 AM-9. That spot should belong to Bill Leff.

      Pat said:
      December 24, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      Boy, you can say that again! That guy annoys me to now end. As soon as I hear his voice the station gets switched.

        Vicky said:
        January 30, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        Amen- as soon as I hear that annoying voice, it's time to switch the station!

    Kirsten said:
    December 21, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Love, love, love this guy. I'm fine with everything at WGN, but I'll tune in to John in MN anyway. Best of luck to Beth, who is just awesome!!

    Melanie said:
    December 21, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    John Williams…loved your show when I could catch it over all these years. Best of luck in MN. Just don't be cheering for the Vikings too loudly. I may be tuning in to your new station from time to time. My computer is never very far away.

    Karen said:
    December 21, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Good luck John as you begin work in MN. I hope that everything works out for you and your family while there. You are the last of the good guys at WGN. Now I need to find a new station to listen to every day.

    Jacki said:
    December 21, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Listened to you in Peoria with Dan and followed you to WGN, guess I'll have to go internet to catch you now…. sorry to see you leave Illinois and our dial frequency. Best of luck in MN!

    Denny Flanagan said:
    December 21, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Thank you John Williams. Being a Cheesehead didn't stop me from listening to you since your first day on WGN. I knew then that WGN had a star on their hands! There are very few "radio personalities" who can match your wit and wisdom while truly appreciating their audience like you do. Someone once said to "go out while you're still on top". Well John, you're number one in my ratings book! I look forward to listening to you via the Internet at your new northern home. The WGN setting on my various home and car radios will be less frequently used. Thank you John Williams!!!

    Pryde said:
    December 21, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Good luck John, like everyone said it was you and spike and now nothing left. Like everyone else I would sit in the car and finish listening, you are one of the great ones,and will be missed. WGN is getting harder to listen too, I will look you up on the internet.

      Helen Aden said:
      December 22, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      Good luck John. You will be missed. I've been listening to WGN for 40 years and the station is less and less of what I enjoy. Put Bill Leff on in the AM.
      Helen Aden

    Tom said:
    December 21, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Good Luck to you John. Will miss your show. But I must admit, I am thrilled Steve and Johnnie are gone.

    Mahesh said:
    December 21, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    i have listened to WGN for last many years and will miss John.This afternoon I was able to listen John last time just for last few minutes. I do like Bill but I could listen to Bill just for 15 to 20 minutes. Good luck and best wishes to John. There is nothing for me at GN anymore.

    Kirsten said:
    December 21, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Will miss you John but just found out I can listen to you on my ipad. I think you will have a huge following! Hey WGN!… If Kathy and Judy would fill John's spot, that would be awesome! Or Nick Digilio…love listening to him but he's on too late….

    Nancy Rosman said:
    December 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Hey John:

    All things change but all change isn't necesarily for the better ..You've been part of the era when WGN was truly part of our family's family. I think you for the conversation, humor, challenging intellect and mostly for the company. The come as you are, take what you may, and give only if you want to kind of company. Sadly for me, WGN has moved more and more from a class act to the land of the crass, the brash, and the boring. I feel lonely already thinking about that hole in the airways…….and I'm greatful for the internet. The best to you and yours …..and a heartfelt THANK YOU……

    Dale said:
    December 21, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    I will miss you a lot as well Mr. Williams. You were the one who made me listen to WGN during the afternoons rather than listening to sports radio. I'm not sure if you would like that comparison or not. But I thought in the minimal amount of time you talked about sports. You gave a lot more sense. As well as with everything you talked about. You as I know are a good person. : )

      Dale said:
      December 21, 2012 at 10:43 PM

      i wrote that wrong because my wife walked in? guessing you can't change mistakes on this? Ugh…well I enjoyed listening to you a lot more than the sports radio guys. You gave a lot better perspective on things! Even sports! i hope the best for you and your family!

    UNKNOWN said:
    December 21, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    All the good radio personalities are gone from wgn what’s next the Cubs N’western sports and the hawks. Bring back Ext. 720 with a new host. i MIGHT COME BACK

    Sharon Davern said:
    December 21, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Good luck, John, I will so miss you. I just don't understand why WGN couldn't do something to make your decision go our way! I certainly get why you need to go to just one show a day though. I know you will do great and I wish you and your family a wonderful life in Minn. (What name will you use?)

    Monica said:
    December 21, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Listening to John William in the afternoon was like getting together with a friend each day. The coversation was always interesting and I enjoyed his perpective on that day's news topics. I will listen to John Wiilams on the internet at his MN station. Wishing John the best for him & his family.

    Leslie said:
    December 21, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    I really enjoyed listening to John Williams in the afternoon. I wouldn't even turn my radio on until noon because there was garbage spewing from the radio before then. Now, the only person worth listening to is Garry Meier. John, I wish you and your family all the best. You will be missed.

    I really wonder if the "powers that be" are reading this or just ignoring it.

    Nikki Y. said:
    December 21, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    King John, you will be missed! You made each workday afternoon go by quickly. I will especially miss "the bright side" where you gave so many people the chance to brag about the special things in their lives. You are a class act who never complained about the crummy treatment you endured during the "crazy time" of the past few years at WGN. Good luck with this new chapter in your life. And Beth, good luck to you, I hope to hear from you again in Chicago media. You were fun with Kathy & Judy and even better with John.

    Michelle said:
    December 21, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Love you John! You will be missed. Best wishes to you and your family for continued success.You are a very special person. Thank you. My children have grown up with you.

    Terri said:
    December 21, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    John I won't have to worry what radio channel I listen to because WGN 720 is off my radar. I think the "new listening experience" is really just a new version of "Reality TV" It's all crap!! You deserve better management and listeners deserve better than what WGN is giving them. God speed

    Sandra Lawless said:
    December 22, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    I couldn’t agree more with all the comments. What a loss to the station. I can’t help but think If he had been treated better, his decision would have been different. I don’t blame him for a minute and I certainly wish John the best. Without John, Garry is all I have left. That narrows my potential WGN window considerably. Mornings are certainly NOT at option; I can’t even stand the sound of his voice (and I do mean 9:00 to Noon). I’ll be searching my dial for other possibilities. Hopefully, management is paying attention to the reaction of the listeners. After all, we keep WGN on the air.

    Pat said:
    December 22, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Good luck to you John Williams, I miss you already. You were the bright side of my day. I loved listening to your great stories which unlike other people on WGN everything was not always about you. You are so smart to leave the sinking ship. How lucky you are to also be leaving Illinois.

    mdwalker31 said:
    December 22, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    I could not listen live so I just listened now. I gave a loud round of applause to my computer as John finished! What a class act, as we all knew already. Chicago, WGN, and all of us who have listened will have a hole to fill. Both from 12-3 but also inside all of us. Long live the King (John) and all the best to John in Minnesota and Beth in her future path, wherever it takes her.

    patrick said:
    December 22, 2012 at 4:10 AM

    will miss king john

    Edie Davis said:
    December 22, 2012 at 5:38 AM

    John – Good luck in new position – you will be missed what a gem you were at WGN. It just isn't the same with all the good people leaving the station.

    What will happen to Thomas Jefferson? I listen to his podcasts but will miss the personal appearances unless someone else takes over. We go back a long way – remember Thomas at Navy Pier. It was the start of a good thing.

    Only Max and Orion are left – wonder how long that will last???

    Take care and keep safe.

    Mark said:
    December 22, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    I’ve been a listener of WGN Radio for 35 years. Many days I have heard several hours of your broadcast. I now listen to Orion, Max and Lou. That is all. It is a shame you have gutted your great line up of people. Now, with the absence of Cathy and Judy, Steve and Johnnie, Steve C., Rick C., Milt R. and especially John Williams, to name a few, I will listen to 820, 670 and NPR. Thanks a lot! I now know why Bob Collins called you “Manglement.”

    Kathy said:
    December 22, 2012 at 6:42 AM

    Good luck John. Will miss you. Have been a long time WGN listener but with all the changes they lost me. Bill Leff is the only one left worth listening to.

    Terri said:
    December 22, 2012 at 6:58 AM

    I would love to see John Williams, Steve Cochran, Kathy and Judy, Milt Rosenberg, Dave Stewart, Lou Manfredini, Dean Richards, the traffic, news and sports teams start up their own station! They would be number 1 right out of the box. Someone, PLEASE consider it for all of our sake!

    M C H said:
    December 22, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    John, I'm certainly going to miss you except when I tune in to WCCO on the web. The thing is you will also be missed by the Salvation Army,the Rev on the Roof, animals that got their air conditioning back as well as a food pantry that got loads of peanut butter. There seems to be no one left on WGN that gets involved and cares except maybe LOU and we'll see how long it takes management to drive him away. Best of luck John to you and your family and may we here you again in Chicago some day.

    Barb said:
    December 22, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    Such a loss for Chicago, for WGN. The station has truly hit rock bottom. Lou Manfredini, the only one worth listening to. Even Milt Rosenberg with all his expertise on so many things is totally off his trolley when it comes to politics. John and Lou….good people. Will miss John very much. Good luck to you, John.

    Earl Zwicker said:
    December 22, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    I agree with all the above. The only one left is Orion Samuelson. Just bought his book; two in fact, one to give my brother for Christmas. Get rid of the current morning person- not much intellect there. I started with Eddie Hubbard also, but WGN is going down the tubes.Used to listen to John Williams on the PM drive. Wally Phillips mornings. I'm 86 years old now, retired physicist from IIT, At least Tribune Co has given us the chance to express our views,. Just hope that things will get better. There is some talent at the top, or we would not be able to express our feelings.

    Sandy said:
    December 22, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    I have listened to John since the first day he came to WGN. All the slot changes made it hard to listen to him on a regular basis anymore, but I always listened when I could. Always my favorite, John! I agree that I CANNOT listen to the morning guy. I need a grown-up to let me know what happened in the world overnight. Lou, Dean, and Garry, you are my only hopes left for GN.

    Barb said:
    December 22, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    Happy Trails, John – you will be sorely missed. WGN has gone downhill so quickly – all the "good guys" (and girls!) are gone. Early morning is inane, an insult to the intelligence of WGN listeners. I do find Mike and Garry entertaining for the most part. The only things that keep my radios tuned to WGN are Lou, Dean, Nick D. – please don't throw them under the bus!! Good luck, John, I will try to get WCCO tuned in to my radios – I will miss your voice, your positive spin on things and your kindness and humor. You deserve the best!!

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