192 comments

  • tom kraus

    take care king john, will try and catch u online at wcco, if it conflicts with garry then i'll listen 2 u when he is on vacation, god bless u.

  • Shirley Bue

    Dear John,
    Yes, this is a Dear John letter. Only your the one saying good bye. I have read all of the comments from your other friends & fans and listened to your final broadcast. I echo everything they said. I loved listening to you on my way home from work..Then they moved you. Then they fianlly put you in the morning slot when Spike left.. I was so ticked when management moved you from the morning show. So sadly I was only able to hear you on my days off. Still I feel like I am loosing my best freind.
    You are the best that WGN had. You deserved so much better. I will miss you John Williams.
    God Bess you and your family. Hope Mn. treats you well. I will try to Listen
    Shirley

  • Nina

    I have listened to WGN since I was a child and I've grown up as a huge fan of the station. I don't know who is in charge of the programming now but you obviously have no idea or just don't care how it affects the listeners. The station used to be filled with people with great personalities and now, that's almost all gone. The station made a huge mistake in getting rid of Kathy and Judy…then Steve and Johnnie, and now John Williams. It's a really sad day for Chicago. Even though I've never met these people in person, they became friends and it was comforting and entertaining to tune in every day…for almost the entire day to spend with these great people. I don't know what WGN was thinking of when they hired Jonathon Brandmeir, he seems to be on the air only to entertain himself. Little by little, I've been turning to another radio station, and now I think they've completely won me over because I no longer recognize WGN, it only has two good personalities on the air (in my opinion) with Garry Meier and Nick D. … and speaking of Nick D., why hasn't he been promoted to a full-time day-time position?

  • Habib

    John I feel trrible,why should you leave us?!
    I used to live in Chicago years back and now I leave in Iran.I wish I could be there with you wonderful guys.
    I'm 61-year-old and always wake up with WGNradio and listen to it all day and night.And I somettimes leave the WGN radio on while I'm in asleep.
    John, your voice is warm and affective and I always get touched by the way you talk. You approach to listeners quite friendly and the subjects you discuss are well trimmed and updated. I really enjoy your shows.
    John I don't know what your plans are and what you're going to do.But, wherever you go and whatever you do, you always stay in my heart and memory as a sweet person and awesome showman.
    I wish you health, tonnes of success and great happy times.By the way MERRY CHRISTMAS AND VERY VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.
    Say hello to all in WGNradio
    I miss you very much.
    Habib Safajoo<used to be called Joe>
    habibsafaj@yahoo.com

  • Habib

    John I feel terrible, why should you leave us?!
    I used to live in Chicago years back and now I leave in Iran. I wish I could be there with you wonderful guys.
    I'm 61-year-old and always wake up with WGN radio and listen to it all day and night. And I sometimes leave the WGN radio on while I'm in asleep.
    John, your voice is warm and affective and I always get touched by the way you talk. You approach to listeners quite friendly and the subjects you discuss are well trimmed and updated. I really enjoy your shows.
    John I don't know what your plans are and what you're going to do. But, wherever you go and whatever you do, you always stay in my heart and memory as a sweet person and awesome showman.
    I wish you health, tonnes of success and great happy times. By the way MERRY CHRISTMAS AND VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.
    Say hello to all in WGN radio
    I miss you very much.
    Habib Safajoo<used to be called Joe>
    habibsafaj@yahoo.com

  • TIM

    long live the KING- will miss you john!!! hope to find you on i heart radio. you were and still the best. will miss your bright side of life, in times with so much bad news it was always nice to hear people looking on the bright side. people of Mn. are getting a real chicago gem. by the way i'm not from chicago (from geneseo il) but you always made me feel as though i was a one of you . you will do fine up there i know it.

  • Jack

    As decades long listener to WGN Radio, John Williams was one of the best and I will truly miss this intelligent and caring gentleman. Best of luck John, in the north country. I no longer will waste my time on weekday WGN radio. It is a waste (and an insult to the intelligence of an adult audience) and the management should be ashamed for ruining what was arguably the best AM radio station in the midwest!

  • Tom

    I've never seen so many negative WGN comments (all of them deserved). I guess we'll never know the politics behind the dismantling of an informative, adult talk radio station, but we have witnessed it over the past 2-4 years. John Williams, Steve Cochran, Spike O'Dell, Kathy and Judy, Steve and Johnny, Milt Rosenberg. And now I get shouting and immaturity in the morning drive, and negativity and sarcasm in the afternoon time, with little else to look froward to. WGN demographics? Well it's not professionals in their 50s like my wife and myself, and it's not professionals in their 20s like our children (I've asked and neither ever listen to WGN, although they would occasionally listen to Williams when he was in the AM or PM drive, and at times Nick D, as well as Extension 20).
    Well I've turned to NPR and Newsradio 78. IAnyway, Good Luck John – I learned things, i was entertained, and challenged by your thoughtful show.

  • Tom

    I've never seen so many negative WGN comments (all of them deserved). I guess we'll never know the politics behind the dismantling of an informative, adult talk radio station, but we have witnessed it over the past 2-4 years. John Williams, Steve Cochran, Spike O'Dell, Kathy and Judy, Steve and Johnny, Milt Rosenberg. And now I get shouting and immaturity in the morning drive, and negativity and sarcasm in the afternoon time, with little else to look froward to. WGN demographics? Well it's not professionals in their 50s like my wife and myself, and it's not professionals in their 20s like our children (I've asked and neither ever listen to WGN, although they would occasionally listen to Williams when he was in the AM or PM drive, and at times Nick D, as well as Extension 20).

  • Scott

    Off with my preset. I'm 47, male, college educated, self employed and now have no reason (other than the cubs) to listen to the once great WGN.

  • Shirley Mitchell

    Best of luck to you and your family. We will miss you terribly……..enjoyed my afternoons with WGN but now will only have Gary to listen to. Won't waste my time with others on WGN. I always ask my kids what their bright side of the day is……they roll their eyes but oblige me (I think they like it)…good luck to Beth too. She is a sweetheart.

  • Marc

    Thanks John for the many years of entertainment on WGN. You have done a masterful job on the air, being able to discuss serious, hard-hitting topics one minute and discussing something silly the next. Although there may have been times where I may have disagreed vehemently with you on a topic, I would always appreciate that you took the time to listen to the opposing viewpoint (sometimes the back and forth would make me reconsider my position). That is something most other personalities (both on TV and radio) seem to be unwilling or unable to do. Also, the lighter segments, like Bright Side, the silly production bits (like the Blago auto-tuned interview) and the many charitable/helpful segments you have done (like helping the Rev on the Roof and the People's Christmas Tree) have helped to put a smile on my face. WGN has lost one of its legends with your departure, and WCCO and the Twin Cities are very lucky to have you on their airwaves.

    I have been listening to WGN for 9 years, and remember the venerable lineup back then with Spike, John and Steve Cochran on during the weekdays and Nick D on overnights/weekends. For the first 5-6 years, I would have the radio tuned to WGN just about all day. However, once that doofus Kevin Metheny started dismantling what made WGN great, my time spent listening to WGN has been steadily decreasing. Although Metheny is gone now (good riddance – who the hell hired him anyways with his history of ruining once great stations), it looks like his goal of running all the great weekday personalities out of WGN is complete with the departures of both John and Milt.

    I don't know if WGN is still trying to skew towards a younger crowd, but as far as I'm concerned, they had the formula down 9 years ago (I was about 20 when I started listening – found a Cubs postseason game on, followed by Nick D, and eventually found and fell in love with the rest of the personalities on during the weekday). It sounds like the current management is generally well-liked by most of the on-air staff and have made some right moves when they took over (extending John's show back to 3 hours and putting Kap back on with Andrea and Brian for Sports Night), and I hope they can right this mighty ship that Metheny almost single-handedly sank. I'd love to go back to having WGN on all the time, but outside of Garry, Sports Night and Nick D / Brian Noonan over the weekends, the lineup just doesn't measure up to what was on before the dismantling started about 4 years ago.

    • Rick

      I have listen to WGN sense I was very young, I'm 60 years old. When I was young I wanted to listen to WLS and WCFL but my dad controlled the radio. Over time I came to not only like WGN but never turned it off. I grew up with Walley, Roy, Bobby, Spike, Steve, K & J, and John. All good people and they made me feel like I was a part or their lives and I wanted to hear what they had to say. I'm sorry but I don't get that feeling with the new hosts. JB never lets anyone speak. Mike is always right and Garry just complains. Not good formulas for making me want to listen.
      There are many good people still working at WGN. I love all of the news people, the sports, and even the traffic reporters. Milt was great and now he is gone also. Maybe Johns only mistake was not taking Leslie and Steve with him. Together they made great radio.
      I hope that GN can make a come back but for now I will listen to John Williams when he is on WCCO and Steve Cocran on WIND in the evenings. Best of Luck John, You will be sorely missed.

  • Patti

    I have listened to you since day one. I am going to miss your show so very much. I will listen to you on the internet since I can't imagine not hearing your voice every day. Thank you John for all the wonderful memories. I wish you all the luck in the world on your next adventure.

  • Barbara

    John,
    I just finished listening to a replay of your last broadcast on WGN and as a loyal fan for all 15 of your years at this station, and as a La Grange Park neighbor, I wanted to say goodbye and tell you how much you will be missed. I never had the opportunity to talk with you on the radio, but I did wait on you several times in the deli at your neighborhood Jewel. You have always felt like a friend and we share a common fondness for Minnesota, as my father was from Minneapolis and I grew up spending summers in the twin cities. Because of my work schedule, I wasn't able to listen to all of your shows, but I have always found you to be one of the most intelligent, funny, entertaining, thought provoking warm and approachable hosts to grace the airwaves at WGN radio and your presence will be greatly missed.

  • John

    I moved to the Chicago area 24 years ago. I began listening to WGH and only WGN because of Uncle Bobby, Spike O'Dell and John Williams. But, since the management made big changes a couple of years ago and Spike left, John Williams (and Lou) were the only WGN shows I listened to. I have been spending the last several winters in Florida and try listen to John Williams on the internet whenever possible. I now have no reason to tune in to WGN. I remember when I arrived in the area, WGN was proud when people stated that "they were listening to their father's radio" Unfortunately this generational continuation has come to an end.

    Wishing you, John, the best in your position and life in Minneapolis. I hope I can find you on the internet.

  • Dorothy

    Long live the King. It is with great sadness that we have to say goodby.
    Have listened since before Mr. President. Oh the laughs you gave us with Him.
    Will be listening on the computer to WCCO. Minn. gain is our loss.
    Thank you, John
    God be with you and yours.

  • Duke

    John,
    I listened to your via online in California. I was never disappointed by your shows. I wish you the best at WCCO. Chicago just won't be the same.

  • Tango

    Found you entertaining – up until you accused law-abiding gun owners of rigging a poll back in February of '08. Interesting accusation since the side against guns won. Haven't listened to you since.
    Regardless, I wish you well in your future endeavors.

  • J & J Michal

    Fond memories of you' Brenda & son on the Alaskan cruise We will miss listening to you. Very few
    reasons left for for turning the dial to WGN, can't stand all the changes. Hope to catch you on WCCO.
    Best wishes to you and your family.
    Joe and June Michal

  • Lady

    So many people are saying the same things—-we do not like the "New" wgn radio station. With John leaving, many good and loyal fans will also be leaving. WGN –listen to what the people are saying.
    Thank you John for giving some class to this station.

  • Queen Bee

    Good bye John. Loved your show especially the Bright Side. You were the only thing on WGN I still listed to. Johnny B. in the morning is an insult to intelligent human beings.

    Good bye WGN!!!!!

  • Rlean 2

    Sorry to see you go John, and good luck on your new venture.

    Will only turn on WGN once in awhile for Garry in the afternoon and maybe in a few

    years when the Cubs rebuild I'll come back to WGN.

    Never listen to Johnny B or that Mike Mc or what ever his name is.

  • Anne

    John …wishing you the best. Enjoyed listening to you..Not many "good'guys" left on WGN.
    We were able to listen to early morning this past week…Could we have him instead of the
    foul mouthed person who is on early morning now? Also good luck to Beth.

  • Harriet

    Hi John
    I want to wish all the best on your new job. I'm from Mpls and wcco is a great station to work for it was one of the station I would listen to when I lived there.. My husband got me hooked on WGN when we were first married from Wally to Steve and Johnny. The summers up there are beautiful the winters aren't to bad.. No off the lake winds. Take advantage of our great lakes.Good luck and my g-d bless you and your family. Love Bob & Harriet (from Mpls)

  • Marci Watts

    Good bye and good luck, King John. You were my last link to WGN. I can't stand the new anchors, and you were the one who kept me listening. Our loss is a MN gain, and I hope they appreciate you. Thanks for all the laughs and fun.

  • Doug

    John, I enjoyed your shows even though I disagreed with your positions at times. You are patient, thoughtful and intelligent. It is too bad that WGN has dumbed down the lineup. Not much left to listen to. The dumbing down of America is alive and well. Will there be a funeral for WGN?

  • Mike

    So long John, Thank you for the laughter, and goodbye WGN,

    and to management, yes, I AM the demographic you want, but have now lost.

  • KarenK

    So sad to see you go John, even though our political leanings were different. Because of health issues, I missed so much this year, but wish you all the best!!!!!!

  • MARY

    Good Luck John. you are the best on WGN. I love your laugh!!! i wish you, Brenda, and yours sons the very best in MN. they are very lucky to be getting you on their station. GOD BLESS YOU.

  • Miguel Acosta

    Thank you for all the good moments we got on the radio I love all the fun you transmit in it. good luck in Minnesota and always be HAPPY. I am from Mexico we all be miss you. my friend.

  • Renee

    Good luck King John. With you gone, there is very little reason to listen to WGN during the week. At least we will still have weekend mornings with Lou and Dean. I will miss hearing you everyday.

  • SueG

    The first time I heard you John I was driving home from work from Itasca to St. Charles around 5 p.m. You were talking about trying to work the remote control on the TV and I don't remember ever laughing so hard! I could relate to everything you said and I was hooked! I have enjoyed your programs so much. You were the reason I put WGN on my permanent stations in my car. I wish you well John. You brought me many laughs and I know you will continue to do that for the people in MN. They are lucky to get you!

  • Pat

    Good luck, John. You have always been one of the best at WGN and in the past couple of years, just about the only highlight. I'll tune back to WGN for the Cubs games, but probably not before that. Here's to the internet for giving me the ability to keep listening to you in the future.

  • Allee

    i am so sad to see John Williams leave WGN…for me, he is what WGN is all about, it was always our hometown station. It is the people who made it our hometown station, like John, Spike, Kathy & Judy, Tom Peterson, Dave Eanet, Dean Richards, Uncle Bobby, Roy Leonard, Wally Phillips…..you have been a part of our family, you have enriched our lives so much and given us a connection not only to the news but to each other.
    Thank you John for being a part of our lives, we love you and you have been our BRIGHT SIDE. Minnesota is lucky to have you and we will still listen to you every chance we get. Love.

  • Tom

    So sad to see you leave Chicago, John. I so miss the WGN gang — Steve, Kathy and Judy, David Stewart, Spike…now you! We do head to Minnesota now and then, so I'll look for you there — and by the way, you'll find Viking fans to be very welcoming! All good luck to you, John Williams.

  • Ethan A

    John Williams is fantastic. His WGN fans should listen to him if they can on line at WCCO.com (listen live) He's on WCCO 830 from 3pm-6pm M-F Central. (Minneapolis, MN)

  • Jane

    WGN has made a huge mistake! You will be missed as are the other major WGN personalities. You are a great fit for WCCO land. Best of luck! I have absolutely loved tuning in to listen to you. Jane

  • Nancy

    I realized quite awhile ago that WGN did not really care if I – or so many other of us – liked the changes they were making. You were the last "scheduled" show that I truly enjoyed. I can barely tolerate my AM or PM drive anymore – I truly try, but usually change the channel out of frustration. The intent of both seems to be to make us appreciate "stupid, crud, and offensive". I shall truly miss you John. You are one class act and MN is very lucky to have you. I really hope WGN monitors these posts.

  • susie

    Thanks John for all the good years. I no longer will listen to WGN…That morning guy is the worst and now Milt and you are gone. Brian Noonan or Bill Leff are the only quality ones left… Brandmeier is the worst…what are they thinking….Love Minneapolis, what a beautiful city…Good luck

  • Lynn

    Thank you for the past few years that I've been listening to your show. I never liked talk radio until I found you. I wish you the best of luck to you and your family. Chicago radio will now have a VOID in their airway. We will surely miss you. I would vote for you to become King.

  • Eileen Cahill

    Have a wonderful time in Minnesota! You will be missed here. I know you had to do what was best for you and your family. I remember Bob Collins telling the news station that you were their future. Why didn't they recognize that????

  • Pam Carlson

    I will miss John Williams. I agree with the other comments – WGN Radio has hit rock bottom. Whomever holds the purse strings for the station has no idea of the listening audience that has embraced WGN for the past 30 years. It's the end of a fabulous era. Good-bye WGN. Your memory will be long term smile. Good luck – you'll need it.

  • Sharon

    Thank you, John, for your intelligent interviews and good humor. It is such a loss for Chicago and a huge loss for WGN. As stated above. After 35 years of listening, I won't be turning on now until 3 p.m.

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