Nick D’s personal farewell to King John

Nick talks with John Williams as he drives north to his new home in Minnesota, one day after signing off at WGN. Then, Nick’s listeners talk about how much they will miss hearing John here in Chicago.

JohnNickPanel

John Williams (3rd from left) and Nick Digilio (far right) along with members of the panel they moderated at the 2011 Cubs Convention (Marlene Wells/WGN Radio)

28 comments

  • Margita

    First Spike, then Kathy and Judy and now John. I was a WGN fan for a long time, but not any more. Too bad WGN doesn't realize that they're losing listeners left and right. Good-bye WGN, hello Sirius Radio!

  • Laura

    What poor management at WGN that they would let go so many talented and beloved personalities. John will be sooo missed. I've been a WGN listened for almost 40 years and except for Lou and Gary I will find another station from this day forward. Of course until Gary and Lou get the boot than no more WGN at all. John I will find you on the internet…

  • Sharon Roth

    Nick,
    If you leave the station, then I am finished with WGN. Mornings I know turn to WBEZ and would switch to WGN in the afternoon but now it will be 3:00 for GM. Maybe you could do John's show.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • Joyce White

    this is so sad. WGN use to be a wonderful, stable station; but hiring the likes of Johnny B, really lowers their standards; from Roy, Uncle Bobby, Spike…to Johnny B. ? We do not listen to WGN in the AM –
    WGN does still have good ones; Garry, Bill Left and Nick, Dean and Lou. They keep me listening during their time on the air.I will miss John; he did not get a fair shake their for the moring drive.

  • Tom

    John,
    I will miss you and the Speed Golf Challenge, I was looking forward to next year. You will be successful wherever you go because you are very good at what you do.Good luck to you and your family. As for WGN you need to find a better time slot for Bill Left the guys a pro, I would love to listen to his show in the morning. Johnny B / Buzz that ship sailed!!!

  • Laura

    I love John Williams and I am sick to my stomach that hes gone! I just loved listening to him, he always made my day!!

  • Rich

    The last of the great ones has gone, and so ends the reign of WGN as THE voice of the midwest.Garry is OK, but he's no Spike. And Johnny B? Please.

    • Barry

      You have truly lost your mind!!!!!!!!!!! Mn. is not far enough away, Alaska would be better suited for him……at least I would have the peace of mind I could not accidently hear his annoying voice when changing channels.

  • rosamaria

    Garry and Babbabibble are the best.
    Then comes Nick and Bill L.
    I really like the person filling in for that guy who comes on after Johnny B.
    His name is Paul something. He's very entertaining and informative.
    Oops, I also like Bill Moller.

  • Allen Rubin

    I have been listening to WGN for 40 years. It's amazing that in a period of 4 years the new management has taken the greatest station in the country and turned it into a run of the mill radio staton. I had hoped after they end of the run of Randy Michaels run that it would return to its past style as the non hip station that you felt really cared about it listners but it's apparent that whoever came in as managent had no idea of the connection that the sation had to it's listners. There are only 2 people on the staion who have any connection to WGN's glory days that are worth listening to Nick D and Dean Richards. If the Mangement of WIND had any sense they would get Milt Rosenburg their to join Steve Cochren and hire Nick D as a full time host. They have very poor rating have could really turn the staion into an important park of Chicago radio.
    As I said all ready, all WGN listerns shoudl chip in and buy a toumb stone at could be placed at the entrance of Tribune Tower that would read " HERE LIES THE REMAINS OF WGN RADIO, BELONG STATION OF CHICAGO FOR 50 YEARS. MAY IT REST IN PEACE".

  • Lois Rivers

    I would like to post something positive, however, I cannot. I heard Lou Manfradinni asked listeners to "hang in there" things will turn around. They have turned…..John is the final straw. Mike McConnell is brash, annoying and insulting to his audience! Jonathan (Mr. say it a thousand times ) is no way to wake up in the morning!!! It was a quite telling when Kathy and Judy were let go. It is my time to leave the station that I have enjoyed for 40 year.

  • William

    Spike, Steve Cochrane, Kathy and Judy, Steve and Johnnie, , Rick Kogan, Milt, and now John Williams. Whether by their choices or not their choices, these fine radio professionals are no longer at WGN. WGN was always about consistency; we knew who was on at one time, day-in, day-out, but more importantly, we liked them all, knew their voices well, and felt them as we do family. That sense is now gone at WGN, except for Garry, Nick D., and Dean Richards. I am not one of those people who thinks change is bad, but it should be made for good reason. I even applaud Johnny B. in the morning; his stream of consciousness is astounding (although Buzz serves no purpose on his show). His talent is great. But WGN has been disemboweled in the last few years; that is so sad, indeed.

  • Pat

    I don't listen to WGN anymore until 3:00 pm when Garry comes on. The station has gone down the tubes. I listen to Lou on Saturday morning.

  • Barry

    John Williams can be heard on WCCO's Website. One of hundreds now superior to WGN's new 'retro' (as in '20 years ago') Website!

  • Laurie

    Farewell to John…we wish you much success in Minneapolis. But to WGN…there goes another member of a great family. 40 years of success has been beaten down by management. Spike always brought a smile to your face in the morning…great way to start the day…instead of waking up to the screaming of Johnny B. (I continue to try to listen but turn off the radio quickly.) And Kathy and Judy touched all generations…moms, daughters, grandmothers,etc…plus the male "girl friends" were such fun. They were always touching on events in our everyday lives. They could interview a neighbor or a First Lady…always hitting on up to date topics. Steve was a breath of fresh air in the afternoon. Oh for the days of Bob Collins and the "Furtive Frogs"! The only reason to turn on WGN now is for Lou on Saturdays and Dean and Nick. We used to have WGN on 24 hours a day and felt a connection to all the hosts and now our radio is seldom tuned to WGN. We're on the road quite often and the radio never would leave WGN…it's not on now. Hang in there Nick!

  • Tina

    Do not put Steve and Johnnie in the same category as John Williams. I will miss him; he added so much to WGN. S & J, not so much. Was thrilled when they left; still am.

  • Tangleman

    Johnnie B is an automatic channel change. THE most annoying person at 530 am. Fire him and move bill left. Let johnnie keep people up all night!

  • J. B.S.

    I agree with some of your listeners WGN is not the same so many of my friends who like me never changed their stations and listened all day and like myself listen all nite too are very disapointed with the shows and the hosts. Steve and Johnny were always interesting especially calling alaska talking to Fran Tate and all their guests they were always interesting to hear ,Spike was always interesting too as well as Bob Collins and now John Williams is leaving the sinking ship too why didn't they give him Spikes time slot like others before said he did a wonderful job as a fill in for so many years instead of pushing him to leave the station. I do like Nick and Brian and Bill and Lou which I listen to him every saturday AM but now I understand Milt also left ..I guess I'll be changing stations too. Very disappointed listener ……

  • Rufus

    Was also a listener for over 40 years. Rick Logan was one of my favorites. About the on,y one left is Nick D and the management only puts him on wen there is nothing else going on. I will turn on GN to listen to him and he has been pre-emptied by someone I never heard of.

    And now you are inserting some dame from San fransisco to replace Milt! How idiotic is that!

  • kathy

    I agree with the comments above. The old favorites are still worth listening to, but WGN is turning off the "old" listeners. Kathy

  • george

    What kind of contract does johnny B have?More vacation time than Carson had!!!! He is never there and really when he is , he is very annoying to say the leasthonestly the subs;especially Bill are way better than he is or will ever be.
    .Garry is the absolute best..A voice for the everyday person. He says what we think. He along with Dean, Lou , Nick , Bill and the sports night group arekeeping wgn from becoming a radio wasteland! I would have loved to see John back in the mornings instead of "what's his name"? Really a loss for wgn!

  • Dee Wunderlich

    I agree that Johnny B. is the worst they have put on the radio in the morning or anytime. WGN is only on for background noise until Garry comes on. PLEASE get your act together and put Nick, Dean and some comparable celebs back on to regain your audience.

  • Mad As Hell

    What is management thinking? Oh, that's right, they're not! I grew up listening to WGN Radio, it was always on in our house.
    Am sorry to see John go, I know he left on his own, but I think when you took Spike's slot away from him, he saw the writing on the wall and started getting ready. Applaud him, he did it his way! What a class act, he will be missed by many.
    Can't stand that obnoxious, combative, know it all, Mike McConell! His response when he meets his match is to talk over them or cut them off! Now we get an hour break at noon, then more of the same. I use to wait for him to be off the air to turn my radio on, now it stays off until Garry comes on.
    I am not a big sports fan so Noonan, Andrea and Kaplan, I don't listen to.

    Why do you keep passing Nick up? He would have been great from 10-12 during the week and his regular shows Friday on. He gets no respect, always willing to fill in where and when needed, I remember before Garry was hired, Nick was all over the place. He has been a good, loyal employee, and this is how you thank him? Management doesn't appreciate or respect listeners, don't know why I would expect some decency for Nick D.

    If you think by putting women on the air you are going to bring back some of the female audience you lost when you kicked Kathy and Judy off the air – WRONG!

    What this grand old station needs is New Management!

  • Juanita

    I feel that both the 2 new woman are a bad choice, one talks so fast (10:00 p.m.) you can't understand what she is trying to say, and she always interrupts when her guests are talking. Your station has really gone down in stature in the past couple of years. It used to be a dependable, stable, working man's radio station, but not anymore. I am really disappointed. Thought WGN was better than that.

  • noreen gilroy

    long time listner who now realizes that wgn and the trib are going to imitate fox.the change is subtle but,it's thereand i am not a fan of fox.i looked forward to john and will miss him just like i miss kathy and judy.the women relacement unfortunately do not shine..

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