Steve Cochran

A thank you, for now, from Steve Cochran

Steve Cochran

Trib Tower Postcard——————–

“You can’t go home again.”  Thomas Wolfe


Clearly that guy was wrong.

It took 30 years, 15 or more radio stations, and something more than 9000 shows on the radio before I finally figured it out.  WGN is home.  And I can’t begin to explain how happy I was to be back.

But I’ll try…

The two weeks I filled in on the morning show were the most humbling, most gratifying experience in my career.  The outpouring of support from listeners that took the time to call, text, email, Facebook and Tweet to say they were happy I was back was amazing.  I can’t personally thank each of you so I hope you will let me thank all of you…and maybe answer a few questions in the process.

So how did this happen?


“…the key to success is taking s*#t!”  Jason Bateman as “Nick” in Horrible Bosses


Ah…I don’t take s#*t!  But the answer needs more than that.

Now that I have reached the wise old age of 52 I have great wisdom.  That wisdom tells me that there have been times where I was a pain in the ass.  Yes, I was difficult to work with BUT…that had NOTHING to do with me leaving WGN in 2010.

Without going over every gory detail I simply could not stand what the management then was doing to this once great radio station.  A series of terrible decisions and choices with little or no concern with what the audience thought led to an obvious conclusion.  In my opinion I couldn’t work for those people anymore.  And by the way…they agreed.

So what happens now?


“…this is not our radio station, this is their radio station.”  Orion Samuelson on WGN


The amazing, unbelievable thing is that this patient can and will be saved.

The new management at Tribune are simply the best.  But anyone that knows me knows that I have had a terrible allergy to suits forever.  Yet in two weeks back at the Tower I didn’t break out in hives once.  And people there are smiling again. I have never been more optimistic about the future of 720 WGN on the radio, in video, social media, and on the web.

So regardless of what role I play in the next few weeks, months, and maybe beyond I strongly feel that the loyalty you have shown through good times and baaaaad will be rewarded.  It’s safe now to tell your friends to come back to WGN.

So thank you for the support and the patience.  And thank you for welcoming me home to 720 WGN.


53 Comments to “A thank you, for now, from Steve Cochran”

    Curtis Payne said:
    July 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Glad to have u Steve hope u came make it back again (do I hear long term contract?)

      tharry61 said:
      July 31, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      Steve Cochran is one of the top talents in Chicago radio and deserves a new full-time gig on WGN-720. I think he would be perfect on morning drive. He sounds so much like Bob Collins and. I know the ratings would be improved. As a long time observer of Chicago radio, I also see good things ahead for WGN-720, still a powerhouse station!

    Kathy Buehler said:
    July 24, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    I am so happy you are back Steve..I missed you terribly and I hope you will continue to work at wasn't the same without you!
    God Bless!

    Many thanks,
    Kathy Buehler

    Sue May said:
    July 24, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    glad that you are back Steve-wish they would bring Steve and Johnnie back too-it was so much better before. Miss all of you and so glad to be hearing from you again.

    Deb said:
    July 24, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    You have no idea how much you have been missed! No idea at all.

    Debbie said:
    July 24, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Hearing you back on WGN brings a smile to my face every time I hear you. Long term Steve, long term! The station has never been the same since you left.

    Jeri said:
    July 24, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    thank the powers that be that you're back. I've missed hearing your voice in the morning. I hope that they find a permanent place for you on the airwaves!

    Nancy Gartner said:
    July 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Please give us more Steve Cochran. He has been missed. He lends such a bright intelligence to the station. I would take him anywhere, anytime, but morning or late morning would be perfect. By the way, I to love Johnny B too.

    Marline said:
    July 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    I was listening to WGN the other day and I heard your voice and I couldn’t believe it .I’m so glad you’re back . You are one of my favorites hope you are back for good.. Good luck to you!

    karen tipp said:
    July 24, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    So glad you are back as I ahve said before. Hope you really stay.

    Susan said:
    July 24, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    As others have said so well, It brought a real smile to my face when I heard you a few weeks ago in for Johnny B. I left the station too…when you left, I was already done and you leaving was the last thing I could take… then, I came back in the afternoons with Garry… decided Mike McConnell had some great offerings and of course Johnny B. Yes, I listen to him when I can and I like him too. So today I heard you in the short and sweet early afternoon spot. I'm glad you are back around and I hope you land somewhere that suits you and that I can manage to listen to (time slot).
    So, thanks for knowing that the listeners were not happy and thanks for not continuing to compromise yourself. To never settle is a great albeit impossible idea…but its necessary to stand up when what you believe is threatened. I hope to hear you regularly soon, and all the best to all of you at WGN who are real professionals in your field.

    Beth Seemiller said:
    July 24, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    When I heard you on the air that first morning, it made my day. It was as if I was welcoming an old friend into my home. Thank you for the "updates" on members of your family. I hope to hear more of you on WGN, preferably in a permanent time slot. Welcome home Steve.

    Ursula Marszalek said:
    July 24, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Ursula Marszalek…My neighbor had to tell me…..I left wgn a long time ago….It was like old times….Thank you for that…….

    Sue said:
    July 24, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    It was great to hear you in the mornings! I tried to listen on your last station but that was NOT your format! WGN is your home! Hoping for mornings also as I can't listen at 2 pm….

    Jay said:
    July 24, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    now if we could get rid of that circus side show act that is on during the morning drive and put you there for good.

    Louanne Greitzer said:
    July 24, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    What are you waiting for – get rid of Johnny B., you can see from all the comments that so many people have left WGN in the morning – why do you want to keep him? Bring back Steve Cochran, he's a much better representative of WGN – not that nonsense of Johnny's that he did many years ago, it doesn't work!!

      Nettles said:
      July 25, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      Out with Johnny B.

      Linda L. said:
      July 25, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      All I can say is "ditto"…I could not have said it better. I do not start my mornings with WGN unless J.B. is not on!

    Alexandria said:
    July 24, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    It is so so great to hear you again! I was so excited hearing you at 2;30 in my car yesterday, l drove home slower so l could hear the whole 30 minutes! How crazy is that?

    Sue Moser said:
    July 24, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Steve when I heard your voice instead of Johnny B., I almost wet myself! I cannot tell you how frickin' happy I was. With that I put down my coffee and called my ninety-year old mother who only listens to Garry since the station went to crap and when I told her that you were on….she hung up on me! After your show that Tuesday she called me back and said, "What the hell took them so long?" Good bye Johnny B. and hello Steve!

    Linda said:
    July 24, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    It was great to hear you Steve, hope there will be more in the future

    Linda Blanco said:
    July 25, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    WGN: Get rid of or move Johnny B to another slot; Bring Steve back as morning guy. There’s too much important stuff in the morning to entrust to Johnny B – he flat out doesn’t do it! And Steve is far more clever & entertaining!
    Steve: Please Tweet us when you’ll be on the air so we don’t miss you. Even when out of town I have all those radio apps & can tune in (even from wifi planes!).

    lynda said:
    July 25, 2013 at 5:28 AM

    come back come back for good!! missed you and wgn. good bye johnnyb. what a trip and not a good one

    Rita Hynes said:
    July 25, 2013 at 7:22 AM

    Very nice acknowledgment of your fans, Steve. Love having you back in whatever capacity. Morning needs a "shake-up" to make room for you.

    Duncan said:
    July 25, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    If WGN will not get rid of Johnny B, then move him to Mike McConnell's spot and let Steve take the morning drive time. Than I would start to listen earlier than 3:00 PM

    Sue Ferguson said:
    July 25, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    One "hidden" hour of Steve Cochran is simply not enough. I, too, no longer consider WGN my sole source of new information–an ear to the world, to paraphrase WTTW. Garry Meier has grown on me, and I will turn him on some times. Mike McConnell has had some good conversation. The morning drive time has become my morning tv time at home (WGN) and 780 my in the car station. It was so refreshing to listen to Steve when he replaced Brandmeier and once again have intelligent comment and superb interviewing skills sprinkled with humor that was neither immature nor inappropriate. PLEASE FIND A PERMANENT–MORE THAN ONE HOUR– SPOT FOR STEVE COCHRAN. Sue Ferguson

    M, Diebold said:
    July 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    It was so good to wake up to Steve Cochran for two weeks and to drive to work with you. Put Steve on in the morning and put Brandmeier on at night, he is too much for the mornings. We miss you Steve!

    MikieB said:
    July 25, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    PLEASE find a slot for Steve. 6am to 10am would be a great time slot for him. IF JB has to be on, put him in the 10pm to midnight slot. I'll be sleeping then. Was hiring JB a crap shoot, emphasis on crap? We want more Steve!

    Susan L. said:
    July 25, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    I am sooooo happy to be hearing Steve Cochran back on WGN where he belongs — PLEASE find a regular time for him every day! He is so funny, but can also deal with the tough stuff intelligently and articulately. I love his warmth and genuineness. I am so hoping to hear him all the time on WGN!

    Deliriousdame said:
    July 25, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    GRRRRReat to hear you back on WGN Steve! Hope the suits are smart enough to do everything they can to hang onto you!

    Sue said:
    July 25, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    As a lifelong Chicagoan, cheers to you, Steve-and I can totally relate to your frustration with management since I was laid off five years ago with the only reason being the "bottom" line for the company.

    Peggy said:
    July 25, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    How about a regular spot for my favorite guy…most like my favorite other person…bob Collins .. Steve is so much smarter than a certain early morning guy!

    Ted Machnik said:
    July 25, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Wow, were you missed! Good for WGN. Welcome back Steve. Can't wait to hear you and Leslie Kieling again…pure chemistry there.

    Sandy Lawless said:
    July 26, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    What a step in the right direction. Bringing Steve back makes WGN feel like home again. I cut back my listening time more and more with all the changes, but now I check when Steve will be on. If you would only get rid of the annoying McConnell, life would be good. That would be a good time slot for Steve. I see all the comments about Jonnie B and, frankly, I don't care because my radio isn't on during his program. Just find a place for a true professional – Steve Cochran. Sandy Lawless

    Linda said:
    July 26, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    I will come back to WGN in the morning if Steve Cochran is in the morning drive slot.,

    Pat S said:
    July 26, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    It was so GREAT to hear Steve on the radio instead of the moron in the morning. I went to Good Morning America after Brandmeier came on. I couldn't listen to any more of the sophomoric humor, references to body parts and functions and stunts like getting the Governor to swallow cinnamon, etc., etc. Previous management put WGN radio in the toilet. It was great to hear Steve back. He is honest (sometimes to a fault), funny, intelligent and articulate. Let's hope he's here to stay and our family will return to radio.

    Amy Roth said:
    July 27, 2013 at 5:10 AM

    STEVE ! STEVE !!!! You're home !!!!

    NealH said:
    July 29, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Steve, really excited to hear your voice on WGN again!!! Let them know that other than you, Gary Meier and Mike McConnell I find the rest of the shows boring and uninteresting!
    MORE AIR TIME FOR STEVE!!!!!!!! Please.

    JudyP said:
    July 29, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Please bring intelligence to the morning show…Steve Cochran belongs there!! WGN is losing listeners in the morning due to JB! Loved listening to Steve! He brought class to the morning show!!

    Nancy said:
    July 29, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    OMG cannot believe Steve is back!!!! Can Kathy and Judy be far behind? I have moved to FL but I still miss the OLD WGN and still listen when I can. Here's hoping the WGN "brass" do what they should have done 3 years ago and get rid of JB and put Steve on in the morning where he belongs!!!! Steve, you are the best and you always made me laugh and kept me company on my way home from work EVERY NIGHT!!! Good Luck!!!

    lois smith said:
    July 31, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    as a long time WGN listener I just do not believe that JB is right for this time and station

    He makes no sense for morning PlEASE move him out or some other slot

    Kpeck said:
    August 1, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    What a pleasant surprise to come across your voice on the radio again! Missed you and hope you're back for good!

    guest said:
    August 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Tried to listen, but it seems he has brought the hate he was spouting at the other station. Too bad.

    Becky Stone said:
    August 4, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Steve, where are you?….. I am feeling very whiney without my drive-home political fix. Great job on keeping Bengazi in the news.

    chance n said:
    August 14, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    glad to hear your familiar voice and hope you stay on. listen every day and enjoy your show the most

    JoAnne Sefcik said:
    August 15, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Welcome back Steve. I was thrilled to hear your voice on the radio today. I tried to continue with WGN in the morning, but I cannot stand the inane prattle of JB. Please put Steve on in the morning. Intelligent conversaton, comedy that makes sense and interesting viewponts would be a wonderful change.
    JoAnne S

    Nancy S. said:
    August 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Absolutely thrilled to hear Steve Cochran back at WGN. I spent alot of drive time with Steve years back and missed hearing him for such a long time. Pleeeeeeeease keep Steve Cochran on daytime talk radio.

    Nancy S. said:
    August 16, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Oh and I can't stand JB. I used to be a faithful morning listener all the way back to Uncle Bobby but no more!

    Nancy L. said:
    August 16, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Steve Cochran is the "Master of Radio"!!! WGN needs him, more than Steve needs WGN!!! Plus get rid of self-centered Mike McConnell (who listens to no one other than himself & "hangs up" on listeners that don't agree with him).

      Dee said:
      August 20, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Always turn off McConnell , Nancy has described him well.
      Steve Cochran and Chicago talent fun to listen to. They know the city and surrounding areas!
      All the subs for Mc have been a blessing!

    KayD said:
    August 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    I refuse to listen to Johnny B and his frat party. Get rid of him. Do not turn on WGN until 10. Give Steve Cochran his own show.

    Peggy S said:
    August 20, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    I posted on FB and will post again here – thanks, Steve so much for the piece you wrote clarifying and explaining – especially the info you provide regarding the new/positive/good changes at WGN. The station was absolutely gutted beginning with the abrupt firing of Kathy and Judy. The blood-letting continued up to and including your firing, firing of Steve and Johnnie, and the somewhat voluntary departure of John Williams (my take is he was as sick of the, shall we say, crap, as you and craving a less volatile situation he moved to WCCO – sad for us, good for him). My husband and I, both decades long listeners, completely stopped listening when John left. Except for listening to Lou on Saturday mornings we literally have not punched 720 on any radio – home or car or work for a very long time. NOW, however, we are drifting back. When we learn you will be on – vroom – we are tuned in; now hearing Bob and Mary Ann mid-day – vroom – we are tuned it. I agree with Kay D above – we need you on the air with a regular time slot. We are rooting for the new and revived WGN again! Let's not look back – let's continue to look forward and make it, again, the station we all used to love, enjoy, respect and listen to 24/7

    Cyn Plahuta said:
    September 4, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    It's sooo great to see Steve Cochran sitting in Spike's old spot! Perfect for my mornings!

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