WGN-AM’s new line-up

WGN Radio today announced changes to its weekday and weekend lineups effective September 2013.

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Steve Cochran

Beginning Tuesday, September 3, Steve Cochran returns to WGN Radio full time as host of the morning show weekdays from 5a.m. to 9a.m.  The mid-morning time slot becomes a radio reunion for Bill Leff & Wendy Snyder.  The Bill & Wendy Show will air and stream from 9a.m. to 12p.m, followed by husband-and-wife duo Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano from 12p.m. to 3p.m. Garry Meier will continue to host the afternoon drive show from 3-7p.m, with the David Kaplan Show airing from 7p.m. to 11p.m. Pete McMurray expands his role with the station as the 11p.m. to 2a.m. host and WGN veteran Nick Digilio moves to the 2a.m. to 5a.m. time slot.

The return of Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey to the station on Saturdays from 10a.m. to 12p.m. highlights the weekend lineup changes, effective Saturday, September 14. Other changes include The Design Dude with Frank Fontana airing from 6a.m to 7a.m., followed by Mr. Fix-it with Lou Manfredini from 7a.m. to 10a.m. When not affected by sports preemptions, Bill Moller will follow Kathy and Judy from 12p.m. to 3p.m., and Sports Central will remain in the 3p.m. to 6:00p.m time slot.

The Sunday lineup will introduce a new show dedicated to the discussion of the Chicago political landscape. Chicago Tribune writer, Rick Pearson will host “Chicago Way: Politics with Pearson” on Sundays from 7a.m. to 9a.m. The Dean Richards Sunday Special will follow at 9a.m., extending an additional two hours until 1p.m.  In addition to his Saturday show, Bill Moller will air from 1p.m. to 3p.m. Brian Noonan remains in the 6p.m. to 9p.m. time slot, followed by the return of Chicago treasure, Rick Kogan, from 9p.m. to 11p.m. Comedian and media personality, Patti Vasquez, will air from 11p.m. to 2a.m.

Playing a feature role in the future of WGN-AM’s new lineup will be 720 Snackables.  These spotlight segments will live online and on-air as interviews, video shorts, and podcasts.  They’ll feature the WGN family of experts including Dean Richards’ “A-List Interviews”, “Legally Speaking with Karen Conti”, “Bertrand on Books” with Steve Bertrand, “Flavor HD” with Hannah Stanley & Dane Neal, “Steve Dale’s Pet World”, Paul Green’s “Paul & The Politicians”, “Good Cents with Ilyce Glink”, and more.

New schedule effective September 2013:

WEEKDAYS

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

127 comments

  • Rich Brandeis

    What a great day for Chicago radio. No more arrogant Johnny B in the morning talking over his call-ins and doing his stale old schtick. Welcome back Steve Cochran. WGN will be worth listening to again. I am very happy!

    • k, bkny

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    • kkk

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  • Pam Kuhlman

    Thank you WGN for coming back to the original WGN-Family values. We all felt like a member
    of our personal family passed away when Uncle Bobby died. Spike's leaving left us all, and
    John Williams is still missed. But HOORAY that the rest of our family is coming back.
    We don't have to change the station or turn on the mid morning TV stuff with self aggrandized
    Mike McConnell gone.
    Love Nick at night, too! Thanks again, WGN!

    • Al

      Also, maybe Steve, Johnnie and some of the old Website Wednesday panel members could call in with Nick for an hour or so about what's going on in internet and digital news.

  • Girlfriend Robert

    Absolutely the best thing to happen to WGN Radio in recent years. I couldn't be happier with this news. There is not one time slot that I wouldn't listen to with this new line-up. Welcome back Mr. Cochran and Kathy & Judy! Nick followed by Steve followed by Bill and then Fox Thing in the Morning! Who could ask for anything more? Thank you Mr. de Castro! You're a wonderful, smart man.

    • M. Neuman

      I agree!!!!!! Where is Mike MCConnel???? He and

      Where is Mike Mccommel?? He was the best you had. The new line up is so boring. I don't

      want to listen anymore!!!! BY BY

      gary Meier were the best you had1111

    • soccerma3

      Could not agree more! Bob and Marianne? Redefining the term insipid, inane and irrelevant. Where is Mick McConnel when you need him!!!

  • Patty Stark

    I will always listen to WGN during the day on weekdays; it makes my day go better at work. But not hearing Steve Dale on Saturdays makes me sad…..

  • Barb Warnell

    Can’t tell you how much I’ve missed Kathy and Judy. Glad to see WGN “with it” again. The new achedule isa HUGE improvement.

  • Long time listener

    Now I can go back to morning programing on WGN. There was too much commotion early in the morning to suit me. Many of my friends also left until the afternoon. Garry just tickles me. I laugh while I'm cooking dinner. Steve is a welcome addition again.

  • Judy

    Well I can't believe you are finally getting things right. I love WGN but haven't listened as much as I once did. Now I will be tuning in as I did before all the terrible changes.
    Consider putting Kathy and Judy on every day would be great!!!!! I missed the girls!!!! Also love Steve C. but he is on a little early for me. Garry is great and so is Dean.
    I do like the sports but it is to long. Its back to normal.

  • James Chestnut

    I go back to Franklyn MacCormack and the Meister Brau Showcase; Jack and Irv ("Dat's right, Jack") doing the Bear games; Max talking to the farmers in their tractors; and Mike Rapchak and Paul Rogers doing that great Saturday musical overnight. I feel that "News and Talk" just brought sophomoric babble. I am delighted to welcome back the Girls: I remember their first day on 'GN so I am one of their oldest girlfriends. And where is Dr. Milt when we need him? Surely, the most erudite radio show ever aired.

  • S Johnson

    This is wonderful news!! Love that Steve is back! Wish Kathy and Judy were on during the week. I have missed them so much. Now I can go back to listening to WGN!

  • Eileen

    I'd like to see Brian Noonan utilized more than he is at this time. He seems to be pushed into the corner and why he didn't get overnight is beyond me. He is a lot more tolerable than Nick at times.

  • Donna

    I am thrilled beyond belief that you got rid of "Johnny B". I am so glad that the big wigs at GN realized that he was not quite the right fit for them. I use to love to listen thru out the day but with some of the changes stopped completely. Can't wait to hear some of the old familiar voices. Welcome back to Steve Cochran and especially the ladies Kathy and Judy.

  • Lynda

    What a GREAT line up. I was praying WGN would wake up and realize that several of these hosts did not mesh with the WGN audience. I love every one of the hosts you have scheduled. I look forward to listening more :) It would only be more perfect if John Williams was back but we can't have everything…LOL

  • Rob

    OMG !! Mr. DeCastro I don't know how to thank you for getting rid of Johnny B. in the morning slot !!! he absolutely denied the intelligence of his audience;putting a "spin" on every story to streeeetch out the time –he treated us like a bunch of idiots!!! and THANK YOU for keeping Garry Meirs in his time slot but PLEASE don't hire Stee Dahl to be his "side kick"

  • karen

    Who was on in the morning earlier this week before Cochran appeared Friday morning? I really liked that guy and never heard his name mentioned.

  • Faithful listener

    Thank goodness we are finally rid of that idiot Jon B. That was the exact time I would shut off the radio. Sure wish you would utilize Brian Noonan better. We are super saturated with Nick and could use a break. Why not Brian on the weekends??? And please spare us from Steve and Jonny and their self agrandizing. Thanks for the new lineup. Also, I think it is time for Orion to retire and stop and his last grabs at attention-please. Commercials, book signing etc. He has milked this audience long enough.

  • Craig

    You had me until , “Pete MacMurray” He must pay off someone to stay in radio ! Just Have Nick come on earlier ! Pete Sucks !

  • Kitty

    I'm so happy the WGN I knew and loved is back!!!! Thank you management for waking up and bringing back the wonderful station so many know and love – I'm back to listening again! I love the banter between Steve, Andrea and Mary. And Kathy and Judy – I couldn't be happier!

  • Dick

    I know I am not in your prime demographics (>60) but have been listening to WGN since a kid – have been so disappointed with the programming in the last few years – SO GLAD you are going back to the roots – I don't have to be a fan of all your decisions but feel very strongly that you are on the right track – there are many stations that try to succeed by generating controversy, it is nice to listen to calm, interesting, funny, and informative programming without an agenda. THANK-YOU!

  • Barbara D. Laurin

    At last WGN wakes up. If only it had happened before you lost John Williams. That was the final blow for me. He was the best host you had–intelligent, interesting and pleasant. That was when I turned off my radio. It will be nice to have something to listen to while working around the house and yard again. TV doesn't work for that. So congratulations (finally) but if you ever get the chance bring John Williams back.

  • Maggie

    Great news. Now I can listen to enjoyable morning radio again, Cochran is terrific. The change was long overdue.

  • Sue

    Thank you! I can listen to WGN again – pretty much all day, every day! I live in central IL and had few options with the former line-up. I am especially looking forward to Kathy and Judy! You saved the best and brought back the rest.

  • Terry Sidlow

    We're back. Thanks for bringing back Steve in the AM. He sets the stage for a new great lineup. Well done.

  • RoseMary

    This morning–what a joy to have Steve Cochran back, followed by a special session with Lou! WGN and WFMT have been our radio stations for many years. I tolerated the morning slot changes, but now I look forward to the new line-up with the "old" regulars returning. Thank you!

  • Dawn Davis

    Finally, someone had the sense to stop the "crazy" in the morning!! However, in the meantime I got used to listening to sports talk in the morning on another station, so I'll have to switch back now that Cochran is on! And I am even more excited about Kathy and Judy coming back to WGN. Even though I'd rather hear them everyday – one day is better than nothing. Hopefully we can make them so popular that the execs will be forced to give them a daily slot. I am over-joyed about the changes of my favorite station!

  • Sue

    I changed radio stations due to the fact that listening to Johhny B was monotonous. I turned on WGN this morning just to see if anyone was filling in for him and to my delight, he has moved on. I am so excited to hear Steve C back on the radio and love the new line-up you have in place. My long drive, to and from work, will be much more tolerable listening to Steve in the morning and Garry in the afternoon. Thank You!

  • phil

    Don't think any of this will attract new listeners or a younger demographic. Looks like they are going for the older crowd.

    • Al

      Don't think any of this will attract any other non-AM radio listening demographic either. Looks like they are going for an independent-thinking and inclusive crowd that goes for information and affability over controversy and antics .

      I love the changes.

      My cat still doesn't care. :-

  • Sherry

    My wish…..is for John Williams to return….and for Kathy and Judy to return to 5 days/wk, not just Saturdays. I'm gonna keep wishing…..In the meantime, you're headed back in the right direction, WGN! Welcome back, Steve – and Kathy & Judy!!

  • Becky

    Omg thank god Kathy and Judy are back. 2 hrs is not enough. I just moved to AZ and will be listening on my computer!

  • Mike

    If you can't get Spike to come back, Steve is the next best thing. It will be a family station again. It's about time. Best of luck Steve, welcome back.

  • Mimi

    STEEEEEEEVE !!!!! This is the best news I've heard in years.
    KATHY & JUDY !!!!!!! This is the best news I've heard in years.

    Mimi
    (dog farm)

  • Ginny tucker

    We can listen all day again. Thrilled with the new lineup. Can’t wait til the 14th for the girls.

  • Laura Hoak

    glad to see I am not the only one who could not stand Johnny B's arrogance and gutter humor. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Glad to see Steve back where he belongs and Kathy & Judy is great, I can get to actually hear them on Saturdays thanks a million for listening to your audience!

  • Jolene

    Amen, and A BIG thank you for dropping that arrogant, annoying, slob you had on in the morning. yuck! I have been a faithful WGN listener since I outgrew WLS. I am now on SS so believe me when I say I am happy to tune my radio BACK to WGN. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Sharon

    Thank you. We are looking forward to once again listening in the morning. The whole atmosphere seems lighter. Great to hear the rest of the morning team participating in actual conversations! A breathe of fresh air.

  • mary

    Not pleased with Bob and Marriane, the Bickerson"s drive me nutty. She is a nagger, Bob walks with his stomach first.. ( according to her ) Can and will not listen to them. I do like Bob.

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