WGN-AM’s new line-up

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


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:





127 Comments to “WGN-AM’s new line-up”

    Just Joan said:
    August 31, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Welcome Back Steve Cochran!!! I will once again be turning my dial to 720. Steve we have missed you so much, this is so great to have you back and be able to start our day with you! Thanks WGN for having the good sense to bring you back. And welcome back Kathy and Judy! It will be good to hear you gals again. It's good to have the family back together! Now if you could just get the Bears back it would be perfect!

    Fred Mertz said:
    August 31, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    WGN back to catering to the senior crowd. Steve Cochran? Now I can listen to sports radio in the morning without missing anything worth my time.

    Carole said:
    August 31, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Johnny B was a big mistake! Nick D is getting better – if only he would stop repeating everything over and over and over. We heard you the first time Nick. And why do you play your theme song for the movie reviews every 2 minutes? Same thing-over and over. The Ryder gal was a disaster. And don't you think 7 to 11 sports is a bit much? Cubs, Hawks, Northwestern…okay. Women like talk radio too! Four hours just sports is an over kill. I agree with other listeners – if only you could bring John Williams back . It's great having WGN radio back!

    Jess said:
    September 1, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Johnny B and Buzzzz are amazing!!!!! They were such a nice jump start to my morning. I will miss them greatly.

      Mac said:
      September 1, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      Agreed. I posted my opinion voicing the same, however it was removed. I imagine it was too controversial for the new morning (read, old)) audience.

    Mac said:
    September 1, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    First you lose McConnell. Now Brandmeier. You just took away the two best reasons to listen to your station. Your new morning show puts me to sleep, which is not good enroute to work. You're gong to lose a serious demographic segment with this move. Goodbye WGN.

    karen said:
    September 1, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    What happened to Paula Cooper ?? Liked her !!

    Dan said:
    September 1, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    On the right track. Nice job! But…a big FAIL letting Brian Noonan slip away. Obviously he is pursuing other interests, but letting him move on does Chicago radio and WGN such a disservice. Very glad to have Steve on in the morning. Now I can come back.

    lifelong listener said:
    September 1, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    So glad to hear that our WGN is back – I can now tune back in! I'm in my mid-thirties and grew up listening to Kathy and Judy, Uncle Bob, Spike and all the rest. I bet I'm not the only "younger" listener who's looking forward to tuning back in. Thank you, WGN for a much better line up!

    Janet said:
    September 1, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I remember my childhood family listening to WGN every weekday morning while getting ready for the day. The tradition continued when I was on my own. I've always felt that the morning drive hosts were my radio family…Uncle Bobby and Spike were fun and friendly and cheerful. Many times I sat in my car after arriving at work, laughing out loud, not wanting to get out yet. What a great way to start the day! Since Spike left, that has not happened. The first replacement was a nice enough guy, but not much fun. Johnny B. should not be on a family radio show…mean to callers and morally bankrupt. He was a loose cannon…inevitably going to get into trouble. He seemed attracted to ugly, gross topics or sexually explicit ones. Thanks for renewing my faith in WGN—A breath of fresh air!

    Jeanne said:
    September 2, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    We had WGN on almost 18 hours a day a few years ago and felt entertained as well as informed. There is no one better than John Williams for witty, intelligent conversation. Hope to heavens it's possible to bring him back! Still miss the myriad of topics that Steve & Johnny managed to cover when they were on overnight. Bringing back K & J is brilliant! Brian Noonan was great to hear whatever the time slot. Your nightly sport show is w-a-a-a-a-y too long and will limit your audience for sure.

      Bo Diddly said:
      September 5, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      Wow, you had the radio on for 18 hours a day? You might need to get a life!

    bob said:
    September 2, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    what the hell have you yahoos done. Your new lineup so sucks. You let mike McConell go the only reason to listen to this sucky station. What a disaster. good luck will not listen you have a lineup of retreads. Great move yahoos

    Evelyn said:
    September 2, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Thank you for the changes, removing Johnny B. I now can leave my radio tuned to WGN all the time like I did for many years. The last few were not enjoyable.

    ART said:
    September 2, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    I stopped listening in the am and switched to another station.Glad to come back. Cathy and Judy would be good five days. Nick at night could use another hour or two. you are off to a good start.
    art c

    As8230 said:
    September 2, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    How the past General Manager could have gone off-track that far is a mystery. But at least the "New Guy" is trying to right the ship. One more thing needs doing, if possible – bring back Milt Rosenberg from 9:00 – 11:00 PM. I like Kaplan, but he doesn';t need all that time, and Rosenberg is a gem!

    Betty said:
    September 2, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Thank You so much for getting rid of Johnny B. I just could NOT listen to him and every time I switched the station I said "What an idiot!". Glad to read all the comments and know I was not alone. Had been a listener for 47 years starting with Wally . I will be back as a listener starting tomorrow.

    Craig said:
    September 3, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Love the line up , but Pete McMurray Sucks !!

    Mary said:
    September 3, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    So excited to hear Steve this morning. I can't express how happy I am to have some intelligent humor and interesting conversations in the am. Love, love, love Steve!! And with Garry bookending my workday, I could not be happier! Soooo glad you kept Garry. He is wonderful, too.!

    Peggy said:
    September 4, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Where oh where is Steve Bertrand in this mix? I haven't heard his voice the past couple days. He is a great sidekick and the voice of reason most of the time. I too would love to have Steve and Johnny and John Williams back. Bill Leff is my new favorite. He's funny/nice…very easy to listen to…makes me feel happy . Thank you WGN for bringing these wonderful people back into my life. Looking forward to catching up with Kathy and Judy.

    Gloria said:
    September 4, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    My radio dial is once again set at 720! I went away from it first when you had a gal named Carol on at noon – she was a radical using the radio waves as her platform to tear down each and every govt. agency we have.. She became rather scary. I switched again at night with Terry Ryder.. Sounded like she was in the studio by herself, talking to herself. She invited calls but when anyone called, she never let them talk. Just interrupted them with her opinions. I really like the lineup now, but the sports at night is too long.

    MikieB said:
    September 5, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Having Steve Cochran for the morning drive is the best thing since Spike. Johnny B is so self impressed and arrogant that it just plain hurts. I'm glad he likes himself, 'cause no one else does.

    Tim said:
    September 5, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    In a nutshell this new line up completely sucks!!! I am very unhappy that Johnny B is gone. He was the only reason I listened to WGN in the morning. My radio will be tuned elsewhere from now on. Thank You Mr. DeCastro, thanks for nothing!!!

    Dan Johnson said:
    September 5, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    I figured it was just a matter of time before the voice of common sense was eliminated. The listenership, news crews and obviously management couldn't handle a conservative voice among liberal thorns. I'm sure the Mike McConnell move to podcast is just a way of removing him from the airwaves until his contract runs out.

    Sierra Joy said:
    September 6, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Just read the new line-up. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to hear Kathy & Judy again! When I heard Steve C. this morning I was all smiles. Thank-you!!

    Donna said:
    September 6, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Line is great Iwill be back to WGN only problem I see is listing to Kaplan 7- 11 enough sports time s/b 7-10 also why not bring Steve and Johnnie back couple hours . I sure glad someone saw what a BIG error in their changes, now back on track will tell my friends to come back

    Joe Palumbo said:
    September 8, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Why did Johnny get let go? He was the best in the morning. Positive, upbeat…he made my morning drive,45-50 minutes go by so fast.

    Jenny said:
    September 8, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Kathy and Judy!!!!!! When they got fired, I was so sad! Please consider bringing them back for more than 2 hours per week!

    Julie said:
    September 9, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    I love you Leslie Keiling, but every time you say ICEenhower, I cringe. Loving the new lineup – sports at night is much too long!

      Jon said:
      September 11, 2013 at 1:35 AM

      Leslie and Garry are great but the rest of the lineup sucks!!

    Sy Sperling said:
    September 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    WGN's new slogan, "An Old Lineup . . for Old People"

      Pat said:
      September 10, 2013 at 6:54 PM


    megan said:
    September 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Johnny B, Mike McConnel, and Garry made WGN. Now it is so boring I do not listen to WGN anymore.

      Rich said:
      September 11, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      Could not agree more! I don't listen anymore either

    carol allen said:
    September 11, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Trying to find another station to listen to…miss Johnny B. and his antics…miss McConnell…can't stand Murciano (honey, you rip him a new asshole every day). Good luck guys…you just lost a long time listener

    Mary Anne said:
    September 12, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Liking the changes except Bob and Mary Anne …boring!!! Put Steve in that time slot with Gary following now that would make for a great afternoon of listening!

    ollie said:
    September 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    The GN suits made a Huge Mess of things & now they’re paying the price. Good. Thatz what happens when all that hubris kicks in. Glad the Girlz & Steve are back. Now get John Williams back on daytime.

    K. Ward said:
    September 12, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    So Glad the Girls and Steve are back! Now get John Williams as well, the Voice of Sanity! Such a Great personality! Then I’ll listen during the week, but not until then.

    Sue said:
    September 12, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    I tried, but just couldn't listen to WGN in the mornings anymore after over 30 years. Thank you for bringing back Steve Cochran. Now I will enjoy listening again. It will be fun to hear Kathy and Judy again, too.

    Marilyn said:
    September 12, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    We can start listening to WGN again. Before all the changes, it was the only station we listened to. We had quit listening almost entirely. Now it is number one with us again. Wonderful lineup but how about Steve and Johnnie?

    Jim said:
    September 13, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    Listeners asking for Steve & Johnnie are forgetting how they turned their time on the air into a "guitar" show. Near the end that is all they talked about. And Les Paul time got to be a bit much. They carried on as if they were his closest friends. I doubt that..

    jane hammar said:
    September 14, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    congratulations to WGN for bringing back to outstanding celebrities who make that station one of the most exciting and informative radio programs in chicagoland…welcome back, everyone…

    Kathy said:
    September 14, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Please add Kathy and Judy to the weekday lineup. You lost me in the a.m. though. I must be the only listener who finds Steve Cochran arrogant, condescending, and annoying! Bring back John Williams and his sensibility as well as more Steve Bertrand!

    Rita Myszkowski said:
    September 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    it had gotten to the point, where I did NOT even put on the radio in the morning. so glad Steve is back, and Kathy and Judy, even though only one day. I did like Mike McConnell though, interesting and intelligent, not sure why you let him go? Greg Jarrett was OK, but Mike was good! Bob and Marianne OK, sometime boring. miss John Willliams too

    jo alice said:
    September 19, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    I can't stand the new line up Johnny B was alive and topical, this Steve Cochran is rather lame. I can't listen to his voice or drabble, Now I forget to listen to Garry whom I do enjoy, should have kept Johnny, added Steve Dahl and leave Garry where he is, you would have more listeners.

    Marie said:
    September 25, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Love the new schedule. Nick D. is my favorite. Thanks! I'm listening to WGN again.

    Bill Brennan said:
    September 25, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Sorry to say but Steve Cochran is sucking all the life out of the AM radio, brandmeier was fun and interesting. Now you are back to the Uncle bob days that was also bad Radio in AM. Good luck I am switching back to 90.9 in AM and back to WGN at noon to Gary M Both great shows.

    Patti said:
    September 26, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Thank heaven WGN has gone back to being interesting radio. Missed Steve Cochran. Brandmier was irritating!!

    jsmith said:
    October 3, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Thanks for the big improvment in scheduling…..but please, ;please get rid of Bob Sirott and that moron wife of his. I can't abide one more second of her…could stand him in very small doses. Best yet make them both go away…very far away…bring back John Williams. and all will be well.

    patrice said:
    October 4, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    really don't like patty too into self don't like naughty part either-turn her off completely sorry

    Jim said:
    October 10, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    does anyone at WGN ever read these comments. Wish they would and reply..

    Madeline said:
    October 11, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    So happy to have WGN back-you guys are the best!

    Catherine Janus said:
    November 18, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    LOVE the new line up of hosts!! i have been a listener since my mom listened to Wally Phillips and I was in High School…I am now 55. I loved uncle Bobby and Spike…I didn't like McConnell so much but still listened…but when Johnny B came on I couldn't take him and turned my radio off till Gary came on…love Gary…so Thanks WGN for making the changes!

    JEFF GLAZER said:
    November 22, 2013 at 3:13 AM


    Paul age 45 said:
    January 23, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    The personalities are improved but the topics are now watered down and pop culture heavy. It's like eating donuts all day. Garry stands out from the donut shop sameness. . Bob and Marianne are the only complete miss.

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