The 20-year bond that Kathy and Judy have formed with their listeners is unlike any in Chicago radio. Listeners find them to be accessible, outspoken, hilarious, bitchy, and compassionate. Their show is completely listener-driven. Be it sex, children, romance, family quandaries, no topic is off limits and every show is more or less a party.
Kathy attended Northern Illinois University (but dropped out to get married and have babies, which was a very popular thing to do in the ‘60s). She joined the Chicago Tribune in 1979 as a secretary to “Tower Ticker” Columnist Aaron Gold. She was promoted to reporter in 1983 and became a co-writer of the “Inc.” column, covering the entertainment field. In 1994, she retired from the column to become a features writer for the Arts, Tempo and magazine sections of the Chicago Tribune; she left the paper in 1995 when her radio show was expanded to four hours a day.
Kathy first appeared on WGN Radio in the mid-80s, providing entertainment reports for the Wally Phillips and Roy Leonard shows. For a time she also hosted a nationally syndicated daily entertainment report called “Campbell’s Souperstars.”
Kathy is a co-founder of the Aaron Gold Scholarship Fund at the Theatre School at DePaul University. She has served as a member of the Chicago Leadership Council of the National Osteoporosis Foundation and as a volunteer for Open Hand Chicago and the tutoring program at Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church. She has run one marathon, which was plenty, and several half marathons. Unfortunately, she still isn’t thin.
Kathy is the mother of two adult children, Patrick and Colleen, and grandmother of four. She lives near Princeton, where she can usually be found in the garden, and she hasn’t cooked a balanced meal since 1983.
Judy Markey is a broadcaster, novelist, and journalist.
For twenty years she and Kathy O’Malley co-hosted Chicago’s top-rated midday program, “The Kathy and Judy” show on WGN-AM. After a four-year hiatus, (oh hell, you know they were fired), WGN’s new management has brought them home where they are now hosting their show on Saturday mornings from 10-12.
Kathy and Judy twice received (2006 AND 2008) the very cool national award for having “The Best Talk Radio Show in A Major Market.” The award is called “The Gracie,” named after Gracie Allen, (a woman with whom Judy closely identifies.) In 2004 Crain’s Chicago Business named Kathy and Judy among “Chicago’s One Hundred Most Influential Women.” In March 2005, she and Kathy were named two of the “Top One Hundred Talk Show Hosts” in the country by “Talkers” Magazine. In April 2005 she was inducted into Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement.
For sixteen years Judy chronicled the insanities of contemporary life in her syndicated column for Chicago Sun-Times. Her first novel, The Daddy Clock, published by Bantam Books was immediately optioned by Touchstone Pictures, and has been translated into five languages. Her second novel, Just Trust Me, was something of a flop compared to the first. Don’t bring it up if you meet her.
Judy’s first two books — collections of her syndicated columns — were How To Survive Your High School Reunion and Other Mid-Life Crises, and You Only Get Married For The First Time Once.
Judy has recently become interested in storytelling and has performed her original stories several times. She goes on long walks in Ft. Sheridan’s beaches and ravines with her rescue dog,Toby; takes ballet twice a week; tutors; and made absolutely no headway on her third novel.
She has two adult children, two adult stepchildren, and is married to Tom Collinger. Tom is Senior Director Medill Distance Learning Initiative, and Executive Director of Medill IMC Spiegel Digital & Database Research Initiative.