Wednesday, November 04, 2009


The former Sun-Times media critic started his new Vocalo blog on Monday.

He hit his stride today, with a salty piece on the demise of Chicago's hallmark radio station, WGN.

An excerpt:

Everything that’s gone wrong at WGN-AM (720) in the past year can be summed up in two words: “Pig Virus.”

No, we’re not talking H1N1 here. “Pig Virus” is the nickname Howard Stern gave long ago to Kevin Metheny, the man in charge of programming at the Tribune Co.-owned news/talk station since January.

Under Metheny, an acolyte of Tribune Co. operating boss Randy Michaels (and one of nearly two dozen Clear Channel alumni Michaels brought in with him), WGN has shown disdain or disregard for listeners who felt a unique bond with the station and its personalities.

There was the needlessly ham-fisted way Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey were run off the air after a phenomenal 20 years as midday duo. (Since they’re still being paid every penny of their contracts, what was so urgent that WGN couldn’t let them finish out as they’d planned and retire this spring?) There was the hiring of morning host Greg Jarrett, a capable broadcaster but one who’d never worked a day in his life in Chicago, to step right into the No. 1 job in local radio. (Jarrett almost lost me for good his first day on the air when he mispronounced “Devon Avenue.”) And there have been numerous other personnel and programming moves — in afternoons and on weekends, especially — that simply boggle the mind.

Read the rest of the story here.

1 comment:

  1. my favorite qoute of an insane man...

    “Please dispense with the word ‘degrees’ when delivering forecasts and currents. I’m pretty sure we can be comfortable the temperature measurement increment is almost always degrees. Seldom is the temperature measured in Aardvarks, Ford Mustangs or Belly Button Lint.”

    I often say "it's 75 ardvarks today" and people have no idea what i'm talking about.