I’m very ticked! I have been listening to WGN radio all my life. It’s a monster station out of Chicago that blows away all the competition with it’s wattage, and it has ridden on the top of the ratings for most of that time. My favorite announcer was, and always will be Bob Collins. Unfortunately, we lost him in a light plane crash, and I suspect the the WGN ratings have been in a tail spin ever since.
I was really ticked when they canceled the Farm Show at noon, a number of years ago. I wrote a letter of protest at the time and got a canned response about the fact that they needed to address the new ratings system, and they had to provide programming that pleased those who live in Chicago and the collar counties around the city. Unfortunately, WGN has SO MUCH power that it reaches all the farmland in surrounding states, not just counties, and basically they felt all those people could go hang. I got what little I knew about the farm market from WGN, so I was set adrift, too.
Then, the trend was toward men who had stand up comedy background. I adjusted to Steve Cochran, but I thought it was the last straw when Gary Meyer (Mayer, Meier…..however you spell his name) was hired for the 1:00 slot. I figured I could listen to books on tape or CDs while I worked in the office,
Well…I was wrong about it being the last straw. That came yesterday morning when “The Girls” announced that the radio station was changing their programming, and that I was listening to their last show. I am so ticked! “The Girls,” or Kathy and Judy (Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey) have been sharing the microphone at the 9:00 a.m. hour for twenty years. They are of an age where they may have wanted to consider retiring, but the station took that option away from them. What’s worse, the station doesn’t have anyone hired for that spot. There was NO warning it was going to happen, and when I went to the Website to comment, I discovered it has been totally revamped. There was a ‘kiss off’ note saying that The Girls last show was yesterday. They gave an address for the station e-mail, and when I got the last “Girlfriend Gram.” I found addresses for both the women.
It takes a fair amount to get me to write a letter of complaint, but this succeeded. I understand demographics. I understand that what stations charge for their ad time is based on ratings, but rather than buck the system, WGN has let itself be cowed and now will sound just like all the other stations in town. It used to be a really big deal to be invited to work for WGN. I doubt it will be such a big deal in the future.
I expect to listen to the local classical music station a lot more now. I might tune in to the college jazz station. CDs, and cassette tapes of books will fill my day. I’m so sorry to loose a lifelong friend this way, but I think it’s time we went our separate ways.
Goodbye WGN Radio, and best of luck, Kathy and Judy!