Skip to comments.Time is running out for 'Real Oldies' format (VERY BAD LISTENING NEWS)
Posted on 06/21/2006 4:31:47 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
Of all the stations on Chicago radio's "watch list" (if there were such a list, that is), the one in most critical condition has to be Clear Channel Radio's "Real Oldies" WRLL-AM (1690).
Nothing is official, but insiders say it could be only a matter of weeks before Clear Channel bosses pull the plug on the format and a talent lineup that includes such personalities as Larry Lujack, Tommy Edwards, Scotty Brink, Tom Murphy and Ron Smith.
Plagued from its inception in 2003 with a substandard signal that barely covers the metropolitan area, "Real Oldies" has languished at the bottom of the ratings all along. Arbitrends released Tuesday show the station tied for 36th place with a 0.5 percent share and with a cumulative weekly audience of 116,200.
Any hopes of growth were dashed when ABC turned its WZZN-FM (94.7) from active rock to "True Oldies" last fall. Despite its lackluster lineup and promotion, WZZN wins by default with its superior signal.
John Gehron, who put "Real Oldies" on the air, nurtured and protected the format as Clear Channel's regional boss here. Once he left the company (only to resurface as head of Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Radio), the station's days were numbered.
No decision has been made on a new format, but the most likely scenario would turn WRLL into a time-brokered outlet that would lease all of its air time to an outside company.
Most common time-brokered formats include religious, ethnic and foreign language programs.
If Clear Channel does pull the plug on oldies, at least one of the station's stars shouldn't be idle for long.
Edwards, the Chicago radio legend who serves as morning personality, program director and operations manager of "Real Oldies," already has been approached about a drive-time on-air job at a bigger and better local station, sources said.
Too bad he won't be able to bring Ol' Uncle Lar along with him this time.
Dialing: Changing channels
*As if it weren't already hard enough to find Dick Biondi and the other great jocks who've been relegated to the Internet and HD Radio, now CBS Radio is switching their Web address.
Starting next week, Biondi, Greg Brown, Fred Winston and Connie Szerszen will be moved to a new site at www.OldiesChicago.com. They had been streaming oldies at www.wjmk.com since their old station, WJMK-FM (104.3), morphed into adult hits "Jack FM" last year.
"Since WJMK is 'Jack's' call letters, we want to distinguish the two entities more for clarification in the ratings process," said John Sebastian, program director of "Jack FM."
*Look for WGN-Channel 9 morning weatherman Paul Konrad and entertainment reporter Dean Richards to make special guest appearances on Steve Cochran's "Clean Comedy All Stars" show this weekend.
Cochran, a seasoned standup comic and midday personality at Tribune Co.-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720), will be the headliner at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Genesee Theatre in north suburban Waukegan.
*Radio One Communications, which owns and operates four stations in northwest Indiana -- WXRD-FM (103.9), WLJE-FM (105.5), WZVN-FM (107.1) and WAKE-AM (1500) -- has begun construction on expanded studios and offices in Valparaiso.
Tracking: 'Hippo' gets bigger
*"Nude Hippo: Your Chicago Show," an offbeat local treat on cable since 1997, is gaining a new outlet on WMAQ-Channel 5's Web site. Starting Thursday, segments from the weekly half-hour comedy/talk show will be streamed at www.nbc5.com.
Hosted by Tony Lossano and Amy Zanglin, "Nude Hippo" still airs at 7 p.m. Thursdays on Chicago Cable Channel 25.
*Janet Davies, entertainment reporter and host of "190 North," will be joined by Terri Hemmert, midday personality at adult rock WXRT-FM (93.1), in co-hosting WLS-Channel 7's coverage of this weekend's 37th annual Gay Pride Parade. The one-hour special will air at 11:35 p.m. Sunday on the ABC-owned station.
Grand marshal of the parade will be George Takei of "Star Trek" fame.
*The Museum of Broadcast Communications has received a $40,000 grant from the Chicago Community Trust to help create an exhibit on Chicago's radio and television history.
CHICAGOLAND BAD NEWS PING
Aw, poor Larry Lujack! I hope he finds another job (if he wants one). Pathetic to see him working at a low-rent station like this. It's probably past time for him to retire, though--I listened to him when I was a kid and I'm getting up there myself.
It is nice to see Larry Lujack officially classified as a has been. He did an appearance at our downstate small town high school once and made it quite clear that he was only doing it because the boss made him. He couldn't get his nose high enough in the air to get away from the stench of the peasants.
Hey when I listen to the radio I listen to talk radio anyway. When I want music, I listen to CDs. When I want oldies I spin my vinyl.
Finally broke down and got satellite radio. The Bob Dylan Show on XM was the tipping point. But there is so much great stuff to choose from.
My God, is Biondi still around?
Amazing. Wonder how old he is.
Reason I mention this is that when I (and friends) were teens and got our licenses and went "cruising," we used to listen to him at WLS Chicago in late 50's FROM Burlington, VERMONT, no less.
Course, there weren't that many stations on the air at that time and usually, after 11 p.m./midnight, when many local stations went off the air, we would be able to pick up WLS, (quite clearly) which had great Rock & Roll format.
Yeah, I got a copy of Dylan's first show. There was some great music on it but I'm still not ready to take on a monthly bill.
Music the way it's supposed to be enjoyed ... with needles
You bet. I can hear every pop, hiss and scratch. But seriously, CD's may have better sound quality when they are new but the lifespan of vinyl puts CDs to shame. No wonder the music industry hates mp3s.
Yeah, WLS had the National Barn Dance or some such thing up until '60 when they converted to rock; first song played - "Alley Oop" by the Hollywood Argyles. Both Dick Biondi and Clark Weber are still around.
"Bloody right about that yank!"
I love surface noise! I'm going backwards - I've been collecting records for 30+ years, and just recently got into 78s. At this rate, soon I'll be collecting Edison cylinders!
Did someone pay for this advertisement?
My wife and I miss CBS-FM terribly.