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Time is running out for 'Real Oldies' format (VERY BAD LISTENING NEWS)
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | June 21, 2006 | ROBERT FEDER SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: animalstories; chicago; clearchannel; littletommy; music; oldies; radio; realoldies; unclelar
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All I can say is that this sucks, big time - in Chicago, we don't have too many alternatives.
1 posted on 06/21/2006 4:31:50 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: AbsoluteJustice; Augie76; Barnacle; BeAllYouCanBe; BillyBoy; Bismarck; bourbon; cfrels; ...

CHICAGOLAND BAD NEWS PING


2 posted on 06/21/2006 4:32:43 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief

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.


3 posted on 06/21/2006 4:40:24 AM PDT by Fairview
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To: Chi-townChief

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.


4 posted on 06/21/2006 4:40:27 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (If you read only one book this year, read "Stolen Valor".)
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To: Chi-townChief
We are still mourning the loss of WCBS-FM in New York.

There are one or two small, local oldies stations, but their signals are far from strong enough.

I enjoy the website www.musicradio77.com - it chronicles (in word, picture and sound) the glory days of top 40 AM radio. Also, there is an oldies show Saturdays from 6 to 10 PM NY time, hosted by Mark Simone. It streams on the internet - link is at site above. There may be other internet and satellite radio oldies stations out there.

That's the best I can do.
5 posted on 06/21/2006 4:40:31 AM PDT by cvq3842
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To: Chi-townChief

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.


6 posted on 06/21/2006 4:41:25 AM PDT by rhombus
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To: Chi-townChief
X-M radio is wonderful. I know that it is not free, but we pay for everything else today.
7 posted on 06/21/2006 4:44:20 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: rhombus

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.


8 posted on 06/21/2006 4:44:38 AM PDT by don-o
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To: Chi-townChief
Clear Channel has their head up a dark area.

They took our local talk station AM640 and forced out all the local talkers from 9:00 - 12:00 and made it local 9:00-10:00 and then Boortz from 10:00 - 12:00 when Rush comes on.

I can go for the Big B and Rush but then they changed the format on the 1 local hour, then got rid of the new good talkers and it's now like some kind of NPR, lets all group hug. Ahhhhhhh, done with the local hours on 640.
9 posted on 06/21/2006 4:47:04 AM PDT by PeteB570 (Guns, what real men want for Christmas)
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To: Chi-townChief
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.

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.

10 posted on 06/21/2006 4:48:45 AM PDT by seasoned traditionalist
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To: PeteB570
Was that Clear Channel or Cumulus Nimbus Clouds?

Arg, need more coffee.
11 posted on 06/21/2006 4:48:52 AM PDT by PeteB570 (Guns, what real men want for Christmas)
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To: don-o

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.


12 posted on 06/21/2006 4:48:57 AM PDT by rhombus
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To: rhombus
When I want oldies I spin my vinyl.

Music the way it's supposed to be enjoyed ... with needles

<[:^)

13 posted on 06/21/2006 4:49:17 AM PDT by tx_eggman (Islamofascism ... bringing you the best of the 7th century for the past 1300 years.)
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To: Chi-townChief

http://www.realoldies1690.com/main.html

http://realoldies1690.com/cc-common/streaming_new/index.html


14 posted on 06/21/2006 4:50:54 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: tx_eggman
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.

15 posted on 06/21/2006 4:51:34 AM PDT by rhombus
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To: seasoned traditionalist

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.


16 posted on 06/21/2006 4:58:33 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: tx_eggman
Music the way it's supposed to be enjoyed ... with needles

"Bloody right about that yank!"

17 posted on 06/21/2006 5:00:34 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: tx_eggman

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!


18 posted on 06/21/2006 5:00:52 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: Chi-townChief

Did someone pay for this advertisement?


19 posted on 06/21/2006 5:01:26 AM PDT by em2vn
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To: cvq3842

My wife and I miss CBS-FM terribly.


20 posted on 06/21/2006 5:03:25 AM PDT by Jhensy
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To: Chi-townChief

Gee does that mean I won't be able to hear "Ain't too proud to beg" or the rest of the Mo-Town catalog for the 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000s time?

Sseriously boomers, the 60's are over ok? Can you please take your boot off the neck of the culture?


21 posted on 06/21/2006 5:04:57 AM PDT by ElTianti
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To: ElTianti
Gee does that mean I won't be able to hear "Ain't too proud to beg" or the rest of the Mo-Town catalog for the 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000s time?

Haven't I told you a million times not to exaggerate?

22 posted on 06/21/2006 5:09:03 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch (No.... wire .... hangers!)
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To: ElTianti

That's why this is such bad news - this station concentrates more on the 1950-1963 time period although late 60s stuff is thrown in. The British Invasion and Motown stuff, you can still hear anywhere.


23 posted on 06/21/2006 5:14:36 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: don-o
Do you have a home kit so that you can use your XM in the house as well?

I love being able to have the same show on any radio in the house.

Last week, along with our daughter and her family went to Okla. they have Sirrus and could not get the race, so we traveled along side and they could get the race off of our radio. Pretty neat!!
24 posted on 06/21/2006 5:18:23 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: Chi-townChief
"this station concentrates more on the 1950-1963 time period"

Doo-Wop ... I like

25 posted on 06/21/2006 5:19:12 AM PDT by moonman (`)
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To: PBRSTREETGANG
"Bloody right about that yank!"

I see your "Keith Richards looking bad" photo and raise you a "Keith Richards looking like warmed over death" photo:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

26 posted on 06/21/2006 5:19:14 AM PDT by tx_eggman (Islamofascism ... bringing you the best of the 7th century for the past 1300 years.)
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan
We have a 1923 Victor victrola in pristine condition. It is wonderful, and I do not like music.
27 posted on 06/21/2006 5:22:05 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: mariabush

What do you mean when you say that you "do not like music"?


28 posted on 06/21/2006 5:25:42 AM PDT by Fairview
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To: Chi-townChief
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.

You must be an ol fart like me. LOL

In reminiscing, musn't forget the "Wolfman."

Still one of my all-time favorite tunes: "Clap for the Wolfman."

29 posted on 06/21/2006 5:26:25 AM PDT by seasoned traditionalist
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To: Fairview
I just don't. Music gets on my nerves. Who knows why?

I know it is weird.
30 posted on 06/21/2006 5:29:07 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: mariabush
Actually, I do not have a setup for my car (do not drive that much). Will get that done later. I got the Roady and the "boom box" speaker set. So I carry it to work and back home.
31 posted on 06/21/2006 5:29:08 AM PDT by don-o
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To: don-o
Unfortunately Nextel is going to Sirrus next season.

If you have a Roady you have the car setup.
32 posted on 06/21/2006 5:31:37 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: mariabush; Pete-R-Bilt; tubebender

Someone (Pete? tork?) on the NASCAR thread told me that they would be on both services.


33 posted on 06/21/2006 5:33:45 AM PDT by don-o
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To: Chi-townChief
All I can say is that this sucks, big time - in Chicago, we don't have too many alternatives.

Most stations in Houston are hispanic or hip hop......

There seems to be a future for XM and Sirius Radio............

34 posted on 06/21/2006 5:36:32 AM PDT by cbkaty (I may not always post...but I am always here......)
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To: don-o
Oh I hope so.

Kids went together and got Dad an early Father's Day present along with 6 months subscription. He is blind and can work his Roady just like a sited person.
35 posted on 06/21/2006 5:40:23 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: Chi-townChief
Uncle Larry is still around? Jeez, I was listening to him 40 years ago. How about Dick Biondi? He as infesting some FM oldies station last I heard.

And what ever happened to Murphy in the Morning anyway?

36 posted on 06/21/2006 5:43:40 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Chi-townChief
WLS had the National Barn Dance or some such thing up until '60

"Oh, it's Saturday Night at the old barn dance and we're havin' a wonderful tiiiime."

At least I have a couple of oldies options on the audio channels of my digital cable service.

37 posted on 06/21/2006 5:44:46 AM PDT by TheRightGuy (ERROR CODE 018974523: Random Tagline Compiler Failure)
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To: mariabush
X-M radio is wonderful. I know that it is not free, but we pay for everything else today.

Clear Channel is one of the major stockholders in X-M. Could be that they want listeners to migrate & pay for the format.

38 posted on 06/21/2006 5:47:25 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Colossians 4:6)
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To: moonman

It amazes me that some people like ElTianti, if his post above is any indication, think that rock music didn't begin until 1965.


39 posted on 06/21/2006 5:54:04 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief
***All I can say is that this sucks, big time..***

No kidding. My wife will go ballistic. 1690 is her #1 car radio button. I better not tell her until she has her coffee.

(or maybe I'll wait 'til Oprah is over?!?)

40 posted on 06/21/2006 5:57:39 AM PDT by Condor51 (Better to fight for something than live for nothing - Gen. George S. Patton)
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To: Alex Murphy
I didn't know that, but makes sense that Clear Channel might do just that.

So far, here in the Memphis area they are behaving themselves.
41 posted on 06/21/2006 5:57:48 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: tx_eggman
In the same vein.
42 posted on 06/21/2006 5:58:02 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Alex Murphy
Clear Channel is one of the major stockholders in X-M. Could be that they want listeners to migrate & pay for the format.

Bingo! We have a winner!

They recently dropped the last "oldies" station here in Buffalo, WKBW 1520 AM which was one of the 50,000 watt tower of powers during the heyday of rock 'n roll on the east coast and replaced it with, are you ready, Left Talk! That's right, those idiots from Air America et al. Guess since this IS one of the Bluest states in the USA they think it might have a chance. I removed it from my preset buttons in my cars. Oh,well. I still have XM.

43 posted on 06/21/2006 5:58:25 AM PDT by mc5cents
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To: Chi-townChief

My iTunes radio connects me to 16 streams w/ 50s -60s formats. No charge other than your broadband connection.

Granted you can't listen to it in the car.

Just an FYI.


44 posted on 06/21/2006 6:04:12 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Chi-townChief
Larry Lujack, Tommy Edwards

Would these be "Uncle Lare" and "Snotnosed Tommy"??

45 posted on 06/21/2006 6:05:42 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (Meep Meep)
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To: ElTianti
Seriously boomers, the 60's are over ok? Can you please take your boot off the neck of the culture?

You can say what you want about us boomers.Much of it is likely to be correct.But we had,in the 50's and 60's,the greatest music ever known to civilization.

46 posted on 06/21/2006 6:08:47 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative
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To: ErnBatavia

Absolutely.


47 posted on 06/21/2006 6:11:23 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief
"rock music didn't begin until 1965"

Sad! If that's what some think, then they missed most of it. I like Motown as much as anyone, but, it was merely an extension of what others a decade before them had created.

48 posted on 06/21/2006 6:18:11 AM PDT by moonman (`)
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To: Chi-townChief

XM or Sirius?


49 posted on 06/21/2006 6:20:13 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: Gay State Conservative
I wasn't born until '67, and I still spend most of my listening time in the era between around '42 and '65 (I also dig Sinatra, Martin, Bennett, etc, along with old R&R).

Unfortunately, finding anything from that era on broadcast is near impossible today - and its the preferred music of my parents and grandparents, who are still alive. You'd think there'd be a market for playing that music.

Sure, I have a lot of tunes in various formats, but as someone who didn't grow up back then, there was a lot of good music that I just haven't heard. Its a lot of work to have to collect that stuff because no one plays it and places like Napster don't stock it either.
50 posted on 06/21/2006 6:23:03 AM PDT by CertainInalienableRights
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