WLS welcomes ‘friggin’ radio legend’ Dahl back for more
Robservations on the media beat:
- Steve Dahl, whose tenure as afternoon star on WLS-AM (890) in the 1980s added luster to his legend, is back for more this week: He’ll be filling in today and Wednesday for Richard Roeper alongside Roe Conn on the Citadel Broadcasting news/talk station. Shortly after Dahl announced his subscription podcast plan, his July 19 stint on Roe & Roeper went so well that WLS bosses offered him a weekend gig (which he promptly laughed off). So how does Roeper feel about such an illustrious stand-in? “This is why Jay Leno never has anyone filling in for him,” Roeper told me. “You’re off for two days and the next thing you know, they’ve got a friggin’ radio legend sitting in your chair. It’s like being in a Beatles cover band, and they say, ‘Oh by the way, McCartney's going to play bass for us while you’re off doing your little movie gig.’ Overkill! Fortunately, I have an iron-clad contract, and as we all know, radio executives would never break such a bond. Ahem. Seriously, I love that Steve will be sitting in that chair for a couple of days. I heard great things about the last time Roe and Steve paired up.”
- The final report card for two Chicago radio stations that just switched to all-news formats shows them tied with identical audience shares. In Arbitron ratings released Monday, Emmis Communications’ former alternative rock WKQX-FM (101.1) and CBS Radio’s former adult contemporary WCFS-FM (105.9) both finished July in 20th place overall with 2.3 percent shares. (Under Merlin Media, WKQX became all-news WWWN.) No. 1 again — with a 5.7 share — was CBS Radio’s all-news WBBM-AM (780), which began simulcasting August 1 on WCFS. Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM (91.5) ranked 25th with a 1.6 share.
- Morning television may be getting more competitive this fall with a new guy calling the shots at You & Me This Morning on Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU-Channel 26. Just hired as senior executive producer of the show is Rob Morhaim, a seasoned veteran whose credits include Live with Regis & Kelly, Deal or No Deal, Judge Judy, and The Tony Danza Show. "Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow have a chemistry that is special, and I can't wait to work with them and talented staff at You & Me This Morning to make it appointment television for women in Chicago," Morhaim said in a statement. Before joining The U, Morhaim had been high on the list to produce Windy City LIVE for WLS-Channel 7, according to Emily Barr, president and general manager of the ABC-owned station, who called him "a great guy."
- Aches and Payne: I had to laugh when I saw an invitation from the Lincoln Park Young Professionals to attend the unveiling of "the all new Range Rover Evoque" at a North Side auto dealership August 17. Listed as the evening's special guest is "Allison Payne of WGN." In a blog post last week about leaving the Tribune Co.-owned station after 21 years, the chronically ailing Payne wrote: "I am not ruling out a return to the anchor desk, but now I need new intellectual challenges. I'm open to applying my communication skills to the business world as well." Guess that includes shilling for car dealers.
- Randy flashback: This blast from the past comes from my Chicago Sun-Times column of February 27, 1992: Randy Michaels, the Cincinnati radio consultant who put Chicago's WYTZ out of business, is the target of ABC's 20/20 tomorrow. Correspondent Lynn Sherr reports that at two stations in Tampa Bay, Fla., owned by Michaels' Jacor Communications, management created "an atmosphere intolerable for some female employees, with an emphasis on sex and crude sexual antics." Michaels won't talk, citing a pending lawsuit.