Eddie & Jobo are a no-go at WLS FM

Ed Volkman and Joe Colborn (Photo: Chuck Berman)

Ed Volkman and Joe Colborn (Photo: Chuck Berman)

An apparent rift between Ed Volkman and Joe Colborn has dashed hopes for another comeback by the long-running Chicago radio duo known as Eddie & Jobo.

“Well, that's all, folks,” Volkman declared on Facebook and Twitter Saturday. “There will be no Eddie & Jobo anymore. The offer was there, but only one of us wanted it. Hope he finds happiness.” For the first time in more than 25 years, Volkman is seeking work solo.

Sources confirmed the duo had been offered a 2½-year deal to host mornings on classic hits WLS FM 94.7. As first reported here last week, talks began in May when the two met with John Dickey, co-chief operating officer and executive vice president of Cumulus Media.

As eager as Volkman was to accept the deal, he couldn’t convince his longtime partner to agree. The two have been off the air since December 2012 when CBS Radio dropped them from classic hits WJMK FM 104.3. Since then, Colborn sold his Gold Coast condo and moved full-time to Freeport, Illinois. Volkman continues to live in Chicago.

“Jobo has waffled back and forth on this WLS deal for the final time,” Volkman told me. “I’m exhausted. The answer is ‘no.’ They only want the team, so I'm SOL.”

According to Volkman, the deal would have paid each one of them $200,000 through January and another $500,000 a year for the next two years after that.

“Who turns that down?” Volkman asked rhetorically. “They offered him a microphone from his house, everything . . . Apparently Jobo saved his money while I put four kids through college and paid child support. Also he’s terrified of Jan Jeffries,” referring to the senior vice president corporate/programming for Cumulus Media and program director of WLS FM.

Claiming Colborn had “turned it down nine times in two months and then backtracked,” Volkman said: “I need closure. Tell everybody the young, vibrant one is available for hire,” adding that he’d instructed agent Steve Mandell to pitch Volkman to potential employers as a solo performer. (For the record, both Volkman and Colborn say they're 58.)

Colborn could not be reached Saturday, but he’d made no secret of his ambivalence about returning to morning radio, which he and Volkman began doing together at CBS Radio contemporary hit WBBM FM 96.3 in 1988.

“I’m wrestling with this decision 24/7,” he told fans earlier on Facebook. “If I don’t do it . . . it's not fair to Eddie. If I do it . . .  I might not be doing it with a 100% pedal to the medal attitude. Honestly, I just want serenity and success.”