Robservations on the media beat:
It’s official: Kenosha stays. Nielsen Audio announced Wednesday that it won’t be eliminating Kenosha County, Wisconsin, from the Chicago metro market. A vote among Chicago area broadcasters failed to achieve the required three-fourths majority to approve the change. It’s a huge victory for Hubbard Radio, which would have seen its ratings decimated for classic rock WDRV FM 97.1 (since The Drive simulcasts on Zion-based WWDV FM 96.9). “It is gratifying to see the majority of Chicago radio ownership groups pull together to ensure we serve, and can measure, as many listeners as possible,” Jeff England, vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago, said in a statement.
Dave Ramsey, whose syndicated financial advice show airs from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday on WIND AM 560, has been dropped after two years on the Salem Media news/talk station. He’ll be replaced by two other syndicated talkers. Effective June 1, Larry Elder will move from overnights to 7 to 9 p.m., followed by Jay Sekulow from 9 to 10 p.m. “The inclusion of such talented broadcasters as Larry and Jay to our lineup couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Jeff Reisman, vice president and general manager of WIND. “Our listeners’ appetite for news and information is at an all-time high, and we continue to super serve that audience with this line-up change.”
CLTV, the cable news channel operated by Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9, is going high def. Starting June 1, Chicago area Comcast Xfinity customers will receive CLTV in HD on Channel 352. “We’re very excited that CLTV, our sister cable news channel, will be available to Xfinity TV customers in HDTV,” Paul Rennie, president and general manager of WGN, said in a statement. CLTV also simulcasts portions of Steve Cochran’s morning show and Roe Conn’s afternoon show on Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720.
Chicago radio veteran Cheryl Morton-Langston is leaving after 18 years as director of WCRX FM 88.1 at Columbia College Chicago, effective June 30. Her credits includes producer at WIND AM 560, news operations manager at the former WMAQ, and host of “Sunday Morning Live” at WVAZ FM 102.7. “The friendships and associations I’ve made at this college will remain forever in my heart,” she wrote. “I’m proud to have been part of CC and I wish everyone a bright future . . . Even though I will sorely miss my colleagues, the work and every student past and present, I am looking forward to a new challenge and to starting a new phase of my life.”
“Disco Demolition: The Night Disco Died,” a new exhibit on the infamous 1979 radio stunt, opens June 9 at the Elmhurst History Museum. Featuring photographs and artifacts, it chronicles “the story of one warm summer night in a Chicago ballpark that changed the course of music history.” Inspired by the book of the same title by radio legend Steve Dahl and journalist Dave Hoekstra, (with photos by Paul Natkin), the exhibit runs through October 9. Hoekstra also wrote the content for the exhibit, curated by Lance Tawzer.
Now comes word Dahl’s former partner, Garry Meier, is leaving town. After 67 years in and around Chicago, Meier is telling friends he’s moving to Santa Monica, California, where he’ll continue his subscription podcast. Meier’s last on-air radio gig with WGN ended in 2014. In March, the Chicago Tribune reported that Meier and his wife had listed their three-bedroom condo on Chicago’s Near East Side for just under $2.2 million. It's now listed for $1.9 million.