A 14-month vacancy at the top of WGN AM 720 has been filled from within at the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station.
Todd Manley, vice president of content and programming, was named Wednesday to the additional job of station manager, with oversight for long-term strategy and day-to-day management of WGN Radio on all platforms.
The appointment by Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert encompasses duties previously held by Jimmy deCastro, who resigned in October 2016 after three and a half years as president and general manager of WGN. Last month deCastro was named senior vice president and market manager of Entercom Chicago.
Coinciding with Manley’s promotion, Wert announced that Paul Rennie, president and general manager of WGN-Channel 9 and CLTV, would also oversee WGN Radio. In other words, Manley will report to Rennie, and Rennie will continue to report to Wert.
“Both Paul and Todd have worked well together, and this structure will further the synergy and streamline the productivity of our Chicago brands,” Wert said in a statement.
Both appointments come as WGN is poised to be sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group in the company’s $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal awaits regulatory approval. Also in the coming months the radio station will be moving from Tribune Tower at 435 North Michigan Avenue to the Illinois Center complex at 303 East Wacker Drive.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WGN tied for 12th place with a 2.8 percent audience share. Among listeners between 25 and 54 — the prime demographic for advertisers — the station ranked 24th with a 1.7 share.
Manley joined WGN in 2013 as vice president of content and was instrumental in revamping the station’s programming and digital products under deCastro. It marked a return to WGN for Manley, who’d spent 10 years at the station, starting as director of production and imaging in 1998 and moving up to creative director in 2004. The Southern Illinois University graduate also worked in Chicago at WXRT FM 93.1 and the former WCKG and WPNT.
Calling his new role “the opportunity of a lifetime,” Manley said in a statement: “I look forward to working with Paul Rennie to innovate and grow ‘Chicago’s Very Own’ WGN Radio everywhere.”
Rennie was named president and general manager of WGN and CLTV in July 2016 after three years as vice president and general manager of WTTV and WXIN, Tribune Broadcasting’s duopoly in Indianapolis.