Bob Stroud, the legendary musicologist who’s been celebrating the roots of rock and roll on Chicago radio for four decades, will keep right on rocking at The Drive.
Hubbard Radio announced today that Stroud has signed a new long-term deal to continue hosting middays (9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays) at classic rock WDRV FM 97.1 as well as his signature “Rock ’n Roll Roots” show every Sunday morning.
Few can match Stroud’s longevity here, starting as production director at the former WMET in the late ’70s, followed by on-air runs at WLUP, WCKG and WXRT, among others. Since 2001 the native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, has been a fixture on The Drive.
With the recent demise of The Loop (which Stroud saluted in a deeply emotional personal tribute on its last day), The Drive has stepped up its marketing and promotional efforts to win over disenfranchised listeners. But undoubtedly one of its biggest draws is Stroud himself.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, The Drive tied for fifth place in middays with a 4.0 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 483,600. Stroud's show ranks third in most key demographics, including listeners 25 to 54, 18 to 49, and 35 to 64.
Recalling that he was the first air personality to be heard on The Drive, Stroud said: “Seventeen years later, through all thick and no thin, I’m still cracking The Drive mic and astounded at my good fortune. To have been brought here in the first place was an honor. Now, at this hour, to have my stay extended is a dream. I’m beyond grateful to Hubbard Chicago and Hubbard Radio for their faith in me.”
The feeling appears to be mutual. Rob Cressman, program director of The Drive, said in a statement: “Bob is not only an exemplary brand ambassador for The Drive, he is an iconic brand in Chicago. Bob’s experience with classic rock’s artists and his deep understanding of what makes the genre timeless have ensconced him as one of Chicago’s premier sources for music curation. His contributions to the classic rock format have been widely celebrated throughout his career.
"We are thrilled to know that the daily companionship Bob provides the Chicago community will endure for many years to come."