Robservations: WGCI cancels concert over ‘security concerns’

Leon Rogers, Kendra Gilliams and Kyle Santillian

Robservations on the media beat:

Citing “specific safety and security concerns,” WGCI FM 107.5 abruptly canceled a concert it was to have sponsored Thursday night at the Chicago Theatre. “TakeOver Jam” had been promoted as a third anniversary celebration for the iHeartMedia urban contemporary station’s morning show (hosted by Kyle Santillian, Kendra Gilliams and Leon Rogers). It was to have featured performances by Black Youngster, YFN Lucci, Rich the Kid, Lil Baby, Derex Design, Kash Doll, Valee and Molly Brazy. Hours before the event, Chicago Theatre owner Madison Square Garden Entertainment announced: “We have been advised by Chicago law enforcement to cancel tonight's #TakeOverJam due to specific safety and security concerns for the surrounding area. As a result, we regret that the event has been canceled.” Refunds were offered to ticket holders. WGCI officials declined further comment.

Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of and host of a popular daily podcast, has been picked up in syndication by WLS AM 890. Starting Monday, “The Ben Shapiro Show” will air from 9 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday on the Cumulus Media news/talk station. “WLS is the perfect platform for Ben to connect with millions of new listeners with his provocative narrative representing a fresh voice for a new generation of conservatives,” Peter Bolger, operations manager and program director of WLS, said in a statement. “Ben is part of the next generation of the news/talk format and we’re thrilled to have him as part of our team.”

Jamar “J Niice” McNeil

Ten years to the day after he started at WBBM FM 96.3, Jamar “J Niice” McNeil signed off Thursday as morning host at the Entercom Top 40 station. “Thank you Chicago,” he tweeted. “Hope you join me for the next adventure.” McNeil and his team delivered a recorded farewell message to listeners shortly after news of their departure broke here. Starting Monday, look for mornings on B96 to be hosted by Kevin Buchar, the radio personality known as DreX. From 2003 to 2010 DreX hosted mornings on iHeartMedia Top 40 WKSC FM 103.5.

Michelle “Showbiz Shelly” Menaker

Michelle “Showbiz Shelly” Menaker also bid farewell to fans on her last day at B96. “After nearly 13 years of doing morning drive, I will miss chatting and laughing with you everyday,” she posted. “But this marks the start of a new chapter with bigger and better things to come. Thank you for being with me all this time. Love you guys. Please stay tuned for the next part of my journey.” Menaker, a North Shore native and graduate of New Trier High School and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, joined B96 as a promotion intern and moved up to entertainment reporter and morning co-host in 2005.

National Radio Hall of Fame

Today is the last day to submit suggestions for 2018 nominees for the National Radio Hall of Fame. The public can submit the names of potential candidates in six categories at through 5 p.m. Suggestions received after that will be filed for consideration in 2019. The 30th annual induction ceremony will be held in New York this fall while Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications hosts the “Saturday Night Live” exhibit in the Radio Hall of Fame space at 360 North State Street.

Thursday’s comment of the day: Bill Hazen: I’m pleased that the conversation is now underway regarding Loyola's radio future. Those of us who remember Red Rush, Bill Berg, Brian Wheeler and others look forward to seeing Loyola back on the air. For years this issue has drawn little attention, but winning is a great tonic for these kinds of ailments. There's no question Loyola has captured the imagination of Chicago sports fans with this year's run to the finals. Based on what I am now hearing, I sense more optimism on getting the Ramblers back on the air.