Jonathon Brandmeier, who took Chicago by storm as morning star of the former WLUP 97.9-FM in the ’80s, has been elected to the National Radio Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
Brandmeier, 61, was among 11 broadcasters in the 2018 class of inductees announced Monday by the Chicago-based shrine to radio’s outstanding personalities and programs. They will be inducted November 15 in New York.
In addition to two stints on The Loop, the native of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, also worked for the former WCKG and two news/talk stations — Tribune Broadcasting WGN 720-AM and Cumulus Media WLS 890-AM. He’s been off the air since his syndication deal with Westwood One Radio Network was not renewed in 2016.
Johnny B., as he was known by his fans, dominated young-adult listening in Chicago during the heyday of The Loop. The career recognition follows the recent sale of the station, which ended its 41-year run amid an outpouring of nostalgia for the iconic brand.
Brandmeier will be the fourth Chicago personality to enter the Radio Hall of Fame in the past three years. John Records Landecker was inducted in 2017, and the duo of Eric Ferguson & Kathy Hart were inducted in 2016.
This year’s other inductees are: syndicated hosts Nanci “The Fabulous Sports Babe” Donnellan, the duo of Mike Golic & Mike Greenberg, Kid Kelly, Mark Levin and Dr. Laura Schlesinger; local hosts Mike Francesa, Joan Hamburg and Jim Kerr; and consultant Fred Jacobs.
Brandmeier, Golic, Greenberg, Kerr and Schlesinger were chosen by a panel of industry professionals. Donnellan, Francesa, Hamburg and Jacobs were chosen by the Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee. Levin and Kelly were chosen by public voting.
“It’s our mission to recognize the most impactful personalities and individuals to our medium and honor them,” Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchen said in a statement. “We’re proud to induct these individuals for their contributions into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2018, our 30th year.”
The induction ceremony will be in New York — at Guastavino’s in Manhattan — because the home of the Radio Hall of Fame at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications is currently occupied by the yearlong “Saturday Night Live: The Experience” exhibit.
Friday’s comment of the day: Debra Laurie Surman: I enjoy watching Janet [Davies] and Terri [Hemmert] host the Gay Pride parade every year. I just wish Channel 7 would give them more than an hour!