Conservative podcaster Dan Bongino to fill Rush Limbaugh’s slot on WLS

Dan Bongino

Dan Bongino, a conservative podcaster and staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, has been tapped to replace Rush Limbaugh on WLS 890-AM, the Cumulus Media news/talk station.

"Please join me as we welcome Dan Bongino to the team," Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Media Chicago, wrote in an email to staff Wednesday. "Dan is a patriot who has served as a NYPD officer and a Secret Service agent and has filled in for our evening host, Mark Levin."

Bongino's show, syndicated by Westwood One, will air on WLS from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, Nyren said. It will premiere May 24.

“I’m excited to embrace the immense power of radio to connect with my listeners live for three hours every day,” Bongino said in a statement released by Cumulus Media. “This is an incredible privilege, and I pledge to honor the trailblazing work of those who came before me.”

Rush Limbaugh

The move dashes hopes that WLS would fill Limbaugh's slot with a local host.

Limbaugh, who died February 17, had been a fixture on WLS since shortly after it went all-talk in 1989. He was a dominant figure in talk radio for decades who spawned a generation of imitators.

Since Limbaugh's death from lung cancer at 70, WLS and other Cumulus Media stations have been airing highlights of his shows.

Bongino, 46, currently hosts a podcast for Westwood One Podcast Network. The former police officer and Secret Service agent ran for Congress three times as a Republican. After losing all three races he became a full-time commentator, podcaster and talk radio host.

"His brand of right-wing pugilism is similar to what talk-radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have been doing for decades," the New York Times wrote in a profile of Bongino last fall. "He is good at turning daily culture-war skirmishes into hyperpartisan outrage-bait, with a cast of recurring left-wing villains and right-wing heroes who inevitably show up to dunk on them."

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WLS tied for 10th place in middays with a 3.4 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 191,800.