In all of Chicago radio you won’t find a more talented, knowledgeable, genial or universally admired personality than Bob Stroud. But soon you won’t find him hosting middays anymore.
Stroud, 71, announced Tuesday he’s stepping down from the top-rated midday show he’s hosted for 21 years at WDRV 97.1-FM. His last day of full-time work at the Hubbard Radio classic rock station will be June 30.
As he segues into semi-retirement, Stroud will continue to host his two daily features — "Ten at 10" and "One 45 at 1:45" — and his signature weekly program, “Rock ‘n Roll Roots,” now in its 43rd year.
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.
For a kid who grew up listening to Chicago Top 40 giants WLS and WCFL, it's been the ride of a lifetime.
“I never saw this coming, a 43-year career in the city of my dreams, Chicago," Stroud said. "Now it’s time to kick back a bit and spend the proverbial more time with my family, while still keeping a tone arm in the game by continuing to host two weekday features and my 42 year old baby, 'Rock ‘n Roll Roots.'"
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey Stroud’s midday show on The Drive was No. 1 overall with a commanding 7.6 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 487,300. For more than two decades, he's been at or near the top of the highly competitive midday ratings.
“I am just thrilled for Bob’s opportunity,” Keith Hastings, brand and content director of The Drive, said in a statement.
“To be able to enjoy life and family fun time, while continuing to nurture his relationship with Drive Nation is a rare opportunity. He gets to continue to do what he loves, while doing it on his own timeline. He is a special talent and a special person. I am really pleased that we will be able to continue to work together in this great city.”
Hastings said a search is underway for a new midday host. In the interim, afternoon co-host Janda Lane will fill in from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting July 1.