Robservations: WGN Radio renews morning host Bob Sirott; Mitch Michaels celebrates 50 years on Chicago radio; WVON program director Todd Ronczkowski resigns

Bob sirott

Observations on the media beat:

Legendary Chicago Broadcaster Bob Sirott, who has been a rare shining star in the ratings at WGN 720-AM, has just extended his contract as a morning host for two years. “Bob has been an iconic voice in Chicago since 1973 and we are fortunate to have his voice and his talent as we enter our 100th year and beyond. ” Marie Boyle, vice president and general manager of news and discussion station Nexstar Media, said in announcing the renewal. Terms of the agreement, negotiated by the lawyer Steve Mandell, were not disclosed. Starting January 3, Sirott’s show will air from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on weekdays – an hour later than it has been since it started in January 2020. In the latest Nielsen Audio poll , WGN ranked third in the morning with a 5.4% share and a cumulative weekly audience of 171,100. Sirott said, “Who knows, someday I might be a morning person.”

Mitch michaels

Monday marks an important milestone for Mitch Michaels, Afternoon Personality on Alpha Media’s Classic West Suburbs Hits WERV 95.9-FM. This will be the 50th anniversary of his first Chicago radio show – as a party host on the former WGLD. “The station was on the floor of a retirement home – the Oak Park Arms Hotel in Oak Park – that I always thought was an unusual place for a rock station,” he said. once called back. “There was a fire escape in the program director’s office and the door faced east. I was going there for cigarette breaks and just staring at the Chicago skyline at night, knowing that was where I really needed to be. Michaels has pursued a stellar career, including stops at WXRT, WDAI, WKQX, WLUP, and WCKG. In 2017, he published his memoirs, Take the cruise: memories of a lifetime on radio and rock & roll, published by Eckhartz Press.

Todd ronczkowski

After more than 35 years on Chicago radio, Todd ronczkowski stepping down as Program Director for Midway Broadcasting news / talk WVON 1690-AM. From January 3 he will work for the Cook County Sheriff Tom dart as a communication agent for community engagement. Prior to joining WVON in 2009, Ronczkowski spent 14 years as a producer at News / Talk WLS 890-AM. While attending Moraine Valley Community College, he worked on the airwaves of the former Southwestern Suburban WJRC. No word yet on a successor to Midway Broadcasting, where Ronczkowski also served as Spanish-speaking operations manager WRLL 1450-AM.

Alex degman

Alex Degman, a former news anchor and reporter for WTAX in Springfield, was hired as a state reporter at Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5 FM. Starting in January, he will cover the state legislature for WBEZ and nine other NPR stations in Illinois. Degman, a graduate of Western Illinois University and University of Illinois Springfield, also worked for the former Illinois Radio Network and KMOX in St. Louis. “I am really looking forward to getting back to Springfield and public radio,” Degman said in a statement. “Chicago Public Media opens a very exciting new chapter in state journalism; I’m honored that they chose me to be a part of it and can’t wait to get started.

Steve dale

Sunday was declaredSteve dale Day” in Chicago to honor the vital work of longtime pet advocate and host of “Steve Dale’s Pet World” on WGN Radio. Among other accomplishments, the city council proclamation cited Dale for the creation of the Chicago Task Force on Pets and Public Safety, which rewrote the city’s animal control law and created guidelines for them. dog day care centers. By accepting the honor of the mayor Lori Lightfoot, Dale thanked WGN, his home radio for 25 years. “Without that 50,000-watt soapbox I’m sure we would have had breed bans in Chicago, mandatory pediatric sterilization of dogs and cats, and laws restricting pets and wouldn’t be allowed to dine on. terraces or sidewalk cafes with dogs, “he said. “And more recently, banning the sale of dogs / cats in pet stores.”

Wednesday’s commentary: Bob Mane with: I had the privilege of being news director for WGN-AM-TV during Don Mellema’s time there. He was one of the best writers on the team and never hesitated when I needed to change my schedule etc. Due to our contract with AFTRA at the time, I was unable to use him as a reporter, and having heard it over the years at WBBM, I came to regret this. He was certainly better than a couple of the journalists on the team when I became news director. Other than that, he was a really nice guy.

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