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WLS and Michael Savage

OK. Here's the thing I don't understand. Michael Savage last night was crowing that he was coming to WLS. At one point, I believe he said that his taking over Sean Hannity's time slots was paramount to the biggest shakeup ever in the history of talk radio.
I seem to remember a Cumulus exec. complaining that the controversy surrounding Rush, all the boycotts and the advertisers that bolted, caused a loss in revenue. Michael Savage seems to me to be much more controversial than Hannity. Hell, Hannity seems mild by comparison. So why would Cumulus replace a Hannity with a Savage? It would seem that they are signing up for more boycotts and loss in advertising.
Finally, what gives with WLS becoming all sports? Is that still going to happen? How can the station go to all sports, when they have Rush and Savage signed up? And please, if the station is not going to be all sports, make Roe and Roeper stop doing their 5 o'clock sports hour. I used to love listening to their Top Five at Five when I got off work. I tried listening to their sports hour, but I had to stop after they called Lou Canellis "Sweeeet Lou" about 20 times in one show. That whole hour is painful. Why do they even still have the sports hour if WLS is not going to be an all-sports network?
Lots of questions on a Thursday, I know. I will hang up and listen.
Responses (18)
  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, September 26 2013, 11:17 AM - #permalink
    Next question, will Michael Savage bump Roe and Roeper's show into a new timeslot, or...?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, September 26 2013, 12:42 PM - #permalink
    According to Radio Insight today Savage's show will air live on WLS from 2-5. So I'd say they're moving.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, September 26 2013, 01:34 PM - #permalink
    Cumulus claiming Limbaugh was a liability (loss in advertisers) was probably a negating tactic against Premiere Radio.

    Conn and Roeper would likely stay in afternoons. My guess...

    2-6pm: Roe and Roeper
    6-8pm: Mark Levin, live (with maybe his 5pm hour being played at 11pm. Kind of idiotic, but such occurrences are common.)
    8-11pm: Michael Savage (tape-delayed from afternoon)

    Just a logical guess.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, September 26 2013, 01:38 PM - #permalink
    The Radio Insight story does mention WLS will air the Savage show live come January (while also mentionin that Hannity is aired tape delay at 6pm). Interesting.

    Does that author simply have his information mixed up?

    Or does WLS have an early opt-out of Roe and Roeper's contracts? If not, maybe Roe and Roeper move to AM drive.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, September 26 2013, 01:48 PM - #permalink
    Radio Insight simply re-printed the Cumulus press release regarding Michael Savage replacing Sean Hannity. As is often the case with corporate-wide press releases talking about many stations at once, there were errors in that press release. To the best of my knowledge, WLS-AM has not yet made any firm decision as to when to air Savage's radio show. I have reached out to the station for clarification on the corporate press release and hope to have answers soon.

    The full corporate press release can be seen at the link below:
    http://www.michaelsavage.wnd.com/2013/09/cumulus-announces-savages-move-to-drivetime/
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, September 26 2013, 01:51 PM - #permalink
    By the way, if WLS-AM airs Savage's show in Sean Hannity's current spot of 6:00pm-9:00pm (which is expected), the first hour of the tape-delayed show will still be heard during "drive time," making the corporate press release kinda-sorta' still correct.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, September 26 2013, 01:52 PM - #permalink
    The only way that Savage airs live 2-5pm in Chicago would be if Cumulus were willing to negotiate and early out for Roe and Roeper. That would have been unthinkable even a few years ago, as Roe has always generated significant revenue for the station over the years, even after the Garry years.

    But it's now clear that very little about WLS's programming is being determined at 190 N. State. Most programming decisions are coming from Cumulus HQ in Atlanta.

    It's also no secret that Roe is being heavily courted by WGN and Jimmy DeCastro for a possible reunion with Garry Meier. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Roe take a good payday at WGN and try to recapture some of the old magic with Garry and leave WLS behind.

    Meanwhile, Savage might generate some revenue, but he's on more do-not-buy lists than Limbaugh. In fact, Savage is almost impossible to sell because he is so toxic. WLS would lose an incredible amount of revenue if they put him on instead of Roe & Roeper.

    My prediction is that Roe stays put for now, Levin moves up to 6pm, and Savage is heard from 9pm until 12am.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, September 26 2013, 04:23 PM - #permalink
    I have confirmation now. As I expected, the Cumulus corporate press release was misleading. Savage will indeed replace Hannity in January, but the show will not air live on WLS-AM. Just like Hannity's show, it will be tape delayed. (They don't actually use tape anymore, but you know...) Savage's show will air in the same time slot that Hannity's now does, 6:00pm-9:00pm.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, September 26 2013, 05:16 PM - #permalink
    I don't dispute that WLS plans to air the show from 6 to 9.

    But I've go to note that, if you were to glance at WLS ratings on a chart, from 2010 to the present, you'd see significant erosion. What time slot is most responsible for this decline?

    Is the afternoon team truly untouchable?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, September 26 2013, 05:33 PM - #permalink
    Ryan:

    It's not that Roe & Roeper are "untouchable," but it absolutely is the best business decision to not move or remove their show right now.

    Do you really think that airing a syndicated talk show instead of a local one would bring in better ratings and revenue? Especially a syndicated talk show that in all the years it has aired in Chicago has never once had decent ratings or found an audience here? Especially a syndicated radio show that a great many advertisers want nothing to do with? Do you really think that local sponsors will be beating down WLS-AM's doors to spend their money on a drive-time show that very few like and that isn't even local?

    Roe & Roeper have no problem at all attracting advertisers. Since Radio is a business, it makes business sense to stay with the show that brings in the dough.

    Now, who is to say that in late 2014, or more likely in 2015, Cumulus doesn't decide to stop spending money on local hosts in the afternoon and then shifts Savage to his normal live hours of 2:00pm-5:00pm. Despite the logic that local hosts bring in more local dollars, Cumulus' corporate office may choose to go the all syndicated route for the station (with the possible exception of mornings). Roe & Roeper's current contracts expire at the end of 2014, too.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, September 26 2013, 08:23 PM - #permalink
    Wait a minute. @Roe's Conn, Roe and Garry Meier weren't that great together to begin with. Maybe Garry and Steve Dahl, yes, but really not so much with Roe. Roe is not going anywhere. He has a good thing at WLS and he is not going to jeopardize this by working elsewhere--even if WGN screams and hollers and makes him an offer.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, September 27 2013, 10:37 AM - #permalink
    @Tina and Tony — You need to check your history. Roe and Garry were incredible together on WLS from 1996 until 2004. Their ratings were great and they generated significant revenue. You simply don't know what you're talking about.

    Roe could absolutely leave WLS. He's seen his compensation shrink considerably from where he was 10 years ago when Garry left. He got one of the last sweatheart deals from Citadel before Cumulus took over, and even that deal wasn't what he was making when Disney owned the company. Cumulus does not like to pay talent, especially when they have syndicated shows ready to drop in.

    Nearly everyone at WLS is miserable and can't stand Cumulus. They are rushing to the exits.

    There is a VERY good chance that Roe leaves WLS to take a larger paycheck at WGN, where he could reunite with Garry and recapture some of the magic they had. Roe's agent is already taking meetings with DeCastro.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, September 27 2013, 11:00 AM - #permalink
    Roe has recently put his house up for sale...Dont know what this means...Just sayin..
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, September 27 2013, 11:27 AM - #permalink
    Roe has recently put his house up for sale...Dont know what this means...Just sayin..


    Seriously? It means that Roe Conn and his wife, after years of living in one location, would like to move to a different location in the city. That's it. It has nothing to do with his working at WLS-AM.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Monday, September 30 2013, 05:21 PM - #permalink
    Seriously?

    Okay...If you say so. I am just making an observation. You sound mad?

    Personally, I think Savage has a much more entertaining show that Roe Conn. I would not mind one bit seeing the "Canarble Wagon" bite the dust!
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, October 29 2013, 12:41 AM - #permalink
    Savage is the man and the life line for WLS!!
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, December 27 2013, 07:46 PM - #permalink
    Schmoe and doper are mind screaming BORES! They are neither funny or interesting, a WASTE of 4 hours airtime.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, January 16 2014, 06:58 AM - #permalink
    Garry M made the Roe Conn Show fantastic. When he left a few years ago, it hasn't been the same. So bored with the "hyped-up, laughing" banter of Roe, Richard and Christina. Speaking of the latter, why would any advertiser use her in their radio spots? Sounds bored, not a good reader at all. Her claim to fame? She drinks a lot. So boring. A change is needed in the pm. Savage should be given a try.
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