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WGN-TV Newscast Changes - More Hours, Anchors Change Shifts
Aug 19 2014 12:00

As part of its new fall schedule, WGN-TV is making numerous changes to its newscasts. The changes are happening in the mornings and afternoons, with an extra hour of news [ ... ]

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WCKG-AM Moves To New Studios In Oakbrook Terrace
Aug 19 2014 10:05

WCKG-AM 1530 has fully moved in to their brand new, state-of-the-art studios and executive offices as of this past week. The new WCKG-AM location is within the luxurious  [ ... ]

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Steve & Johnnie Return To WGN-AM For Labor Day Fill-In Role
Aug 19 2014 09:15

For the second time in under a year, beloved WGN Radio overnight radio duo of Steve King and Johnnie Putman will be making their return to the Chicago airwaves. This will [ ... ]

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Muchin & Bellow's 'The Dirty Truth' Becomes 'The Big Payoff' - Moves To WGN.FM
Aug 19 2014 08:00

Internet-only radio station WGN.FM has picked up a new weekly business show entitled "The Big Payoff." Hosted by Suzanne Muchin and Rachel Bellow, this live 60-minute pro [ ... ]

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ABC 7 Officially Announces New Daytime Schedule; WCL To Have Week Of Double Shows
Aug 18 2014 12:45

WLS-TV/ABC 7 officially announced its new fall daytime schedule today. Among the changes are the addition of "The Rachael Ray Show," the shifting of some shows back to th [ ... ]

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WGN-TV's Rich King Gets 'Back In The Game' With New Book
Aug 18 2014 11:15

WGN-TV sports anchor/reporter Rich King will soon be releasing a new book about his life, entitled "Back In The Game." The personal story looks at a recent chapter in Kin [ ... ]

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Executive Changes At Univision Chicago: Larry Sands Exiting; Doug Levy Promoted
Aug 18 2014 09:10

Major changes are taking place this month with media giant Univision Communications. These nationwide changes have numerous executives exiting and some being promoted. Th [ ... ]

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Jack Diamond Not Taking WLS-FM Morning Job; Signs With Tijuana/San Diego Radio Station
Aug 16 2014 10:30

For the last week of July, Cumulus-owned WLS-FM gave a "tryout" to a new morning show host, Jack Diamond. Speculation had it that Diamond was a lock to become the new ful [ ... ]

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WMAQ-TV Announces New 11:00am Newscast & Anchors
Aug 15 2014 18:00

WMAQ-TV/NBC 5 will be making some changes to its midday schedule next month, ending its 30-minute Noon newscast, but adding a new 60-minute 11:00am newscast. Announced to [ ... ]

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News & Notes: Terri Hemmert; Star 105.5; St Augustine/Johnson; Ryan Chiaverini/Dave Plier;...
Aug 15 2014 16:45

This weekend's News & Notes features a dozen news items from the Chicagoland media beat, including: Terri Hemmert hosts the Fest For Beatles Fans once again; Star 105.5 h [ ... ]

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WSCR-AM Parts Ways With Dan McNeil
Aug 15 2014 13:00

WSCR-AM/670 The Score and CBS Radio Chicago have officially parted ways with their longtime personality Dan McNeil. After nearly two months of contract negotiations, McNe [ ... ]

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WGN-TV To Broadcast 2014 Arlington Million Horse Race
Aug 14 2014 15:35

For the fourth year in a row, WGN-TV will be airing the Arlington Million live from Arlington Park Racetrack. This will take place on Saturday, August 16th, from 5:00pm-6 [ ... ]

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  • 19 Aug 2014

    Clear 82°F 68°F

  • 20 Aug 2014

    Mostly Sunny 81°F 71°F

More Changes At WGN: Badesch, Cooper Out; Digilio Given More Hours

The last few days have seen numerous changes at WGN-AM 720. Even more changes have or are about to take place, though. Here are some of the latest ones...

WGN Radio has said goodbye to its overnight news crew. Paula Cooper, who started with WGN-AM as an intern back in the mid-1990s, was released along with Turi Ryder on Thursday night. Roger Badesch, who joined WGN Radio almost eight years ago, did what could be his final overnight newscast last night.

Cooper was flight attendant for well over a decade when she decided to change careers to something more Earth-bound. She went into the career of working in radio and television. Besides her time on and off at WGN-AM, Paula Cooper has worked WDCB-FM, as well as Metro Networks, where she was heard delivering news and traffic reports to such Chicago radio stations as WUSN-FM, WNND-FM, WUBT-FM, and WAIT-AM. She also worked in programming and producing for the short-lived satellite station Channel Earth.

At WGN-AM, she produced the radio show for Ian Punnett, followed by the overnight show of Steve King and Johnnie Putman's. When she returned to WGN-AM a few years later, she was reunited with Steve & Johnnie as the overnight news anchor.

Roger Badesch may have started at WGN-AM in 2007, but he started in radio as a general assignment reporter at WKQX-FM from 1979-1981. (That station was a news station in the mid-1970s, which became a rock station in the late-1970s that still had full newscasts.) In addition to his time at WKQX-FM, he also did radio reporting for Associated Press, United Press International, and the Mutual Radio Network, as well as working in news radio in Las Vegas for a period of time.

Along the way, Badesch held other jobs, including being a press aide for the City of Chicago, operating his own media public relations firm, and being a full-time school teacher, first in the suburbs and currently within Chicago.

While Badesch may be done with his regular overnight news shift, he is not entirely done with WGN Radio. He will still be used for fill-in work, including working twice next week (Sunday and Thursday).

On his personal Facebook page this morning, Roger Badesch said the following: "Nearly 8 years ago I took my own advice - 'If you don't try, you'll never know.' I was hoping that WGN Radio would take a chance on a 53 year old who hadn't been 'on the air' since 1982 and hire me in their news department. Yes, I was a full-time teacher. Yes, I knew the pay in radio would be drastically lower than my teaching pay. Yes, I knew that by the time I'd gotten around to applying they would have probably already hired someone. I'm still a full-time teacher. The pay is still lower than my teacher pay. They HAD already hired someone. But I was in the right place at the right time and had what they wanted in ability and sound and earned a part-time position working Friday nites with Nick Digilio. I trained with Christopher Michael (whom I found out had replaced me many moons ago at WKQX-FM). After a few years, Brian Noonan joined our overnite family and I was honored to join his 'big show'. Over the years I've worked with many of the on-air talents - Garry Meier, Mike McConnell, Dean Richards, Greg Jarrett, John Williams, Bill Leff, Milt Rosenberg, Steve Cochran, and others who were there for only one or two visits."

He added "Being on WGN is truly a childhood dream of mine. I'm not making it up. My parents only listened to two radio stations - WGN and WNIB. In my teen years I found WLS, WCFL and WVON. But I always came back to WGN. I know my continued work with WGN is meant to be. Like I always say - 'ya never know.'"

Other changes include adding to fan favorite Nick Digilio's air time.

Starting next week, fans of Nick Digilio's will want to have their radios tuned to AM 720 on Saturdays. That day of the week is Nick Day on WGN-AM, as he bookends the station's Saturday programming. At Midnight on Friday night/Saturday morning, Digilio begins his show, which will run to 5:00am. At 6:00pm, Digilio returns to the airwaves, going until Midnight. One can also look at it as Nick D is on all day Saturday, with a 13-hour lunch break in between.

Obviously, those hours can change slightly (especially the later Saturday shift) due to live sports programming.

Digilio remains a top fill-in for the station, most often for Bill Leff's weekday overnight shift.

Along with all of the above, the news anchors shifts for morning and afternoon are being flipped, with Andrea Darlas switching to mornings and Steve Bertrand returning to afternoons.

These are just some of the latest changes taking place in just the last few days, which include the exit of Turi Ryder, the cancellation of "WGN Sports Night," the addition of "The David Kaplan Show" (which included the re-hiring of Mark Carman), the exit of Carol Roth, and the cancellation of "The Noon Show."


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The Chicagoland Radio & Media website (abbreviated as CRM) is a celebration of all things relating to Chicago-area media matters. CRM is a news source, a location for fans to voice their opinions, and an online museum of Chicago media's past and present, with a hopeful eye to its future. For the visitors, readers, and fans of the website, CRM is a both a resource and a release, both educational and an escape, and both factual and fun.

If it has a connection to Chicago area radio, television, print, and/or other forms of media -- information on it can be found here at ChicagolandRadioAndMedia.com!