Published on Saturday, 14 September 2013 16:00
It's official. After a successful "test" show on Friday morning, Jonathon Brandmeier will begin working weekday mornings on the brand new WGN.FM website, starting Monday morning. Brandmeier's Internet radio show will be heard weekday mornings from 6:00am until approximately 9:00am.
Yesterday, shortly after 6:00am, Brandmeier kicked off his first public show on WGN.FM. Called a "test" show, the program went off with relatively few hitches. There were some minor issues with microphone volumes, long delays on the phone lines, audio quality, and some people figuring out how to actually listen, but overall, it was considered a success.
With that test out of the way, Brandmeier returns to morning radio on the web on Monday morning via the experimental WGN.FM
(also found at WGNFM.com).
WGN.FM is the newly-launched website by Tribune Broadcasting, which will be a virtual FM radio station. Brandmeier's morning show is the foundation for this online experiment for Tribune Broadcasting and WGN Radio. Other hosts will slowly be added to WGN.FM, until the virtual station has round-the-clock entertainment. Tribune Broadcasting is exploring the purchase of at least one Chicago radio station frequency on the FM band in the near future, once they can clear some federal regulations that prevent that ownership. At that point, WGN.FM will move to the terrestrial radio frequency (most likely in the middle of the dial) and be able to hit the ground running with an established brand featuring established shows and personalities.
Since there is no WGN radio station on the FM band in Chicago currently, the "FM" in WGN.FM is standing for "Freeform Media." However, Jonathon Brandmeier said during his show on Friday that he does not care for the "Freeform Media" tagline. He says he is not doing anything "freeform" or different, but is doing the same style of show he has been doing for 20 months on WGN-AM, as well as for most of his long career in radio. The biggest difference now is that the show is not confined by FCC rules and will have limited commercial interruptions. This is the opposite of his situation on WGN-AM where his show had seemingly non-stop interruptions, ruining the rhythm for its host, along with his listeners.
Despite being free of FCC rules, Johnny B plans on continuing to keep his show family-friendly. Those expecting to hear streams of obscenities will be disappointed.
Brandmeier's new Internet show has him surrounded by much of the same group he had with him on WGN-AM. Chicago radio veteran Buzz Kilman is back as Brandmeier's newsman and frequent on-air contributor. Hector Soriano is also back as producer and foil, as is producer Gino Giovannetti.
Rejoining Brandmeier's show for the first time in over 15 years is Harry Teinowitz on sports. Teinowitz previously worked at WLUP-FM on Danny Bonaduce's midday show for two years, before joining Brandmeier's morning show for one year, starting in 1997. Harry Teinowitz most recently worked at WMVP-AM/ESPN 1000, where had worked since 1998, until his release
this past spring.
Those wanting to be part of the live morning show have a new phone number to memorize. That number is 1-312-235-2525. Johnny B and his musical brothers went into the recording studio this month and cut a song to help remember the number. The song is set to the music of the 1969 hit single "In The Year 2525" by Zager & Evans. It can be heard here:
His voice mail phone number remains the same: 1-866-JB-VMAIL (528-6245).
Along with being able to access WGN.FM via any computer with an Internet connection, the stream can also be heard via the TuneIn app and TuneIn.com. A contract is being worked out with iHeartRadio.com to have WGN.FM on that streaming service in the very near future, as well. Additionally, a standalone WGN.FM app is being developed for smart phones and tablets.
After each live show airs, they will be turned into podcasts on the WGN.FM website. Friday's complete test show is available there now.