I admire the efforts of whoever is running the Bring Back Garry Meier Facebook page. The person administering the group has stated that the objective is to not rest until Meier is either back on the WGN-AM 720 airwaves or that he is released from his WGN contract and free to work elsewhere.
My sincere question for this group, and to anyone else thinking Meier could turn up elsewhere is, which which Chicago radio station would honestly hire him, let alone pay him the amount of money he’d likely want?
I’m not asking out of spite. As a fan of Meier, I believe he has been shortchanged by WGN boss Jimmy de Castro. That said, for those hoping he eventually turns up elsewhere, I don’t see that as a real possibility. The question I ask of the Meier Facebook group simply needs to be asked.
There aren’t any other talk stations that have the same relaxed and loose fit that WGN has. WLS-AM 890 and WIND-AM/560 The Answer are out, because they air more news/serious topical type of programing. The same goes for WCPT-AM 820/Chicago’s Progressive Talk. Meier’s more fun and less serious topics would not fit on any of those stations, unless one of them were willing to make a compromise in direction for a few hours.
Which FM music station would abandon its format to air a talk show for a few hours each afternoon? Most music stations don’t break format except for mornings. In 2014, I do think radio stations should be willing to play it less safe and try something different — a Garry Meier show on, for example, the Cumulus-owned WLUP-FM/97.9 The Loop would be unique. Unfortunately, corporate-owned radio stations typically don’t strive away from playing it safe. There’s always the chance Meier could be willing to do a morning show on a FM music station, but you’d still have the caveat concerning money.
The only other station that could possibly work might be the DuPage County branded right-wing talker WCKG-AM 1530. I mention WCKG as a remote possibility because the station has previously changed directions, trying new things in hopes to draw more listeners. I tend to think that if the opportunity to employ Meier was viable, they would not pass that up. A significant drawback of WCKG might be reach. Their poor frequency throughout much of Chicago’s south and southwest suburbs might make listening to Meier a challenge (though no worse if you already can’t listen to him online). There’s still also the potential issue concerning money.
As you can see, the options for Meier turning up elsewhere most likely are slim to none minus any unforseen changes. Having said that, even though having an online-only show is still less than ideal in 2014, being on WGN.FM is probably the best case scenario for Meier and his fans.
If you have the means to listen, I’d highly recommend it. With the absence of long newscasts and excessive commercials, Meier’s “streamliner” makes for a fun listening experience.