Blowtorch Soundoff: Garry Meier WGN.FM show cancellation, dismantling of The Game, WGN in 2015 and beyond

With the cancellation of Garry Meier’s online WGN.FM show, in-conjunction with the announcement that The Game/WGWG-LP 87.7 (FM) is being dismantled at year’s end, I just had to rant about everything that’s happened this past week.

Length of Audio: Approximately 30 minutes

Discussion Points:

  • Reviewing the news of the week — the immediate cancellation of Garry Meier’s online show from WGN.FM, what’s up with Jonathon Brandmeier’s show and the dismantling of The Game 88.7.
  • How much it meant in May, 2013 when then Tribune Company hired Jimmy de Castro to preside over WGN-AM 720, and why there was reason to be optimistic about the station’s future. This discussion morphs into where and how things started to go wrong.
  • Garry Meier’s treatment by Jimmy de Castro since May of this year, and how ultimately, it led to Meier’s WGN departure.  It bears repeating… Garry Meier got screwed, and there is no plausible explanation that de Castro can give to the WGN audience.
  • Despite the dismantling of WGN.FM into what will likely be re-branded as “WGN Plus,” it makes no sense to cancel Garry Meier’s show. Tribune Media will pay Meier a lot of money to stay home for the next 10 or 11 months, despite his success and popularity. Meanwhile, the company is attempting to workout a deal that would allow Jonathon Brandmeier to continue doing his show, online only, even though the company has no further obligations to him (Brandmeier has been working without a contract).
  • Discussion of WGN Radio’s future and why, despite my previous blog where I called for de Castro’s firing, I will reluctantly root for him to succeed.

Blowtorch Soundoff: Cubs/WBBM, Garry Meier move to online, Robert Feder on De Castro

On this Blowtorch Soundoff, I discuss the angry reaction from some WGN-AM 720 listeners unhappy about the Chicago Cubs moving to WBBM-AM 780 next year. The Cubs opting to rid themselves of the Cubs, in-conjunction with the moving of Garry Meier off terrestrial radio has easily damaged the goodwill that WGN and new boss Jimmy de Castro worked so hard to re-build in the last year. I also give my take on media columnist Robert Feder, who I am a fan of, but can’t help but be disappointed at his lack of objectivism when it comes to reporting on de Castro and today’s WGN.

Approximate audio length: 13 minutes

Podcast: The Blowtorch Soundoff on Jimmy de Castro’s first day at WGN Radio

Speculation is running rampant ahead of Jimmy de Castro’s first day at WGN-AM 720 tomorrow as the new president and general manager. Many seem to think he will come right in and make an abundance of changes in the first week, if not on day one.

As I discuss on the podcast, that is last thing de Castro should do. There is especially one important long-term decision that de Castro will first have to make, if it hasn’t been made already.

[Note: The podcast is still an experimental feature for the website. While I’m unsure if I will continue doing these, I do know I have a lot of work to do to improve my speaking ability. Perhaps, that is the reason why I hesitate to make these a permanent fixture to the website. I hope to get better.]

Approximate Podcast Length: 6 minutes

Use the player to listen now, or click the download link to save it to your computer or mobile device.

Podcast: The Blowtorch Soundoff on CBS 2 releasing Susan Carlson, WIND’s lame ‘answer’ to imaging, and more

Today, I unofficially launch the “Blowtorch Soundoff,” an experimental podcast where I spew off whatever is on my mind related to media.

Discussed on this recording, about 12 minutes in length:

  • Full thoughts on WBBM-TV/CBS 2 releasing morning news anchor Susan Carlson on Friday.
  • My rant against WIND-AM/560 The Answer’s awful imaging and voiceover work.
  • Mike McConnell of WGN-AM 720 having no idea of the Facebook “like” concept.
  • While I debut my podcast, the Radiogirl Margaret Lakin earlier this week posted her 100th podcast, where she interviews WLS-FM 94.7’s John Records Landecker.