WGN-AM 720 midday host Mike McConnell has been removed from the station’s on air line-up… kind of. He will now be heard, exclusively via the station’s website on WGNRadio.com’s Livestream Ch. 2, an online-only secondary stream channel (usually reserved for re-airing of older shows).
From Mike McConnell’s Facebook page earlier this morning:
We’re starting something new today. A PODCAST!
Some of the show will be prerecorded and some live.
The live portion will stream at 11:00am cdt and your calls are welcome.
The phone number is WGN’s old number 312-591-7200.
When you call you will go directly on hold and hear the stream.
There is no call screener and for now I’m experimenting with how to best put it together.
The show will then stream in it’s entirerty at 3:00pm cdt.
I typed this whole damn thing myself believe it or not. Just part of my commitment to the listening public.
Talk to you later.
For all intent and purposes, this appears to be the station’s way of getting around his contractual obligations. McConnell’s three year anniversary at WGN was Friday, Aug. 9. Though terms of his contract were not made public, speculation was his multi-year deal ran anywhere between three to five years.
Listeners wishing to listen to him will have to seek out WGN Radio’s Livestream Ch. 2 feed at WGNRadio.com. The show will be made available in the afternoon as a podcast. It will be interesting to see what kind of effort the station will make to promote McConnell’s online shows.
The station is now free to program anyone they wish during his 10am-3pm slot, which as of this writing, is written as “WGN DAYTIME” on WGN’s website. Various fill-in hosts are scheduled to host during those times for the rest of this week.
Today’s McConnell broadcast was described on air by the host himself as an “ill conceived concept.” McConnell is left to answer any calls himself, many of which so far have been wrong numbers. At times, random dial tones and other phone sounds are heard in the middle of breaks and sometimes during live segments. Today’s show appears to be a “shoot from the hip” test day, more or less to get the bugs out.
It would appear for now that WGN is attempting to utilize the high priced McConnell via the cheapest means possible.
With McConnell now out of the way, it would seem logical that the station will soon announce their revamped program scheduled sooner rather than later.