We don't envy the task facing Bill Leff. The ex-sidekick of WLS-AM (890) afternoon drive host Roe Conn has been tapped to host a new morning show on Tribune Co.-owned WGN-AM (780) called "ChicagoNow Radio," debuting Nov. 14. The program, which will air on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 noon when sports programming doesn't interfere, will feature a rotating cast of bloggers from www.chicagonow.com, the Web home for no fewer than 126 bloggers that is part of the Chicago Tribune Media Group's efforts to appear in sync with the times.
In announcing the new program, WGN Program Director Kevin Metheny obviously had to reach more than a bit to come up with a basic description of the concept: "This will be a crazy collision of experiences and perspectives." Perhaps. But it also sounds as if the program will be chaotic and hard to follow, with so many different bloggers with different areas of interest talking amongst themselves while Leff tries to tie it all together.
Obviously, the Tribune Media Group is trying to use its radio outlet to promote the ChicagoNow venture. It's called synergy. But "ChicagoNow Radio" may very well prove yet another irritant to tens of thousands of formerly loyal WGN listeners who have turned off the station in recent months as Metheny has tried to update and modernize the sound to attract a younger audience.