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CBS Radio Chicago's WJMK-FM to switch to classic hits format

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At 1:04 p.m. Monday, CBS Radio Chicago's WJMK-FM (104.3) will switch to format featuring classic hits from the 1960's, '70's and '80's that management believes will improve the station's fortunes in the Arbitron ratings. The new format replaces an adult hits format that had been in place since 2005.

Well-known Chicago radio personalities Ed Volkman and Joe Bohannon are returning to the CBS Radio Chicago fold to anchor WJMK's new morning show from 5:30 to 10 a.m.
Eddie and Jobo, as they are more familiarly known, were famously dumped from CBS Radio Chicago's Top 40 WBBM-FM (96.3) three years ago to cut costs when the economic downturn hit the radio industry hard. The duo also had outgrown B-96's 18 to 34-year-old core audience demo.

At the time of their exit from B-96, Volkman and Bohannon were part of the city's elite corps of so-called "million dollar mouths" -- on-air talent that earned a million dollars or more a year for their services.

CBS Radio Chicago market manager Rod Zimmerman wouldn't discuss terms of WJMK's deal with Volkman and Bohannon, but their new salaries are believed to be considerably less than a million dollars a year.

Joining Eddie and Jobo at the newly-formatted WJMK will be Bo Reynolds, another former WBBM-FM jock who had a show there from 1987 to 1990. Reynolds will anchor afternoon drive from 3 p.m to 8 p.m.

Yet another WBBM-FM alumnus, Gary Spears will host mid-days on the new WJMK from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting March 21. Broadway Bill Lee, a talent from New York, will fill in until Spears starts. Spears was on air at B96 from 1982 to 1984 and again from 1990 to 1994. Zimmerman said another host will be named soon to anchor WJMK's evening show starting at 8 p.m.

Zimmerman said the new format will be "high energy, music intensive and locally driven." Added Zimmerman: "The CBS Radio network is very familiar with this format, and we have had a lot of success it in other markets."

Speaking as one, Eddie and Jobo said of their new gig in a statement: "To be rookies again, starting on a brand new radio station in our hometown is, well who said 'you can't go home?'."

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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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This page contains a single entry by Lewis Lazare published on March 10, 2011 10:50 AM.

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