Chicago Sun-Times
Lewis Lazare follows Chicago media and marketing news

Recently in WLIT-FM Category

The Chicago Bears were a hot commodity in the final weeks of the pro football season -- as the possibility loomed that the team could wind up competing in the Super Bowl. Though the team was a hot topic of discussion throughout December on the city's two sports talk radio outlets -- WSCR-AM (670) and WMVP-AM (1000) -- all the talk wasn't enough to propel either station to the very top of the Arbitron rankings among males 25 to 54 in the holiday Arbitron book released this week.

WSCR did hold on to fourth place in the adult male demo in the holiday book, while WMVP was tied for ninth place overall. But in case you're wondering what station ranked first among males 25 to 54 in the holiday book, that would be WLIT-FM (93.9) and its round-the-clock holiday music format. We're told that males who may have a chance to pick what station the radio is tuned to at other times of the year, relinquish that right to the women in the house during the holidays. Apparently even when the Bears are closing in on a Super Bowl berth.

Clear Channel Radio Chicago's WLIT-FM (93.9) will flip the switch at midnight Friday, and start broadcasting holiday music 24/7. The annual changeover has become a big event each year for the station, and one that has provided a huge -- albeit temporary -- boost for the station in the Arbitron ratings book. WLIT typically reverts to its regular adult contemporary programming soon after Christmas. In the October Arbitron book, WLIT was tied for 11th place overall in the key 25 to 54 year old demo, down a notch from it's 10th place ranking in the September book, even though the station's overall share increased slightly in October.

Effective Nov. 11, 2009, Joe Gersh will become general sales manager for three Clear Channel Chicago radio outlets: WLIT-FM (93.9), WKSC-FM (103.5) and Mega 95.5 (formerly WNUA-FM). Most recently, Gersh served as the director of business development at NRS Media in Atlanta, Ga. NRS Media is a Sydney, Australia-based media sales training and consulting company currently working with 174 local TV/cable, radio and newspaper media outlets in the United States. "Joe brings a wealth of experience with an extensive background in media sales management, advertising and marketing," said Matt Scarano, director of sales for Chicago Channel Radio Chicago.

Rick Vaughn.jpgDerrick Brown and Rick Vaughn have been named social media directors at Clear Channel Radio Chicago effective immediately. Brown will oversee social networking for WVAZ-FM (102.7), WLIT-FM (93.9) and WGRB-AM (1390), in addition to his duties as WVAZ's program director. Vaughn will head up social networking for WKSC-FM (103.5), WGCI-FM (107.5) and Mega 95.5, while continuing to serve as program director of WKSC.

As directors of social media, Brown and Vaughn will be responsible for using new media and social networking to extend station brands across online communities, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter among others. Brown is the former assistant program director and mid-day host at WLIT. Vaughn previously was program director of Clear Channel's WIOQ-FM (102.1) in Philadelphia.

Valentine.jpgChicago radio listeners are getting a Valentine early. Starting Sept. 2, radio personality Sean Valentine, 40, returns to Chicago radio via Clear Channel Radio's adult contemporary WLIT-FM (93.9) as the star of a newly-formatted morning drive show called "Valentine in the Morning" from 5 a.m to 9 a.m. weekdays. He replaces Melissa Forman, whose contract with the station was not renewed earlier this month.

Thanks to the marvels of modern radio technology, Valentine will originate his WLIT morning drive show from Los Angeles, though he will need to be in the studio there and ready to go at the early hour of 3 a.m. west coast time. Clear Channel Radio Chicago Operations Manager Tony Coles doesn't doubt Valentine is up to the challenge. "The man has a great work ethic," said Coles.

Joining Valentine on his new morning drive show will be Chicago-based Karen Williams. For more than 12 years Williams was Ramsey Lewis's co-host on "The Ramsey Lewis Morning Show" on the former WNUA-FM (95.5), which in the spring switched to a hot Spanish hits format and became Mega 95.5. Williams now will handle news, traffic and weather reports on Valentine's morning show. Valentine's sidekick will be Los Angeles-based Irma Blanco, who from 1994 to 1998 worked with Mancow Muller on "Mancow's Morning Madhouse" on the former WRCX-FM (103.5).

Coles said WLIT's new morning drive format is squarely aimed at females, especially working women and mothers aged 25 to 54. "I listened to a lot of tapes, and Sean was one of those dark horse candidates we stumbled upon," explained Coles, who likes that Valentine frequently refers to his wife and child while doing his show and does a lot of topical material.

Though now based in Los Angeles at KBIG-FM (104.3), Valentine is no stranger to Chicago. From 2001 to 2003, he was the morning drive host at Clear Channel Radio Chicago's top 40 WKSC-FM (103.5). Valentine has been doing morning drive at KBIG since 2007.

Morning drive host Melissa Forman is out at adult contemporary WLIT-FM (93.9). As first tipped here two weeks ago, Clear Channel Radio Chicago President and Market Manager Earl Jones has decided to go in a different direction with the station's morning drive show, which in recent months has been on a ratings roller coaster. A new morning drive format is expected to be revealed early next week. Forman's morning show sunk to a 1.5 rating in the June book and 26th place in the rankings before rebounding a bit in the just-released July book to a 2.2 rating, good enough for 20th place among morning drive contenders. Forman's contract was set to expire Oct. 1.

White.jpgTelevision legend Betty White is coming home.

The Oak Park native and five-time Emmy Award winner will be the guest of honor at a brunch on Mar. 15, in the Empire Room at Chicago's Palmer House Hotel. The event will celebrate Women's History Month and benefit Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications. The Chicago Chapter of American Women in Radio & Television is co-sponsoring the event. AWRT began as a national organization in 1951, around the same time that White's extraordinarily rich television career started.

Melissa Forman, morning personality on WLIT-FM (93.9), will host the public question-and-answer portion of the brunch. ME-TV will provide video highlights of White's career, including clips of "Life with Elizabeth," "Mary Tyler Moore Show", "Golden Girls" and "My Name Is Earl," among others.

Tickets to the brunch range in price from $50 for individuals to $500 for a table of ten. Tickets can be ordered at www.museum.tv or by calling 312-822-0512.

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About the blogger

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 is an archive of recent entries in the WLIT-FM category.

WLFM-FM (87.7) is the previous category.

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