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On May 2, 2010, the legendary radio DJ Dick Biondi will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first broadcast on WLS-AM (890). In honor of the occasion, Biondi will host a special broadcast on WLS-FM (94.7) on May 2, from 7 pm to 12 am. The broadcast will be simulcast on news/talk WLS-AM (890) and will feature stories and highlights from Biondi's career, along with special guests. Biondi fans can call 312-984-5350 and congratulate him or share a story about listening to Biondi at some point over the past five decades. Some of this messages will be played during the special May 2nd broadcast.

Biondi began his broadcasting career in New York City, but moved to Chicago in 1960, and worked at WLS-AM. In the early 1960's, Biondi was the nation's No. 1 disc jockey, averaging a 60 share of the national audience. Biondi has been inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame and the radio wing of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Dave Fogel is returning to the Chicago market as morning drive host at oldies WLS-FM (94.7). He replaces Brant Miller, who had been doing double duty as NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 weatherman and morning drive host at WLS-FM. Fogel was last in the market as a talent at hot adult contemporary WTMX-FM (101.9), where he was on air from 1997 to 2004. He most recently was at KCKC-FM in Kansas City. Joining Fogel on his new morning drive show at WLS-FM will be Maura Myles, who will handle traffic, weather, news and other duties. Myles moves over from WLS-AM (890), where she had a similar role. Fogel begins his new job on Mar. 1.

Brant Miller, the engaging meteorologist on NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, has lost his second gig as a morning drive host on Citadel Broadcasting's oldies station WLS-FM (94.7), where he had been on air for two years. Until June of 2008, WLS-FM had operated under the call letters WZZN-FM. The move to cut Miller from the roster at WLS-FM comes soon after parent Citadel Broadcasting's bankruptcy filing.

The WLS morning show gig had provided Miller a presence on radio, a medium in which he seemed to be just as comfortable as he is on television. Before he turned to weather forecasting on television as his principal job in the late 1980's, Miller was a radio DJ on several stations in Denver and Chicago, including WLS-AM (890)

But like other some Chicago radio outlets in recent months that have opted to play down personality and focus more on music, WLS-FM is apparently going in that direction too.
"We are going to replace him (Brant) with another personality and make the show more music-focused," said WLS-FM program director Michael La Crosse. Emmis Communications' classic rock station WLUP-FM (97.9) dropped high profile morning drive talent Jonathon Brandmeier late last year and said it too wanted to focus more on music instead of personality.

Minus his WLS-FM job, Miller still will be plenty busy as lead weatherman at WMAQ, where he does forecasts for both the station's early newscasts and the flagship 10 p.m. news. He joined WMAQ in 1991, after a brief stint at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32.

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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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