Mere days after Erich “Mancow” Muller announced plans to leave WLS Chicago (890) at the end of the month, Cumulus Media has named his replacement at the talk outlet. Bruce St. James has been hired to take over mornings, effective Dec. 14.
A major market talk show veteran, St. James most recently spent 10 years in middays at Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM Phoenix (92.3). He has also been a frequent fill-in host at WLS, and according to VP/Market Manager Marv Nyren, was one of three top candidates to succeed Muller, all of which were from out of market, according to Chicago media reporter Robert Feder.
St. James’ hiring was announced to the staff via an email from Program Director Stephanie Tichenor. “In our 97th year, we are changing. 2021 is the year we bring the focus back to who matters most – our listeners. And the dialogue begins on Dec 14th at 5:30am when our new morning show host, Bruce St. James, opens the mic on the New ’89,” Tichenor wrote. “Bruce St. James is here to have a conversation, not a lecture. He is not here to change formats. He is here to continue what 890 already does best – inform and entertain our listeners.”
Muller will end his second stint at WLS on Wednesday, Nov. 25. “Much of the enjoyment I had left doing radio has been sucked out of it,” he said in announcing his plans not to sign another deal with the station. “Alone in an office building with no guests and endless rules is not my idea of a creative process… For me, no interaction has been the radio kiss of death. Talking during this political season and hearing endless tales of woe from my listeners has been radio without joy.”
The decision to part ways was described as mutual, with Nyren saying, “It’s been a gem for two years.”
Fill-in hosts will cover mornings at WLS until St. James’ mid-December debut.