Erich “Mancow” Muller is leaving WLS Chicago, ending a two-year run in mornings at the Cumulus Media talk station. In what’s being described as a mutual decision, the brash, controversial talk show host heard in the Windy City since 1994 will exit at the end of November with the station using fill-in hosts until a permanent successor is named.
Long a fixture in the market, the 54-year-old personality cited the joyless experience of doing morning radio during a pandemic for his decision. “Much of the enjoyment I had left doing radio has been sucked out of it,” Mancow said, according a story by Chicago media reporter Robert Feder. “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.”
Contrast that to the everything-at-once environment of last year, when The Chicago Tribune described a typical Mancow show as like “watching someone with ADD fly an airplane, there are so many levels and buttons — callers, movie quotes, interviews — and he is able to manage it all.”
Cumulus Chicago VP/Market Manger Marv Nyren said the decision to part ways was mutual – neither side initiated talks on a renewal – and that Muller would be paid through the end of the year when his contract expires.
“Mancow has done everything we asked him to do,” said Nyren. “It’s been a gem for two years.”
Beginning Nov. 30, a series of fill-in hosts will be heard in mornings until a permanent replacement is hired. Nyren and program director Stephanie Tichenor are said to have narrowed the field to three, with a decision expected by Jan. 1 or sooner, per Feder's report.
Mancow joined WLS on Jan. 3 2019 following a nine-month absence from the Chicago airwaves. Heard across the dial during a 26-year career in the market, Mancow has also hosted mornings on the former classic rock “The Loop” WLUP-FM, alternative “Q101” WKQX (101.1) and the former “Rock 103.5” WRCX, in addition to two stints at WLS.