A day after a visit and pep talk from Nexstar Chairman, President and CEO Perry Sook, WGN Chicago (720) is shaking up its on-air lineup, which results in the departure of 10am-12pm hosts Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder.
Leff and Snyder have been with WGN since 2013. They previously hosted evenings together at the former WLUP and mornings at “Q101” WKQX in the 90s.
The new WGN Radio on-air lineup features a simulcast of the first hour of “WGN Morning News” from Nexstar Media sister station WGN-TV at 4am, followed by Steve Cochran, whose morning show will now air from 5-9am. John Williams moves from 1-3pm to 9am-12pm, followed by “The Wintrust Business Lunch” (12-1pm), hosted by Ji Suk Li. Afternoon co-host Anna Davlantes will now anchor her own show from 1-3pm followed by Roe Conn, who will continue solo in afternoons.
The changes were announced in a memo from Director of News and Operations Mary Sandberg Boyle, obtained by Chicago media reporter Robert Feder.
“We are making some program changes effective Monday, Dec. 2. Our emphasis, as always, is to be local, and we think these changes will serve our listeners well,” Boyle wrote. “Change means making difficult choices, and unfortunately there is not a place for everyone in this new line-up. Tonight, we are saying farewell to Bill and Wendy. Please join me in wishing them well and thanking them for their years of service to WGN and their loyal audience.”
The nearly 100-year-old WGN was acquired by Nexstar as part of its $7.2 billion purchase of Tribune Media. It is the sole radio property of the nation’s largest pure-play local broadcast television and digital media company. Tribune’s Sean Compton segued to Nexstar and was named Executive VP of WGN America, WGN Radio and Director of Content Acquisition. Compton’s radio roots run through the former Jacor Communications and Clear Channel Communications.
“WGN Radio has a rich history that we want to respect while making noise as Chicago’s only live 24-hour local talk station,” Compton told Inside Radio in October.
WGN has also added select NFL game broadcasts to its Sunday lineup and has also moved to Nielsen Total Line Reporting since Nexstar took over.