BREAKING NEWS: Metheny Lands In Chicago

Thanks to an AllAccess bulletin tonight, we now know where former Clear Channel Cleveland programming chief Kevin Metheny ended up:

TRIBUNE Talk WGN-A/CHICAGO PD BOB SHOMPER is exiting to join crosstown CITADEL Talk WLS-A as PD, and veteran programmer KEVIN METHENY, most recently at CLEAR CHANNEL/CLEVELAND as VP/Programming, is taking his place at WGN.

The dots are probably pretty clearly connected – WGN is Tribune’s only radio property, and former Clear Channel/Jacor radio head Randy Michaels is now the company’s Chief Operating Officer.

AllAccess quotes WGN VP/GM Tom Langmyer about Metheny’s hiring:

“During his ten years in Cleveland, perhaps his most impressive feat was to take AM-1100 and make it the number one station in CLEVELAND and a top 25-54 performer. He did this through building the (primarily live and local news/talk) station to ‘sound like CLEVELAND.’ As a true radio guy, he has a great understanding and respect for WGN and what it means to CHICAGO. He also knows that WGN can be grown further in terms of relevance today as ‘The Voice of CHICAGO.’ KEVIN has a real ear for talent and is a proven coach with a winning track record.”

Radio and Records’ version of the story also quotes Metheny, “a longtime WGN fan” who’s certainly aware of the station’s history:

“I’ve loved Chicago and marveled at WGN since I was a child listening to Wally Phillips and Bob Collins. It’s an honor to join the leadership of an American treasure like WGN Radio.”

It’s a very interesting choice. WGN is very much a “full-service” talk station, and has a full schedule of local talk not known for its “bite”.

Meanwhile, Randy Michaels is certainly making no secret of his desire to “shake things up” at Sam Zell’s Tribune, which just filed for bankruptcy. (Despite the shape of the company, WGN “Radio 720” is generally a top performer for the company.)

Michaels cut his programming teeth at WTAM/1100’s now-sister talker in Cincinnati, WLW/700 “The Big One”, which also has an extensive local programming schedule.

Metheny, meanwhile, was top programming boss for personalities as diverse as John Lanigan and Mike Trivisonno in his time at Oak Tree.

This should be fun to watch…

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