Great news for fans of Chicago's No. 1 anchorman: Ron Magers is returning to Roe Conn's afternoon show on Citadel Broadcasting news/talk WLS-AM (890). Starting Tuesday, the principal news anchor for ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 will be back as a daily contributor during the 3 p.m. hour of Conn's show (which he now co-hosts with Cisco Cotto).
"I could not be happier to bring you that [news]," Conn told his listeners Monday.
The announcement of Magers' return comes seven weeks after he was dropped in a budget cut at the station. For almost 12 years, Magers' role as a commentator and raconteur often was the highlight of Conn's show -- and the best half-hour of conversation in all of Chicago radio. Bringing him back was among the top priorities of Michael Damsky when he was named president and general manager of the station last month. On Monday, Damsky said:
"It's a piece of the show we felt the loss of immediately. This is the senior most credible newscaster in Chicago. We certainly would want him to be part of one of our premier shows. The first thing [Channel 7 general manager] Emily Barr and Roe Conn advised me to do was to put Ron Magers back on. So it was the first thing I set out to do."
Magers, 65, a 28-year veteran of Chicago television news, continues to anchor Channel 7's top-rated newscasts at 5 and 10 p.m. weekdays.‚ Asked to comment on his radio comeback, Magers said:
"I'm very happy to be back with Roe. It was always a very fun part of my day, and I've missed it. We set no agenda and just let events take us where they may, and sometimes it surprises both of us. I'm also looking forward to getting to know Cisco in his new role."