Facing fortified competition in the afternoon from rival news/talk WLS-AM (890) -- and hoping for a boost from Cubs baseball broadcasts -- WGN-AM (720) announced yet another lineup change Thursday at the Tribune Co.-owned news/talk station.
Effective Friday, Steve Cochran and Garry Meier will trade places, with Cochran losing an hour and airing from 1 to 3 p.m., and Meier airing from 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays. It's the latest setback for Cochran, a 10-year veteran of WGN who once seemed certain to inherit the morning drive slot after Spike O'Dell stepped down at the end of 2008. But having fallen out of favor with the station's current management regime, Cochran is now working under a contract extension that runs through the end of June.
For Meier, who joined WGN last spring, the move sets up a classic grudge match with Roe Conn, who'd been his partner at WLS for eight years, and Richard Roeper, the Sun-Times columnist and nationally known movie critic, whom WGN had tried to hire as host of his own weekday show. Reconstituted as "The Roe Conn Show with Richard Roeper," it kicks off Monday (airing from 2 to 6 p.m.) on the Citadel Broadcasting station.