If the idea of Jonathon Brandmeier joining news/talk WGN-AM (720) seemed too good to be true, that's just what it's turning out to be. A double-digit decline in advertising revenue along with substantially higher rights fees for Cubs baseball broadcasts have blown a massive hole in the Tribune Co.-owned station's budget, effectively scuttling talk of any big-ticket deals for the foreseeable future.
(photo by Aaron Altounian)
Speculation about Brandmeier was fueled after he was spotted touring the premises Jan. 16 with WGN program director Kevin "Pig Virus" Metheny. Last Friday's budget cuts, including the elimination of six full-time positions, were seen by some as a prelude to a contract for Johnny B., who's been a free agent since Emmis Communications chose not to renew his million-dollar deal at classic rock WLUP-FM (97.9). Despite Metheny's overture, an offer for Brandmeier seems unlikely now, according to informed insiders.