Thumbing his nose at critics and naysayers who predicted his demise, afternoon personality Roe Conn signed a contract extension Thursday that will keep him on Citadel Broadcasting news/talk WLS-AM (890) for the foreseeable future.
As one of the last of Chicago's million-dollar radio stars, Conn was under pressure to reduce his compensation in exchange for additional security and bonuses. His previous contract would have expired June 1, but the new agreement locks him in through the end of 2011.
During a break from his afternoon show Thursday, Conn said:
"I'm overjoyed. I couldn't be happier to be continuing at WLS. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Michael Damsky, president and general manager of WLS, said Conn's salary was "significantly more than has been reported elsewhere," calling it "a very good deal for Roe in the current economic structure of radio."
Conn, 45, a Chicago native and onetime producer for CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and the former WMAQ-AM, joined WLS as a weekend host in 1989. He's been hosting afternoons since 1996.
"Roe plays a unique leadership role with the air staff and management, and he's very helpful to the sales department as well," Damsky added. "He's the captain on the field."
In the Arbitron Portable People Meter survey for January, Conn's show ranked 13th‚ in afternoons with a 3.1 percent audience share. Among listeners between the ages of 25 and 54, it ranked 23rd‚ with a 2.1 share.