WBEZ | Cisco Cotto http://www.wbez.org/tags/cisco-cotto Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Radio earthquake: Mancow & Cassidy out at WLS http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/02/out-in-wls-radio-shakeup/14628 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><sup><strong><em><img width="400" height="499" alt="Mancow Muller" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//mancow.jpg" class="size-full wp-image-14643" /></em></strong><strong><em><br />Mancow Muller</em></strong></sup></p><p style="text-align: center;"><code> </code></p><p>The Chicago radio odyssey of Matthew Erich &quot;Mancow&quot; Muller took another unexpected turn Wednesday when he was fired after 16 months as <a href="http://www.wlsam.com/Article.asp?id=956634&amp;spid=28931">midday personality</a> on news/talk WLS-AM (890). The surprise move just after he got off the air was part of a swift program realignment by the new management team of the Citadel Broadcasting station. In his first public comment after his ouster, Muller said:</p><blockquote>&quot;There's no rhyme or reason to this business. I've stopped trying to figure it out. I thought we were doing a great show. I think it had a lot of interesting elements, and I'm proud of the show we did.&quot;</blockquote><p>Also out in the shakeup is 40-year radio veteran Pat Cassidy, who had been Muller's <a href="http://www.wlsam.com/Article.asp?id=906741&amp;spid=28931">co-host and straight man.</a> Cassidy is expected to be returning to CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (780), where he'd anchored mornings before joining WLS in August 2008. His former bosses have kept the seat alongside Felicia Middlebrooks <a ëœnewsradio="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2009/11/newsradio-reluctant-to-sign-off-on-hultman/9163">officially open</a> since Cassidy left. &quot;Pat Cassidy was Felix to my Oscar --&nbsp; and I loved every minute of it,&quot; Muller said of their &quot;Odd Couple&quot;-like partnership.<!--break--></p><p>Replacing Muller and Cassidy from 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays, effective Thursday, is Cisco Cotto, who's been co-hosting Roe Conn's afternoon show on WLS since he <a href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2009/12/wls-makes-room-for-roe-cisco-in-afternoons/10542">returned to the station</a> last month from Salem Communications news/talk WIND-AM (560). By most accounts, Conn and Cotto did not mesh particularly well on the air. New partners for Cotto in middays and Conn in afternoons are expected to be named soon.</p><p>Earlier this week, Ron Magers returned as a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/robert-feder/back-you-ron-wls-radio-restores-magers-role">regular contributor</a> to Conn's show. The top news anchor at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 had been a staple of the afternoon show for 12 years before he was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2009/12/woe-is-roe-no-room-for-ron-magers-at-wls-radio/10661">axed in a budget cut</a> last December.</p><p>The latest talent shuffle was engineered by Michael Damsky, who was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/01/management-shakeup-at-wls-fowler-out-damsky-in/11767">promoted to president and general manager</a> of WLS on Jan. 15, and by Drew Hayes, who was hired by Damsky as <a href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/01/wls-radio-brings-back-drew-hayes-as-program-boss/12992">operations director</a> two weeks later. Reached for comment Wednesday, Damsky said:</p><blockquote>&quot;Mancow has been an outstanding talent and an ideal employee in every respect. Unfortunately, he does not fit the needs of the radio station as we try to fulfill a very clear vision of what listeners expect, and try to restore credibility to conservative talk. We thank him and Pat Cassidy for their contributions, and wish them both well.&quot;</blockquote><p>Muller, 43, has been a captivating and polarizing figure on the local media scene since 1994 when he arrived from San Francisco to host mornings on the former WRCX. After four years there, he jumped to alternative rock WKQX-FM (101.1). His firing from Q101 in 2006 remains the subject of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Muller filed against parent company Emmis Communications. He joined WLS in October 2008, and hit No. 1 in the Arbitron ratings just four months later. Though off the air here now, Muller continues to host a nationally <a href="http://www.mancow.com/">syndicated morning show</a> from Chicago for <a href="http://www.talkradionetwork.com/">Talk Radio Network.</a> He identifies his politics as libertarian.</p><p>At the <a href="http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2008/oct/22/business/chi-081022mancow-returns">time of his hiring </a>at WLS, Muller was described by then-general manager Mike Fowler as &quot;a younger version of Rush [Limbaugh], with some Roe Conn thrown in.&quot; But Damsky and Hayes pointed to audience research that showed Muller's edgy, hyperkinetic act did not appeal to the core audiences of Don and Roma Wade's morning show preceding it or Limbaugh's midday show following it. &quot;The two hours [from 9 to 11 a.m.] has to be a very consistent bridge between those two programs, and Mancow's show just wasn't the bridge,&quot; Damsky said.</p><p>A lightning rod for publicity throughout his career, Muller made worldwide headlines last May when he staged a live <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local-beat/Mancow-Takes-on-Waterboarding-and-Loses.html">waterboarding stunt </a>on his WLS show to determine whether the interrogation technique was a form of torture. After several seconds of being doused, he concluded that it was, indeed, &quot;absolutely torture.&quot; (<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUkj9pjx3H0">Here is the link to video of the incident.</a>)</p></p> Wed, 10 Feb 2010 11:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/02/out-in-wls-radio-shakeup/14628 Scratch and sniff: A wag of the tail to salute Steve Dale http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/02/scratch-and-sniff-a-wag-of-the-tail-to-salute-steve-dale/14454 <p><p>Robservations on the media beat:</p><ul> <li><div style="margin-right: 15px; float: left; text-align: center;"><ul><a href="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//dale.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-14485" style="border: 1px solid black;margin: 1px 5px" alt="Steve Dale" width="166" height="186" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//dale.jpg" /></a></ul></div>Anyone who devotes his life to the welfare of animals is a good guy in my book. So it's nice to know that Chicago's <a href="http://www.stevedalepetworld.com/">ambassador to the dog and cat world,</a> <strong>Steve Dale,</strong> just signed on for five more years as nationally syndicated pet columnist with Tribune Media Services. In addition, Dale's weekly radio show, which ran for 12 years on Tribune Co.-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720), moved last June to Citadel Broadcasting news/talk WLS-AM (890). &quot;Steve Dale's Pet World&quot; now airs at 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays. He's also a certified animal behavior consultant and a blogger for <a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/steve-dale-pet-world/">ChicagoNow.com.</a> In an updated&sbquo;&nbsp;<a href="http://chicagoradiospotlight.blogspot.com/2009/05/steve-dale.html">Chicago Radio Spotlight</a> profile, Dale told <strong>Rick Kaempfer:</strong></li></ul> <blockquote>&quot;My favorite moments are always when a listener calls and says, 'You helped me and made my day. That's why I didn't give up the dog or cat to the shelter.' Those are always my favorite moments.&quot;</blockquote> <ul> <li>Another sign that all's right with the world is when <strong>Rick O'Dell</strong> is playing smooth jazz. Since January, the Chicago radio veteran has been back in his familiar midday slot -- &nbsp;from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- &nbsp;on Venture Technologies Group's <a href="http://www.877chicagosmoothjazz.com/">WLFM-FM (87.7).</a> &quot;Those who know I'm here have made it a wonderfully soft landing back on the midday show,&quot; he said. &quot;Now it's up to us to give them what they expect musically while throwing them a few surprises along the way.&quot; In his additional role as program director, O'Dell announced the debut of <strong>&quot;Paul Wertico's </strong>Wild World of Jazz,&quot; a locally produced traditional jazz show hosted by the Grammy-winning drummer and Chicago native. It'll air at 9 p.m. Sundays, starting this weekend.<!--break--></li> <li><strong>Jeff Reisman,</strong> director of sales at news/talk WIND-AM (560) and Christian talk WYLL-AM (1160), officially was promoted Monday to general manager of the two Salem Communications stations. He succeeds <strong>Dave Santrella,</strong> who moved up to president of Salem's radio division on Dec. 15. One of Reisman's first tasks is to name a replacement for <strong>Cisco Cotto</strong> as co-host of <strong>Big John Howell's</strong> morning show on WIND. Cotto <a href="/feder/2009/12/wls-makes-room-for-roe-cisco-in-afternoons/10542">left to join WLS</a> as <strong>Roe Conn's</strong> afternoon partner at the end of last year.</li> <li><strong>Mark Bieganski,</strong> who created a <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/oprah/">popular blog</a> on <strong>Oprah Winfrey</strong> when he was a Web editor at the Sun-Times, has joined Time Out Chicago as a senior online producer. Among his duties will be tracking Oprah's final season in Chicago for the magazine's <a href="http://chicago.timeout.com/">website.</a> He most recently was an online producer for Fox Chicago News. Of Bieganski's new Oprah blog, Time Out editor in chief <strong>Frank Sennett</strong> said:</li> </ul> <blockquote>&quot;As her Super Bowl spot with Dave and Jay showed, it only takes Oprah 15 seconds to spark a national conversation, so we think it'll be fun to help readers follow her closely as she winds up her tenure in Chicago.&quot;</blockquote> <ul> <li><strong>Tony Arnold,</strong> who's been a temporary reporter and producer on the news desk at Chicago Public Radio WBEZ-FM (91.5) since 2008, has been hired as a full-time general assignment reporter. He previously was a reporter for Northern Illinois University's WNIJ-FM (89.5).</li> <li>The late, great <strong>Richard Pegue</strong> will be remembered at a Dusty Record Convention celebrating <a href="http://www.thebestmusicofyourlife.com/Home.htm">&quot;The Best Music of Your Life&quot;</a>&nbsp;March 6 at St. Elizabeth Church, 50 E. 41st&sbquo;&nbsp;St. Doors open at 7 p.m. The dance will be hosted by his widow, <strong>Savina Pegue.</strong> The legendary Chicago radio personality, producer, songwriter and musician died of heart failure last March at 64.</li> </ul></p> Tue, 09 Feb 2010 00:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/02/scratch-and-sniff-a-wag-of-the-tail-to-salute-steve-dale/14454