Is it Christmas and no one told me? I’m seriously doing a happy dance of joy here.
A mere three days after my post waxing nostalgic about the dynamic Chicago radio team of Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey, this news:
Steve Cochran, Kathy & Judy returning to WGN radio in station shakeup http://t.co/kWL43fCBri
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) August 20, 2013
KATHY AND JUDY ARE COMING BACK!
A little background information you should know. (I didn’t include this in my Letting Go post because I wanted to focus on the positive message but you need to hear this part of the story.)
In late 2008, WGN Radio, the most popular, successful and well respected station in Chicago, hired a new program director.
Let’s call him Bozo McStupid.
McStupid was with WGN a mere 2 years before being unceremoniously dumped. Unfortunately, before the big bosses at Tribune Broadcasting looked up from their newspapers, McStupid had wreaked all sorts of havoc, running roughshod over the on-air talent, stifling their talents and driving away listeners. The tension between the on-air hosts and McStupid was obvious and palpable.
After watering down the shows, McStupid had the nerve to use the lower ratings (for which he was responsible) as an excuse to attack the staff with a pink slip machete.
Among those shown the door were the “Girlfriends”, Kathy and Judy. It was shocking and heartbreaking.
Both former newspaper journalists, these gals entertained, informed and amused listeners every weekday morning for 20 years. These women are brilliant, warm, hilarious and fearless. The American Women in Radio & Television awarded the duo a Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Talk Radio in 2008.
Just months before they were booted by McStupid.
Every year Kathy and Judy hosted a weekend long fan convention – the ultimate Girlfriends’ Weekend – at a big, fancy hotel in downtown Chicago. Every year, tickets for the event sold out in the blink of an eye. These gals had a passionately loyal, very large and very vocal fan base.
So when McStupid pulled the plug, forcing Kathy and Judy to announce on May 22, 2009 that listeners were hearing their last show, the fans went crazy. If McStupid thought ratings were down before…he had no idea how the loyal listeners (myself included) would flock away from the Super Station.
To show you a little more about McStupid’s character, about a month after his monumentally bad staffing decision, Bozo McStupid had the nerve to say, in an interview, that Kathy and Judy actually retired and were not canned. The ever feisty (and always fabulous) Kathy and Judy smacked that falsehood down REAL QUICK.
McStupid, himself, was released in 2010 and it has taken this long for the WGN Radio executives to right the ship. As is unfortunately the case in these “what-the-hell-were-you-thinking-when-you-hired-that-bozo” situations, WGN suffered a big loss of talent and trust. Today’s announcement is a start in their attempt to acknowledge and repair the damage done during McStupid’s short stay.
Although Kathy and Judy will not be on the air daily, I’m thankful that they are returning for a weekly broadcast every Saturday morning starting in September. You can listen to the live stream of WGN here.
Welcome back, Girlfriends! We’ve missed you!
And once again, I should point out that these opinions are mine and I am not being compensated in any way for my wildly enthusiastic endorsement. What can I say? This girlfriend is one of those passionately loyal fans!Peace,