Don Wade and wife, Roma, step down from WLS radio
BY BECKY SCHLIKERMAN Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org December 13, 2012 9:41PM
11-15-04 Don & Roma Wade, host at WLS-AM (890), pictured during their morning show in studio at 190 N. State st/chicago. (photo by John H White/Chicago Sun-Times)
Updated: January 15, 2013 11:41AM
Veteran radio star Don Wade and his wife and radio partner, Roma, are stepping down from their morning show to focus on Wade’s health, the couple announced Thursday.
Wade, 71, has been battling brain cancer. The couple went off the air from their WLS-AM (890) show three months ago when he started undergoing treatment for the brain tumor.
“The daily stress of rising each day at midnight to prep for our 5 a.m. show does not help the healing process,” the couple said in a statement released by their agent Eliot Ephraim.
“So we are choosing a different path and focusing on what’s really important for us right now.”
Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft, who had been filling in for the Wades, will continue as hosts of the 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. morning show, according to a statement released by Cumulus Media.
“We are pleased to pass the morning show gauntlet to two of our favorite WLS hosts: Dan Proft who was a regular feature on our show [“Pundit” and “Fundit”] long before he ran for governor, and crazy Bruce Wolf who brings the perfect balance to start your day on WLS,” the couple said. “We like to think we hand-picked our great replacements. They are terrific!”
The Wades historically have been one of the top franchises on WLS since 1986 and their ratings continued to be strong, said Donna Baker, vice president and market manager of Cumulus in Chicago.
“In 1985, the Bears won the Super Bowl and we did out first Don Wade and Roma show on WLS. That’s 27 years ago,” the couple said. “To us, it’s been like winning the Super Bowl every day.”
John Dickey, the Cumulus co-chief operating officer, said in a statement the Wades are always welcome in the WLS family.
“Don and Roma are Chicago, and 27 years waking Chicago up is an amazing feat. The focus and strength it takes to do live radio every day on one of the world’s biggest stages will serve Don well as he continues to heal. We wish Don and Roma the best and will always keep a mic open for them.”